Intermediate Greek Grammar: Syntax for Students of the New Testament Hardcover – August 16, 2016
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"This intermediate-level introduction to New Testament syntax is up to date on the most recent research and developments in the study of Greek and presents cutting-edge information with a rare combination of clarity and insight, reinforced by a number of clear examples from the New Testament. Mathewson and Emig are wise, experienced, and gifted teachers and have given students exactly what they need to build on a study of basic Greek. This book should be on the shelf of every student who is eager to grow in understanding the New Testament in Greek."
--Roy E. Ciampa, Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship
"When intermediate grammars present a more advanced view of Greek, they often compile ever more elaborate categories to classify the grammatical phenomena of the New Testament, presenting the Greek language like a patient etherized upon a table. The current authors are different. They invite their readers to see language as a living thing and to read Greek with sensitivity to shifting realities based on context and nuanced usages, and they show in each case how to do this. This book provides students with the solid food necessary to read Greek at a more mature level. I will use this book."
--George L. Parsenios, Princeton Theological Seminary
"It is a pleasure to commend this intermediate Greek grammar. It is well informed about recent advances in the study of Greek while offering a concise and minimalist presentation of Greek syntax. By focusing on reading Greek in context, it encourages students to understand syntax in ways that make sense of the Greek language. The result is a clear, informed, and student-oriented tool for teaching and learning Greek at the next level."
--Constantine R. Campbell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
About the Author
Elodie Ballantine Emig (MA, Denver Seminary) is instructor of New Testament Greek at Denver Seminary. She has been helping seminary students learn Greek well for three decades.
- Item Weight : 1.48 pounds
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0801030722
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801030727
- Product Dimensions : 6.5 x 1 x 10 inches
- Publisher : Baker Academic (August 16, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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(M/E) is a brief work (290 pgs) aimed at exegesis, and has plenty of examples for the
student. At the beginning of the chapters the authors have a section explaining what
is covered in it, and under most of the examples, they have a few lines giving further
explanation. In a later chapter, they deal with discourse questions. By and large the
theology is neutral.
In most ways, it's similar to others, but with some differences. Just to mention a few,
M/E take the Porter/Decker (P/D) view of verbal aspect. Another is that M/E choose
not to use the "verb labels" - causal, aoristic, etc.(I'm sure that students who're faced
with the task of learning those things will love that). On participles, most grammars
when talking about relative time, say to look at the verb-form, etc. M/E on the other
hand say to look at whether the participle precedes or follows the main verb.
One blooper. On page 187, they give a passage with Jesus and Simon (LUKE 7:40)
and in the notes below the example, refer to Simon as Peter. Actually it's Simon, a
Pharisee. I guess the proof-reader missed that one (it happens).
Do I have any disagreements? A few. The verb "labels" can be very helpful in
understanding the passage, just as long as the student remembers that they are
determine by context, not the verb-form. Their views on participles (and others)
result in about as many "exceptions" as the traditional grammars. Same with the
"stative" aspect for the perfect tense. Many perfects appear to be nothing more than
simple actions (especially in John's writings). Perhaps Campbell is right when he says
that the perfect tense-form projects prominence - in the parade analogy, the observer
is close enough to the parade to "smell the horses". Or, one could go with what
Jannaris/Caragounis say - by late Classical times, there was already evidence of
the interchange of the perfect and the aorist. Take your pick. I am still convinced
that the traditional perfect - completed action with ongoing results/state, is there
MOST of the time (perhaps it's an aktionsart, not the aspect.
So would I recommend this work to anyone? Yes. If your view of aspect is the P/D view,
this is an excellent work. If not (my view) there are still things that can be learned from
the work. It's a good concise reference that would be light to put in a back pack. M/E's
work is easy to understand. The print is not too small and the paper is white, which is a
lot easier on the eyes. It's the content that counts, but it's nice that the book looks good
and has a good feel. Mine is on the shelf next to Daniel Wallace (really detailed),
along with Mounce. I'm glad I added it to my library.
P.S. I have a few problems with some of the interpretations in the book. If anyone is
really curious, they can ask in a comment. Also I wondering just how much the
debate on verbal aspect really helps us understand the scriptures better. I
remember someone asking the question on the internet "did people not know
how to translate the Greek verb before 1989-1990?" (again just a thought).
FAR more important is the question, does it help us better understand the
gospel plan of salvation? That's really where it's at, nothing else matters.
1) A minimalistic approach to grammar. Rather than focusing on isolating individual linguistic units and attributing maximal meaning to their syntax the emphasis is on how grammar functions in context. Categories are kept to a minimum in order to not burden students with undue memorization and free them up to focus on the meaning grammar contributes to the larger context in the discourse. For instance, this approach is demonstrated in the following comment on case labels: "It is important to distinguish the semantics of the case forms from the pragmatic usage of the cases in different contexts. These different labels (appellations) are not the meanings of the cases, but reflect the different contextual realizations of the meanings of the case forms. This approach also allows for ambiguity in the case functions. Sometimes more than one potential label will 'fit' when there is not enough evidence to select a specific category with confidence. In such cases interpreters should refrain from feeling the need to pin down a given case function. The focus should be on the meaning the case contributes to the context" (p. 2).
2) Sustained emphasis on the importance of paying attention to context. This is particularly reinforced by the practice "chunks" of text at the end of each chapter for the reader to analyze. Helpful exegetical notes are also added to the representative examples of grammar that are provided for each category often commenting on contextual indicators that influence their translation or highlight the ambiguity of the grammatical unit. Throughout each chapter distinctions are constantly made between what meaning legitimately belongs to a grammatical construct and what must be ascertained from context.
3) An introduction to verbal aspect theory. Chapter 6 provides a very palatable introduction to verbal aspect theory. For those desiring to delve deeper into verbal aspect theory see the footnotes in this chapter. Verbal aspect, again, allows context pride of place in determining authorial meaning and emphasis when it comes to tense use.
4) A discussion of grammar in discourse analysis. Chapter 13 highlights some of the important considerations that syntax has at a discourse level.
Overall, this book is an indispensable resource for second year Greek students.
Top reviews from other countries
One reading will not be enough and I shall dip in again and again to refresh my memory. A big thank you to the authors.