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Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar Hardcover – August 18, 2003
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From the Back Cover
New, updated editions of the best-selling and most widely accepted textbook and workbook for learning biblical Greek
William D. Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar and its companion tool Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook are by far the best-selling and most widely accepted textbooks for learning New Testament Greek.
These excellent tools for studying New Testament Greek are now even better. As a result of feedback from professors, the author has made adjustments to his material. For example, a chapter on clauses has been added at the end of the book. The CD-ROM is now easier to use and has even more information on it than the earlier edition. The workbook has been significantly rewritten. Nearly 50 percent of the verses are new. They are shorter and more focused on the grammar of the chapter.
- Best-selling Greek language textbook
- Changes from the first edition made in response to ten years of use
- Grammar's CD-ROM is easier to navigate and now includes short audio summary lectures (7-9 minutes)
- An appendix in the Grammar allows professors to introduce verbs earlier in the course
- Two tracks in the workbook: track one allows you to go through the book in the normal order. Track two has totally different exercises that allow you to teach verbs earlier.
- Workbook has 3-hole, perforated pages
About the Author
William D Mounce (Ph.D., Aberdeen University) lives as a writer in Washougal, Washington. He is the President of BiblicalTraining.org, a non-profit organization offering world-class educational resources for discipleship in the local church. See www.BillMounce.com for more information. Formerly he was a preaching pastor, and prior to that a professor of New Testament and director of the Greek Program at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of the bestselling Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and many other resources. He was the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and is serving on the NIV translation committee. SPANISH BIO: William D. Mounce (PhD, Universidad de Aberdeen) reside como autor en Washougal, Washington. Es presidente de la organizacion sin animo de lucro, BiblicalTraining.org, la cual ofrece recursos educacionales de alta calidad para el discipulado en la iglesia local. El Dr. Munce fue pastor y anteriormente profesor del Nuevo Testamento y director del programa Griego en el Seminario Teologico Gordon-Conwell. Es autor del exitoso libro de texto Griego, Gramatica biblica griega y muchos otros recursos. Sirve en el comite de la version de la Biblia en ingles NIV.
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Writing out vocabulary can be useful to learning it, and in those cases where I just wasn't getting it right away, I did write it out in a notebook. Just because you have printed cards doesn't mean you can't still write. I did end up writing some things on the cards, and creating my own cards for certain things. In the textbook, Mounce suggests making a card for each case of a preposition (dia + genetive, dia + accusative, etc.). There is only one printed card for 'dia'. He also suggests making separate cards for the 2nd aorist forms, so these too I had to make for myself. There were no cards for the 'eimi' forms, and I noticed some the vocabulary was out of order between chapters 10 and 11 of the 2nd edition of the textbook.
That said, those are very small complaints in light of the tremendous help this set of flashcards has been and will continue to be. I definitely recommend this set!
- Mounce tries to minimize the amount of memorization required. Greek is a difficult language, no two ways about it: but the way the material is presented can make learning easier or harder. For those of us who come at it as adults, memorization is difficult. Some grammars require massive amounts of rote memorization; Mounce takes instead the tack of giving you a number of rules to apply, then only requiring memorization where the rules don't apply. Using this method, the amount of memorization is cut dramatically, and the effort required is reduced accordingly.
- To ease the remaining memorization, Mounce includes lots of good vocabulary helps. Unfortunately, vocabulary acquisition is usually another rote memorization affair. Mounce includes either derivations or cognates in other languages (drawing in some cases on Metzger's "Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek"), or silly little memorization aids. An example of the latter is Mounce's memorable word play on the word ELPIS (="hope"): "Some people HOPE that ELVIS did not die." I think I can safely say I will never forget the meaning of ELPIS.
- In many ways (including the previous two items) Mounce includes the fruit of his years of experience as a teacher of New Testament Greek. Many books that I'm sure would be just fine when learning from a professor completely fall apart when an autodidact (like myself) attempts to use them. With this book, it's almost as good as Mounce being right there.
- Although I would not have believed it, Mounce has successfully integrated devotional sections at the beginning of most chapters. A combination textbook/devotional? Yes, believe it or not. The section for chapter 10, for example, is simply amazing - building off John 1:14, KAI hO LOGOS SARX EGENETO ("And the Word became flesh.") This answers another big problem for autodidacts, which is that you don't have much of an inducement to continue when the going gets tough. These devotional sections (I am assuming a Christian student, of course) add greatly to your experience and make you look forward to new chapters.
The end result is that this book makes it possible to learn New Testament Greek on your own to just about the same depth as you would get at a seminary. That's an amazing feat in itself.
But be aware, this book has no exercises in it. Rather, you need to buy the companion workbook, which has all the exercises.
After introducing the Greek alphabet and word structure, Mounce helps students gain a solid control of Greek nouns (ch. 5-14). He then moves on to indicative mood verbs (chs. 15-25) followed by participles, non-indicative mood, and other troublesome verbs (chs. 26-35). The appendix itself, full of charts and paradigms, is worth its weight in gold.
I'm currently teaching a beginning Greek class with 15 lay people at our church using this 2nd edition textbook. Mounce is such a clear teacher that any student with enough self-discipline could actually teach himself the language. Using Mounce's Greek workbook (sold separately), you can practice exercises that reinforce each chapter. The author also provides an alternate track for those who want to introduce verbs earlier in the learning process. Other benefits include a CD-ROM, links to his website, and cross references to Mounce's Morphology book and Wallace's intermediate Grammar for those who want to dig deeper into the language. If there are any drawbacks, it would be an underemphasis on accenting and linguistics.
Please note: there is now a third edition of this text available as of December 2009. The third edition employs more white space, new pictures, color shades, and dimensions that are about 30% larger. It now looks more like a Jr. high language textbook. The new textbook also has the benefit of laying open flat on your desk without pages being tempted to flip closed. Apart from the new "look" and a few new features, content in the 3rd edition is largely unchanged from this second edition.
I like this grammar a lot for people who are studying Greek to read the bible. It gives you the 314 most commonly used NT words...and around 30 lessons...so you are not learning words which never appear in the Greek NT. If you plan to read other Greek material, then this may not be as great of a method. It is focused on the NT vocabulary. After two semesters a student should be able to navigate eighty percent of the Greek NT using this method. That's about as fast as one can possibly gain competency.
The binding and pages are laid out in nice fonts and durable material. It's a sound method and I really love this book. Get a copy if you can!
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