Friday, November 26, 2021

An Invitation for You to Study _________ ?

Ladies and gentlemen. The new year is almost upon us. It's time to ask ourselves the question, "What am I going to do to be a better person in the new year?" Yes, in 2022. I didn't always make New Years' resolutions, but I started doing so in the last few years and, yes, I do believe it's helped me to reflect on the past year and to discern what God's will for me might look like in the coming year. We look to the past to prepare for the future, as someone has said. Listen, I've got a lot of work to do on this earth before the Lord calls me home, and so do you. So, in the coming days I will be sharing some thoughts with you about my goals for 2022 to keep me accountable and maybe inspire you to consider what you can do in the coming year to be a more well-rounded person. Thus far, I am working on discerning my goals in 4 areas of my life:

1. The blog.

2. My teaching.

3. My travels, especially internationally. 

4. My running.

For example, I want to qualify for Boston. That's right. I know that sounds like a huge goal. Impossible even. But I love shooting for goals that are perhaps unreachable now but reachable in the future with effort and dedication. Another goal? To try and help as many people as possible to consider studying the Bible on a regular basis. That's why I've been working this morning on my book How to Make the New Testament Come Alive! 

That leads me to the reason for my blog post this morning. I have an invitation to make to all of you. Two things happened to me when I was a student at Biola that utterly shocked me. First, I dropped out of my beginning Greek class after only three weeks. Second, a year later I was hired by Dr. Harry Sturz, the head of the Greek Department, to teach 11 units of Classical Greek at Biola. I’ve been teaching Greek ever since. (God has an incredible sense of humor.)

As a result, I want to ask you a question. Have you ever considered taking a basic course in Greek grammar? Just before Covid hit, I taught Greek in one of our local churches. We had about 50 lay people coming out every Sunday night to study Greek with me for 2 hours. (They lasted more than three weeks, I might add!) I long to communicate to every Christian I can possibly reach that the living God has arranged a way to make it possible for us to learn how to read our New Testament in Greek. Are you willing? If so, I’ve produced a series of tools that will not only get you started but will take you as far as you want to go. It’s never too late to start, either. When Benjamin Rice retired as a missionary with the China Inland Mission, he decided to learn Greek at the age of 80. It is said that he kept a well-worn copy of his Greek New Testament in his pocket while waiting for public transportation. How about you? If a surfer from Hawaii like me could learn Greek, anyone can. Here are some resources to get you going:

1.      Learn to Read New Testament Greek. This is my grammar for beginners. It doesn’t get any more basic than this. This book is short and to the point, and you don’t need to buy an additional workbook. I’ve provided an answer key in the back of the book for all of the exercises. Furthermore, on my Greek Portal, you will find an abundance of free materials to help you get started. 

2.      It’s Still Greek to Me. So you’ve laid the foundation of beginning Greek. Now it’s time to build on that foundation. This intermediate-level grammar will keep the Greek fires burning. You may even enjoy the silly puns in it.

3.      Using New Testament Greek in Ministry. This book contains my easy-to-use approach to go from text to teaching.

4.      My Greek DVDs. This professionally-edited set of 24 videos was recorded in a seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Don’t worry: everything is in English. The instruction is based on my beginning grammar. You can view all of these videos for free on YouTube

I strongly urge all of you to really think through why you want to learn Greek. If this is something the Lord is putting on your heart, I am here to help. Feel free to email me with your questions. Onward and upward to accomplishing our 2022 goals for the glory of God!