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Greek | Russian | Arabic

St. Raphael offers biblical Greek, Arabic, and contemporary Russian courses for beginning and continuing students. Studying Greek trains children in the art of grammar universal to all language, as well as giving them access to the New Testament and Septuagint, Byzantine hymnography, and Patristic writings in the original tongue. Russian opens possibilities for students to engage more deeply with the Slavic roots of many Orthodox churches. We’re excited to add Arabic as the most recent addition to the St. Raphael School language program.

LS Greek Alphabet & Grammar Primer

LS Greek Reading & Literature

MS Greek 1

MS Greek 2

US Greek 2 Intermediate

Greek Curriculum Map

MS Greek 3

New Testament Greek 1 for Adults

US Greek 1 for Beginners

New Testament Greek 2 for Adults

Russian Primer: Alphabet and Songs

Russian Primer: Reading and Grammar

US Russian 1

US Russian 2

US Russian 3

Russian Curriculum Map

US Arabic 2

More About Greek and Russian at SRS

Greek at SRS

Why study Greek at St. Raphael School?


Learning to read the New Testament and Septuagint as they were originally written is a cornerstone of a Christian liberal arts education (and a great foundation for later study of pre-Christian Greek classics). Moreover, for Orthodox Christians interested in serious study of theology, church history, iconography, or Byzantine chanting, Greek is a must. Biblical Greek is simpler than Attic or Homeric Greek, making it appropriate for younger learners. And the immediate relevance of Greek class to the students’ lives is clear when they learn to sing familiar hymns or say well-known prayers in Greek.

Our immersion in the prayers and hymns for the feasts brings us into the rhythm of the liturgical year. This inductive approach nourishes our souls, as well as providing inspiration and context for the labors of the deductive approach found in the grammar curriculum. To give just one example, the Lord’s Prayer in Greek contains an instance of three out of the four cases of the first-person plural pronoun: Our Father (genitive/possessive), give to us our daily bread (dative/indirect object), and deliver us from evil (accusative/direct object). Our textbook instructs us in the usage of these pronouns, and we memorize the paradigm that lists them in Greek, but learning the prayer as well gives us context.


Which pronunciation do you use?
Saint Raphael’s School teaches what is often called “Koine Greek.” It is the dialect of Greek which was spoken throughout the Eastern Mediterranean following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BC and persisted throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods and eventually evolved into the Modern Greek language which is currently spoken in Greece today. Koine Greek is the dialect of Greek with which the New Testament was written (which is why is Koine Greek is often called “New Testament Greek”).
Along with the New Testament, the various services of The Eastern Church, hymns, prayers, and saints’ lives were also composed in Koine Greek. At Saint Raphael’s School, Koine Greek is taught using the “Modern” or “Received” pronunciation. This pronunciation is identical to that used by speakers of the Modern Greek language today, and it is also the pronunciation currently used for the liturgies and services of the Orthodox Church of Greece, and most of the Orthodox Churches under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch, including The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOARCH).
Russian at SRS

Why Study Russian at St. Raphael School?

Russian at St. Raphael School is offered as a living, contemporary language that provides access to the history, culture, and faith of millions of people in the Russian speaking world. Our courses focus on building proficiency in written and spoken contemporary Russian as well as learning prayers of the Orthodox Church in traditional Church Slavonic.
As part of a classical education, Russian affords many of the same benefits of studying Latin or Greek in that Russian is an inflectional language with dynamic nominal (nouns) and pronominal (pronouns) endings for six grammatical cases in the modern language and a seventh in Church Slavonic. As students master the grammar of Russian, they also become more proficient in the grammar of English, building literacy and writing skills along the journey. Learning the Russian verbal system also presents unique challenges as students encounter grammatical aspect (which is unique to Slavic languages) and a system of reflexive verbs that has some parallels to some Romance and Germanic languages. Students frequently enjoy comparing the lexicon and syntax of Russian to other languages they have encountered, but no prior knowledge of other languages is required.
In addition to lively lessons involving grammar, conversation, music, and games, our classes begin and end with prayer, as we learn prayers from the Orthodox tradition in the language in which they are used in the Orthodox Church in Russia – Church Slavonic. While this historical language differs from modern Russian in several ways, much of it is easily comprehensible even to beginning students of Russian. As we learn central prayers of the tradition – the Our Father, It is Truly Meet to Bless You, the Nicene Creed, Paschal hymns, and more, we enter into the daily prayer tradition of millions of people across Orthodox countries in the Slavic tradition.
Students may begin study of Russian in lower school and progress through two primer levels, then continuing in Upper School to Russian 1, 2, and 3. Students may also begin with Russian 1 in Upper School as a complete course of study. Students who want to move beyond Russian 3 may take Russian Reading Lab in which they work collaboratively on a translation project of a modern text from the Orthodox tradition for possible publication.


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