New Testament Greek for the layman

Does anyone have any recommended course of study for a lay churchman who seriously wants to study and learn New Testament Greek?

In case it matters, let’s assume for the sake of the question that the man isn’t just some young, proud smarty-pants who wants to use Greek to argue with his elders. Rather, let’s pretend that he’s a fairly mature churchman who is weary of relying solely on Blue Letter Bible and Strong’s word definitions, and would like to develop some actual language understanding so that he might better serve the church. In other words, imagine the kind of guy whose future may include lay eldership, but not seminary.



Perhaps @sbaker or @acmcneilly can provide some thoughts. I’m afraid I don’t have much to offer.

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If he’s up for a first-year-of-seminary level introduction, I would recommend Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek, along with the companion workbook. (Workbook work is absolutely essential for actually learning.) There are lectures on Mounce’s website that go along with the book; they’re definitely helpful, but I wouldn’t say they’re essential, depending on how self-disciplined and intellectually curious he is to do his own research. Maybe slow down the pace and do that over the course of a whole year, or maybe more. Consistency is the key.

If he doesn’t have the time or energy to commit to that, I’m guessing Mounce’s Greek for the Rest of Us is good, though I’ve never actually read it. The subtitle is “Learn Greek to Study the New Testament with Interlinears and Bible Software.”

He should also eventually subscribe to the Daily Dose of Greek. Might need a little more grammar for it to be useful, but the guy who does it (Rob Plummer) does a really great job, and it’s satisfying because they work through books of the New Testament verse by verse.


I studied Greek in college using grammars but now I’m studying Hebrew using comprehensible input. Aleph with Beth is an excellent comprehensible input-style instruction in biblical Hebrew which has recently branched into a Greek course called Alpha with Angela. Comprehensible input is designed to get you listening and reading the target language as soon as possible with little aid of grammars or memorization. You learn grammar and vocab by experience just like you did in your native language. While I appreciate the encouragement and motivation factor of comprehensible input–it’s much more engaging that rote memorization or grammar study–I feel a combination of both frequent exposure to target language and a bit of grammar study is the most effective. Purely watching videos in the target language will only get you so far and leave you with a lot of questions that could easily be answered by a textbook. I just attended a week-long Hebrew Review at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary taught by one of the Daily Dose of Hebrew teachers. They also offer a Greek Review. I’m not sure if it will take place next summer but there are also Russell Fuller’s online courses.


I have no idea if it’s the best, but growing up my dad taught us from Learn to Read New Testament Greek by David Black. He had Mounce, but preferred this one.


Took Greek at UW (Madison) w/final being translating long section of Plato w/out lexicon. Took Hebrew from Meredith Kline Jr.

If you’re going to spend huge amounts of time learning Hebrew or Greek, make it Hebrew. Greek is long past well-worn territory with only little things left to argue over. If you spend years learning Greek, you will maybe eventually begin to approach being able to make some judgments of what lifelong NT scholars are saying (at least as far as words and grammar are concerned), but even then, your personal insights won’t be as accurate as what you can learn from online sources along with classic sources such as Kittel, Spicq, and a variety of other reference works.

What has been clear to me since seminary is that studying Hebrew and Greek is not nearly as helpful to understanding Scripture as disciplined reading and writing. The problem most men have is that they don’t read books and can’t write even an essay making any argument. Seminaries are filled with women (now over 50% of seminary students) and men who have no ability to read, comprehend, make a sustained argument, or think logically. Add to this their 21st century weakness, character-wise (w/out chests), and no matter how much they think they know the original languages, they can’t understand even Scripture’s Hebrew or Greek. After all, it takes some self-critical capacity and zeal for God and His Truth to understand, let alone teach or preach, Scripture.

Men and women who think they want to know Hebrew and Greek would do well for themselves simply to read the NASB95 and check every footnote to see what the translators say the text says “literally.” Eye-opening.

Then it would be good to study the politics of speech today, particularly focussing on the contemporary intersection between identity politics, sex, gender, anti-Semitism, and translation. This would be beyond eye-opening.

Andrew Dionne and I just finished a summer term class at New Geneva Academy on this titled Hermeneutics I: Translation. When most Bibles in use today have had thousands of Hebrew and Greek words deleted or changed in order to placate modern ideological sensibilities within the church, it’s not the study of Hebrew and Greek that will protect us so much as the study of Bible publishing and publishers, copyright, funding, translation, PC and self-censorship, etc.

Of course, I’m not against anyone studying Hebrew or Greek, but the real battles over the meaning of Scripture texts today are not about the original meaning of the Hebrew or Greek. Those days are long past, and the sources available for basic readers able to use the apparatus are mind-boggling. Learn enough to use the apparatus and you’re good to go. Love,


Thank you all for your replies!

If you have an iPhone, the scripturial app is basically like duolingo for biblical Greek.