Greek,and Hebrew, useful in the Seminary?

Hey Guys I an planing to enter the Seminary in the next year or 2 I have been learning new languages online (Spanish, Portuguese) but I was thinking since I was planing on entering the seminary in the next year or so is there perhaps a language that would be useful in my studies.

This website called is where I am learning Spanish and Portuguese. They are building Greek and Hebrew programs. Given the history of the bible would either of these languages be useful in the seminary? They don’t have anything in Latin yet but I suspect they will in the future.



Greek and Hebrew are both quite useful in the seminary, particularly if you’re going to do your graduate theological studies with a concentration in scripture. But I’d bet that what Duolingo offered in terms of those languages isn’t going to be super useful since they’re likely modern Greek and modern Hebrew. The Koine Greek of the New Testament and the Hebrew of the Old are very different from their modern counterparts.


I agree. Some seminaries require at least one of the Biblical languages, but even if they don’t have that requirement, I think that every good clergy needs to be able to work in the original texts. I found that it was extremely helpful to get a head start on my languages, especially given the different alphabets. But then I don’t have a very good head for such learning.

Thanks I know I would have to use resorces outside Duolingo I just thought It could be a good free service to develop some basics before diving into the more difficult historical Language.

Do you think this is wise or should I just go ahead and start learning the historical language.



There are a number of online courses for both.

Happy that you are considering seminary! Did you visit a vocational director yet, or someone else that can help you to know what they require from you? It might be the seminary offers introductory classes in the subjects you miss.
Anyway, going to seminary is also a process where others decide if you can enter at all, or help you to pray to find your vocation or to confirm it in your own heart. I would advise you to contact someone like your parish priest, spiritual director, office of vocations, or even the bishop to help you get a clearer view on the process.

Latin and Greek are both advised, and I think it’s even obligatory. Latin because it’s the language of the liturgy, Greek because it’s the language of the new testament. Hebrew could come in handy also. But if you have no basis at all, I would focus on Latin first. Latin is closer to English and especially if you know Spanish you will find a lot of similar words. Latin grammar seems based on Greek grammar, so if you know how Latin works, Greek will be easier.

Anyway, good luck and Gods blessings!

Some seminaries require Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Well, of course Latin is required. Even if one is not in a seminary, upper level theology studies sometimes require them. I am a PhD candidate in theology and I had to learn Hebrew and Greek for biblical studies. If you already know them great! It would save you some time. I found Rosetta Stone to be great.

Supposedly you can download free software from to learn these languages - and others - but I have never used it and don’t know how good or comprehensive it is.

Good luck and God bless.

Can. 249 The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well and have a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry.

Duolingo is really not going to help you in any way, to be very honest. While it is useful for learning (in a short period of time) how to functionally use a language for travel, it really does not offer any sort of help in regards to the various declensions or conjugations of a language - both of which are immensely important to both Greek and Latin, especially the kind we use for seminary (e.g. Biblical) studies. :o

As for Hebrew… Learning the alephbet (notice my spelling) is really the biggest hurdle. Once you can get past that, the language is much more simplistic than Greek (or, for that matter, English), but you will have to basically forget anything you ever learned about how a language functions or else you’re going to get frustrated easily. :smiley:

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