Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 31:60 (Spring 2018)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament. Andreas J. Kostenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2016. 550 pp. Hardcover, $49.99.

This intermediate grammar, designed for the seminary classroom (though it would also be a great book for anyone who has been through first year Greek, even if studying on his own) is much more readable than most intermediate grammars.

For example, Chap. 1 is a fascinating and easy-to-follow account of the Greek language over time and of textual criticism (comparing Greek manuscripts of the NT to determine what the correct text is of every verse). While it is unfortunate that when the authors list critical editions of the Greek NT (GNT), they fail to mention any Majority Text editions. Of course, by the definition rooted in Westcott and Hort, the Majority Text cannot be a critical edition, no matter how carefully and accurately the edition is prepared.

The discussion of the canons of textual criticism shows some of the inherent subjectivity of the eclectic approach advocated by the authors. The shorter reading is to be preferred over the longer reading. But the harder reading is to be preferred over the easier reading. If the longer reading is the harder reading, the canons cancel each other out. The reading most consistent with the immediate context is to be preferred. However, that clashes with the canon which says that the harder reading is to be preferred. I ultimately adopted the Majority Text view because it is a view which has little subjectivity (and which expects that the Lord preserved His Word in the majority of manuscripts).

Chapters 2–4 deal with the five cases of the noun in the GNT: nominative, vocative, accusative (Chap. 2), genitive (Chap. 3), and dative (Chap. 4). They do discuss, in Chap. 2, however, the eight-case system, which has two types of genitives (genitive [description], and ablative [separation]) and three types of datives (dative [interest], locative [location], and instrumental [means], p. 51).

These chapters are very readable. The authors give the major category and then name and illustrate from the GNT various uses.

The nominative, for example, can be used as the subject of a verb, a predicate nominative (with the “to be” verb, as in “You are the light of the world,” Matt 5:14, in which you is the subject and the light is the predicate nominative, p. 55), apposition (a second noun further explains the subject, as in “Andrew, brother of Simon Peter,”

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