Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Greek For Everyone - A. Chadwick Thornohill

Greek for Everyone by A. Chadwick Thornhill presents a unique book on New Testament Greek.  His  stated goal is to have those reading this book learn "Greek in order to become better students of the Scripture rather than students of Greek." The aim of the book is not to "gain reading proficiency but rather are working to establish the ability to use various tools to study the text in Greek".  

And I think that Thornhill accomplishes his goals with this book, he takes you through a basic (though it still seems quite thorough) overview of the various parts of Greek so that you may then use lexicons, parsing guides, and other Greek tools in your Bible study without having to become an expert Greek scholar.

 Thornhill starts out by explaining that one of the most important things to do in acquiring a knowledge of Koine Greek that is useful to Bible study is to remember to keep looking for the 'big picture' in a text/passage.  One of the interesting points he brings out is that "words do not have meaning", they have ranges of meaning and we only find out what exact meaning an individual word has by looking at the words that surround it, and the words that surround those words…etc.  Rows of zeros are used as examples to illustrate this concept. Thornhill states, "More exegetical errors are probably made through haphazard word study than in any of the other steps in the process".  I was very pleased that great emphasis is made of the fact that context is VERY important in Bible study. 

Thornihill then moves on to quick overviews of Greek phrases, clauses, conjunctions, verbs, nominals, cases, participles, etc.  Again, this is mainly so that you will be able to use Greek tools with comprehension in your study without having to memorize the various forms and endings that indicate the word's 'makeup' and thus its meaning and relation to the surrounding words. You will learn what the breakdown that these tools give you means, but mainly so that you know what the lexical aids mean when they break it down for you, not so that you'll break it down yourself.  At the end of many of the overviews he gives you some common Biblical Greek words to memorize and then  a Greek sentence to practice on using a parsing tool or an analytical lexicon. 

All in all, I think that this is an excellent aid for Bible study, and probably more especially a good resource for pastors as well since seminary is SO expensive nowadays (My brother was not able to afford to go to any Seminary, though he had a desire to do so). 

Many thanks to the folks at Baker Books for sending me a complimentary review copy of this book! (My review did not have to be favorable)

Here are a couple of the places where you may purchase this book (other places carry it as well):

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