On Greek Syntax

No, not sin tax you silly!  Syntax, you know, that feature of grammar that helps understand how words, phrases, clauses, sentences and so on relate to each other? That kind of syntax.

In learning language, it is indispensable.  Learning a few Greek or Hebrew word studies or even learning a year of Greek isn’t going to be enough.  You have to learn Greek syntax to really get at the meaning and function of the language.

Rich Erickson says in his book, A Beginner’s Guide to New Testament Exegesis: Taking the Fear out of Critical Method (IVP Academic, 2005), he writes:

Be sure of this: without a working knowledge of New Testament Greek syntax we cannot hope to understand the Greek New Testament.

It’s true.  Words don’t have meaning, meanings have words, and words can only mean something in relationship to other words so it is important to get familiarized with the basics of syntax for Koine Greek, if you want to understand the Greek New Testament.

A couple must have books with regard all this are:

Dan Wallace’s Basics of New Testament Syntax, The (Zondervan, 2000)

and

Waltke – O’Conner’s An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax (Eisenbrauns, 1990).

To make best use of these, consult the scripture index for the verse you are working on at the moment to see if they have any particular syntactical insights you can use in studying the passe being worked on.

Blessings,

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4 responses to “On Greek Syntax

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