Briercrest College and Seminary is offering students an in-depth 15-week study of biblical Greek, a process that would normally take years to learn.
Thirty students have already embarked on this program, which is the only one of its kind in North America, according to a news release. The semester will be made up of five modules that give students an intensive and immersive approach to biblical Greek. Normally, five language courses would take nearly three years to complete. These courses will each take three weeks.
Biblical language scholars David Miller and Wes Olmstead, both long-time professors at Briercrest, are leading the initiative. Both are convinced this approach will open the door to a lifelong knowledge of Greek.
The shift is from learning about the language to learning the language itself, the news release said. This means hearing and speaking biblical Greek in order to read and internalize it.
To teach in this way, Miller and Olmstead are combining the latest research in biblical languages with materials they have developed themselves.
“Our goal is to be able to read the New Testament and the Septuagint fluently, but in order to do that, we play all kinds of games and speak to each other and listen to each other and all sorts of things,” Olmstead said in the news release.
Although it will look like other immersive language programs, this semester will be different in that it is concentrated into four months of daily study. Students will have class all morning and tutorials in the afternoon, where they’ll do activities like a scavenger hunt with clues written in Greek.
The ultimate aim, said Miller, is to “help students internalize the language deeply enough to be able to develop a life-long practice of reading the New Testament in Greek.”
Briercrest Greek students have gone on to further studies at institutions like Duke University, Cambridge University, and Briercrest Seminary.