This is an often-asked question here at Biblearc, and I want to bring some clarity to the question, if not answer it completely for everyone.

That’s because you may want different things from Biblearc. Hebrew and Greek are introductory-level classes to good exegesis for pastors and serious Bible students, so they would be good starting points for some. They are the first courses available in our “Studying with Precision” series. If you want to study the Bible as precisely as possible, you need Hebrew and Greek—but you don’t have to start with them.

Knowing Hebrew and Greek aren’t necessary to learn Phrasing, Arcing, or Bracketing, which are the three courses in our “Putting It Together” series. They are deliberately designed to be taken by people who know English only. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of how to read and study your English Bible, start with one of those three courses!

Paraphrase is perhaps the simplest course, because it requires no knowledge of Arcing or any other Bible study method, and doesn’t delve deeply into grammar like Phrasing does. It is the only course available (for now) in our “Seeing What’s There” series. What you learn in this course will help you paraphrase in Arcing and Bracketing, and will help you teach the Bible better.

The only course I would say should not be your first course is Didactics, since proficiency in Arcing, Bracketing, or Phrasing is a prerequisite for the course. As the only course in our “Declaring it Faithfully” series, Didactics is the capstone for Arcing etc. as well as Paraphrase.

So to summarize, if your big goal is to learn how to study God’s Word more precisely, start with Hebrew or Greek. If you want to learn how to read and interpret God’s Word more accurately, start with Phrasing, Arcing, or Bracketing. One of those three courses is probably the best first course for most people. And if you want to learn how to explain the Bible more understandably, start with Paraphrase, and finish with Didactics.