Why the FAILURE Rate Teaching NT Greek?

All for one small text.

Grammars and more grammars!

Why a 90% Failure Rate in Teaching/Learning Koine Greek?

A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways “. — James 1:8

No man can serve two masters “: — Mt. 6:24

No wonder there is a 90% failure rate in teaching New Testament Greek!

From the very first moment of learning, the student is forced to serve two masters. This causes him or her to be double minded. Thus, distracting the mind from concentrating on the job at hand with a determined single mind. Confusion sets in! Big time!

Let me give you a simple example. In one book, one of the simplest grammars, within the first FIVE lessons a student must learn two languages, not just one. The one he or she is taking class to learn. And, the one he or she did not expect to have to learn. Within those first five lessons the student is forced to learn 44 GRAMMAR “slang” terms along with just 45 Greek vocabulary words. WHY? That’s a one to one ratio at the least opportune time in learning.

The simple answer is “money,” plain and simple. It is “believed” one cannot learn a language without a heavy dose of GRAMMAR terms and explanations. Thus, leading to a “profession” of “scholars” who are paid to teach you a “language.” Instead, they teach you English GRAMMAR as applied to the New Testament Greek language. Result? By the end of the lessons, within six months, or less, 90+% of the students forget BOTH vocabularies. Take a look:

First Five Lessons’ Vocabularies.

I. Greek Vocabulary

  1. adelphos
  2. anthropos
  3. arnion
  4. artos
  5. deipnon
  6. doulos
  7. karpos
  8. kepos
  9. Aadzaros
  10. Markos
  11. Nikodemos
  12. oikos
  13. oinos
  14. opsarion
  15. Petros
  16. poterion
  17. puretos
  18. teknon
  19. Philippos
  20. apo
  21. eis
  22. ek
  23. en
  24. apoluo
  25. blepo
  26. douleuo
  27. esthio
  28. exo
  29. therapeuo
  30. isxuo
  31. lego
  32. pempo
  33. pino
  34. pisteuo
  35. phero
  36. xaire
  37. gar
  38. kai
  39. oti
  40. kakos
  41. kalos
  42. o
  43. to
  44. ou
  45. ouk

II. Grammar Vocabulary

  1. Accent
  2. Accusative
  3. Active Voice
  4. Adjective
  5. Agreement
  6. Alphabet
  7. Antepenult
  8. Appositie
  9. Breathing
  10. Case
  11. Causal Clause
  12. Conjugation
  13. Consonant
  14. Dative
  15. Declension
  16. Definite Article
  17. Direct Object
  18. Future Tense
  19. Gender
  20. Genitivve
  21. Grammatical Function
  22. Imperative Mood
  23. Improper Diphthong
  24. Indefinite Article
  25. Indicative Mood
  26. Inflectional Form
  27. Nominative
  28. Nouns
  29. Number
  30. Penult
  31. Persistent Accent
  32. Person
  33. Preposition
  34. Present Infiinitive Active
  35. Present Tense
  36. Proper Dipthong
  37. Recessive Accent
  38. Sentence
  39. Subject
  40. Syllable
  41. Ultima
  42. Verb
  43. Vocative
  44. Vowel

Now, at first, that doesn’t seem so bad, right? The above vocabulary covers just five lessons with 45 Greek words and 44 Grammar words. Two vocabularies which are “reviewed” in the SIXTH lesson. However, this is only six lessons out of FIFTY. Wait, there’s MORE!

In another “simplified” grammar titled User-Friendly Greek, A Common Sense Approach to the Greek New Testament we find this information:

Much of my professional ministry as a college and seminary teacher has involved teaching students New Testament Greek. I love Greek, and I love teaching Greek. After teaching for several years I discovered that most of my former students–overwhelmed with the time demands of ministry–had let their Greek rust out. What they had worked aggressively and diligently in the classroom to master was laid aside. Apparently, my labors in the Greek classroom had been wasted on these students.

Is there a way to help those who study Greek to bridge the gap between formal classroom study of Greek and effective use of Greek in ministry? I have been unable to find anything in print that is both easy to use and practical, but I am persuaded that the answer ought to be a resounding yes. My personal answer is this book. ” –p. vii

In another revealing statement the author has this to say:

Many students who have completed at least a year of Greek study in college or seminary have NEVER used their Greek in any effective way, despite their good intentions. Either they have never learned that Greek is their friend, or Greek has simply been crowded out of their schedule “. — p. 1.

On page 3 of his book the author reveals the awful truth about the teaching of New Testament Greek and its absolutely astounding failure rate. Here it is:

During my first two years of Greek study, it was hard to see where it was all heading. I was so involved in studying the indivdual trees that I could see little, if any, of the forest. I was bogged down trying to determine whether this verb was iterative imperfect or that noun was subjective genitive. To know exactly how these distinctions mattered or whether they could help in my sermon preparation was almost impossible. “

Here the author, as do most of the others who write their grammars, sees the problem. But, I don’t think he or the others recognize what they have said! Why? Because he goes on and tries to teach the same grammar confusion in “simpler” terms. That’s what they all seem to do. They try to reteach the grammar failing to realize they have just said that is the problem. The confusion created because of the grammar. In other words, they seem to have no concept of teaching the actual language, instead, they teach the grammar as the primary language, and the language itself (Greek) as the secondary, unimportant part to learn. A catastrophe in progress.

Look, the entire vocabulary of the Greek New Testament is only 5,425 different words. Out of those words, only 300-350 of them are needed to read and understand 80% of the text! That is, you need only 6% of the vocabulary to read and understand 80% of the text. Amazing!

So, instead of teaching you to do that, they teach you to learn over 1100 NEW and CONFUSING terms supposedly describing the grammar of Greek. Believe me, that is NOT the way to teach. It only breeds confusion and failure.

Where does this “simplified” grammar rewriting lead us? Into the same old rut of language learning failure. This is why we will soon begin teaching the proper method that will give students a 90-95% success rate, instead of a 90-95% FAILURE rate. There is no real reason for Greek to remain “Greek to you.”

Having said that, let me now show you what you must learn BEFORE, as is taught now by the “scholars,” you can learn to read and understand the New Testament in Greek.

III. Grammar Language on Steroids.

  1. Ablative of agent.
  2. Ablative of comparison.
  3. Ablative of separation.
  4. Ablative of source.
  5. Ablative of the whole.
  6. Accusative of general reference.
  7. Action noun.
  8. Adjective complement infinitive.
  9. Adjective genitive.
  10. Adjective.
  11. Adverb.
  12. Adversative clause.
  13. Agent genitive.
  14. Alliteration.
  15. Alpha privative.
  16. Antecedent action.
  17. Antecedent.
  18. Antonym.
  19. Aorist tense.
  20. Aphoristic future.
  21. Apodosis.
  22. Appositive genitive.
  23. Article.
  24. Asyndeton.
  25. Attendant circumstance participle or clause.
  26. Attributive genitive.
  27. Attributive participle.
  28. “BE” verb.
  29. Cause participle.
  30. Cause participle.
  31. Cause to effect. [Note: By now, if instead of memorizing these terms, and memorized the same number of Greek words instead, you could read 28-30% of the Greek text!]
  32. Chiasm.
  33. Circumstantial participle.
  34. Climax.
  35. Cognate.
  36. Cohortative subjunctive.
  37. Command future indicative.
  38. Command imperative.
  39. Comparative genitive.
  40. Comparison.
  41. Complex sentence.
  42. Compositional pattern.
  43. Compound sentence.
  44. Compound word.
  45. Compound-complex sentence.
  46. Conative present.
  47. Concession participle or clause.
  48. Condition participle.
  49. Conditional clause.
  50. Conditional imperative.
  51. Conditional indicative.
  52. Condititional sentence.
  53. Conditional subjunctive.
  54. Connotation.
  55. …Plus 173 more “technical” terms of grammar.

Is all of that necessary? Just think of it, you only need to memorize 320-350 Greek words to read 80% of the Greek text. BUT, the scholars say you need to remember another 228 words, minimum, in addition in order to “understand” the Greek text. Does that sound reasonable?

Now, in addition to those words presented above, NOT counting the Greek words presented, one needs to “know” 1,700 terms of grammar, word study, textual criticism, exegetical method, New Testament criticism! All, according to the money making “scholars” teaching NT Greek, necessary to comprehend a simple text. Does that make sense? With that many actual NT Greek words memorized instead, including phrases and expressions, one would be more fluent in the NT Greek text than the “scholars” themselves!

Look at this:

Here is a book that will deliver you from late-night ponderings of the predicate and fuming over the fricative. It is the indispensable lexicon to that THIRD LANGUAGE THAT’S NEITHER GREEK NOR RECOGNIZABLE ENGLISH–the technical vocabulary of grammarians, lexicographers, linguists and Greek instructors.”– backcover Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek “.

BUT WAIT — There’s ANOTHER Problem!

With all the above presented, which doesn’t scratch the surface of a “manufactured problem” there is THIS:

This raises the issue of competing definitions. It may come as a surprise to the new student that in grammatical and exegetical tools, writers adopt certain nomenclature and discard other terms. Neologisms are widespread too. The fact that terms have been, and continue to be, used differently makes composing definitions rather challenging. It is not simply that writers use different terms for the SAME [my emphasis throughout] phenomena (though they do this) or the same term for DIFFERENT language features (though they do this too); rather there is OFTEN overlapping usage or a slightly different signification given to a term. Also, as is frequently the case in discussions of grammatical features, certain writers subsume one or more categories under a single heading. What I have tried to do in such cases is COMPOSE definitions that encapsulate the essence of a term so that the student can construe the basic idea. ” (?) — p. 10, Ibid.

Why, then is NT Greek STILL “Greek to me??????” It should be obvious by now. But, to summarize, here is a major part of the problem, and it IS NOT THE LANGUAGE itself. The problem is “the scholar.” Look at this and learn:

The Basis of the “It’s Greek to me, problem.”

  1. The student must learn at least THREE languages to learn the ONE language they want to learn.
  2. The student has to face the fact that in too many cases, no two “scholars” agree with the others.
  3. The student has to memorize a new vocabulary almost as large, and more foreboding, than the simple Greek vocabulary.
  4. The student has to face the fact that virtually every grammar, or lexicon/dictionary, uses DIFFERENT definitions for not only the same terms but for the different terms.
  5. The student must face the fact that the majority of what he is taught is mostly the preference and opinion of the particular teacher/grammarian he studies under.
  6. The student must deal with the fact that each vocabulary word of the Greek is given multiple meanings, all based on the preferences of the men who teach and translate, NOT on the simple and actual and basic meanings within the text itself.
  7. The student must deal with the fact that virtually no “scholar” of NT Greek will tell him the truth about this chaos, confusion, and HOAX.

A proper teaching of the NT Greek, or any other language for that matter, is done at first without ANY GRAMMAR. A student should not be confused and burdened with nonsense “grammar” until the student can learn that grammar IN the language itself.

Conclusion

Do YOU really want to learn NT Greek properly? Do YOU want to learn it in a quarter of the time that is “normally” required? Do YOU want to learn the language versus the grammar? Do YOU want to learn it without using any grammar vocabulary or rules and eliminate the confusion? Do YOU want to learn to read at least 80% of the NT text in Greek, fluently, and in a short space of time? Well, YOU can do it with the right tools, techniques, and instruction. Why not begin now?

Write me now at: auliuniv@cox.net and let me know of your interest. You’ll be glad you did.

Learn New Testament Greek — FAST!

A 90% failure rate is nothing to brag about!

That’s right, up to 90% failure rate in teaching students to read the Greek Scriptures.

Take a look at this:

” At the end of the first year, during final exams, I was somewhat surprised when one of my classmates took his textbook and threw it out the window, shouting his elation that he would never have to study Greek again. …  for at the end of that first year neither he nor I were able to read the Greek New Testament. That is not a unique situation. I have since observed many others with the same problem.

The discovery that after hundreds of hours of difficult study, one is not able to read the New Testament in the original language is, to say the least, disheartening. As an instructor of New Testament Greek …… I have seen it over and over again. But there is a further related problem that Edward W. Goodrich from Multnomah College of the Bible has stated: ‘90% of those who begin to study Greek in an effort to master pinnacles of Bible knowledge do not continue with their language studies after completing their formal training. — p. viii,, ix, Refresh Your Greek, Wesley J. Perschbacher

Isn’t it time someone did something about this modern situation? Well, we are working on it. So, we’d like to invite you to consider and participate in the new and rapid method of learning New Testament Greek. Here’s the catch that should peak your interest. You won’t touch a single grammar book until you can read 80% of the text! Is that realistic? You bet it is. First, though, take a look at the stereotypical response to learning Greek.

Stereotypical Response.

There is a better way. And, we wish to make this method available to you. By the way, the better way is to learn to read 80% of the Greek text before ever touching a grammar. Then, and only then, is the time to think about grammar.

As we get closer to offering the new study materials we will update this post. Stay tuned.

The Mirror Image Version — M.I.V.

An INTRODUCTION

The M.I.V. is a unique version of the Greek New Testament.

I’d like to state right up front, this is a work in progress. As often as we can we will present the latest changes in the translation. By doing it this way, you will be able to watch, and hopefully learn, from the changes as they are made. Having said that, where does the translation stand as of April 26, 2013?

So far we have made a few preliminary changes in the work. Here is a list as of today (4/26/13).

1. The books have been returned (restored, if you will) back to the original manuscript order.

2. The articles “a” and “an” have all been removed from the text. They are not in the Greek text, and since we are developing a “Mirror Image” of the Greek text, they should not be in the English “mirror.”

3. As time goes by, many Greek words will be added to the text. In fact, at least 320 of them. For the present we now have the Greek KAI, and a couple other words.

4. The format is a bit different in that all sentences are broken at the word KAI, and a few other places. This should make for easier reading and illustrate more the impact and usage of KAI in the text. If one remembers that Koine Greek is more a spoken versus a “literary” language, then one should get a different feel by reading aloud. As one does so, pause and emphasize the KAI, or “and.” This forces a nice and unique presentation for the hearer, not just the reader.

5. At the present time, the word “the” is being correctly changed to reflect the Greek text. In other words, where there is no “the” in the text, there will be no “the” in the M.I.V. Where the KJV translators have removed the “the” it will be added. Thus, as with the “a’s” there will be no words added or subtracted in the translation.

6. Being the work of one person at the moment, it will take some time to complete the M.I.V. By then, we hope to have someone qualified that will help us do the same with the Hebrew Scriptures.

7. We hope you enjoy the work in progress. Please tell your friends to stop by also.

Please note, at the bottom right is a link to the forum. Here, if you wish, you can join and participate in discussing the M.I.V. and helping with its development.

Bob Petry

Welcome to the Koine-Bible Project

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Koine Greek

Apokalypsis

We will explain more shortly. However, our first project is to get the website up and running well.

UPDATE: Dec. 07, 2012.
At the moment all the books are up and ready to read, except for 20 chapters of Mt., and John, and Acts. These will be up in the next 2-3 days.

Please take note of this. The word KAI used in the text is the Greek word for AND. This is it’s fundamental basic meaning. For the moment though, please understand that I used the find and replace function of my word processor to save time by making all “and’s” = KAI.

That means that a small percentage of the words in the Greek are not KAI. Some are DE, etc. Once all the books are up, then I will correct and change those instances of KAI that should be another word.

Once that is done, you will begin to see the text change over time with more Greek words added.

By the way, KAI is the second most used word in the Greek text. It is used 9,153 times. After you see how many times you read it in this translation, you cannot ever forget its basic meaning. And, this will become true for you with the other words you will be learning “as you read the Bible.” I know of no other translation like this one. That is, that teaches you the Greek as you go, and that without a grammar.

Again, remember, this is a work in progress and NOT the finished translation. You will get to see it change “live” over time until we have the final manuscript. At that time we hope to make a full printed volume available to the public.

We hope the project will be a help to all who read it. Feel free to email me with questions. Eventually, we may have a discussion group added should there be enough interest.

UPDATE: Dec. 09, 2012
Luke is now up and ready to read. Just John and Acts to add. Once John and Acts are finished we will make available a single file of the entire New Covenant. Until we can get the website able to handle easily both the Latin and Greek alphabets it will be necessary for you to read the pdf file. That means that until we can add the Greek font to this website you will only be able to read the transliteration of the Greek words to be added.

UPDATE: Dec. 11, 2012
The book of John is now finished and uploaded. Plus, the first 5 chapters of Acts.As soon as Acts is finished we will begin the “official” work on the translation. That means that over a period of time you will see each verse and chapter of each book turn into more of what I have called the Mirror Image Version. That means in a sense, that you will be looking at the Greek text mirrored in an English/Greek translation. This serves two purposes. 1. You will learn to read up to 80% of the Greek text without the use of a grammar, and.. 2. This will make it possible to reverse translate the MIV into Greek with an extremely high accuracy percentage. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

UPDATE: Dec. 23, 2012
Uploaded Romans. I and II Corinthians up soon. Noticed a few days ago these books had not been uploaded as thought.