on 21 May 2013
I've been reading New Testament Greek for some time now and I've found this book useful. In fact I use it most days. If I am not sure of some grammar then this book usually answers my query quickly and easily, since it is arranged verse by verse. I also use Kubo's Reader's Greek-English Lexicon to quickly memorise rarer words before reading a passage. This is also arranged verse by verse. I like to work this way, but some may prefer modern computer based tools. If you are a serious student of NT Greek then I recommend this book. If, like me, you aim to teach yourself NT Greek, then you will need to work through a textbook such as Jeremy Duff's 'The Elements of NT Greek' first.
on 14 February 2011
This is a new edition of Zerwick and Grosvenor's guide to the Greek New Testament. My review refers to the previous edition. The text will be the same. The binding is different. I cannot comment on the binding of this edition, so my review only deals with the content.
Zerwick and Grosvenor's book is an excellent grammatical reference guide, providing detailed grammatical analysis of the New Testament and sometimes explaining phrases that are difficult to understand, by reference to the Aramaic from which they undoubtedly come and by reference to Hebrew idioms that influenced the Greek used by the New Testament writers.
However, when they express opinions, the authors depart from the original goal of their work and fall into the error of promoting Roman Catholic dogma or prejudices.
One example is their commentary on Matthew 1:25, where they argue that the text cannot mean what it unambiguously says (that Joseph had sexual relations with Mary after the birth of Jesus), as this goes against the RC dogma of the "perpetual virginity" of Mary. This is a case of putting their doctrines above the authority of Scripture, so that when there is a clear conflict, they try to change the meaning of Scripture instead the erroneous teaching of the Roman Catholic church.
Another example is their commentary (not grammatical analysis!) on Mark 10:11-12, where Jesus pointedly says the same thing twice, once for men and once for women, to make it clear that he applied the same rules to both genders. Zerwick and Grosvenor clearly object to this even-handedness, and therefore state (p. 140) that these words were not actually said by Jesus but added by Mark to please his intended audience in Rome. One must be surprised that a Jesuit and an academic are prepared to rubbish Scripture passages when they go against their own prejudices.
The book is worth having for the grammatical analysis, but readers must beware of the mix of fact and opinion by the authors, and not quote the opinions as any sort of authority.
It is helpful to have alongside this book Joseph Smith, S.J.'s translation into English of Zerwick's "Biblical Greek: Illustrated Examples", to which Zerwick's "Grammatical Analysis" constantly refers for more detailed explanations of grammatical points.