[B-Greek] Need recommendations to relearn syntax

Sarah Wagner xaipre at yahoo.com
Sun May 24 19:02:49 EDT 2009

Hate to drop in and whine, but I've got a question I can't solve, and thought maybe asking all of you would provide me an answer.

I need to know Classical/Koine/Byzantine Greek very well, and I've taken plenty of Greek courses, but my understanding of grammar is pretty spotty, and it gets me into loads of trouble. The reasons for this spottiness is complicated, but date back to the time of my initial Greek course, which I went into with an incomplete knowledge of grammar in general, when my prof had a stroke part way through and my class got saddled with a round-robin of substitutes from the department, each of whom managed to make members of the class drop out in quiet desperation. Not only that, this was quite a few years ago, and what I managed to learn then has become increasingly rusty.

Now that summer is here (and a bit of "me" time) I want to correct this. My problems largely lie in syntax. I still know verb and noun forms, but piecing it all together...well, that's the trouble. I know that to get better at Greek you have to read it, but at the moment reading anything is frustrating and discouraging. Trouble is, I'm not exactly sure what it is that I don't know.  Most things on the web that I've seen are too basic or just drill forms/vocab. So I thought to maybe pick up a grammer book and just start back at the beginning, but then I'll need a book which concentrates upon sentence structure and not just "transfer this passage in 1 John into English words" exercises (that sounds harsh, but I trust you'll all understand what I'm getting at). My textbook in my initial (problematic) Greek course was Athenaze. I remember liking it. I understand that a new edition has come out - is it a real improvement or should I just dig out my old
 books? I have an aversion to Mounce - bad memories of Bible majors in college proudly telling that they could read 30% of the New Testament after the first week of class or something (and then looking at me like I had three heads when I tried to explain the troubles I had with reading Lysias), plus I don't understand his need to seperate a form into a million different parts. 

What I think I'm looking for, then, is a book which is a comprehensive graded grammer with plenty of exercies (and an answer key, I can get pretty delusional about what I'm doing, and I won't have access to a tutor over the summer). Also, I'm not a linguistics guru, so something highly technical or dense isn't going to make any sense to me. What I really need, though I hate to say it, are some good intensive worksheets on syntax. I need to be able to sit with my pencil and play around with sentences and understand how the different forms/particles impact meaning, over and over again. I'm not sure if what I'm looking for even exists (or if what I'm looking for is actually what I need even) but there is a dizzying array of Greek books on the market right now, and I'm getting dizzy trying to figure out which one would be most helpful for my situation. So if any of you have any recommendations for me, any at all, I would be most appreciative.



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