Institute of Biblical Greek
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Posted: 3/15/16
Dr. Schwandt is currently on a sabbatical from offering Greek courses and reading groups. We are currently working on a way to offer the educational materials without the live component.

Classes

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the beginning Greek online web class:

Can I still take the yearlong course even if I will miss every live session?

Yes, since the lectures, dialogues, and cohort meetings are recorded, you can watch the week’s class at a time that is convenient for you. There is an online forum for you to ask questions during the week. There are a number of students who do this every year and say it works very well.

How much work is required each week for the year course?

No one said that learning Greek is easy, but it can be so fun and rewarding that it is well worth the effort. To get the most out of the course we recommend that you invest an hour before each class warming up for the class, reviewing your homework and looking ahead at new material. An average student should be able to complete each week's assignment in 2-4 hours.

How many examinations are there?

There are automated quizzes and exams for this course. At the end of each lesson, you are welcome to take a quiz based on questions in the workbook. You can continue to retake these quizzes as often as you like. There are four exams that are made of up of questions from the quizzes. You can take these at any time. These are all located at www.GreekExam.com.

What should I do to prepare for a cohort session?

The best way to perform well during the year is to sign up early and get a head start on the course. You can register for the course at anytime and take advantage of the recording and yearlong weekly meetings. Such a head start can be a huge benefit.

Are any of the Greek courses accredited or can I receive college or graduate level credit for taking the online Greek course?

Accreditation is only granted for an entire degree rather than specific subjects. Since IBG only offers Greek courses and not a full undergraduate or graduate degree there is no accreditation available for our courses. However, this does not mean that the courses we offer cannot be used to fulfill credit requirements at high schools, colleges, universities, and graduate schools. The courses are commonly used for such purposes. Please read the answer to "How can I use the IBG web courses to fulfill language requirements at my college, university, seminary, or graduate school?" to learn more.

How can I use the IBG web courses to fulfill language requirements at my high school, college, university, seminary, or graduate school?

The general principal to keep in mind is that no educational institution desires to place a student in the wrong level of a language class. A student who is too advanced for a class will be bored and might lead class discussions in unhelpful directions for other students. A student, who is below the class level, may get lost or slow down the pace of the course. So it is in the school's best interest to place students properly. We have never experienced anything to the contrary. This means that students who perform well in the online beginning Greek class will not have to repeat the course at a local college, university, seminary or graduate school. We would be glad to write a letter certifying that you completed the course and how well you performed. Often schools have a placement exam to confirm your progress. Since the basics of Greek are fairly standardized, you can expect to be prepared for such a placement exam.

How many credits should each IBG course be worth?

Schools often want to know how many credits to award or waive for the IBG course. This is true for schools that are having IBG offer a Greek course for them, or are attempting to place a new or transfer student. Thankfully, since the Oxford curriculum is so widely used in college and university classics programs, the recommended credits are not difficult to determine. Further, the curriculum explicitly gives recommendations for the amount of material to be covered in a typical college semester.

Typically, colleges and universities award 4 credits per semester of ancient Greek and 1 extra credit for an optional language lab. The Oxford curriculum recommends that the first volume is possible to complete in a semester but to complete all of the additional workbook readings and additional exercises supplied by the instructor to thoroughly learn the material will probably stretch the curriculum into a year per book schedule (four semesters). Since the IBG course takes a year to complete the material and works in all workbook readings, and language lab audio/visual type resources schools can easily value 8 credits for the completion of volume one through the IBG course. The same should be expected for completion of volume two.

Do you teach classical or biblical Greek?

The distinction between classical and Biblical Greek should only be an exegetical distinction and not be a pedagogical distinction. Ever since seminaries began trimming down the amount of original language knowledge that they require, publishers have been churning out Biblical Greek text books as distinct from classical Greek texts. What should have been a slight difference of focus became a material difference and produced a significant reduction of education. This result is easily demonstrated by comparing how well classical Greek students can read selections from all over the New Testament to students who have only worked through a Biblical Greek curriculum. After realizing that I wanted my students actually to know and use Greek rather than merely know about it, I switched to Oxford's Athenaze's curriculum.

Learning classical Greek is not unnecessary overkill for someone who wants to learn Greek primarily for biblical study. Dual forms, the optative mood and additional vocabulary are the only grammatical items covered in classical Greek but not typically covered in Biblical Greek. Further if one wants to perform real biblical study by reading the Septuagint or any Greek church fathers one must learn this material. Classical Greek study is not grammatical overkill for Biblical Greek, but inevitable for reading Greek works surrounding the New Testament.

One should expect to have to learn classical Greek in order to gain fluency with the Greek New Testament. When biblical Greek grammars limit students' exposure to passages from the New Testament and individual sentence exercises, students can never grow comfortable reading unfamiliar lengthy passages of Greek, or even the New Testament itself without helps. Classical Greek allows students to clearly distinguish when they are learning Greek and when they are working on Bible memory.

In the end, if one is going to spend the same amount of time in a classical or biblical Greek course, shouldn't we choose the curriculum that will allow students to read the Greek NT as well as surrounding historical and classical material? The obvious answer to this question should indicate that classical Greek includes biblical Greek (every classical Greek curriculum includes New Testament passages). So students do not have to choose between classical and biblical Greek. In fact it would be best if we simply distinguished ancient Greek from modern Greek. The name of this website is BiblicalGreek.org in order to distinguish it from modern Greek sites and indicate that is an ancient Greek website with a focus on the Greek New Testament.

My wife and I would like to take the online class together. Do we need to pay for two students?

No. You can take the class together as one student. However, you will have one online account for the live office hours. You will have to take turns with your microphone to ask questions. You will also only have one account for the testing. Each of you will be able to take the quizzes but the scores will not be recorded separately on our system. Only one of you will be able to take the unit exams. This will affect our ability to produce a letter of recommendation for another school, but if you aren't concerned about transfer credit and just want to learn the language, this should not be an issue.

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