First a qualification. For most people, learning Hebrew and Greek is not easy. But Eternity Bible College is now offering a unique approach to teaching these biblical languages that will make the learning process much easier—relatively speaking—for most people.
A Case for Learning the Languages
Let me be clear. I don’t believe that everyone ought to learn Hebrew and Greek. You can have confidence that when you are reading your English translation of the Bible, you are reading the words of God. You’re not a second rate Christian if your understanding of God isn’t based on your own acquaintance with Hebrew (though we should all acknowledge that we owe a great debt to those who have interacted with these languages).
I should also add that we can get ourselves into trouble by learning just a little bit of the biblical languages. I’ve heard a lot of people misuse Greek or Hebrew, assuming that throwing out a word or phrase that’s unintelligible to their congregation gives their sermon more authority (or makes them sound smarter, more like). I’ve heard pastors say things like, “In the Greek, Paul is using the word agape, which means love. He is telling us to love one another. “ Awesome. Thanks for that gem. But my English Bible says “love,” so your explanation wasn’t helpful.
But having said all of that, the church needs people who can read Greek and Hebrew, and the more the better. While some misuse the languages, there are gems to be gleaned by studying the Scriptures as they were originally written. It helps us to be precise. It removes ambiguity. It gets us a little bit closer to the world(s) in which the Bible was written.
So the church needs people who can read the Bible as it was written. Some of these people will serve as Bible translators, whether into English or some foreign language. Others will serve as theologians who carefully examine the Scriptures to be sure our debates don’t get off track. Most of the people who know Hebrew and Greek will be teaching the Bible to other people, and the languages help them teach with greater insight and accuracy. And then there are those who have learned the languages and sit in pews (remember those?), getting a little more out of what is being taught, taking their study of Scriptures a step further, enabling themselves to interact more intelligently with commentaries and works of theology.
Whichever group you fall into, I encourage you to try out the languages. Not everyone can or should do this, but maybe you should. Consider it.
Here’s how we can help you. We are offering Hebrew and Greek courses online. It is notoriously difficult to teach the languages, and this can be especially hard in an impersonal online setting. So we are offering these courses on a self-paced, pay-as-you-go, work-directly-with-your-professor basis.
Our online language classes are offered through a monthly subscription: $100 per month. During each month of your subscription, you will have access to all of the course material you need. You will also be in contact with a professor, who will have regular online “office hours” and will set up times to work with you when you need it. Once you feel confident with your knowledge of the material, you pay a $100 exam fee and take your final exam—it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the course for two weeks or a year. Once you have passed your exam, you will receive three or four units of college credit (depending on the course).
We also take a unique approach to teaching the languages. Our Hebrew and Greek professor, Josh Grauman, focuses less on memorizing paradigms and more on understanding the way these languages work. He has also developed a unique interactive parsing program (Scroll Tag) that shows how morphology and parsing relate, and this program integrates tightly into the curriculum. This program gives students something to work through on their own, and students enrolled in the course will be given free access to the program.
Students will also have access to recorded lectures which will help them grasp the content at their own pace.
This method allows students to study at their own pace, to focus on those concepts and lessons that they find most challenging, and to get as much out of the class as possible (as opposed to keeping up with the rest of the class and passing a test).