Friday, January 8, 2010

Book review: Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar by William Mounce is the best beginning Biblical Greek grammar available today.

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 about 15 lay people at our church using the 2nd edition textbook. Mounce is such a clear teacher that any student with self-discipline could actually teach himself the language. Using Mounce's Greek Workbook and Flachcards (each sold separately), you can practice exercises and review vocabulary 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 Mounce's website, and cross references to his 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. You will have to decide if you want to buy the second or third edition. The third edition employs more white space in the margins, new pictures, color shades, and book dimensions that are about 30% larger. It now looks more like a Jr. or Sr. High language textbook. The new book also has the benefit of laying open flat on your desk without pages being tempted to flip closed. Apart from the new "look" and size and a few new features, content in the 3rd edition is largely unchanged from the second edition. To learn about the specific differences between the second and third edition, click here.

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