If you are a student who has been assigned this textbook, it is our prayer that it will help instill in you a passion for reading the Greek New Testament. After all, what is more exciting than reading the very words that God inspired? Our advice to you at this point is to follow carefully your instructor’s advice. If you are using this book for self-study, start each chapter by watching its brief overview video via the web links provided. After that, read the chapter, study the material, and test your mastery by doing the practice exercises at the end of the chapter. Answers to the exercises are found at the back of the book. Additional free materials are available for you at beginninggreek.com.
We wish we could also provide you with dozens of inspiring quotes or stories, advice on study habits, and many effective memory techniques. In fact, we do provide such a “personal trainer in paperback” for your Greek journey in our volume, Greek for Life: Strategies for Learning, Retaining, and Reviving New Testament Greek (Baker, 2017). We encourage you to read that volume along with this one.
Here we turn to address a broader audience—especially the professors who might adopt this textbook for classroom use. “There is no end to the making of many books” (Eccl 12:12). The biblical sage’s observation is especially true of New Testament Greek grammars penned in English. More than 100 introductory Greek grammars have been published in the last century. Why one more?
- Advances in technology now enable the production of a textbook seamlessly integrated with other pedagogical resources, greatly improving student learning. (Note the web links throughout the book whereby students can immediately watch mini-lectures and listen to Greek vocabulary pronounced.) We recommend that you immediately check out beginninggreek.comto see many other free resources prepared for both students (vocabulary flashcards, PDFs of PowerPoint files, links to videos and other resources, etc.) and professors (tests, quizzes, PowerPoint files, syllabi, etc.).
- Beginning Greek students need to be informed accurately and engagingly of the growing consensus among Greek scholars on verbal aspect, discourse functions of tenses, and middle voice/deponency. Recent decades of linguistic analysis have helped Greek scholarship to speak more precisely and objectively about patterns that the best Greek grammarians have observed for centuries. We are hopeful that students who use our textbook will never wander through the wasteland of confusion over these topics.
- Though most beginning grammars do not discuss text criticism, commentaries, critical editions of the Greek New Testament, diagramming, Greek word studies, or digital resources, we have included a brief introductory essay for each one of these topics. A professor may choose to cover all, part, or none of these matters in the classroom, but students will have been provided with accurate, up-to-date information on critical matters—with recommendations of additional resources to explore the topics further.
- The vocabulary lists at the end of each chapter provide working vocabulary for the followingchapters. This simple and innovative tweak to the traditional method of learning Greek vocabulary enables students to focus on new grammatical concepts without the distraction of learning many new words at the same time.
- Without sacrificing accuracy or essential detail, this textbook streamlines and consolidates essential Greek grammar into 24 chapters—giving professors maximum flexibility in choosing to cover the material in one or two semesters.
Though not original to our grammar, we also think the following features help increase its pedagogical effectiveness:
- Each chapter begins with a “significance” section—looking at specific text from the Greek New Testament that illustrates the meaning payoff of the new grammatical category that is being introduced.
- Chapters contain multiple practice exercises that isolate specific new skills before applying them to translation sentences.
- All translation sentences come directly from the Greek New Testament—a great encouragement to students who are learning Greek in order to read the Bible more faithfully. If you find the exercises at the end of the chapter are taking your students too long, feel free to assign only a percentage of them.
- An answer key is provided in the back of the book, allowing students to check their work immediately.
We love seeing students ablaze with a passion to read, understand, believe, obey, enjoy, and teach the Greek New Testament. It is our prayer and hope that this textbook aids in igniting that fire in many hearts.