Greek 1: A Guide to Biblical Languages

NT 1B03

People like to talk about what the Bible means, sometimes even with reference to “the original Greek.” However, for readers and teachers of the Bible to access useful resources and make insightful observations about the meaning of a text without making regrettable errors, they need to understand how languages make meaning—and how Greek makes meaning. This course explores the world of human language: language theory and how it applies to understanding texts. It will also review basic English grammar—which many students were never taught—as a basis for understanding Greek grammar. This will enable students to be better prepared to engage with our main task: learning the basics of Greek, focusing on how the linguistic elements lead to meaningful and accurate interpretation. There will necessarily be some memorization of vocabulary and main paradigms, but this course will also significantly reduce the amount of memorization usually required in language learning, since the focus is on understanding and application


  • To know the major grammatical categories in English and Greek
  • To understand how language makes meaning
  • To recognize and understand key biblical vocabulary in Greek
  • To begin to learn the grammatical forms/paradigms in Greek


  • “To present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15)
  • To be a mature interpreter of Scripture as taught by the Spirit (1 Cor 2:6–16)
  • To allow the Scripture to motivate, form, and transform our faith, worship, and Christian way of life


  • To describe how choices in language affect the meaning of the biblical text • To describe the functions of the basic grammatical forms in Greek and use them in interpretation
  • To interpret the biblical text meaningfully without committing common mistakes