Sunday, December 19, 2010


Since the blog has launched I have received a number of questions about the name of the site. After a recent conversation where the subject came up again I thought it might make sense to post a brief explanation.

Technically speaking the word mathaytes does not mean anything because it does not really exist spelled as it is. I did not, however, simply make it up. It is the phonetic spelling of the Greek word maqhthς which means disciple or learner. Normally this word is transliterated into English as mathetes but rather than use the “proper” spelling I decided to use the phonetic spelling (it is actually pronounced ma – thay – tays).

I chose to do this for a couple of reasons. First, by using a less common spelling the site has better search optimization. If you type mathetes into a browser you will get many links to articles or sites having to do with the Greek word, its definition, usage, etc. If, however, you search for mathaytes this site usually comes up first (although not on Bing… I suspect that perhaps corporate subterfuge is the reason). Secondly, most of the people who were initially interested in reading the blog had no exposure to New Testament Greek and it is easier to remember how to pronounce the word when it is spelled phonetically.

Some have criticized me for the spelling, particularly with regard to my second reason. All I can say is that the purpose of the site isn’t to teach Greek nor is the word even being used functionally within the site. It is simply a name used to identify a particular corner of the web. Think of it like a brand name (many of which intentionally use variant spellings for effect). I have never heard anyone complain that “Krispy Kreme”, “Froot loops”, or “blu-ray” are not spelled correctly.

The thing that is important to me is that the content of the site be helpful to fellow Christians and that it gives them cause to think about issues or matters that they may not have thought about before or to revisit issues that deserve further study.

If you have been wondering about the meaning of the name of the site or if it has been bugging you that it isn’t spelled the way you are used to seeing it I hope this helps to clear it up J

*BTW… from time to time I do publish posts that contain Greek words  (like this one and the Merry CHRISTmas post from last week) but if you do not have the Greek fonts installed on your computer those words will not display properly for you. If, for example, you see the string of letters after this sentence as w’s, x’s, and  f’s then some of the words in certain posts will not display properly for you. qQqQ  xXxX  fFfF.

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