The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming

HuffmanThis little book’s title sums it up:

Douglas S. Huffman. The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012. 112 pp.

This 13-page PDF excerpt includes the table of contents.

Part 3 (pp. 83-106) is by far the most helpful section of the book.

Outline of part 3:

  1. Diagramming: A Brief Introduction
    1. Technical Diagramming
    2. Phrase Diagramming
    3. Semantic Diagramming
    4. Arcing
  2. The Basics of Phrase Diagramming
    1. Motive
    2. Goal
    3. Focus
    4. Principles
    5. Flexibility
  3. Step-by-Step Phrase Diagramming
    1. Establish the Limits of the Paragraph
    2. Divide the Sentences into Their Natural Phrases
    3. Identify the Main Clauses of the Paragraph
    4. Indent the Subordinate Phrases and Clauses
    5. Draw Arrows from Each Subordinate Phrase
    6. Add Semantic Labels
    7. Mimic the Greek Diagram with the English Text
    8. Craft a Sermon/Lesson Outline from the Diagram
  4. Special & Problem Issues
    1. Word Wrap-Around
    2. Embedded Phrases
    3. Parallelism and Chiasm
    4. Didactic vs. Narrative Passages

Related: The Best Part about Knowing the Biblical Languages


  1. Eric Price says

    Out of curiosity, do many college/seminary Greek classes teach sentence diagramming? I am a Bible college student, and I have taken 22 credits of Greek. I have never been taught how to do sentence diagramming, and two different Greek professors have said that they do not teach it because they do not find it helpful. Yet I have seen it in several books on hermeneutics and exegesis. Am I missing out on something important?

    • says

      Hi, Eric.

      I’m not sure about how many schools teach what. But I’m curious to know (it’d probably take a survey of some sort to find out).

      I don’t find sentence diagramming to be all that helpful either. But I find syntactical displays to be immensely valuable.

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