Getting Discouraged With Learning Greek

I’m getting discouraged with learning Greek yet again. Instead of memorizing Scripture (which is always maintained), I’m memorizing ever more difficult Greek vocabulary. I don’t read as much material as I would like (an exposition of Genesis right now, which is great) because of the time spent with Greek, although I admit, it’s not a whole lot.

I keep reading posts about how valuable it is. I don’t doubt it. Not to sound like ‘woe is me’, but on days where I’m in more pain (lower back) or having other difficulties, it’s easier to just read. In English only.

I wonder if buying a Greek reader like A First John Reader or Philippians: A Greek Student’s Intermediate Reader to see what I might be missing out on would be a good idea. I wouldn’t think either would be a waste of money. Is there anything like this online?

I’m just learning it for my own reading edification. I don’t plan on going past beginning/intermediate, like Black’s second book. Right now I can pretty much understand what’s written in commentaries which was my original goal until I decided I wanted to ‘learn’ the language.

I’m not giving up at this point and I’m not usually one to stop what I started. I’m just wondering about time spent vs. benefit and time taken away from other stuff. I know that just like with Scripture memory review, I will need to keep reading it everyday to keep it up and just to use it for what it’s intended for.

6 Responses to “Getting Discouraged With Learning Greek”


  1. 1 Nancy

    I really think the readers might be helpful. When we were in Germany I used children’s books as a start and then watched German TV. Both were very helpful. And since I was quite familiar with the King James Version of the Bible, I purchased both a Gute Nachricht Bibel in heutigem Deutsch (Good News Bible in today’s German) and a Luther Bibel. Both were a great help in learning to at least read German.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    Then the Philippians reader might be good because I have so much of it memorized. I never thought of it that way. It could be a mini learning by immersion. I’ve tried watching Greek videos on YouTube and they just talk too fast. Not that they talk fast, just too fast for me. But then I also use Audacity to slow down some Greek from GreekLatinAudio.com so I could learn pronunciation. More ideas.

    I think using the workbook that goes along with Black’s book would be good, as someone else suggested, except that I’d spend so much time, as far as days, that I’d forget what I learned a few months ago by the time I got done. I may need to break down and call Esteban, as much as I hate using the phone.
    Jeff

  3. 3 Craig Bennett

    I have been trying to learn Greek for a number of years now.
    ..and its only now I have just started to get my head around the 1st and 2nd declension nouns, article, the personal verbs and adjectives.

    A work book is essential and also I have found using a number of different text books helpful. I use Bill Mounces 2nd edition and work book, which has a helpful DVD with parsing tools, link to website and a variety of audio lectures.

    The second book is Blacks Learn to Read New Testament Greek, and the third book is the older out of print Wynham Greek, which I believe its greatest asset is its first chapters on grammar.

    It was only by utilising all three books and applying a learning technique which I wrote about here http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/love-hate-relationship-with-greek/ that it started to come gell together… I am a little daunted at the prospect of the verbal system….the other thing I do is to write out the alphabet, the noun case endings and article, and the personal verbs of Eimi at least once every day.

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Nice to hear from you. Interestingly, I’m using Black’s as my main book, and the workbook that I have goes with that, and I read Mounce’s book just to get another angle. I’m on participles and that’s really driving me nuts.

    After reading your post, if you can learn Greek, so can I. Just like since I have chronic fatigue (which affects memory too) and I exercise, so can just about anybody. I take a medication that lowers my memory a couple of notches, but since reading your post I can’t complain. Thanks very much for letting me/us in on this. I’m sorry you had to go through that but we know God will use it. And you’ve encouraged me.
    Jeff

  5. 5 Craig Bennett

    Chronic fatigue isn’t much fun at all. And indeed God uses all things which will work out for his glory…

    On another note..What got me interested in learning Greek in the first place is that I read an account where Dan Wallace also suffered Viral Encephalitis. It wiped out his working knowledge of Greek, and he couldn’t even remember his wife’s name when she visited him in hospital…by the time he went back to teaching – he taught himself and the 1st year Greek students Greek from the text book he wrote on the subject.

    I thought wow…if he could do it….perhaps I could also. 🙂

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    I read about that once. Pretty incredible.

    I think I need to back up a little and also use a workbook.
    Jeff

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