- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing; Third Edition edition (November 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596386460
- ISBN-13: 978-1596386464
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A New Testament Greek Primer 3rd Edition Third Edition Edition
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"Highly recommended to teachers who are considering new textbooks and to students seeking a text for independent or supplementary study. Furthermore, it may be one of the best resources available to the seminary graduate who needs an efficient and effective reintroduction to New Testament Greek." -- Clarence deWitt Agan III "Author, The Imitation of Christ in the Gospel of Luke"
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The grammar is approached in a straightforward manner, not assuming that the student is familiar even with his own language (an assumption which, alas! is often the status quo for many students), and a glossary of terms has been placed in the back to address those concepts he may not know (e.g., “deponent verbs”, “imperfect tense”, “aspiration”). One particular strength of the book is the presentation of tenses in their active and deponent forms at the same time. This compartmentalizing helps the student to master active and middle/passive voices simultaneously and, to my mind, simplifies the learning process and enables the student to tackle simple Biblical passages early on.
A tremendous strength of this book is that each lesson introduces only one major concept and avoids overloading the student with multiple diverse topics. (I have taught from one text that introduced the first and second aorist, active and passive, plus the six principal verbal parts all in the same lesson, to the huge confusion of students.) By introducing deponent verbs from the start, mastering passive voice becomes easy when it is introduced. The author also introduces English derivatives of the Greek vocabulary in each lesson, a huge help in remembering the words even when the student is not familiar with the English derivative. In addition, the author gives simple, extremely practical suggestions in the Introduction about how to learn, tips for memorization, etc. These should be followed assiduously. They are common sense, tried-and-true helps in learning (not just Greek) and will assist the student in making progress.
The author acknowledges that this text was designed as a crash course (30 days) of intensive Biblical Greek, and one can see this structure in its lessons. It makes, however, an excellent text for simple beginners as well, and seems particularly well designed for self-instruction. Greek is not an easy language, and if the student has no linguistic background, it can be daunting in the extreme—something the author acknowledges. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that much of today’s English language instruction, when it exists at all, often eschews formal grammar, leaving the would-be Greek student left to pick up the pieces of a never-assembled puzzle and figure out the composition as best he can. Learning any language requires at least some understanding of formal grammar, and Greek grammar is more demanding than many. I have noticed in my classes that students with a previous knowledge of at least some Latin do much better, at least initially, when tackling Greek, because familiarity with much of Greek’s grammatical infrastructure is already there (e.g., noun declension, adjective agreement, verbal tenses and moods). Especially helpful is a Key to the Exercises found at the end of the book.
The text does not include English-to-Greek translations among its exercises, a feature I miss, though not all instructors would agree by any means. The accents in Greek are treated briefly but satisfactorily considering the student is not required to compose Greek sentences. Attention is drawn to those situations in which accent is necessary for determining the meaning of a word. I have found no references to the ablative, locative or instrumental cases (which correspond to the genitive and dative case endings) which, while not a flaw, does help to explain the cases governed by many prepositions.
In all, this little text (about 200 pages) is an excellent book for what it intends to achieve. It is not a comprehensive grammar, but introduces essential vocabulary and grammar to enable the student to take the first firm steps in mastering Biblical Greek.
That said, I used Baugh as my starting point for self-study, and found it to be excellent. I relied on a friend for about 15-20 minor questions for clarification I formulated from Baugh's book. I intend to follow up with Mounce, then cover First John Reader by Baugh. My friend said after completing Baugh and/or Mounce, then followed with First John Reader (Baugh), I'll have the equivalent of 1 year of seminary Greek at the Westminster Seminaries (WTS/WSC). Baugh has answer key in back, perfect for self-study. Mounce does not have answer key in back, however it is available on his website, so it's good for self-study as well.
In the 1st edition, Prof Baugh shamefully glosses over the importance of accent use in Greek. In this 3rd edition, Prof Baugh redeems himself by including key point about accents throughout various chapters, as relevant. Some people consider accents to be unimportant for beginning Greek student, however, it's important to understand enclitics/proclitics (combined words), contract vowels, indefinite vs interrogative pronouns, pronouns vs articles, and a myriad other cases. Obviously Prof Baugh realized his error from the 1st edition, and fixed it for the 3rd edition. (Thank you "agathos" Professor Baugh!)
(Errors--which can be frustrating for new learner--from 2nd edition seem to be corrected in this 3rd edition. Thank you "agathos" Professor Baugh!)
For those who wish to study 2nd year Greek, a friend strongly suggests the book "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" by Daniel Wallace, and the workbook (New Testament Syntax) --deeper technical coverage of NT Greek.
On the whole though, I'd rather be reading several verses right out of my new testament with no trouble after a few weeks than to still be reading things like, "the young virgin rode the horse on the beach" merely because it has regular verbs and nouns.
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You will need to memorize words and verb tenses to read easily.