Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek Revised Edition (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2020), 562 pages, hardback.
This revised edition of Going Deeper is a blessing to Greek professors and students. It will, in my estimation, become a staple in intermediate Greek classes. These three men, all incredibly capable of authoring such a work, provide a unique resource. They note in the preface, “In Going Deeper with New Testament Greek, we have attempted to present the material in a way that is accessible, and even fun, knowing that most students will be reading the chapters sequentially.” The work is accessible because the authors wrote it with both the teacher and student in mind. For the teacher, they organized the work into 15 chapters (as the authors note, it is the average length of a semester). They also provide access to “(1) weekly quizzes; (2) exams (midterm and final); (3) PowerPoint presentations for each chapter; (4) chapter summaries as a separate document; (5) chapter exercise sentences as a separate document; (6) answer keys for quizzes, exams, and chapter exercise sentences; and (7) automated Moodle quizzes based on the summary charts in each chapter.” Another benefit, both to the student and the teacher, is the inclusion of practice sentences. The authors also provide “biblical examples.” These are selected with a precise process that allows the teacher (and students) examples within Scripture, further developing the interest in New Testament Greek studies. They also include two vocabulary lists (one at the end of each chapter, except chapters 14 and 15, and the other as an appendix). Both the vocabulary and practice sentences remove the need to purchase additional workbooks or vocabulary guides.
The work is divided into the following major categories: introduction to Greek (1 chapter), nouns (3 chapters), articles/adjectives (1 chapter), verbs (4 chapters), verbals (2 chapters), pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs and particles (1 chapter), diagramming and discourse analysis (1 chapter), word studies (1 chapter), and continuing Greek (1 chapter). There are also two appendixes (one providing vocabulary and the other a “survey of 12 grammars”).
It should not be surprising that the differences between Going Deeper from other grammars are the strengths. To begin with, the intentionality of selecting Scripture passages that apply to the focused concept of the chapter under the previously mentioned guideline selections (see page 5) encourages students to continue pursuing their Greek studies. For example, chapter 2 begins with John 1:1, where Köstenberger discusses the syntax and implications, and notes, “Of course, Jesus’s deity does not rest on this one verse (see, e.g., John 20:28), but a sufficient knowledge of Greek syntax saves the reader from drawing the wrong conclusion.” A similar example is provided by Köstenberger in chapter 5, too. In this way, they are meeting their stated goal where the authors write, “we hope to stir in you’re a passion, and to provide you with the necessary tools, to ‘go deeper’ in your pursuit of your mastery of NT Greek.” The examples frequent the pages of this book.
Another strength, and point of departure from most grammars, is the “Reading the New Testament” sections. As they noted in their preface, these reading selections focus on the “grammar or syntax discussed in the chapter,” “pastorally relevant, theologically foundational, or doctrinally debated,” and “around 10-12 verses in length.” Chapter 8’s reading section serves as an excellent example. The passage is Acts 2:37-47. Scholars and individuals familiar with this passage will immediately think of Acts 2:38, and rightly so. While not overloading the student or teacher with the material, they present the exegetical information verse by verse (or, in the example of 44-45, two verses) and word by word (focusing on the most important). For the phrase ‘for the forgiveness of your sins,’ they offer this brief treatment, “The proposition εἰς is often used to communicate purpose (‘for’) but can also communicate grounds (‘on the basis of’).” This theologically relevant passage is presented in this reading section with the pertinent grammatical and syntactical information. To the book’s strength, each chapter (except for chapters 14 and 15) has such a reading.
A third strength is chapter 13 “Sentences, Diagramming, & Discourse Analysis.” Reminding the student (and teacher) of the importance of structure, Plummer remarks, “When we teach or preach a text such as Matthew 28:19-20, we need to ask not only if we are faithfully conveying the meaning/content of the original text, but also if we are emphasizing what the inspired author emphasized.” Plummer presents the ways the student can competently do this. For sentences, he provides a paragraph (or, two) discussing the sentence, he breaks it down to words, phrases, and clauses. Plummer also presents two forms of diagramming: line diagramming (457-460) and arcing (460-464). In both cases, Plummer provides the needed information to engage in these respective forms of diagramming as well as handsome examples. Finally, Plummer treats discourse analysis. Always connecting the study of NT Greek to the practical realm, Plummer reminds students that “Practically speaking, properly noting discourse boundaries should influence what portion of text a preacher selects for a sermon—i.e., he should choose a length of text that respects the biblical author’s communicative structure.”
In order not to overwhelm the reader, I want to highlight one major strength of this work. This strength lies in appendix 2 “Noun and Article Charts: A Survey of 12 Grammars.” This survey is helpful for several reasons. First, it provides an overview treatment of significant grammars. It allows the intermediate student and seasoned professor a bird’s eye view of how grammars dissect the Greek language. Second, it provides only the necessary information. It only presents the names without discussing any examples. Third, it is organized well. One does not have to spend time examining a key for one can easily understand the tables. Fourth, it provides a library for students and professors who may need to research something in further depth. For example, if a student believes that a word in the Genitive case is something in particular he or she can cross-examine how other grammars denote it.
One issue is the binding of the book. Grammars are utilized, and the binding should be durable. Upon receiving Going Deeper I was surprised that the binding was not better. A Smyth sewn binding would be better than the glued binding. Thus, it may hinder longevity in usage.
Another “weakness,” which I would rather term a suggestion, is to supplement the material with additional appendixes. Staying true to their purpose of design, the work is geared for the teacher. However, with the importance and popularity of participles in NT Greek, I think it would help to provide further treatment of participles.
Who should read this book?
Every professor of NT Greek should own this work. Regardless of the stage of education (beginning, intermediate, or advanced), this work provides a wealth of information and organization that will aid both professors and students.
Every student of NT Greek (whether pastor or professor) should also possess this book. It is an excellent reference, providing up-to-date discussions on important syntax, grammar, and resource issues. Additionally, it can aid in the retention and usage of NT Greek. Many students forget their Greek after seminary. However, this work bridges the gap between the classroom and the chapel.
 Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek Revised Edition (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2020), 2.
 Ibid., 5-6.
 Ibid., 3-4.
 Ibid., 523.
 Ibid., 52.
 Ibid., 1.
 See pages 43-49, 113-120, 281-287 for a few representative examples.
 Ibid., 5.
 Ibid., 283.
 Ibid., 441-481.
 Ibid., 442.
 Ibid., 442-456
 See page 459 for line diagramming and pages 461-462 for arcing.
 Ibid., 465.
 Ibid., 523.