Over the last few weeks I have been working through Logos‘ Baker Academic Biblical Greek Collection and it has been tremendously helpful in refreshing my Greek. This bundle is designed to give you a variety of beginner and intermediate level Greek resources to help you either learn Koine Greek or brush up on it if you haven’t used it in a while. Here is what the bundle includes:
- Grammatical Concepts 101 for Biblical Greek: Learning Biblical Greek Grammatical Concepts through English Grammar by Gary A. Long
- It’s Still Greek to Me: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Intermediate Greek by David Alan Black
- Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek: A Survey of Basic Concepts and Applications, 2nd ed. by David Alan Black
- Lexical Aids for Students of New Testament Greek, 3rd ed. by Bruce M. Metzger
- New Testament Greek: A Beginning and Intermediate Grammar, rev. ed. by James Allen Hewett, C. Michael Robbins, and Steven R. Johnson
- Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors by David Allan Black
Grammatical Concepts 101 by Long is a very basic Greek Grammar that takes a unique approach. Long teaches you Greek grammar through its parallels with English grammar. What many people experience when they learn Greek is that they don’t understand English grammar as well as they thought. Long links the two together and shows the similarities and differences. He spends a lot of time diagramming sentences (which you probably either loved or hated in school) to show the relationship between words. That approach will be attractive to some but a turn off to others.
This book is very basic, very thorough and easy to understand. The book includes some lessons where you are able to type words into spaces provided so that you can do the lessons within logos, which I thought was a nice feature. It really needed more of this, especially at the end of each chapter. The weakness of this book is that there isn’t enough application through practical learning lessons and drills that could have been better incorporated into the book. This book is a great introductory grammar where you can go and either learn or get reminded of the basics.
It’s Still Greek to Me: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Intermediate Greek by David Alan Black is a very well respected book and it probably the best book in the collection. I have the hard copy of this book and I really appreciated the Logos version so much more. It is really nice to be able to cross reference words in the book with BDAG with a few clicks. This book is similar to Long’s 101 book but it is easier to read and has better exercises. Black doesn’t use all the sentence diagramming and his writing style is a lot more engaging than Long. What also makes this book superior to Long’s book is that it is more than a grammar. Black spends time giving you the tools for using lexicons, establishing word meanings, etc going beyond just helping you understand parts of speech, sentence structures, etc. He also doesn’t overdo the English examples like Long’s book did. I don’t say that as a criticism of Long. Some people are going to appreciate Long’s 101 book more than this one, just based on your learning style and preferences. But for me Black’s book was superior and more helpful. Black also gives more exercises to do that you can type right into Logos. I still feel like this book also needed more exercises than it provided.
Every Greek student should read at least one book on linguistics during their studies. This book is an excellent choice. I would also recommend Linguistics in Biblical Interpretation by Cottrell and Turner. Linguistics is interested in the production of words (physically and historically). Why are words important? where do they come from? How do they change over time? This is a very important thing to have some grasp of, especially if you are preaching or teaching and ever make reference to Greek or even Hebrew. Because linguistics helps us understand where words come you realize that words don’t carry the same definition for eternity. Word meanings change and so we have to be careful in how we present the original languages in our teaching. The problems usually arise when doing a word study. The teacher looks at the Greek word, goes to a lexicon and finds the most creative definition for it and then says that is what the author meant here. This is done all the time, even by some of the most well known Bible teachers and speakers out there.
Last, this book will give you the rundown on actual Greek letter pronunciation. This is going to be an important thing to have, especially if you are trying to learn Greek on your own. It is one thing to memorize words and find them in the text. It is another to learn to read aloud and know how it sounds. This book will train you in the later.
This is a very popular handbook that gives you study helps for learning Koine Greek. The majority of the book are lists of words by frequency. If you learn Greek vocabulary with this approach you can start out with the most common words and wait on learning words that are used, say 25 times or less, for later study. Hugely helpful. I have a hard copy of this and really the only added benefit of having it in Logos is that the page numbers in the index cross reference right back to the page the words are on and the connection with BDAG.
New Testament Greek: A Beginning and Intermediate Grammar, rev. ed. by James Allen Hewett, C. Michael Robbins, and Steven R. Johnson
Here is what this book adds over and above the first two grammars already mentioned. You get some excellent tables and English-Greek, Greek-English lists in the back. There are also a lot of helpful exercises throughout the book. The back also contains some very helpful tables that you can use to learn all the word suffixes. The tables at the back are extremely thorough and helpful. Honestly, that is the part of this book that is the most helpful. If I had to choose one grammar it would probably be this one, followed by Black’s “It’s Still Greek to Me” but the great thing about this Baker collection is that each grammar comes at it from a different perspective and they each have different strengths and tools that the others don’t. Here is a screen shot of the exercises you can type right into Logos
Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors by David Allan Black
Last is Black’s book on using Greek in ministry. This is basically a handbook for ministers that starts with why NT Greek is an important tool for ministers to know how to use and use wisely followed up with some very specific instruction to help make using the Greek NT in ministry accurate and effective. Sometimes people focus more on the second than the first and we need both! Black lays out what reference tools you will need (his 10 Essential Tools), how to study a given passage in Greek, and how to use Greek to make application.
Click the bundle below to get more details and/or purchase this collection