where to start with greek/hebrew?

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This post has 37 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 19
Landon Brake | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Oct 22 2018 9:06 AM

Hey everyone,

So me and my wife have been watching some debates with James white and others, I have done some logos mobile ed courses and I know they heavily emphasize knowing the Greek and Hebrew in the sense of better understanding the meaning and word. Well me and my wife are just layman and have no seminary schooling. Where is a good place to start learning this? Even truly understanding things such as lexicons and root, lemma ext,? I just want to start getting in the habit of digging deeper with Greek and Hebrew in my daily studies.

Posts 371
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 9:40 AM

Great question.

Can't speak for Hebrew. My advice would be to pick one or the other. And assuming that you are thinking more than simply running the bible word guide, I'll give some thoughts based on my expirence with Greek, if that is ok?

Firstly, I am in the same boat as you. Whilst I have an undergrad in Theology I dropped out of the Greek module. But in recent years have begun attempting to learn again. Others can probably offer more practical advice, but as a fellow traveler, here is what I have found so far. 

Here's how I've been teaching myself Greek. 

1. A good flashcard app. Forget the Logos one, it is rubbish! I use Quizlet and this study set (https://quizlet.com/_4ju3zy) which covers 221 most used NT words and some grammar terms. 20 minutes a day - drill drill drill. That's been the least glamorous side of learning, but is essential. You simply will not get anywhere if you don't do this bit.

2. A Greek NT (I use the SBLGNT but any will do).  

3. A decent lexicon. No need to fork out on BDAG - it will probably be too advanced for you anyway. I use the Louw-Nida

4. A morphological visual filter. This is really helpful as it helps you work whether you are looking at a noun or verb straight away before you've even learned any ending forms. 

5. Morphology Charts interactive. for working out all those tricky endings. 

6. Long slow practice. I set up reading plans and then aim to translate a verse a day working in manageable chunks for the GNT. EG. John 1:1-21, Galatians 1, The Sermon on the Mount, etc. There is a helpful discussion here (http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=1842) that list the books of the GNT by the ease of access.

As to the actual words, terms, etc. (eg. Lemma, root, etc.) I'd suggest that you check out the Bible Greek Study videos by Bill Mounce. Once you've done those, you might want to, pick up his Basics of Biblical Greek set and begin working through it (other introductions are available). 

FWIW, I've tried the MobileEd Greek 101 course but failed to complete it. It assumes that you have a Platinum base package, and if you don't you are unable to progress as some of what it assumes in later videos are taught in the further readings. Which, are inaccessible without Platinum. Not great really since it is marketed as a 101 course.

Finally, some advice from someone only a year ahead of you. I had to drill into my mind along with my vocab that the goal in learning Greek is devotion and faithfulness.

  • Devotion in that I am growing in Greek to grow in my relationship with the Lord through his word, not to grow in knowledge to win arguments. Once I've translated my verse/unit and noted any textual/translation observations, I force myself to write some devotional observations, an application, and a couple of lines of prayer-journalling. 
  • My goal is to be faithful, not original. If I come up with an obscure translation of a word or verse that none of the major translations use then I assume I am wrong and start again. I never assume that I have discovered some new angle on the verse/word/chapter/book. That way be dragons. 

Any help?

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 304
Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 9:49 AM

The way to go is https://www.logos.com/product/49819/mobile-ed-learn-to-use-biblical-greek-and-hebrew-with-logos-6 

These courses teach you to use the tools in Logos to get to those nuggets in the biblical languages without the years of memorizing vocabulary and learning grammar. 

Posts 993
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 9:55 AM

Liam Maguire:

As to the actual words, terms, etc. (eg. Lemma, root, etc.) I'd suggest that you check out the Bible Greek Study videos by Bill Mounce. Once you've done those, you might want to, pick up his Basics of Biblical Greek set and begin working through it (other introductions are available). 

I would second everything Liam had to say.  As an aside, the Mounce videos are also available as part of this set: Zondervan Biblical Languages Video Lectures (2 vols.).  Personally, I found working through the videos, Mounce's grammar and the associated workbook at the same time very helpful. (The grammar and workbook are both in the Basics of Biblical Greek set.)  Languages don't come easily for me, so I needed all the help I could get.

Posts 423
Adam Olean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 9:59 AM

Hi, Landon. I would seriously consider Biblical Language Center's Live Video Classes. You won't regret it. There's a special discount for a husband and wife (or any other two from the same household) taking classes together. You can also get a discount from former students. Feel free to send me a private message via faithlife.com. (As an aside, I've greatly appreciated and benefited from James White's ministry as well!)

Here are some of my related posts for whatever they're worth:

http://ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/viewtopic.php?p=30940&sid=3c1251fdcd99dd3a03376cd44492b6a6#p30934 

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/151448/927046.aspx#927046 

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/152646/930616.aspx#930616 

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/76863/929148.aspx#929148 

May God bless you and your wife in your studies! It'd be awesome to learn together.

Posts 613
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 10:42 AM

Robert Neely:

The way to go is https://www.logos.com/product/49819/mobile-ed-learn-to-use-biblical-greek-and-hebrew-with-logos-6 

These courses teach you to use the tools in Logos to get to those nuggets in the biblical languages without the years of memorizing vocabulary and learning grammar. 

 I also second this recommendation as a starter place in Logos.  

Posts 71
Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 11:05 AM

While the recommendations are spot on if you really and truly want to learn the original languages.  These two books will probably give you what you want as far as being able to read commentaires and understand other people's arguments better.  Having said that, and I say this as a linguist who is more than aware that in any translation meaning is both added and lost...if you have to make your argument based solely on the original language, it probably isn't a very strong one.

https://www.logos.com/product/40499/greek-for-the-rest-of-us-2nd-ed

https://www.logos.com/product/34172/hebrew-for-the-rest-of-us

Posts 371
Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 11:27 AM

Paul:

If you have to make your argument based solely on the original language, it probably isn't a very strong one.

+1. This is sage advice... and a helpful reminder. Thank you.

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 41
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 22 2018 3:03 PM

Have not tried it myself yet, but I've heard good things about the BibleMesh greek program: https://courses.biblemesh.com/greek/greek-first-steps-reading-1-bundle

Posts 6
Leesa Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 23 2018 3:58 AM

You can make greek/ Hebrew language easy by practicing on a regular basis, by joining a group of language experts online. Vocabulary collection
must be solid for better conversation, so do practice for it. Thank you.

Hi, My name is Leesa Johnson and I'm living in London for my studies from last 10 years.

Latin Tutor

Posts 17740
Forum MVP
Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 23 2018 6:54 AM

Landon Brake:
Even truly understanding things such as lexicons and root, lemma ext,?

A Lexicon is a dictionary. Lemma is the dictionary form of a word. Root is a grouping of lemma's.

Greek and Hebrew modify (conjugate) word spelling to show grammatical usage. English tends to spell possessive (genitive) use different while using same word form for other grammatical usages. Some English Grammar resources to consider:

My favorite Logos & Verbum feature is visual filter highlighting so can "see" range of Greek verbal expression in appropriately tagged resources (plus more). Logos Wiki has => Examples of visual filters that includes links to forum threads => more inductive symbols and How to identify words added by translators in ESV using Visual Filter?

Screen shot shows Propositional Outlines with many visual filters: Greek Discourse plus precepts and Greek morphology (did not have Anarthrous enabled).

Thankful for free Basic and Verbum Basic including two Bibles with Reverse Interlinear tagging so can use visual filters to "see" nuanced Greek verbal expression.

Anarthrous use in Greek shows quality. Some anarthrous use has finger pointer aspect from preposition phrase. Definite article also has finger pointer aspect. An example is 1 John 4 verses 8 and 16 where English "God is Love" translates "The God is Love" where Greek grammar shows "The God" (finger pointer) is being Love (quality). Present tense verb shows continual action in present time. Active reflects state of reality.

If Greek had definite article on both sides of verb εแผฐμฮฏ then grammar would show complete equality. Since definite article is present for God while lacking for Love (anarthrous), then Love is a quality of "The God"

Since visual filters can search and show aspects of Greek grammatical usage, another resource to consider is Chapman's New Testament-Greek Notebook or Greek New Testament Insert

Note: Philippians 4:4-8 has six verbs in the imperative mood.

Hebrew is a bit different than English: e.g. opposite direction for reading. Most Hebrew words have a three letter consonant root. Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible includes Bible Senses and Greek alignments

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 613
Michael S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 23 2018 8:29 AM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):
Keep Smiling Smile

Very nice post!  It was helpful to me.

Posts 6068
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 23 2018 9:47 AM

These lectures are awesome and you can pace yourself. They follow the textbooks and workbooks of Basics of Biblical Greek and Hebrew. Very well done: https://www.logos.com/product/34026/zondervan-biblical-languages-video-lectures 

DAL

Posts 9858
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 23 2018 11:08 AM

Paul:

...  Having said that, and I say this as a linguist who is more than aware that in any translation meaning is both added and lost...if you have to make your argument based solely on the original language, it probably isn't a very strong one.

That's an interesting point, though large amounts of doctrine turn on a single OL word.  In the denomination I grew up in, we had our greek words down to a science (but didn't know greek).

I've argued a comparison of translations is better than OL .... simply because translations are (usually) from recognized experts .... versus language wanna-be's.  But that said, simply quoting translations is not likely to impress. And may not correctly support ones denomination.  


Posts 496
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 9:43 AM

Greetings DAL:

A little late to ask, but, is it true that Spanish is one of the closest languages to Koine? If so any recommendation to study Koine using Spanish (L8 resource)?

Are you aware of any resource comparing English, German, Spanish and Koine grammar to extract commonalities, and facilitate reading?

Thanks ahead of time for any input. 

Posts 131
Manuel Maria | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 10:34 AM

Hamilton, I'm Spanish and I can assure you the greek and Spanish lexicons and inflections are not related. But in Spanish we have more verbal tenses than in English so that could help to understand greek tenses.

Posts 496
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 11:54 AM

Thank you Manuel.

Check the following:

http://griegokoinebiblico.blogspot.com/2013/09/historia-del-idioma-griego.html

You can share then your impressions, read also the intro:

http://griegokoinebiblico.blogspot.com/2013/09/introduccion-y-prefacio.html

As you say Koine is not identical to Es, but they suggest that Es is closest:

In some other web site, there was a German author that compared German, Latin and English, comparing and contrasting the grammar to facilitate learning.

I am wondering if someone has thought of doing Spanish / Koine,  and then English, German, Latin comparative studies to allow to understand commonalities, differences, and the like to allow reading ability proficiency.

Kind regards.

Posts 6068
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 12:55 PM

Hamilton, I’ve always told people that learning Greek is like learning Spanish because of the phonetics. You learn the alphabet and that’s all it takes for you to start reading Greek even if you don’t know what the words mean. I do agree with what the book you screenshot says. Aside from that I’m not really a Greek scholar, I just know a little Greek to get in trouble and another little Greek that owns a Gyro’s place where I buy lunch some times ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ 

By the way, my Greek instructor made me read a lot during class because my Spanish accent helped me pronounce more correctly the Greek sentences I was reading. Most American brethren had throuble rolling their  “R’s.” 

DAL

Posts 2123
Beloved | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 1:21 PM

Hi Landon,

I'm late to the party so you've probably already made your decision about the resources you should purchase but, as a fellow layperson with an early interest in the original languages I offer you my view on the matter. Before I took the plunge into a serious study of the languages I found the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible edited by Spiros Zodhiates to provide a very helpful introduction to the keywords of the Bible from a theological perspective. Once I used this as my main study Bible for a couple of years and saw that my interest went beyond a mere passing one I started building my Logos library of OL resources. Of the various approaches mentioned in this thread, I would recommend the Mounce and Van Pelt video and Hebrew and Greek resources. These will provide you with a near classroom like exposure to the languages.

I'm still a neophyte when it comes to the languages and my unfulfilled desire is to take seminary level courses in Biblical Hebrew and Greek. I wish you well on your journey. 

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 423
Adam Olean | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 9 2019 1:23 PM

DAL, you're right on that. For both Greek and Hebrew, Spanish will also help you pronounce pure vowels without the common English glides (i.e., gradually rounding vowels). Spanish will also likely help you use little or less aspiration with some consonants. Finally, I recall that the modern languages also share similarities in their syllable timing. Linguist and translator Randall Buth addresses some of these things in his Living Biblical Hebrew materials. There's information on Wikipedia and elsewhere as well.

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