What Nervous Seminarians Facing Mandatory New Testament Greek Need to Know!
Things you need to succeed...
This article is for nervous seminarians who need to take a course on New Testament Greek translation as a requirement for graduation with an M.Div. degree, both full time and part time students.
My advice is based on my successful completion of such a course at Palmer Theological Seminary in the summer of 2009. You can do it too.
First you need to memorize the Greek alphabet before the semester begins (buy your books early for your course). This will give you confidence and greatly assist you in your first day assignments. It will also give you a rock solid foundation for all that comes next.
Second: brush up on your English grammar. Yes, it is transferrable. Refamiliarize yourself with all the parts of a sentence and what each part does. Purdue University's OWL grammar reference material online will greatly assist you. If you find those terms for each part of a sentence just don't want to stick in your mind, you're in good company. But, by the end of the course in New Testament Greek, you'll know them far better.
Third: get yourself a digital recorder. You'll be quizzed regularly on the most common Greek words and what they mean in English. This is particularly helpful for part time students with long commutes. Record the words the night before a quiz and listen to them over and over again everywhere you go. Make out flash cards of those words as well and review the flash cards after much listening. You'll do fine on the quizzes.
Finally, the lexicon is helpful and you will learn what is it and how to use it. However, you also need to generate sheets that include all the charts with word ending on them and articles. However, most importantly, you need those sheets to include the rules associated with those charts. They will guide you in your translations.
Oh yes, a few bonus facts: articles preceed nouns, verbs follow nouns and precede direct objects, and the part of a sentence that comes before a comma sticks together and is translated together while the part that comes after the comma is translated as a separate portion. I know that sounds cryptic but just keep it in mind for now.
Good luck and God bless you. You'll do fine, really.
It's All Greek to Me!
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