A reader’s guide to the morphology and syntax of Koine Greek
From the pen of a seasoned instructor of biblical Greek, this book functions as both an essential resource for second-year students and an invaluable asset for all readers as they continue to hone and deepen their linguistic skills. Itbegins with a basic overview of the language for new learners and for those looking for a brief refresher before moving into nuanced matters of morphology and syntax. Whitacre’s aim is ultimately to help readers understand the subtleties of the language on the pages of the New Testament; thus, he engages with the biblical text both grammatically and exegetically, so that readers can experience its full power and beauty.
Including numerous illustrative examples throughout and several useful appendices at the end, A Grammar of New Testament Greek is indispensable both as a textbook and as a reference for all readers of the Greek New Testament—and other texts written in Koine, such as the Septuagint and the Apostolic Fathers.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Greek Writing, Pronunciation, and Punctuation 2. Basic Features of Ancient Greek 3. Morphology of Nominal Forms 4. Morphology of Verbal Forms 5. Greek Syntax Appendix 1: Rules for Accenting Appendix 2: Words Distinguished by Their Accents and Breathing Marks Appendix 3: Common Suffixes Appendix 4: Paradigms for Reference Appendix 5: Summary of Selected Syntax Topics Appendix 6: Simple Overview of English Grammar Essentials Appendix 7: Suggestions for Approaching a Sentence in Greek Appendix 8: Principal Parts of Common Greek Verbs
Rodney A. Whitacre (1949–2023) taught Greek for over forty years. He authored Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek, A Patristic Greek Reader, and a commentary on the Gospel of John in the IVP New Testament Commentary series.
Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist “An excellent resource for every student of New Testament Greek.”
“Where may one find a readable, reliable, text-centered grammar of New Testament Greek? In answering this commonly posed question, I will now point people to Rodney A. Whitacre’s substantive, authoritative volume. Every student of the Greek New Testament should own and use this volume, which has been carefully and lovingly composed by a seasoned master teacher who continues to be captivated by the beauty and profundity of the Greek texts that comprise our New Testament.” — Todd D. Still George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University
“Whitacre distinguishes this text by the breadth of his references and by his careful, non-partisan engagement with the literature of linguistics scholarship. He writes with a teacher’s sensitivity to what needs explaining and a scholar’s respect for getting details right (even when that means acknowledging that certain constructions defy definite resolution). I firmly recommend this book as a grammatical resource for intermediate Greek and exegetical classes; it enters a crowded field as my top choice.” — A. K. M. Adam University of Oxford
“Dr. Rodney Whitacre has written a significant beginning-intermediate grammar of New Testament Greek. He has made it comprehensive enough that the volume will remain useful long after the class has ended. He has included enough repetition so that the student does not need to scramble to find this or that from an earlier lesson that they have forgotten. And he is up to date on his linguistic data, so he is not giving a mere rehash of pre-modern-linguistics approaches. Furthermore, the work is readable, no mean feat for a Greek textbook. I warmly recommend this work for the consideration of anyone who is approaching a teaching assignment in New Testament Greek.” — Peter H. Davids Houston Graduate School of Theology
“This is a masterful introduction to the nuances of the Greek language. . . . I particularly appreciate the attention given to syntax at the heart of this volume, where one will find a sophisticated presentation of the middle voice and verbal aspect, richly informed by the discussions of recent decades, a clear presentation of the spectrum of senses potentially communicated by each Greek case, and many other facets of the range of usage of discrete components of the Greek language. I will be putting this into the hands of my second-semester Greek students in the future with a view to laying the foundations for their ongoing study before they leave my classroom.” — David A. deSilva Ashland Theological Seminary
“Do you teach second-year New Testament Greek? Here you go. This is your textbook. Or are you returning to the nitty-gritty of Greek grammar, having been away for a couple of decades and hoping for more than just a basic refresher, perhaps like me? Well, Whitacre’s textbook is for you too. What a thoughtfully organized, clearly written, and helpful guide to the subject matter. I not only relearned a lot when I read this book, I learned a lot too, especially how to think more intelligently and to write more effectively about the grammar of the New Testament.” — Steven A. Hunt Gordon College
“Some instructors and students of intermediate Greek prefer a concise textbook that avoids complicating matters beyond the basics needed for effectively translating large swaths of the New Testament. Others prefer a very comprehensive text, replete with multiple New Testament examples of every grammatical category. Whitacre steers a middle course between these two options. He does not illustrate with many biblical passages but has created an ideal reference tool for those who have had two or three semesters of Greek and want both to review what they learned and to understand further why and how things function as they do. Best used in accompaniment with an inductive study of New Testament passages, as Whitacre himself does.” — Craig L. Blomberg Denver Seminary
“Whitacre’s volume synthesizes decades of pedagogy and exposition with the leading edge of current Greek scholarship that is unheard of in an introductory grammar. This volume is ideal for those wanting to front-load a general understanding of Koine Greek before diving into the weeds of morphology, making it the perfect choice for those wanting to refresh and deepen their knowledge. Whitacre achieves a masterful blend of introductory and intermediate descriptions designed to dovetail with his Using and Enjoying Biblical Greek.” — Steven E. Runge author of Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament
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