Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
FM 13:2 (Spring 1996) p. 112
Greek New Testament Insert, 2d edition revised, by Benjamin Chapman and Gary Steven Shogren. Quakertown, PA: Stylus Publishing, 1994. Pp. 63.
“User friendly” is the term which first comes to mind in reviewing this work. Its rough edges have been worn smooth by use, and the result is a very practical tool, useful to anyone who reads the Greek New Testament with any regularity. The Greek New Testament Insert is designed to be glued between the pages of a book the size of the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, 4th revised edition.
The Insert is basically a summation of second-year Greek syntax presented as a reference tool. As such, it is a bit technical for the beginning Greek student. It is, however, written in a straight-forward style and yields a rich harvest to the patient student. Chapman and Shogren begin with verb ending and contraction charts as well as a summary of augments and infixes to aid the student in distinguishing Greek tense forms.
Next comes a synopsis of Greek syntax, summarizing attributive, substantive, and predicate adjectives, case forms (the five-case system is utilized) including the major syntactical usages of each case with illustrations, and verb tense and aspect. This section is extremely useful, with recent discussions of Aktionsart worked into the illustrations. Note the following warning:
Fortunately, the Greek verb system has lately come under intensive scrutiny, and we have a clearer picture of how the ancient writers intended to be understood. The bad news is that the exegetical significance of the tenses is awash with misinformation, much of it left over from the 19th century. Take as example the lingering notions about the aorist: that it’s a point action, or completed, or never to be repeated. Another myth is that the aspect of the verb was thought to exactly represent the nature of the action in reality. These popular notions are not just heard from the pulpit; they crop up in reputable commentaries and the standard grammars. Whole systems of doctrine can be-indeed, are!-built upon a single “punctiliar aorist.”
It is crucial that you deal with tenses in a natural manner: Greek verbs, like those in all languages, are not artificially constructed containers, neatly compartmentalized with mathematical precision. They
FM 13:2 (Spring 1996) p. 113
have a core of inherent meaning, but their meaning is heavily influenced by context, the vocabulary used, and stylistic convention (pp. 19-20).
Even advanced students of Greek will appreciate the overview given by the authors and their ability to reduce complex concepts into easily memorizable and under...
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