We (Andreas, Ben, and Rob) are on a lifetime journey to read, study, and teach the Greek New Testament (GNT). We hope you will join us. Below are a few suggestions to help make this journey a success:
1. Read the GNT in your daily devotions. Don’t be afraid to use the digital tools or reading helps. Some Christians will be able to read a chapter of Greek every day; others could aim for five to ten verses. Some daily readers of the GNT like to overlap with the previous day’s reading to help solidify unfamiliar vocabulary.
2. Include Greek study in your weekly ministerial preparations. Whether preparing for a Sunday School lesson, exposition of a text in a denominational newspaper, or a sermon, the pastor should make study of the GNT a regular part of his teaching preparations. When study of the GNT is incorporated both into your private devotions and formal ministry preparations, you have a good chance of faithfully journeying in the GNT for your lifetime.
3. Take a “Greek retreat” once or twice a year in which you read longer sections of the GNT, a technical Greek resource, or a Greek grammar. The Greek retreat need last no more than a day or weekend.
4. Consider what elements of accountability and self-discipline may be applied to incorporate study of the GNT into your life. For example, consider the following suggestions: a) Do not eat breakfast until you have done your daily devotional reading in the GNT; b) On a sermon preparation day, do not check your phone or email until you have completed a pre-set amount of time in the text of the GNT; c) Formalize a Greek accountability relationship with a fellow pastor who wishes to journey for a lifetime in the GNT. Clarify expectations, goals, and how those matters will be reported to your accountability partner. Have repercussion for failing to meet your goals—buying an expensive Greek resource for your accountability partner, for example! d) Take (or audit) an online or intensive Greek exegesis course at a seminary or college. If you live near a college or seminary campus, choose an upper-level elective book study and preach through that book as you sit in the class.
5. Teach Greek. One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. Teach Greek to your children, at the local Christian school, or at a Christian college or seminary. You can also volunteer to tutor Greek students in different settings. Create YouTube videos of yourself teaching Greek. Perhaps no one will watch them, but you will know the material better!
Andreas J. Köstenberger (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior research professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Benjamin L. Merkle (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Rob Plummer (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Check out the forthcoming volume, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament by Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer.
Check out the links below for previous Aleph and Omega Posts: