Learn to read biblical Greek and Hebrew in one year. Pay less than a single class in seminary.
Really? Yes, and you can do so with two of Koine-Greek.com’s very own. Below is a FAQ about what BibLing is, why we created it, and how you can get involved.
What is it?
An online platform for learning to read biblical languages. We focus on developing reading comprehension in beginner-accessible texts (like Jonah and John) through personal instruction and mentoring, using a mix of traditional and communicative teaching that we feel strikes a nice balance. We bring the seminary classroom to your home.
Who is it for?
We created BibLing to provide seminary-caliber instruction at an affordable price for anyone from anywhere, whether Kenya or Kentucky, Manizales or Miami.
“Anyone today can learn to read the Greek New Testament if they want to do it.” (A.T. Robertson) pic.twitter.com/zbLWj1hjrV— BibLing (@tryBibLing) June 28, 2020
We especially had in mind three groups:
(1) Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Translators. Not all pastors have been to seminary, but all can receive a seminary-caliber education in the biblical languages despite their location or economic level. Others have been to seminary and need a refresher, while some who work in Bible Translation would benefit either from a foundation in the languages or further instruction.
(2) Institutions. We partner with seminaries and Bible Colleges to supplement classroom instruction and offer personalized tutoring and reading groups. We also partner with denominations and para-church organizations (mission agencies, Bible translators) to help meet qualifications in Greek and Hebrew. For the world church, we train and provide online teachers for local seminaries and Bible colleges.
(3) Laypeople. Anyone who would like to read the Bible in its original languages is welcome. No specific background or prior training is needed.
Why another online platform?
We know there are other platforms (some of which were created by our own friends!). But there’s no competition. BibLing doesn’t rely on recorded content (youtube is free!) and we don’t claim to have a novel method. BibLing is a personalized platform. We provide tools and recommend resources, but what students pay for is the focused time of personal instruction and mentorship with us. And we offer it at a rate that is unbeatable.
We have dedicated our lives to learning and teaching these languages. BibLing is a passion for us. We’re not competing with anyone––we’re simply doing what we love. Only our own evil twins could be competition for us.
What about the World Church?
Exactly! Many leaders from the world church would love to learn biblical Greek and Hebrew (and have a work ethic that would shame any seminarian in America). Bible Colleges in the majority world need more quality instruction in biblical languages, while many seminaries languish for want of faculty (and tutors!). We can help. If you have an internet connection, we can provide world class instruction in Greek and Hebrew at a price adjusted to the economic level of your country. We’re even training teachers and planning cohorts in other languages: Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, etc.
What is new about it?
Well, nothing if you mean an innovative method. Programs everywhere claim the power to teach you to read biblical Greek and Hebrew faster because of exciting new discoveries…that involve teaching grammars, vocabulary acquisition, and…you guessed it: reading loads of text. And they always seem to skip the obvious: language acquisition is hard work.
Never believe a ‘new method’ will make language learning ‘easier’ or ‘faster’. There are no shortcuts. Language learning is challenging work. Discipline — not talent — is your greatest asset.— BibLing (@tryBibLing) June 13, 2020
The truth is that there are only two ways to learn a language: community-immersion or text-immersion. No community exists today that speaks Koine as their native language (although modern Greek shares many similarities with Koine and a Greek infinitive still exists in Romeyka!). An ulpan in Israel will not make you proficient in biblical Hebrew. What students are left with is texts (or living-language approaches reconstructed from texts). What we do with BibLing is combine a chastened communicative method with a traditional grammar-driven method to create a text-immersive experience.
Lessons are in English, but we do speak some Greek and Hebrew from time to time in order to ask and answer questions about the text. Without a living language community to check our language use against, it is difficult to know how to be truly creative with these languages (e.g. generate novel constructions) or know where we might be making mistakes (e.g. prosody). We know our limits, but we also see the value in using the languages to a limited degree as we teach them.
What do I need?
For teaching grammars, we use (and supplement) Rodney Decker’s wonderful grammar for Greek. In Hebrew, we use Joann Hackett. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. We also recommend and share different resources throughout the course. Students will need a Reader’s Greek NT and/or a Reader’s Hebrew Bible. We particularly love this Greek New Testament and this Hebrew Bible, but this option also has all you need between two covers.
What do you expect from students?
Three things: (1) A positive attitude, (2) A good work ethic, and (3) Strong attendance. In our experience, students who show up and work hard with a good attitude are successful.
What can I expect to accomplish in one year?
Depends on your work ethic and your goals! After a year, we expect students to have a highly-extensible reading foundation in biblical Greek and Hebrew. Hebrew poetry will still be difficult and 2 Peter may seem like a mystery, but you will be able to read prose from John and Jonah with limited guidance and have all the right tools to build on this foundation (hopefully with us!). No student is obligated to stay on for a year or pursue both languages. Each cohort is customizable and students are welcome to start or stop at their convenience.