Review of Mounce’s Greek Grammar (4th Edition)

A few months ago I saw an advertisement for the fourth edition of Bill Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek. I had learned Greek during seminary on the third edition of Mounce (with the “Professor” clippy thing and other foibles), and it is the edition from which I have taught for a few years at RTS-Orlando. With syllabi due for my summer courses, I knew I had to develop a perspective on the new edition as quickly as possible in order to decide whether to upgrade (and assign it to my incoming class).

Hence, I acquired a copy (two, in fact) and proceeded to analyze it as thoroughly as possible to make an educated decision. The results of that study turned into a lengthy review and “guide” for other instructors to help them get started making their own decision about whether to adopt the book. It’s just now been published in Reformed Faith and Practice (Vol 4, Issue 1). The web version is fine but harder to read than the PDF, which is available here.

Long story short: it is a solid upgrade over the third edition, though there are several areas where I expected more improvements (esp. on tense and aspect). However, I am adopting it for summer Greek I.

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2 thoughts on “Review of Mounce’s Greek Grammar (4th Edition)”

  1. Greg, If you would be so kind as to oblige a few questions with regard to your written review and use of koine Greek textbooks. Since your assessment is one of comparison of BBG-4 to BBG-3 you stated that you did not “spend time comparing BBG-4 with other grammars on the market, for the features that made BBG-3 different from others are still around.” Is there a review assessment that you would recommend that compares BBG-4 (or BBG-3) to other grammars? In particular you make reference to “the grammars of Decker, Croy, or Black.” Since you have chosen to use BBG-3 (and now going to BBG-4) for your purposes would you offer a few comments for the reason for your choice compared to those others? I am considering doing a study of Greek, possibly in a manner of self- study. Is BBG-4 with its supplementary DVDs a suitable approach for this method of learning? Thanks for taking the time to consider my questions. Jay Reimer

    1. Hi Jay —

      I am not aware of that a Mounce 4th edition * versus * other grammars kind of review has come out yet (Mounce is still pretty warm off the presses).

      Every grammar has its strengths and weaknesses, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference/learning style. I’m not sure there’s a single grammar that outclasses all others.

      If your goal is self-study, however, I think Mounce’s “ecosystem” would suit you quite well. The book + workbook + DVDs + apps all work together nicely, and many people have been able to become at least functional in Greek using them. There’s never a full replacement for the in-class experience (classmates that can encourage/help/hold accountable, quizzes/etc. that hold your feet to the fire, professors/TAs who can answer your questions, etc.), but if I had to pick one product on the market for self-study, it’d probably be Mounce. It’s the most fully-orbed, and he’s spent a lot of time on the technology side.

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