This on-line course seeks to train the student in the basic language of the New Testament. You will learn to understand the grammar of 1st century Greek in order to be able to read the gospels and letters of the New Testament in the language in which they were composed. This is no small task, for ancient languages are generally more difficult than modern ones. Still, the rewards at the end are well worth the discipline and work required.
The course is set up in two sections, the first focusing on basic Greek grammar and the second on advanced nuances and translation. As a student, you will be expected to work through the 30 grammar lessons consecutively, working from English to Greek, over a period of about 8 months. Here, the exercises will largely be taken from shorter passages in the Greek New Testament. This section of the course will approximate the same learning experience of a 1st year New Testament Greek student in either university or seminary, and you should expect to spend about 12 hours per week in these studies. The advanced section is shorter and will require an additional 4 months. Here, the focus will be on translating longer passages from the Greek New Testament from John, Mark, Paul and Peter, one of which will be a full letter of St. Paul.
On-line studies always require of the student an extra dimension of self-initiative and self-discipline, since you will not be in a traditional classroom. At the same time, it makes possible distance learning that might not be possible otherwise. It is to be assumed that as a student you already have a solid command of the English language, and the lessons are composed with this assumption in mind.
As your teacher, I have written all the materials for this course. Each element of New Testament Greek grammar will be covered in consecutive written lessons along with MP3 audio files for learning to pronounce the Greek vocabulary. For each lesson, there will be exercises which you will complete and email to me. I will correct your work and send it back to you along with the next lesson. Alongside these lessons, you will be memorizing all words in the New Testament occurring 25 times or more at about the rate of 12-15 per week. I will be in continual contact with you by email throughout your study, both to answer questions and to examine and comment on your work as you submit it to me by email attachment.
You will need to have access to a computer with MS Word as the primary word processing program, which is typical for PCs in American universities and colleges (and if you use a Mac computer, you will need to acquire MS Word).
In the end, the goal is for you to be able to read the New Testament in its original language as well as to access scholarly tools that are composed for those with a working knowledge of New Testament Greek. Many scholarly works about the Bible are written at a level that expects the reader to be so conversant. Such works are inaccessible to those who are confined to the use of preliminary and simplistic resources like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and similar publications for the non-professional. If you complete this year of on-line study well, you will be able to match the capabilities of other students across the world who have completed their two years in New Testament Greek in the various universities and seminaries. It is a worthy goal, and I commend you for considering it!”
Dan Lewis, M.A.
University of Detroit-Mercy