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19 Reading Passages

Reading Passages


1. Read the passages aloud in Greek.

2. Vocabulary and commentary is provided for each passage. For words that do not appear in the vocabulary, please use your dictionary.

3. Translate the passages. As you translate the sentences, pay careful attention to words that go together, such as prepositional phrases and relative clauses. Breaking the sentences up into logical units is oftentimes a better first approach than attempting to translate all the words in succession.

To download this assignment as a pdf, click here: AGE Readings 6.


Classical Readings

1. Aristotle is analyzing the techniques and strategies that someone can use in court. Here he is discussing the topic of oaths. Oaths were a regular part of ancient legal proceedings, where participants swore a sacred oath to honor a contract. This passage repeatedly refers to one or both parties to the agreement administering (διδόναι) an oath or taking (λαμβάνειν) an oath. Aristotle begins by saying that there are four possibilities for a speaker in court with respect to an oath:

ἢ γὰρ δίδωσι καὶ λαμβάνει, ἢ οὐδέτερον, ἢ τὸ μὲν, τὸ δ ̓ οὔ, καὶ τούτων ἢ δίδωσιν μὲν, οὐ λαμβάνει δέ, ἢ λαμβάνει μὲν, δίδωσιν δὲ οὔ.

οὐδέτερον neither

τούτων (gen pl) these

Aristotle Rhetoric 1.27-32.1377a


ἢ τὸ μὲν, τὸ δ ̓ οὔ is adverbial, “or this one but not the other” (S 1111)


2. This passage comes from one of Plato’s dramatic dialogues. Socrates has been interrogating a prophet named Euthyphro about piety and the relationship between humans and gods. Socrates has gotten Euthyphro, reluctantly, to characterize this relationship as trade or a business transaction (ἐμπορία). Next Socrates asks:

τίς ἡ ὠφελία τοῖς θεοῖς τυγχάνει οὖσα ἀπὸ τῶν δώρων ὧν παρ’ ἡμῶν λαμβάνουσιν; ἃ μὲν γὰρ διδόασι παντὶ δῆλον (ἐστί)· οὐδὲν γὰρ ἡμῖν ἐστιν ἀγαθὸν ὅ τι ἂν μὴ ἐκεῖνοι δῶσιν. ἃ δὲ παρ’ ἡμῶν λαμβάνουσιν, τί ὠφελοῦνται; ἢ τοσοῦτον αὐτῶν πλεονεκτοῦμεν κατὰ τὴν ἐμπορίαν, ὥστε πάντα τὰ ἀγαθὰ παρ’ αὐτῶν λαμβάνομεν, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ παρ’ ἡμῶν οὐδέν;

ἀγαθὸν (nom/acc sg) τό good

ἀγαθὰ (nom/acc pl) τό good

ἂν marks a hypothetical situation

δῆλον (nom/acc sg) τό clear

δώρων (gen pl) τό gifts

δῶσιν ~ διδόασιν

ἐμπορίαν (acc sg) ἡ business, trade, barter

ἡμῖν (dat pl) us

ἡμῶν (gen pl) us

θεοῖς (dat pl) ὁ gods

οὐδὲν (nom/acc sg) τό nothing

πάντα (nom/acc pl) τό everything

παντὶ (dat sg) ὁ everyone

πλεονεκτόω be superior (+ gen of that which is being compared)

τυγχάνω οὖσα happen to be

τοσοῦτον (adverb) so much

ὠφελία (nom sg) ἡ benefit

ὠφελοῦνται (3rd pl) benefit (from something)

Plato Euthyphro 14e9-15a4


Biblical Readings

1. From the early history of David: After the city of Ziklag has been sacked, David and his army are searching for those who attacked the city and kidnapped many of its residents. They are heading south and find someone who helps in their search and rescue mission:

(11.) καὶ εὑρίσκουσιν ἄνδρα Αἰγύπτιον ἐν ἀγρῷ καὶ λαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν καὶ ἄγουσιν αὐτὸν πρὸς Δαυιδ ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ διδόασιν αὐτῷ ἄρτον, καὶ ἔφαγεν, καὶ ἐπότισαν αὐτὸν ὕδωρ· (12.) καὶ διδόασιν αὐτῷ κλάσμα παλάθης, καὶ ἔφαγεν, καὶ κατέστη τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ, ὅτι οὐ βεβρώκει ἄρτον καὶ οὐ πεπώκει ὕδωρ τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας. (13.) καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δαυιδ Τίνος σὺ εἶ καὶ πόθεν εἶ; καὶ εἶπεν τὸ παιδάριον τὸ Αἰγύπτιον Ἐγώ εἰμι δοῦλος ἀνδρὸς Αμαληκίτου…

ἀγρῷ (dat sg) ὁ field

ἄγω lead, bring

Αἰγύπτιον Egyptian

Αμαληκίτου (gen sg) ὁ Amalekite (a people named for Amalek)

ἀνήρ, ἀνδρὸς ὁ man

ἄρτον (acc sg) ὁ bread

βεβρώκει (3rd sg) had eaten

δοῦλος (nom sg) ὁ slave

ἐγώ (nom sg) I

εἶπεν (3rd sg) said

ἐπότισαν (3rd pl) give (something) to drink

ἔφαγεν (3rd sg) ate

ἡμέρας (acc pl) ἡ days

κατέστη (3rd sg) set up, restore

κλάσμα –ατος τό morsel

παλάθης (gen sg) ἡ dried fruit

παιδάριον (nom/acc sg) τό little child

πεπώκει (3rd sg) had drunk

πόθεν from where?

σὺ (nom sg) you

τρεῖς three

ὕδωρ, ὔδατος τό water

LXX 1 Kings 30:11-13


τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας: Accusative of Duration of Time


2. From the account of Jesus’ third appearance to his disciples after his death and resurrection: Jesus has appeared and guided his disciples to an enormous catch of fish. At this point, none dared to ask:

Σὺ τίς εἶ; εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ κύριός ἐστιν. (13.) ἔρχεται Ἰησοῦς καὶ λαμβάνει τὸν ἄρτον καὶ δίδωσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τὸ ὀψάριον ὁμοίως.

ἄρτον (acc sg) ὁ bread

εἰδότες “because they knew”

ἔρχεται (3rd sg) comes

κύριός (nom sg) ὁ lord

ὁμοίως in the same way

ὀψάριον (nom/acc sg) τό fish

σὺ (nom sg) you

Κατὰ Ἰωάννην 21:12-13


3. Paul urges the bishops (ἐπίσκοποι) at Ephesus to heed “the words of Jesus” (τῶν λόγων τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ):

αὐτὸς εἶπεν, Μακάριόν ἐστιν μᾶλλον διδόναι ἢ λαμβάνειν.

εἶπεν (3rd sg) said

μᾶλλον … ἢ more…than

μακάριον (nom/acc sg) τό blessed

Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων 20:35


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Reading Passages by Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.