Accordance Blog
Aug 12, 2019 Richard Mansfield

New Grammars from Mounce (Greek) & Futato (Hebrew)

Fall semester is upon us, and scores of students at Bible colleges and seminaries will begin (what will hopefully be) lifelong studies in biblical languages. This week, we are releasing an often-requested introductory Hebrew grammar for Accordance as well as a revision to a standard work for learning biblical Greek.

Accordance makes the perfect platform for learning biblical languages because of quick access to Hebrew and Greek texts as well as lexicons and grammar works. Instead of spreading out a half dozen physical books on a crowded desk, an Accordance user can organize specialized workspaces to accommodate each class. Every grammar comes with practice exercises. These can be worked in Accordance User Notes for later study or exported to turn in as homework assignments. For more ideas for using Accordance in biblical or theological studies, see our blog series, “Seven Strategies for Students Who Use Accordance.”

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Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (4th ed.) Grammar & Workbook

Mounce BBG 5 Book and Workbook By the second edition of William D. Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek (BBG), his introductory grammar had already become the standard introduction to Koine Greek of this generation. Most grammars prior to BBG began with students learning Greek verbs and memorizing paradigms. The method used in Mounce’s grammar turned everything on its head by using a more natural approach, such as introducing nouns first. Now in its fourth edition, BBG is used in more English-speaking first-year classes in Koine Greek than any other grammar of its kind.

There are at least two kinds of Accordance users who will want to add BBG in the 4th edition to their personal Accordance Library. The first category is the student taking elementary Greek for the first time. These students probably don’t have any choice regarding selection of BBG over other grammars. Perhaps the Accordance edition of BBG is required for class, or perhaps the student wants to supplement a print copy with a digital version where more reliable notes and answers to exercises can be stored than with print copies.

Mounce BBG 4 Grammar and Workbook

The second category of Accordance users who will want to add the 4th edition of BBG are those who have benefitted from previous editions. The primary question these users will ask is How is the 4th edition different? There is a full list of differences available at Bill Mounce’s website. Some of these differences relate to issues specific to the print copy, so I’ve taken the liberty of condensing the list, only giving attention to differences users will see between the 3rd and 4th Accordance editions of BBG:

  • Mounce BBG 4 Android The layout is cleaner, which makes the content less intimidating, and the Professor has been moved to the website.
  • Vocabulary is the same (except ἅγιος is moved forward to chapter 9). However, pay close attention to the semicolons in the vocabulary listings. They identify the different glosses for a word.
  • A few exercise sentences have been replaced, and the order of the parsing exercises have been re-ordered in later chapters so that they go from easier to harder. Eventually, there will be a listing of those changes.
  • Scholarship's new understanding of the middle voice has been included, and teachers are invited to decide which approach to use. The same goes for the debate over σα and θη forms. QC codes will point you to YouTube presentations on some of these issues.
  • Aspectual language is now used throughout. So the book talks about the imperfective aspect, imperfect tense, perfective aspect, aorist tense, combinative aspect, and the perfect tense. I always include the words "aspect" and "tense" to avoid confusion.
  • Roots have been emphasized from chapter 4 on, are listed prominently in the vocabulary sessions, so when the student comes to chapter 20 it is natural and easy to think in terms of roots and stems.

And, of course, we can’t help pointing out that Dr. Mounce is an Accordance user himself. In the preface of BBG, he writes, “Much of the work, especially in the exercises, could not have been done without the aid of the software program Accordance. Thanks Roy and Helen.”

For a limited time, Accordance users may purchase both the grammar and workbook for Basics of Biblical Greek at introductory discounted pricing.

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar
Regular Price $59.90

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Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook
Regular Price $24.90

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Futato's Beginning Biblical Hebrew

Futato BBH cover Mark D. Futato has been a professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando for 20 years. His introductory grammar, Beginning Biblical Hebrew (BBH) has often been requested by our users for Accordance, as it has become a favorite textbook in elementary Hebrew courses over the past two decades.

As stated in the introduction, BBH has been designed to provide “students with a thorough introduction to Biblical Hebrew in an easy-to-learn format.” Content does not assume any familiarity with Hebrew or even English grammatical terminology. Students will learn around 400 Hebrew words giving them a foundation for reading the Hebrew Bible.

40 chapters comprise BBH with each chapter broken into sections for grammar, vocabulary, and practice. Practice sections cover both new material as well as reviewing previous content. The back of the grammar contains a Hebrew-to-English vocabulary list, an answer key, and morphology charts for the verb.

Futato BBHH - iPad

If you have the Theological Journal Library in Accordance, you can read Andrew J. Schmutzer’s review of Beginning Biblical Hebrew in the December 2004 issue of The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. For a limited time Accordance users can purchase Futato’s Hebrew grammar at introductory discounted pricing.

Beginning Biblical Hebrew
Regular Price $49.90
Sale Price $49.90

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Apr 4, 2018 Timothy Jenney

Grammars & Construct Searches (Lighting the Lamp Podcast #162)

This episode originated as a viewer request. It shows how to build a Construct search based on a grammar’s description of a particular construction. In this case, Dr. J shows how to find each of Dan Wallace’s four classes of Greek conditional sentences. Ready for a challenge? This episode will do it! Download the workspace featured in this podcast from our User Forums.

 

Check out more episodes of the Lighting the Lamp podcast!

 

Aug 29, 2016 Richard Mansfield

Using Grammars for Exegesis--Really!

In my second year of seminary, years ago, I took a Greek syntax and exegesis course. As one might imagine, this course involved writing a syntax and exegesis paper. We were all required to pick a portion of the New Testament and look at it from every angle. We were encouraged to focus only on a verse or even just a sentence or phrase. That paper had to cover every aspect of our passage including linguistic, text-critical and interpretive (historical and modern) understandings.

We were told to comb through commentaries, journal articles, lexicons, and even grammars. Back then, trying to identify whether a grammar covered a particular passage of Scripture could be difficult—because back then, we didn’t have Accordance! We were dependent upon Scripture indexes in the back of books, and many books—especially grammars—simply didn’t have them. If a grammar was missing a Scripture index, I usually just skipped it. I wasn’t going to visually scan every page to see if my passage was covered. And back then, even if there was a Scripture index, it was prepared by a fallible human being. There was always the possibility that the index was not truly complete.

Accordance gives advantages for this kind of research that simply can’t be matched by print books. With Accordance, every reference work can be searched for any Bible reference. Simply drop down the list in the search field and choose Scripture. Tip: If you’re only wanting a narrowed reference, say Matthew 5:1, place the equals (=) sign in front of it so your search results will only display this verse and not any larger passage that would also include Matthew 5:1.

Wallace Matt 5:1

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The ability to search a grammar by verse reference is helpful, but even so, using Accordance’s Research Tool instead will allow you to search through multiple titles at once. Simply set the Research Settings to Verses and Grammars, add your reference to the Research search field (don’t forget the equals sign if necessary) and go! Every occurrence of your focus passage will be highlighted in the results.

Research Mat 5.1

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You can even create a User Group just for your Hebrew or Greek grammars to save time and search through all of them at once. To do this, you will want to go to the Grammars section of your Accordance Library. Note that I have already created subfolders to separate Hebrew and Greek grammars. Highlight the grammars that you want to include and choose Add to User Group: [New Group] from the contextual menu.

Create a User Group

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Name your new User Group whatever you like. I named the one in this example, “Hebrew Grammars.” Now, notice that your new User Group will display in the User Groups section of the Research dropdown menu.

Research User Groups

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So, if I wanted to research my Hebrew Grammars for Genesis 1:2, I would enter in that reference and make certain I selected both Verses and my Hebrew Grammars User Group. After I hit the Enter key, I get a number of Research results.

For instance, in A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew by Jouon and Muraoka, under a section titled “Strong Vocalization,” I find the following statement: “strong vocalisation is particularly frequent when two analogous words are closely6 associated and form a group, e.g. תֹּ֫הוּ וָבֹ֔הוּ Gn 1.2… .” Along with the greater description in this section, this information would be very helpful in the syntax section of a student’s paper.

In Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Practico and Van Pelt, there is commentary on Genesis 1:2 which reads, “‘The first metaphor we meet with in the Bible,’ writes M. G. Kline, ‘likens the Creator–Spirit to a bird hovering over the deep–and–darkness (Gen 1:2).’ In fact, we are confronted throughout Scripture with avian (bird) metaphors for God.” This would be excellent information for the exegesis portion of the paper.

Practically speaking, use of grammars for this kind of research goes well beyond student use. Anyone studying a passage will benefit from discovering how it is treated in a biblical language grammar.

Bonus tip: use this same method for researching Greek or Hebrew words or phrases, too.