Re: 1st year Greek grammars & workbooks

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Sun Feb 16 1997 - 11:06:21 EST

So ... maybe I should add Wenham to my collection of 1st-year

I learned from Mounce, and taught a class at church using Mounce (it
went from 16-18 students to 2-1/2 by years' end! - no reflection on
Mounce, it's just that it required more dedication than most were
willing to give it). If I do it again, I'm thinking of using GREEK TO ME
by Story, based on Dale Wheeler's (?) exceptional success with it at
Multnomah - i.e., in the first year alone, students do the whole book,
covering all essentials of NT Greek grammar, plus read and translate
with near-complete understanding the entire Gospel of Mark - the GREEK
TO ME vocab cards alone bring the students up to knowing every word that
occurs 25x or more (600+ words - Mounce only does 300+, i.e., every word
that occurs 50x or more). [Or else I'll use another grammar, but still
use the GREEK TO ME flashcards.]

My personal experience (but I've only had 2 years of Greek) is that
exposure to large sections of the NT text is very valuable to students
(it was to me), even if they may (as I still do) draw hasty conclusions
at times - I try to check things with Dan Wallace's book, Winbery &
Brooks, Robertson's New Short Grammar, BAGD, Abbott-Smith, NIDNTT,
Zerwick and Smyth. If I ever take the time to really read Wallace, I
think it will fill a lot of gaps in my knowledge of Greek grammar.

So whatever grammar most quickly gets the students reading the text with
comprehension would, to me, be a high priority in choosing grammars. The
"big Greeks" on this list might cringe at having students like me plunge
into the text too much without having a better understanding of grammar,
syntax, Greek clause structure, conditional sentences, etc. - if I
pursue Greek to a higher level, I, too, might change my thoughts on how
best to teach and learn first-year Greek. I know what I know, and don't
know what I don't know but should know - so my comments/perspective
reflect a little of my knowledge and a lot of my ignorance.

"Eric S. Weiss"

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