One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Resources and methods for teaching and learning New Testament Greek.
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Matthew Friend
Posts: 13
Joined: December 10th, 2020, 11:48 pm

One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Matthew Friend »

Hi Folks

I have several (about 5) beginner level Greek Grammars. I also have an old program that does quizzing and some teaching (Greek Tutor).

Originally my plan was to use one Grammar (probably Plummers Beginning Greek Text, though I have Deckers, Dana Harris', Mounce 4th also).
I thought I could use the others for reference as needed or to solidify the specific chaper topics.

The problem I ran into so far is that they are all in different orders (so something that has been covered in one may not have been covered in another).
As an example I was doing Chapter 6 in Plummers grammar. Then I went to Greek Tutor and it was quizing me... but the imperfect indicative in Greek Tutor was way later after prepositions, contract verbs, etc.

So almost all of you here have a better grasp on Greek than me.
What should I do:
1. Focus almost exclusively on one grammar and its exercise and keep the other grammars for after I have a foundation from completing the first grammar.
2. Try to focus mainly on one grammar and use the others to help explain topics I'm stuck on but not worry about the exercise/stuff that I may not have covered yet.

I've gone back and forth some on which Grammar I should make my primary learning grammar. Plummer's is concise, he seems to explain things well. Mounce's 4th seems to be more indepth, though he seems to confuse me more as a result. I also have Decker's and Dana Harris' but I haven't looked at them much yet. Which would you use? :)

Thanks for any advice. (oh, if anyone is wondering, I had two semesters of greek in seminary back in 2000 ... 20 years ago and I've pretty much forgotten all of it so it feels very new to me).
Thanks,
Matthew
Matthew Friend
Nebraska, USA
M.Div AGTS, S.T.M - Liberty Seminary
Daniel Semler
Posts: 238
Joined: February 18th, 2019, 7:45 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Daniel Semler »

Hi Matthew,

My 0.02 and likely not worth either penny :)

When I started I picked a grammar and worked through it. It was a slog in a sense but you're just collecting basics. You need to get them in. Once you've got the basics you can pick up a more advanced grammar or cherry some things your basic one didn't cover or didn't cover well. Or ditch grammars in favour of simply reading texts - I got to that point at one point when I realized I was reading more about Greek than Greek itself - not a great plot. There are a bunch of graded readers out there that can help with that once you get through a basic grammar.

Grammars won't match - and it can come down to annoying little things that thwart your memorization like ordering of the cases in a table of endings. So I stuck with one, Mounce 3rd, I think it was the 3rd. I bought other grammars of course and looked up some stuff that wasn't so fully explained here and there. The problem with using two different things to work together is that if they are not written to work together something like your Plummer/Tutor issue will arise. Get a grammar with a companion workbook and use them. They are designed to work together.

I might add, don't use Mounce because I did. Look at what you have and see what you like and then use that. I made the mistake with one Hebrew grammar. I persisted for a while because I'm like that but after a while I realized it was just a bad choice and I switched.

Thx
D
Stirling Bartholomew
Posts: 1111
Joined: August 9th, 2012, 4:19 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Stirling Bartholomew »

Daniel Semler wrote: December 16th, 2020, 12:21 am
I might add, don't use Mounce because I did. Look at what you have and see what you like and then use that. I made the mistake with one Hebrew grammar. I persisted for a while because I'm like that but after a while I realized it was just a bad choice and I switched.
First step is to clarify your objectives. What do you want out of this project?

I haven't used any of the grammars on your list. Keep them all handy and find a course to work with either online or a workbook. You can't have too many grammars. Five is a small number. It's ok to be confused. You will sort it out later. That is what we are here for to help people sort it out.
C. Stirling Bartholomew
Jason Hare
Posts: 748
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
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Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Jason Hare »

Daniel Semler wrote: December 16th, 2020, 12:21 am I made the mistake with one Hebrew grammar. I persisted for a while because I'm like that but after a while I realized it was just a bad choice and I switched.
Curious minds want to know... which Hebrew grammar failed to satisfy you?
Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 2009
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

1. Stick with one and keep to it systematically until you are done.

2. It's okay to have the other grammars, but once you've worked through one beginning grammar, you are done. However, occasionally you may find the explanation in one or the the other more useful than your primary. Look it up using the index but still keep to your primary.

3. Once you are done, you are done. Lose the beginning grammars (metaphorically, but you could sell the extras to some unsuspecting soul who also wants to do Greek).

4. The next logical step is reading lots of Greek to integrate and supplement what you have learned. Now is also the time to acquire a a good intermediate and advanced reference grammar, which you don't work through systematically, but use to look stuff up when you get stuck or simply want more info. Some people like reading those things, which is fine -- I've never been able to do so.

The best way "beyond the basics" to learn Greek is to read and interact with Greek.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
Daniel Semler
Posts: 238
Joined: February 18th, 2019, 7:45 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Daniel Semler »

Jason Hare wrote: December 16th, 2020, 10:06 am
Daniel Semler wrote: December 16th, 2020, 12:21 am I made the mistake with one Hebrew grammar. I persisted for a while because I'm like that but after a while I realized it was just a bad choice and I switched.
Curious minds want to know... which Hebrew grammar failed to satisfy you?
The First Hebrew Primer.

Thx
D
Jason Hare
Posts: 748
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Jason Hare »

Daniel Semler wrote: December 16th, 2020, 11:36 am
Jason Hare wrote: December 16th, 2020, 10:06 am
Daniel Semler wrote: December 16th, 2020, 12:21 am I made the mistake with one Hebrew grammar. I persisted for a while because I'm like that but after a while I realized it was just a bad choice and I switched.
Curious minds want to know... which Hebrew grammar failed to satisfy you?
The First Hebrew Primer.

Thx
D
If you watch the Good Place: "Not a girl." (Similarly: "Not a grammar.") LOL
Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
Matthew Friend
Posts: 13
Joined: December 10th, 2020, 11:48 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Matthew Friend »

Thanks everyone for the advice and help, I appreciate it.
okay... now off to study :)
Matthew
Matthew Friend
Nebraska, USA
M.Div AGTS, S.T.M - Liberty Seminary
Barry Hofstetter
Posts: 2009
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 1:48 pm

Re: One Greek Grammar or Many for beginners Greek

Post by Barry Hofstetter »

Matthew Friend wrote: December 16th, 2020, 4:17 pm Thanks everyone for the advice and help, I appreciate it.
okay... now off to study :)
Matthew
And my God richly grant you success. Feel free to ask any questions at any time (though you hardly seem shy about that... :) )
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.
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