General Editor: John Schwandt
ESV Text Editor: C. John Collins
Format: Hardcover w/ CD
Page Count: 1376
Publication year: 2006
Language: English / Greek
I wanted to extend a word of thanks to Michele Bennett at Crossway for furnishing me with a review copy of The English – Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament.
It’s always an exciting day, when the UPS or Fed Ex truck stops by my house with new books. I was especially excited when The English – Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament showed up at my door. The first thought I had when I began to page through it was, “Where have you been all my life?” In my pursuit of biblical & theological studies over the past 12 years, I’ve used a number of different Greek new testaments. However, none of them were interlinear. This is mostly due to the fact that I was unable to find an interlinear Greek new testament with the right combination of features that would make it a compelling addition to my library. That being said, The English – Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament is just the interlinear I’ve been looking for. Crossway has raised the bar for interlinear new testaments with this publication!
First, I’d like to talk about the binding. I think Crossway made the right choice to publish this work in hardcover. Many of the bibles available today have a soft or flexible cover. For many of the thinner and smaller bibles, I think this is definitely the way to go. However, for a work of this size, I prefer hardcover for several reasons. Hardcover books tend to hold up better on the shelf. They also tend to wear better than soft / flex cover books in the backpack or laptop bag many of us have in tow as we travel to class, church, or the library. Lastly, hardcover books tend to be easier to keep open on a desk or library table, whereas soft / flex cover books are nearly impossible to lay flat.
Next, let’s move beyond the cover and binding and talk about the many important things you’ll find within the pages of this new testament. If you’re like me, you’ll want to jump right into the biblical text and start reading. I’d encourage you to hold off for a few minutes and spend some time reading the introductory material following the table of contents. Spending a few minutes here will definitely help you to make the most of the textual features found within. The introductory material is as follows:
• Preface to the English Standard Version (explains translation methodology for the ESV)
• Explanation of Features, English Standard Version (discusses features in ESV text: section headings & footnotes)
• Preface (explanation of interlinear and reverse interlinear, brief essay by John Schwandt – Overcoming the Objections of the Dangers of Dabbling in Greek)
• Introduction (explains layout of interlinear text: ESV, Greek, transliteration, parsing codes, Strong’s numbers)
• Guide to Parsing Codes (further explanation of parsing codes)
Once you finish with the introductory material, you’ll be ready to jump into the biblical text. The English text is based on the ESV Text Edition: 2007. The Greek text is based on the Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Revised Edition. An example of the interlinear layout from John 4 is below:
The reverse in reverse interlinear comes about by displaying the English text on top of the Greek text. Traditional interlinear new testaments tend to display the Greek text first. One of the things I appreciate about this layout is that with the English on top, I feel it allows me to effectively use this new testament for my devotional time as well as my academic study time. If it was laid out like a traditional interlinear, I think I’d be rather distracted by the Greek text above the English. The 2nd line contains the Greek text. The Greek text is ordered, so it lines up with the corresponding English word or phrase above it. This sometimes puts the Greek text out of order from how it appears in a traditional NA27 Greek new testament. Please note that there is a number to the right of each Greek word to indicate the word order for the entire verse as it appears in the NA27 Greek new testament. The third line, which follows the Greek text, is the English transliteration of the Greek word. This is very helpful for the less experienced reader who may not know how to correctly pronounce all of the Greek words. The fourth line, which follows the transliteration, contains the parsing codes. These parsing codes allow the reader to understand the morphology of the Greek word. Trying to remember what these codes mean looks like it could be difficult. Have no fear, each two-page spread of the new testament text, has the most significant parsing codes listed at the bottom. Finally, the 5th line lists the Strong’s number. This is an important feature, because it allows the reader to quickly look up that specific Greek word in an electronic lexicon. While I to do this through Logos Bible Software, I realize that many may not have access to this software. As an alternate, there are many free lexicon resources available on the internet.
Let me close by saying that I am very pleased with The English – Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament. This is a prime example of the quality of work that is possible when three fine organizations like Crossway, The German Bible Society, & Logos Bible Software collaborate on a project. As I stated earlier, I have found this new testament useful for both my devotional time and academic study. I highly recommend this new testament for anybody wishing to expand their new testament study to include both Greek and English. My only word of caution is to 1st and 2nd year Greek students. You would be better served by having a standard Greek new testament as your primary Greek text for school work. The English – Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament would be a great resource for double-checking your parsing and translation after you’ve worked over the Greek text on your own. Finally, there is one additional bonus to this new testament. Attached to the back cover of this book, you will find a CD-ROM containing an electronic copy of the English Standard Version and several other study tools. All things considered, this is a great resource for a very reasonable price. Let me end with one final thought. While I understand there would potentially be a smaller audience, I’d love to see a similar resource for the Hebrew old testament. I’ll be so bold as to suggest the following title: The English – Hebrew Reverse Interlinear Old Testament.
You may download a PDF of this review: LINK.
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