RE: Teaching Greek

Date: Tue Mar 07 2000 - 11:00:37 EST

I feel like I'm rushing in where angels fear to tread, but here is my
experience. I would have replied sooner, but I've been occupied with sick

I learned my Greek in a church setting from seminarians, most of whom had
undergraduate classics majors plus some seminary training. I started
teaching right after I completed the equivalent of a one semester class. I
took over from one of my teacher's, who was pregnant and unable to continue
running the class. I had at my disposal my two teachers and soon also
acquired Smyth and BAGD. Those were my resources until I discovered

In my defense, I will say that Greek is the 5th language beyond English
that I studied (Latin, German, Norwegian, Spanish) and I like languages and
have a gift for them. I will also say that teaching it gave me a depth
that I never would have had elsewise. Given my inexperience, I also could
quickly say "I don't know, but I'll check it out". One of my first
students recently tested out of his Greek requirement at seminary because
of his level of proficiency, so I must not have done everything wrong.

After working through the beginning grammar, we started reading the New
Testament, meeting weekly to read and discuss texts. Our last
seminarian-coach informed us that we were grounded way beyond most
seminarians. One of my former students and I continue to meet on a weekly
basis to work through texts.

How much is necessary to teach? It would have been nice to have had all
the resources of a college department, but we did quite will with a whole
lot less.

Karen Pitts
Hopewell, NJ

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