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Patristic Greek Reader, A Paperback – 1 Sep 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; Reprint edition (1 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080104801X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801048012
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Rodney A. Whitacre is professor of biblical studies at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. He has taught Greek since 1973.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Bertie on 7 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A most welcome and extremely useful volume. If any book could encourage people to begin tackling the works of the Greek Church Fathers in their original language, then I think this is it. Beautifully produced and a joy to use it deserves to be widely used - and enjoyed!
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Format: Paperback
The book was delivered punctually and was in perfect condition. It was reasonably priced as well, of course. What more can one say?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
An amazing resource 28 Oct. 2010
By Derrick A. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have fallen out of the habit of writing reviews on Amazon due to the fact that my own studies usually mean the time consuming nature of taking the time to write one is prohibitive, nonetheless I was slightly annoyed by the reviewers that gave this volume 4 stars and felt compelled to note, for any who care to read my review, to whole-heartedly recommend this volume, which is not only a superb resource for extending one's education in Koine Greek beyond New Testament literature, but also allows one an initial approach to the sometimes daunting Church Fathers. Thus if one wants a review of the book, please disregard this paragraph and jump to the second which provides material overview, this first paragraph serves a counter to those who downgraded the volume from 5 to four stars or lower. Certainly the reviewers here are entitled to their opinion, and if they feel this genuinely deserves 4 stars, not 5, then so be it. One would hope, however, that the reasons for their ratings would be equally forthcoming and cogent, but I felt this is definitely not the case and their reasons for downgrading it from 5 were unfair and might dissuade others from utilizing this volume to improve their greek skills while simultaneously gaining an initial knowledge of some of the fathers. One reviewer comments they would much rather have full texts rather than excerpts--true, this would be preferable but entirely misses the point of why this volume was compiled. It is not a resource for exhaustive research or even for full appreciation of the individual texts, but is rather a teaching guide for Greek which allows one to step outside the bounds of the bible. To downgrade it for the simple fact that it is not what one wants is absurd and explicitly ignores the stated goals of the editor. If one downgrades the volume it should be in regards to a failure of the stated intentions, not the perennially ridiculous criticism of arbitrary expectations not being met (Rowan Williams aptly calls these superficial criticisms "the crutch of hasty reviews"--they are cheap to come by and serve as space fillers parading themselves as thoughtful criticisms).

Anyway enough of that "review philosophizing," so we can cut to the bottom line: this volume is fantastic. It provides brief excerpts from many writers (which ranges from the easy Didache, to the more difficult Cappadocian Father Gregory the Theologian (Gregory of Nazianzus) Clement, Athanasius, to even some of the Desert Fathers and the wonderful poetry of Symeon the New Theologian) which not only gives one a glimpse of sections of their works often telling to the main points of their theology, but even more helpfully these sections are rated by Whitacre in terms of their reading difficulty in Greek on a scale of 1-5, 5 being very difficult. But fear not the "5" rating (of which only a few, Justin Martyr, Nazianzen, and Clement, and a few sections of Athanasius garner straight up 5's, most get ranges of 3-4) for Whitacre provides, much like Reader's versions of the New Testament, ample footnotes which are not only exhaustive in vocabulary, but parse and give grammatical notes and glosses as well. If this weren't enough, English translations are provided in the back (though these are somewhat wooden, this actually may help those still transitioning from Biblical koine) making this an incredibly friendly and helpful guide for a large range of people---from those still in first semester greek to those who like myself have been reading Greek for years but are looking for accessible opportunities to flex Greek muscles outside the New Testament without the labor of hauling a lexicon and looking up every other word while reading Patrologia Graecae or other less accessible Greek sources. On top of this brief biographical and theological information is given on each author or book, contextualizing the selection and fitting it within the ever important historical context. In short: if you are learning Greek, or have learned Greek and are looking for vehicles to exercise your ability, this volume is a must have.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Relevant Reading for the Theology Student Learning Greek 5 Jan. 2008
By Theophilus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for theology and/or patristics students desirous of learning New Testament (Koine) Greek. In many programs, the Greek readers will focus on texts from the New Testament, which is fine, but at some point, theology students will need to master certain Greek words as used by the Early Church Fathers, such as Saint Cyril, to fully understand the context and underlying theological point of the text. This book definitely helps in this respect.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A nice beginner's sampling of Patristic Greek 17 Jan. 2010
By J. FRY LOFTON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an introductory Greek reader of the early Church Fathers, with heavy annotations for the beginner. It's aimed at students who have completed a year of basic Greek, probably in Koine, but a year of Attic would be more than enough preparation to use this book. (I have a few years of Attic experience, and the intermediate-level texts in this book were very simple to me.) Whitacre presents relatively short selections from a variety of patristic authors, and ranks them according to difficulty, so it's easy to know where to start. There are copious footnotes which parse and define all but the most common forms, provide syntax information, and also provide page/paragraph numbers for common reference works. Each selection also has a brief introduction with historical information about the author and the text. The back of the book has literal translations of all the texts, as well as a glossary and principal parts.
I think this is an excellent and useful book. It provides a user-friendly introduction and sampling of authors who don't get wide coverage in non-specialized Greek classes. There are more than enough notes to help beginning students with the most difficult forms and concepts. The translations at the back of the book are a convenient way to check your work. I usually prefer end-notes instead of footnotes, because with footnotes there is too great a temptation to be lazy and look down instead of thinking about a form, but this can easily be mitigated with post-it notes.
I think a previous reviewer was unfair in his criticism of this book, that it should focus on one author instead of such a wide range. Yes, it would be nice to have annotated versions of all the authors here, but this book is intended to give a sampling of the different thoughts and styles of a range of patristic authors. I've really enjoyed working through such a diverse collection of authors, and I think most beginning and intermediate students will too.
My one complaint is that the binding on the book isn't very good, and the pages will start falling out with minimal bending. This is an all-too-common problem these days.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I love this book! 15 Mar. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a lot of texts that are aimed at helping the student of Greek advance in reading skills. Not one, however, has been as helpful and exciting as this book!

First, I love the layout: The introduction to the entire book is informative, but even better are the short intros to each author. The reader is able to put the ancient writer into context, and the material is truly readable and interesting. The footnotes are brilliant. I love the way the author basically gives nudges in the right direction in translating.

Another thing I love is that the editor/author has very liberally considered the term "Patristic." So we have here very early material, like the Didache, and then late material, such as the Hesychast chapters. The late material hasn't been readily available to me in this format, and I just love it!

This is very approachable material and I would recommend it without reservation to anyone that has had at least a year of basic Greek. Probably Koine would be better, but I imagine the classics person would do fine, too.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
very helpful reader 1 Sept. 2010
By Antonio Mussi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The patristic reader is very helpful. The texts have different levels of difficulty. All texts have brief introductions about the author. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in koine greek.
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