Conditions of Use
A vocabulary list would have been helpful, but the glossary of grammatical terms and list of morphological abbreviations both hit the mark. read more
A vocabulary list would have been helpful, but the glossary of grammatical terms and list of morphological abbreviations both hit the mark.
The Chrysostom passage lacks accents and breathing marks, but the rest of the passages look good. I saw no factual errors in the commentary information or word studies.
Some of the word studies could use more recent bibliography from a wider variety of traditions besides evangelicals from the 80's and 90's. The commentary format allows for updating by students or instructors, and the MYON = Make Your Own Note feature is empowering.
When you get used to the morphological abbreviations, the writing is straightforward.
The texts follow the same text-commentary format throughout, while the more topical chapters, 16 and 21, are clearly flagged.
The organization of Galatians by pericope works well for my purposes of assigning each student a passage for exegesis.
It would be more useful for me to have chapter 16, Textual Criticism, first, followed by the Galatians readings, but the chapter is clearly marked and could easily be assigned ‘out of order.’
The interface works fine, perhaps because there are few tables and no maps. The layout is clear and prepares students to read the New Testament with some assistance.
I could not find any grammatical errors.
Another reviewer points out that Galatians itself advocates inclusion (3:28), and the word study of paidagōgos rightly uses the word “slave” instead of the euphemizing and misleading “servant.” But there are missed opportunities, such as not adducing a parallel text about Sarah or Hagar to go along with the two passages about Abraham.
I am likely to use this book at the end of my first-year Greek course where I assign students a passage of Galatians on which to do exegesis, since the grammar help is really useful throughout.
The selection of readings is unique (usually readers focus on one of the Four Gospels or simply on the Septuagint) which means the student of Greek will have more exposure to different parts of the Bible, including the Septuagint, and a Church... read more
The selection of readings is unique (usually readers focus on one of the Four Gospels or simply on the Septuagint) which means the student of Greek will have more exposure to different parts of the Bible, including the Septuagint, and a Church Father. The notes below the text cover syntax, grammar, morphology, vocabulary, and text critical notes, all of which are invaluable for students of Greek and the Bible. The historical background explanatory material along with discussion question make independent study possible. The inclusion of a chapter on text criticism also advances the student to consider how the text was formed beyond grammar and syntax.
The Greek text used comes from the best scholarly editions, which include the Society of Biblical Literature's Greek New Testament, Rahlfs's Septuaginta. The choice of Migne's Patrologiae Graecae for the text of John Chrysostom is understandable since it is straightforward, though not the most accurate version of the text.
Students of Koine Greek should be acquainted with the range of biblical texts outside of the Gospels and shifting the focus to one of Paul's first epistles and John Chrysostom's commentary on it, brings the two traditions in conversation with one another. This opportunity rarely happens from a traditional intermediate textbook.
The grammatical aids and historical notes elucidate the texts and focus the student's attention on linguistic phenomena that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The chapters are organized consistently, so the student begins to cultivate important ways to evaluate texts grammatically and linguistically.
The text is presented in small digestible portions and the questions help move the study away from the grammar and keep the content in focus.
The book is very well organized with consistent features of texts, notes, and questions for each section.
The book is available online and via PDF. The online enables the student to dynamically move from the glossary to the texts, allowing the option to keep the different parts in separate tabs. There is also the option to purchase a hard copy for those students more comfortable with print. The printed text is very affordable.
The English text of the author is well written and without error.
The presentation of the ancient world and the Sitz im Leben of Paul and post biblical authors are thorough and engaging.
The book suggests that it might work as a graded Greek reader for NT students, using Galatians as the "simpler" text and concluding with short passages of more difficult Greek (LXX, NT Book of James, the writings of Chrysostom, and recorded... read more
The book suggests that it might work as a graded Greek reader for NT students, using Galatians as the "simpler" text and concluding with short passages of more difficult Greek (LXX, NT Book of James, the writings of Chrysostom, and recorded comments of Marcion. The non-Galatians texts have relevance back to Galatians (which is good). The book would not seem to work as a graded reader since the chapters of Galatians (which are treated in order) do not progress in difficulty. The non-Galatians text probably are "harder" Greek for the intermediate reader. There is a short glossary of grammatical terms but it does not compare to the 40 pages of grammar provided by W. Mounce in his A Graded Reader of Biblical Greek (1996) which is based on D. Wallace's grammar. Mounce's work does proceed from simple Greek passages to more complex passages taken from throughout the NT. Gupta and Sandford note that their book stays with a single text for the main body of the course. But a student who is beginning to use his or her skills may find the Galatians text difficult from the start. There is also very limited vocabulary help which seems to be basic element for any reader if the student is not to get discouraged. The student will need to know vocabulary (the book is termed "Intermediate" and clearly expects students to know it) and look up the words unlearned from Greek 1 and 2 courses. Galatians does repeat its vocabulary somewhat, a benefit for staying with one main text). Notes on grammar or syntax are provided for each verse. Initials AAPMSG, for example, allow a student who knows the abbreviations to quickly recognize the word's tense, voice, mood, gender, number, and case (not all words are identified). The grammatical notes are provided for each verse, but the information is limited compared to the more thorough help provided by David deSilva's Galatians: A Handbook on the Greek Text (2014) which is part of the Baylor Press Handbook series. (There is a now Kindle version of deSilva.) The text under review is not attempting to be a Handbook, but the student may have more questions and uncertainties about how to translate the passages from Galatians. But where deSilva's notes might overwhelm, Gupta and Sandford may be right on target. The professor of the course will be there to fill in or provide new information The section on Textual Criticism seems too brief to be helpful for a student at this stage of study (and discusses only two examples). Most NT introductions will have done this amount or more. DeSilva's text provides text critical information as the student encounters the verses (the two examples were not noted at the time of translation as having variants). If the text under review is more intended as a textbook on Galatians rather than a graded reader, then one might wish to have an introduction to the study of Galatians (compare again deSilva, and noting that graded readers do not do this).
The information in the notes is correct (Greek scholars may debate this or that). The Greek of the Galatians text is the SBL text.
Relevance is difficult to measure in Greek readers. I will argue that it needs to be supplemented to accomplish its ultimate goal of encouraging readers to progress in their skills without discouragement, but its notes will be of help to a student practicing translation.
The notes are clear and the information basic. Students who have successfully completed a year of Greek should be able to understand the information about grammar and syntax.
The book follows the same pattern (text, grammatical notes, and discussion questions for each individual section of a few verses. There is an occasional word study. The word studies are good. The information on the Greek word for "faith" is particularly clear.
The sections of Greek text are already small (only a few verses) and usually the divisions are traditional. Combining them into larger sections would be easy to do. This issue doesn't seem to apply.
Galatians is treated section by section, and each section is treated with the same organization. The occasional word study provides a good break and these word studies are few but well done.
I saw no problems.
The English grammar is correct in the sections that I checked. If there are grammatical errors in the English, I missed them.
The text presents no problems, and Galatians itself proclaims inclusiveness.
I would not recommend the book for the purpose of a graded reader. If one does use the book, then for additional help with vocabulary, one might turn to the The Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition (2014, German Bible Society) which provides a dictionary in the back for words used more than 30 times in the NT (thus, basic Greek vocabulary) and has a running dictionary on the page for words used less in the NT with parsing of verbs and identifying nouns (for gaining speed and limited distraction). Some NT Greek 1 and 2 courses are using such a text already as the copy of the Greek NT for their students. Other reader editions of the Greek NT exist. I think a beginning reader will need vocabulary help to keep going and build speed in reading. The text under review does have discussion questions after each section (deSilva's Handbook does not, given its intended audience). But there are usually only 1 to 3 such questions per section. They are usually geared to the information provided in the notes for translation, making sure the student has understood what was written. Finally, the grammar information is good and perhaps sufficient for the purposes of seeing some examples of basic NT syntactical relationships at work throughout a single text, but one might remember the older Max Zerwick's A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek NT (4th ed., 1993) which was always handy for grammar and vocabulary for the beginning and intermediate student. But the text under review will be free to the students unlike any others that were referenced here. Yet I think I would use Mounce or deSilva, depending on the objectives of the course itself (increased skills in reading Greek or a study of the Greek text of Galatians) in spite of costs.
Table of Contents
- Lesson One: Galatians 1:1-9
- Lesson Two: Galatians 1:10-17
- Lesson Three: Galatians 1:18-24
- Lesson Four: Galatians 2:1-10
- Lesson Five: Galatians 2:11-21
- Lesson Six: Galatians 3:1-9
- Lesson Seven: Galatians 3:10-18
- Lesson Eight: Galatians 3:19-29
- Lesson Nine: Galatians 4:1-11
- Lesson Ten: Galatians 4:12-20
- Lesson Eleven: Galatians 4:21-31
- Lesson Twelve: Galatians 5:1-15
- Lesson Thirteen: Galatians 5:16-26
- Lesson Fourteen: Galatians 6:1-10
- Lesson Fifteen: Galatians 6:11-18
- Lesson Sixteen: Introduction to Textual Criticism
- Lesson Seventeen: LXX Genesis 12:1-3/LXX Leviticus 18:1-5
- Lesson Eighteen: LXX Habakkuk 2:1-5/LXX Psalm 142:1-6
- Lesson Nineteen: James 2:14-24
- Lesson Twenty: John Chrysostom on Galatians 6:2
- Lesson Twenty-One: Marcion's Redaction of Galatians
About the Book
After completing basic biblical Greek, students are often eager to continue to learn and strengthen their skills of translation and interpretation. This intermediate graded reader is designed to meet those needs. The reader is “intermediate” in the sense that it presumes the user will have already learned the basics of Greek grammar and syntax and has memorized Greek vocabulary words that appear frequently in the New Testament. The reader is “graded” in the sense that it moves from simpler translation work (Galatians) towards more advanced readings from the book of James, the Septuagint, and from one of the Church Fathers. In each reading lesson, the Greek text is given, followed by supplemental notes that offer help with vocabulary, challenging word forms, and syntax. Discussion questions are also included to foster group conversation and engagement. There are many good Greek readers in existence, but this reader differs from most others in a few important ways. Most readers offer text selections from different parts of the Bible, but in this reader the user works through one entire book (Galatians). All subsequent lessons, then, build off of this interaction with Galatians through short readings that are in some way related to Galatians. The Septuagint passages in the reader offer some broader context for texts that Paul quotes explicitly from the Septuagint. The Patristic reading from John Chrysystom comes from one of his homilies on Galatians. This approach to a Greek reader allows for both variety and coherence in the learning process.
This reader is a collaborative project that developed out of an advanced Greek course at Portland Seminary (2017-2018). The following students contributed equally to the content of the textbook.
Alexander Finkelson (MATS, Portland Seminary, 2018)
Bryn Pliska Girard (MATS, Portland Seminary, 2018)
Charles E. R. Jesch (MDIV, Portland Seminary, current student)
Paul C. Moldovan (MDIV, Portland Seminary, current student)
Jenny E. Siefken (MATS, Portland Seminary, current student)
Julianna Kaye Smith (MATS, Portland Seminary, 2018)
Jana Whitworth (MDIV, Portland Seminary, current student)
Kyle J. Williams (MATS, Portland Seminary, 2018)
About the Contributors
Nijay K. Gupta serves as associate professor of New Testament at Portland Seminary of George Fox University. He has written several academic books, including three biblical commentaries. In 2018, he received the Faculty Achievement Award for Graduate Research and Scholarship at George Fox University. He is currently writing the Galatians volume for the Story of God Bible Commentary series (Zondervan).
Jonah M. Sandford graduated from Portland Seminary in 2018 with a Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) with a specialization in biblical studies/biblical languages. His primary research interest is New Testament Greek, but he has also worked with biblical Hebrew, German, and Sahidic Coptic.