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The Ezra Project 
For the Serious Starter in New Testament Greek

Welcome to the Ezra Project!  Whether you're gearing up to take a seminary Greek course or looking for ways to go deeper in your personal Bible study, this site is your personal resource.  Our goal is simple:  to help you take your first steps in New Testament Greek - and do it right!
    I have been introducing students to New Testament Greek since 1972, and it's my delight to take the mystery out of the language for men and women who want to become serious students of Scripture.
                             -- Dr. John Bechtle 

The Ezra Project:  First Stop for Greek Beginners.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Resources: More General Greek Tools

This post continues the list that began last time, drawn from the Annotated Bibliography produced by David Brewer (bio information in the last entry).  You will find another selection of varied tools that will help the student of New Testament Greek.

Mounce, William D.  Biblical Greek Laminated Sheet (Zondervan Get an A! Study Guides). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.  This Zondervan guide to biblical Greek is a handy, at-a-glance study aid ideal for last minute review, a quick overview of grammar, or as an aid in translation or sermon preparation.  Each set contains four information-packed sheets that are laminated and three-hole-punched, making them both durable and portable.  The study guides are tied to Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (Zondervan).

Mounce, William D.  Greek for the Rest of Us: Using Greek Tools Without Mastering Biblical Greek.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.  You don't have to be a Greek student to understand biblical Greek.  If you'd love to learn Greek so you can study your Bible better, but you can't spare two years for college or seminary courses, then Greek for the Rest of Us is for you. Developed by renowned Greek teacher William Mounce, this revolutionary crash-course on "baby Greek" will acquaint you with the essentials of the language and deepen your understanding of God's Word.

Robinson, Thomas A.  Mastering New Testament Greek: Essential Tools for Students.  Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 2007.  Offers learners an inventive set of tools that can be used alongside their beginning grammar text to help them move toward Greek mastery.  He lists Cognate Groups that link Greek words together based on their common roots, enabling those desiring to learn Greek to build a working vocabulary more quickly and easily.

Silzer, Peter James and Thomas John Finley.  How Biblical Languages Work: A Student's Guide to Learning Hebrew and Greek.  Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2004.  An ideal supplement to first year Hebrew and Greek grammars, this practical guide makes learning the biblical languages a less daunting task.  By introducing students to characteristics and functions of all human language, experienced linguists Silzer and Finley create the basis from which to describe the major features of Hebrew and Greek:  how the sounds are pronounced, how words are put together, how phrases and clauses are structured, how words convey meaning, and how languages change.

Trenchard, Warren C.  Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament.  Revised edition.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998.  Covers the entire vocabulary of the Greek New Testament; it lists words in order of frequency of usage, and connects related words.  It also contains a section on principal parts of verbs (showing all the verbs used in the NT).  Very useful for those who want to improve their reading speed by learning vocabulary systematically.

Wilson, Mark and Jason Oden.  Mastering New Testament Greek Vocabulary through Semantic Domains.  Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003.  Introduces Greek students to a method widely used in general language learning -- semantic domains.  Wilson arranges Greek words in the the ninety-three categories of Louw and Nida's Greek-English Lexicon and includes frequency counts for every Greek word.  Wilson built on Louw and Nida's work, capitalizing on the association of terms within their semantic domains for the acquisition of vocabulary. 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Resources for NT Greek: Annotated Bibliography

One of my friends and former students, David Brewer, has gone far beyond me in compiling helpful material for students of New Testament Greek.  He recently sent an annotated bibliography (14 pages!) that provides you with a guided tour of the top works available.  Over the next few weeks, I will share the entire list with you, but for today we will just list some of the general tools and aids, along with his descriptions.

Carson, D. A.  Greek Accents: A Student's Manual.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985.  An introduction for those who never learned them, especially useful to those who have learned or are learning Greek through J. W. Wenham's Elements.

DeMoss, Matthew S.  A Pocket Dictionary for the Study of New Testament Greek.  Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2001.  If you are beginning your study of New Testament Greek or Greek exegesis, this book is for you!  From ablative to zeugma, it defines the tangled terms that infest Greek textbooks, grammars and lexicons. Here is the book to deliver you from late-night ponderings of the predicate and frantic fumings over the fricative.  It is the indispensable lexicon to that third language that is neither Greek nor recognizable English: the technical vocabulary of grammarians, lexicographers, linguists, and Greek instructors.

Goodrich, Richard, J. Goodrich and Albert L. Lukaszewski.  A Reader's Greek New Testament, 2nd edition.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.  Saves time and effort in studying the Greek New Testament.  By eliminating the need to look up definitions, the footnotes allow the user to read the Greek text more quickly.  This revised edition offers the following features:  footnoted definitions of all Greek words occurring 30 times or less and a mini-lexicon of all words occurring more than 30 times.

Huffman, Douglas S.  The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming.  Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2011.  This compact reference can be used with a Greek New Testament, providing a convenient overview of three key elements of learning Greek: grammar, syntax, and diagramming.  Other charts and books offer one or two of these aspects, but The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek combines all three.

Lamerson, Samuel.  English Grammar to Ace New Testament Greek.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004.  Is designed to help you get a quick brush-up on the English grammar you've either forgotten or never quite learned, in a way that ties directly to your first-year Greek studies.

Long, Gary.  Grammatical Concepts 101 for Biblical Greek: Learning Biblical Greek Grammatical Concepts Through English Grammar.  Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 2006.  Complements standard classroom textbooks; clarifies English grammar in order to more effectively teach concepts that are specific to NT Greek.  Arranged to supplement teaching grammars; each chapter takes up individual concepts, first explaining how the concept works in English, then illustrating its use in biblical Greek.  Abundant English and Greek examples illustrate each concept, most of them visually analyzed.  Glossaries and translations help students comprehend the Greek words in each example.

Metzger, Bruce M.  A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament.  2nd edition.  New York: American Bible Society, 2005.  This companion to the Greek New Testament discusses textual variations based on the critical apparatus.  It contains a thorough explanation of each textual decision that appears in UBS4.  [Think of it as the minutes of the meetings where the editors had to decide which variation in the manuscripts should go in the text of their Greek Testament.-JB]

More to come!

Note:  David Brewer has been on staff with Life in Messiah Internationa since 1990, was an adjunct professor at Philadelphia Biblical University in OT Hebrew, Bible, and Theology for 13 years, and is presently teaching NT Greek at the Toronto Baptist Seminary.  E-mail: brewerhebrewprof@gmail.com.

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Multilevel Greek - How deep do you want to go?

When people say they want to study New Testament Greek, they don't all have the same picture in mind.  You can investigate Greek at several levels.  Some are relatively simple; others require a larger investment of time and effort.  Here are the most common choices:

Level 1 – Exploring Word Meanings

           Goal:  To understand the meaning of a Greek word.

Guidelines for Word Study" - Basic steps in Greek word study

              "Word Study Resources" - Links to online word study tools [in development]

Level 2 – Understanding Grammar Concepts

          Goal:  To learn how Greek grammar works, so you know what aorist or subjunctive really means.

Grammar Basics" – an overview of Greek grammar

   "Glossary of Grammar Terms" [in development]

Level 3 – Translating the Greek Text 

         Goal:  To sit down with a Greek New Testament and lexicon and translate a New Testament verse for yourself

Greek Behind the Prof’s Back – a self-instructional workbook

Level 4+ - Mastery and Beyond                   
You can continue to grow in your grasp of Greek for the rest of your life, going deeper and deeper into the Word of God.  Once you have mastered the basic content of the language, you can delve into the endless list of books and electronic resources available to you.  The Ezra Project provides you with a launching pad for a lifetime of study.


When you decide to dig a little deeper into the meaning of a Bible word, you should know that there are:

        Two facts about words

        Two stages to word study

        Two methods for doing each stage

Two facts about words

First, words have more than one meaning.  Take a simple English word such as run.  It can be a verb that means "to get from one place to another by moving your legs quickly."  Or it can mean "to keep the engine of your car operating" (even if it's just idling in the driveway).  When your watch runs, the hands go around.  When the lawnmower runs, it cuts grass.  When a stream runs, water flows over rocks.  When your nose runs, you grab a tissue.  Run can also be a noun, whether it refers to a point scored in a baseball game or a torn place in a stocking. 


Please get in touch to offer comments and ask questions about New Testament Greek!  You can e-mail us at:

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