Biblical Hebrew and Greek lessons online or in Woking, Surrey, UK

I am pleased to offer lessons in New Testament Greek or Old Testament Hebrew by Zoom or Whatsapp. I learned these langauages because of my love for the Bible.

I am happy to tailor what I do to your requirements. Absolute beginners welcome. Also Biblical studies in general.

Personally I wanted to study both Biblical languages, and when I finally knew I was going to Theological College, I made a good start on Greek in the previous six months with a clergyman who lived at Carshalton Beeches. This meant I was able to start Hebrew when I arrived at college, rather than having to wait a year - they would not have been keen for me to start both languages at once. You can read the story in my book What's the Difference between D and R? My journey into Biblical Hebrew and get an idea of the challenge of learning Greek or Hebrew.

I studied the London BD at Trinity College Bristol in 1981-4, gaining first prize in the Preliminary Exams in 1982. I went on to do a PhD in Old Testament: "The Significance of Rootplay, Leading Words and Thematic Links in the Book of Judges," CNAA, 1989. This looked at literary subtlety in the Hebrew text. See here.

I was a member of David Hill's Guildford Diocesan Greek group for many years. When lockdown came, the group almost died, but we now meet online instead of in person on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 1300 to translate a chapter of the NT. (New members welcome: please enquire).

I live 300 yards from Woking station, and we have forecourt parking, if you come here, or I could come to you provided we both do a Covid test on the day. Online for the time being. You can find out more about me from my website, with details of how to contact me. Thank you for your interest. David Pennant


I use to source books and buy second hand, to save money. I prefer a printed copy to working with a screen myself. See foot of page for online resources.

The Greek New Testament, K Aland and co. eds., United Bible Societies. ISBN 978-3-438-05116-5. This is the latest edition, number five, but frankly edition four or three will do you just as well as a beginner.

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia for the Hebrew Old Testament.

The tutors I used myself and would prefer to use with beginners are Greek, J.W. Wenham, The Elements of New Testament Greek, CUP and Hebrew, J Weingreen, A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew, Clarendon Press, Oxford. I have found the most helpful books for translating the biblical languages to be Greek, A Reader's Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, Sakae Kubo, T & T Clark and Hebrew, Index to Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, compiled by Bruce Einspahr, Bagster, London, ISBN 0-85150-165-6 ideally in conjunction with thr Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the OT.

I also like the Wigram concordances of OT and NT (see picture) because they list the words under their use in the original language and are easy to use. Keep an eye on Ebay and Amazon and Abebooks and elsewhere for cheap copies.

I find the ancient manuscripts fascinating. For a glimpse of a papyrus of the oldest fragment of St Matthew's Gospel, click here. The story of this manuscript, and of another fragment not much bigger than a postage stamp found in Qum Ran cave five which might be a tiny bit of Mark Chapter six verse 53, read The Jesus Papyrus by Carsten Peter Thiede and Matthew D' Ancona. No specialist knowledge required. So interesting. I also like Encountering New Testament Manuscripts by Jack Finnegan. Pleanty of pleasing illustrations.

I am also trying to learn Arabic, which I find heavy going. I have been through the grammar opposite five or six times, a book described as very difficult by my friend from Cairo, so that's good to know! I also wanted to refresh my schoolboy Latin, and bought a copy of Kennedy's Latin Primer, which is the book I used then. I am surprised how much I can remember, sufficient to be able to read the Christmas story in Matthew chapter two in Jerome's Latin Vulgate version. Fun!

For online resources, try Daily Dose of Greek and Daily Dose of Hebrew.

Step Bible and also Tyndale House in Cambridge.

People also talk aboutthe Blue Letter Bible with enthusiasm.

I like which is a free app with the Bible in many languages, including Hebrew and Greek. Great.

Please get in touch and ask me any questions. Thank you

David Pennant, Woking, UK