Some thoughts on New Testament Greek, and a really good book for that subject

So, I was reviewing Joe Castleberry’s First-year Greek text (by “review” I mean refreshing myself in the principles, in preparation for Second Year Greek, not writing a book review), which is incidentally one of the best first-edition textbooks available for first year NT Greek, by virtue of the fact that he drives and pushes vocabulary to an insane degree.
If one takes a year of serious study with Dr. Castleberry’s text, then by the end of the year, you will have picked up all vocabulary occurring in the New Testament occurring ten times or more-most grammars get you to words occurring 50 times or more. The reason he pushes vocabulary as he does is because his book is an Independent Study Textbook through ICI/Global University, a correspondence university of the Assemblies of God. Most people who receive this text are overseas without ready access to a plethora of NT Greek study materials, so to have a single volume that introduces the subject of Greek study and then unloads copious amounts of vocab will readily stand head and shoulders above any who use texts without such an emphasis on vocabulary. More over, given Castleberry is a polyglot, primarily in Spanish, and an experienced Latin American missionary, he is capable of communicating linguistic concepts to people of other cultures easily.
Now, does that mean Greek with anyone is a walk in the park? No, for the majority of us, especially for the majority of us who make the leap to seminary study, Greek is one of those burdensome tasks with which we would rather avoid like the plague. Greek, like other language courses, is a hearty subject that requires daily interaction and concerted practice, even when one does not feel like it. It requires a mind for analysis. But for those of us who love the Scripture and believe in their inerrency, there are few things more worthwhile, especially with the biases potentially inherent in the numerous translations, than the study of the languages themselves.
Next Post: Prepositions…

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