Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

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Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Greg Johnston » May 20th, 2013, 2:51 pm

I'm just about to finish working through Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and the accompanying workbook. My plan for the summer and fall is to work through a few graded readers: Mounce's Graded Reader of Biblical Greek, Decker's Koine Greek Reader, and Whitacre's Patristic Greek Reader. Alongside those, I'm doing as much reading as I can at what seems to be my level: John and the Johannine epistles, Mark, Matthew, etc.

I'd like to get an intermediate grammar for reference and to continue learning. I've heard good things about Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, and the work by some board members on a new edition of Funk's grammar seems very interesting.

Does anyone have thoughts on these or any other second-year grammars? Thoughts on my plans more broadly? As I should have noted above, I'm working alone, and won't have the opportunity to have formal instruction in the near future.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Stirling Bartholomew » May 20th, 2013, 5:34 pm

Greg,

I suggest reading through the book of Acts using:

Mikeal C. Parsons, Martin M. Culy, Acts: A Handbook on the Greek Text, Baylor Handbook on the Greek New Testament, 2003
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Jesse Goulet » May 21st, 2013, 10:04 am

You're pretty much on the same course that I'm on. I'm coming near the end of Mounce's graded reader, after which I plan on tackling Wallace's grammar. After that I might spend some time on vocabulary using Robinson's Mastering Greek Vocab and Trench's book on synonyms, while simply reading through some parts of the NT and maybe LXX as well. Or I might continue with the Zondervan series and order Guthrie and Duvall's Biblical Greek Exegesis. Or, I might put the traditional analytical approach down and pick up Buth's material.

The wonderful thing about self-study is that there are many options to choose from.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Alan Patterson » May 21st, 2013, 11:39 am

Get Funk's and Wallace's books! You might want to breeze through: Intermediate New Testament Greek: A Linguistic and Exegetical Approach by Richard Young. This book by Young will prepare you for Wallace's GGBB, since he introduces you to deep structures. Also, read Classical Greek more than NT Greek. Get Athenaze's books 1 and 2 or some equivalent. Then use your Classical Greek Readers. In this still early phase you are in, I would minimally spend 51% of your time in Classical Greek. You are at the perfect place now to step up your Classical training. Admittedly, my suggestion presumes your final goal is to be a non-derivative scholar.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Justin Cofer » May 21st, 2013, 3:39 pm

Greg Johnston wrote:I'm just about to finish working through Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and the accompanying workbook. My plan for the summer and fall is to work through a few graded readers: Mounce's Graded Reader of Biblical Greek, Decker's Koine Greek Reader, and Whitacre's Patristic Greek Reader. Alongside those, I'm doing as much reading as I can at what seems to be my level: John and the Johannine epistles, Mark, Matthew, etc.

I'd like to get an intermediate grammar for reference and to continue learning. I've heard good things about Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, and the work by some board members on a new edition of Funk's grammar seems very interesting.

Does anyone have thoughts on these or any other second-year grammars? Thoughts on my plans more broadly? As I should have noted above, I'm working alone, and won't have the opportunity to have formal instruction in the near future.


You are the on the right track. I would focus on reading and building the grammar inductively. I would start with Mounce's Greek reader and then use Decker's. I highly recommend Decker's Koine Greek reader. I have Wallace. Wallace is good but the only downside of Wallace is his multiplication of datives and genitives and the fact that grammar is focused on how to translate the Greek text into English.

I would definitely get the UBS Greek Reader.

http://www.amazon.com/The-UBS-Greek-New-Testament/dp/1598562851/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369165031&sr=8-1&keywords=UBS+Greek+Reader

By the time you have finished Decker's Greek reader, you will have the vocabulary and confidence to read through the NT over the course of a year (25 verses a day should accomplish that).
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Stirling Bartholomew » May 21st, 2013, 3:46 pm

Alan Patterson wrote:Get Funk's and Wallace's books! You might want to breeze through: Intermediate New Testament Greek: A Linguistic and Exegetical Approach by Richard Young. This book by Young will prepare you for Wallace's GGBB, since he introduces you to deep structures.


I agree that Richard Young uses the now over half a century old early Chomsky[1] notion of deep structure. What I don't understand is how that would prepare one for reading GGBB.


[1] Young's use of this term may be colored more by exposure to ideas of E. A. Nida, than direct contact with anything Chomsky had to say. Micheal Palmer helped me correct my thinking on this ages ago.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Alan Patterson » May 21st, 2013, 4:07 pm

Taken from Dan's GGBB:

Any examination of the syntax of the NT will be filled with miscues if it fails to recognize the compressed nature of language. When the doctor says to the nurse, "Scapel!" this is a noun, but the utterance is taken as a command. We err if we cannot see that. One of our objectives is to "unpack" such compressed language. (emphasis added, p 8)

This is really all I was talking about; namely, Young did a good job of going several levels deeper than the surface structure. GGBB works from this premise.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby MAubrey » May 21st, 2013, 4:39 pm

Alan Patterson wrote:Any examination of the syntax of the NT will be filled with miscues if it fails to recognize the compressed nature of language. When the doctor says to the nurse, "Scapel!" this is a noun, but the utterance is taken as a command. We err if we cannot see that. One of our objectives is to "unpack" such compressed language. (emphasis added, p 8)

This is really all I was talking about; namely, Young did a good job of going several levels deeper than the surface structure. GGBB works from this premise.

And its a horribly simplistic premise that needs to be replaced far, far more nuance.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Justin Cofer » May 21st, 2013, 6:19 pm

Greg Johnston wrote:I'm just about to finish working through Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and the accompanying workbook. My plan for the summer and fall is to work through a few graded readers: Mounce's Graded Reader of Biblical Greek, Decker's Koine Greek Reader, and Whitacre's Patristic Greek Reader. Alongside those, I'm doing as much reading as I can at what seems to be my level: John and the Johannine epistles, Mark, Matthew, etc.

I'd like to get an intermediate grammar for reference and to continue learning. I've heard good things about Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, and the work by some board members on a new edition of Funk's grammar seems very interesting.

Does anyone have thoughts on these or any other second-year grammars? Thoughts on my plans more broadly? As I should have noted above, I'm working alone, and won't have the opportunity to have formal instruction in the near future.


One other point I would like to make in addition to my earlier reply is many get so caught up in the metalanguage that they never actually read chunks and chunks of Greek text. You seem to be well poised to avoid that trap.
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Re: Best way into a self-taught "second year"?

Postby Greg Johnston » May 22nd, 2013, 1:11 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I have the UBS Reader's GNT already and it's a wonderful resource.

As far as working through the grammars, my plan at the moment is probably to buy Wallace and Funk, and to refer to them when I come up with a bit of morphology or usage I don't really understand, while working through some of the larger, clause- and sentence-level syntax I didn't really get in Mounce. This lets me focus on reader and learning grammar inductively, while going deductive when necessary. If I recall correctly Mounce's reader is also keyed into Wallace's grammar, which is a nice benefit.

As far as classical reading is concerned... Does anyone (Alan, in particular?) have recommendations on what classical authors or genres would be productive? I really have no sense of their relative difficulty, or good places to start. Are there good reader's or student's editions that are similar in format to the UBS Reader's NT?
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