J. Gresham Machen "New Testament Greek for Beginners" 2nd ed

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Louis L Sorenson
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J. Gresham Machen "New Testament Greek for Beginners" 2nd ed

Post by Louis L Sorenson » March 18th, 2016, 3:20 am

A second edition of Machen's book was published in 2003. Published by Pearson and edited by Dan G. McCarthy. (See the Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Gre ... chen+greek. The Amazon page lists this book at the unbelievable list price of $121.10. Some tables have been updated and a few other items.
New to This Edition:
--Glossary of basic grammatical and linguistic terms—Helps students recognize and understand frequently used terms and cross-reference with word roots
--Charts and figures on grammar—Includes a list of prepositions, a chart of vowel contractions, a regular verb formation chart, and several new paradigms
--Word list of 250 terms—Highlights the 250 words appearing most frequently in the Greek New Testament, prepared by Professor Bruce M. Metzger for this new edition
--Updated style—For example, substitutes 'you' for 'thee' and 'thou', in language familiar to today's students


So why the unbelievable price? A student could buy about 5 different grammars versus this 1920's rewrite? Any ideas?
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cwconrad
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Re: J. Gresham Machen "New Testament Greek for Beginners" 2n

Post by cwconrad » March 18th, 2016, 5:31 am

Louis L Sorenson wrote:A second edition of Machen's book was published in 2003. Published by Pearson and edited by Dan G. McCarthy. (See the Amazon page at http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Gre ... chen+greek. The Amazon page lists this book at the unbelievable list price of $121.10. Some tables have been updated and a few other items.
New to This Edition:
--Glossary of basic grammatical and linguistic terms—Helps students recognize and understand frequently used terms and cross-reference with word roots
--Charts and figures on grammar—Includes a list of prepositions, a chart of vowel contractions, a regular verb formation chart, and several new paradigms
--Word list of 250 terms—Highlights the 250 words appearing most frequently in the Greek New Testament, prepared by Professor Bruce M. Metzger for this new edition
--Updated style—For example, substitutes 'you' for 'thee' and 'thou', in language familiar to today's students


So why the unbelievable price? A student could buy about 5 different grammars versus this 1920's rewrite? Any ideas?
I will not let pass an opportunity to bad-mouth Machen's Greek primer for the ad-nauseamth time in this forum. I would ask: Why revise it at all, rather than start over? When I first encountered it half a century ago as a textbook for tutoring a student in Koine, it seemed pretty clear early on that it was conceived with a notion that Greek is an odd-sounding way to speak and write English; constructions were poorly explained; exercises seemed designed to promote equivalent expressions in KJV English and Koine Greek -- as if the only English into which Koine Greek could be converted was the English of the early 17th century. While I'll agree that was a beautiful English, it's not what I would encourage students to speak or write four centuries later. A.T. Robertson's big book published in that same era has a far better right to continued publication after a century than does J. Gresham Machen's little book.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Barry Hofstetter
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Re: J. Gresham Machen "New Testament Greek for Beginners" 2n

Post by Barry Hofstetter » March 19th, 2016, 6:43 am

cwconrad wrote: I will not let pass an opportunity to bad-mouth Machen's Greek primer for the ad-nauseamth time in this forum. I would ask: Why revise it at all, rather than start over? When I first encountered it half a century ago as a textbook for tutoring a student in Koine, it seemed pretty clear early on that it was conceived with a notion that Greek is an odd-sounding way to speak and write English; constructions were poorly explained; exercises seemed designed to promote equivalent expressions in KJV English and Koine Greek -- as if the only English into which Koine Greek could be converted was the English of the early 17th century. While I'll agree that was a beautiful English, it's not what I would encourage students to speak or write four centuries later. A.T. Robertson's big book published in that same era has a far better right to continued publication after a century than does J. Gresham Machen's little book.
I was at WTS when McCartney was revising the text. He was originally going to incorporate some of my handouts I had developed for my classes, but eventually decided not to do so. He had an opportunity to do a complete rewrite, but just dropped the ball and and basically gave the world leftovers with a little seasoning added to disguise the taste, which in fact it didn't. More than one instructor and a number of Greek students gave suggestions which would have been helpful to incorporate, but few of them were followed. It was very disappointing.
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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