Monday, July 25, 2016

Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek (Baker Academic)

Learning another language is rarely easy for people. Yes, there are some people who are naturals and simply excel at it, but for most of us it is a real challenge. It is an even bigger challenge when it is a language no one speaks anymore, like Latin or Biblical Greek. However, learning even the basics of these languages could prove infinitely useful and beneficial to your spiritual life. Today, I am going to tell you about the book Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek.

Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek begins with an introduction on why one should study Biblical Greek. Some of these reasons include slowing down when reading the Bible and noticing nuances you wouldn't get from the English language. The author, Dr. Rodney A. Whitacre, explains that two good ways to study Biblical Greek is by reading large passages (focusing more on fluency, than accuracy) and meditating on the Word. Chapter Two focuses on building a vocabulary. There are 5,393 lexemes in the Greek New Testament, but an introductory course will only teach you between 350 and 600. In this chapter, he teaches root words, word formation, etymology, and strategies for learning vocabulary. Chapter Three is by far the longest chapter, as it concerns parsing and endings. There are many helpful tables in this chapter, related to all the noun declensions. Dr. Whitacre recommends familiarity over rote memorization, but realizes that many people prefer the rote method, so he strongly encourages the reader to use all your senses when going that route. The remainder of the book continues to build on getting familiar with texts through sentences, passages, and meditation.

So who is this book for? If you have never attempted to learn Greek before, then you might be better off starting with Learn New Testament Greek and/or Basic Greek in 30 Minutes a Day. This book is better served if you have learned even the basics of Greek or are trying to reacquaint yourself with Greek. What I really liked about this book is that it places an emphasis on meditation like Lectio Divina. A lot of books are focused solely on learning Greek for academic purposes, but this author realizes that learning Greek will be good not just for your brain, but for your soul as well. For that reason, I highly recommend this book for seminarians, priests, teachers, and students. If you have ever had a Greek class (or tried to teach yourself Greek) and need some additional guidance, you should check this book out.

This book was provided to me for free by Baker Academic in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for some helpful videos to accompany this book, click here!