About a month ago I received and began reading Denny Burk’s Articular Infinitives in the Greek of the New Testament: On the Exegetical Benefit of Grammatical Precision. Being a student of New Testament Greek, I was drawn to this book because of it’s importance to my own studies. I first heard of this book on Denny’s blog. My first year of Greek was one of immense joy. I enjoyed learning the noun cases and declensions, verbs, and even participles. But it was the infinitives that gave me the most trouble. But when I entered second year Greek, their usages became more familiar and much more enjoyable. So I was anxious to begin reading Denny’s book, and I must say that it is no let down.
One of the things that I enjoyed the most is the emphasis on linguistics and their importance to this study. Linguistics is an area of study that I have recently been influenced by and one that I feel is very important to my study of koine Greek. The purpose of the book is given by Denny on page 2:
In this book I seek to ask and answer the following question: What is the semantic and/or syntactic value of the articular infinitive in New Testament Greek? Another way of posing the question would be as follows: What does the article contribute to the meaning of the infinitive in New Testament Greek? (pg 2)
And how does he go about proving his thesis:
I conceive of this task as a ‘linguistic’ investigation. By that I mean that I will pursue this study utilizing some of the results and methods of modern linguistic analysis, and approach that can be distinguished from traditional grammar. (pg 2)
It is the method and approach that Denny uses that I find both helpful and enjoyable.
In Chapter 2 Denny outlines the use of the Article in New Testament Greek. Before he can discuss the article with the infinitive, he first outlines the use of the Article in general. This is a helpful chapter, and becomes even more helpful when he begins discussing its usage with the infinitive.
He discusses the use of the Article with the infinitive both without the preposition, as well as with the preposition in chapters 3 and 4. Both of these chapters are very informative and extremely helpful in ones study of the infinitive in the Greek New Testament (there are ample amounts of Scripture references to illustrate Denny’s point).
As of yet, this is as far as I have been able to read. I will say this: This is a well written and easy to understand book. It has been extremely helpful and a joy to read. Hopefully, time permitting, I will be able to finish the book, as well as this general review of it. Thanks for the good work Denny!