Many Bible students, particularly seminarians, have invested significant time, sweat, and tears in learning Greek vocabulary, paradigms, and grammatical rules. Learning a language is not like riding a bike—you can actually forget how to read through disuse. Furthermore, if we are not careful, we can lose most of what we invested in the hectic pace and busyness of ministry. I am convinced that losing a facility for the languages correlates directly to the preference for topical rather than expository preaching.
So it was with no small delight and anticipation that I dived into a copy of Constantine Campbell’s Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People. I was not disappointed. In general, Constantine argues for a strategy which involves some memorization and and habitual reading of the text. Constantine’s strategy is simple but not easy, it will require diligence to practice the advice set forth in the book. That being said, the book is more encouragement than admonition. This is a better course to take since many language students already wrestle with a bit of self-loathing and guilt for not being more conscientious in keeping up their Greek. Another positive feature of the book is its brevity. Readers will not spend so much time in the book that they have no time for the Greek text. I also liked the fact that the book addresses the numerous resources available to today’s reader. Constantine acknowledges the value of these resources on the one hand, and yet cautions against an over-reliance on another. One final advantage is the price, at $9.99 the book is easily within reach of most readers.
Thanks to the folks at Zondervan for the review copy.