We finished Greek 3 this year by reading Revelation 21. Last year we read Acts 27, which was fitting because some would call it the most difficult Greek in the New Testament. Revelation 21 was nice, however, because the vocab is more familiar. It’s a beautiful picture of the “last day” on the last day of class.
Several aspects of Revelation 21 reminded me of passages from the beginning of the book.
- There is another appearance of τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὤ, the Alpha and the Omega (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
- The description of Jerusalem in chapter 21 reminds me of the description of Jesus in chapter 1. Both are bright and shining and full of glory, and both are characterized by precious metals and stones.
- Jesus is associated with living or rushing water in both chapters. In chapter 1, it’s his voice that sounds like rushing water (ὑδάτων πολλῶν), and in chapter 21, he says he will freely give living water to those who thirst (21:6).
- John is ἐν πνεύματι in Rev 1:10, 4:2, 17:3, 21:10.
- The apostles are mentioned (Rev 2:2; 18:20; 21:14).
- Several precious stones and metals are mentioned in the first few chapters and are a significant portion of chapter 21 — for example, ἴασπις and σάρδιον (Rev 4:3; 21:11).
Thoughts After Four Years
This class is a highlight of every week, but I’m not sure I’ve figure out the best way to do it. It is an elective that meets only once a week for 45 minutes to an hour. This hour is likely the only time throughout the week that students look at Greek. To me this is understandable in light of how much math and Latin homework they have. I’ve tried giving quizzes every week, but this makes shorter the already short hour we have to read. I also don’t think the quizzes helped very much.
My plan this year has been to improve the 9th grade Greek 3 class by requiring more of the 7th-8th grade Greek 1 and 2 classes. If I can help them to better internalize the basics, the hope is that they will will enter 9th grade better able to read and parse, even after the three month knowledge leak called summer.
I spent the last five minutes of the Greek 2 classes encouraging the students to purchase a reader’s Bible as soon as possible. If they read a couple verses a day over the summer, I think they will retain most of what they learned over the past two years. It would be nice if we required Greek 2 students to purchase a reader’s Bible at the beginning of the year. There are good online resources, but they are far less likely to use those than a physical book.
Another year in the books. I’m looking forward to next year, but I think we are all tired and ready for a break.