Georg Benedikt Winer's A Treatise on the Grammar of New Testament Greek transformed the study of New Testament Greek in his lifetime and was the standard grammar from the first edition published in 1822 through the sixth edition, translated into English by W. F. Moulton in 1870. This third revised edition of Moulton's translation was the precursor to Moulton, Howard and Turner’s four volume Grammar of New Testament Greek. At 880 pages, Winer and Moulton’s grammar has maintain an important place in the study of New Testament Greek for over a century and continues to be referred to by scholars today in commentaries series such as the New International Greek Testament Commentary, Word Biblical Commentary, and Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.
Detailed and readable, this volume holds a deserved position beside the other great New Testament Greek reference grammars of the past two centuries, such as Blass-Debrunner-Funk, Robertson, and Moulton-Howard-Turner.
Georg Benedik Winer’s grammar went through seven German editions between 1822 and 1867, growing from fewer than 200 pages to well over 700. The importance of his work was so clear that it was translated in to English four times, the first in 1825, a mere three years after its initial German release. But it was the translation by W. F. Moulton that was the most important, culminating in the third edition of 1882. Moulton’s translation significantly expanded on Winer’s work, adding valuable notes and comments of his own based on the best scholarship of his day.
In the decades that followed the publication of the Winer-Moulton edition, the papyri revolution, led by Adolf Deissmann, changed the face of Greek grammatical study, but Winer’s grammar, especially as translated and expanded by Moulton, was one of the few to maintain its value. This can be attributed not only to the keen knowledge of Winer, but also to the brilliance of W. F. Moulton, whose expansions and annotations have provided significant lasting value to an already excellent work.
Winer’s work was essentially a crusade against what he termed arbitrary approaches to the phenomena of Greek New Testament grammar and was motivated by a profound respect for the sacred Word, which he felt had been tortured long enough by uncritical linguistic assaults. Winer applied the results of critical philological methodology … and went to war against the prevailing insistence upon reading the New Testament through lenses properly polished for scanning pointed lines of Hebrew, against the pointless confusion of cases and tenses which was the result of such moody but modish and high-handed-exegesis. If the grammarians were correct, how did the New Testament writers ever manage to communicate, he queried. Winer’s own insistence on the study of New Testament Greek in terms of its own native genius was well approved by subsequent developments.
—Frederick W. Danker, Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study, 111-112.
Translations of Winer’s Grammatik into English were first made by Prof. Masson of Edinburgh, then by Prof. Thayer of Harvard (revision of Masson), and finally by Prof. W. F. Moulton of Cambridge, who added excellent footnotes, especially concerning points in modern Greek. The various editions of Winer-Thayer and Winer-Moulton have served nearly two generations of English and American scholars.
— A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, 4.
Winer’s Grammar of the New Testament, as translated and enlarged by Dr Moulton, stands far above every other for [the purpose of reference]. It does not need many minutes to learn the ready use of the admirable indices, of passages and of subjects: and when the book is consulted in this manner, its extremely useful contents become in most cases readily accessible. Dr Moulton’s references to the notes of the best recent English commentaries are a helpful addition.
— F. J. A. Hort, Prolegomena to St. Paul’s Epistles to the Romans and the Ephesians, 71.
Georg Benedikt Winer was born in 1789 and died in 1858 just after the completion of the sixth edition of his grammar. During his lifetime, he was professor extraordinarius at Leipzig and later professor ordinaries at Erlangen in Bavaria. His grammar of New Testament Greek was his most significant contribution to New Testament studies.
William F. Moulton, born in 1835, spent the majority of his life as the headmaster of the Leys School at Cambridge, participated on a number of Bible translation committees and published a variety of works related to New Testament Greek. He is probably most well known for his Concordance to the Greek Testament edited with Alfred S. Geden. Affectionately known as Moulton & Geden, his Concordance has gone through seven editions, the most recent of which was edited by I. Howard Marshall in 2002. He was selected at the secretary on the committee for the Revised Version in 1870 and was considered one of the foremost authorities on New Testament Greek of his day. At the time of his death in 1898, Moulton was beginning his work on a thorough revision of A Treatise on the Grammar of New Testament Greek: Regarded as a Sure Basis for New Testament Exegesis, but it never came to be. His son, James Hope Moulton, was invited by the publisher to continue his father's work and that grammar eventually became A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 1: Prolegomena of Moulton, Howard, & Turner's four volume grammar.