Beginning Greek Grammar Guide

Introduction

Each month, I review a beginning Greek Grammar on the Master New Testament Greek YouTube channel.

After I review each grammar, I assign it a spot on “the leaderboard” below. This page lists the grammars I’ve reviewed ranked in order.  

For each grammar you’ll find

  • Publication information and purchase links
  • Video review
  • Stated goal
  • Distinctives
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses

If you have anything you’d like me to add to this list, let me know. Similarly, if you’d like me to add a specific grammar to this list, also, let me know. However, note that there are a lot of grammars on the market and more coming out every year, so I may not get to every grammar in a timely manner. I tend to prioritize more recent grammars over older ones. 

To find out when new reviews are published, subscribe on YouTube and download my roadmap to mastery to join the Master New Testament Greek mailing list.

Greek Grammar Reviews

Each month I review a beginning Greek Grammar. Subscribe to stay up to date. Its Free!

Greek Grammar Leaderboard

Grammars by Ranking

1. Merkle and Plummer, Beginning with New Testament Greek

Benjamin L. Merkle and Robert L. Plummer, Beginning with New Testament Greek: An Introductory Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2020), 281 pages

Video Review

Click the thumbnail to watch my review of this grammar.

Stated Goal

To instill a passion to read the Greek New Testament

Distinctives

Very good balance of pedagogy and quantity of content, includes exercises and answer key, lots of free resources available online.

Strengths

  • Strong morphology and guidance
  • Streamlined approach
  • Good treatment of liquid verbs
  • Clear guidance for what to memorize
  • Built in workbook with several types of exercises
  • Logs of online resources available

Weaknesses

  • Possibly introduces too many exegetical categories
  • Minor: Holds to 3 aspect view of verbs
  • Minor: Uses helper verbs for present tense form translation

Best for

Solo learning, classroom environment. My top rated all-round grammar.

2. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek

William D. Mounce, Basics of Biblical Greek (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Academic, 2019), 415 pages.

Video Review

Click the thumbnail to watch my review of this grammar.

Stated Goal

To teach Greek as a tool for ministry

Distinctives

Mounce’s grammar is strong in morphology, clear in what the student needs to learn and provides two learning paths for professors

Strengths

  • Best in class discussion of morphology
  • Excellent explanations of English grammar help with learning Greek
  • Consolidated paradigms
  • Clear guidance on what needs to be learned.
  • Helpful summaries
  • Revisits concepts expanding on them later

Weaknesses

  • Some chapters are a little overwhelming for students
  • Verbal aspect seems confused with aktionsart
  • Doesn’t mention liquid aorists (but covers liquid futures well)
  • Still refers to deponency
  • Most expensive grammar (if you buy the workbook too)

Best for

Solo learning, those who learned Greek long ago and want to refresh with an updated grammar or for anyone who wants a solid understanding of morphology.

3. Decker, Reading Koine Greek

Rodney J. Decker, Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014), 564 pages

Video Review

Click the thumbnail to watch my review of this grammar.

Stated Goal

Reading broadly in the Koine Greek corpus

Distinctives

Very thorough, best in class treatment of verbs, outstanding descriptions and explanations, revisits previous concepts deepening knowledge without overwhelming.

Strengths

  • Best in class treatment of verbs
  • Up to date and linguistically based understanding of verbs
  • Revisits concepts, building them out
  • Excellent relation to English grammar
  • Built in workbook with several types of exercises
  • Provides larger vocabulary and utilizes broader texts in exercises

Weaknesses

  • Minor: Holds to 3 aspect view of verbs
  • Minor: Uses helper verbs for present tense form translation
  • Content is overwhelming for first-time learners

Best for

Solo learning, classroom environment. Good all-round grammar.

Schwandt, An Introduction to Biblical Greek

John D. Schwandt, An Introduction to Biblical Greek, rev ed. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020), 316 pages

Video Review

Click the button to watch my review of this grammar.

Watch Video Review

Stated Goal

To help the student learn Greek, while also giving them an understanding of how English works

Distinctives

This is a rewrite of Nunn’s 1913 grammar that provides significant updates, while also retaining Nunn’s classical approach to learning through translating from English to Greek, focusing an accents and understanding morphology

Strengths

  • Excellent discussion of morphology
  • Excellent formatting and use of color
  • Helpful “The least you need to know” sections at the end of each chapter
  • Built in workbook with excellent variety of exercises to help students learn
  • Includes answer key
  • Difficult subjects are introduced gradually 

Weaknesses

  • Participles in one chapter may be a little brief for this difficult component of biblical Greek
  • Holds to time in the indicative mood
  • Light discussion of moods
  • Treats cases in a different order to most grammars

Best for

Solo learning, those who learned Greek long ago and want to refresh with an updated grammar or for anyone who wants a solid understanding of morphology.

Gibson and Campbell, Reading Biblical Greek

Richard J. Gibson and Constantine R. Campbell (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 125 pages

You can also get the workbook from Amazon here.

Video Review

Click the button to watch my review of this grammar.

Watch Video Review

Stated Goal

To help students start reading the New Testament in biblical Greek. Students will be able to read Mark 1-4 at the end of the course.

Distinctives

A very short grammar, designed purely as an introductory text book. Teaches a timeless approach to verbs, linguistically informed. Switches the traditional grammar-translate method (GTM) for Present- Prepare – Practice approach. 

Strengths

  • Clear but nuanced approach to verbs
  • Short, focused chapters (1 page each)
  • Linguistically informed and nuanced
  • Fresh approach to biblical Greek
  • Reiterates over difficult concepts

Weaknesses

  • Sparse exercises (need supplementing)
  • Little guidance on what to memorize and how
  • Short chapters may not provide enough information for solo learners

Best for

Classroom setting, under the guidance of a professor.

Zacharias, Biblical Greek Made Simple

Danny Zacharias, Biblical Greek Made Simple (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2018), 284 pages

Video Review

Click the button to watch my review of this grammar.

Watch Video Review

Stated Goal

Primarily designed so that students can use tools to understand and exegete biblical Greek

Distinctives

Designed to be completed in a single semester with the option of a second semester. Lower vocabulary requirements reflecting a less burdensome outcome for the student

Strengths

  • Very good descriptions and explanations
  • Excellent formatting and use of color
  • Helpful “The least you need to know” sections at the end of each chapter
  • Fully embraces technology, and includes video links
  • Learn Logos at the same time as Greek

Weaknesses

  • Very dense information, and significant per-chapter homework requirements offset by “the least you need to know” sections for each chapter
  • Could do with more interaction with how English works to clarify how Greek is similar or different

Best for

Those who want to use Bible software to work with biblical Greek.

Summers, Essentials of New Testament Greek, Revised Edition

Ray Summers, Essentials of New Testament Greek, revised ed. (Nashville: B&H Academic, 2019), 156 pages.

Video Review

Click the button to watch my review of this grammar.

Watch Video Review

Stated Goal

Unstated: Appears to be exegesis

Distinctives

Very brief, perhaps the least expensive beginning Greek Grammar being commercially published today.

Strengths

  • Clear Descriptions
  • Short chapters
  • Great approach to third declension
  • Exercises at the end of each chapter (workbook included)
  • Order of content leaves more difficult concepts until the end

Weaknesses

  • No answer key and no additional downloadable content
  • Syntactically dated (teaches 8 cases)
  • Often over-emphasizes meaning over form

Best for

Classroom setting with supplementary lectures by a qualified professor.

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Grammars by Rank

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