david spear davidspear at
Sat Apr 3 18:19:56 EST 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Trevor Jenkins <Trevor.Jenkins at>
To: Biblical Greek <b-greek at>
Date: Saturday, April 03, 1999 2:26 PM
Subject: Re: introduction
>> Welcome to b-greek.  I can recommend  J. W. Wenham's The Elements of New
>> Testament Greek, Cambridge University Press as a good beginning textbook.
>If Catherine is going to teach herself then I would recommend Ian MacNair's
>"Teach yourself New Testament Greek" (In England it's known as "Discovering
>..." there being a "Teach Yourself ..." book already.)
>> I, like yourself, have been teaching myself, and I have found this text
>> very helpful.  He takes time (space?) to explain some of the finer points
>> of greek grammar using actual NT examples, is well keyed to an english
>> grammar introduction, and has lots of exercises.  There is also a summary
>> of the morphology at the end.  I wish the exercises had more examples
>> the NT text itself, but all in all, I've been happy with it.  I checked,
>> and this text is available at
>MacNair's book is also available via Amazon. Though I picked up my copy in
>a local bookstore.
>There are differences in approach between the books. Wenham assumes that
>you are "au fait" with grammar, which was the case when he wrote his book
>back in the 60s. MacNair knows that you are unlikely to have had formal
>grammar studies and therefore does not rely upon such knowledge. Wenham is
>formal; MacNair is humorous (Scottish rather than English---but that's no
>problem as there are neither Scots nor English in Jesus). Wenham doesn't
>discuss breathing at all; MacNair covers them (very well) in the first
>lesson. I find that a major problem with Wenham. Wenham is intended for
>class study, which makes it difficult to use for self-study; MacNair is
>geared to personal study, which makes it useful for both class and
>I have copies of both books. Wenham lay on my bookshelf for almost 25
>years. MacNair has not been put on the shelf since I bought it last year.
>I will admit to a personal bias for MacNair. I knew him back in the 80s
>when he was associate pastor of a church where I was a deacon. That said I
>haven't seen him for about a decade.
>Regards, Trevor

I too am new to the list and I appreciate the info on the book by MacNair.
I'm a novice at this point in Greek but very hungry to learn more.
Could anyone tell me whether or not the book " Essentials of New Testament
Greek" by Ray Summers
is a good book for a beginner or would the MacNair book be more suitable
since I will be learning on my own?

In His service...Dave Spear

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