If the title of this grammar seems similar to another heavyweight tool for Greek study, it’s no accident. In fact, Robert W. Funk consciously styled his translation of Blass-Debrunner's grammar after Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon, calling them "twin tools for the study of the language of the primitive church." And it’s no exaggeration to say that A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDF) is just as essential for serious study of the Greek New Testament as A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG).
Logos Bible Software is pleased to announce the first-ever electronic edition of this indispensable reference work! It is the first advanced (reference) grammar for Greek to be made available on any Bible software platform. The electronic edition will include many features that add value far beyond the print edition and make it a first-rate addition to your digital library.
BDF contains longer explanations with more examples, it serves as a kind of “commentary” on a word or word form and its grammar and syntax. This detailed commentary can help you arrive at sound exegetical conclusions and give you increased confidence in your scholarship.
Simply put, BDF is a classic reference work that condenses centuries of New Testament scholarship into a highly manageable format.
This work was created by Friedrich Blass, professor of classical philology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, and was continued after his death by Albert Debrunner, professor of Indo-European and classical philology at the University of Bern until his retirement in 1954. The grammar has passed through ten editions from 1896 to 1960.
Robert W. Funk, in translating this long-established classic, has also revised it and, in doing so, has incorporated the notes which Professor Debrunner had prepared for a new German edition on which he was working at the time of his death in 1958. Dr. Funk has also had the co-operation of leading British, Continental, and American scholars. The translation places in the hands of English-speaking students a book that belongs in their.libraries and in the libraries of every theologian, philologist, and pastor, alongside the Gingrich-Danker Greek-English Lexicon.
This grammar sets the Greek of the New Testament in the context of Hellenistic Greek and compares and contrasts it with the classical norms. It relates the New Testament language to its Semitic background, to Greek dialects, and to Latin and has been kept fully abreast of latest developments and manuscript discoveries. It is at no point exclusively dependent on modern editions of the Greek New Testament text but considers variant readings wherever they are significant. It is designed to compress the greatest amount of information into the smallest amount of space consistent with clarity. There are subsections discussing difficult or disputed points and copious citations of primary texts in addition to generous bibliographies for those who wish to pursue specific items further.
“Aristotle distinguishes two opposed types of style in Greek (Rh. 3.9 p. 1409a 24ff.), the running or continuous (εἰρομένη) and the compact (κατεστραμμένη) or periodic (ἐν περιόδοις).” (Page 239)
“(1) Paronomasia is the name given to the recurrence of the same word or word stem in close proximity” (Page 258)
“But the NT, in spite of all its historical ties—with its own period and preceding and subsequent periods—is a historical unity; to that extent a special treatment of its language, as of its content, is justified, provided, of course, that it is assigned its correct place within the general history of the Greek language.” (Page 1)
“The original function of the so-called tense stems of the verb in Indo-European languages was not that of levels of time (present, past, future) but that of Aktionsarten (kinds of action) or aspects (points of view).” (Page 166)
“Participles originally had no temporal function, but denoted only the Aktionsart; their temporal relation to the finite verb was derived from the context.” (Page 174)
The Blass-Debrunner Grammar is of the advanced type, of special usefulness for research purposes. Its formulations are concise; its notes, illustrative material, and references are rich and copious; and its bibliographical leads are valuable. The student will need to use other grammars along with it; but he will not be able to do without it.
—John H. Skilton, Westminster Theological Seminary, in Westminster Theological Journal Vol 25 (1962)
A reference grammar for New Testament Greek, in English, with an introduction and 3 main parts: 1) Phonology, 2) Accidence and Word-Formation, and 3) Syntax. There are subject, Greek words and forms, and references indices. The references index includes references to the NT, the Apostolic Fathers, the NT Apocrypha, the Pseudo-Clementine Literature, and the Septuagint.
[BDF] is at present the most authoritative NT Greek grammar.
—Joseph A. Fitzmyer, An Introductory Bibliography for the Study of Scripture
Friedrich Wilhelm Blass was a German Protestant classical scholar who lived from 1843 to 1907. During the course of his life, he published extensively on textual criticism of classical authors, such as Demosthenes, Isocrates, Dinarchus, Aeschines, and many others. In the New Testament he published critical editions of the Gospels and Acts, which eventually became the basis of his work Philology of the Gospels. In Indo-European Linguistics and Greek grammar his major contributions included his monograph, Pronunciation of Ancient Greek, his important Grammar of New Testament Greek, and his revision and significant enlargement of Raphael Kuhner’s classical grammar.
Albert Debrunner was a professor of Indo-European and classical philology at the University of Bern.