Life Goal Achieved: Learn to Read Greek

So I just realized I'm eating some Easter jelly beans and I'm supposed to be working out soon. Don't judge me!

Ah, sweet summer solace. It's so nice to be free. Free from 8 AM classes, deadlines, expectations, responsibility, paying bills... Okay, so not quite that far. But seriously, it's great to be out of school for a few months. I feel bad for people that take classes year-round, honestly. But more power to 'em - they'll be my boss someday, I'm sure. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the freedom that is summer.

This summer is especially freeing, in my mind. This may have something to do with the fact that over the last three summers I have traveled to Sierra Leone, gotten married to the love of my life, and traveled to Taiwan. Ya know, the usual.

Like I said, though, this summer is going to be nice. I mean, all we're doing is completing our internships, which sounds like a lot bigger deal than it is. I promise. Internships got nothin' on airport security in Taiwan. Those beagles don't play!

Scary stuff, right?

Really, though, the lack of international travel has very little to do with why I'm feeling so relaxed this summer. Actually, the reason I'm feeling so relaxed has almost everything to do with a post that I wrote at the beginning of this school year. You can check it out here. And if you're too lazy to check it out, well... I could take the time to continue writing and avoid actually talking about the post, being rather clever, creative, and ingenious, but I won't, mostly because I am (like you) lazy.

That post was toward the beginning of first semester this school year. We were getting into the nitty-gritty of our Intermediate Readings and Syntax class, and I was feeling it. I mean, I just break a sweat typing the title of the class, let alone even thinking about it. Basically, though, the gist of the class is learning to read Koine Greek.


Koine. Say it with me now.

Pronounced "Koy-nay." 

Definitely not pronounced "Ko-eye-nee." 

Trust me on that one.

Okay, so basically, it just means we were learning to read a dead language: New Testament Greek. No big deal, right? We actually had a teacher in our first year of Greek (this was our second) who thought it would be helpful to learn to speak it. He was wrong. Very, very wrong. The language is dead for a reason, my friend.

Moving right along...

So a handful of students at our school decided to do the impossible and brave another year of Greek. Honestly, you can replicate the fellowship of a Greek class. You go through Hell and back trying to figure out what God is trying to say to people through this very deceased dialect. I mean, honestly, do you know what this means?
μὴ ἀγαπῶν οὐκ ἔγνω τὸν θεόν, ὅτι θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν.

Unless you're my wife or one of the other few brave souls that have survived Greek class, you're probably scratching your head a little. It's nonsense, isn't it? They don't even use English letters! At least Spanish has that going for it!

In all seriousness, though, Greek is a lot of work. However, it is worthwhile. And that is why I made it a life goal to learn to read Koine Greek. It's always been a goal of mine because I figure that if I truly am dedicated to God and to what he's saying to me through the Bible, I need to understand at least one of the languages it was originally written in. And at this point, I would definitely say that I understand Greek.

Do I understand it completely? Heck no, techno. Could I take a Greek New Testament to church and translate it on the spot? Not a chance. Can I speak fluent Koine Greek? Not in a million years. But I do believe that I have a pretty good grasp on the language after intensively studying it for two years.

Is my confidence misplaced? Possibly. But did I achieve my life goal? Heck yes, I did. And if there's any doubters, we'll just say that my final grade in the class was over 100% and leave it at that.

So there you have it! After two years of ridiculously mind-bending, excruciating study, I achieved another life goal. I'm proud, but I'm mostly thankful that God gave me the patience and endurance I needed to survive Greek. And I'm definitely thankful that I don't have to worry about forgetting Greek this summer! Talk about relaxing!

If you're looking for a challenging life goal to add to your Bucket List, consider learning Koine Greek - it ranks right below "learning to fly an aircraft" on degree of difficulty. But I promise it's worth it!
Have you completed any life goals lately? Or are you working on one right now? Would you ever consider learning Greek? Let me hear about it (or anything else that's on your mind!) in a comment, an e-mail (awaller1990@gmail.com), or on the Life Before the Bucket Facebook page!
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