My daughter is a biology major and will be a junior in college this fall. She just gave me the list of books she needs for class, and as usual, I was stunned. She gave me the titles and links for finding the cheapest prices for each book, prices that are for used books. Here are the basic textbooks:
Cell Biology: 2 books; $116 and $46
Biomedical Ethics: 2 books; $ 89 and $60
Physics: 1 book; $164
Literature: 2 books; $75 and $ 9
Total cost for 4 courses (14 credits) for USED textbooks in an undergraduate program: $557.00.
The total for all books on the list she’ll have to read: $703.25. I cringe to think of paying list price.
If a student takes 3 years of Greek, the most expensive book they are likely to buy is BDAG at around $125.00, but they can use the resource for all of their Greek classes and for years in ministry. Fortunately, unlike college textbooks, they don’t publish new editions of it every year! My point is that learning Greek is cheap. My daughter has 14 credits of class which is about the same amount of credits required for most good Greek programs. If you buy Mounce for first year elements including the workbook, a Koine Greek Reader from Decker, a hefty grammar like Wallace’s, and even throw in a few weighty exegetical commentaries like Kostenberger on John, Hoehner on Ephesians, and Moo on Romans, you are only talking about 350 bucks including BDAG. I know, there are books on textual criticism to buy, a commentary library to build, multi volume theological dictionaries enticing us, and so forth. But buying the basic tools for course work in New Testament Greek is relatively inexpensive, when compared to other disciplines. My daughter is considering medical school! Those of you who studied engineering know very well how expensive textbooks can be. So if you are considering studying Greek, be encouraged: learning Greek is cheap, relatively speaking.