Re: Suggestion to Beginning Greekers

From: Eric Weiss (
Date: Mon Feb 16 1998 - 08:46:21 EST

 Dr. Theodore "Ted" H. Mann wrote:
> I would like to recommend a book
> to those who consider themselves
> beginners in biblical Greek, but ready
> for a follow-up to basic grammar:
> "User-Friendly Greek" by Kendell H. Easley;
> published by Broadman and Holman.
> (snip)
> Note to senior members of the list:
> If the above advice is faulty, please warn
> those to whom I am writing.

I am the person who has on several occasions recommended this book. None
of the experts have yet commented on it, so I, too, hope I haven't been
giving bad advice. It's title, cover and layout - good use of BOLDFACE,
lots of examples, and a handy glossary and subject index at the back -
were what first attracted me to it, and the author has a good sense of
humor which makes the book enjoyable to read. Also, he deals somewhat
with linguistics, basic sentence structures, etc., things my 2nd-year
Greek instructor was most interested in, though I don't know if he's
ever used the book. I would have liked a little more information for
doing the paragraph flow exercises from Matthew and James. Also,
labeling GAR a "Coordinate conjunction" without further explaining that
it functions in a causal sense - i.e., like a subordinate conjuntion -
led to some confusion on my part when trying to determine how to mark
GAR in passages. For those who get this book, I bought a Pentel 8-color
lead pencil, and incorporate Easley's method this way in my New
* I underline finite verbs (indicative, subjunctive, optative,
imperative) with dark blue
* I underline participles (including the definite article with
substantival participles) with red
* I underline infinitives with green
* I enclose prepositional phrases, beginning with the preposition, in
orange parentheses
* I precede relative pronouns with a brown vertical line
* I precede coordinating conjunctions with a light blue vertical line
* I precede subordinating conjunctions with a pink vertical line
This helps illuminate the thought flow of the pericope, e.g., making the
finite verbs stand out, clearly delineating the prepositional phrases,
etc. I, at least, as one who has had only 2 years of Greek, have found
my marking technique to be moderately helpful. Easley's book is geared
toward helping the preacher/expositor focus on what's important about
the Greek so one doesn't waste precious study or preaching time
explaining some obscure item of relatively little significance. Its
ultimate purpose is getting the seminary student to begin USING what
he's learned in Greek class (a year of Greek is almost necessary before
one uses this book) on a regular, enjoyable basis so that he/she doesn't
- as too many apparently do - forget it.

"Eric S. Weiss"

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