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Greek for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek

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Learning Greek is one thing. Retaining it and using it in preaching, teaching, and ministry is another. In this volume, two master teachers with nearly forty years of combined teaching experience inspire readers to learn, retain, and use Greek for ministry, setting them on a lifelong journey of reading and loving the Greek New Testament.

Designed to accompany a beginning or intermediate Greek grammar, this book offers practical guidance, inspiration, and motivation; presents methods not usually covered in other textbooks; and surveys helpful resources for recovering Greek after a long period of disuse. It also includes devotional thoughts from the Greek New Testament. The book will benefit anyone who is taking (or has taken) a year of New Testament Greek.

Resource Experts
  • Provides thoughtful advice and tips for retaining your Greek skills
  • Brings Greek learning together with devotional content
  • Leads the student and pastor through best practices for using Greek reference works
  • ‘Keep the End in Sight
  • ‘Go to the Ant, You Sluggard
  • ‘Review, Review, Review
  • ‘Use Your Memory Effectively
  • ‘Use Greek Daily
  • ‘Use Resources Wisely
  • ‘Don't Waste Your Breaks
  • ‘How to Get It Back

Top Highlights

“The study of Greek is not an end in itself. The end goal of studying Greek is to know the God who has revealed himself through his Word. God chose to use the Greek language to convey his will for his people through his apostles and prophets. The goal of learning Greek (or Hebrew) is not to parade one’s knowledge before others, seeking to impress a congregation or friend. Rather, the goal of learning Greek is first and foremost born out of a desire to behold unhindered the grandest sight: God himself. Therefore the journey of learning Biblical Greek has as its goal the most important thing in all of life: the knowledge of God as revealed in the New Testament.” (Pages 2–3)

“One of the best ways to move information from our short-term memory to our long-term memory is to access that information on a regular basis through repetition.” (Page 53)

“Third, avoid studying and memorizing while occasionally checking your email or social media accounts” (Page 41)

“Second, avoid studying while listening to the radio (music, talk radio) or while watching TV” (Page 41)

“In working hard to study Greek, we are valuing God and his Word above all things. We read and study the Greek New Testament to know his Word, understand it, teach it faithfully, and ultimately know God better and lead others to know him better too.” (Page 22)

Merkle and Plummer have written a charming and immensely practical book on how to retain and even regain knowledge of Greek. I am thrilled to recommend this book, which so effectively instructs and motivates us to continue studying the Greek New Testament.

—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Clearheaded, relevant, and oh so timely! Merkle and Plummer provide a compelling case for Greek and a surefooted guide to retaining it. Greek for Life has the potential to pull us back from the brink and to silence those who suggest, either explicitly or implicitly, that the rules have changed and that the study of the Greek New Testament is passé. It is not time to give away the game, and Merkle and Plummer show us why and how to persevere.

—Jay E. Smith, department chair and professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

Merkle and Plummer have produced a very practical and useful book for beginning and returning students of Greek. Learning and retaining the language can be an intimidating prospect, but they show us that being lifelong students—even when we are convinced that we do not have the time—is important, rewarding, and definitely doable. By providing constructive tips, encouraging words, and examples of how knowing Greek makes a difference in our understanding of the Word, these experienced teachers make their case that every student can learn the language and apply it profitably in life and ministry.

—Michelle Lee-Barnewall, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

The Logos edition of Greek for Life equips you for better study with cutting-edge functionality and features. Whether you are performing Bible word studies, preparing a sermon, or researching and writing a paper, Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use your digital library effectively and efficiently by searching for verses, finding Scripture references and citations instantly. Additionally, important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, theology texts, and other resources in your library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. With most Logos resources, you can take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the coauthor, with Robert L. Plummer and Andreas J. Köstenberger, of Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament.

Robert L. Plummer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the coauthor, with Benjamin L. Merkle and Andreas J. Köstenberger, of Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament.


2 ratings

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  1. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith


  2. Floyd  Johnson

    Floyd Johnson


    The authors have created a “coach in a box” for the student of NT Greek. The book is not designed to teach Greek, but to, as the sub-title says, provide “Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek”. The book is not written as a study book of Greek vocabulary or grammar. Rather it discusses a set of 8 general principles that can be used to enhance and retain the Greek a student has learned. The chapter titles sum up those principles. 1. Keep the End in Sight 2. Go to the Ant, You Sluggard 3. Review, Review, Review 4. Use Your Memory Effectively 5. Use Greek Daily 6. Use Resources Wisely 7. Don’t Waste Your Breaks 8. How to Get It Back As one reads, the reader feels like he or she is working with a coach. The hints and principles are practical and will assist the student as he moves through his or her study of the Greek and prepares for life long Bible Study using the Greek text. I could wish that I had such a book or coach during my three-semester sequence of Greek. I also wish I might have had a similar coach as I studied Pascal, Data Structures, and Database Development, later in my career. Thus, two comments seem appropriate. First, the same principles apply to the study of any topic - from History to Mathematics to Chemistry to Physics. Second, given the first comment, a publisher might take the time to share this material with other authors to create parallel books in other disciplines. The examples given throughout the book are derived from a multi-semester course in New Testament Greek, but could easily be adapted for use with other disciplines. This book needs to be assigned reading for every Greek student the summer before they begin their study of NT Greek. The book should sit on the coffee table in every Greek professor’s office - easily accessible for a referral to students as needed. In summary, this book will not teach you Greek, but it will prepare you to learn Greek. ______________ This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.