- R-1 is elementary proficiency. Anyone can achieve this goal – which involves a knowledge of the Greek alphabet and a very basic understanding of some of the language aids available today.
- R-2 is limited working proficiency. At this stage you can read uncomplicated but authentic prose in Greek that contains common words and basic sentence patterns. You will still rely heavily upon on dictionary.
- R-3 is professional proficiency. Here you can grasp the essentials of standard but uncomplicated prose without the use of a dictionary.
- R-4 is full proficiency. At this final stage, you can read anything written in the foreign language without a dictionary. A very large vocabulary is the key that unlocks the door to this level.
A Few Thoughts:
R-1 is basically what a lot of pastors and Bible study leaders do. It is to learn enough to conduct word studies and use computer programs. As one friend once told me, it is learning enough Greek to "be dangerous". I would discourage anyone from pursuing this type of study. This kind of study boils down to using a concordance and/or a computer program. Most exegetical fallacies stem from people who really do not know or grasp the language, but rather pick up enough to "be dangerous" and make claims about Greek which are often incorrect. For more on this, please this post: Exegetical Fallacies
R-2 is the stage where most students are who have had at least one year of Greek, or completed an introductory Grammar book such as those from Bill Mounce or Dave Black. This is a good place to be, but by no means a place to rest and become content.
R-3 is, according to Dave Black, the place where many seminary and Bible college professors are. At this stage one may read the GNT daily in a devotional way, but still comes across the occasional word or phrase that must be looked up. This is attainable after 2-3 years of study, if the student is diligent and consistent.
R-4 should be the goal for all Greek students. It will take much dedication, consistency, and time to reach this place, but it is possible. I would say about 5+ years for the serious, devoted student. The thing which really seperates R-3 from R-4 is vocabulary. The only way to bridge the gap is daily reading.
So what are your goals? Where are you at right now? Right now I am trying to move on from R-2 to R-3. The only thing hindering me is myself, the lack of discipline and consistency.