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Koine Greek Reader: Selections from the New Testament, Septuagint, and Early Christian Writers Paperback – November 1, 2007
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From the Back Cover
Koine Greek Reader goes where other readers do not by providing graded readings from the New Testament, Septuagint, Apostolic Fathers, and early creeds. Its many features include four helpful vocabulary lists, numerous references to other resources, assorted translation helps, a review of basic grammar and syntax, and an introduction to BDAG. Professors looking for a new textbook will find that Koine Greek Reader integrates the full range of materials needed by intermediate students.
Praise for Koine Greek Reader
“Absolutely the best volume of its kind available today. It incorporates a wealth of valuable information for classroom use or for self-study . . . [and] has been carefully prepared and organized, tested and refined in the classroom over a number of years, and handsomely produced by the publisher. I recommend it enthusiastically!”
—BUIST M. FANNING III
Department Chair and Professor of New Testament
Dallas Theological Seminary
“This tool supplements traditional grammars and provides hands-on exposure to a variety of Koine texts. Particularly helpful are the readings from the Septuagint, the Apostolic Fathers, and the early creeds. . . . An excellent resource for intermediate and advanced college and seminary students.”
—MARK L. STRAUSS
Professor of New Testament,
Bethel Seminary, San Diego
“Intermediate students of New Testament Greek will be well served by this fine selection of readings. . . . Anyone willing to go through this material carefully and in sequence will notice a marked increase in proficiency.”
Former Professor of New Testament,
Westminster Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
“The Koine Greek Reader is by far the best resource currently available for learning Koine Greek inductively at the intermediate level. I look forward to using it in my own teaching and expect that it will be used widely both as a classroom text and for independent study for years to come.”
—MARTIN M. CULY
Associate Professor of New Testament and Greek,
Briercrest College and Seminary
“It is hard to find something to criticize in this wonderful resource. The best recommendation that I can give is that I will be adopting it for my classes as soon as it becomes available!”
Professor of Greek,
The Masters College
“Rodney Decker’s Koine Greek Reader is a godsend to serious students and would-be scholars of New Testament Koine Greek who prefer a traditional pedagogical approach. . . . The breadth of resources made available in this reader leads the student directly into the maze and, rather than showing the way through it, develops the essential skills needed to find one’s own way through it.”
—CARL W. CONRAD
Associate Professor Emeritus
Washington University, St. Louis
Cochair, B-Greek Internet discussion list
“Rodney Decker’s Koine Greek Reader is a welcome addition to the growing number of resources available for intermediate level Greek courses. I have used the Koine Greek Reader in a second-year Greek class, and on the basis of my students’ enthusiastic response to it and their progress in their study of Greek, I enthusiastically recommend it.”
—W. EDWARD GLENNY
Professor of New Testament Studies and Greek,
Northwestern College, St. Paul, Minnesota
Rodney J. Decker (Th.D., Central Baptist Theological Seminary) is professor of Greek and New Testament at Baptist Bible Seminary in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous journal articles and a highly respected monograph on the gospel of Mark published in the Studies in Biblical Greek series edited by D. A. Carson. He edits the popular New Testament Resources Web site (http://www.ntresources.com).
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Top Customer Reviews
Several features make this book shine above the rest, though:
1) it is a true Koine reader, meaning the student will learn some NT text, some LXX text and some early christian texts. As someone said on the B-Greek forum, learning the span of koine, rather than simply translating the NT will make the student more adept at analyzing the language itself and less dependent on his/her background knowledge of english translations.
2) Vocab lists. This book is truly made for the student and the classroom. The various vocab assignments before each section will help the student incrementally develop his/her vocabulary beyond the 50x range. Especially helpful in this regard is appendix H which lists all the words that occur in the LXX more than 50x but less than 25x in the NT. By mastering this list, the student will be able to feel comfortable reading the LXX and becoming familiar with its lexical and grammatical features. To paraphrase what someone famous said "Sell every commentary you own if you have to in order to by a copy of the LXX and put it to use."
3) helpful grammar review. While Wallace's Grammar is superb and full of examples, the best way to master grammatical concepts is to read the text and see them in use.Read more ›
I won't go into the contents of the book here, which have already been adequately discussed by the previous reviewers. What I would like to point out is that this book seems to be more geared for use in a formal classroom setting, probably that of a seminary with a good library, rather than for personal study. The study notes that accompany the Greek texts often ask questions about certain linguistic features, but no answer keys are provided, so a student working on his own with no access to any Greek teacher cannot tell if his answer is right or not, or what the answer is in the first place. From time to time, reference is also made to other books and resources with regards to certain language or hermeneutical issues, but such materials are often not readily available to the self-learner who has no access to a seminary library. As a result, the student is often left frustrated over not knowing the "answers" to the questions and issues that the author brings up.
A self-learner who wants to use this reader is strongly advised to have at his disposal at least the following books, as frequent reference is made to them in the reader:
--"A Greek Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature" (BDAG)
--"Basics of Biblical Greek" by William D. Mounce
--"Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" by Daniel Wallace
--"It's Still Greek to Me" by David Alan Black
On the plus side, the notes that are not phrased as questions do provide considerable help in understanding the texts. There are also plenty of helpful appendices, including a guide to using BDAG, a parsing list of all inflected words in each reading passage, and vocabulary lists for review purposes.
To make this reader a better one, hopefully an answer key of some sort could be made available online or in future printed editions.
The student is met first with a quote from Ulrich Zwingli on the personal study of Greek. The tone is thus set in that Decker is not merely concocting a book on the study of the New Testament in its original languages, but is building a book to enable the student to actually read the Sacred Writings, as Zwingli puts it. To do so, the author has selected writings from the New Testament, covering the Gospels, several of the Epistles, and the book of Revelation, in the first part. Part II focuses on the Septuagint, the Apostolic Fathers and the Early Creeds. The Septuagint includes readings from the Torah with several readings from the Psalms, Histories and Prophets. The Apostolic Fathers includes samples from Ignatius, the Didache, 1 Clement and Hermes. The Creeds include the Apostles', Nicene and the Constantinoplitan, as well as the Chalcedonian. My only issue here, and it is a minute issue given the wide range of authors and (con)texts which Decker has made available to us, is that the Creeds do not include some of the pre-Nicene creeds, even as supplemental readings. Granted, this is only from someone interesting in the early theology of the Church, and not really as a critic overall.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like the reader but on the CDmp3 the translator does not translate in English which makes it difficult to follow. Read morePublished 10 months ago by M Hughes
Priceless! If one is studying Koine Greek this book is needed for deeper studies! I have yet to reach the depth this book will accomplish but I am plunging farther the more I read. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Gary G. Mckirchy
This helped me in learnig Greek, though I felt the "helps" that Decker gave raised a lot of questions, when I was really looking for answers.Published on February 9, 2013 by Shawn White
I am finding this Koine Reader by Rodney Decker to be very useful as a supplement to the more central koine study materials. Read morePublished on April 3, 2012 by Michael Shevlane
This is an excellent book, helping me to progress beyond my 3 semesters of formal NT Greek training. Read morePublished on February 21, 2012 by Jon Satko
This is a great second year tool for learning koine! It breaks text into manageable sizes and inserts vocabulary and/or parsing notes in between.Published on January 18, 2011 by Amazon Customer
Dr. Ed Glenny (See recommendations above) used this text in my Intermediate Greek class, and it was extremely helpful. Read morePublished on April 2, 2010 by Philip
A good and helpful reader for those learning koine Greek. The format is large and the fonts are readable, easy on the eye. Read morePublished on February 7, 2009 by Szilagyi Mircea