The UBS Greek New Testament, A Reader's Edition
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Number of Pages: 732
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Publication Date: 2007
|Dimensions: 9.50 X 6.50 X 1.25 (inches)|
Availability: In Stock
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No doubt the biggest obstacle to reading the Greek NT with proficiency is acquiring an adequate vocabulary. After taking an elementary-level Greek class, most students will have learned the meanings of words that occur fifty times or more in the Greek NT. With the completion of an intermediate-level course, many will know words that occur in the range of twenty to thirty times or more. But what then? There are certainly many good tools available for building ones Greek vocabulary further. Yet reading the text cannot await mastery of all NT vocabulary. At some point, a student must simply jump in and begin reading. The obvious problem, though, is that reading the text is seriously slowed when one is continually looking up unfamiliar words in a lexicon.
This is where The UBS Greek New Testament: A Readers Edition comes in. It employs the text of the UBS4 used by most beginning Greek students. As the subtitle indicates, it is A Readers Edition. Its goal is to enable students to acquire the skill of reading the Greek text without undue dependence on other tools. The student who has a first year level Greek vocabulary is provided, at the bottom of each page, with glosses for words that occur thirty times or less. As one comes across these words in the text, they are numerically marked to facilitate finding the corresponding number and definition at the bottom. As a result, students spend less time searching a lexicon and more time in the textand are, thus, enabled to read larger sections more quickly.
Other features of the running dictionary at the bottom of each page include the following: (1) The definitions for each word are chosen according to the context. Thus, the reader is given a concise meaning that fits the context, rather than a list of possible meanings from which to choose. (2) If significant differences of opinion exist regarding a given word, alternate definitions are provided. (3) On occasion, one is given the meaning of an idiomatic phrase or word combinationif it is hard to determine this by merely combining the individual meanings of the words. For example the definition given for hyperbole in Rom 7:13 is outstanding quality. However, since it appears in this verse with the preposition kata, the idiomatic rendering beyond measure for this combination is also provided. (4) Irregular forms of words are identified and defined. So, even though the common verb echo (I have) occurs more than thirty times, its irregular aorist subjunctive form (schomen) found in 1 John 2:28 is defined. (5) All defined verbs, participles, and infinitives are parsed.
In addition to the running dictionary, the Readers Edition contains an appendix that provides translations of all words occurring more than thirty times in the Greek NT. The maps from the UBS GNT are included as well, and the burgundy hard cover resembles the UBS GNT although, the size is larger (approx. 6 x 9). Unfortunately, the price is steep (list price: $69.95)especially when compared to a similar product, A Readers Greek New Testament by Zondervan (2nd ed., 2007), which is more affordable (list price: $34.99). However, I prefer the UBS Readers Edition for the following reasons: (1) The Zondervan Readers GNT (2nd ed.) is based on the Greek text that underlies the TNIV (Todays New International Version) while the UBS Readers Edition contains the standard critical text of the UBS4 and the NA27, used by most students and scholars. (2) The layout of the running dictionary in the UBS Readers Edition is much more user-friendly, appearing in two numbered columns. The definitions in the Zondervan Readers GNT appear in a paragraph and are, in my opinion, more difficult to find. (3) The appendix in the UBS edition with definitions of words occurring thirty times or more is more extensive than the similar glossary found in the Zondervan edition. (4) The UBS Readers Edition includes parsing information for defined verbs, participles, and infinitives.
This last point is also a potential weakness. Students who consistently rely on the running dictionary to do their parsing for them will weaken their abilities. Another danger is that a student may become too dependent on the running dictionary and spend little time becoming familiar with and learning from the standard Greek-English lexicon, BDAG. Neither of these concerns, though, prevents me from commending this resource. The Readers Edition of the UBS GNT is an extremely useful tool that will benefit those wanting to become more proficient readers of the Greek NT." The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
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