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The Ezra Project 
For the Serious Starter in New Testament Greek

Welcome to the Ezra Project!  Whether you're gearing up to take a seminary Greek course or looking for ways to go deeper in your personal Bible study, this site is your personal resource.  Our goal is simple:  to help you take your first steps in New Testament Greek - and do it right!
    I have been introducing students to New Testament Greek since 1972, and it's my delight to take the mystery out of the language for men and women who want to become serious students of Scripture.
                             -- Dr. John Bechtle 

The Ezra Project:  First Stop for Greek Beginners.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Especially for Pastors

Here are two resources to help pastors maintain their Greek skills and use them effectively in sermon preparation.  

Black, David Alan.  Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors.  Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1993.  This book focuses on the transformation of exegesis into exposition and of studies into sermons.  It explains the process of using the Greek text and linguistic resources to study the New Testament.

Campbell, Constantine R.  Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.  Seminarians spend countless hours mastering biblical languages and learning how the knowledge of them illuminates the reading, understanding, and application of Scripture.  But while excellent language acquisition resources abound, few really teach students how to maintain their use of Greek for the long term.  Consequently, pastors and other former Greek students find that under the pressures of work, ministry, preaching, and life, their hard-earned Greek skills begin to disappear.  Con Campbell has been counseling one-time Greek students for years, teaching them how to keep their language facility for the benefit of those to whom they minister and teach.  He shows how following the right principles makes it possible for many to retain--and in some cases regain--their Greek language skills.

      -- From David Brewer, Annotated Select Bibliography

3:13 pm est

Friday, July 8, 2011

Resources: First Year Greek Grammars

Though I prefer Greek Behind the Prof's Back ( of course!), it seems only fair to provide information on some of the other textbooks available for beginners in New Testament Greek.  You can always use the old classics by men like J. Gresham Machen or Ray Summers.  They have been standard fare for decades, and you can still use them to get started in Greek.

However, there are several more recent texts that have come on the market in the last few years and I offer these brief descriptions (taken from the Annotated Bibliography by David Brewer) to help you evaluate them:

Black, David Alan.  Learn to Read New Testament Greek, 3rd edition.  Nashville: B&H Academic, 2009.  This user-friendly introduction to New Testament Greek keeps discussion of grammar as non-technical as possible.  It provides tools and exercises for bringing the student to the experience of reading from the Greek New Testament after just seventeen lessons.  Among the revisions to this third edition are updated discussions and scholarship, and additional appendices.

____________.  Learn to Read New Testament Greek - Workbook: Supplemental Exercises for Greek Grammar Students.  Nashville: B&H Academic, 2009.  Keyed to David Alan Black's popular Learn to Read New Testament Greek main text, this supplemental workbook includes 1300 Greek to English / English to Greek sentences, more than 700 drilling exercises to reinforce the foundational principles of Greek grammar, and many other helpful learning resources for introductory Greek students.

Croy, N. Clayton.  A Primer of Biblical Greek.  Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.  Taking a primarily deductive approach to teaching Biblical Greek, this volume assumes that students will have no prior knowledge in Greek. Divided into 32 separate lessons, each containing a generous number of exercises, the text leads students from the Greek alphabet to a working understanding of the language of the Bible.  The new accompanying CD contains a teacher's guide, answers to exercises, and more exercises.

Hewett, James Allen, C. Michael Robbins, and Steven R. Johnson.  New Testament Greek: A Beginning and Intermediate Grammar.  Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009.  For over twenty years, first-year Greek students have relied on James Allen Hewett's New Testament Greek: A Beginning and Intermediate Grammar for its straightforward approach to the fundamentals of language study.  Now completely revised and updated, this trusted grammar will provide a new generation of beginning scholars with a solid foundation for doing translation, exegesis, and biblical interpretation.

Mounce, William D.  Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar, 3rd edition.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.  First published in 1993, Basics of Biblical Greek is the most popular introduction to the field, used in universities and seminaries around the world.  Over 200,000 students have learned biblical Greek under its guidance.  This significant third edition has been carefully developed in consultation with instructors, students, self-learners, and homeschoolers.

_____________.  Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook, 3rd edition.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.  Expanded, student-friendly workbook for use with Basics of Biblical Greek textbook.  This expanded workbook is designed with the student in mind.  Two optional chapters have been added, allowing you to read large chunks of the biblical text and enjoy the fruits of your labor faster than every before.  Each chapter is divided into six sections and includes extensive exercises and significant biblical passages for translation.

_____________.  Biblical Greek: A Compact Guide.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.  Offer Greek students a one-stop guide for the grammar, morphology, and vocabulary of biblical Greek.  This resource follows the organization and format familiar to the hundreds of thousands of students who have used Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar in their first-year Greek courses, but it is also usable by students who learned with a different grammar.  By limiting its discussion to the "nuts and bolts," it allows Greek students to find the relevant grammatical refreshers more quickly and easily when they are working on translation and exegesis.

11:34 am est

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Multilevel Greek - How deep do you want to go?

When people say they want to study New Testament Greek, they don't all have the same picture in mind.  You can investigate Greek at several levels.  Some are relatively simple; others require a larger investment of time and effort.  Here are the most common choices:

Level 1 – Exploring Word Meanings

           Goal:  To understand the meaning of a Greek word.

Guidelines for Word Study" - Basic steps in Greek word study

              "Word Study Resources" - Links to online word study tools [in development]

Level 2 – Understanding Grammar Concepts

          Goal:  To learn how Greek grammar works, so you know what aorist or subjunctive really means.

Grammar Basics" – an overview of Greek grammar

   "Glossary of Grammar Terms" [in development]

Level 3 – Translating the Greek Text 

         Goal:  To sit down with a Greek New Testament and lexicon and translate a New Testament verse for yourself

Greek Behind the Prof’s Back – a self-instructional workbook

Level 4+ - Mastery and Beyond                   
You can continue to grow in your grasp of Greek for the rest of your life, going deeper and deeper into the Word of God.  Once you have mastered the basic content of the language, you can delve into the endless list of books and electronic resources available to you.  The Ezra Project provides you with a launching pad for a lifetime of study.


When you decide to dig a little deeper into the meaning of a Bible word, you should know that there are:

        Two facts about words

        Two stages to word study

        Two methods for doing each stage

Two facts about words

First, words have more than one meaning.  Take a simple English word such as run.  It can be a verb that means "to get from one place to another by moving your legs quickly."  Or it can mean "to keep the engine of your car operating" (even if it's just idling in the driveway).  When your watch runs, the hands go around.  When the lawnmower runs, it cuts grass.  When a stream runs, water flows over rocks.  When your nose runs, you grab a tissue.  Run can also be a noun, whether it refers to a point scored in a baseball game or a torn place in a stocking. 


Please get in touch to offer comments and ask questions about New Testament Greek!  You can e-mail us at:

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