The defining feature of this textbook is the treatment of classical and New Testament Greek as one language using primary sources. All the example sentences the students will translate are real Greek sentences, half of which are taken from classical literature and philosophy and half of which are directly from the New Testament. The advantage of this approach is that it highlights the linguistic, literary, and historical connections between classical Greece and early Christianity. Rather than having students memorize isolated tables and artificial sentences, Michael Boler spent years combing through thousands of pages of literature, philosophy, and scripture to find short, powerful sentences that not only teach the grammatical concepts in each chapter, but also contain seeds of wisdom that will spark wonder and discussion.
Introduction to New Testament and Classical Greek is born out of classroom experience in a Catholic liberal arts university whose students were disappointed to be forced to choose between textbooks that taught classical Greek in isolation and ones that focused exclusively on the New Testament. By the end of this book, students will have read over 200 lines of scripture and an equal amount of ancient literature from Homer to Aristotle. They will also have the grammatical knowledge to continue to read classical and New Testament Greek. Each chapter contains a section at the end that delves deeply into the etymology and background of the words and passages encountered in the respective chapter. Professors will thus be able to use these chapters as a bridge to philosophical, theological, historical, and literary topics that will enrich the class.
"Too often Greek students labor under the misconception that 'classical' and 'Koine' (or for that matter, pagan and Jewish/Christian) Greek are virtually distinct languages, when in fact they are simply the earlier and later forms of the same language as employed by people with different religious convictions. As a result, there is great need for a Greek textbook that teaches the language as a whole, in both its earlier and later forms, and includes reading selections from pagan and Jewish/Christian sources. Boler's work fills this gap splendidly, and I am happy to recommend it."~Donald Fairbairn, author of Understanding Language: A Guide for Beginning Students of Greek and Latin
"The Classical and the Christian inhabited the same language and the same culture for hundreds of years, and yet no modern introductions to Greek reflect this reality. Finally, the biblical scholar will be able to situate scripture and the church fathers in their cultural, historical, and linguistic world. At last, the classical scholar will not be separated from hundreds of years of reception and commentary. Boler is to be commended for cutting the Gordian knot that Greek textbooks had worked themselves into."~Patrick Callahan, Emporia State University
"Drawing from a vast knowledge of primary sources and extensive teaching in classical Greek, Professor Boler has produced a masterpiece of pedagogy and learning. Unlike other introductions to Greek, this text offers carefully selected Greek sentences from original sources such as the New Testament, Plato, and Aristotle, which the student is fully prepared to translate through the grammar and forms lessons set down in the preceding chapters. This Introduction is sensitive to the needs of contemporary students, presenting Greek grammatical principles alongside those of English, to contemporary students who may lack basic understanding of the English language."~Daniel Wagner, Aquinas College
"Classics faculty at Christian liberal arts colleges may find this the perfect textbook."~Journal of Language, Culture, and Religion