Mounce's Grammar

Since Mounce came in just one vote behind Machen, I thought I might
share a couple of thoughts. I've been lecturing in Hellenistic
Greek for the past three years at the Faculty of Religious
Studies, McGill University. I taught two sessions with Machen and
I am halfway through my second session with Mounce. Our move
to Mounce was triggered by our interest in experimenting with
mixed/multiple media and more inductive teaching methods.

In general, I have come to consider Mounce far superior to
Machen. Machen is clearly dated in it's deductive methods,
language/style, and in what it presupposes that the average
student already knows about English grammar and language
study. Mounce, on the other hand, presents a masterful balance
of deductive and inductive approaches (there are some of the
usual paradigm charts, but you won't find any Machen-like,
synthetic Greek exercises here!), he communicates clearly
both as a gentle coach and as an erudite grammarian, and
he presupposes next to nothing about the student's knowledge
of English grammar.

Before I say anything negative I should also note that
student comments have been very positive.

On the down side:

1.The layout could use some improvement. Explanation, notes,
charts, vocabulary, etc. all (kind of) fade into
one another. Moreover, there is no index. This makes specific
references near impossible to find.

2. It is a minimal grammar. Of course, this is not unrelated
to his general pedagogical orientation.

3. Non-conservative Protestants will find many of his theological
asides and evangelical flourishes very tiring. Indeed, many
of the "Exegetical Insights" serve only to show how grammar can
be pressed into the service of conservative theology.
While the attempt to connect grammar and exegesis/hermeneutics
is laudable, this should be left to the students to explore
as they learn more Greek.

4. The "total-package" approach to Greek grammar often manifests
itself as an imposition upon the teacher. Of course, one is
free to disagree with Mounce and ignore parts of the package...
and I do.


Todd J. B. Blayone
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

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