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English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament

 

English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament

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Publisher: Crossway Books

Editor: John Schwandt

List Price: Hardcover: $49.99

Ages: 15-18 Years

Reviewed By: Virginia Jones

 
Let me preface these remarks with the caveat that I am not a scholar. I'd say I'm mostly self-educated. I'm one of those people who breezed through school, learning enough to pass the tests with flying colors, dumping the knowledge after the test, and retaining little of what they taught me. I got most of my learning from copious reading - born into a family of readers, I read a lot! And my parents made sure there were plenty of good books just lying around.

But you don't have to be the scholarly sort to appreciate The English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament, especially when it comes to Bible study. Whether you're leading a group or just studying on your own, an important part of digging deeper is understanding the words chosen by the original writers, in the language they used. There are shades of meaning, nuances that are lost in translation. The first time I became aware of this was in the passage where, after the Resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him. But the word "love" in this passage is in two different forms in the Greek; Peter's answer differs from Jesus' question the first two times the Lord asks him. The third time He asks, Jesus uses the same word as Peter, coming to meet him where he is. What an eye-opening experience!

If you are a Bible scholar, you already know what this book is about. All you really need to know, I guess, is that this Bible has a sturdy cover and runs over 1300 pages. The print is of a good, readable size.

In case you're not sure what a reverse interlinear Bible is, here's a quick description of what you'll find on the pages of this book. The English Standard Version is printed in widely spaced lines. Under each word (or sometimes phrase) is the Greek word from which the translation was made, first in Greek letters, next transliterated into English letters. Below these comes the "parsing code," giving a grammatical description for each word. If I just lost you, the important thing to know is as you learn to dig deeper, you'll come to appreciate things like verb forms. Does the text say "When someone sins" as in an isolated incident, or does it mean "keeps on sinning" or "making a habit of sinning"? I'm still learning how to interpret these codes, but I know that this Bible is a tool that offers ever more depth to my studies as I learn how to use it.

Finally, for each Greek word there is a number corresponding to the word in Strong's Concordance.

The book itself begins with a Preface to the English Standard Version, the framework for this text, that gives an overview of the English Standard Version translation. Next comes an explanation of features, which we'll briefly cover here. Every book of this New Testament has an introduction with information on content, time, and authorship. Section headings, though not a part of the original text, are included to help the reader find specific passages. Footnotes contain translation and explanatory notes.

Next comes another Preface, explaining the purpose, use, and benefits of a Reverse Interlinear. Last in the introductory material is the Introduction itself, which explains how the book works.

In the Introduction, the authors say, "If you are new to Greek and are using this text as a tool to familiarize yourself with the language, you have everything you need to get started ... You are ready now to read the New Testament while getting a feel for the original language and having quick access to it for improved Bible study."

So true!

And yet, there's more to this book. Included is a CD, an English Standard Version Bible Reference Library. This Windows-compatible CD-Rom contains a fully searchable electronic edition of the ESV text, additional Bible reference works, a documentary on the history of the ESV translation, and even a video tutorial to help you get the most out of this free resource! I have to admit, I've barely scratched the surface of this resource, for the Bible by itself has been an engrossing part of my personal Bible study.

You can get an idea of the English Standard Version if you go to the publisher's website, www.esv.com. There you can read the entire ESV online, read endorsements by well-known people in the Christian community, and learn about the history and philosophy of the translation.

If you are beginning to learn Greek, if you want to dig deeper in your Bible study, if you want to see how the original language corresponds to an English translation, then this Reverse Interlinear New Testament will be a valuable addition to your library.
 
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Virginia Jones
Virginia Jones hails from a small town in the Midwest, where "Nothing ever happens, thankfully!" Her family's interests include horseback riding, cross-country skiing, swimming, and, when they can manage to sit still, reading.
 
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