ESV reverse interlinear

Discussion in 'Languages' started by housta, Dec 25, 2012.

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  1. housta

    housta Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello everyone!

    I just received an ESV reverse interlnear for Christmas and am not sure how to use it. I am learning Greek on my own using Mounce's BBG and I already have a Greek readers edition NT. I look at this thing and don't really know how to benefit from it as the ESV drives the text, with the NE27 rearranged to match the english text. It does have parsing and transliteration as well as the strongs numbers. I hate to waste this thing by leaving on the shelf or hurting the givers feelings, so I would love to hear other members input.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  2. Tyrese

    Tyrese Puritan Board Sophomore

    Is Mounce's BBG good for beginners?
  3. housta

    housta Puritan Board Freshman

    Yes, it's very good, coupled with the workbook and his free flashworks program for the vocabulary list. The best option if you can't take college or online classes.
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Mounce will probably do a better overall job of teaching the language and it has a lot of helpful pedagogical features. But it can also be overwhelming to a brand new student of the language. For that reason, I think Machen's Greek grammar book is still in use as a good starting place for beginners. Plus, you should be able to find inexpensive copies at if you don't want to buy it new. Or you can view it for free here:

    (probably posted in a few other places as well. that's just the first one that I found)

    The Machen grammar is dated. Our understanding of the Greek language has advanced greatly in the last 75-100 years. Partly for that reason, Dan McCartney has updated the Machen grammar, but that edition is pricey ($81.00).
    Still, I think for the core basics of the language, the Machen text should serve you well.

    What ever you do, get someone who knows Greek to sit down with you for an hour or so to get you started. After that, if you can get their time for further input, so much the better. it helps to have some initial guidance on things like pronunciation, etc., though a tutorial CD can provide this too.

    If seminary is in your future, put your major emphasis on learning the vocabulary and leave the grammar instruction for the classroom. If you could really learn the 500 most frequently used words, know them well, then when you are in class vocab quizzes would be a breeze and you can focus more on learning the grammar.
  5. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Wayne is absolutely right about learning the vocabulary. If you know that list of 500 most frequently used words well, it'll make your translation work go that much faster (without having to look up every word because you don't know the vocab well) and it'll free you up to concentrate on the grammar, as Wayne says.

    As for Dan McCartney, well, he made a contribution as a translator to the new Common English Bible (a liberal translation being heavily pushed by Fuller Seminary). So, what can I say? Heh...
  6. Tyrese

    Tyrese Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for posting this information. I have been wanting to learn NT Greek for some time now so hopefully I can get some of this material soon.
  7. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    I've been partial to Wenham's "The Elements of New Testament Greek," when working with folks who have no Greek background.
  8. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Wenham (now Duff) is good; Machen is good. I used to dislike Mounce strongly, but with the 3rd edition came many improvements. I can tolerate it as a text now, even though as a teacher I would skip or reorder a few things.

    My personal advice, as someone who has tutored Greek for the last 5 or so years, is as follows:

    1. Don't learn all on your own. Greek is hard. Find a local college class, or a tutor, or at minimum, a study buddy.

    2. Don't spend all your time on grammar. Read, write, and speak as much as you can! Language proficiency comes through use! Here is an online community dedicated to helping you read, write, and speak Greek - ΣΧΟΛΗ - Σχολ

    3. Spend time on vocab, but as soon as you can, do so in context. Find a striking example of your word. For example, if you are making a flashcard for το φως, φωτος - "light", put (part of) John 8:12 on the flashcard: εγω ειμι το φως του κοσμου ("I am the light of the world.")

    4. I know you won't like this one, but I have to say it. Learn Attic Greek first. It's fuller range of vocabulary and tighter grammatical structure will give you a much better feel for the Greek language as a whole. If you learn Attic, you can read anything in Greek with just a few adjustments. If you learn Koine, it's going to be rough trying to read anything outside the New Testament. I know because I had to learn a lot more Greek just to read the Church Fathers. I suggest you get the text Athenaze (2nd edition); it's very fun.

    5. In summary, I would suggest you look at the courses available through Biblical Greek Resources by the Institute of Biblical Greek They aim at New Testament Greek, but they spend enough time in the basics of Athenaze to give a good grounding in Attic. And they're cheaper than most classes in a traditional college. I am not in any way affiliated with them, nor do I gain anything by recommending them.

    Feel free to message me with any questions about learning Greek. I will try to help if I can.
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Good advice from Charlie, especially the idea on learning vocab in context of a verse.
  10. housta

    housta Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks everyone. The replies were very helpful, I've been struggling to keep the momentum going, it's hard to learn on your own.
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