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Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar Hardcover – November 28, 2009
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“One factor that makes Basics of Biblical Greek a superior textbook for teaching the elements of Greek is the additional resources that are available to accompany the textbook. I have found that for students learning Greek for the first time the companion resources become essential tools for learning. Additional resources such as the workbook, vocabulary cards, pronunciation assistance, laminated study guide, and free mini-lectures by Bill Mounce---just to name a few---support what I am doing in the classroom.” North Park University -- Joel Willitts
From the Back Cover
Users can now take advantage to the many improvements made at the book's website, www.Teknia.com, where they will find--for free--an online course, walking students through every chapter; vocabulary flashcards; video and audio helps; Greek fonts; quizzes for each chapter; fun songs and games; and much, much more.
Now in a larger size, with an attractive 2-color design, the third edition adds an element of fun, with encouragement, songs, and more, which appear in the margins. Chapter 35 has been split into two chapters, half-time review sections have been added to every chapter, and new exegesis sections are now included. These and other improvements serve to enhance the learning experience and will continue BBG's legacy as the premier introduction to biblical Greek.
(show covers for: laminated study guide; workbook; vocabulary cards)
- Item Weight : 2.73 pounds
- Hardcover : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0310287685
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310287681
- Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 1.14 x 11.14 inches
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Publisher : Zondervan Academic; Third Edition (November 28, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #47,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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These are the advantages Black has over Mounce:
1) It's much cheaper. Not only is the book much cheaper than Mounce's but when you add in Mounce's workbook, the difference in price is very significant. Please note that there are no exercises at all in Mounce apart from the workbook.
2) Black's book is very nicely sized and lightweight. During the months I studied it, I carried it around with me everywhere and every time I had to wait for something, like in line at the supermarket cashier or while waiting for my wife as she performed her perennial shopping rites, out came the book. This would not have been possible with Mounce. The book is just too unwieldy; in fact, the postal service even refused to deliver the book from Amazon and I had to go pick it up! Reason given: "Large package".
3) The most important advantage Black has over Mounce is that his book is perfectly suited to the beginner. I cannot imagine how a book on Greek grammar can be simplified further without sacrificing vital content. I think Mounce is just way too difficult for the beginner. This is especially true in the second half of the book, on verbs. Verbs are the most difficult thing to learn in basic Greek and I'm afraid many beginners will drown if they try to take on Mounce.
4) Closely related to 3) is Black's organizational genius. His book is not just easy to study but it's made easier by the way he organizes his material. I cannot understand it but Mounce is very much inclined to tell you about something and then ask you to wait for further explanation later. Look at the way he deals with the middle voice. He tells you the form of the middle/passive voice and then tells you to wait for later chapters where he will explain what the middle voice is! If I had used Mounce as my first book, I would have torn my hair out or more likely, given up on Greek altogether. The same goes for vocabulary lists. Black's vocabulary follows closely the chapter content. For example, if he has just taught you second declension nouns, he will then give you a list of second declension nouns to memorize, arranged nicely in their sub-categories. Mounce's vocabulary lists have no order at all. You may think this is a small thing to bring up but my memory seems to associate words I learn together and learning words from the same type really helps my recall.
5) Again, related to 3), is the way Black writes. If you want to know what concise means, read his book. He does not waste a single word. This makes his book ideal for reviewing your lessons. In comparison, Mounce's book feels overwritten and bloated. There's quite a bit of repetition. He has a sectional overview, a chapter overview, a mid-lesson review and a final review! This, especially when added to the lack of organization, makes finding a piece of information very hard.
6) I really don't like the cartoon professor in Mounce. I just don't see the point of having it. I know he's trying to add some light-hearted humor but it's hard enough trying to memorize hundreds of Greek words without being taught modern Greek words as well. Some of you may adore the professor though.
7) The most difficult thing in basic Greek grammar is the participle. Black's chapter on participles is a model of concise clarity. He gives many examples of the use of participles in simple sentences he creates himself that allow the student to try translating them. Mounce's examples come form the New Testament and are much harder to work on.
These are the advantages Mounce has over Black:
1) There's a great deal more Greek in Mounce than in Black, a lot more details.
2) Mounce is very concerned with his readers. He makes a lot of effort to encourage his students. His warmth is very touching.
3) Even though I think Black's vocabulary lists make memory work easier, Mounce's vocabulary has some weighty, secret weapons. For one thing, Mounce teaches you all the words that occur 50 times or more in the New Testament. Black cares less about the frequently recurring words. Because I use the Reader's Edition of the UBS Greek New Testament which gives, at the bottom of the page, definitions of words that occur less than 30 times in the New Testament, I am sometimes surprised to find that I know words that are explained. Not that knowing less frequently occurring words is a disadvantage of course but it's better for beginners to learn the high-frequency words first and Mounce concentrates on those.
Another thing about Mounce's vocabulary that I like is the care he lavishes in explaining details pertaining to the words he asks you to memorize. Some of this information is valuable.
4) Even though Black's conciseness is much appreciated, at times he can be a bit too concise. For example, after spending months almost killing myself learning the different paradigms for the various tenses of verbs, I was totally dismayed when I reached the last chapter and found a new type of verbs, the -mi verbs, with a whole new set of paradigms to memorize. In this last chapter, Black just pretty much gives the various paradigms in table form and then asks you to memorize some of them. Mounce, as usual gives more details, details which are much needed to encourage the distressed student. He says (on Page 319),
"There is good news and bad news about these verbs. The bad news is that their forms change so drastically that they can become almost unrecognizable. The good news is that there are very few of them. The bad news is that these few mi verbs are common. The good news is that most of the changes occur only in the present tense."
A few paragraphs later he adds, "But even those people who use Greek regularly have trouble in reproducing the mi verb paradigms from rote memory." This was sufficient to lift my spirits and made me continue studying!
Throughout his book, Black came across as a master-teacher making the path as easy as possible for his students to travel. Mounce is more of the scholar with a passion that he wishes to share with his students. My advice to you, if, like me, you do not enjoy the benefits of the classroom, is to study Black thoroughly, master it and then let Mounce add to your knowledge.
I had to buy and use this book for Intro to Greek in Seminary. I took Intro to Greek in undergrad, but because it was so long ago I have to take it again. Almost every professor at my school uses this book, so I figured it would be good. I was wrong. Here are just a few things I don't like about the book:
1. He doesn't introduce verbs until Chapter 15. For real? Yes, for real. That is unfathomable to me. If we are trying to learn how to translate the Greek NT, how can you not introduce verbs until Chapter 15? A single verb in Greek can be a complete sentence! Why would you wait so late? So, you can imagine it's quite confusing trying to translate sentences before you know any verbs.
2. Mounce over-explains everything, and he over-complicates everything. Some chapters are 20 pages long, and the pages are huge! There's no reason for a chapter in any language learning book to be that long. He makes everything unnecessarily complicated.
3. You have to have the workbook, and the workbook is not good. There are no exercises in the book itself. You have to have the workbook in order to put any of it to practice. But even in the workbook, he hardly has you use the things you learned in that chapter. But he does have things from chapters you haven't gotten to yet (like verbs!) just to make sure to confuse you!
4. The book is full of unnecessary, distracting stuff all over the place, like "The Professor" who teaches you modern Greek. Opening this book is unnecessarily overwhelming with all of the extra stuff all over it.
5. There doesn't seem to be a system for learning the vocabulary. Before you ever get to the first chapter on Present Active Indicative Verbs (in Chapter 15, in case you forgot!) he has all these past tense verbs scattered throughout the vocabulary in the chapters before. He claims at the beginning of the book that he does things like this to combine an inductive and deductive method to teaching Greek, but it's not working.
Overall, learning Biblical Greek is hard enough, and Mounce makes it way harder than it needs to be. This book has been so frustrating to me, and I already knew a lot of the Greek in it! I would highly suggest using David Alan Black's book instead. Simple, concise, and does not make Greek any more complicated than it needs to be.