Sunday, July 20, 2008

Book Review: Greek NT: Reader's Editions

Barclay M. Newman
The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition
Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft/Hendrickson, 2007.
Available in the US from
Available in the UK from Alban Books

Most nights I do a 10-15 minute reading from the Greek New Testament. Since I haven't mastered all of the Greek quite yet, I sit in bed with three books: Kubo's lexicon, an NIV Bible, and my trusty UBS4. With my little library in bed with me (next to the wife) it gets pretty crowded. Well I'm glad to say that I only take the one book to bed with me now which is the new UBS reader's edition of the Gk NT. This is a gem of book which includes the UBS4 Greek text, a running Greek-English dictionary of words that occur 30 times or less, a Greek dictionary and maps at the end of the volume.

I found the "Reader's Edition" very helpful in reading through Hebrews completely in Greek, which I've never done before, as Hebrews has a large number of hapax. It made reading easier and quicker. There is also a very good review of the edition over at RBL. I would strongly recommend this book to those who want to upgrade from seminary Greek to fully reading Greek unaided. Unlike an interlinear, as a reading aid, this book won't make you lazy and your Greek will improve as will your vocab. Too many students take 2-3 years of Greek and then just forget about it when they go into ministry. This book is a good tool not just to help you maintain your Greek, but to actually excel in your reading of Greek.


James Crossley said...

I'm confused, is this more evangelical erotica...?

Michael F. Bird said...

James, pretty close to the mark. You should do another amusing SBL Forum article on it. All we need now is Benny's Hinn's guide to the Karma Sutra!

Ranger said...

"Since I haven't mastered all of the Greek quite yet..."

That probably means I'll never get there! For me, it's been about four years since seminary. I try to read my NA27 each day, and spend a few minutes running through flashcards, but I feel that I'm forgetting words as quickly as I'm learning them at times.

I didn't buy this because I thought it would be "cheating," and I thought that it would hinder my vocabulary growth. Maybe I should reconsider.

David Ker said...

James beat me to it...

I also like this edition although I had to leave it in Mozambique during this trip. One thing I like is the big print and the nice feel of the book, reading either the UBS Greek only or RSV edition requires looking at some really lousy small fonts.

Daniel said...

I have been using it for about 4 months and I love it. I have about 20 hours of Greek and have done vocab down to 25 times so the vocab helps are really helpful. The thing I like the most is the parsing of irregular verb forms, when I come across a root I recognize but not the morphology it is a huge time saver as well as helping me learn new forms for irregular verbs

Wieland Willker said...

I agree with it, that it is a very good tool for continuous reading.
The only complaints I have are 1. that the book is a little too large and 2. that some verbs, like ginomai etc. probably slipped through the 30-times rule and apear again and again.

Btw. the book is also available via the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft for 28 Euro.

Direct link:

James Crossley said...

Sorry Mike but it was just too tempting!!