Review: Keep Your Greek!

Posted on March 17, 2011

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I still remember my anticipation for my first class in Biblical Greek in 1976. I had missed the first four weeks due to recovery from surgery to remove an hot appendix. I remember the thrill of buying the United Bible Society’s Greek New Testament, imagining with that childlike thrill that I was entering an unexplored and unknown world! Little did I know then how Greek would become a part of my life: seven years of classes and a lifelong dedication to the language, now in my 34th year. Knowing Greek does make a difference.

That’s why I took a chance with a read/review of Constantine Campbell’s new book Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People, published by Zondervan. Campbell is a senior lecturer in Greek and New Testament at Moore Theological College in Sydney Australia. His work for the more scholarly, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek is a standard in the discipline.

In ten simple chapter in this very accessible little book Campbell takes the typical college/seminary student through a variety of strategies and warnings to keep your biblical language skills current. I can identify and concur with every one of them. This is the way to do it. What I particularly appreciated were the suggestions that are based in the powerful language software (Accordance, Logos, etc.) tools that were unavailable when I was a student. It has made me rethink ways to enhance my review and study of the language. Thanks Constantine!

I have also found to good effect one strategy that works well in churches that follow a lectionary and was not listed in the book: using the original text in my reading of the Old Testament/New Testament readings in worship.

As an older veteran of the language wars I can thoroughly recommend this book to you.