Classical texts and lexica: how useful are they for NT Greek?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Mon Sep 16 1996 - 18:40:40 EDT

I've received mail telling me that Smyth is a classical text, not a koine text.
I knew that. I've had one person who teaches NT Greek tell me that it is still
the best introduction to Greek for someone who wants to learn NT Greek.

I had another person tell me that there is no good introductory text for NT
Greek, but there are two great ones for classical, and he named Smyth.

These are both people I respect.

I also notice that the Wallace grammar references Smyth.

So I'm wondering if Smyth might be a good text to use. Up to now, I have not
ever tried to read classical Greek, or looked at a classical text. I had assumed
that it would be much harder than Koine Greek. I've read a fair amount of NT

On a related note: if I have BAGD and Louw/Nida, is there any reason that I
would need Liddel-Scott-Jones for NT Greek? At first blush, the "Great Scott"
seems overwhelming, and I would have no idea how to look up the references. The
price tag is also a little overwhelming. The "Little Liddel" and "Middle Liddel"
are cheaper, but much less interesting.

So far, I'm assuming I can do without LSJ, on the theory that (1) my desktop and
bookshelves are already getting full, (2) my wallet is getting empty, and (3)
money can't buy me Greek; I'll probably have to keep working on it the hard way.
But if this is a mistake, I would like to know, and would be willing to talk to
my wife about parting with another $C.


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