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The best grammar? The best dictionary?

Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:10 pm
by annis
We're compiling a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section for Textkit, to cover a few things that come up a lot on the forum. For Koine matters I need some help.

What is the best Koine reference grammar currently available? If there are several, what level are they directed at? And I need the same information for dictionaries.

I'd prefer not more than 2-3 paragraphs tops for the FAQ answers if possible, so I don't need a full bibliography.

χάριν ὑμῖν ἔχω.

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 1:45 am
by Paul

My votes:

Lexicon - A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (3rd edition) BDAG. Revised and Edited by Frederick William Danker, based on Walter Bauer's. University of Chicago Press

Grammar - A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. A revision of F. Blass and A. Debrunner translated and edited by Robert W. Funk. University of Chicago Press



Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:28 am
by Geoff
I second that, Paul. These are the two best standard References. You may consider a wink and nod at Dana and Mantey, or some of Robertson. Robertson is on the web, but I'll have to get back to my home PC before posting the link.

Arndt and Gingrich is a good Lexicon too.

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:02 am
by klewlis
BGAD is of course the standard lexicon.

For more portable books, Gingrich and Danker's "Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament" is great. It has all the words of BGAD but with less detail on each one so it is quite a bit smaller.

And of course I could not live without Kubo's "A Reader's Greek-English Lexicon of the Greek New Testament". It is organized by chapter and verse so that you can refer to it as you are reading.

Dana and Mantey and Robertson

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:30 pm
by James_Fogal
From what I remember of Dana and Mantey and of Robertson, they try to insert the ablative and the instrumental cases in to noun declensions. This is nonsense. I don't know of the other references, but I hope they don't do the same.
I was classically trained, so am not tainted by seminary training (which is where the Dana and Mantey/Robertson books are primarily used).
I do not recommend that these books be referenced on this website. (I apologize if I offended anyone).

The lexicon I use is Little and Scott, and it works for all ancient Greek -- even that of the Koine period.

Posted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:40 am
by Bene
I am a newcomer to this site, but I think I have something of value to contribute. As to Lexicons A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Baur and revised by Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich is the best. The third edition is particularly helpful because all New Testament scripture references appear in bold, and there is a unified abbreviations list. For a basic grammar Basics of Biblical Greek by Mounce contains a lot of useful information. A good intermediate level grammar is Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics by Daniel Wallace. The book contains many examples from the New Testament. I hope this information is helpful.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:19 am
by Timotheus
The BDAG IS the lexxicon!!!

as for grammers the one i liked the best is "New Testament Greek for Beginners" by J. Gresham Machen. It first came out in 1923.

There is Also a workbook to go along with the workbook but I can't remember who wrote it.

with Both a person should within a few weeks begin to read the first few chapters of the Gospel of John.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:06 pm
by annis
Isn't Mounce more a primer? I have Machen, and that certainly is.

Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:25 pm
by Geoff
Both Mounce and Machen are more or less primers. The appendix in Mounce is extremely useful for reference. Daniel B. Wallace writes the companion intermediate/reference.

I do agree about Dana and Mantey concerning the AT Robertson influence with their correct but unhelpful 8 case system. The uses of the 4(5) cases are matters of function and I think cumbersome in this approach. However Dana and Mantey has good explanations on most things from what I've seen so far.

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:49 am
by Kopio
I would say BDAG is hands down the best lexicon, there's not even a close second (if there was it would be Louw & Nida and it's price is certainly nice)

As far as Koine Grammars......I have most all of them...BDF is sublime, and is especially helpful when approaching Koine from a Classical perspective. Robertson is also very good, and it can also double as a coffe table if you are hard pressed! But......bottom line for me.....I'd have to go with Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics....whenever I come across a passage that I'm scratching my head about, I always reach for Wallace first. It is far and away the easiest Grammar to navigate and understand. It also helps that it is fairly recent in origin and has a fair amount of humor (albeit rather dry). Part of the reason I might feel so strongly is that this was the textbook we used for my 3rd year Syntax and Exegesis class.

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:00 pm
by annis
My thanks to everyone.

Reading the Amazon reviews of all these books has been fascinating, too.

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:53 am
by Caledonian Fire
I have only used several Greek Grammars but the one I would recommend is from my beloved professor, Carlton Winbery, A Morphology of New Testament Greek: A Review and Reference Grammar.

I have Kubo's book as well. I am also using Louw & Nida.

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:52 pm
by Geoff

Robertson isn't online. I got confused. This is a beginners grammar.

Not my pick for a beginners grammar, but almost any grammar is worth looking at.

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 4:09 am
by annis
Geoff wrote:Robertson isn't online. I got confused. This is a beginners grammar.
Eek! Locatives and ablatives! Greek isn't Sanskrit!

It seems quite dense.