Learning Greek to better understand Scripture

20 Sep

greek-for-everyoneBook Review: Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible study and application, by A. Chadwick Thornhill

Professor A. Chadwick Thornhill has not written your traditional Greek grammar textbook. Instead, he has crafted a volume which sits between a Greek grammar and a biblical hermeneutics book. Most grammars jump immediately into the details of nouns, verbs, and vocabulary. Their goal is turn a student into a scholar. In contrast, the author’s focus “is learning Greek in order to become better students of Scripture rather than students of Greek.” He keeps that goal at the forefront of the book.

The author starts by giving his readers the big picture of language. His point is that “words do not have meaning.” Instead, words only have meaning within a context or “semantic domain.” He explains this principle by showing the big picture of the Gospel of Matthew.

Once the reader gains the big picture, then the author introduces the building blocks of Greek language. He explains the nature of the Greek New Testament, how to understand verb tenses, the various cases of nouns, as well as the details regarding pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, infinitives, and participles.

The author concludes the book with a discussion of English translations and a chapter on the hermeneutical (interpretation) principle of bridging contexts—historical, cultural, and grammatical. He also includes a chapter on the right and wrong way to do word studies.

The book is clearly written and easy to follow. It is a step-by-step guide to learning any language, but especially Greek. Having taken Greek in college and seminary, I found it a helpful refresher.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Books


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