Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application - eBook
Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application - eBook  -     By: A. Chadwick Thornhill
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Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application - eBook

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 9781493406531
ISBN-13: 9781493406531

Publisher's Description

Who Says You Have to Attend Seminary to Learn Greek?

Reading the New Testament in its original language is one of the most effective ways to gain a greater understanding of the message of the Bible. Even though Greek is important to preparation for preaching and teaching, many who are called to ministry will not be able to dedicate years of study to master the language. But a lack of mastery of Greek should not exclude us from gleaning important insight and inspiration from reading Scripture in its original language.

Now pastors, Bible study instructors, Sunday school teachers, and serious lay students of the Bible can learn the basics of biblical Greek at their own pace. Greek for Everyone explains how the Greek language works and introduces the Greek alphabet, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, equipping readers to understand the original meaning of the New Testament. By focusing on the takeaways that most impact interpretation, this accessible book provides a working knowledge of biblical Greek for the study of Scripture.

Author Bio

A. Chadwick Thornhill (PhD, Liberty University) is the chair of theological studies and an assistant professor of apologetics and biblical studies for the Liberty University School of Divinity. He is the author of a number of articles and essays, and of the book The Chosen People: Election, Paul and Second Temple Judaism.

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  1. SnickerdoodleSarah
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Bible study resource
    December 6, 2016
    SnickerdoodleSarah
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Greek for Everyone by A. Chadwick Thornhill presents a unique book on New Testament Greek. His stated goal is to have those reading this book learn "Greek in order to become better students of the Scripture rather than students of Greek." The aim of the book is not to "gain reading proficiency but rather are working to establish the ability to use various tools to study the text in Greek".

    And I think that Thornhill accomplishes his goals with this book, he takes you through a basic (though it still seems quite thorough) overview of the various parts of Greek so that you may then use lexicons, parsing guides, and other Greek tools in your Bible study without having to become an expert Greek scholar.

    Thornhill starts out by explaining that one of the most important things to do in acquiring a knowledge of Koine Greek that is useful to Bible study is to remember to keep looking for the 'big picture' in a text/passage. One of the interesting points he brings out is that "words do not have meaning", they have ranges of meaning and we only find out what exact meaning an individual word has by looking at the words that surround it, and the words that surround those wordsetc. Rows of zeros are used as examples to illustrate this concept. Thornhill states, "More exegetical errors are probably made through haphazard word study than in any of the other steps in the process". I was very pleased that great emphasis is made of the fact that context is VERY important in Bible study.

    Thornihill then moves on to quick overviews of Greek phrases, clauses, conjunctions, verbs, nominals, cases, participles, etc. Again, this is mainly so that you will be able to use Greek tools with comprehension in your study without having to memorize the various forms and endings that indicate the word's 'makeup' and thus its meaning and relation to the surrounding words. You will learn what the breakdown that these tools give you means, but mainly so that you know what the lexical aids mean when they break it down for you, not so that you'll break it down yourself. At the end of many of the overviews he gives you some common Biblical Greek words to memorize and then a Greek sentence to practice on using a parsing tool or an analytical lexicon.

    All in all, I think that this is an excellent aid for Bible study, and probably more especially a good resource for pastors as well since seminary is SO expensive nowadays (My brother was not able to afford to go to any Seminary, though he had a desire to do so).

    Many thanks to the folks at Baker Books for sending me a complimentary review copy of this book! (My review did not have to be favorable)
  2. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Inadequate index limits future use
    November 1, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    I have good news and bad news about this book.

    First the good news. It is a great resource for laypeople who want to deepen their understanding of the New Testament by gaining some knowledge of Greek. I feel Thornhill does a great job of giving readers an understanding of the basics. He covers how the Greek language works as a whole. He goes through the alphabet, pronunciation, parts of speech, verbs and nominals and how they are structured, cases, pronouns, adjectives, etc.

    While he does suggest memorizing the most common 92 vocabulary words, his focus is to give skills to use information gathered (perhaps elsewhere) to exegete a passage. He does not require memorizing conjugations or declensions but does explain what each means in understanding the text. Rather than memorizing the endings in this highly inflected language, he gives many resources (books and websites) to help readers identify them. When one finds out a verb is present imperative, this book can be referenced to find out what kind of a command it is.

    He has a good section on textual criticism and translations. Readers who have wondered why translations differ so will find answers to their questions here. He covers the principles involved in understanding the text, identifying the various contexts that need to be recognized. He also has a great section on how to do word studies and then what to do with them. He finally takes the reader through a suggested process of investigating a passage, providing a good list of external resources.

    The aspect of this book I found totally inadequate was the index. (It's about one page in length.) It limits the usefulness of the book later on. For example, perhaps I find from another source that a verb is aorist subjunctive. That term does not appear in the index. Subjunctive mood does appear, with four page options listed. I finally found aorist subjunctive in the third listing, three pages in. The inadequate index decreases the usefulness of the book as a lay person's future resource. I suggest readers create their own extensive index as they work their way through the book so they will have easy access to information later.

    I recommend this book to laypersons who want to gain a good understanding of the basics of Greek to enhance their understanding of the New Testament. If readers would create their own index as they read, this book will be a great resource for years to come.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
  3. Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    5 Reasons You Should Study Greek
    November 1, 2016
    Michele Morin
    Warren, Maine
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Theres a Greek alphabet tucked into my cookbook shelf, and every so often I bump into it in my search for a recipe. Its an apt metaphor for the place and prominence that deep study plays in my every day life tucked somewhere between the soup and the muffins. The reappearance of that chart never fails to stir up a tiny pang of regret. Why didnt I study Greek back in my college days when I had the opportunity and the time?

    Once outside academic life, its nearly impossible to invest the years of study that are required for mastery of a language, so naturally I could not resist reading Dr. A. Chadwick Thornhills Greek for Everyone, which promises to focus on a working knowledge of biblical Greek with an emphasis on facilitating in-depth study of the New Testament. My what have I gotten myself into? response at the beginning of chapter one has mellowed to a quiet realization that this is a discipline that will enhance my study. So with whatever small time I am able to invest, Im back to the beginning again with the daunting task of learning a new alphabet and phonetic system, but Im convinced that it will be worth the effort for five reasons:

    A better understanding of New Testament (Koine or common) Greek reveals the reason for many of the differences that appear in our English translations. Word order in Greek is much more fluid than in English. Furthermore, Greek prepositions can take on a range of meanings that are narrowed down by paying attention to their objects. Therefore, differences among translations function as a flare, drawing attention to interpretive issues that deserve special care in our reading and studying.

    Words by themselves can easily lead us astray. The big picture is critical for effective meaning-making, and the Greek languages tendency to hang multiple supporting clauses off one main clause makes it challenging to identify the main idea of a sentence. Take Ephesians 1:3-14 for example. The grammatical structure of this one sentence (yes, one sentence!) in the Greek is completely lost in the English translations, which break it into shorter, more readable sentences, BUT which do not carry forward the flow of thought from the original. No matter how much time I spend on my alphabet and phonics chart, Ill never straighten this out on my own. However, this heightened awareness will make me a more careful reader.

    On-line resources for Bible study abound. Interlinear Bibles, lexicons, parsing aids, and concordances make it possible to study the New Testament with minimal knowledge of Greek, but they also open the door to a fragmented scatter-shot approach to study that results in dynamite force blasting forth from every reference to power in the New Testament and leaves well-intentioned preachers loading down words with every possible range of meaning, regardless of context. Dr. Thornhill offers helpful questions to bear in mind when studying individual words: What concept is the word intending to invoke here? What is the significance of using one synonym instead of another? Am I examining a word that carries theological weight in the passage? What is the possible range of meanings for this word, and are there other terms with similar meaning?

    Language is a key factor to understanding the context of the New Testament. Being a mono-linguistic North American is only one of the biases that I bring to my reading of the Bible. Dr. Thornhill urges his students to stand under a text rather than standing over it. I cant say this any better than he did: We must . . . allow the text to read us, to reshape our presuppositions and to reform our mind as we read it. Amen.

    Borrowing a term from Grant Osborn, Dr. Thornhill describes the interpretive process as a hermeneutic spiral a journey more than a destination that is consistently applied and reapplied as we dive into the deep water of the New Testament. An attitude of epistemic humility (recognizing that we are not omniscient) explores the background of a text, reads it in context (and even out loud, if possible), compares translations, and then examines lexical, grammatical and syntactical issues in order to develop a tentative description of the passages meaning. Only then are commentaries, books, sermons, and articles consulted to confirm the readers conclusions.

    A high view of Scripture includes an understanding that texts do not just have something to say, but they they also have something to do. This is the reason we read and study Scripture, and whatever tools we have in our hands, God will use them as they are offered to Him. For now, in these days of seeing through a glass darkly, my knowledge of God will be veiled no matter how much Greek I learn, but its nice to know that by pressing into a fuller knowledge of the Bible I can bring those bookends of already and not-yet a tiny bit closer together, adding to that fuller knowledge with a more faithful doing of the will of God.

    //

    This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 : Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
  4. Veronica
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Greek for Everyone - Especially Beginners!
    October 24, 2016
    Veronica
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Ever since I first heard that Baker Publishing was coming out with this resource, I have been looking forward to getting my hands on it. Many speakers teach about how important is to understand Greek in order to more thoroughly comprehend key points in the Bible, and I have always felt of the loop. I could not wait to see what this book would offer in terms of learning this information, and let me tell you: I was not at all disappointed.

    To begin, the tips and starting points in Chapter 1 were wonderful guides on how to read this study. I found the point about not moving on to the next chapter until having thoroughly understood the previous one to be a very valid suggestion. In my case, there were a few chapters where I was chomping at the bit to move on to the next chapter to learn something new; however, skipping parts that do not appeal to you will not assist your learning. The feast metaphor (youll understand once you read it) at the beginning of the book is also very accurate in representing how to read this resource.

    Overall, I really appreciated how descriptive and detailed this book was. The writing style was intriguing, and I rarely found my attention wavering from the guide. I especially loved how in-depth Greek For Everyone felt, without being too wordy. I have read a few instructional books in the past that get too bogged in sounding scholarly and completely forget whom their target audience is. Greek For Everyone, on the other hand, was quite easy for me - a beginner - to follow and enjoy. The layout of the writing and the tables included in this resource were also a great touch to help readers understand key points the author was making. I can see this helping visual learners who may wish to picture what they are learning. A. Chadwick Thornhill has written an easy-to-understand, practical, and simple-to-apply study guide that does a wonderful job introducing readers to the world of understanding Greek.

    **My thanks to the Baker Publishing Group, who sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
  5. Ed Fos
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    An Accessible Introduction to Biblical Greek
    October 21, 2016
    Ed Fos
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I am reviewing the work Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application by A. Chadwick Thornhill (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2016). Dr. Thornhill is currently the chair of theological studies and assistant professor of apologetics and biblical studies at Liberty University School of Divinity. The parenthetical numbers below will constitute specific references to page numbers in his book.

    Chapter 1 discusses overall language learning, and particularly what's involved in acquiring knowledge of ancient Koine Greek. Chapter 2 reviews the big picture of language. What does it take to do effective interpretation of biblical passages? Is "knowing Greek" enough? Maybe one needs to know the "big picture" first. Thornhill defines the "big picture of language" as "words do not have meaning" (11). For instance, the denotation of "cat" or "bank" is established by context. A cat could be a "four-legged feline" or just "a cool guy." The surrounding words, syntax, and literary setting of a term like "cat" will help to ascertain just what the term means. In a word, we need a context or usus loquendi to fill out the big picture of language.

    Chapter 3 teaches new Greek students about phrases, clauses, and conjunctions. Thornhill defines the following terms: sentence, subject, predicate, preposition, and phrase. His explanation for prepositional phrases and their objects is brief, but helpful. The account in Greek that Thornhill summons forth to illustrate how prepositions function in Koine Greek is Romans 8:1, 2. To elucidate participial phrases (phrases that contain verbal adjectives), he employs Matthew 8:1 and John 4:10. Finally, to help readers understand infinitive phrases (phrases that contain verbal nouns), we find examples taken from Matthew 5:17 and Philippians 1:21. This chapter includes an enlightening distinction that's made between coordinating conjunctions (paratactic) and subordinating conjunctions (hypotactic).

    Learning an ancient language normally takes resources in order to master one's study of the language. Chapter 4 of Greek for Everyone provides some tools that might be helpful, even though not all Greek teachers will agree with some of the recommendations outlined in the chapter. Thornhill appears to have no problem with students employing interlinears: he suggests a number of electronic resources to access free interlinears. John 1:1 is wielded in this case, to illustrate how an interlinear might look. Strong's Concordance numbers are even displayed and said to be "useful" (31). However, Greek purists will undoubtedly demur or look askance at this suggestion. His recommendation for lexicons will probably fare much better. I agree that serious students ought to buy BDAG (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature) and Louw-Nida (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains). Furthermore, a new Cambridge Greek-English Lexicon will be published in 2017/2018. Nonetheless, lexicons just like other resources must be utilized judiciously.

    Other things that one needs to know about Greek are noun cases. Chapter 6 introduces the nominative accusative, and vocative cases. John 1:1c again finds its way into the discussion, and from the notable text, we learn that the passage has a Greek conjunction, a noun without an article (i.e., a noun used anarthrously and predicatively), a third-person singular stative verb, and a noun coupled with the article, which means that the nominative construction identifies the verb's subject (46).

    Greek also has genitive and dative noun cases. Chapter 7 outlines different types of genitives: many examples are supplied to assist the nascent Greek student. What is the difference between subjective genitives and objective genitives? What is a dative of association or a dative of cause? This chapter offers clarifications on this subject, and Thornhill gives a healthy warning about understanding datives and other Greek cases.

    There are more chapters that deal with Greek syntax. Chapter 8 covers Greek articles, pronouns, adjectives, and prepositions whereas Chapter 9 switches to (Independent) Indicative-Mood Verbs. Conversely, Chapter 9 reviews (Independent) Imperative-Mood Verbs; speakers employ imperatives to relay commands that could be general or emphasize "some aspect of duration" (87). The chapter, like some of the others, is fairly short by design.

    Next comes (Dependent) Subjunctive-Mood Verbs (Chapter 11), (Dependent) Greek Infinitives in Chapter 12, and (Dependent) Greek Participles in Chapter 13. The last-mentioned chapter builds on earlier material regarding participles. Now the student learns about present participles, aorist participles, perfect participles, adjectival participle functions, adverbial participle functions, and verbal participle functions. See Acts 5:41; Ephesians 1:20; 1 Peter 2:18. This summary might sound overwhelming at first, but Greek for Everyone has a way of making complex subjects fairly understandable.

    Since I've previously studied many books on Greek morphology and syntax, the part of the book that appealed to me was Chapters 14-18. On these pages, Thornhill returns to the "big picture," discloses how students might compare English translations, explains how to bridge contexts, and how to undertake word studies in a responsible manner. The final chapter attempts to synthesize all of the material presented hitherto. The book also contains appendices, notes, a glossary, and indices.

    Greek for Everyone is simply written, accessible, and abstains from being too wordy. Additionally, the author does not fear treading new paths as he endeavors to help students and teachers of Koine Greek.

    Baker Books provided my complimentary copy of Greek for Everyone, and they sent the book without expecting me to give a positive review.
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