Re: Greek Grammars

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Mon Aug 09 1999 - 14:53:00 EDT

C.E. Core wrote;
> I was wondering if someone with experience using these grammars could
>make >some comments about them. Thanks in Christ -chris
>George Goolde wrote:
>Dear b-greekers:
>I am a little different than some of you because my interest is primarily
>Bible >and Theology, for which Greek to me is a tool. So I probably won't
>reflect the >"purist" approach to the language!
>I prefer 8 case grammars because of my approach to exegesis. I think it
>is >important to make careful distinctions whenever possible. For that
>general >reason, I opt for
>Summers - Beginning Dana and Mantey - Intermediate A.T. Robertson - Advanced.
>I use many other grammars for reference, including probably many that you
>all >use. Blass and DeBrunner, Goetchius, Funk, Mounce, White, the four
>volume set >by Moulton/Turner. George

My first year Greek class used Summers. My second used Dana & Mantey. I
have used Robertson since 1959. For a simple Greek primer, Summers
sufficed, but I have spent a lot of time ridding myself of some of the
things that are not Greek nor NT but theology. One example; In Summers when
you first encounter an object of the verb that is not accusative, you are
told that in Acts 9:7 AKOUONTES with an object in the genitive case means
"to hear but not understand." In Acts 22:9 HKOUSAN with object in the
accusative means to hear with understanding, hence those with Paul did not
hear with understanding. (the negative is present). This is certainly false.

Also in the large chart that accompanies Summers the aorist passive of
LEIPW is given as ELIPHN (it is ELEIFQHN). A number of the other forms that
appear on the chart do not appear in the NT and one nowhere in Greek. I am
a firm believer that when a student learns a form (and every student must
learn lots of forms) that student should expect to see the form in the NT
or somewhere in what is assigned.

I point to the phenomena in the grammar because I want you to decide for
yourself. There are some flaws in Summers. Dana & Mantey presents the
language in such a peice meal fashion that many students get very confused.
I lost a lot of students in the third term when I was using it.

We've debated the eight case system before on b-Greek. I have no problem
with it, but my students who learn morphology with five cases and come to
syntax have no trouble dealing with the functions determined by context and
not form. In other words, I really see no sense in making students
emphasize only eight functions when they are primarily engaged in
memorizing morphology. Later they will learn that the third inflected form
is used for the functions of both instrumentality and association. Both of
these are called instrumental, but that always confused me. It is two
separate functions.

I hope this helps and I hope it does not reopen the debate on eight cases.
There is much in the archives on this. Again, I am not criticizing persons
but books. I stood in Awe of Ray Summers. I do not have much from Mantey to
judge him by, but I am working still on materials that I received from
Dana. He was a scholar par excellance.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:35 EDT