Greek Syntax: Mining for Meaning

NT 2E03

Today, it is possible for preachers and teachers to examine the Greek New Testament using software tools or online resources. But users of these tools still need an understanding of Greek grammar, including not just the morphology of individual words but also the syntax that makes Greek sentences meaningful. For this reason, learning syntax is essential for a wide range of students, including not only those who hope to sight-read Greek but also those who do not anticipate learning to sight-read but who want to be able to use language-related resources responsibly.

The course is structured as a sequence of asynchronous online modules to be completed within Avenue to Learn (A2L). Each module will begin with an intro video and some assigned reading. These will introduce you to Greek syntax. You will then complete some exercises on A2L. These exercises will test both your introductory Greek (i.e. vocabulary and parsing) and your emerging understanding of Greek syntax. They will also force you to find and discuss some examples of the week’s grammar topics, so that you can practice learning to recognize and interpret different types of wordings. Each week, there will be an optional synchronous tutorial via Zoom, in which we will review the week’s grammar topics and take up any questions pertaining to the exercises.

Throughout the course, we will be working with John 9 (narrative) and 1 John (non-narrative), so that by the end of the semester you will be able to read through these texts and appreciate how their sentences have been constructed and how they mean what they mean.


  • Know some of the most frequent inflections in the New Testament;
  • Know how individual words combine in order to make meaningful units;
  • Know the main grammatical choices that enable the construction of Greek wordings;


  • Become self-aware as a modern reader of the Bible, recognizing the antiquity of the texts;
  • Dispense with over-confidence (or lack of confidence) concerning knowledge of the biblical languages, adopting instead an attitude of life-long learning;


  • Be able to talk intelligently about the structure of a specific wording by invoking alternative wordings (i.e. explain both what the wording means and how it means what it means);
  • Be able to move cautiously from an analysis of Greek grammar to a preliminary understanding of an actual passage of scripture.