Greek Tools for Bible Study, by Dr. William Mounce
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.
A larger version of the videos is available at Teknia.com. You can also purchase The Biblical Greek Primer video series, which is an updated version of the first part of this class.
Week 1: Getting Acquainted with Greek
This class was taught at a church in Spokane, Washington (USA). 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.
What Are Translations?
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."
Week 2: The Building Blocks of Language
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.
Introduction to Phrasing
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.
Week 3: How Do We Modify Ideas?
Conjunctions, Phrases, Etc.
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.
Week 4. How Do We Describe Action?
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.
Week 5: What Else Is in a Verb?
Greek Verbs (non-indicative)
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.
Greek Word Studies
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?
Week 6: How Do We Describe Things?
English Noun System
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.
History of the Bible
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."