Back to the Basic

I have decided that I want to learn Greek. Although I took beginning Greek at the Master’s College, I want to go back to the beginning and relearn the fundamentals of the language. My mentor and friend Dr. Varner always would say that he could never teach a first year Greek class because he does not remember first year Greek, and this is a true statement. That is not to say that he is not proficient in Greek, he is! I know that for me, if you were to ask me to reproduce a given paradigm I would not be able to do so (maybe λέγω or λύω, but not much else!). I would fail a basic quiz.

Well, I have decided that I want to know the language better than this. Therefore, I have enlisted the help of Stan Porter, Jeff Reed, and Matthew O’Donnell in my quest for Greek proficiency. Originally I learned Greek from Mounce. It was a great first year grammar, and it taught me the language well. After glancing through Porter et al. my first impression was: This is no Mounce! Porter et al. is dense and packed with a boatload of information. Because I respect Porter as a scholar, I am sure that what he has deemed important for the beginning student is in this grammar.

I also intend to blog some of my thoughts on the overall usefulness and benefits of Porter. I will post my thoughts (or at least what I can remember) on Mounce and how Porter is more/not as helpful.


2 thoughts on “Back to the Basic

  1. I got about half way through Mounce before other things started occupying my time. I really need to get back to it! I have Fundamentals of New Testament Greek and my impression is that it would be better suited to the student who has an instructor guiding him through the text. For the autodidact it seems to be a bit much. But since you are already competent with Greek I’m sure that you’ll get more out of it than I have.

  2. My impression is the opposite of Nick’s. As much as I respect and admire Porter and his work in the Greek language, this intro textbook is too much for an intro year. It would work for 2 things in my mind: Covering it over 3 semesters (1.5 years) or doing exactly what you are doing. You know the language but want to go back to basics and ground yourself in.

    I doubt if any 1st year teachers out there have adopted Porter. If anyone has, I’d love to hear the report because I hope that I’m wrong (I think using that in a 1-year course would be a train wreck).

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