Koine Greek Reader


Koine Greek Reader: Selections from the New Testament, Septuagint, and Early Christian Writers (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2007). ISBN: 0825424429. $25.99.

The second printing was available as of mid-August 2009. It includes about a dozen minor corrections.

Contents | Commendations & Reviews | Errata & Notes | Supplemental Materials


Part One: New Testament Readings

1. John 7:25–44

2. Mark 9:30–50

3. Matthew 18:1–17

4. Romans 13:1–14

5. Revelation 19:1–21

6. James 4:13–5:11

7. 1 Peter 5:1–14

8. Acts 14:1–18

9. Hebrews 7:11–28

Part Two: Koine Readings Outside the New TestamentPart 2.1. Septuagint

10. Genesis 1

11. Deuteronomy 4

12. Joshua 10

13. 1 Reigns (= 1 Samuel) 17

14. Psalms 2, 109

15. Isaiah 53

Part 2.2. Apostolic Fathers

16. Ignatius to Polycarp 1–6

17. Didache 7–9

18. 1 Clement 5–7

19. Shepherd of Hermas, Mandates 1, 11

Part 2.3. Creeds

20. Nicene Creed

21. Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

22. Chalcedonian Creed

23. Apostles’ Creed


A. Using BDAG

B. Simplified Verb Reference Chart for Ω Verbs

C. Participle Use Flow Chart

D. Parsing List

E. Review Vocabulary List

F. Vocabulary to Learn List

G. Extending Your Vocabulary

H. Septuagint Vocabulary



Buist M. Fanning III (NT, Dallas Theological Seminary) says,

“Rodney Decker’s Koine Greek Reader is absolutely the best volume of its kind available today. . . . The book has been carefully prepared and organized, tested and refined in the classroom over a number of years, and handsomely produced by the publisher. . . . I recommend it enthusiastically!”

See other comments by Moises Silva, Mark Strauss, Carl Conrad, Martin Culy, William Varner, Ed Glenny, and Chet Creider on a separate page—which also includes unsolicited reviews and blog comments.


There will surely be more here in due time! There’s no better proofreader than a binding!

  • p. 28, first word on the page: incorrect accent. ἐληλύθα should be ἐλήλυθα. (Thanks to Gary Varney for spotting this one.)
  • p. 79, v 14, 3d bullet note, first sentence should read: “When the neut sg art (τό) is used with a gen phrase (here = τῆς αὔριον), it implies ‘the thing,’ referring collectively to the events of that day.” (Thanks to Mark Henson for this one.) [This use of the article is more common with a plural, and some texts do, indeed, have the plural τά here, but the text is most likely correct with the sg.]
  • p. 120, next to last line: “provisional edition” should read “final prepublication manuscript” [The final versions were posted shortly before the Reader went to press. I was able to update the translations to reflect the changes since the provisional edition, but missed changing this reference.]
  • pp. 135-36, the translation of vv 15-31 is duplicated in the Suppl Rdg section on pp. 136-37; omit the transl on 135-36
  • p. 186, line 5 of first paragraph, in the reference to Ignatius’s letter to the Trallians: a letter is missing: ὑοτάσσησθε should be ὑποτάσσησθε. (Thanks to Geoff White for spotting this one.)
  • p. 186, first line of Greek reading text: Polycarp is misspelled: Πουκάρπῳ should be Πολυκάρπῳ. (Thanks to George Gunn for catching this one.)
  • p. 192, 3d line from end: μενέτς should be μενέτω. Thanks to David Alan Black for noticing this one, Ap. 2009.
  • p. 263, Square of Stops chart at the bottom of the page: the third cell/letter in the third row should be theta, not sigma.

Added Notes

These are not errata, but as I continue teaching I find things that should have had a note. So I’ll add some such notes here to supplement the Reader.

  • Rom. 13:4c, The word διάκονος is modified both by the gen and the adjective ἔκδικος, thus: “he is God’s agent of punishment” (cf. B 301). The phrase (which is unusual in that the adjective is separated from the noun it modifies by the verb) functions as the pred nom of ἐστίν (the subject is the default pronoun in the verb).
  • Jas 4:13, Note that the demonstrative τήνδε occurs in predicate position, but is translated as you normally would an attributive position adjective. This is similar to other demonstratives.
  • 1 Pet 5:4, The verb κομιεῖσθε is an “Attic future,” i.e., an alternate form of the future that was used in Attic Greek (the major classical Greek dialect) and is sometimes still seen in koine. These verbs look like liquid futures, but are all forms of -ιζω verbs. For details, see Mounce, MBG,§43.7.
  • Deut 4:11, the translation given on p. 135 (from NETS) does not include the last two words of the verse. My guess is that is probably due to a textual variant and they are omitted in the Gottingen LXX (but I haven’t gotten to the library to verify that yet). The words are included in Rahlfs-Hanhart, but no variant is listed. The Cambridge LXXalso includes the words in the text, but gives textual evidence for their omission in a number of MSS. The phrase is missing in the old Brenton text.
  • Apostles’ Creed (ch. 23): There should be a footnote added on p. 241 in the last paragraph of the Traditional Translation. The phrase “the communion of the saints” which appears in the translation has no equivalent in the Greek text. As Schaff explains, “The article ‘Communionem sanctorum’ [is] unknown to Augustine…. It is not found in any of the Greek or earlier Latin creeds. [It appears to have originated near] the close of the eighth century” (Schaff, Creeds, 1:22n. 2).

Supplemental Materials

Chapter 1, John 7

  • Genitive of Comparison, Jn 7:31 (handout)

Chapter 2, Mark 9

Chapter 3, Matthew 18

  • There is now a very helpful commentary which deals explicitly with the Greek text of Matthew–and that in a fashion accessible to students who have had at least a year of Greek: Grant Osborne, Matthew, Exegetical Comm. on NT (Zondervan, 2010).
  • Ppt file illustrating the Synoptic Problem from Matt 18 and Mark 9.

Chapter 4, Romans 13

Supplemental material on the use of the article (reviewed in this chapter):

Chapter 5, Revelation 19

Chapter 6, James 5

  • James 4-5PowerPoint.pptx file with notes on syntax, argument, and 2 tough verses diagrammed

Chapter 7, 1 Peter 5

  • PowerPoint file to illustrate “nested modifiers” which are characteristic of 1 Peter.

Chapter 8, Acts 14

  • Participles in Acts 14:1-18; this is a 3-col chart format which gives the Greek text with two English translations all having the participles marked.
  • Participle Flow Chart explanationand illustrations; the Reader (Appendix C, p. 264) includes a new approach to the “traditional” (at least in some circles–the one that originated at DTS with John Best) participle flow chart, but with no explanation–this document is the explanation of how the chart  is intended to function. To supplement the participle review in ch. 8, see my blog summary (with numerous examples) of genitive absolutes.

Chapter 9, Hebrews 7

Chapter 14, Psalms 2, 110

Appendix A: Using BDAG

For this section you will want to see the additional resources, photos, and BDAG errata posted on my regular BDAG page. There is also a .ppt file there which can be used for class discussion or for private study.