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LATIN 405 A: Undergraduate Seminar in Classics

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:20pm - 4:50pm
DEN 256
Joint Sections: 
GREEK 405 A, CLAS 405 A
James J. Clauss

Syllabus Description:

Classics/Greek/Latin 405

Readings of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and New Testament in Greek and Latin


Summer 2024

TTh 2:20-4:50

DEN 256

Instructor: James J. Clauss


Office hours: by appointment after class or other times by zoom


Students with as little as one year of Greek and/or Latin are welcome to take this seminar. The OT (Hebrew Bible) and NT texts are remarkably easy to read in either language and the texts are incredibly important not only for Judeo-Christian religion but for Western culture and civilization in general. Students with only Latin will read and translate in class the Latin texts and similarly those with only Greek will read Greek passages. Students who sign up for Classics should be able to read both languages. I will introduce the Hebrew alphabet so that we can observe how Greek and Roman translators managed foreign words.


A note to all students in the class: if you can’t finish the assignments in your target language, read the rest in English. The assignments are long so that we can cover a lot of material. But I know from past experiences students cannot finish them. This is not a problem as we will cover them in English. In this way we will have much to discuss both from the perspective of the languages as well as the texts.


For the first half of the class, we’ll read the opening 20 chapters of Exodus, the book in which Moses forces the Pharaoh to let the Hebrew people leave Egypt following the ten plagues that concluded with the death of the firstborn offspring and in which Moses encounters God on Mt Horeb and receives the 10 Commandments. In the second half, we will read the Gospel of John in its entirety. This Gospel is significantly different from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) whose narratives are clearly related.


For such a mixed group, the best resource is on-line STEP Bible that has the texts set side by side: Greek, Hebrew and Latin for the Hebrew Bible and Greek and Latin for the NT, with accompanying translations in English. This will be our text for Exodus. Students will need to have a laptop or other device to follow along in class. If such a device is not available, a copy of the texts in the target language will suffice. We will discuss how to proceed on the first day of class.


For the Gospel of John, I recently discovered a book with both the Greek and Latin texts printed side by side with grammatical and vocabulary help below. Let’s use this book as it will be easier to read in class: Virginia Grinch, Evan Hayes, Stephen Nimis, The Gospel of John in Greek and Latin. A Comparative Intermediate Reader, Faenum Publishing 2018. It can be purchased on Amazon.


Primary Resources




The Polyglot Bible

STEP Bible

Interlinear Bible: Greek and Hebrew

Interlinear Latin Bible

Sacred Bible Interlinear

English translation of the Septuagint

Different translations of the Bible

Cross references in Luke

Logeion (on-line Greek and Latin dictionary)

Prof. Scott Noegel’s website

Perseus (OT/NT Latin, NT Greek)



Hard Copy:


F.C. Conybeare and St. George Stock, Grammar of Septuagint Greek, Hendrickson

Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine, Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft

Jay P. Green, The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English (English, Hebrew and Greek Edition), Hendrickson

J.D. Douglas (ed.), The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, Tyndale

F.J. Long, T. M.W. Halcomb, A Parallel & Interlinear New Testament Polyglot: Luke-Acts in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, English, German, and French

Secondary Resources:


Michael Coogan and Cynthia Chapman, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. Oxford 2018.


Martin, Dale B. New Testament History and Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.





Week 1                        Introduction                                       

Exodus 1.1-3.15


Week 2                        Exodus 3.16-6.1

Exodus 6.2-8.15


Week 3                        July 4

                                    Exodus 8.16-10.20


Week 4                        Exodus 10.21-12.51

Exodus 13.1-14.31 Read 15-20 in English


Week 5                        Midterm exam

                                    John 1.1-3.21 


Week 6                        John 3.22-5.47

                                    John 6.1-7.36             


Week 7                        John 7.37-9.17

                                    John 9.18-11.57                     



Week 8                        John 12.1-14.14

                                    John 14.15-17.26


Week 9                        John 18.1-21.25

                                    Final exam




Prepare passages for translation in class. Those students with only one year of Greek or Latin should try to complete as much of the assignment as possible and will not be penalized for not being ready to translate everything.  My hope is to read as much as possible in the original languages. Students’ abilities differ and I will be aware of these differences.  Learning is our main goal.


The midterm and final exams will be essay exams based on our readings and will be discussed during the date of the exams.




20% Participation in class

40% Midterm

40% Final


Important UW policy-related things to know:

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or  (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.



Catalog Description: 
Seminar on a broadly defined topic in classics. Includes reading in Latin or Greek as appropriate for individual students. Additional readings of works in English translation and works of scholarship chosen to give undergraduate majors familiarity with research methods and perspective on the discipline.
Last updated: 
March 21, 2024 - 10:25pm