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Greek for Life

Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek

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Learning Greek is one thing. Retaining it and using it in preaching, teaching, and ministry is another. In this volume, two master teachers with nearly forty years of combined teaching experience inspire readers to learn, retain, and use Greek for ministry, setting them on a lifelong journey of reading and loving the Greek New Testament.

Designed to accompany a beginning or intermediate Greek grammar, this book offers practical guidance, inspiration, and motivation; presents methods not usually covered in other textbooks; and surveys helpful resources for recovering Greek after a long period of disuse. It also includes devotional thoughts from the Greek New Testament. The book will benefit anyone who is taking (or has taken) a year of New Testament Greek.

Foreword, by William D. Mounce
1. Keep the End in Sight
2. Go to the Ant, You Sluggard
3. Review, Review, Review
4. Use Your Memory Effectively
5. Use Greek Daily
6. Use Resources Wisely
7. Don't Waste Your Breaks
8. How to Get It Back
Sources of Featured Quotations


"Merkle and Plummer have written a charming and immensely practical book on how to retain and even regain knowledge of Greek. I am thrilled to recommend this book, which so effectively instructs and motivates us to continue studying the Greek New Testament."

Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Clearheaded, relevant, and oh so timely! Merkle and Plummer provide a compelling case for Greek and a surefooted guide to retaining it. Greek for Life has the potential to pull us back from the brink and to silence those who suggest, either explicitly or implicitly, that the rules have changed and that the study of the Greek New Testament is passé. It is not time to give away the game, and Merkle and Plummer show us why and how to persevere."

Jay E. Smith, department chair and professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"Merkle and Plummer have produced a very practical and useful book for beginning and returning students of Greek. Learning and retaining the language can be an intimidating prospect, but they show us that being lifelong students--even when we are convinced that we do not have the time--is important, rewarding, and definitely doable. By providing constructive tips, encouraging words, and examples of how knowing Greek makes a difference in our understanding of the Word, these experienced teachers make their case that every student can learn the language and apply it profitably in life and ministry."

Michelle Lee-Barnewall, associate professor of biblical and theological studies, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

The Authors

  1. Benjamin L. Merkle
    Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Benjamin L. Merkle

    Benjamin L. Merkle (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Dr. M. O. Owens Jr. Chair of New Testament Studies and research professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North...

    Continue reading about Benjamin L. Merkle

  2. Robert L. Plummer

    Robert L. Plummer

    Robert L. Plummer (PhD, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Collin and Evelyn Aikman Professor of Biblical Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the coauthor, with Benjamin L. Merkle and Andreas J....

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"This resource is not a grammar or Greek textbook but an extended exhortation about the motivation to keep up one's knowledge [of New Testament Greek], and practical advice on the time management necessary to attend to language study in the midst of a busy life. Woven throughout the work are encouragements in the form of biblical quotations and anecdotes about people who have used various methods to retain or revive their knowledge of Greek."

Donald Senior, CP,

The Bible Today

"This book is a practical guide for all people with varying levels of Greek knowledge from the beginner to the scholar. . . . This book has eight chapters and is a joy to read; once you begin, you will not want to put it down. Each chapter is equipped with just the right amount of inspiration and motivation to learn, retain, or revive your Greek; with helpful sections that accommodate most chapters that provide necessary resources to assist your own knowledge and understanding of Greek; and a devotional reflection from the Greek NT. . . . As a professor of Greek for the past seventeen years, I can honestly say that this book is an excellent resource for those passionate about the Greek NT. If you are in a position (pastor, teacher, missionary, etc.) to use Greek, this book must be on your shelf. The practical, easy-to-use, and experienced advice from these seasoned authors will be the encouragement that you need at just the right time."

Wayne Slusser,

Journal of Ministry and Theology

"[This book] is written for four classes of people: Greek students, Greek teachers, church leaders who use (or should use) Greek in their teaching and preaching, and anyone who is 'a lost Greek lamb who has wandered from the fold.' Using sidebars, this book slots in dozens of inspiring testimonies from people who have studied Greek and found it invaluable. It offers dozens of practical tips for improving, retaining, or retrieving command of the Greek New Testament. . . . In ministry, it is easy to lose a sense of joy and to be overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness. The world seems to have lost its mind, the church in the West seems to be on the ropes, and traditional ministry measures seem ineffective. In recent generations, the response has too often been to shuck tradition in favor of the novel, the immediately enjoyable, and the socially acceptable. A better move would be to rediscover for ourselves what sustained those who were great in the Lord before us. Greek for Life points us in the right direction."

Robert W. Yarbrough,


"Undoubtedly one of the most practically useful and pedagogically engaging resources for students of the Greek New Testament in a number of years. Merkle and Plummer are informative, witty, and knowledgeable--with nearly forty years of combined teaching experience--and readers will benefit immensely as they engage the helpful tips provided in this volume. . . . One of the most effective aspects of this book, and certainly the most encouraging is how it views New Testament Greek within the overall scope of life and ministry. . . . This is a book that provides both teachers and students something to look forward to engaging, and the spiritual benefit overflows as an added reward. . . . I couldn't recommend it more strongly!"

John Kight,

Sojo Theo blog