Great Greek books (part 24)

I have almost finished the book. Just two chapters to go in Bill Mounce’s Basics of biblical Greek. Only non indicative mi verbs and some other bits and pieces left now. As I approach the end of the first leg of my epic journey to learn this language I thought I’d share a few more resources that I am now using.

The first is “The Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament”. You can look up any Greek word that’s found in the bible and it will parse it for you. You are not supposed to do this very often but for some hard to crack words that have beaten me it’s great to be able to find out what they are. Previously I had to do this with some software so it’s great to be able to do it via a book. Definitely a must for moving onto intermediate level Greek.

The second book is the amusingly names “Greek Grammar, Beyond the Basics” by Daniel B. Wallace. It’s as if the author couldn’t quite bring himself to say “Intermediate Level Greek”, just beyond the basics. Anyway, I have used this once or twice to work out some finer point of grammar but I need to read it through at some stage.

Third, “Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”. Very helpful for some up to date definitions for Greek words plus you can look up an English word and it will give you the various Greek words that it is used to translate. (Apparently the gold standard lexicon that people use is “A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature”, Pretty pricey but it came with Logos so I have it already).

Fourth, is “The Morphology of Biblical Greek”. It’s lets you find out why Greek words are spelt as they are (as in the different forms of them grammar wise). In his book and video’s Bill Mounce always emphasises the regularity of Greek and here you get to see some of the rules behind odd spellings. It’s great for checking out what 1-1d nouns are or 1-1a(2b) adjectives or v3a(2a) verbs. I used this book recently to check I hadn’t missed something on page 327 of Basics of Biblical Greek Grammer which shows the table for the athematic infinitive and says “no surprises here” but for me there was. The endings for the active present and second aorist where unexpected so I looked up infinitive endings in The Morphology book and it confirmed that they are just different. Couldn’t see any more explanation but it was enough to reassure me I’d not missed something.

Another example was when I got stuck on ἐλήλυθεν. I looked it up in my Analytical Lexicon which confirmed my suspicions that it was from ερχομαι. The Morphology book told me it was a v-1b(2) verb and so turning to them I saw ὲλήλυθα listed as the perfect active form. I was pleased to see a little note about it which said it was a “second perfect, from the root *ὲλευθ, which loses its ε (ablaut) . It undergoes Attic reduplication in which the ελ is reduplicated and the ε  is also lengthened, ie a double augment.” Each of these other points had pointers to further clarification in other parts of the book. I hadn’t realised that the root of the word was *ὲλευθ as in the aorist the ευ seems to drop out. Looks like only the ε drops out in the second perfect. Who would have thought it?

Finally, three vocabulary guides in order of size. “Lexical Aids for Students of the New Testiment Greek” by Bruce Metzger (small), “Mastering Greek Vocabulary by Thomas A Robinson” (medium), and “Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament” by Warren C Trenchard (larger). All categorise words by their root so you have related groups of words presented together.

Well, final push now to finish the basics…


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