Gospel Relevance

Gospel-Centered Resources For The Gospel-Driven Life

How to Learn Biblical Greek Without a Seminary Degree

I may be biased, but the best way to learn the biblical languages is through formal theological education. There’s nothing that can compare to dedicating a couple of years of your life to study, interacting with professors, and learning in community. Seminary is the best way to learn biblical Greek.

How to learn biblical Greek

But seminary is not an option for many pastors, let alone Christian laypeople.

Can you still learn Biblical Greek without seminary?

The answer is yes. While it will be harder, yes, you can.

Why Study Biblical Greek

Before giving you the resources you’ll need, let’s quickly answer this question: why should a Christian be interested in studying biblical Greek? After all, it’s quite difficult and laborious to learn.

A few thoughts come to mind:

  • Since the New Testament was originally written in Greek, learning biblical Greek will get you as close to the original writings as possible.
  • Learning biblical Greek can help you better exegete Scripture.
  • For your personal sanctification and to increase in humility (as one of my Greek Professors says).
  • Learning biblical Greek can be fun.

I studied biblical Greek pretty much every day for 8 months. No, I’m not an expert and still struggle and need the help of others (especially good biblical commentaries) and probably will need help, to varying degrees, for the rest of my life. But, I’ve completed three different courses in Biblical Greek and have learned to appreciate the language and find joy when I can use what I’ve learned in a sermon (or for my personal edification).

All that to say this: it’s hard but worth it.

Here are some of the resources I’ve gathered from my professors, from fellow classmates, and online to help you learn biblical Greek:

How to Learn Biblical Greek

1. A New Testament Greek Primer by S.M. Baugh (Book)

In many ways, this will be your most important resource. It’s designed for the beginner — for those who have no working knowledge of biblical Greek.

The book is accessible and easy to use. Each chapter has:

  • Explanation of a new grammatical theme
  • 10 vocabulary words to memorize
  • Practice assignments and homework
  • Practice translating sentences

The beauty about learning biblical Greek on your own is that, unlike seminary, you can work at your own pace. You don’t need to feel the pressure to keep up and worry about grades. You can take as long as you need.

I think you should recruit someone else to learn biblical Greek with you. It’ll make the process feel less isolating and easier. Similar to going to the gym, you’ll feel more inspired to learn biblical Greek if you have someone to encourage you and keep you accountable.

I would recommend buying the book, going through one chapter a week, and meeting with someone to discuss what you’ve learned. You learn best in community.

2. FlashGreek (App)

“You can’t learn what you can’t pronounce,” Baugh says. In order to learn biblical Greek, you’ll have to learn how to pronounce it. In this app, they pronounce each vocabulary word found in Baughs’s book to ensure that you’re saying the words correctly. I used it regularly when studying Greek. I would have mispronounced a lot of words without it.

3. Daily Dose of Greek (Website)

Once you start to get the hang of things, check out this website. Endorsed by John Piper, it’s one of the most helpful biblical Greek websites around. As the name suggests, every single day, they exegete a new Bible verse in the New Testament. They do this on video and walk you through step-by-step how to exegete Scripture in Greek. The website also has tons of tools and resources to help you dive deeper into Greek. I highly recommend it.

4. Bible Hub (Website)

Biblehub.com has every single New Testament Bible verse available in Greek. They parse the verbs and explain things clearly. There are tons of other similar sites; I typically just go with Bible hub, when needed.

5. The Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament (Book)

Every word in the New Testament. Essential for expanding your biblical Greek vocabulary.

6. BillMounce.Com (Website)

Bill Mounce is one of the leading experts on the subject. On his website, he has tons of resources that will point you in the right direction.

7. Bible Software

The two most popular are Logos and Accordance. Many of my friends have Accordance and love it. Either one is fine. Logos gives its Basic edition away for free, which you can download here.

OK, enough of the resources. I’ve probably already overwhelmed you. The key is just to get started somewhere, work on it consistently, and not give up. Of course, ask the Lord for help, and try to recruit someone on this adventure.

You may also like: 

  1. Why Every Christian Should Care About Theology 
  2. How to Remember What You Read 

 

About David Qaoud

David Qaoud (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary) is associate pastor of Bethesda Evangelical Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and founder of gospelrelevance.com. His work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and Banner of Truth. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and son. Learn more>