[B-Greek] Latest Amazon reveiw of Zondervan's Reader's Greek New Testamant and the latest version of Markos' Ultra-Nauseam regarding same

Mark Lightman lightmanmark at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 3 09:52:55 EDT 2010

I read this review this morning and it triggered some thoughts.

Here's the link:

Go ahead and read the review now and when you get back, we'll talk about.  Go ahead.  Go there
now.  I'll wait.  The review is short, and even though the guy is from Russia, his English is better than mine.

Are you back?  Wait, you did not actually go to the link,  did you?  I know what you are doing.
You are reading this post really fast,  skimming it really, in the vain hope that there will be SOMETHING
of substance found here.  But I promise, I have something of interest to say here.  Okay, I will
post the review here which will force you to at least skim it:

"I want to congratulate Zondervan for the amazing work they
have done.They "Reader's Greek New Testament " is just incredible
tool! I was learning Greek on my own and during first year of study was trying
to actually read my UBS 4. But the greatest difficulty was vocab.I'm not
super-man and can't learn thousands of words using flashcards.Then you need to
look-up in lexicon several times during one sentence- it's really boring! Year
ago I've ordered ''RGNT 2th edition" and immediately began read it! I've
been reading it every day, everywhere, at any free time. It's amazing! I read
GNT just as my Russian or English translation and ever faster! I loved this
beautiful Language. All my knowledge from ''Morfology of Biblical Greek"
written by Bill Mounce, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basic" by Wallace and
other books pass to live then I read GNT! Koine Greek is a living language -
Word of God lives forever! RGNT is revolutionary smart and extremely useful
tool. The idea of joining Text with lexicon is great! The fonts are so
delightful,so thin and really easy to read. 
Design is very attractive. People in the Church actually think that I'm reading
one of the English bibles. All others Greek Texts are intended for poorly
academic use, but this one can be used as loved every day bible. I Love this
bible. This Bible is just blessing for me!"

I love this guy's enthusiasm.  I had more or less the same experience with my RGNT and I still
do.  The Greek New Testament is still my favorite book, and this is still my favorite edition of it.
I don't look at the glosses much any more.  Now I even remember which Greek word means
"dill" and which "cumin." But I still take my RGNT to Church, I still read it on the bus.  I still love
the thin pages and I still feel a little guilty that it lacks a complete textual apparatus and the glosses
may not have taken into account the latest edition of LSJ (what are we up to now?  I can never
keep track of these things.  NA 28 and UBS 4 and BDAG 3 and LSJ 14, is that right?  What is it with this constant revising of things?  Is this just a Greek thing?  Wasn't this Winston Smith's job in 1984?  The Party
could not get its facts straight, so the poor guy had to spend all day in the Ministry of Truth revising all the books.  Niko A has a point.  Say what you will about the Greek Orthodox Church, but when they
issue a text, they get it right the first time) and it doesn't have any appendixes in Latin.   I know that
the RGNT is not for everyone, but it's cool to read that it is catching on even in Russia.

Same thing with a Reader's Edition of Homer.  Not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it is
being produced, in installments, by Geoffrey Steadman. Odyssey 9-12 will be out next month,
and all his books are available for free download here.


My plan is to custom print Steadman's Odyssey on thin paper with a nice fake leather
cover like the one RGNT has.  I am convinced that for me, the best way to learn vocab
is to re-read passages over and over again and dart one's eyes on to the same page gloss
and then go back to the Greek and keep on reading.  I have tried everything else to learn
the massive Homer vocab, flash cards and recording myself reciting the words and the 

glosses, and writing the words in the margins of my Loeb's.  I am convinced that, for me,
you have to have the words printed SOMEWHERE in a real Greek font, and the idea that
the best place for this is NOT under or across from the Greek text does not make any sense
to me.  Others may find e-texts suitable for this.  Several B-Greek members are producing
electronic Reader's Editions and I applaud their efforts.

Here's what I like about this latest review of Zondervan's Reader's Greek New Testament.
Twenty five years ago I took a New Testament Greek Class.  The Prof assigned NA 26
with not even a dictionary in the back-how-dare-you-put-a-dictionary-in-the-back-of-
lift!) and he made us all buy BDAG 2.  If you did not know a word, you had to look it up
and slog through Bauer's verbiage and it was miserable and no one in the class learned how
to read NT Greek.  Now, at the time, Persheimer's book, the precursor to RGNT
was out there, out of print, but available in used book stores.  It would have helped us
tremendously but (1) the Prof did not tell us it existed because he had a theoretical objection to
the underlying pedagogy of this resource and (2) in those days, there was no Amazon.com, there
was no B-Greek.  There was no place where people could get together, even from different
continents, and share what resources actually WORK.  There were no on-line resources,
amateurs could not produce imperfect but helpful Greek videos. (like this one, for example


You could not sample books on line and decide which was the best.  The Prof assigned
a book and you paid full price for it and that was it, that was how you learned to
read Greek, period.  Roma locuta, causa finata.  It's different now.  It's better now.
The Prof can still make his case.  The Prof may be right.  But this guy from Russia gets
his say too.

My dad is convinced that everything in the world is worse today than it was fifty years
ago.  Everything, the politicians, the baseball teams, the MILK, for heaven's sake! ("This
milk is not as good as it was when your mother and I were growing up...")  He may have
a point.  But learning how to read Greek is an exception.  RGNT is a part of this.
B-Greek is a big part of this.

 Mark L



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