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Best way to Learn Greek

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#1 jhancock61

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 02:52 PM

What is the best way to learn Greek for a 50+ who knows very little to none?  :D I have been studying the scriptures for many years, but just haven't studied the original languages to amount to anything. I have all these resources in Accordance and need to put them to good use. Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Jeff



#2 Joe Weaks

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 03:05 PM

There's no substitute for getting into a class somewhere. Be even better if it was a good teacher. Maybe one online somewhere?


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#3 jhancock61

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:16 PM

Thanks Joe!

Do you or anyone else have an evaluation of the Bill Mounce program stuff in Accordance? (videos & workbook)



#4 Abram K-J

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:15 PM

I learned using Mounce's textbook and workbook (and occasionally some of his videos). I found his method helpful, though haven't used his materials in Accordance at all.

 

I don't think I'd recommend taking first steps in Greek on a computer--better probably to puzzle it out with some vocabulary flashcards and a good textbook and paper workbook that allows you to actually practice writing Greek letters and words and verses with your own hand... and using a lexicon to get the feel for looking up words manually. And, of course, as Joe mentions, a teacher, if possible--if video lectures are all you can access, that can certainly get the job done.

 

Of course, that method is being questioned now by many who urge the "living language" or immersion model (like these folks). In fact, depending on your preferred learning style, you may find some of Buth's stuff easier to engage (and more effective) than Mounce. What I've sampled of his "Living Koine Greek" looks good. I've certainly appreciated the Hebrew materials he puts out, and own one of those books.

 

You could also start small with Zondervan's Greek for the Rest of Us (also by Mounce). I don't know much about it, but it might be a good baby step to see how far you want to go in Greek before you commit time, money, and resources to it.

 

Learning Greek (or any language) is hard work, so I think it's also important to clarify from the outset what your motivations are for learning the language, and what you hope it will help you achieve in the end.

 

This has come up before on the forums, and folks seem genuinely happy to chime in on the topic, so keep asking about it! I'm sure a number of forum users could comment on the Mounce program in Accordance.


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#5 jhancock61

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:32 PM

Thanks Abram!

This gives me some options to think about.


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#6 Daniel Semler

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 08:47 PM

There is little I can add to Abram's post above. I used Mounce's BBG and its accompanying workbook completing it in a about a year before getting any computer based resources. I bought his DVD collection where he went through all the BBG material in lecture form. They were really helpful. To Joe's point, I've never been in a class - the videos are as close as I got - but I feel that it would really help me. I've tried to sub for some aspects of that by listening to recordings but you don't get the back and forth, questions and answers.

 

I use two Mounce modules in Acc : his interlinear - though honestly not that often, and his Morphology of Biblical Greek which I find very helpful. As I understand it his program in Acc is like the printed materials but I've not used it. I have puzzled over how the workbooks would work on a computer. I use Mounce BBG based workbook and then his Graded reader. I did the first one by hand on paper. The second in a word processor and Accordance user bibles. I'm now using Decker's Reader - the gem in here is the method - I don't know if the method suits everyone but I read it once and it just made complete sense to me - I have a photocopy of the method sheet over my desk for reference. But again I'm using the computer with this reader though I'm doing my best not to cheat with it.

 

As Abram said - learning Greek is a business. Worthwhile of course but ... a business.

 

Good luck

D


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#7 Joe Weaks

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:29 PM

I have't seen the video teaching material... I would think that is still way better than just learning by reading texts, however, the process of co-learning, and writing things on the board and having it corrected and then learning from that... just seems so valuable to me.

Still, I wouldn't let that keep anyone from trying to learn from a set of videos.


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#8 Andrew Mercer

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:25 AM

I agree with Joe - a class is best. My seminary uses Duff's "Elements of New Testament Greek", though I own the Mounce DVD's of BBG. They are useful as additional backup to my lectures that I'm in, even though he structures his learning differently to Duff. So, if you can't get to a class, the DVD set , along with the textbook and workbook would be an adequate substitute - the DVD's add so much more to just the textbook and workbook 


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#9 Julie Falling

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 07:53 AM

We used Mounce's BBG in class, along with his workbook.  I audited Greek at a local Christian college.  The Greek profs at this school are truly excellent.  The classroom experience is important, especially in 2nd year and beyond.  One year of Greek enables you to identify the words (what part of speech and the parsing), but it's not enough to sort out the grammar.  Second year, when you really get into the grammar, is where Greek really gets fun.  The back-and-forth of classroom discussion is very, very helpful.  Third year Greek is where you put what you've learned into practice on more difficult texts.

 

By the way, I took on Greek at 56.  The theology at the Christian college I attended is not something I could accept, but I was there to learn Greek, so it wasn't an issue.  I would expect that you could use Mounce and the DVDs on your own for 1st year Greek if you can discipline yourself to do it.  After that, you really need a classroom, even if it's on a computer.


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#10 jhancock61

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 03:33 PM

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback! What I am seeing thus far is to maybe start with Mounce's Greek For The Rest of Us to get my feet wet and see how much time and effort I am willing to put forth. I understand that even this route will take a lot of time and consistent study to get started. After completing Greek For The Rest of Us, maybe go with Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and Workbook with videos. I understand that a face to face class after this would be much more beneficial, but I live in a rural area that doesn't have a college level Greek class available that I am aware of currently. I would be willing to take an online class after I have a grasp of the basics. Any suggestions on an online option would be appreciated.

 

Jeff



#11 Julie Falling

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 05:22 PM

Jeff – Sounds like a plan.  I encourage you to pursue it.  I am not a scholar, and I get a lot of things wrong.  But I can also tell you that I see things in the Scriptures that I wouldn't have seen before, and I can understand, and even evaluate, grammatical arguments favoring one interpretation over another.  Studying Greek really is worth the time, effort, and money.

 

You may find that some of the seminaries offer distance learning for languages – I don't know, but it's worth a try.  We have three colleges/universities within 30 minutes of home.  One of the Christian colleges offers Biblical Greek.  The state university offers classical Greek, and the other Christian college doesn't offer either!  Auditing was cheap – only $90/semester.  The profs were great.  Just ran into one at a presentation of the Messiah at the college this afternoon.  With all that, I see cows on the way to the grocery store, and have to stop to let chickens cross the road.  We see wild turkeys and deer regularly.  I know I am truly blessed – the best of both worlds.


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#12 Abram K-J

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 06:59 PM

I should add, too--as soon as possible (maybe after a semester or two in a textbook, or the equivalent of that) reading the Greek NT out loud with others would be good. That's probably been the single practice that has most encouraged and motivated me in learning my Greek, not to mention improved my grasp of the language.


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#13 Joe Weaks

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 09:30 PM

I would for sure START with a video course, not working through a text book alone. There are some Greek courses on iTunes U. go with that.


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#14 Abram K-J

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 09:04 AM

Here and here are a couple of Mounce's videos, for a preview.

 

Also, for not very much money, you can check out "Greek 1" and "Greek 2" on this page. I did Greek 2 via this very method (lectures with pdf notes, plus walking through Mounce textbook and workbook)--Hafemann is an awesome Greek teacher. Highly recommended. Feel free to private message or email me if you have any questions about the Hafemann course in particular.

I take it you have already seen this Accordance page (and its accompanying video overview from Mounce)?

 

If you want to know just enough Greek to do word studies and read the occasional verse, learning how to use an interlinear and the Strong's and G/K numbers could be the way to go. Lots of pastors go that route. If you want to really know and read and use Greek, I'd recommend skipping Strong's and an interlinear altogether....


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#15 jhancock61

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 04:57 PM

I would like to really know how to read and use Greek to some extent. I have looked at the sample videos by Mounce. They appear to be something that would be very helpful. I just need to get the textbook and workbook to be able to grasp what the beginning concepts are in order to be able to follow his teaching. Hopefully his material will enable me to get to a point where I can continue with some other resource like one of the online classes.

 

Thanks!

Jeff


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#16 Abram K-J

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 08:35 PM

Wishing you the best, Jeff! 


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