Monday, September 21, 2009

Accordance and Me, Part 4: Accordance and Learning Greek

I tell my Greek students that Bible software is an indispensible crutch for pastoral ministry and academic research and teaching. The time one saves using Accordance significant and it will perhaps ensure that the exegetical skills gained in seminary will not be lost due to the pressures of ministry.

Yet, I do not espouse the method of teaching Greek, which some schools now offer, that simply teach students to the use software without an adequate foundation in Greek grammar and syntax. I do not advocate learning to use Accordance or any other program in place of the basic study of Greek grammar. This goes for online courses as well. While they can be useful especially for folks who do not have access to a seminary or college that teaches biblical languages, it is very difficult, although not impossible, to gain a sufficient proficiency outside of a classroom experience. Everyone, I realize, will not share this view; but even this semester I have a student auditing my class because they were unprepared for the exegesis course after successfully completing the Greek grammar course online. No matter what Rosetta Stone may say, learning languages is not easy no matter what bells and whistles may come with the product. At the end of the day, it comes down to just grinding it out in study.

Returning to my “crutch” analogy, I also tell them “one must break their leg, before a crutch is useful or necessary. This course will break your leg! After you complete it you’ll be ready to use a crutch".

Simply put, the long term effectiveness of Bible software for teaching and preaching is related to the extent of one’s basic grammatical knowledge.

1 comment:

Danny Zacharias said...

They clearly did not take online Greek with me!