Academic journal article Theological Studies

Hellenistic and Biblical Greek: A Graduated Reader

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Hellenistic and Biblical Greek: A Graduated Reader

Article excerpt

Hellenistic and Biblical Greek: A Graduated Reader. By B. H. McLean. New York: Cambridge University, 2014. Pp. xxxiv + 509. $39.99.

McLean's volume, inspired by Allen Wikgren's Hellenistic Greek Texts (1947), consists of 67 carefully chosen textual excerpts ranging in length (20-100 lines) and complexity (isometric and compositional examples), arranged in eight parts according to their reading difficulty. Each text is amply annotated with details of source text, date, provenance (if known), related texts, and grammatical details of vocabulary and syntax.

The real value of M.'s work is the selection of texts that provides valuable exposure to the variety and complexity of Hellenistic Greek. The examples selected move the reader far beyond the biblical and early Jewish and Christian material typically found in an intermediate-advanced reader. The extensive noncanonical material avoids the acute difficulty of students' common knowledge of translations and also subverts dependence on computer software. The array of papyrus letters (part IV), magical texts (part V), and epigraphic inscriptions (part VII) will inevitably whet the appetite for more. Drawing on his earlier research in epigraphy, M. offers several helpful avenues for considering dialectical differences within the corpus. Online materials (listed on ix-xi) are readily downloadable from the accompanying CUP website, and consist of an electronic document of 143 pages containing an additional 36 textual excerpts unevenly covering the eight parts of the volume. …

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