Review: A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament

26635508Charles Lee Irons received a PhD in New Testament from Fuller Theological Seminary and began studying classical and biblical Greek as an undergraduate student at UCLA. Irons has studied New Testament Greek for nearly three decades, and the present volume, A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament provides pastors, students, and even scholars with a useful guide for engaging the text with clarity and precision.

A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament covers the entire New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. The target audience of this volume is those presently engaging or planning to engage the Greek New Testament, and possess at least an intermediate understanding of Greek grammatical concepts. Irons provides explanation of grammatical features and offers suggested translations of difficult phrases. The volume doesn’t exhaustively cover every single verse of the New Testament, but it does cover significant ground and (from what can be known) all syntactically difficult passages. This even includes textual issues and the recognition of Hebraic constructions, Semitic inferences, and Septuagintisms otherwise undetectable to the average reader.

I found Irons’ work to be extremely beneficial when working through specific passages of the New Testament, and often found myself at several times simply thumbing through and reading Irons’ comments alone. The suggested translations are helpful and will come in handy when doing translation work, or when you are simply stuck at a syntactical road block. Lastly, the index of grammatical terms at the rear of the book was likewise useful in trying to garner a fuller understanding of a specific grammatical concept. Overall, it is an excellent book that I will keep close and use regularly.

For those all too familiar with the interruption that tend to arise when reading large portions of New Testament Greek, the benefit of Iron’s labor will be immediately visible. This is a volume that should rest nicely next to your NA28 or UBS5, and used often. In fact, the form factor of the volume is undistinguishable from both. A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament is an invaluable tool that will cultivate longer reading and become a frequently used companion to your time spent in the Greek New Testament. It comes highly recommended!

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