I have decided to try and blog through my experience teaching NT Greek (for the sixth time!). Though I have developed some habits and systems for how I teach Greek, I always want to be refining my teaching. I may not post on every week’s worth of material, but I want to blog enough that I can offer ongoing advice and I can also get some advice now and again.
So – the first class (which will be Oct 5):
I have chosen to teach from Clayton Croy’s A Primer of Biblical Greek (Eerdmans, 1999).
I picked this book for several reasons. First, I like Mounce, but I taught with it four times and I am ready for something different. I also taught Duff (which is popular in the UK) and I did not like it at all. Second, it comes highly recommended from my colleague here at Ashland Seminary, David deSilva – someone whose opinion I trust! Thirdly, since I am teaching at an extension campus with mostly students who have full-time jobs, I needed something simple (even if a bit simplistic) and that wouldn’t scare students away. Finally I like that Croy introduces the reader to the LXX and encourages students to understand the significance of it for NT study.
My overall plan is to take it easy the first couple of weeks – to ease the students into the course. We meet once a week for three hours and there are 10 weeks in a term (and we will meet for two terms). This is not ideal, as it is better for learning purposes to spread the work and instruction over two, and ideally three, days a week. But – I did not design the schedule and, frankly, this one-block system works best for commuters.
So, we will spend a lot of time in the first class getting to know the alphabet, working on pronunciation, and looking at those funny things called breathing marks and accents.
I want to do a devotional that would be suitable for the first day – something having to do with the Greek alphabet. Any thoughts?
Also, we will try a couple of songs – one is the Greek alphabet – the tune I got from Bill Mounce. It is from a nursery rhyme I think. The other song is ‘he is Lord’, but we will use kyrios throughout the song when you are meant to sing ‘he is Lord’ (i.e., ‘ky-ri-os, ky-ri-os, he is risen from the dead, ky-ri-os, every knee shall bow, every tongue confess, I-e-sou ky-ri-os…). That way I can also introduce the fact that you did not really need to say, in Greek, ‘he is…’, because that part is implied. YOu could properly say, ‘Every tongue will confess “Jesus Lord”‘, and leave out the verb.
That is the plan. I intend to do slides on Powerpoint, but that becomes tedious after a while. I will certainly use it for the first few weeks, and maybe even the whole first semester (it serves as kind of a lesson-plan for me and it keeps me on track). When we get into the second term, we end up spending more time on exceptions to paradigms and unusual forms that the discussion is centered more on the nuts and bolts of translating, parsing, and interpreting and less on understanding paradigms.
More to come!