Friday, December 27, 2019

A New Grammar of Ancient Greek for NT Students

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Over at the Zürich New Testament Blog, Christoph Heilig has a nice interview with Heinrich von Siebenthal. Sibenthal’s Greek grammar has just been translated into English and published by Peter Lang. Christoph also gives a nice overview of recent Greek grammars and says we are living (for a few more days!) in the year of Greek grammars. I have been using the new Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek (CGCG) all semester and it has been great. It’s even affordable!

Back to Siebenthal’s new grammar, here is how he explains its contribution to the field:
I think, there are three major distinctives that set the “Ancient Greek Grammar for the Study of the New Testament” apart more or less clearly from other grammars:
  1. It is not a text-book, but a reference grammar that systematically covers all areas relevant to well-founded text interpretation including textgrammar and word formation.
  2. The information it provides is based on the best of traditional and more recent research in the study of Ancient Greek and linguistic communication.
  3. The mode of presentation is largely shaped by the needs of prospective users, typically unacquainted with the details of linguistic research or with classical philology:
    1. Every Greek, Latin or other non-English expression is translated into English.
    2. Knowledge of Classical Greek is not presupposed (as it is in Blass-Debrunner-Funk); differences between classical and non-classical usage, however, are regularly indicated.
    3. It is primarily about the grammatical phenomena of Ancient Greek (mainly those of New Testament Greek, but also about many of the ones attested in the Septuagint and extra-biblical texts, especially classical ones). At the same time great care has been taken to point out what linguistic phenomena of English correspond to these phenomena functionally and what may be considered adequate translational equivalents.
In summary, this grammar is meant to be 1) more comprehensive, 2) more up-to-date, 3) more accessible than some, perhaps than most of its alternatives.

Aiming at both professional quality of content and user-friendly presentation a tool was produced that would hopefully be of service to beginning students and more experienced exegetes alike.
Here’s the full interview

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