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Greek Tools for Bible Study
The lectures are based on the author's, Greek for the Rest of Us.
About this Class
Have you ever wanted to know enough about Greek so that you could find out what the words of the Bible actually mean? Or why are the translations so different in places? Or perhaps you just want to learn enough Greek so that you can understand the better commentaries?
Then this class is for you. The lectures are based on the author's, Greek for the Rest of Us (Zondervan) and will teach you enough Greek, without lots of memorization, so that you can achieve these goals. The book can be purchased from any bookstore.
This class was taught at a church in 2006. This is Bill's greeting to the class and sets the stage for the class as a whole.
In the first part of lesson 1 we will learn the Greek alphabet and how to pronounce words. If you want to be able to use the better study tools, you have to be comfortable with the Greek alphabet.
Why are translations so different? In this lesson we will look at issues of how words carry their meaning, differing translation philosophies, and what it means to be "literal."
It is not possible to understand a good commentary unless you have a basic understanding of grammar, and that means we have to start with English grammar. Unless you are very comfortable with the concepts of case, inflection, verbal agreement, tense, voice, mood, clauses and phrases, please do not skip this chapter. Bill also introduces his basic exegetical method, how he goes about interpreting the Bible.
Now that we have a basic awareness of how language functions, we can get into how people go about understanding what the text means. Even if you don't want to learn much about Greek, this lesson will be invaluable for how you study your Bible.
In the first half of lesson 3 we look at ways in which we modify ideas, specifically using conjunctions, adjectives, phrases, and clauses.
Now it is time to do more in-depth work on phrasing by working through the book of Jude.
There is a lot of meaning in the Greek verbs of the New Testament. In lesson 4 we look at the different Greek tenses and what they signify.
Now that you have a feel for most of the Greek grammar system, we can start to learn how to use the different language tools such as interlinears, GK and Strong's numbers for word studies, concordances, and software programs.
In lesson 5 we start by looking at the non-indicative verbal forms that are so important in exegesis, like the participle, subjunctive, infinitive, and imperative.
Ah, what everyone wants to know – how do you study the meanings of the Greek words that lie behind the English translations, without learning Greek?
In our final lesson together we will look at the Greek noun system, especially the genitive case.
How do you read the better commentaries? What are the authors talking about, and why? Bill discusses hermeneutics as well as gives you an overview of the different commentary series.
We conclude by talking about how the Bible has come through the centuries, the differences that exist among the Greek manuscripts, with a few words of caution in what is called "The King James Debate."
You can download these lectures with our app and listen to them offline (more information).
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.