It is with thanks to the kind folks at Kregel Academic that I have the chance to do this review of Doug Huffman’s (Biola) The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming (The Handy Guide Series) (Greek Edition) (2013).
As I see it, this little book (112 pages and 7.4 x 5.1 x 0.3 in) is somewhat the NT Greek “equivalent” of Ron Williams’ Hebrew Syntax book. Both, in my estimation should be on the pastors desk pretty much at all times.
This book is for that pastor or bible teacher, even student who has completed at least one year of Greek and is into their second year and beyond as a support to busy pastors and teachers as a “useful tool and a ready reference” to encourage continued study of NT Greek beyond seminary and or Bible college life. Its sized to be of similar size to the GNT (either UBS or NA) so that it would basically always be attached to it (more or less). It is not a grammar and not intended to replace a grammar but to supplement personal study of the GNT and or aide in teaching or preaching preparation. This is assuming pastors and teachers are working directly from the GNT. Again, this Handy Guide presumes rudimentary knowledge of NT Greek and is designed for review and further study of grammar, syntax and or diagramming.
The book is laid out in 3 parts: Part 1 covers “Greek Grammar Reminders” (with enough English to be managable). This section basically gives a rundown of what one might see in a standard grammar yet in a very simplified form and basic explanations that go with each of the major categories such as with Nouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, First, Second, Third declensions, etc. Charts abound throughout as well for all the various paradigms.
Part two summarizes Greek syntax in the form of “usage guides” for the various cases (for example). As an example, for the Aroist, he lists constative, ingressive, culminative, epistolary, proleptic, dramatic, gnomic. So in a way it is a super selective and compact version of Wallace’s GGBB.
Part three covers phrase diagramming. The general purpose of diagramming is to better understand the flow of thought in any given passage under study. Huffman covers technical, phrase, semantic and arching diagramming.
It really is a useful tool and ready reference and I would say don’t hesitate to pick it up and if I were to teach second year Greek or higher, I would certainly consider this a required text.