by Andreas Köstenberger, Benjamin Merkle, and Robert Plummer
In his final letter to his foremost disciple, the apostle Paul made this solemn appeal: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15).
The message is clear: Timothy (and, by implication, all teachers of God’s Word) must work hard to arrive at a correct interpretation of any given passage of Scripture. Such careful attention to correctly interpreting Scripture was to set Timothy apart from false teachers such as Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim 2:17).
Since the NT was written in Greek, and since inerrancy and inspiration extend specifically to the Scriptures in the autographs (original manuscripts), a good working knowledge of NT Greek greatly enhances one’s interpretive skill.
In this book, we hope to stir in you a passion, and to provide you with the necessary tools, to “go deeper” in your pursuit of your mastery of NT Greek. You’ve taken a course or two in elementary Greek, or perhaps taught yourself by using some of the many helpful tools that are available. You’ve memorized the most common Greek vocabulary, learned the basic forms of the Greek noun, adjective, and verb, studied foundational principles of Greek syntax, and tried your hand at translating NT texts of increasing difficulty. But you know that you’ve got more to learn. We want to help you take your knowledge of NT Greek to the next level, not as an end in itself but as a means to correctly interpreting and teaching God’s Word.
It seems that the main purpose of the preface of a NT Greek grammar is to justify the writing of yet another grammar. So, in keeping with tradition, here we go. While existing grammars are helpful in many ways and are sure to retain their usefulness, we would like to highlight the unique features of this volume that, we hope, will make it beneficial for both teachers and students.
Ultimately, we wrote this book with college or seminary students in mind. Consequently, our goal was to produce an intermediate Greek text that could be manageably digested when a student reads through the material. For most people, reading a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia is tedious. The same is true with Greek grammars. Greek grammars provide important information, but such books were not designed to be read at length, nor are they particularly user-friendly. In Going Deeper with New Testament Greek, we have attempted to present the material in a way that is accessible, and even fun, knowing that most students will be reading the chapters sequentially.
In writing this grammar, the abiding contributions in the history of the study of NT Greek have served as a foundation. In addition to conducting original research, over a dozen standard Greek grammars were consulted. While there is some variety in nomenclature, many grammatical categories (e.g., subjective and objective genitive) are standard.
The NT is a comparatively short book, and examples of a given grammatical feature are also limited—especially clear, unambiguous examples. Categories were chosen and examples selected that best describe the dynamics of a given feature of Greek grammar or syntax and that seemed most helpful to students learning intermediate Greek.
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Going Deeper with New Testament Greek.
“Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is the best intermediate Greek textbook I have ever used in over twenty-five years of teaching Greek, primarily because it was written by and designed for those of us who labor in the classroom. . . .”
—J. Scott Duvall, professor of New Testament and J. C. and Mae Fuller Chair of Biblical Studies, Ouachita Baptist University
“. . . The book is a ‘one-stop shop’ so that everything students need to know in a second-year Greek course is contained here.”
—Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, professor of biblical theology, and associate dean of the school of theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Going Deeper provides the teacher and student an intermediate grammar designed for their specific needs. While it can function as a reference grammar, it works best as a book to be read from cover to cover.”
—William Mounce, president, BiblicalTraining.org
“Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is certain to become a standard among intermediate Greek grammars. . . . It is up to date, built for the classroom, and aimed at careful exegesis of the Greek New Testament. While I differ on some points, it is my first choice for the classroom.”
—Constantine R. Campbell, associate professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
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