Tag Archive: Koine Greek

Well, now it does 🙂 A few short hours ago, I was not singing that tune (like “Summer breeze, makes me feel fine…”)! Although Greek was intense (half of a textbook in 11 days!), I really enjoyed it, and I think I may have even managed to learn something besides Greek in the past two weeks.

What else have learned besides declensions, conjugations, tenses and Greek vocabulary? I believe I’ve learned more about the importance and value of community and fellowship. This may sound like a given, but I don’t know if I really realized how important it is to struggle and rejoice side by side with others until Summer Greek.

Each day we’ve had a quiz or a test (or multiple quizzes), a few hours of class, homework, chapel and lunch together. We’ve been helping each other not only by working in class together, but also by supporting, encouraging and listening to one another.

When quizzes went poorly, or stress and sleep deprivation became too much for someone, the community has been there to pray with and for the person. When loved ones and friends were on our minds and in our hearts, the community has lifted up their names and concerns together in prayer.

I feel great comfort knowing that others are feeling the same things and struggling with the same doubts and fears that I have. At the same time, spending so much time together, I’ve rejoiced hearing others’ victories and joys, feeling like they are victories and joys in my own life.

I feel this summer session has been a sort of snapshot of 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I’ve really enjoyed learning about and living in this sense of community and I look forward to strengthening these bonds throughout my four years of seminary. In fact, I may just be starting to think that the Summer Greek experience is more of an exercise in teaching us to work and live together in community rather than a class solely about Koine Greek… It’s at least interesting to ponder! In any case, congratulations to all my fellow classmates!

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

LTSG Summer Greek 2009

LTSG Summer Greek 2009


Friday was my first day in Greek class at LTSG (Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg) and, toward the end of the class, while we were learning about verb endings, our professor went over the vocabulary for the upcoming chapter. One of the words was πιστεύω, which means “to believe.” Interestingly enough, it can also be translated as “to faith.”

In English, we simply say “I have faith” and we do not have a verb for “faithing.” Our professor pointed this out, using the example of holding faith in our hands and then dropping it. We all laughed to think of such a silly thing, but as he explained further, the Greeks did not often say “I have faith” but rather used the “I faith” or “I am faithing” form instead. To them, faith was an action – something to be pursued, worked at and continued. It was not seen as something you could have and then drop or lose.

The more I thought about this, the more I liked it. People often talk about losing faith; when you seem to have lost it, it does seem to be very difficult to find again. You find yourself thinking, “how can I get back to that place of comfort and certainty?” I believe the answer lies in actively continuing to pray and continuing to hope and strive for that joy, comfort and peace. As the author of Hebrews 11:1 writes, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The very acts of continuing to pray, to worship, and to hope are the “faithing” – the active verb.

You might not be able to see faith or to grasp it, but you can actively pursue it and participate in it. Perhaps that is why people speak about their “faith journeys.” Faith is not something that you can swing by and pick up at Target or Wal-Mart. It’s something that you wrestle and struggle with, find comfort in, and work at, that it may grow stronger over time. It’s like kindling a fire; you may start with just a match, but if you tend the fire carefully, it will grow stronger and brighter.

© 2009. Annabelle Peake. All rights reserved.

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