Review: Going Deeper with New Testament Greek

22556981Going Deeper with New Testament Greek by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer is a refreshing alternative to some of the more commonly used intermediate Greek grammars on the market. Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer have provided the reader with a unique collaborative effort that is both sensitive to the ongoing needs of the classroom and conscious of the impending deficiency within the developing genre of intermediate Greek grammars. This accomplishment has quickly situated Going Deeper with New Testament Greek as a preferred grammar for at least three reasons: (1) readability, (2) content, and (3) organization.

Unlike most grammars on the market (especially intermediate grammars), Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is a Greek grammar that is enjoyable to read—even cover-to-cover. Sure this book will still function well as a reference work for future consulting. However, for those who will be assigned to read it for class or those who are doing so independently, Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer have crafted an experience that will enrich understanding without putting the reader in a coma. To be completely honest, it reads so well that it was difficult for me to put down. Those familiar with the landscape of Greek grammars will recognize the uniqueness of such characteristic and keep coming back for more.

The content of most Greek grammars is identical. There may be different ways to explain a particular grammatical concept or construction, but minimal divergence is to be expected. What is truly unique about Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is that the scope of the volume extends well beyond grammatical concepts and constructions alone, into other related disciplines closely associated with intermediate Greek. That is, Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer have intentionally included material on textual criticism, sentence diagramming, discourse analysis, word studies, and more. By including exposure to these other areas of Greek studies, the reader can further invest the learned material in more ways than mere recognition.

The organization of a grammar is almost as important as the content itself. It is the means through which content is effectively communicated. For me, this is one of the most appealing aspects of Going Deeper with New Testament Greek. Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer have clearly taken extra care to safeguard that the content through the means of organization. Each chapter opens with a brief example of how the content aids the understanding of Scripture (the “payoff” of the material), followed by several examples from the New Testament in both English and Greek. Each chapter closes with practice sentences, a vocabulary list, a reading from the New Testament (with verse-by-verse grammatical explanation), and summary charts for quick review.

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is a Greek grammar that I would not be without. It is a joy to read, easy to digest, and goes above and beyond in both content and organization. The only suggestion that I would have is a small aesthetic recommendation. The book is rather small in comparison to the other grammars on the market, which in turn sacrifices margin room for notetaking. I know this is a minor quarrel, but even an additional half inch would do a world of difference. This small shortcoming aside, I am confident that Going Deeper with New Testament Greek will be the first Greek grammar off my shelf for the foreseeable future, as well as the first Greek grammar I recommend to those interested in going deeper with New Testament Greek. It comes highly recommended!

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I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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