Ever struggled to learn a new language? This is often made particularly difficult when the language being studied is a dead one. As an English teacher, I know that the best way for most of my students to grasp a concept is to use it in conversation. But it’s a little hard to practice Biblical Greek in a conversational manner. So, the next best thing? Sing it.
At least, that’s one suggestion from H. Daniel Zacharias. This little bundle of fun comes from Kregel Academic, and offers a “Schoolhouse Rock” approach to learning the basics of Greek so that students can better grasp translational issues with the New Testament. It’s a series of 18 videos, each one set to a catchy tune packed with loads of learning. The concept is a sound one (I use Schoolhouse Rock to teach basic grammar even in my high school classes).
I have never taken a formal class on Greek, but I’ve taken a couple of classes on hermeneutics, and I regularly study my Bible utilizing the principles I acquired in those classes. Having a better understanding of Greek is something I’ve always desired, but found it hard to obtain on my own. “Which book do I use?” “Is there a translation to avoid?” And so the questions go on in similar fashion. This particular item is the second one I’ve received from Kregel Academic, and the two combined make for an excellent primer on Greek.
But let’s say you only have the ability to pick up one of the two Kregel resources? Then I say get this one (and pick up Huffman’s book later). The songs on this are entertaining, and live up to their promise of being “catchy.” I still find myself singing the Greek Alphabet song. And they’re packed with fun little Easter Egg type items as well (like a narrator saying he needs more cowbell). The one down-side I would point out is the quality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not cheap recordings. But it is very…simple. Both the vocals and instrumental portions are kept to a minimum, which makes sense given the purpose. Still, I prefer to repeatedly listen to things that aren’t just catchy, but are also qualitatively appealing too (Zacharias’ voice is not bad, by any means, so don’t take that away from my comments).
Overall, I think this may be one of the best places to start if you’re looking to study Greek or perhaps trying to figure out a way of teaching it. Zacharias’ little ditties will serve you well as you engage with this language. And in turn, I think it will aid in your Bible study. What more could you want?