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Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition Review by Kendra FletcherWilliam D. Mounce
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
Studying Biblical Greek exciting? Accessible? Who would have thought!
Basics of Biblical Greek is a classic text used in universities and seminaries all over the world, but what is especially exciting and significant about the third and newest edition is that it has been carefully developed in consultation with homeschooling parents, instructors, students, and other self-learners. What that means, practically, is that Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition, is a beginning Greek curriculum that is accessible to the average home educator like you and me. Few of us have studied Koine Greek, meaning few of us are prepared to teach our children or even give them a bit of help if they need it. Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition, can change all that!
There are so many things I like about this third edition. For starters, I so appreciate William D. Mounce's approach to teaching. Instead of camping on either the inductive method (immersion into the language and a more "natural learning" approach) or the deductive method (systematic study and rote memorization approach), Mounce attempts to combine the best of both methods. Additionally, he sees the learning of Biblical Greek as a tool for ministry. He outlines his goals for the text as follows:
1. To approach learning Greek not as an intellectual exercise but as a tool for ministry.
2. To provide constant encouragement for students, showing them not only what they should learn but why.
3. To teach only what is necessary at the moment, deferring the more complicated concepts until later.
4. To reduce rote memorization to a minimum.
5. To utilize current advances in linguistics, not for the purpose of teaching linguistics but to make learning Greek easier.
6. To be able to read most of the books in the New Testament with help from a lexicon.
That last point is particularly exciting, isn't it? William J. Mounce has a strong desire to make learning Biblical Greek a realistic goal for everyone. "The easier it is to learn the language, the more the language will be used by pastors and others involved in ministry." But I say we're all involved in ministry, and what an amazing gift it would be to our children if we could give them a basic knowledge of Biblical Greek. If that's something you desire for your children, I'd encourage you to take a good look at Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition.
The text itself is a non-consumable hardback book that can be passed from one student to the next. There are memorable sidebars sprinkled liberally throughout which offer practical little helps and often serve to add a bit of levity to such a serious subject. A brief introduction entitled "Exegetical Insight" opens each chapter, with thoughtful and interesting information regarding certain Biblical texts and the way in which the Greek is translated or used in each particular passage. The layout is logical, easy to read, and attractive.
Student workbooks are softbound consumables, three-hole punched and ready to use. Priced at 22.99, the workbook is the only consumable product in the Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition line that you will have to purchase. As an optional aid to the student, vocabulary flash cards are available. The cards include frequency numbers and principle parts of verbs. You may also choose to purchase the Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition audio CD, which contains all the Greek words found in the vocabulary sections of the text presented in order of the lessons.
Additionally, I appreciate the support site (www.Teknia.com) for its fantastic free resources--a free online course that walks you through the text chapter by chapter (no, I'm not kidding, and how great is that?), vocabulary flashcards, video and audio helps, quizzes for each chapter, fun songs and games, and even a downloadable Greek font.
Beginning to feel as if you could indeed help your student study Biblical Greek? You can! And Basics of Biblical Greek, Third Edition, can give you the tools to do so in an exemplary way.