New Book: Linguistics for Students of New Testament Greek.

linguistics2I now have an autographed copy of Dave Black’s book Lingusitics for Students of New Testament Greek: A Survey of Basic Concepts and Applications (Baker Academic, 1995) Courtesy of the author himself – in exchange for a review on the blog of course! And indeed – I’ll get it done quick as I can.  

You can find some more of Dave Black books here.  At least one that is missing from that page is a recent one he edited on the ending of Mark and also that his Greek Grammar has been updated and now has an accompaning workbook

As I already noted in a  previous post:  (consider this as an intital review).

I think this is an important topic and I appreciate that he integrates even basic aspects of linguistics into his Greek Grammar as well.  More than knowing how to read NT Greek, we need to know how a language works and having some understanding of linguistics principles is part of that process. 

In his introduction he asks, “what is it good for?” 

When we study linguistics we are learning how to put the Greek language in its rightful place as a part – perhaps the most technical part – in the text of the New Testament.  Through exposure and practice, we can acquire a broader, more confident command of New Testament Greek.  We can learn why the future of εχω has the rough breathing – an apparent “exception”; why the reduplication of τιθημι “breaks the rules” (it should be θιθημι); how the so-called irregular verbs such as Βαινω are based on consistent linguistic principles; why εργον and work are only superficially different in form.

But more importantly, the study of linguistics can contribute greatly to our understanding of the meaning of the New Testament.   It can help us become more aware of why we understand a text the way we do when we read it, and it can help us talk about the text more precisely, by providing us with a methodology through which we can show how interpretation is in part derived from grammatical considerations.  Linguistics may also solve problems of interpretation by showing us why one meaning is possible but not another.  Above all, however, linguistics can give us a point of view, a way of looking at the text that will help give us consistent analysis, and prompt us to ask questions about the language of the text that we might have otherwise overlooked (pg 3). 

If I had another initial impression of the book – seems to me it could use an reprinting with Dr. Black’s bio on the back updated since I don’t think he’s teaching at Fuller and GGBTS and Talbot, etc but I suppose something like that is both trivial and costly.   He’s at SEBTS now.  

Reading books like this one is one way a busy Pastor can attempt tp stay on top of his or her Greek (along with reading it often) and even help keep understanding of Greek moving forward. 

Thank you Dave Black!