Last fall I took my last NT exegesis course required for my degree. Aside from what I will utilize in my thesis paper, I have finished the Greek language components for any remaining classes at seminary. I still dig into my Greek NT, but since finishing I’ve haven’t been as quick with my translating as I once was; my vocabulary, parsing, and overall grammar slowly fleets without the classroom to hold me accountable. I have to say Going Deeper with New Testament Greek from B&H Academic is just the kind of book I needed to aid in fine tuning my skills with the language.
The book is co-authored by Robert Plummer (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Benjamin Merkle (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary), and Andreas Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary). This is my first encounter with anything by Plummer and Merkle, though I have read plenty of Köstenberger’s writings. His exegetical commentary on the gospel of John from Baker Academic is phenomenal, as well as any of the Exegetical Guides to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) commentaries from B&H Academic, of which he is a contributing editor. To say he has championed the Greek language is an understatement, especially in the field Johannine scholarship. For anyone to research the writings or theology of John and not engage with Köstenberger is like researching bodybuilding without engaging with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This book has been designed not just for those seeking to fine tune their Greek skills, but also for the student and teacher. It is fifteen chapters long to fit the fifteen week semester model. The sequence of the chapters is intentional as well. Starting with a brief overview of the Greek language, textual criticism, and the basic skills for navigating a Greek New Testament apparatus. Following this are nouns (ch. 2-4), the article and adjectives (ch. 5), the verbal system (ch. 6), verbal aspect (ch. 7), indicative mood (ch. 8-9), participles (ch. 10), infinitives (ch. 11), pronouns/prepositions/conjunctions/adverbs/particles (ch. 12), diagramming (ch. 13), word studies (ch. 14), and advice/resources for continuing with the language. Each chapter has the same layout with the following subheadings:
- Going Deeper– Introduction to what the chapter entails. The authors include an example of the grammatical concept, showing its importance.
- Chapter Objectives- Learning goals for each chapter
- Body- The bulk of each chapter. This section discusses the subject matter and all its nuances. Like many grammars, they provide Biblical examples as an aid which is always helpful.
- Summary- An overview of the material discussed provided at the end of each chapter
- Practice Exercises- Ten practice exercises are included to help the reader practice what they have learned, very similar to the layout of Mounce’s grammar and companion workbook. The only difference, and selling point of the book in my honest opinion, is this does not require a companion workbook…
- Vocabulary- We all know that learning vocabulary is the foundation of language studies; this section of the chapter affirms the truth all the more by giving a vocabulary list to review in addition to the practice exercises. Since this is an Intermediate grammar, the vocabulary is not the typical entry level as beginner grammars would include; all the words occur in the NT 50 times or less.
- Reading the New Testament- More than a translation exercise, this section highlights the chapter’s subject matter as it appears in a passage of Scripture. This is followed by brief commentary on the grammar and vocabulary of the passage, which is very helpful.
Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is an excellent intermediate Greek grammar that I highly recommend IF you have an elementary understanding of the language. I think this is a perfect “middle point” text for those who have finished their first year language classes, but haven’t stepped into the heavy duty exegesis courses yet. I also think this would work well with Daniel Wallace’s Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics, for those looking to thoroughly saturate themselves in the subject matter. Coming from Mounce as my starting point, I think this is a great “next step” book.
One last thing about this grammar, they provide a “cheat sheet” for an additional $6.99. What is incredible about this cheat sheet is it’s a double-sided tri-fold laminate with both parsing and syntax. I highly recommend this to any student of the language, whether or not you have the book to follow along with. You can purchase this book on B&H’s website if you click here.
Thank you to B&H Academic for kindly providing me with a review copy of the book. The words expressed are my own and were not affected by this provision.