Sheer joy is not what many pastors experience in the midst of tedious Greek exegesis for sermon preparation. Learning biblical Greek, and specifically learning to read biblical Greek, can make all the difference to sermon preparation.
While many pastors have a year of Greek in their pastoral training, for many this only prepares them to understand dictionaries, lexicons, and commentaries. Most students leave seminary without fluency in New Testament Greek. Worse, most seminary graduates do not have a plan or system to continue learning the Greek New Testament.
Consequentially, many congregations do not benefit from the language training their pastor has had. Further, many pastors spend more time in exegesis than they do in understanding the Word of God and applying it. These pastors also end up reading their Bible primarily in translations, isolating their devotional life from a key aspect of their training.
The simple solution is learning to read biblical Greek fluently. It is not as hard as it might seem.
Learning Biblical Greek
Learning biblical Greek is more than vaguely knowing the words that occur most often and how to use tools that will parse verbs automatically.
Many pastors can parse indicative verbs and decline many nouns and adjectives. This skill provides a springboard for further learning of biblical Greek.
Learning biblical Greek requires three core things:
- A basic understanding of the language
- A system for acquiring the skills
- The time, patience, and diligence to learn
A pastor who has had training in formal languages already has the first of these, though it might be helpful to re-read their Greek grammar. The second of these is what Master New Testament Greek provides, a system for growing both vocabulary and experience reading from the easy to harder texts. The time required is less demanding than many realize.
One Pastor’s “sheer joy”
Before he started Master New Testament Greek, Ken Anema said he was “tediously dissecting the text for sermon preparation.” Ken reports that now he experiences the sheer joy of reading the Greek New Testament thanks to Master New Testament Greek. He purchased Master New Testament Greek and began to follow the simple process of memorizing, reading, and mastering the Greek New Testament.
The results have been somewhat addictive. Now he says, “I’m motivated by the sheer joy of comprehending the New Testament as I read from my Greek Bible.” I love that! Sheer joy is a natural consequence of a love of the Word of God and being able to read it in the original language!
Here’s what Ken said:
“Now, after 20 years in the pastoral ministry I am actually reading my Greek NT rather than tediously dissecting the text for sermon preparation. Mastering NT Greek was just the tool I needed. This plan is realistic and manageable — even for the full-time pastor. I love this simple strategy for maintaining the Greek I already know. Now that I am started with this method I am motivated by the sheer joy of comprehending the New Testament as I read from my Greek Bible. I wish I would have had this tool when I had completed my first Greek course over 30 years ago! Every seminary student (along with busy pastors) should take advantage of Mastering NT Greek. Darryl Burling has done us all a great favor!”
Part of what makes Master New Testament Greek so motivating is that each book mastered builds for the one to come so that the memorization load is more consistent between books. This means that (on average) every 200 words you learn means that you can read another book of the Greek New Testament.
Start learning to read biblical Greek today! If you have learned the basics, I will give you everything you need to master the first two chapters of 1 John, absolutely free. Click here to get started now!