Petra Nott asks:
I am interested in learning Greek for the specific purpose of gaining a better ability to study the Bible. My question is this: If I were to study modern Greek, would that be at all helpful to my purpose? Would it be a logical place to start? I appreciate any opinion you are willing to share.
If you already knew modern Greek, that would be a tremendous advantage in learning the language of the New Testament. All of the dialects or epochs belong to one and the same language, so that knowing the form of one dialect or period is extremely helpful in learning any other dialect.
This would be true only in case that you already knew modern Greek or any other dialect. If you don’t, why should you not start directly from the specific dialect you are interested in?
You can use the pronunciation of modern Greek, which starts already in the classical era, i.e. even before the Koine, the dialect of the New Testament, and then go on directly to the grammar and syntax of the New Testament language.
After you learn the Koine, it is equally easy / equally difficult to learn Homeric Greek or Modern Greek. If you were interested in Greek language in general, I would recommend that you started from Homer, but if you are after the New Testament in particular, then start from the New Testament.