Porter, Reed, O'Donnell, Fundamentals of New Testament Greek

Porter, Reed, O'Donnell, Fundamentals of New Testament Greek

Postby cwconrad » October 14th, 2011, 7:18 am

There is a new introductory Greek textbook by the "deans" or "dons" (or what have you) of McMaster Divinity School now newly evaluated by two reviewers at the Review of Biblical Literature (http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=7893): http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=7893

Publication details:
Fundamentals of New Testament Greek (+ Workbook)
Porter, Stanley E., Jeffrey T. Reed and Matthew Brook O'Donnell
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010 pp. xxi + 466/xii + 260. $59.99

Review by Panayotis Coutsoumpos
http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/7893_8628.pdf

Review by Laurence M. Vance
http://www.bookreviews.org/pdf/7893_8970.pdf

Coutsoumpis is very positive in his evaluation, while Vance doesn't much like the textbook. I would like to take a closer look at the grammatical presentations, which both reviewers indicate as being more-or-less exhaustively complete. Vance, in fact, faults the the work as presenting too much information for beginners; I find that judgment somewhat amusing, inasmuch as in my own teaching I've always tried to warn students that the details of Greek morphology and syntax are considerably more complex than beginning texts are likely to acknowledge. When I was beginning Greek more than half a century ago this is the sort of textbook I would have found very appealing, I think.

It is clear that use of the workbook is essential for anyone seeking to learn to read Biblical Greek: the textbook by itself simply introduces the lessons, while the essential practice and learning exercises are to be found in the workbook. That is comparable to the widely-used Mounce textbook which is almost useless to a beginner without the workbook; the same is true for what I think is the best comparable beginning textbook for Classical Greek, the JACT Reading Greek series.

It also seems pretty clear that the pedagogical method here is the traditional "grammar and translation" method as opposed to the immersion methodology emphasizing oral/aural and reading/writing communication advocated by the likes of Randall Buth, Christophe Rico, and Daniel Streett.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Re: Porter, Reed, O'Donnell, Fundamentals of New Testament G

Postby Paul-Nitz » November 30th, 2013, 6:20 am

Thanks much to cwconrad for compiling these reviews. This book is now at $36 from Logos.

The description on the Logos website states that the book is "pedagogically sound." From the reviewers descriptions, I'm quite sure that means the book doubles-down on the Grammar-Translation approach.

I'm tempted to buy this book because I would like having a Koine focused intermediate reference grammar. But a primer, which contains intermediate grammar scattered about the lessons, seems less useful. Does anyone know whether any discourse analysis is covered in the book (co-author Reed has written on the subject)? That would make the book more attractive, for me.

Meanwhile, though its focus is Classical Greek, I'm happy with Juan Coderch's book, a true reference grammar.
http://coderch-greek-latin-grammar.weebly.com/
Paul D. Nitz - Lilongwe Malawi
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Re: Porter, Reed, O'Donnell, Fundamentals of New Testament G

Postby cwconrad » November 30th, 2013, 6:54 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:Meanwhile, though its focus is Classical Greek, I'm happy with Juan Coderch's book, a true reference grammar.
http://coderch-greek-latin-grammar.weebly.com/

Upon reviewing the display at this web site and looking over the sample pages shown in PDF files, it's disappointing to see the doctrine of deponency still raising its ugly head here. For Classical Attic, I think that the JACT Reading Greek: Grammar and Exercises (second edition, 2007) is a better bet:
http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Greek-Association-Classical-Teachers/dp/0521698529/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1385808689&sr=8-2&keywords=Reading+Greek
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 5:52 pm
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Re: Porter, Reed, O'Donnell, Fundamentals of New Testament G

Postby Stephen Carlson » November 30th, 2013, 7:33 am

Paul-Nitz wrote:I'm tempted to buy this book because I would like having a Koine focused intermediate reference grammar. But a primer, which contains intermediate grammar scattered about the lessons, seems less useful. Does anyone know whether any discourse analysis is covered in the book (co-author Reed has written on the subject)? That would make the book more attractive, for me.

Knowing what I know about you and the book, I have a strong feeling that you'll be disappointed with this primer.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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