I’ve never met a Bible teacher who wished they had not learned Greek. It’s only the guys who have let it slip and no longer use it for their sermon preparation who try to tell me that Greek doesn’t enhance their teaching—Con Campbell in Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People
I just finished a week-long intensive on the Greek text of Hebrews with twenty of our finest B.A., M.Div., and Th.M. students. They did really well—though they’ve still got a big final to take. Still, some struggled with the Greek. Hebrews is tough, for sure, but some struggled simply because it had been a while since they’d opened their Greek New Testaments. Maybe the same is true for you. Maybe you’ve let your Greek slip a bit.
If that’s true, if you’ve let your Greek slide a wee bit over the last year (or more!), don’t despair. You’re in luck. The Bethlehem Greek Club is offering a free Greek refresher course over the summer. The course is open to anyone interested, though I suspect you’ll not find it very helpful if you’ve not had at least a year or two of Greek. The course, moreover, will be pretty informal: there’s no cost, credit, attendance requirements or grades! We’ll meet virtually for 1 hr., from 7—8am (CST), every Friday for 12* weeks. (*We’ve already met twice, as you’ll see. Sorry!). This should be just enough time to refresh your Greek, without wearing you out. We’ll be reading the first six chapters of John’s Gospel, so the Greek won’t be too terribly complex; and the material should give us a lot to talk about beyond grammar and morphology. If you’re interested in joining us, you can find the schedule here. If you have any questions, send me an email. Hope to see you there—and feel free to bring a friend!
Now, if you’re itching for a little pre-game warmup, I’d recommend getting your hands on the little book I cited above by Campbell. It’s full of useful advice for reinvigorating your Greek, and it’s SHORT (90 small pp.).
One more note: For those of you who’ve not taken any Greek, let me simply say that you’re not a second-class citizen. You can read and understand your Bible perfectly well without it. (To state what you already know!) At Bethlehem, however, we teach Greek (and Hebrew) because we’re convinced that knowing the language(s) helps our students read the Bible even better…and teach and preach the Bible with greater confidence and clarity. (For these and other reasons–and one or two footnotes besides–see this piece by former professor Dr. Jason DeRouchie.) So, while this refresher course may not be for you, God’s word is. So grab a good translation and keep reading, for as we often say around here: the best Bible to use is the one you use all the time.
Jared Compton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology
- Pray that we each would be people of the Word.
- Pray for the students completing summer intensives.
- Pray for the prospective students considering Bethlehem this fall.
- Pray with us for the students and faculty as they rest, participate in missions trips, and witness for Christ this summer.