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GRK800 Greek Exegesis II


I took Intro Greek I and II in my first year of college (2001-02).  I took Intermediate Greek and Greek Exegesis I in my second year (02-03).  I took Greek Exegesis II as a one week modular class at the beginning of my third year (2003) on the books of 1 and 2 Thessalonians.  The rest of my third year I took Hebrew, did intermediate Hebrew in the summer (2004), then was an intern for a Greek teacher in my fourth year (2004-05).

I then was on my own for a decade.  I read my Greek Bible as faithfully as I could during that time.  On average, I went through the Greek New Testament about once a year, but this wasn’t always true.

Now, 10 years later, in Seminary, I jump back into a formal Greek class.  In preparation for this class, I spent the summer of 2015 (starting in about April or May) reviewing everything I should already know.  I read my copy of Mounce’s Basics Of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd Edition
cover to cover.

I read my copy of Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond Basics cover to cover.  I ended up needing this book for the class itself as well.

I also reviewed Greek vocabulary, down to the frequency of words that show up 15 times or more in the New Testament (which is where I had left off in college)
Lexical Aids For Students Of New Testament Greek

Biblical Greek Vocabulary Cards by Robert Gromacki (1981-06-01)

Then it was time for the semester to start, and the teacher, Wes Olmstead, was the one who had originally taught me Greek all those years ago.


The class was a semester long class on Tuesday nights.  Since I was off campus, they set up a “Live Cast” for me.  My computer was connected to a computer and camera in the classroom, allowing me to see and hear what was going on, and also participate with my microphone and speakers in real time.  This worked out well most of the time.  One day their computer went to sleep and no one noticed since we were doing group work at the time, so I ended up missing a large chunk of that particular class before they realized I wasn’t there.  I sat at my desk at home and patiently read my commentary on the passage we were discussing while I waited.

This was the same semester I was taking Hebrews, so I was actually personally in the classroom once while I was on campus.  I sat where they usually put the camera.

Work Load:

Heavy, but good.  One of the stated goals of the class was to be able to sight read all of 1 Peter in Greek.  Ambitious, but do-able.  I think the class also helped me with knowledge of grammatical labels, enabling me to better penetrate the language of the critical commentaries.

There was a quiz every week (worth 20% all together).  The first week was a morphology quiz.  Every week after that was vocabulary, alternating between learning every word in 1 Peter (a chapter at a time), and also getting down to the 10 times or more frequency list.  I studied vocab according to my usual method, which worked quite well.  I felt like vocab quizzes were easy, even through I was learning a mountain of cards every week.

There was also preparation every week (worth 18%).  A new portion of 1 Peter had to be translated for every class, but also analyzed, adding syntactical labels to basically every word.  Some portions were skipped, so we didn’t have to label every word in the entire book, but there was still plenty to do.  After doing the translation ourselves, we had to check our textbooks (index of Wallace, index of Runge, and the Dubis handbook. We had the option of checking either our Achtemeier or Jobes commentary as well. [we had an option of which commentary to use. I chose Achtemeier]).

The syntactical labels were probably what I struggled with the most in this class.  Even if I could translate something, I couldn’t remember how to describe it in official grammatical terms.  I got better by  the end of the semester, however.
Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis

The syllabus said the Runge Discourse Grammar was an “assumed” text book.  It was the only assumed book I had to buy, as I already had the rest from my previous Greek classes.  There ended up being very little in it specifically on 1 Peter, so we didn’t use it much.  I’ll have to add this to my “after master” list.
1 Peter: A Handbook on the Greek Text: Written by Mark Dubis, 2010 Edition, Publisher: Baylor Univ Pr [Paperback]

I appreciated the useful information in this handbook.
1 Peter: A Commentary On First Peter

I read a few bits from the commentary (and it was useful for the exegetical paper we had to write), but since it was optional, it often got squeezed out, despite my best intentions.  Seems like a good commentary, though!

During class, Wes Olmstead also handed out his personal notes on the passage we were studying.  Except for the part that I was writing my major paper on, and the parts we read in class, I didn’t really have time to go over these.  But it’s like getting another free commentary.

We also had three Translation Critiques to do (12%).  These minor assignments had to be 250 words each, where we analyze an English translation of a verse from 1 Peter, and describe if they did a good job or missed something, etc.  The trick is that you had to turn it in for the class that matched the passage.

I saw the workload of the semester, and knew I wanted to do my translation critiques right away to make room for major assignments and the Hebrew modular class. I had them finished by the fourth class of the semester.

We also had a Major Exegetical Paper to do (worth 30%).
After finishing the minor assignments, I turned my attention to the major paper in October. I chose the passage 1 Peter 3:1-7, on wives submitting to their husbands.  It was an interesting study.  I was able to order textbooks from the library, which were mailed to me, and then I mailed them back when I was done using them.

Lastly, there was also a final exam (worth 20%) that included parsing, translations and writing impromptu exegetical notes and an essay.  I had a proctor for the exam.

One of the things I did to study was about once every two or three weeks I just read through 1 Peter in Greek up to the passage we had gotten to in class.  I attempted to translate as I went, and if I was having difficulty, I would look up whatever I needed to.

Other comments:

Wes Olmstead offered bonus marks if we could read Greek out loud three times a week and listen to a recording of Greek being read twice a week.  I made a spreadsheet to track this and was able to get a bit of extra credit.  As a minimum, I managed to do at least one listening session during my weekly commute to cadets.  (I have the entire Greek Bible on CD)  The rest was hit or miss.  Since I was studying Hebrews at the same time, I often read Hebrews out loud in Greek to get extra credit here, as well as 1 Peter.

The Greek of 1 Peter is a little more complex than many of John or Paul’s writings in the New Testament.  I remember when I was in college, I wrote a paper once defending the genuineness of 2 Peter.  I remember one of the arguments against my thesis at the time was the difference in Greek between 1 and 2 Peter.  If I had time, I’d revisit that paper from so long ago.

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