Sooner or later in a Christian's sanctification, the desire to understand the original language of the Bible will at least pass through the mind. If you are anything like me, a junior grade codger who's last study of a second language was sophomore Latin class 49 years ago, it's an intimidating thought. I've heard for years now how rich and enlightening the Greek language of the New Testament is, and how difficult it is to translate it into pedestrian English when there is no word-for-word equivalence, but my desire for such enlightenment never overcame my sloth.
Dr. J.D. "Doc" Watson, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Meeker, Colorado, has solved my problem. That's "JD," in the literary tradition of Salinger, MacDonald and Wetterling.... His daily devotional is entitled, A Word for the Day, published by AMG Publishers. One new foreign language word a day is just the right pace for a three score and three-year-old mind. Doc has done a wonderful job explaining each word with scripture support and historical linguistic background in a single page per word per day. But you won't get the full effect unless you begin each reading by going to Crosswalk's New Testament Greek Lexicon "based on Thayer's and Smith's Bible Dictionary plus others," plugging in the Strong's number that Doc provides, and listening to it spoken correctly. As I replay the audio of the Greek word, I envision myself as a small boy sitting on the end of the dock beside a wizened old Greek fisherman as he repeats the words for me, complete with just the right degree of roll on the "r's." And I realize that most of the preachers I have heard doing Greek work studies as part of their sermon mangle the pronunciation. For example, when a true Greek pronounces Abba (Mark 14:36 et al), the accent is on the second syllable, not the first, and the modern idiom translation--"daddy"--is a bit hyperbolic. Hearing Greek spoken by a Greek is also an excellent memory device. I write Crosswalk's phonetic spelling of the word under Doc's title word on the page as a further aid to memory. Of course you could, without buying the book, just read the Greek definitions at Crosswalk, but the words will not come alive and become memorable--and God's amazing grace will not shine--the way they do with Doc's word study and application for practical living. I'm just loving this devotional.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have an endorsement in Doc's book, as if that is worth anything. It was solicited, but this review was not.
Little is lost by starting anywhere in the book. As the back cover says, "These brief devotionals will enrich the mind, stir the soul, and empower the life of God's people." Taste and see if you don't deepen your understanding of how blessed you are to be a kainos anthropos (2537, 444).