What is the Center for Learning Biblical Greek?
The primary activity of the Center is to provide personal, one-on-one, online Biblical Greek instruction. The flagship course is our Beginning Greek program. In addition, the Center offers intermediate Greek courses. To learn more about the Beginning Greek course program, read the Q&A below and contact us to set up an orientation to get started.
The personal, one-on-one model is the best model for learning biblical Greek. The vast majority of programs out there are recorded videos with little, if any, contact with an instructor. Even the programs that have “live classroom” sessions, the student competes for the instructor’s attention with many other students. The program offered here at the Center is one-on-one, personal instruction—this is why it stands above all other learning programs offered on the Internet.
Who should learn New Testament Greek?
There are many from all walks of life that learn Greek, including laypeople, pastors, homeschoolers, and students in high school, college, or seminary.
Learning Greek does not require you to be born with some special ‘gift.’ It requires two things: A desire to learn Greek, and consistency of at least one hour a day.
The goal should be to read Greek, not “translate” Greek. There are plenty of English translations out there. The ultimate goal for learning Greek is to interpret God’s Word on the deep level of the original language, giving you the tools for enrichment and precision. A computer program cannot do this for you. To become competent in reading and understanding Greek you need to put in the time and work. No one has ever regretted learning Greek. The rewards are immeasurable!
Give someone a commentary and you feed them for a day; teach them to read Greek and you feed them for a lifetime.
How much does it cost?
A fifty minute, weekly, skype session covering one chapter is $75. You pay weekly, so there is no up-front financial commitment to pay for the entire program.
Compare this rate with: (1) It is substantially cheaper than the average Christian college or university of first year Greek which can easily cost an average of $5,000. (2) This is private, one-on-one instruction, while in a traditional institution the student finds him or herself in a classroom with a large number of students. (3) Greek linguistics is my specialty, while in a traditional institution students typically are assigned a teacher’s assistant for the class, or if they do get a professor, his or her specialty is often not in Greek linguistics but in some other area of New Testament studies.
What day and time are the sessions?
Teaching sessions are Tuesdays or Wednesdays, but exceptions for other days of the week may be made. One chapter is covered per session, and the duration of the program is thirty-three weeks, since there are thirty-three chapters to the grammar.
Are there quizzes and homework?
The homework is studying the grammar and vocabulary of a particular chapter during the week, as well as doing the assigned exercises in each chapter of the Greek grammar. Most learning happens outside of the teaching session. The exercises are not for grading. It will be your responsibility to check your answers. However, I will answer any questions that you have on them. As far as quizzes, I will quiz you orally at certain points in the session on the main grammatical issues to make sure you understand it.
What does a typical session look like?
It begins punctually, so please log on to skype a couple of minutes early and I will call you on time. We will work through each section of the chapter together so I make sure you understand it and answer any questions you have on it. At the end of the session I will highlight what you need to focus on in the next chapter, as well as give you a word of inspiration and motivation. You can do it!
How do I prepare for the first session?
Purchase three resources before the first session:
- Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook by Rodney J. Decker
- Koine Greek New Testament on MP3 Audio CDs by Spiros Zodhiates
- Laminated Greek Chart Guide by William D. Mounce
You will eventually purchase a Greek Bible and lexicon. I will discuss that with you later.
For the first session read the Preface, Introduction, and Chapter 1 in the grammar Reading Koine Greek. The Introduction gives a survey of the history of the Greek language. In Chapter 1, memorize the Greek alphabet (just the lowercase letter). The best way to learn the Greek alphabet is writing and saying them aloud at the same time (see page 12 on how to write the letters).
In Chapter 1, sections 1.8 and 1.10 ignore the “Pronunciation” column since the Modern Greek pronunciation system will be used. This is a more conducive sound system for learning Greek, not to mention it is closer to what someone would have heard in the first century. If you want to read and sustain Greek successively, you need to be able to pronounce it properly.
Go to the following two webpages to learn the Modern system:
To listen to each letter sound, scroll down to point #2 “Four Major Conventions of Greek Pronunciation” and click on each letter under “Modern Pronunciation.” The second webpage is more expanded on the alphabet so be sure to print it out and study Sections 1–10. In the first session, each letter of the alphabet will be covered, but make sure to first memorize it and practice writing it out. Do not worry if you cannot pronounce every letter perfectly. That will improve over the first several weeks.
What should be my weekly study habits?
Each weekly session will cover one chapter in the grammar. Study at least one hour each day. Two hours is ideal, but one hour is an absolute minimum to learn Greek. There may be some days that one hour is not possible, but at least find 15 minutes to study Greek on those busy days and make up the time the very next day. Consistency is the key. Studying Greek can be pleasurable or painful—painful by cramming the night before that will be forgotten the next day; pleasurable by studying daily and retaining long term.
Read the assigned chapter every week at least three times. In the first reading, read just to get the lay of the land. Read everything, including footnotes and advanced sections.
The second reading of the chapter will be the most important. Slowly study the Greek grammar and do the exercises carefully, as well as memorize the vocabulary and any key charts. In this second reading you are not required to read the footnotes or advanced sections again.
The third reading of a chapter is for review. Reviewing is key to learning Greek! In this review, besides reading the chapter again, work through most of the exercises a second time. All three readings must be done to prepare for the session. The instructor will answer any questions that the student has during the session.
How do I pay?
Pay weekly on the very day of the session. Payment can be done before or after the session, but make sure to pay that day. Payment is made on the Current Students page.
Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, λέγει κύριος ὁ θεός, ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος, ὁ παντοκράτωρ. –Rev 1:8
START BEGINNING GREEK NOW!
1. Read the Q&A on the Home page
2. Contact us to set up an orientation!