These two volumes are the culmination of the many decades Swetnam spent teaching elementary Greek at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. They are designed specifically for those who wish to study New Testament Greek without the aid of a teacher.
The text is constructed around 100 lessons, with sixty-seven comprising the basic grammar, fourteen lessons discussing grammatical items, and the last nineteen lessons being devoted to reading from the biblical text. It presumes that the beginner knows nothing about the Greek alphabet or the traditional categories of grammar which come from the Greco-Latin heritage. These categories are explained as the Greek of the New Testament is introduced.
In keeping with the author's aim to give the student maximum exposure to the sacred text, the Greek text of Mark’s Gospel is tackled in the very first lesson. The rest of that Gospel, as well as the entire Gospel of John, are thoroughly examined over the course of the lessons. The second volume contains a key to these exercises, as well as helpful paradigms and indices. This enables the student to see how morphological forms and vocabulary words fit into the language as a whole.
...by far the most comprehensive introductory volumes that I have ever read.
—Stanley E. Porter, Greek scholar
James Swetnam, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is Professor Emeritus at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he has been stationed since 1962 as teacher, administrator, editor, and writer. He holds degrees in classical languages, philosophy, theology, and Scripture. His area of specialization is the Epistle to the Hebrews.