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Learn Biblical Hebrew and Greek in the Most Efficient Way


Learn biblical Hebrew and Greek

Would you like to learn biblical Hebrew and Greek in the most efficient way?


BURST THE BUBBLE: It’s difficult to learn biblical Hebrew for free, and here’s why (but I’ll show you an inexpensive way in a moment).


Can you learn biblical Hebrew on duolingo, a free app? 


No, because it only appears to have modern Greek and Hebrew. While Duolingo is definitely fun, it’s not a good “Bible study” or “Biblical language study” tool.


Can you learn biblical Hebrew on duolingo?

Modern Hebrew has fewer phonemes and some vocabulary words that are different from Biblical Hebrew as language evolves.


Modern Greek also has evolved from Koine Greek (Biblical Greek). So, Duolingo might teach you words that you will never see in the Bible.


For example, I dabbled with Duolingo a bit, and two vocabulary words I learned in my first session of Greek were “Nana” and “carrot.”


Nana is a daughter of the Phrygian river god Sangarius from Greek mythology, and the “carrot” (Καρότο → karóto) is a vegetable never mentioned in the Bible, either.


I also ran into trouble with the only other vocabulary word from my first session, “water.” Modern Greek seems to be νερό (neh-ro), while Biblical seems to be ὕδωρ (hudór).


So, I liked Duolingo and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a modern language.


But if studying and understanding the Bible is your goal, it’s obvious that the best thing to do is to explore the language as it appeared at that time.


If I can learn biblical Hebrew and Greek, so can you!


As I’m writing this article, I am currently enrolled in classes to earn a Master's degree in Biblical Languages!


After that, I’ll be earning a PhD in Bible Exposition. Pray for me because the difficulty often makes me want to throw my computer.


What I can say about going back to school overall is this: I enjoy it.


I’m happy with my classes because I feel I’m learning something that matters.


My passion for God’s Word is what’s getting me through.


And if you’re like me, you probably have at least a slight curiosity about the Greek and Hebrew language behind God’s Word.


The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek. Therefore, if you really want to study it, you’ll need to take a gander at these languages at some point on your journey.


Learning a bit about Greek and Hebrew can help you study the Word better, and analyzing it better can help you understand and explain it better.


All of this helps you build a personal relationship with the Lord and gives you the tools to help others cultivate their own.


Where Most People Start and Why It Doesn't Work


Now, when most people want to learn or dabble in Greek and Hebrew, they usually search for material online.


They might find random websites, YouTube videos, or gurus to teach them.


But the problem with this is that it’s an unorganized way of learning that could result in information overload and even conflicting information.


When my parents wanted me to start learning the basics, they enrolled me in good old public elementary school. 


They chose a school system for me because it provides:


  • One source (a school with credible teachers)

  • One plan (curriculum that gradually gets harder)

  • One organized schedule (Mon-Fri, 8-3:30)


They didn’t sit me in front of a computer with a random YouTube video they found that morning.


Just like learning the basics of education, the preferred way to grasp the basics of Greek and Hebrew is to have one credible source with one plan on one organized schedule.


How to learn Biblical Hebrew and Greek

So, here are my recommendations for learning Greek and Hebrew. Follow these steps in order.


Choose Which Language You Would Like to Learn First


Simply pick which one would serve you best. If your study revolves more around the Old Testament, maybe Hebrew would work for you.


If you’re drawn more to the New Testament or unsure which one to choose, I would go with Greek.


Personally, I’m finding Greek to be a tiny bit easier. But I am learning both right now, and I’m not going to lie: They both present steep learning curves.


Use this time also to reflect and accept that no matter what you choose, it will be challenging. But you can do it.


Buy One of These Books and Their Workbook:


Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar by William D. Mounce or Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar by Gary D. Pratico and Miles V. Van Pelt.


Learn biblical Hebrew book and Greek

These are the books I’m using for my classes, and they are fantastic.


The book will be your one source to learn from. Don’t venture too much into other content just yet.


From these books, there are other accompanying resources besides the workbook you can get if you wish, such as flashcards, videos, and even laminate cheat sheets.


The books, workbooks, and resources are available on Amazon. For Greek, check out billmounce.com and zondervanacademic.com for the material if you desire.


Note 1: To get the workbook on Amazon, just type in the book's name, followed by “workbook.”


Note 2: I recommend purchasing the official accompanying videos, but this is optional. They are a bit pricey. If you don’t, you will still learn more than most people. However, the videos are good because they present a more visual approach to learning the material, and they might explain something better with more practical details. Again, no big deal if you don't get them.


Create One Organized Schedule For Yourself


Determine when you’re going to make time for your reading. The most effective way to do this is by filling out this sentence:


I will read from my book at [TIME] in [LOCATION].


So, your schedule might look like this: “I will read from my book at 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM in my office.”


Or if you don’t have a time limit, it could be like this: “I will read from my book at 7:00 AM at my kitchen table.”


If you want to get more detailed and creative with your schedule, it could be something like this:


“I will read from my book at 6:30 AM - 7:00 AM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in my living room with gentle study music playing in the background.”


Write the sentence out, post it on your desk, and follow this one organized schedule religiously.


Follow This Plan…


The following will be your one plan.


Read your book like you would any other: Chapter by chapter. But read each chapter slowly, ensuring you understand everything as much as possible.


If you finish a chapter and feel like you really didn’t grasp it, or if you weren’t that focused during your reading time, go back and reread it.


The plan is not to read one chapter a day or get through it as quickly as you can.


The plan is to take as long as you need on each chapter until you understand it well.


So be it if it takes you a week to get through one chapter. Take your time. There is no limit to this thing.


As you read:


  • Take notes to help you learn the material.

  • Follow any specific instructions they give you. If they tell you to write things out or speak them out loud, do it.

  • Use any other resources you obtained from the one source (flashcards, cheat sheets, etc).

  • OPTIONAL: If you purchased the accompanying videos, watch the video about the chapter after you read it.


Do the Workbook Exercises


I have not used the workbooks for the books because I have my own exercises from my university.


But I plan on getting both workbooks, and I’m sure they are OK to use.


When you finish one chapter, do the exercises for that chapter in the workbook. Again, take your time with this and really understand it.


Review and Continue


When you’re finished with the book, review and continue with what you’ve learned by:


  • Rereading/skimming through chapters

  • Using outside sources

  • Teaching the content to others

  • Quizzing yourself


Find time to return to the content and refresh your memory; otherwise, you’ll lose it.


Conclusion


The good thing about following this guide to learn biblical Hebrew and Greek is that it caters to all learning styles:


Reading/Writing - when you read and write the material

Kinesthetic - when you speak it out and write it

Visual - when you watch the videos

Auditory - when you speak it out and listen to the videos


Follow this guide to be on your way to learning Biblical Greek and Hebrew and grow in your relationship with God!

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