Interested in Learning New Testament Greek?

“Read your Greek New Testament every day.” That is what he said to me.

Tim Cole is well qualified to teach Greek and can do so with an awareness of how that study impacts everyday life. He is not only a Pastor with 34 years experience, but has been deeply committed to serious biblical study since he was a student. He taught Greek for the DTS Tampa extension for 10 years. So he has classroom experience as well. He is an engaging teacher who brings enthusiasm to the task. He will make the text come alive even through a foreign language.
— Darrell L. Bock, Ph.D. Executive Director for Cultural Engagement, Howard G. Hendricks Center for Christian Leadership and Cultural Engagement Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies

In my 3rd year (of the 4-year program) as a Th.M[1]. student at Dallas Theological Seminary, all of the women and men who majored in New Testament Greek in the Th.M. and Ph.D. programs were invited to have supper with F.F. Bruce. Professor Bruce was head of the Ph.D. program at the University of Manchester, England. For the latter half of the 20th century, F.F. Bruce was considered the premier New Testament scholar in the English speaking world. So, as students of New Testament Greek, we were excited to meet him.[2]


Read Your Greek New Testament Every Day

After supper, we were encouraged to ask questions of the esteemed professor. I was prepared. “What do you tell your students,” I asked, “when they graduate from Manchester?” Without so much as a pause, Professor Bruce replied to me, “Read your Greek New Testament every day.” Short, simple, memorable.

That was 34 years ago. With a few exceptions, I have implemented Professor Bruce’s counsel. I read my Greek New Testament every day. I use it to study every day. I use it to preach, teach, disciple, mentor, and lead people every day. I use it every day to meditate and ponder God’s truth.  

Looking back, following Professor Bruce’s simple instruction was one of the wisest and most beneficial moves I ever made. It has been worth the daily effort.


Would You Like to Learn Greek?

Not everyone can just pull up stakes and relocate to a distant graduate school and spend four intensive years learning Greek. That thought can be real intimidating and discouraging for most men and women. There are disheartening barriers that stand in the way.


Barriers to Learning

People have families and jobs to think of.  Others lack a college degree or the grades necessary to pass muster in rigorous graduate school. Still others are unable to meet the financial obligations associated with a geographical move and with graduate school tuition and expensive books. There are other roadblocks such as health, age, current schooling, or simply a lack of confidence. So many barriers.

Yet, many of these same people would love to study Greek at some level. What can they do? The barriers seem so insurmountable and so discouraging. Well, not so fast. I’d like to offer a suggestion and hope.


Many Ways to Learn

There are many ways to learn Greek on your own, either online, or by watching DVDs, or even reading books. If you can do that, great! But the optimal method of learning a language for busy people, in my view, is to have an onsite, experienced teacher who can both teach the rudiments of the language as well as give personal attention to each student.


Learning from an Experienced Teacher

The teacher can cast vision in the mind of the student, encourage the discouraged, motivate the unmotivated, and build hope in the hopeless. A caring teacher can lead students personally through the periods when the mental fog is too thick to see or break through the emotional logjams of fear or the desire to quit.

The teacher can identify with the rocky terrain of studying a language. He/she can sympathize and offer real strategies to overcome the obstacles. He knows. She cares. The teacher has walked those same steep trails and navigated them successfully. He/she can identify with those same struggles.


Learning with a Community

There is nothing like a community, a network of students, who learn, work, and struggle together under a caring and competent teacher. Learning on your own can be lonely and risky. In fact, the risk of failure is high when we attempt to learn a language on our own. But the risks diminish and the chances of success increase when we are led by a real person and learn together with a group of like-minded women and men.


This Might be Your Opportunity

If you’ve thought about learning Greek but were discouraged by the insurmountable roadblocks, this might be the opportunity to realize your dream. If you are a Pastor and need a refresher course, here is your chance to bring those precious language skills back to life. I’ll help you clean the accumulated rust off that tool you learned so long ago.


Invitation, Information

I invite you to join me and others. Women[3] and men from all backgrounds, ages, races, and religions are welcome. Even if you are not a person of faith, you are welcome. No one should be embarrassed or scared to come.  

I love people. I love Greek (and Hebrew[4]). I love Jesus. I love teaching people how to understand Jesus better using the Greek language. So, I hope you’ll consider my invitation. 

Thank you for reading this.
Tim Cole

Grace Bible Church
555 61st Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

First Meeting on Wednesday, May 24th at 7:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall.




[1] Th.M. = Master of Theology, a four-year residential program requiring intensive study of Greek, Hebrew, the entirety of Scripture, concluding with a required thesis. I wrote my NT thesis under Darrel Bock, Ph.D. Years later, I pursued a Doctorate in Old Testament under John Sailhamer, Ph.D. I also did PhD studies in NT Greek at Dallas Seminary in the 2000’s. I have recently completed my PhD dissertation in Luke-Acts (NT Greek) at the University of Chester in England. I am at what is called, “PhD candidate” status, awaiting my viva voce.

[2] If you wish, I can show his signature inside the cover of the Greek New Testament which I use for preaching and teaching.

[3] Some of the best Bible teachers I know are young women who’ve learned how to do inductive Bible study here at GBC. I could listen to them all day long. They are excellent expositors. Women are encouraged to consider learning the Greek language. The church is flooded by DVD’s of women whose Bible studies are “inspirational,” but not expositional or anchored in the Scripture text. The church needs women who are expositional teachers. Sister, why don’t you strive for that goal? We need you. The church needs you.

[4] The language of the Old Testament.