Biblical languages do not come easy for me.
In Bible College and Seminary, I spent more hours trying to learn Greek and Hebrew than in all of my other classes combined. It was not uncommon for me to get through most of my other homework in less than one hour each evening, only to spend three or four hours on my Greek or Hebrew. Even then, I struggled on the tests and quizzes.
One of the strategies I developed, however, was a notebook of “Cheat Sheets.” No, I didn’t use these to “cheat” on any tests or quizzes, but I quickly learned as I did my Greek and Hebrew homework that there were certain paradigms and issues of grammar and syntax that I frequently had to look up and refer back to. So I eventually typed up these charts and paradigms and arranged them into a few “Cheat Sheets” which could easily be looked at and referred to as I did my homework and read Scripture in it’s original languages.
I still have (and use) these notebooks of Cheat Sheets.
So it was with great interest when Kregel Publishers recently sent me a review copy of the new book by Douglas Huffman, The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek. It turns out that this little book is a somewhat expanded version of my Cheat Sheet notebook. It shows the main parts of the Greek sentence, and how to identify, parse, and translate them.
Using an orderly arrangement, it has all the crucial paradigms for nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and participles, as well as helpful lists of prepositions, irregular verbs, and other details frequently needed for Greek translation.
The book also contains a helpful summary of Greek Diagramming, which I never found to be that helpful of a tool for Greek Exegesis, but I know that many scholars swear by it.
So if you are looking for a helpful book for all the necessary charts and paradigms of Greek noun declensions, verb conjugations, and grammatical syntax, I highly recommend The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek. It is the Cheat Sheet they didn’t give you in Greek class. I know that I will be keeping it close at hand as I work on my Grace English Bible translation.
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