The second half of the nineteenth century and into the beginning of the twentieth century was one of the most fertile periods for the study of New Testament Greek. Georg Benedik Winer's A Treatise on the Grammar of New Testament Greekset standard reference grammar for the day, but there was a distinct lacuna between introductory texts and the advanced reference work of Winer. Alexander Buttmann, the son of an accomplished classical grammarian, helped fill the need with his A Grammar of the New Testament Greek. As in intermediate grammar, Buttmann's work can be seen as paralleling the contemporary efforts of scholars such as Richard A. Young, Daniel B. Wallace, and Stanley E. Porter.
The translation of Buttmann's grammar by Joseph Thayer is the authorized English edition of Buttmann's grammar. Thayer expanded several sections in the English edition in order to provide additional clarity for English students who would not have access to the German-only resources referred to in the original German edition. He also rigorously checked the indexes and references for accuracy, added a comprehensive index to the Septuagint and numerous notes to the grammatical discussions of other grammars for quick reference.
Buttmann’s Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachgebrauchs had appeared in 1859 and was translated by Thayer as Buttmann’s Grammar of N. T. Greek (1873), an able work.
—A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research
[Alexander Buttmann's Grammar] is confessedly the most important treatise on the subject which has appeared since Winer's.
—Joseph Thayer, "Translator's Preface"
He has thus expended a vast amount of labor and care upon the present work, and deserves the hearty thanks of inquirers into the meaning of the New Testament writings.
—Bibliotheca SacraVolume 31, 1873
Alexander Buttmann was the youngest son of the grammarian and linguist, Philip Buttmann, whose Greek grammar went through nineteen editions over the course of several decades, remaining a preeminent standard for close to a century. Alexander Buttmann studied at the universities in Berlin and Bonn, was taught at the gymnasium at Potsdam where he attained the position of Professor in 1854. His father's grammatical works were placed in his care at the time of Philip Buttmann's death. He edited the following eight editions of his father's grammar as the study of Ancient Greek continued to progress. Yet even with all this effort, it was Alexander Buttmann's A Grammar of the New Testament Greek that defined his career.