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Posted: 3/15/16
Dr. Schwandt is currently on a sabbatical from offering Greek courses and reading groups. We are currently working on a way to offer the educational materials without the live component.


The Essential Library (Level I - Under $300)

Many people ask what books are necessary for a serious beginning Greek student. This page contains the most important books a student should have with a budget of $300.

Below are my top picks in the following five categories. Choosing one book from each category will provide the essential Greek reference library for the beginning Greek student for under $300. If you are interested in building your library in any one of these categories, click the links in the sidebar to find exhaustive recommended books lists for each of the categories.

1. Beginning Grammar and Study Guide

2. Reference Grammar

3. Greek New Testament

4. Lexicon

5. Study Aids

1. Beginning Grammar and Study Guide:

There are all kinds of basic primers available. See Greek Primers for an exhaustive list. Translation exercises are essential to learn the language and most any text with exercises and answers will work for the motivated student.

Publisher (date) ISBN
Brief description and comment, (review links)
Direct Links to purchase
Balme, Lawall, & Morwood Athenaze, Book I: An Introduction to Ancient Greek (3rd. Edition)
Oxford Academic Press (Dec. 18, 2015); ISBN: 0190607661
Oxford's beginning Greek program. This grammar works very well for students of biblical Greek as well as classical Greek. The content at the introductory level is the same. This curriculum strikes a fantastic balance between inductive and deductive approaches. Students work through a helpful historical fiction story as they work through the text. I have substantial helps for this text, chapter by chapter at There isn't much difference in the text between the second and third editions. The pages were produced from the 2nd. edition.
336 pp.
$44.75 $44.75 Amazon

Black, David Learn to Read New Testament Greek (3rd Edition)
B&H Academic (March 1, 2009); ISBN: 0805444939
This is a solid beginning Greek grammar that walks through the fundamentals of biblical Greek grammar. It uses a standard deductive approach and has an answer key in an appendix. It is also available in Kindle and Logos versions.
272 pp.
$29.99 $20.68 Amazon

2. Reference Grammar:

Often, primers (texts with exercises) do not explain a grammatical concept sufficiently. A grammar is invaluable for the serious student who wants to really understand how the language is working in a given instance. See the reference page for more grammars.

Wallace, Daniel Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics
Zondervan Publishing Co. (June, 1997); ISBN: 0310218950
This is the most widely used intermediate Biblical Greek grammar. Although it doesn't have exercises, it has a great scripture index and plenty of examples to help demonstrate the concepts.
860 pp.
$52.99 $34.68 Amazon

3. Greek New Testament:

A Greek New Testament is essential for the student of New Testament Greek. Even if you are thoroughly conversant with a Bible software program it is helpful to have a printed Greek New Testament handy (for the same reason we still use printed Bibles in our own language). The one listed here has all of the words that occur less than 30 times in the New Testament translated at the bottom of the page. It also has a durable leather like cover. There is one for $8.50 on the Greek New Testament page if you are willing to wait for it to be shipped from England.

Goodrick & Lukaszewski A Reader's Greek New Testament
Zondervan Publishing Co. (April 1, 2004); ISBN: 0310516803
Zodernvan Greek Text, Vocabulary that occurs less than 30 times in the NT is listed at the bottom of each page. It feels great in your hand and there is a Kindle version.
592 pp.
$39.99 $32.99 Amazon

4. Lexicon:

This book is very expensive (it takes up nearly half of my $300 budget) but if you want to do serious exegesis there is really no other option. See the reference page for more lexicons. There is an electronic version available as well.

Bauer, Danker, Arndt, Gingrich A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
University of Chicago Press; 3rd ed (Nov. 2000); ISBN: 0226039331
(Amazon reviews) This is essential and worth every penny for serious word studies. Make sure you get the most recent edition by using this link.
1188 pp.
$175.00 $149.60 Amazon

5. Study Aids:

There are many study aids available (see the reference page for more). These will work best with the other books in the Greek library and give the most benefit for the least cost.

Trenchard, Warren The Student's Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament
Zondervan Publishing Co. (Nov. 1998); ISBN: 0310226953
(Amazon reviews) Vocabulary frequency lists, Root list, Principal Part lists, and more
352 pp.
$19.99 $16.84 Amazon

Rogers, Cleon The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament
Zondervan Publishing Co. (Oct. 1998); ISBN: 0310201756
(Amazon reviews) Vocabulary and grammatical notes keyed to verses
704 pp.
$39.99 $30.00 Amazon

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