It has often been a challenge when Bible readers are enjoying reading one of the Gospels or Paul’s letters and come across difficult names of people and places, such as Cenchrea, Epenetus, Stachys, or Tryphosa. John Walker’s work on the pronunciation of Greek, Latin, and Scripture proper names provides an excellent solution. By first working through the pronunciation of Greek and Latin names before moving on to the proper names of Scripture, Walker forms a sure foundation for guiding the reader through difficult spellings or unusual clusters of consonants and vowels.
John Walker's A Key to the Pronunciation of the Greek, Latin, and Scripture Proper Names stands as an important contribution to 19th century scholarship. Walker's work is part of an ongoing debate about the pronunciation of Greek and Latin that continues to this day, while also providing a system for pronouncing difficult Scriptural names and places, which gives this volume enduring value as a guide for pronouncing names and places in the Bible.
John Walker was a teacher of elocution, the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone. Before he published his volume on Greek, Latin, and Scripture proper names, he had already written his two volume Elements of Elocution, which instructed the reader in voice control, emphasis, pronunciation, and even gestures. Ten years later, Walker produced a dictionary of the English language that focused on pronunciation: Critical Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language. He was a contemporary of Dr. Samuel Johnson, the creator of the English language’s first dictionary.