- Author: Constantine R. Campbell
- Category: Religion / Biblical Reference / Language Study
- Publisher: Zondervan (November 2010)
- Binding: Softcover
- Page Count: 90
- ISBN: 0310329078
- Review Date: 3/18/2011 by Shaun Tabatt
- Rating: Highly recommended
Of all the publisher’s I follow, Zondervan Academic continues to stand out based on the number of useful original languages resources they continue to release year after year. The latest addition to their lineup of language resources is Constantine Campbell’s Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People (Zondervan, 2010).
As a blogger and social media enthusiast I appreciated the background story behind the book. In a sense, it all began when Dr. Campbell decided to take the tips he had been sharing in the classroom about how to keep your Greek going after college / seminary and turned them into a series of posts called “Keep Your Greek” on his now retired blog: www.readbetterpreachbetter.com. The nine posts in that series actually served as the outline for this book. I especially liked that Dr. Campbell chose to share some of the comments dialog from his original blog posts at the end of each chapter. It was useful to see the types of questions posed by the original readers of the content and Dr. Campbell’s responses. Maybe it is because I spend far too much time using social media, but the blog responses section at the close of each chapter drew me in and made me feel a part of the conversation.
Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People is quite short at only ninety pages. The content is divided amongst ten chapters and the book closes with an appendix and a list of recommended resources. Each chapter introduces a new concept about how to enhance your ongoing study of Greek. You can get a good idea of each chapter’s content from its heading and subheading. If you are a very serious and stodgy language student, try not to take offense as some of them are a bit tongue in cheek. They are as follows:
- Chapter 1: Read Every Day: Reading reminds, refreshes, and reinforces.
- Chapter 2: Burn Your Interlinear: The interlinear is a tool of the devil, designed to make preachers stupid.
- Chapter 3: Use Software Tools Wisely: Bible software can be a blessing or a curse–it’s up to you.
- Chapter 4: Make Vocabulary Your Friend: You remember the names of your friends, right?
- Chapter 5: Practice Your Parsing: Practice makes perfect. Or aorist. Or present. Or … What is that verb?
- Chapter 6: Read Fast: It’s the vibe of the thing.
- Chapter 7: Read Slow: Slow and steady wins the race.
- Chapter 8: Use Your Senses: Greek is a language, not just words on a page.
- Chapter 9: Get Your Greek Back: If you did it once, you can do it again. And it will be easier this time.
- Chapter 10: Putting It All Together: Make it a part of life.
When it’s all said and done, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There was a light-hearted tone that ran throughout the entire book, making what is sometimes a very mundane topic, enjoyable to read. Each chapter offers extremely practical advice, much of which I intend to put in place as I continue my quest to keep up my own Greek skills. And if you are more of a Hebrew or Aramaic guy, don’t despair, these strategies will enhance for your ongoing language study as well. I would highly recommend this book for any Bible college / seminary student, pastor, or layperson who is interested in or who has ever studied Greek. Even if your interest in keeping up with your Greek studies is limited, you will find something of use here. Readers who enjoy this book should also consider picking up a copy of Dr. Campbell’s Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Zondervan, 2008).
Constantine R. Campbell (PhD, Macquarie University) is a senior lecturer in Greek and new Testament at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of numerous books, including Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek. Dr. Campbell is a public speaker, musician, and author, and lives in Sydney with his wife and three children.
This book was provided by Zondervan for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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