[B-Greek] Beginning Greek Textbooks

Dave Smith (REL110, 211,212) rel21x at charter.net
Wed May 24 12:35:54 EDT 2006


One of the inductive methods that I have used in the past is Ward Powers,
Learn to Read the Greek NT. Perhaps Dr. Conrad would comment on this text.
According to a previous post, this is a category #2 text with an inductive
method based on modern linguistic principles. Selections of the GNT appear
in chapter 2, along the same lines that Dr. Conrad mentioned in his post.

The greatest kernel of wisdom in this thread, which was also from Carl's
post, is that learning Greek 101 depends a great deal more on the mentor
that it does on the textbook.

Here is Power's website for this text:

I have also seen used copies of this book on the web. The current edition is
the 5th. The edition I have is the 4th.

Dave Smith
Hudson, NC
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu>
To: "B-Greek B-Greek" <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Cc: "erek's mom" <medhsee at yahoo.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 08:12
Subject: [B-Greek] Beginning Greek Textbooks

> We go through this exchange several times a year -- with a pretty
> much predictable array of broadly alternative alternative answers to
> the question, each expressed with a high degree of confidence and
> often warning against the pitfalls of textbooks proposed or endorsed
> by other list-members. Nor do I except my own response from that
> characterization. With regard to textbooks as with regard to much
> else, de gustibus non disputandum est.
> My own predictable response:
> Beginning (ancient) Greek textbooks fall into categories, depending
>   (1) on whether the textbook focuses on
> (a) Homeric,
> (b) Classical Attic, or
> (c) Koine Biblical Greek,
> (2) on whether the textbook employs
> (a) the old-fashioned method with lessons offering a brief
> presentation of new grammar items, a few new vocabulary words, and a
> number of made-up Greek sentences (all-too-often formulated in
> English phraseology and converted into Greek with questionable
> idiomatic propriety); there may also be some English sentences to put
> into Greek with the same dubious disregard for Greek idiom, or
> (b) the more recent method with lessons beginning with substantial
> chunks of connected narrative or dialogue or expository text,
> essential glossary for reading that text, explanation of unfamiliar
> constructions illustrated by the initial text, and exercises focusing
> on phrases employing the newly-introduced constructions rather than
> upon made-up sentences.
> Of old-fashioned-method textbooks, Pharr is excellent for Homeric
> Greek, Crosby & Sheaffer (a century-old classic), Hansen & Quinn,
> Mastronarde are good for Classical Attic; Clayton Croy is good for
> Koine Biblical Greek (many list-members like Mounce (I don't) and
> many like Machen (I've taught using it and I despise it).
> Of textbooks using the more recent method, Athenaze and the JACT
> Reading Greek course are very good for Classical Attic, and Colwell
> and Tune is rather good for Koine Biblical Greek.
> The VERY best textbook for Koine Biblical Greek, in my opinion is
> unfortunately out of print, although some of our list-members are
> endeavoring to produce a web version of it: it is Robert Funk's
> Beginning-Intermediate Grammar of Hellenistic Greek. You can see some
> of it on-line now at http://www.nauman.org/funk-bighg/
> Ultimately the worth of any (ancient Greek) textbook depends NOT upon
> the textbook so much as on the pedagogical skills of the teacher and
> the industry and application of the learner. I think it is much more
> difficult to learn ancient Greek without having a competent
> instructor or at least some competent consultant to respond to the
> inevitable questions that arise in any course of language study. To
> some extent we hope that this forum provides a makeshift "competent
> consultant" to beginning students of ancient Greek, especially of
> Biblical Greek.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
> 1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad2 at mac.com
> WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/
> ---
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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