Greek Online Study Course
The Bible Truths Greek Online Study Course
By Don Martin
(Introduction to the Course)
Lesson One (Koine Greek)
Lesson Two (The Bible)
Lesson Three (Alphabet)
Lesson Four (Grammar)
Lesson Five (Greek Verbs)
Lesson Six (Nouns)
Lesson Seven (Gk. Article)
Lesson Eight (syntax)
This course consists of eight lessons designed to be taken "online." (Be sure to read the introduction below). After each lesson, you will find the corresponding questions. Simply type in the answers and click on the submit button. Be sure to also fill in the form, providing your name and e-mail address. Under normal circumstances, your answers will be reviewed and graded within a short time). Your grade will then be returned to you by e-mail. Please do not proceed to the next lesson until your grade has been returned. Also, please take the tests in sequential order. (All biblical quotations are from the King James Translation. Many Greek quotations are from the Nestle Greek text, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, translated by Marshall).
Information about the Course
Before I begin to introduce you to the exciting original language of the New Testament, I want to explain some HTML challenges, options, and some general goals that I had in preparing this course. The paramount challenge was being able to present this course for the majority. In this regard, there were two considerations: the "average" person intellectually considered and the technical problems associated with browsers. The latter has been the most difficult to accommodate. I have elected to use a format that is the most accessible to the majority of people who will take this course. The Greek fonts, for example, that are used are basically universal (and do not require GIF images). What this should mean to you is there is no requisite download for you to be able to see and use the fonts. If I had used other Greek fonts (my preference), you would be required to download, change the international language setting in Windows, and possibly make a number of other potentially technical changes in the configurations of your computer. Most people are not willing to do such. The disadvantage is I cannot add the accents and breathing marks to the Greek letters (addressed in Lesson Four). In order to work around this disadvantage, I recommend you have two books in your possession before you reach Lesson Three. The Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words by W. E. Vine is a readily available work and it is inexpensive and the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by Nestle/Marshall are the two needed works. The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament may be hard to find. What you need is the Nestle Greek text with a literal English translation (as I type, there is a Website now published that provides this material as well as when you place your cursor on the word, the Greek grammar information. In order to visit the site, simply click on http://interlinear.biblos.com/matthew/1.htm. You might want to go to Kregel's New and Used book site (click on to visit) and enter "Alfred Marshall" into their search. (Also try Alibris) . You will need these works anyway if you are going to become a student of New Testament Greek. I discuss in detail reference works in Lesson Eight and I highly recommend these two books.
The Greek font system you should be able to use does require a few key codes. I will explain these in Lesson Three and recommend you print out the instructions. I will at that time also suggest you practice by using the "symbol font" that is already installed in most newer Windows operating systems.
The Bible Truths Online Greek Course is meant only to be a basic study of biblical Greek. I shall provide you with access to other courses that are designedly more advanced (for the extremely serious). For instance, I shall not deal at length with the declension of Greek nouns and the conjugation of verbs. Such points of grammar will only be briefly illustrated to make you familiar with the concepts. It is also of importance to acknowledge that I subscribe to the concepts of biblical Greek as taught in the classics. I am referring to such established works as the definitive grammar "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, in Light of Historical Research, by A. T. Robertson. Other Greek grammars that shall be referenced and used are "New Testament Greek for Beginners, by Machen; A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, by Dana and Mantey; Beginner's Grammar of the Greek New Testament, by William David, and Essentials of New Testament Greek by Ray Summers, to name some. Some maintain that revolutionary discoveries have been made in biblical Greek since these aforementioned works were published. I must beg to differ (see addendum). There are changes often extant in teaching using some of the current concepts; however, for the most part, they are semantical. Some grammarians such as H. E. Dana and Julius Mantey in their restored Greek grammar contend for "at least eight cases" regarding Greek nouns (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, pg. 65). Other grammars are presenting the concept of five cases, the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. After all the dust settles, there is no conflict, "there are eight cases (appearing under five case forms) " (Beginner's Grammar of the Greek New Testament, pg. 29). Please do not allow me mentioning this to discourage you, you should understand all this in time.
Some of the goals of this course are: to teach you some of the basics of Greek on a practical level and to enable you to use all the excellent Greek reference works that are available. While upon completion of this course will not render you a recognized Greek scholar, you should be able to do a considerable portion of your own research and certainly increase your ability to engage in linguistical exegesis of scripture (as to the value of studying Greek, click on "Greek, How Should a Knowledge of it be Viewed?").
As mentioned, at the end of each of the study lessons, I have provided questions for you to answer and email to me. Your answers will be graded, score returned via email, and attendant comments provided when appropriate. It is recommended that you sequentially advance to the various levels of this course. Please, in your eagerness to explore Greek, do not skip Lessons One and Two. These lessons are very important to an overall study of the original language of the New Testament. From here, please proceed to Lesson One (click on), which is an introduction to biblical Greek.Addendum: Much of the controversy regarding the grammar taught by the classic scholars and some present day grammarians involve an assessment of time in Greek verbs (the following is a little technical, do not become confused).. Traditional grammars have viewed "time" (progress) as a customary part of some Greek tenses. However, two men of significance that have challenged the traditional temporal ("time") view are S. E. Porter (Verbal Aspect ,1989) and K. L McKay (Time and Aspect). As a consequence of the work of Porter and McKay, some are now casually rejecting the temporal view and embracing the non-temporal (no "time" at all in Greek Verbs). McKay taught:
"If it is true, as now appears to be certainly the case, that the inflexions of the ancient Greek verb signal aspect (as well as voice and mood) but not time " (Time and Aspect, pg. 209). (There is often a difference among conservative Greek scholars regarding "time" and "progress," which, for the most part, is semantical, dm).
The "new thinking" of these grammarians can be classified under four argument headings: Phenomenology, diachronics, linguistics, and morphology.
Regarding phenomenology (the exceptional usage involved in a Verb tense, attempting to make it the ordinary), there could be many examples. While the Bible Truths Online Greek Course does not address in detail all the exceptional cases of grammatical use (for instance, "time" or "progress" is definitely considered a part of verbs in the present tense and indicative mood, but there are exceptions even in the indicative, such as the historical and the gnomic present), it does introduce you to the customary usage. (There can be several influences that determine the extraordinary use, such as sentence structure, context, and overall related statements. However, in the absence of such influence, the customary is understood.)
At some time in the distant future, if English has become a dead language, some might conclude from the historical present and futuristic present tense in English (no time consideration) that English had no time involved in its verb tenses. Of course, we know time is very much a part of English verbs in general. Therefore, arguments based on phenomenology or exceptional use determining the use in general are faulty.
The remaining three areas of argumentation, diachronics (arguments based on older Greek works lacking the time element in Greek verbs, such as the writings of Homer), linguistics, and morphology (the argument is that the pluperfect tense dropped its augment and that such proves time was not a consideration), can all be largely explained away after a similar fashion.
The traditional view, that time or progress is involved in certain Greek verbs, continues to be, in the main, the view of most recognized Greek scholars. After all, Protagoras and Aristotle recognized time in certain Greek verbs (485-410 and 384-322 B.C., respectively). Dionysius Thrax who is recognized as the greatest Greek grammarian, also acknowledged the presence of time in Greek verbs (ca. 100 B. C., Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, by Daniel B. Wallace, pg. 509).
Don Martin (Click on "Meet Don Martin" to learn more about the author).