Even if you are not agile in Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament), it is worth gaining some ability in the language. Be warned at the outset that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – just because you can work out what some of the Greek New Testament says, this doesn’t mean that your interpretation is now the correct one. There’s a whole lot to the process of getting closer to the text and to the original social context in which that text is set.
If you have never learnt another language, you may not realise how much the way you see the world through the lens of your one language is not the only way to see things.
Here is a simple course to introduce you to New Testament Greek.
There are great online resources – but again: you need to have basic skills and good understanding of grammar; and you need the humility to acknowledge you might be wrong in your interpretation.
Blue Letter Bible If you put in a text, then click on “tools”, you will find lots of resources in the original languages.
STEP Bible has similar possibilities.
Greek New Testament – Readers Edition (buy here)
A book like this is brilliant. If you are anything like me, you would have been pretty agile in Biblical languages while doing full-time study at seminary. But that gets worn thin without the daily/regular practice. It’s still there – deep down. The “danger” with an interlinear is that you cannot help yourself but glance at the English, even when you know a particular Greek word well. This beautifully presented Greek New Testament has, in the back, definitions of words that occur more than 30 times in the New Testament. Then, along the bottom of each page in the New Testament text, there is a running Greek-English dictionary of words that occur fewer than 30 times in the New Testament (clearly indication the part of speech and how it functions in the text). There is a small number by that word in the text that corresponds with this running dictionary at the bottom of the page.
What resources do you find useful? Add these in the comments below.
- The Bible says 5
- Top online free Bible resources
- NRSV New Revised Standard Version
- Hebrews 11-13