GREEK NEW TESTAMENT STUDY AIDS
A Review of the book AN INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT GREEK by Mollin and Williamson.
I have just finished proofreading the book AN INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT GREEK by Mollin and Williamson. This is a book intending to teach students Classical Greek. I would like to offer my opinion of this book. Positive Points
The book is written from a modern point of view (at least modern from the 1980s). The book teaches students the "Restored" pronunciation which is often not taught in textbooks but which is probably more correct than the "Erasmian" pronunciation most commonly taught. In the "Restored" pronunciation, iota subscripts are pronounced and subjunctive endings are pronounced differently than indicative endings.The book is written from a linguistic point of view and explains the grammar from that approach.
Many readings are based on the pre-Socratic philosophers or from Plato. A student interested especially in philosophy could benefit from this book. Negative points
Even though the approach of the book is linguistic, the explanations are often long-winded and professorial and are somewhat cumbersome. The book takes pages to say something which could be said in perhaps three sentences. They make things seem more difficult than they really are. The book uses somewhat different terminology from that used in other books, especially concerning verbs. For example, the "imperfect tense is called the past progressive. The present tense is called the Present progressive. This may not cause much trouble, but it should be noted. In trying to clarify the conjugation of such a difficult topic as non-thematic verbs, the authors carefully try to explain the logic behind the system rather than just showing the student the forms and letting them learn them.
Lastly, as said above, the readings are mostly philosophical in nature and are based on Plato and the pre-Socratics. There is a bit of reading from Homer (the first lines of the Iliad and Odyssey). There is almost no historical reading except for one passage from Xenophon's Anabasis and that only to illustrate the character of Menon or Meno, a character in Plato's Dialog. There are no biblical passages in the book.To sum up, I believe that this book would benefit a student who already is somewhat familiar with Greek who is interested in Plato and who wants to use the "restored" pronunciation. Other students may find the book too difficult and of limited interest. I would not teach from the book nor recommend it to most students.
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