@KregelAcademic Review: The Singing Grammarian Songs and Visual Presentations for Learning New Testament Greek Grammar


H. Daniel Zacharias has sung his way into my head. I’ve listend to these songs now for several weeks, with the intention to test them. As I have now done so — much to the chagrin of those who accompany me in the car — I can write a more accurate review.

Zacharias writes in the accompanying documentation,

Words were often chosen to create rhyme and rhythm to facilitate memorization, rather than chosen to precisely describe the finer points of grammar, so rely on the textbook for those specifics.

Very true. While not a complete text book, Zacharias has introduced a well qualified memorization tool highlight the most important rules (and exceptions to those rules) for the Greek student.

Anyone who has learned a second language — or even English (i before e and other rhymes) — understand the value of mnemonic cues to aid in remembering just what it is we need to know in order to read, write, and speak the given language. This is just what Zacharias aims to do. He has produced eighteen short songs that, like the mind worms of Ceti Alpha V, weaves their way into your subconscious and tricks you into learning where you were hindered before.

The tunes are familiar — childhood nursery rhymes already stuck in your mental synthesizer. Zacharias has taken then, them, and transformed them with some mildly eclectic interpretations and produced songs on declensions, articles, participles and verbs. Rightly so, they do not all sound the same. So, when you are singing them, you have already catalogued the right tune to the right rule. Oddly enough, as you start to then read Greek, or write it, the tune itself pops into your head so that Paul is now writing one of his epistles in a hard-rock version of Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Zacharias has taken established rules to learning Greek and set them to popular tunes in order for the novice to better pick up the rules of the language. They are short, simple, songs explaining rules, exceptions, and filled with audible references to plant deep into the student’s mind the way to read and write New Testament Greek.

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