Introduces Greek students to the field of linguistics and shows how its findings can increase their understanding of the New Testament


10 thoughts on “Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek: A Survey of Basic Concepts and Applications

  1. Gregory Casteel Gregory Casteel says:

    A useful, if imperfect, resource for students and teachers of Koine GreekIf you are an intermediate or advanced student of New Testament Koine Greek, or especially if you are a teacher of NT Greek, then this book is definitely worth having in your personal library I wouldn t recommend it for beginning students, since it presupposes that the reader is familiar with the basics of the language but once you ve mastered the fundamentals, this book can certainly add something of value to your unde A useful, if imperfect, resource for students and teachers of Koine GreekIf you are an intermediate or advanced student of New Testament Koine Greek, or especially if you are a teacher of NT Greek, then this book is definitely worth having in your personal library I wouldn t recommend it for beginning students, since it presupposes that the reader is familiar with the basics of the language but once you ve mastered the fundamentals, this book can certainly add something of value to your understanding of Koine Greek.However, the book has at least a few major flaws which prevent me from giving it a wholehearted five star recommendation These flaws are mainly due to when this book was published at least some of the information it contains is outdated, since both the field of linguistics and the field of Koine Greek studies have evolved quite a bit over the past two decades The main problems come in the chapter on phonetics There are two major problems First, the terminology that the author uses for describing the sounds of spoken Greek is a bit out of date the terms that linguists now prefer to use for describing these sounds are at least slightly different from those used in this book It s not that the author is wrong the terms that he uses were in vogue at one time it s just that the terminology used in any field of study will tend to change over time, and so a book that isthan 20 years old will almost certainly include at least some outdated terms This is not a problem if you don t care about how up to date the terminology is, but you at least need to know that the way the author describes certain speech sounds is not the way that most linguists would describe those sounds today.The second major problem in the chapter on phonetics and theimportant of the two, at least in my opinion is the author s uncritical use of the traditional Erasmian pronunciation, which we now know to be entirely artificial Originally devised in the early 16th century by the scholar Desiderius Erasmus, and tweaked in various ways over the following centuries, this method of pronouncing Ancient Greek does not accurately reflect how the language actually sounded at any single point in its history It uses some of the sounds of Classical Attic Greek i.e the Greek of Plato and Aristotle and some of the sounds of Koine Greek, but a time traveler who knew only the Erasmian pronunciation would have difficulty making himself understood by Greek speakers in 5th century BC Athens, 2nd century BC Alexandria, or 1st century AD Antioch I m not really sure exactly when scholars first became aware that the Erasmian pronunciation was flawed or when they first reconstructed how the ancient language was actually pronounced at various points in its history, so I don t want to fault the author too much here when he wrote the book in the mid 1990s, the problems with the Erasmian pronunciation might not have been well understood, andauthentic pronunciation schemes might not have yet become available Nonetheless, his chapter on phonetics makes no mention of the fact that the pronunciation system he uses is artificial, nor does it mention the existence of alternative methods of pronunciation It simply presents the Erasmian pronunciation as if that is how Koine Greek actually sounded when the New Testament was written Because this error has such a powerful potential to mislead students, I am unable to give this book a five star recommendation


  2. L. Narvaez L. Narvaez says:

    Very well structured and logically contented.Black has structured his book in a way that makes it easy to read and understand The sequence he followed works as a mental guide for the reader This is a feature that I think helped him to achieve his goal in this book of showing the logical and cohesive nature of the New Testament Greek Through this emphasis, he managed to move from simple to complex aspects of different branches of linguistics, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, and semanti Very well structured and logically contented.Black has structured his book in a way that makes it easy to read and understand The sequence he followed works as a mental guide for the reader This is a feature that I think helped him to achieve his goal in this book of showing the logical and cohesive nature of the New Testament Greek Through this emphasis, he managed to move from simple to complex aspects of different branches of linguistics, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics The presentation of linguistic concepts is complete and essential Any person without previous knowledge on this area will immediately understand the importance of the study of linguistics He uses examples in every chapter which are a great tool to support his arguments Black connects the concepts of linguistics with New Testament Greek Therefore, his approach to conclusions are based on linguistic concepts Black explains the structure of the Greek sentences He begins the structure and content of words unveiling different components, such as, verbs, noun and verb phrases He describes different patterns of sentence formation with intransitive, transitive and linking verbs Also, the expansion of noun and verb phrases At the end of this chapter the reader get a big picture that will star creating a mental pattern to foster a better understanding of New Testament Greek in the reader This book is an essential tool for students of New Testament Greek Black has done an exhaustive research and his arguments are strong enough to demonstrate the importance of the study of linguistics for New Testament Greek This book integrates the concepts of linguistics and New Testament Greek providing a comprehensible manual to study Greek in research or at school


  3. Tyler Tyler says:

    There are some topics we enjoy, and there are others that we study because we know they re probably important This book is certainly the latter Framed as an introduction to linguistics, many of the chapters are very interesting and helpful to a Greek student However, many other chapters reach so far beyond an introduction that they become overwhelming I was able to glean some good insights from the book, but I wish the insights had been communicated a little clearer and perhaps slower.


  4. Josue Manriquez Josue Manriquez says:

    This is an excellent book I believe that any Christian who desires to rightly divide the Word of God, and yet desires not to be dependent upon the crumbs from their pastor s table, ought to read this book I don t mean to say that the pastor s crumbs are worthless Absolutely not But many Christians are satisfied receiving teachings from a pastor and yet do not study the Bible for themselves This book, I believe, is an excellent introductory book for those who desire to study the This is an excellent book I believe that any Christian who desires to rightly divide the Word of God, and yet desires not to be dependent upon the crumbs from their pastor s table, ought to read this book I don t mean to say that the pastor s crumbs are worthless Absolutely not But many Christians are satisfied receiving teachings from a pastor and yet do not study the Bible for themselves This book, I believe, is an excellent introductory book for those who desire to study the Biblein depth Knowledge of Greek is most definitely an advantage, but perhaps not necessary to anyone with a thinking mind


  5. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    Essentially an introductory text to linguistics that uses Koine Greek for its examples The book is helpful to the reader by giving a sense of how language in general works rather than specifically Greek.


  6. Josh Josh says:

    Not easy, but worth working through.


  7. Chris Comis Chris Comis says:

    Very scholarly work Especially likes the sections on linguistic analysis and the application of this discipline to biblical studies.


  8. Becca Becca says:

    Excellent book for study of intermediate Greek