‘Daily Dose of Greek’ provides a refresher for pastors, former students
As a New Testament professor, Robert L. Plummer is concerned that his former students are apostatizing. But he says graduates from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are not turning from their faith, but turning from their Greek.
Plummer, professor of New Testament interpretation and the chair of the New Testament department at Southern Seminary, has taught introductory Greek courses for 15 years. After watching students invest so much time into learning Greek only to see their skills wilt from disuse, Plummer resolved to fight back against linguistic atrophy.
Realizing he may have a couple decades left of seminary teaching, he wanted to think of ways to buck this trend, and came up with a web project called “Daily Dose of Greek.”
“I asked myself what I really wanted to accomplish and in what ways God has gifted me,” Plummer said. “I feel like God has gifted me with a love and ability to teach Greek, but one frustration I have is the erosion of many students' Greek abilities after they graduate.”
While taping a new series of lectures for the online version of his Elementary Greek course, Plummer grew interested in the tablet technology he was using and realized he could use it to release daily Greek screencasts. Plummer discussed the idea with the Greek students in the A.T. Robertson Club he leads and enlisted the technical help of a few members to develop the website.
In addition to 25 free video lectures from his Elementary Greek course, the website features two-minute videos which are emailed to subscribers across the world. In each video, Plummer reads and translates a verse from the Greek New Testament, then offers basic syntactical insights. He is currently working through 1 John.
Plummer said it’s easy for students to let their Greek skills slip away once class requirements, peer encouragement, and professorial guidance are removed. Other legitimate needs occupy the pastor’s time, often keeping him from paying careful attention to the Greek text during sermon preparation, he noted. “Daily Dose of Greek” is Plummer’s effort at a time-efficient way of helping seminary graduates keep their Greek tools sharp.
“The website is part of my ongoing life work to leave behind a vast spiritual army of men and women knowledgeable in and zealous for the word of God,” he said.
The website has garnered significant attention since it launched Oct. 1, with over 3,000 subscribers, 16 percent of whom live overseas. Plummer has received numerous testimonials from former students and current pastors, thanking him for investing in the website. Users from 75 different countries have visited the site, and Plummer has received notes from readers in Germany, China, Australia, Russia, England, Scotland and others.
“My prayer is that this website is a ministry,” Plummer said in his introductory video on the site. “That it will enable [students] to not only retain [their] Greek, but to grow in it such that [they’re] able to faithfully study and teach and love God’s Word to his glory.”
“Daily Dose of Greek” can be found at www.dailydoseofgreek.com.