Douglas S. Huffman, The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming (Grand Rapids: Kregal Publications, 2012). (kregal.com)
I received a copy of this book for review courtesy of Kregal Academic. When I saw that it was made available for review I requested it because I remember when I was learning Greek I wished that I could find something more, well, “handy”. My textbook had all the necessary grammar, but it had too many pages to make it convenient for transport. Often, all I wanted was to have my paradigm charts available without all the commentary. This little book provides exactly that.
Part 1: Greek Grammar Reminder includes charts on everything from the alphabet, to declensions, pronouns and adjectives. Part 2: Greek Syntax Summaries reintroduces cases, article usage, and verb usage. Part 3: Phrase Diagramming would have been invaluable when I was learning Greek since my teacher had us do diagramming quite often.
If you are teaching Greek (Koine) and you want to provide students with something they can take with them to the coffee shop while they practice their translating or diagramming then I recommend adding this to your list of required books. If you are a student of Greek who needs something like this resource I think you will be pleased to find that it does exist.
For those who need a “visual” review, here are some pictures:
As Rodney Thomas mentioned this morning (see Join Us in Reading Isaiah LXX for the New Year starting tomorrow!) there is a large group of us who are joining Abram K-J in reading through the Greek version (LXX) of Isaiah in a year. You can find everything you need to know about it in his post Reading through Greek Isaiah in a year, which includes a reading schedule, a vocabulary list, and a Facebook group to join.
Advent begins tomorrow, which marks the “first day” of the Christian calendar, hence December 2nd is the official start date, though Monday the 3rd is when the schedule begins with 1:1-5. If you are seeking a way to maintain your Greek, or you are interested in the LXX, or you are want to know more about the book that is referenced so often in the Gospels, Acts, and the epistles (especially Romans!), then I recommend joining us. We will be reading a mere five verses a day and it appears that the schedule runs Monday through Friday, so if you fall behind the group it is easy to catch up with everyone! Plus, if you join the Facebook group it will give you a sense of accountability.
Jon Jordan informed me that he is working on an iPad book project intended for beginning students of ancient Greek. He teaches high school classes, so that is the motivation for the work, but it looks like it could be used for a broader audience as well. If you are interested in knowing more about this, and how you can contribute, go here.
Porter, Stanley E., Jeffery T. Reed, and Matthew Brook O’Donnell. Fundamentals of New Testament Greek. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2010.
I have a few friends who are starting to study Koine Greek in seminary this semester. I decided to put together a study group for them in part because I think it will help me develop my skills in the language if I spend some time explaining it and rehashing the terms for myself. The textbook they are using is Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009) by William D. Mounce. I thought it would be good to purchase a different textbook in order to get another perspective so I bought Fundamentals of New Testament Greek by Stanley E. Porter, et al. I’ve heard some good things about it.
What other grammars or resources do you think could be useful for supplementing the learning of this group?
For those who are more gifted in understanding how language works please assist me with these two questions:
(1) Since the question mark (;) would not have been at the end of v. 13 or in the middle of v. 15 until added later for clarification is it possible to read these vv. as a statement rather than a question? In other words, could it say, “Judge for yourselves: it is proper for a woman to pray to God uncovered. Neither does nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him, but if a woman has long hair it is a glory to her”
(2) You may have noticed my second question while reading the first: Why not translate οὐδὲ as “neither” rather than “does not” at the beginning of v. 14?
Your insight is much appreciated in advance!
A few years ago one of my NT professors told me secretly that he did not believe knowing Greek and Hebrew was really all that important for most pastors. He argued most would never achieve the level of expertise required to make an informed decision on the many linguistic difficulties of a text and would rely on commentaries for advice. Furthermore, he argued that there are so many different English translations now original language knowledge is far less important. I disagreed and went on to do Hebrew and Greek.
I have recently been thinking about what this professor of mine said and wondering why we think pastors should know Greek and Hebrew. Is it really that important for preaching? Is it possible to determine from four or five good English translations what might be a faithful understanding of what the text says? Personally I rarely focus any part of my sermon on a word study, so do I need to start with the Greek or Hebrew when preparing a sermon. Am I better served in fact by beginning in my native tongue?
I have my own opinion on this and will share it at a later time. I do think langauges are important for pastors but my reasons maybe different to others. Therefore, I am wondering what you think. Are Greek and Hebrew important for pastors and if so, why? Why did you learn Greek and Hebrew and why did or didn’t you keep it up?
Sigh…I think this will fall on deaf ears but I could not help but give a resounding YES when I watched the clip from Tom Wright. Surely even Jim West and his Sheffield buddies can agree with the Great Bishop on this?!