You’ve decided to teach yourself Biblical Greek and now you need to purchase an introductory grammar.
To kick-start your search, I’ve summarized some of the more well-known textbooks below for you. I’ve even included several grammars you can download or view online for free. You can teach yourself from all of these texts, there’s no right or wrong grammar. In fact, if you’re serious about learning, it may be helpful to have a couple grammars to compare and contrast from as you learn.
A good grammar is indispensable as you study Biblical Greek. In order to read the New Testament in its original language, you’ll have to identify many different forms of words to understand their full meaning. The only way to learn the forms is to study them. Knowing vocabulary will only get you so far, so you need a grammar. There’s no way around it.
Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar by William D. Mounce
This is one of the most well-known introductory grammars out there. The strength of this grammar is found in the supporting materials. William Mounce’s website, billmounce.com, includes a variety of supplemental resources available for purchase that go along with the grammar, including a complimentary workbook, flashcards, and video lectures.
I started out with this grammar, and it has everything you would need. That said, I found that while it did a good job of explaining the concepts, it didn’t help me bridge the gap to actually reading the New Testament in Greek. Within the textbook, there are not many practice examples to apply the concepts you learn. I suspect the corresponding workbook is needed to supply the additional practice needed to really understand and apply the grammar.
Reading Koine Greek: An Introduction and Integrated Workbook by Rodney J. Decker
As evidenced by the title, this grammar combines both a practical introduction to Koine Greek and an ‘integrated workbook.’ By ‘workbook,’ I believe they mean that it offers plenty of practice examples that have been included at the end of each chapter.
The book is really designed to help you read the New Testament. Each chapter has thorough explanations, which is great if you don’t have a professor to explain the concepts. A short reading passage is included at the end of the chapter for practice. The examples included throughout are straight from scripture (both the New Testament and Septuagint), rather than being made-up sentences. This is a fairly thick book at 672 pages, but when you’re learning on your own, more content is not a bad thing. Here’s the first chapter online for free.
I am biased since this was my primary introductory grammar, but I would definitely recommend this book if you’re going the self-taught route.
Learn to Read New Testament Greek by David Alan Black
Dave Black is a great communicator, so it’s no surprise that his grammar is one of the more popular options. I have never used this book, but it looks to be a solid grammar. I’m sure it’s used often in seminary classes. I’ve read his intermediate grammar, and Dave excels at explaining intimidating concepts in a clear and concise manner. Dave has a whole slew of resources available for his grammar on his website, which is worth checking out regardless of what textbook you buy.
A Primer of Biblical Greek by Clayton Clay
This is another well-received introduction to New Testament Greek. I believe it is a paperback, which could be a problem since a grammar is the type of book you’ll be using a lot. That said, you can pick a used copy on Amazon quite inexpensively. Available online for this textbook includes some supplementary material from the publisher, a vocabulary reference chart, and free notes.
Free Beginning Greek Grammars Online
Basic Grammar of the Greek New Testament by John Pappas
A Brief Introduction to New Testament Greek by Samuel G. Green
A Grammar of New Testament Greek by James Moulton (Vol. 1, Vol. 2)
Hellenistic Greek by Michael Palmer
Learning New Testament Greek
Mastering New Testament Greek Textbook by Ted Hildebrandt (Free lesson videos)
The Online Greek Textbook by Dr. Shirley
Now that you know about your options for Biblical Greek grammars, why don’t you check out my other posts that give some helpful tips to help you read the New Testament in its original language?
Teach Yourself Biblical Greek Series: