Course of Biblical Greek – Level 1
Read the Holy Bible as it was originally written and discover the true meaning behind each word. Learn Biblical Greek and gain a deeper understanding of the New Testament.
: 2 hrs
: 9 Months
: This course is worth 3 credits at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Over the course of the semester, students will learn Biblical Greek by reading scriptures from the New Testament in their original language and translating them with their teacher.
Judith Green, M.A.
Biblical Greek, Academic Developer
A Few Words About Me:
Judith Green has been teaching Classical Greek to graduate students at the Hebrew University for decades. Students from Israel, China, South Korea, Japan, Eastern Europe, Great Britain and many other countries; students who understand that knowing Greek is the key to their study of ancient history, classical archaeology, Jewish and Christian thought and the sacred writings of Jews, Christians and pagans. Although trained originally in Classical Greek, her extended stays in Greece and the Balkans exposed her to the Greek Orthodox Church, spoken Greek and Byzantine art, which became a special interest. She finds teaching Greek of the New Testament and the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament, to students from all over the world through online courses at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies as natural culmination of all of her interests.
Judith Green holds an M.A. degree in Classical Philology from Harvard University, where she also started her Thesis about Nicetas Choniates, The Sack of Constantinople. She holds an additional M.A. degree in Classical Archaeology from the University of Chicago. Judith Green is an expert in classical studies with a specialization on Greek language, art and archaeology.
Judith Green is a trained classical archaeologist, philologist and a Lecturer of Classical Greek for graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Judith Green has worked as a senior researcher on several large research projects which require translation and analysis of Greek and Latin texts and inscriptions, relating to the history and geography of ancient Palestine at the Institute of Archaeology in the Hebrew University. She had also taken part in editing the Greek Inscriptions in the 2nd Volume of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae. Together with her students in Jerusalem, she has been reading the New Testament with great joy and exploring its intricate connections to the Hebrew Bible and the history of her own Jewish religion.
The Greek Alphabet
Why is studying Greek essential for students of the bible, both Old and New Testament? Why were these texts, more than 200 years apart in time, written in Greek? Is it a “sacred language” or one of several languages spoken in Palestine at the time? We will learn what an “alpha-bet” is and how the Greek, Hebrew and Latin alphabets are related. Then we will start studying the uncial, capital forms of the Greek letters from Alpha to Omega, and how we will pronounce them in this course.
The Greek Alphabet Continued
Review of the capital letters and some additional issues of pronunciation. On the way, we look again at the opening of the Gospel of John and learn some geographical names relevant to the Bible. We study in detail the trilingual sign which Pilate affixed to the cross: ΙΗΣΟΥΣ Ο ΝΑΖΩΡΑΙΟΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ, Ev. John, 19:19-20. We learn the names of the Five Books of Moses, the Pentateuh, as they appear in the Septuagint.
The Minuscule Alphabet
The cursive, or minuscule form of the letters. The “breathing marks” and a few other details of orthography and pronunciation. Reading out loud.
Readings from the Bible in Greek
Reading texts out loud, the Lord’s Prayer and the passage from Genesis describing the Seventh Day of Creation. Review, some new vocabulary.
The Foundations of Greek Grammar
Foundations of Greek grammar – the structure of the sentence. The morphology of nouns, stems + endings. Review of grammatical terms in English grammar, definitions of parts of speech.
Characteristics of Greek Nouns; the Definite Article and the Principle of Agreement
Characteristics of Greek nouns: declension of the definite article and the principle of agreement, gender number and case.
The adjective. Review of the definite article; the forms of the first and second declension adjective. Three different uses of the adjective: attributive, predicate and substantive. The importance of word order in the Greek sentence.
The Good Shepherd
Review and reading. The common depiction of Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”, in the previous text taken from John 10. Images and texts about the Good Shepherd in the pagan and Jewish traditions. Some new vocabulary, but no new grammar.
The Second Declension Noun & Prepositional Phrases
The second declension noun and prepositional phrases. Two classes of nouns in the second declension, masculine and neuter. Discussion of the use of prepositional phrases and the nouns which follow the prepositions.
The First Declension Noun
The first declension noun. The three categories of the first declension feminine noun, those ending in –α, -η, and the mixed type. Examples of second declension nouns which are feminine.
Personal Pronouns: declension of first and second person pronoun. The third person pronoun is discussed separately, along with its special adjectival uses.
Review and Reading: The Good Samaritan
Reading and Review: The Good Samaritan. Review of nouns and pronouns, adding the form of masculine first declension nouns. Reading about “what are the greatest commandments” and the parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke.
The Greek Verb Introduced
Introduction of the verb. The conjugation of the present, active, indicative form of the verb. The main characteristics of Greek verbs: tense, mood and voice.
The Verb “to be”
The verb “to be” in the present and past tenses. The concept of “linking”, predicate adjectives and predicate nouns (the complement).
Voice: Middle/Passive Verbs, Deponents
Voice: conjugation and use of middle/passive verbs in the present; deponents. The root of the verb and its appearance in other parts of speech.
Reading and Review: Review of definite article, first and second declension nouns and adjectives, personal pronouns, prepositional phrases, present indicative verb active and middle/passive, the verb “to be”. The story of the Centurion’s slave from Matthew.
The Demonstrative Pronoun/Adjective
The demonstrative pronoun/adjective; compound verbs.
Dependent and Independent Clauses; Relative Prounouns
Dependent and independent clauses, relative pronouns.
The Third-Declension Noun
The third declension noun.
Review and Reading
Review and Reading. Review of the demonstrative pronoun and adjective, the relative pronouns and the forms of the third declension noun.
Third Declension; Indefinite and Interrogative Pronouns/Adjectives
Third Declension: Indefinite and Interrogative Pronouns/Adjectives.
Imperfect Indicative Tense, Active and Middle/Passive Voice
Imperfect Indicative Tense, Active and Middle/Passive Voice
Imperfect tense continued, augment and prefix; ε- and α- contract verbs
Imperfect Tense Continued, Augment and Prefix, epsilon and alpha contract verbs
Review & Reading
Review and Reading; the indefinite pronoun/adjective, the imperfect tense, and the rules for contract verbs.
The Future Tense: Active & Middle
The Future Tense, Active and Middle Voice
Continuing the Future Tense
Continuing the Future: consonant stems and phonetic change; future of the verb “to be”
Prepositions up, down and around
The Prepositional Phrase
Reading and Review
A review of the future tense and the use of prepositions, especially their significance in translation, and including their use as the prefix in compound verbs.
General Review and Reading
General review and reading. Jesus the wondermaker – for what end?
Final Reading: From Luke to Isaiah
Final Reading: From Luke to Isaiah. Continuation of the discussion of acts of healing, with more texts from the LXX. Review of basic forms.
This Course is Fully Acknowledged by the Hebrew University
- Get full academic credit for this course from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Valid in any academic institution that acknowledges credit from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Receive an official Israel Institute of Biblical Studies certificate upon completing this course
Israel Institute of Biblical Studies
For centuries, the Holy Bible has been a source of inspiration for people all over the world. It is the most widely distributed book today. The Bible is a part of our modern world and has influenced the foundations of Western culture. The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies aims to make the Bible accessible to people around the world. Through biblical study and language courses students connect with teachers in the Holy Land to learn the original languages of the Old and New Testaments. This allows them to interpret the holy texts themselves, while discovering the ancient land of the Bible where the stories took place.