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?

cwconrad
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Location: Burnsville, NC 28714
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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.
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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Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

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.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
ἐγὼ δὲ διδάσκω τε καὶ γράφω ἵνα τὰ ἀξιώτερα μανθάνω

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