[B-Greek] Greek textbook question re Duff

Stephen Baldwin stbaldwi at hotmail.com
Sun Sep 30 11:56:08 EDT 2007

I am a keen amateur who started at zero.
I think in general, Mounce's "Basics..." is the most popular book. It is the textbook for the course I attended. I had started self-study with Gresham Machen's book and IMHO, Mounce blew him away. I also own a Wenham ("Elements...").
If I had to own just one book (as a novice with no greek knowledge at all), I'd take Mounce. Taken with all the other stuff (the CD, the WEB site, the flash cards, the Graded Reader, GGBB etc.) it is a system that starts from zero and takes the student a fair distance.
But ideally, I think one should have a selection of grammars. The layout of Mounce is very good, but it is not a complete grammar. He is good on the major stuff, but skimps on MI verbs, optatives, pluperfects, vocatives, and does not mention comparative/superlative adjectives etc. My teacher also urged caution when Mounce speaks on aspect. I continually find "holes" in BBG and I am glad I took the advice of this list and went and bought a Smyth. Smyth's layout makes me weep but it is a comprehensive [to the best of my knowledge] reference and the information is invariably "in there somewhere" even if it takes a bit more effort. I am also glad I took the advice of a b-greek member and did not buy a BDF, which, for all its pedigree, is not for the novice. I have borrowed a copy and struggle mightily to make head nor tail of it. (I'd own it if I had limitless funds of course :-), and if ever I attain the necessary competence.)
Another extremely useful book (at least for me) is Mounce's Morphology of Biblical Greek (MBG). At least in my edition, the quality is slightly compromised by some errors -- which is confusing for the beginner.
Having a selection enables one to consult multiple sources when questions arise; if one source doesn't answer the question, another one may.
Hope this helps!
Stephen Baldwin
stbaldwi at hotmail.com
> From: justin_burt at mac.com> Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 19:36:59 +0700> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org> Subject: Re: [B-Greek] Greek textbook question re Duff> > First of all, I don't know what Father James is tempted to write, but > relax dude!> > Second, I think that the best beginner Greek Grammar is "Basics of > Biblical Greek" by William Mounce. I have gone through it as well > the first edition of Ray Summers book "Elements of New Testament > Greek". Ray Summers uses a lot of made up examples, and while it did > help, it was not as "fun" learning Greek as William Mounce's book. > In Mounce's book, you are using biblical passages from day 1. I > understand that in the 2nd edition of his book, he has also included > some passages from the LXX as well. I have not actually seen the 2nd > edition so don't quote me. I also found that after studying Mounce's > book, it was a smooth transition into Daniel Wallace's book "Greek > Grammar Beyond the Basics". Also a great website for resources in > www.teknia.com.> > Justin Burt> Linguist/Bible Translator> NTM Indonesia> web.mac.com/justin_burt> > > On Sep 30, 2007, at 4:22 PM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:> > >> > On Sep 29, 2007, at 9:27 PM, frjsilver at optonline.net wrote:> >> >> I'm tempted to write something harsh in response to this, so I> >> won't write anything at all.> >>> >> Besides, I have too much other b-greek mail (among other things) to> >> catch up with now that I and my computer are beginning to function> >> again.> >>> >> Father James> >> > Let me just say, speaking for myself:> > (1) The question posed here is how anyone who knows Jeremy Duff's> > primer judges its value and whether someone can recommend a better> > resource for a beginner in Greek;> > (2) I hope that any respondent would give the same answer to a> > questioner who is not white, not Christian, and might be younger or> > older than a 42-year-old.> >> > I do think that made-up sentences for translation -- whether from> > Greek to one's native language or from one's native language to Greek> > -- are indeed the bane of inferior Greek textbooks. I think that, > > the > > better the textbook, the more completely its study exercises are> > based upon unadulterated or minimally adulterated original ancient> > texts, and preferably longer rather than shorter texts, i.e.> > paragraphs rather than short sentences or phrases.> >> > For Biblical Greek, one of the better reading resources I've seen is> > a relatively old little book first published in 1965: Ernest Cadman> > Colwell and Ernest W. Tune, _A Beginner's Reader/Grammar for New> > Testament Greek_ (details: http://tinyurl.com/yulzut). The very early> > made-up sentences in this reader do not seem to me to be unidiomatic> > and there are only a few pages of them; the reader starts at a very> > simple level and works at once into connected sentences and > > paragraphs.> >> >>> >> ----- Original Message -----> >> From: "Carl W. Conrad"> >> Date: Saturday, September 29, 2007 7:43 pm> >> Subject: [B-Greek] Greek textbook question re Duff> >> To: B-Greek B-Greek> >>> >>> Forwarded for: charlie reich> >>> Date: September 29, 2007 11:49:51 AM EDT> >>> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org> >>> Subject: help> >>>> >>> i am a white male, age 42, and a christian.i started studying> >>> greek> >>> earlier this year using john h. dobson's book ""learn new> >>> testament> >>> greek". the book has been useful, but only to a point. i can now> >>> read> >>> and translate some greek from its original form to english. the> >>> problem i have with dobson's book is that he uses too many made> >>> up> >>> sentences.> >>>> >>> the other day i came across jeremy duff's book "elements> >>> of> >>> new testament greek". would that be a good book to start with or> >>>> >>> could someone offer a better resource ?> >>>> >>> thank you and god bless.> >>>> >>>> >>> charlie reich> >>>> >>> ---> >>> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek> >>> B-Greek mailing list> >>> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org> >>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek> >>>> >> ---> >> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek> >> B-Greek mailing list> >> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org> >> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek> >> > Carl W. Conrad> > Department of Classics, Washington University (Ret)> >> > ---> > B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek> > B-Greek mailing list> > B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org> > http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek> > ---> B-Greek home page: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek> B-Greek mailing list> B-Greek at lists.ibiblio.org> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-greek
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