I’m not good at Greek. At all. I passed my seminary Greek classes but mostly because my professor (Dr. Robert Plummer) was a really good teacher. For the most part doing Greek* hurts the same part of my brain that failing Pre-Calculus does. Nonetheless, I am going to challenge myself in 2013 to read through the Greek New Testament.
I fully expect to make it until about January 4th before I give up on this endeavor. But during those four days I will be certain to continue referencing Douglas Huffman’s The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek. It is this book that I wanted to bring to your attention today.
If you have already had at least one year of Greek and are struggling with remembering some of those tricky rules this book will help. Huffman notes in the introduction that, “If kept in hand with the Greek NT, this volume could be in constant use, assisting in the preparation of NT lessons and sermons.” I agree.
The book is divided into three parts. The first part is a reminder of elementary Greek. The reader will find over fifty pages of case endings, verb tenses, and other mnemonic devices. The second part is a guide for syntax and exegesis students. It is filled with the different case and verb usages. There are also memory devices for these as well. The third section is what sets this book apart from the others. In the final section the reader is exposed to the art of phrase diagramming. All of these helpful tools are scrunched into a mere 112 pages in a handy 5x7 pocket guide.
For a book like this you really cannot review the content. Case and verb endings are pretty standard. But we you can judge is how accessible and useful such a book proves to be. Since receiving this book in the mail it has not only inspired me to pick up my Greek NT again it has also helped me when I do.
Now I don’t have to thumb through a 350 page text book or file through pages of notes and self-produced charts. The book truly is handy and of benefit to any learner of Greek.
Should You Buy It?
If you don’t know the difference between Greek and Pig Latin I doubt this book is for you. It will not teach you Greek. Furthermore, if you are a Greek master I doubt you’d need the references. But if you are anything like me—someone that knows enough Greek to be dangerous—this book would prove a handy resource for you.
*Don’t even ask me what doing Hebrew feels like.