Mike Burke wrote:
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The only Greek lessons I've had were lessons in Modern Greek given by a Greek Orthodox priest.
(I think the intent was to help English speaking parishioners follow along and understand the liturgy better.)
My goal was to read the New Testament in the Greek text on the right hand side of the Greek/English edition of the New Testament he gave me, and I never quite reached that goal.
To be honest, I never came close, but I'm trying (and, in some ways, it seems easier to start with modern Greek.)
I also find it convenient to use google translate (even with the surprizing results I sometimes get.)
Yassas Mike, Welcome to B-Greek.
I'd caution against starting with modern Greek if your primary aim is to read the GNT. It's almost like setting yourself up to learn two languages. There are some tricky diferences (e.g. how to say "No") I teach koine Greek, and my students have access to the college Language Lab - with Rosetta Stone Modern Greek as one of the languages installed. One semester I let one of the Advanced Greek classes do an hour a week in the Language Lab instead of their ususal "translation and exegesis" - and they all agreed it was "different" - and not easy to make the switch. A bit like asking an American to read Beowulf or Caedmon.
Also, your Greek priest teacher may be reading his GNT with a modern Greek pronunciation (I've know several modern Greeks who do that) - They understand it, but non-Greeks who learned at seminary or college generally pronounce things differently, so it makes communication a bit tricky. I've also had a studnet who decided that she needed some extra tutoring in (koine) Greek - so she went for tutoring to a (modern) Greek-speaking friend who managed to get her even more confused.
So - if you want to read and understand the Greek of the GNT (without the training-wheels or crutch of an Interlinear or Parallel), my advice would be to commit to the discipine of some study each day, read a short passage of the GNT **aloud** in Greek - I often start my students off with "the begats" (Matthew, chapter 1) until it no longer seems strange or scary to speak aloud. "The begats" are easy to understand, even if the names are strange - that's part of pronunciation practice. Then spend some time each day with a textbook, try to start learning the beginning grammar and maybe five new vocabulary words each week, do some of the exercises in your textbook, and ask for help from B-Greekers whenever you have a question.
That should get you into the simpler parts of the GNT within a couple of months.
(If you're not serious about committing to regular study and learning, then it's best to face that decision right now, and choose something else.) But I can tell you, regular reading of the GNT is worth the time and effort.
For a textbook that uses the "reading" approach, you're welcome to try the Online Greek Tesbook
Welcome to B-Greek,