Can I learn Greek?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by milby, Mar 27, 2011.

  1. milby

    milby
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    I have recently become very interested in learning Greek, specifically Koine Greek. I am 43 years old, have a college degree (20 years ago), but have never studied any foreign language at all.

    Is it possible for someone like me to accomplish this? I have been looking at Bill Mounce's program http://www.teknia.com/

    Anyone have any advice or encouragement?
     
  2. Greektim

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    Mounce's textbook is standard, but I would recommend a classroom setting.
     
  3. glfredrick

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    It is certainly possible to learn Greek on your own. At the end, you will anyway, even if you are in a classroom setting, as the only real way to learn any language is within oneself. Most of the work is memory work and no classroom will handle that for you.

    The site you listed is a great resource, as is the Mounce book listed also. I highly recommend both!
     
  4. Havensdad

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    As one who has done both formal classes, and self studied, I can tell you unequivocally that the class is no real benefit of all. 99.99 percent of your work, is memorization, which no one can help you with.

    There is absolutely NO benefit in learning Greek in a formal classroom, UNLESS you need the credits for a particular degree. In fact, the time spent in class activities is often wasteful and distracting, and the pace often holds back those who learn faster.

    I am of the opinion that if you have any motivation whatsoever, you are better off learning on your own. The resource you listed is excellent; don't just listen to the lectures, though, get the textbook. Using flashworks, and parseworks (found at Teknia.com). Also, get the workbook that goes with it, which contains all of the same assignments that you would be doing in Greek 1 and 2. Do all the assignments!

    Once you make it through Mounce's text, get you a good Intermediate Grammar (such as Wallace), and Mounce's "Graded Reader of Biblical Greek" Workbook. Go through this just as you did the first workbook, paying attention to Mounce's notes, and utilizing the phrasing technique along the way.

    Here are some more resources that are free, and are especially helpful for vocabulary memorization. God Bless you on your journey!

    http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/New_Testament_Greek/00-GreekHomePage.htm
     
  5. StefanM

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    I believe your statements are far too generalized. Perhaps this is the case for you, but many other students would likely disagree.

    Structure is very helpful for a number of students. It is also helpful to have an instructor to ask for feedback on translation and nuances of meaning.

    Also, memorization is only part of the equation. Especially when you go beyond basic declension, things are less clear. Syntax is more fluid, and it is helpful to have others with whom to consult over "foggy" matters.
     
  6. Greektim

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    I completely agree with this statement... well said.

    Exegesis is more than recognizing verb tense and word studies. The bulk of it is syntax, discourse analysis, and rhetorical/literary criticism. That is hard to get on your own.
     
  7. glfredrick

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    I'd say, let the guy learn the basics as far as they can carry him, then he may decide for higher end studies in exegesis or not.
     
  8. StefanM

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    This is a good plan. Mounce's program seems solid.
     
  9. Havensdad

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    I guess I should have said "self motivated" instead of just motivated. You are correct in that the person who needs deadlines, and class structure in order to learn, would be better off in the class. However, I fail to see how a person who cannot "self feed," is supposed to be a pastor or professor.
     
  10. Havensdad

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    No its not. The four Greek professors that I have had contact with, just point you to chapters in the book (various syntactical and grammar texts), over such questions.

    Information is information. Spending near 1000 dollars per Greek class, is wasteful and unnecessary, outside of the situations listed above. Some of the greatest Greek teachers and theologians in history were self-taught (and they didn't even have the resources that we do!!).
     
  11. StefanM

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    Not all of us are equally gifted in languages. Besides, the OP is a police officer, not a pastor (per his profile). Moreover, I don't see justification for viewing the ability to learn a language independently as a pastoral qualification.

    Besides, it's not really even a matter of being unable to learn independently. One might be able to learn that way while also being better able to learn in a classroom environment.
     
  12. StefanM

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    Were these courses in a distance learning format?

    I have taken 12 hours of Greek in residence, and this was not my experience at all.
     
  13. John of Japan

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    First of all, your age makes it more difficult, but not impossible. Language is best learned at a young age. However, I am currently teaching Greek to a Japanese man in his 50's, and though he has to work at it harder than a younger man he is doing okay.

    Secondly, some who are proficient in Greek are saying on this thread that self study is the best, that classroom work fails. I've taken classes in four languages and tried self study in two, and what the critics of classwork are missing is the self discipline aspect.

    Unless you are highly disciplined, self-study in a foreign language is virtually impossible. What classroom work gives you is the discipline of getting your homework done and studying for tests. So unless you are proficient at giving yourself homework assignments and tests, I suggest you find an online class that meets your budget and needs, and sign up.

    God bless.:type:
     
  14. milby

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    I really appreciate everyones responses. Do you have any online classes that you would recommend?
     
  15. Greektim

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  16. Havensdad

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    Its an hour drive, but I believe you can audit Greek Classes at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. This would save you a lot of cash...
     
  17. John of Japan

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    I haven't looked into this, but I'm sure the others can give you good recommendations.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    If you would like a very good book that can be used for self learning, Ray Summers published a book back in 1950 titled, Essentials of New Testament Greek. It was published by Broadman Press.

    Through this book you can learn all the Greek you need to study the New Testament.

    Summers taught at Baylor University in Texas. The book may still be available.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. ReformedBaptist

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    Moounce commented in his book "Greek for the rest of us" that people frequently say him that they want to learn Greek. He started to ask why and found that most people wanted to study their Bibles in the original language, not necessarily learn a new language.

    So, he produced "Greek for the Rest of Us" to help people grasp enough of the language to make use of it without making a wreck of it.

    THat might be a good starting point..
     
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Good questions for anyone wanting to learn another language. Personally Ive tried to learn German with great difficulty. For anyone who has done it successfully, im interested in finding out how you did it & what you would recommend. Im thinking immersion is probably required at some point? Please advise as Im still trying.
     

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