Review: The Biblical Greek Companion for Bible Software Users

27840554The Biblical Greek Companion for Bible Software Users: Grammatical Terms Explained for Exegesis by Mark L. Strauss is a unique language resource that both refreshes and guides the reader through a plethora of Greek grammatical terms utilized by today’s leading Bible software programs. This resource, along with its Hebrew counterpart, rightly recognizes the popularity of such programs, and instead of allowing the users to float aimlessly amid a sea of grammatical terms, Strauss has intentionally curated The Biblical Greek Companion to fill this void.

The Biblical Greek Companion assumes ownership or access to a biblical language software program. There are a number of options available and most of the programs on the market today possess the ability to simply hover over or click a word to display the grammatical information. It is here that the reader will discover the grammatical terms comprising the content of the book. Each term is addressed alphabetically and contains a two-page spread with three major sections: (1) What It Looks Like, (2) What It Does, and (3) An Exegetical Insight.

I use Bible software daily and have been for nearly a decade. I use it for personal study, leisure reading, academic work, and various ministerial duties. I even use multiple Bible software platforms for different objectives. It should be noted to the reader that most of the top-tier Bible software platforms also provide at least a glossary definition of the grammatical terms mentioned above with a quick hover. In other words, it is safe to assume that most of the software programs have recognized and attempted to fill the same void as Strauss here—at least in part. Still, it is clear from even a cursory use of this book that Strauss has provided much more than a short definition with examples.

The organization of the book intentionally guides the reader from the point of identification to application. It is here that The Biblical Greek Companion shows the most benefit. Not only is Strauss removing the grammatical rust from the reader through helping them (re)identify and (re)discover the meaning of the term, but he is also actively helping them restore the original finish that once provided exegetical payoff. The latter is exceptionally useful for readers of all levels of linguistic understanding—from seasoned readers of the biblical languages to the Bible software user with no formal training whatsoever. Lastly, for those landing in the last category, or somewhere in between, Strauss has provided a host of helpful appendices on the Greek alphabet, diphthongs, accents, breathing marks, etc.

The use of technology in Bible study and academic work isn’t going away. Today more than ever, pastors, students, teachers, and even laity are utilizing the ever-growing and increasingly accessible market of Bible software. The answer isn’t to eliminate these tools to promise proficiency in the original languages. Rather the answer is to equip the user with resources to ensure that these tools do not become a replacement for proficiency. It is here that The Biblical Greek Companion for Bible Software Users: Grammatical Terms Explained for Exegesis by Mark L. Strauss comes with the highest recommendation!

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