[B-Greek] Talking Points & Expectations: Why Learn (Biblical) Greek?

Aesop Coordinator aesop at letsreadgreek.com
Fri Aug 24 01:39:08 EDT 2007

I am putting a presentation together for the start of a new year teaching
Greek.  I would like to have a number of talking points (a list) of what are
the motivational and practical benefits for a person to read the Greek New
Testament in the original.  These classes will be in a number churches
around our metropolitan area.  Earlier discussions have brought up that
there may be at least two types of students who may be in the class:

1.       Those who want to read and study the Greek NT 

2.       Those who want to study the NT with reference to the Greek.




The ultimate goal of the first type of student is to read and think in
(bibilical) Greek (my goal for them is read, read, read..)

The minimal goal of the second type of student is to "learn how to
intelligently use commentaries and reference works that will produce more
beneficial Bible study with minimal knowledge of New Testament Greek." (some
would say, 'Buy a good translation')


I don't have a lot of introductory Greek books which have a clear breakdown
of the various reasons a student of the Bible should learn Greek.  Any
references to such books would be also be appreciated.  I remember reading
an introduction in one book which said that one of the issues why the
drop-out rate can be so high for new students is because they go into the
class with false expectations.  I also remember reading (on the b-greek list
about a year ago) that it takes about 500(?) hours  to learn a language and
1500(?) hours of study to somewhat master it.  A list of false expectations
and realistic expectations may also of benefit to many as a number of us on
b-greek will be starting to teach classes in the next several weeks.  I've
just started putting this list together.


Talking Points (Why Learn Greek?):

1)      The main benefit is seeing the structure and word choices which are
often unable to be paralleled in any translation

2)      To Read only what the NT authors wrote - not an interpretation of
what they wrote.

3)      To understand the confidence we can have in the identity of the NT

4)      ..


Expectations of new students learning NT Greek (False and True)

1.       Knowing Greek will allow one to discover secrets that are hidden in
translations of the Bible.

2.       One year of Greek will allow one to fully read the NT in Greek

3.        The NT is written in a special type of Greek language which can be
studied by itself without reference to other Greek secular writings.

4.       ...


Louis Sorenson

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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