Review of The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax and Diagramming By Douglas S. Huffman
Students who have experienced the value of learning NT Greek are also aware of the constant need of help and motivation for staying in it. The radar is always on, scanning for resources or techniques that will make things easier, simpler and more memorable. Learning any language involves staying familiar with the rules and vocabulary by which that language operates. Such steps are necessary in learning a language foreign to our own, due to it being enmeshed in an equally foreign worldview and culture.
Huffman’s book offers a great deal of help in keeping the Greek student familiar with these realities. It has the rare ability to combine simplicity with depth, thus promising to be a useful aid for years to come.
Size and Format – it is designed to be a nice companion to the common size of the Greek New Testament, making it appealing to keep them together. Further, it is full of charts and colorful text and diagrams that make it appealing to look at and not only useful.
Audience and Purpose – Huffman’s stated goal is to help 2nd year Greek students develop further in the language. This is important to realize, because without the guidance of a seasoned mentor the book will have limited value. Like a specialized carpentry tool, its full value cannot be appreciated until a master serves as a guide to its uses and limits.
Preachers and teachers will find the diagramming sections especially helpful in developing outlines for teaching the New Testament. Any help in connecting teaching outlines to the actual text are always sorely needed and greatly appreciated.
As for this writer, who seems to remain “perpetually rusty” in Greek, I have hope that this tool will help sharpen my skills and help provide the motivation necessary to get back into it. Thanks to Kregel Publishers for the complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.