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Biblical and Liturgical Greek (Koine)


Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of the Scriptures by engaging with the Greek language of the Bible? Are you also interested in reading and understanding some of the Church’s most important prayers in their original Greek form? Then this course is for you. In an environment grounded in collaboration, sharing of learning, and reflection you will be introduced to the basics of biblical and liturgical Greek. You will learn to read biblical and liturgical texts with the ecclesiastical pronunciation used in the Orthodox churches today. You will receive an orientation in basic Greek grammar in order to be able to understand simpler sentences from the Bible and the prayers of the Church. The course consists of both lessons with a fixed structure and freer sessions which offer plenty of opportunities for the participants to influence the content. The course is suitable for beginners in Greek as well as those who may have studied New Testament Greek before and want to refresh their knowledge while gaining insight into Greek as a living liturgical language.


Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • confidently read and write the Greek alphabet
  • confidently read biblical and liturgical texts with the ecclesiastical pronunciation
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of Greek grammar
  • together with others and independently, analyze, understand, and translate authentic biblical texts and prayers of the Church
  • reflect upon and discuss the function of grammar in Greek texts
  • engage meaningfully with the biblical text through reflection and discussion of linguistic and theological interpretations of the text


For year 2
The learning outcomes are the same, but year 2 students work with other Greek texts. The course material includes excerpts from the Septuagint, liturgical material, as well as early patristic Greek texts such as the Apostolic Fathers and the Apophthegmata Patrum.



Students are expected to participate in all course activities, both by being present and playing an active role in scheduled course sessions, and by completing assignments to be done outside of scheduled lessons. If participants miss lessons, they may be required to do extra assignments in order to fulfill the participation requirements of the course. 80% attendance and participation (including completion of assignments) are required for the course to be considered to have been completed.

Course material:
Smith, R. H. & Fullmer, P. (2004)  Read Greek by Friday: A Beginning Grammar and Exercises  Wipf & Stock

Smith, R. H. & Fullmer, P. (2005) Read Greek by Friday: The Gospel of John and 1 John with aids for translating  Wipf & Stock

Trenchard W. C. (2008). A Concise Dictionary of New Testament Greek. Cambridge University Press. (Or an equivalent dictionary.)

Selected liturgical texts plus other texts which will be provided by the teacher

Application forms available in:

Quick Facts

Length: 1–2 years

Study Pace: Part time (50%)

Type of Instruction: Distance learning
Language of Instruction: English or Swedish depending on the group

Level: Seminary

Organizer: Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola

In addition to the requirements stated in the course description, all participants need to be at least 18 year old, be officially registered in Sweden and have a sufficient knowledge of the language of instruction.

Fees: Tuition at Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola is free for everyone who is registered (“folkbokförda”) in Sweden.

Service Fees at Sankt Ignatios Folkhögskola
Students are required to pay a service fee. The service fee for this course is SEK 400 per semester.