Re: Mounce's first year grammar

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Nov 30 1999 - 17:05:35 EST

<x-rich>At 2:58 PM -0600 11/30/99, Michael Burer wrote:

<excerpt>Two list members, Jonathan and Carl, have recently made
disparaging comments regarding the Exegetical Insights which Mounce
includes at the front of most every chapter. I believe this deserves a
response. It is very important to understand that these short vignettes
serve a didactic purpose. Mounce's textbook is one of the few I have
seen which has a clearly stated purpose and goal to help budding
pastors, ministers, and exegetes learn the Greek of the New Testament
(see the Rationale Statement, pp. xiii-xviii, and Chapter 2 "Learning
Greek", p. 3-6). The Exegetical Insights obviously fit within that
purpose, for they show the student that Greek pays dividends in
understanding. It is also important to understand that he only wrote a
few of them, so it is not accurate to infer that he is behind them all;
other contributors include his father Robert Mounce, Daniel Wallace,
Darrell Bock, I. Howard Marshall, Craig Keener, etc. I think it is an
excellent feature to have such a variety of scholars contribute to
these vignettes. Of course you may say that they are "irritating" or
"distracting" because you do not agree with the overall theological
stance Mounce has taken, but I may also say they are encouraging and
helpful because I do agree with his stance and that helps me stay
dedicated to the task of learning Greek. At the very least, the
Exegetical Insights show Greek in action, and whether you agree or not
with the resultant interpretation, seeing Greek in action is a helpful
aspect of any grammar.


Let me simply say that I had no intention of "disparaging" the
Exegetical Insights in Mounce's textbook. I have no doubt that they are
indeed welcome to those whose theological inclination is inclined as
Michael asserts his own is. I was simply stating what is abundantly
evident on B-Greek, that there is often more than one way of construing
a Greek text and understanding its syntax, and also that the
theological perspective that one brings to bear upon a text has a
significant bearing on the exegesis of a text that one is likely to
find most convincing on the not altogether uncommon occasions when one
finds more than one alternative way of construing a text.

When one is asked about advantages and disadvantages of one textbook
over against another, there are a number of factors to consider,
including the suitability for the particular students one is likely to
be teaching and the method of teaching one intends to pursue. I think a
teacher would be wise to examine a NT Greek textbook (or any other
textbook, for that matter) before ordering it for use--and for some,
the Exegetical Insights might very well be a problem, while for others
they might very well be quite welcome.

Carl W. Conrad

Department of Classics/Washington University

One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018

Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649



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