I thoroughly enjoy resources that enable me to dig deeper into Scripture. Of particular note is the ability to explore and understand the biblical languages. While there is certainly nothing wrong with simply reading Scripture via the numerous quality translations available to us today, it is vitally important in my humble opinion to grasp what the words, concepts, and ideas found in Scripture mean in their original tongue. Sometimes to be quite frank, the English translations just do not cut it.
A helpful tool for engaging the original languages, specifically Greek is Charles Irons’ A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament published by Kregel Academic.
While I have a passion for digging into the biblical languages, by no means can I consider myself a reader of the Greek New Testament in the manner of reading straight through it in Greek. I am more of a look at the meaning of a word and how is used in similar or different manners in other contexts type student. With that said, I do have a desire to learn how to read both Hebrew and Greek or at least to begin to develop the ability to recognize words in the original language.
As Irons notes in the introduction to this book, “This Syntax Guide is intended to assist readers of the Greek New Testament by providing brief explanations of intermediate and advanced syntactical features of the Greek text. It also provides suggested translations to help the reader make sense of unusual phrases and difficult sentences.” The format of the book is such that Irons walks the reader through the New Testament, focusing on terms and phrases in each book that fall under the umbrella above of intermediate and advanced syntactical features of note.
One might wonder, especially the more novice reader of Greek (such as myself) or the non-reader of Greek what use such a book might be for them. How would this help me in my study of Scripture? While this book is certainly focused on those with a more developed understanding of Greek, I submit it is also worthwhile to the novice and non-specialists reader of Greek as well. If one uses this as a reference tool, by sheer repetition they will begin to notice patterns of language if nothing else. Furthermore, they will also take note of parts of speech that greatly impact successful exegesis of the text.
A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament is a tool I highly recommend for both the experienced reader of Greek and the laymen. While both ends of that spectrum will use a book such as this one, in different ways, in the end, it is a helpful means to dig into the pages of Scripture, a task given to all believers. A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament is a resource that is impactful for understanding what the original languages have to reveal to the reader is one I am all for using. Irons’ A Syntax Guide for Readers of the Greek New Testament is such a resource for those willing to do the work it takes to use it properly and to take the time we all should take when it comes to studying Scripture.