I want to thank Master Books for providing me with a copy of It’s Not Greek to Me in return for my honest review.
Trying to learn Greek along with your kids with a basic curriculum straight out of the box is a little like trying to drive from Portland to Yellowstone while just receiving verbal directions in 25-mile stints. It’s a challenge, friends. And you are likely to feel really lost for, oh, the first six months or so. Maybe a year.
Who am I kidding? You’re lost for a long time. But…….
You’re going to be so excited! I found the Greek road map!
It’s Not Greek to Me by Todd Friel (Master Books) is the overview your family needs to begin learning Koine Greek. In fact, if you’re hoping to enable your children to read and understand Greek (rather than translate and interpret Greek), this may just be just the tool you need to allow your family to grasp the basics of the Greek language. Plus, Todd Friel is funny. My children watched the first three lessons with me and they’re still laughing about them!
Here’s what you’re not going to learn from It’s Not Greek to Me:
You will not learn…
- to translate or interpret Greek.
- to memorize vocab.
- declensions and cases for specific verbs and nouns.
Here’s what Todd Friel promises you will learn:
You will learn…
- to read Greek – and you’ll be able to read the Greek New Testament.
- how to speak the Greek language.
- how Greek works.
- how to use the Greek dictionary part of a concordance and a lexicon.
- to improve your English grammar.
- to recognize Greek roots in English words.
- to check the original Greek Scriptures to discern true and false doctrine. (i.e. What were the authors actually saying?)
- to get more out of Bible commentaries
- to understand Greek references in sermons better.
- to identify God’s sovereign hand in the timing of the history of the New Testament. (Koine Greek vs. Classical Greek)
- to love Jesus better.
Those are some hefty promises, right?
What Mr. Friel does is give you an overview of the Greek language, teach you how the language is structured, and explain how to use the basic tools to navigate learning and studying using Greek. He teaches students how to learn Greek and gives them a decent base.
Honestly, I think it’s brilliant. It’s a lot like teaching someone driving from Portland to Yellowstone how to read a map, teaching them to navigate, providing a compass and a map, then sending them on their merry way. If you want your kids to have a rudimentary understanding of Koine Greek, this is the place to get it. If you want them to study further, start here.
I say this three years into our (very slow) Greek journey. We’re taking 6 months off our regularly-scheduled curriculum to use It’s Not Greek to Me, and I’m certain we’ll walk away with a clearer understanding of what we’re studying.
I highly suggest that you purchase Master Books’ Intro to Biblical Greek Lesson Planner to go along with the DVD. At 132 pages, it includes a weekly lesson schedule, student worksheets, quizzes and tests, and an answer key. By using the lesson planner (and Master Books’ lesson planners are very organized and well done), the It’s Not Greek To Me DVD becomes a semester language course for 7th – 12th grade, earning a 1/2 credit in language for high school. The lesson planner is consumable, so you’ll want one for each child.
Todd Friel also recommends purchasing an Interlinear Version of the Bible, such as this one: The New Greek-English Interlinear NT (Personal Size) This makes sense because it will be helpful to practice with.
In nearly every section, Mr. Friel walks through reading sections of Scripture and explains the importance of the Greek wording. I always want specifics on what we’ll be learning in a language course, so in addition to Scripture in Koine and the practicle application of the Greek, here’s what’s covered in the ten lessons of It’s Not Greek to Me:
- The basics of what you will and won’t learn in the course and a healthy dose of encouragement.
- The alphabet, as well as regular and irregular diphthongs.
- Punctuation, Greek marks for breathing and emphasis, the rules of syllabification.
- A primer of English grammar.
- Greek nouns and cases.
- The nominative, genitive, and vocative cases.
- The dative and accusative cases.
- Verbs conjugations and prefixes.
- Verb tenses.
- How to apply new skills language skills to reading the Scriptures.
I highly recommend beginning your family journey in Greek with It’s Not Greek to Me from Master Books. Just for fun, here’s a little preview. I’ll post about some additional Koine Greek resources on Friday.
You can purchase It’s Not Greek to Me at:
New Leaf Press:
More Greek Resources and Reviews at Thinking Kids
More Resources for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- Jonathan Park Adventure Audiobooks by Pat Roy
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- 44 Animals of the Bible by Nancy Pelander Johnson
- Growing Up God’s Way for Girls by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
- Growing Up God’s Way for Boys by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.