A Greek Student’s Intermediate Reader

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"Sumney provides exactly what is needed to help students learn the challenging art of Greek exegesis. This is the perfect book for those who have completed beginning Greek. And if I could, I would put it into the hands of every such student."--Donald A. Hagner, Fuller Theological Seminary

Students who have completed their first year studying biblical Greek face a daunting challenge when they try to use their knowledge to translate and exegete the New Testament itself. Philippians: A Greek Student's Intermediate Reader is designed to help these students bridge the gap between the formulaic translation exercises found in grammars and the authentic text of the Greek New Testament. Students (and former students) can reinforce their knowledge of intermediate grammar while they translate a book of the New Testament.

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"Jerry Sumney provides exactly what is needed to help students learn the challenging art of Greek exegesis. Its exceptional clarity and practical usefulness make this an ideal textbook. Sumney enables students to see the unique potential of Greek exegesis for understanding the New Testament. This is the perfect book for those who have completed beginning Greek. And if I could, I would put it into the hands of every such student."--Donald A. Hagner, George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This handbook will not only help students to interpret Philippians, but will greatly facilitate their grasp of the many grammatical categories of an intermediate Greek grammar. The book would serve as an excellent supplement to a second year course or as a great refresher for pastors and teachers who have let their Greek New Testaments get a little dusty."--Clinton E. Arnold, professor of New Testament language and literature, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"Increasing pressures on parish pastors and diminishing expectations in seminary curricula have led to a decline in Greek-based exegesis in churches. Jerry Sumney's careful point-by-point guide to the Greek text of Philippians goes a great distance in recovering lost ground. This is a fine tool to place in the hands of self-motivated students or to use in a course on exegesis or advanced Greek grammar."--Richard J. Erickson, associate professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Jerry L. Sumney

    Jerry L. Sumney

    Jerry Sumney is professor of biblical studies at Lexington Theological Seminary. His other publications include Identifying Paul's Opponents, Servants of Satan, False Brothers, and Other Pauline Opponents and Preaching Apocalyptic Texts.

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"For seminary and college settings where Greek is taught--or even for the courageous reader trying to keep his or her Greek alive--this is a welcome resource. Sumney . . . uses one of Paul's most attractive letters as a focal point for continuing to develop one's ability to read New Testament Greek. Each phrase of the letter is translated, parsed, and commented on to help the student understand the Greek text and its grammar, but also to savor Paul's message. Occasional sidebars give more elaborate grammatical analysis, and appendices provide a summary of Greek grammar, a glossary of technical terms, and a suggested bibliography of resources for studying New Testament Greek as well as commentaries on Philippians that make use of the Greek text." --The Bible Today

"Sumney's volume proves its value as a textbook for second-year students of the Greek New Testament. Sumney's decision to guide his students through one relatively brief text, Paul's letter to the Philippians, enables him to focus attention on a single continuous discourse at a meaningful level. Furthermore, Sumney's judicious and succinct handling of grammatical and syntactical matters allows students and teachers to complete this textbook in one semester, making it one of the more classroom-friendly reader's guides. . . . Sumney's intermediate Reader is a valuable teaching aid, and I recommend it as a guide for classroom use. The overall brevity of the text allows students to complete the whole book in one term and gain a greater mastery of the various uses of the parts of speech."--Review of Biblical Literature

"This book provides intermediate students of the Greek New Testament with a guide to the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of Paul's letter to the Philippians. . . . The main part of the book consists of a commentary on the Greek text of Philippians. Each section opens with a passage in Greek followed by an English translation. Sumney then explains in a clear and readable way the grammar and syntax of the passage. Of particular assistance in guiding the reader's understanding of Philippians is Sumney's use of text boxes in which he explains grammatical terms. . . . This is a very useful book for those who have a grounding in Greek, but who do not yet have the confidence to begin translating New Testament texts unaided."--Theological Book Review

"As a book designed to help students make the transition from the first year of studying Greek grammar to the actual reading of NT texts, this book is a helpful guide. . . . Text boxes through[out] this volume contain information on grammatical constructions. Bibliographies in each section and a glossary of grammatical terms at the end add to the usefulness of this book. As an intermediate grammar based on one NT document, this textbook provides a welcome alternative to existing intermediate grammars."--Restoration Quarterly

"This volume is designed to help students who have completed a year's study of Greek grammar read the NT. It contains the UBS4 Greek text of Philippians (divided into sections), Sumney's own original translation, lucid comments on the morphology and syntax of each phrase, and accessible discussion of the options available where interpreters disagree on how best to construe the Greek. Each section also includes a short bibliography for further study of the pericope under consideration. The eighteen-page overview of Greek syntax, glossary of grammatical terms, topic index, and annotated list of Greek language resources make this a[n] especially useful text. Highly recommended for easing the transition from textbook Greek to 'the real thing' and for illustrating the significance of translation for exegesis."--Religious Studies Review

"Sumney's book is both a very helpful guide for anyone reading Philippians in Greek and an excellent basis for an intermediate-level NT Greek class. . . . The discussions go sufficiently far beyond simple grammatical description for this book to be a useful short commentary on the letter. In among the discussions, text boxes helpfully explain relevant issues in intermediate Greek. . . . I have been using Sumney this year in a Philippians reading class for upper-level undergraduates and postgraduates. All his discussions have been useful, both for the parsing and the interpretative options. Of course, this needs to be supplemented by use of commentaries but, even there, Sumney points in a helpful direction. If you have time in your curriculum to devote at least nine hours of classes to Philippians, Sumney is a great teaching resource. Any scholar, even those of us who have spent a while studying the letter, will also find it useful."--Journal for the Study of the New Testament Booklist

"Sumney has produced a very useful aid for students who have already completed an introductory course in Greek and who now want to take their language skills to a higher level. It will also be of value to those whose Greek studies lie in the more distant past and who wish to revive the skills which have become rusty. . . . Grammatical terms which may be unfamiliar are highlighted in bold type and briefly explained in a glossary at the end of the book. The most important constructions are frequently explained and illustrated in 'text boxes' at the appropriate locations in the discussion of the biblical text. . . . This book provides a very useful, self-contained teaching tool for those who wish to improve their Greek. I hope that many who are learning Greek, or who began to learn it long ago, will find fresh encouragement in this book to engage more seriously with the Greek text of the NT."--Alistair I. Wilson, Themelios