I've decided that I'm going to teach myself New Testament Greek. I've gotten two books from the library, one by Mounce and the other by Macnair, to see which one I like better before I buy one.
I decided this after a few Sunday School classes where the Reverends teaching the class discuss how the meaning of Bible passages change based on what is and isn't translated, or is translated in certain ways.
The other thing I'm in the process of doing is reading passages with a commentary open. As well as trying to get a grasp on the history of the times and the geography. Macnair gives a "starters kit" for references as well as a bigger list of books to consider as one progresses.
It feels daunting but at the same time very exciting. I've just gotten tired of feeling like I'm only getting half the story or in many ways half the meaning. And I've gotten tired of having to depend on someone else to provide the context for passages.
I worry that I am running the risk of removing myself from community (learning and growing within a group). That I'm putting myself back in my head...I suppose I should ask my Pastor about mentors or Spiritual Directors...and I suppose I haven't because then I feel like I can't do this at my own pace. And if this makes sense...I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a race. Breathe, I'll get there - the desire to know won't go away.
So I've narrowed my "tugs" (or consistently loudest inner naggings) down to spiritual study and photography, which has helped immensely. I don't feel quite so inwardly disjointed and disorganized. I was struggling with trying to do a great many time consuming tasks, like writing (this need is sated here in my world of blog), and drawing which I enjoy but I am self teaching which a very slow process.
My first Macnair lessons where learning the Greek alphabet by "translating" Greek letters into English words like God, psalms, bag, well you get the point. Macnair suggests going through his book quickly twice, and not worrying about mastering everything at once - it'll come, then go through it more slowly the third time. I like that style. I haven't cracked open Mounce yet so I can't speak to his approach.