[B-Greek] Textbook for Beginning Greek

Paul D. Nitz paul.d.nitz at gmail.com
Mon Dec 13 04:38:30 EST 2010

Ms. Rollinson,

Please describe the value of the Cambridge Latin approach.

Dobson has served me well.  I've only used the 3rd (newest) edition. If I
understand you, it has been changed so much from earlier editions that you
have given up using it.  Can you describe the changes?

In blessed ignorance of earlier editions, I've been very happy with Dobson
3rd Edition.  It has helped my students (and me) to think / read Greek.  But
I do see that it must be followed by a more thorough treatment of grammar.
To that end, I have used various other Greek primers and found most entirely
unsatisfactory for reaching the goal of "reading" Greek.  To me, every
grammar seems to simply rearrange the order.  One takes nouns first, the
other tackles verbs.  One presents 2nd Declension then 1st, another flips
the order.

Ideally, what I would like is a GRAMMAR book (not a Greek primer that
contains grammar) which would be matched by appropriate reading exercises.
Imagine a "graded" grammar.  Let's say Lesson 6 taught the Genitive.  That
lesson should then be divided and "graded" on a rising difficulty level.
So, maybe...
   Lesson 6A - Possessive, Objective, Subjective
   Lesson 6B - Source, Separation, & other uses.
   Lesson 6C - Rares uses, Genitive Absolute.
All other lessons would be likewise graded.
Each lesson would have complementary graded readings, 6A, 6B, 6C.  *

Oh, how glorious this would be!  In first year Greek, I would use Dobson to
cement the "reading/thinking" approach to the language (and de-emphasis on
grammatical labels).  Then, in subsequent years I would use this graded
grammar to spiral up through the graded lessons and graded readings.  First
semester, Lessons 1A, 2A, 3B.  Second semester 1B, 2B, 3B, etc.

The closest I've found is Clarence B. Hale's "Let's Study Greek" (revised by
Glen Thompson).  The book is divided into 206 paragraphs, each presenting a
distinct aspect of grammar.  These paragraphs are grouped into 50 lessons.
Each lesson has a translation exercise & vocabulary.  The translation
exercise is one unit, not separate sentences.  I've only just started to use
it, but so, far so good.

* A good deal of Discourse Analysis introduction in the grammar might be
nice, though maybe that's a personal wish to learn more about it.

Paul D. Nitz
Lutheran Bible Institute - Lilongwe, Malawi

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shirley Rollinson" <rollinsondr at yahoo.com>
To: <b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 12, 2010 4:39 AM
Subject: [B-Greek] Textbook for Beginning Greek

> Textbook for Beginning Greek
> I'm currently "between textbooks" for the Beginning Greek courses I teach.
> I'd appreciate some ideas for a textbook which uses a blend of inductive 
> and grammatical methods.
> I used Dobson's "Teach Yourself NT Greek" for years, and my students did 
> well with it. I had to give them plenty of additional grammar and 
> vocabulary hand-outs, but the book got them reading fluently and with 
> confidence. Within one semester they were reading (and enjoying) large 
> passages from the NT. However, the earlier edition has been edited and 
> "improved" several times. The later editions became less and less 
> satisfactory, until I just gave up on it.
> Wenham is out of print.
> I've tried others over the years, including Duff, Mounce, Croy, and 
> MacNair, and none of them get the students reading and understanding as 
> quickly as the original Dobson.
> What's more frustrating is that I also teach Latin, using a blend of the 
> Cambridge Course and Wheelock, and my Latin students are up and running in 
> one semester. But so far I haven't found a Greek equivalent of the 
> Cambridge Latin Course.
> I'm teaching at the College level, up to a Minor in Greek, as part of a BA 
> or BS degree, with students who may or may not go on to seminary (most do 
> not). What I want is a book which will help to get them started, will give 
> them confidence in reading and comprehension, and which they can use by 
> themselves if they drop out of College.
> Any ideas ?
> thank you
> Shirley Rollinson
> Eastern New Mexico University
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