Thursday Review: A Reader’s Greek NT

A review of A Reader’s Greek New Testament, eds. Richard J. Goodrich and Albert L. Lukaszewski, 2nd Edition, Zondervan, 2007.

Available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

Maybe like me you studied NT Greek at college, but never really kept it up. Now when you pick up your Greek NT your progress is so slow it hardly seems worth it. Or you need something to help you refresh your lost knowledge. Enter A Reader’s Greek New Testament. I’m excited to get my hands on this great resource. The key thing about it in my mind is this: Every word used fewer that 30 times in the NT is translated in footnotes below the text while every word used more than 30 times is in a glossary at the end. This means you can read the NT without having constantly to look up words in a Greek lexicon. It’s not the same as an interlinear which inevitably discourages you from reading the Greek itself, but you are never far from the information you lack. It’s one of those simple ideas that when you meet it, you wonder why no-one else has ever done it.

A Reader’s Greek New Testament uses the Greek text behind the TNIV with footnotes comparing it with UBS4. It also claims to use a new Greek font that is easier to read. It comes in Italian duo-tone (i.e. fake leather) finished off with gold leaf and a marker ribbon. One key test that it passes is that it lies flat when open on a table – an important feature of any reference book.

My one small complaint is this. I would have gone for thicker paper. It’s not too bad, not as bad as most study Bibles whose pages are so hard to turn I usually give up. It seems to be designed (with its duo-tone cover) to be carried around, possibly to church gatherings. Please don’t take your Greek NT to church gatherings. Why would you do that? To critique the exegesis of the preacher? You should be trembling before God’s word. No, this should sit on your desk. In which case it does not need to be so thin. So instead let’s have pages which are easier to turn so we can look up cross-references quickly.

But this is a small quibble. Overall this is a great resources for those of us who’ve forgotten much of their Greek and for learners who want to learn by doing, i.e. by reading the text itself.

You can look at a sample here.

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