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North Syracuse, NY
4 Stars Out Of 5
Great book, but limited in retrospect
July 19, 2012
North Syracuse, NY
I used this years ago and still use it. As another reviewer mentioned, it is surpassed by Trenchard's book. Metzger's book for generations has helped students of Greek learn all the words used in the NT 10 times or more. It is very well laid out, and easy to use. You can organize your flashcards according to his lists. Trenchard goes beyond this by providing lists all the way down to words used 1 time in the NT. He also has other helps that Metzger's book doesn't have.
However, I have Trenchard, but have no intention of getting rid of Metzger. As the other reviewer said, it's a very slim and practical volume to build or review vocabulary that can be taken anywhere to study anywhere, while Trenchard is about 3-4 times thicker and hard cover. Also, because many resources exist (see below) that allow one to read the Greek NT as long as you know all the words used 30 times or more, it may well be that most students of Greek will find Metzger's book more than enough.
With that said, it is more disruptive to read the NT only knowing the vocabulary down to 30 times. When I got down to all words used 10 times (thanks to Metzger), reading the NT was much, much easier, because you are not looking away from the text so often. So learning all words used 10 times or more is a great benefit.
Sample resources that I've used and recommend which allow you to read the NT if you know all words used 30 times or more (so long as you know the grammar) include:
1. The classic of this sort is Sakae Kubo's Reader's Greek Lexicon, now surpassed by the following resources. You have it open beside the Greek NT as you read and refer to it when stuck on the word (words are all in NT order).
2. Zerwick's A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament, which is the most helpful I've ever seen. It provides more than the resources listed above and below (it gives vocabulary and grammar help). Like Kubo, it is a separate volume from the actual Greek NT.
3. Cleon Roger's New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek NT is similar to Zerwick. However, it provides more info about word meanings (mini-word studies) but less than Zerwick on the difficult grammatical constructions.
4. Barbara Aland's The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition has the advantage of being the actual Greek NT but with the less frequent words listed and translated at the bottom of the page.
5. An earlier version of this idea of putting the "readers's lexicon" type helps right on the page of the Greek NT is by Goodrich and Lukaszewski. I sold it on eBay because the typography and ease of use is not as good as Aland's. Aland's has the words at the bottom printed in two columns so it is easy to track the notes with the translations while Goodrich and Lukaszewski have them below in paragraph form, which requires more scanning to find what you want. Also, the Aland version font is easier on my eyes, but you may think differently. However, they are both excellent resources and either will do the trick.
Now if an arrangement could be made to have the Greek NT printed with the Zerwick notes at the bottom, that would be the ultimate help for readers of the Greek NT!
This was for year the standard for learning Greek Vocab. The frequency list contains all words occurring more than 10x. It is surpassed only be Trechard's vocab book "Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament". I actually would recommend both, as Metzger's books is very thin and can be taken virtually anywhere. It is a great help in learning Greek vocab especially when accompanied with Bill Mounce's vocabulary flash cards.
This book has been entered into my daily routine, It brings back wonderful memories of seminare and classes with Dr. Metzger. He has left us a marvelous gift. The book makes the student aware of of how much has been forgotten and opens a path to greater understanding of New Testament Greek. I believe I shall be able to use other guides to New Testament Greek grammar and vocabulary more efficiently when I complete this marvelous little book. And then it will be a great help in the review needed to maintain some hopefully level of competence.
This book is essential for all Greek students who desire to expand their vocabulary beyond that which is taught a particular grammar. The vocab lists are ordered by frequency so no time is wasted memorizing words which appear only a few times.