If you’ve learned New Testament Greek, the hope is that the effort has made it worth keeping. It’s similar to karate. Everybody who’s done martial arts for several years of their lives, finds some way to practice every now and then. My wife caught me doing a kata on Saturday. I haven’t been to karate class in 6 years. The problem is that if you get busy you’ll think that you couldn’t possibly keep your Greek in just a few minutes a day. But this is not true. You can.
I’m majoring in Engineering and teaching. I’m having to learn Calculus, C++, Vector Physics, and other weird stuff. Yet, I’ve found strategies for keeping my Greek. Here are some pro-tips:
- Read for speed.
- Purchase an audio Greek Testament and just read one chapter a day while listening. There are some free downloads too. The one I linked to is pronounced like modern Greek. You can find the Erasmian pronunciation too.
- Do not pause to catch what you missed. Instead, make it through 3-5 chapters, then in the next 3-5 days, listen to an English audio Bible while you read the same passages. I’ve been listening to Philippians. I’ll start translating a paragraph a day once my ability to read it quickly improves.
- Remember, fluency requires that you learn to think in Greek and do so quickly.
- Memorize Little Bits
- Re-sing the songs you learned for your endings.
- Memorize favorite verses in Greek. Write them on note cards and practice them throughout the day.
- If you are doing exercise one, add a step of underlining one word you do not know each time. Look it up and memorize it throughout the day.
- Learn Modern Greek
- I was a Greek tutor for a Greek family who wanted their child to practice modern Greek. They knew I wasn’t proficient, but they also knew I knew Koine Greek and would be able to grade her work. Learning to read and speak basic contemporary Greek helped me a great deal.
- Learning the modern pronunciation makes Greek sound more like a language and less like magic.
- Read the LXX, the Fathers, and the Pagans
- Reading the LXX in Greek, maybe just one Proverb a day can help your vocabulary tremendously.
- Plan your week with time to read just one paragraph on the Apostolic Fathers in Greek each week. Set aside 30 minutes and read the whole paragraph, write it, then translate it. If you’re fluent enough to read it without decoding then read a whole chapter.
- Go to the Loeb section in your local public library and check out some Greek-English version of a classical author and dig in.