- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (20 July 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310282896
- ISBN-13: 978-0310282891
- Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.2 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,097,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Greek for the Rest of Us: Using Greek Tools Without Mastering Biblical Greek Paperback – 20 Jul 2007
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I acknowledge at the outset that you will not become a Greek scholar by reading this book. Instead, this book allows one to leverage a basic understanding of Greek with Bible reference tools to gain a greater understanding and a more accurate understanding of God's Word.
This book is practical beyond words.
You see, I studied both Greek and Hebrew years ago. As I was working through my studies I got to a point where I wondered if what I was studying would ever come into play in my daily Bible study. In short, I questioned just how much I would use (and subsequently remember) of my studies. So, I eventually settled for a level of knowledge that this book provides. And if you are observant, you'll always see references to pastors and teachers being "rusty" in the biblical languages. Why are they rusty? Through lack of use. And it's no wonder: We have so much available to us by way of reference tools that even if you did spend two years in seminary in original language study you'd probably never use all of what you studied to begin with.
Keep in mind that there will never be a substitute for actually studying Greek and Hebrew. But for most of us, books like this when combined with the wealth of print and electronic reference works will unlock the Bible and provide us with more accurate exegesis than just an English translation alone.
Highly recommended for those who want to go deeper in their biblical studies yet want to do so in a practical manner.
I have a few criticisms to consider, however. Mounce is coming from a fairly conservative, Protestant viewpoint. This really colors his work (although he points that out several times, which I really appreciate.) If you are not a conservative Protestant, you will just want to be aware of that going in, but I think it is still very useful for other less conservative branches of Christianity.
There was, unfortunately, no index or summaries at the end of the book for easy reference. This is a big disadvantage for using Greek for the Rest of Us as a resource. If I were to teach the class again, I would try to make one in advance to give out to the students.
The most disappointing part about the book to me is that the exercises are not keyed to an interlinear, and they don't even use interlinear verses at all (from what I can recall). Most of the exercises do not include any Greek whatsoever. Instead, they show different English translations, which, working backwards, the readers are expected to guess at what the Greek behind it is. I think this would be a difficult and potentially perilous exercise, and I also think it would be disappointing to someone interested in getting acquainted with "Baby Greek," as he calls it. If you do get the book, I highly recommend getting an interlinear (that has parsings for all the words) and use it as an answer key, at the very least.
Overall, this is a great idea and a very helpful resource. I really enjoyed teaching from it and would use it again in the future if it fit the needs of the class.
As a caveat, I need to add that serious study of any language requires effort, so again, don't think you can rush through and get the full value of the lessons. Also, it would be a good idea to order the workbook that Mounce wrote as an accompaniment this book.
All in all, if you are interested in Koine Greek but have little or no training in the language, Mounce's "Greek for the Rest of Us" is a good way to start.