Many of the academic programs at Dallas International involve learning a language. Students pursuing a BA in Scripture and Culture, MA in Applied Linguistics, or MA in Translation Advising are able to take either biblical Greek or Hebrew as their language of choice. There are many benefits for studying either language, so how can you know which is right for you? Here are 6 reasons you might choose Greek at DIU:
Read the NT in the original language. From the Gospels to the epistles of Paul, the New Testament was originally written and read in Greek. Reading texts in the original language is like switching from black and white TV to color: you can’t know what nuances you may be missing if you only read the Bible in English.
Encounter the cultural world of Jesus. Greek was the language of wider communication of the Mediterranean region in the first- and second-century AD. Even Jesus and the apostles likely had basic levels of Greek, even if they spoke Aramaic more often. Learning Greek gives you access to the documents and artifacts of Jesus’ contemporaries.
Have easier access to the classics. Classical Greek is just a hop and a skip away from Koine—it’s like learning modern English and then picking up Shakespeare. Studying ancient Greek opens avenues to reading many of the great works of philosophy and history, of poets and playwrights. Homer and Herodotus could become your bedtime reading.
Get a better understanding of grammar. Greek is quite rich in morphology (and endings). You will learn all about noun cases and verbal aspect, as well as getting some introduction to syntax and pragmatics.
Improve your English vocabulary. English is a linguistic magpie, and is full of terms borrowed from Greek. This is especially true of medical terms and scientific names. Once you’ve studied Greek, it’s no sweat to tell an otorhinolaryngologist from an ornithologist or a pterodactyl from pneumonia.
Have fun with communicative activities. Here at DIU we try to have fun with Greek, in addition to discussing how to translate and interpret it. Come ride invisible horses around the room (οἱ ἀόρατοι ἵπποι ἡμῶν are quite friendly) or sing silly songs together in Greek. The more fun we have with the language, the better it will stick in your memory.