The Singing Grammarian: a resource review

The Singing Grammarian by H. Daniel Zacharias

Kregel Publications is always coming out with resources to help students learn Biblical languages.  I have reviewed The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek and have used their workbooks for Greek and Hebrew and highly recommend Peter Silzer’s & Thomas John Finley’s How Biblical Languages Work which was my introduction to Biblical  grammar and syntax. If you’ve tried to learn Biblical languages (or really any second language) you know that you just don’t learn another language, you also have to learn how language functions. There are lots of rules to memorize, word endings, and paradigms  And despite products and programs galore which promise that you can learn a language in a few short hours, proficiency of any language requires a great deal of memorization. That is what makes the Singing Grammarian by Daniel Zacharias.

The Singing Grammarian includes 18 different videos of songs which review various concepts of Biblical Greek. These include:

Greek Alphabet Song – MP4
1st Declension Song – MP4
2nd Declension Song – MP4
3rd Declension Song – MP4
The Article Song – MP4
Present Active Indicative Song – MP4
Present Middle and Passive Song – MP4
Future Active and Middle Song – MP4
Secondary Endings-Imperfect Tense Song – MP4
Aorist Active and Middle Song – MP4
Liquid Verbs Song – MP4
Passives Song – MP4
(Plu)Perfect Song – MP4
Subjunctive Song – MP4
Imperative Song – MP4
Infinitives Song – MP4
Participles Song – MP4
MI Verbs Song – MP4

Zacharias has produced a helpful resource for reviewing and learning the letters, grammatical rules, and word forms. The songs and videos go through the Greek paradigms and for audio and visual learners are a great aid for memorization.  Some of the songs are a little campy and there are lots of little creative flourishes that Zacharias adds. This is part of their charm and liked them alot. Language learning is hard work so when someone approaches it with good humor it makes it interesting.

My one complaint is that I think that these would be great also in an MP3 format so I could load them on my ipod and listen while going for a run.  You learn languages by living in them and something like this which you could ‘grab and go’ would be  great too.

But I still highly recommend this for students who are struggling to learn their paradigms.  When I studied Hebrew my professor provided us with a mp3 of  “power pills” which we drilled into are memory until we knew it by heart. I still recite them sometimes when I am trying to parse the forms of Hebrew. So I think Zacharias’s musical approach will be very helpful for Greek. I give this four stars: ★★★★☆

Thank you to Kregel Academic for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for this review. The Singing Grammarian is available for download through Kregel Publications and at ChristianBook.com

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