Web Resources for Studying the GNT

Lexicons

Liddell & Scott (LSJ)

A lexicon is a dictionary. For reasons that are lost in the murk of history, dictionaries of ancient Greek and Latin words are called "lexicons" rather than "dictionaries."

The primo, be-all-and-end-all Greek lexicons is called, after its authors, Liddell & Scott, or sometimes Liddell, Scott, Jones. It is abbreviated as LSJ.

There is a similarly massive lexicon devoted specifically to the New Testament and early Christian writings, called Bauer, but the current edition of this work is not freely available on the web. I have a hard copy edition of Bauer, but frankly, I seldom use it. Being able to access LSJ on the web, as well as Thayer, Nida and other lexicons is so convenient that I never take the time to go to Bauer.

Henry George Liddell (death 1898) and Robert Scott (death 1887) were professors at Oxford University who collaborated in the compilation of a lexicon that sought to include EVERY word used in EVERY ancient Greek document - including, of course, the New Testament. They didn't just say "these are the various ways this word may be defined." They included examples of every definition they included, with references to Greek authors from Homer onward.

The advantage of this kind of exhaustive approach to words is that you get a feel for the whole family of meanings and nuances that comprised the linguistic background of the vocabulary used by the New Testament writers.

Having said this, you do want to beware of the "etymological fallacy." Watch this video to learn more.

The work was revised during the first third of the 20th century by Stuart Jones.  His work was published as the 9th edition, and his last name got permanently connected with it.  "Jones" is the "J" in the "LSJ" abbreviation.  From this point on, however, editors would toil away in relative anonymity.  It is currently in its 19th edition, but is still simply called "Liddell & Scott" or "LSJ".

Two different condensed editions of the LSJ have been released. The first, most highly condensed, version is often called the Little Liddell. When this edition proved to be a little TOO abbreviated, a somewhat larger edition was released. It is often called the Middle Liddell.

Sometimes the full LSJ is referred to as the Great Scott.

In both the Middle Liddell and the full LSJ, you will find a ton of abbreviations which refer to various ancient literary works. You can get a key to the abbreviations by clicking here.

Accessing LSJ

It is easy to access the Westcott & Hort edition of the GNT as well as LSJ by clicking on WH/LSJ at the bottom of the page of any of the verses that are dealt with in detail at this web site.

Once you see the verse in the WH edition, click on any word to drill down to either the full LSJ or the Middle Liddell.

You may see a reference to Autenrieth, but I recommend that you leave this alone. It is a specialty lexicon that deals with the vocabulary found in Homer. Since Homer's Greek dialect is some seven or eight hundred years earlier than what we find in the NT, the Autenrieth lexicon is of limited value to us.
 

Latin Lingo in LSJ

LSJ uses a ton of Latin abbreviations. This web page may help you with some of them.

 


Louw-Nida Lexicon

This is an interesting lexicon that has two uses:

     - to look at words with similar meanings, to help sort out the distinctions;
     - to do a reverse lookup.  Enter an English word, and see all the Greek words that may be used to translate that word.

Oh yes...and where it says to look for Greek words that have a given English word in the gloss, the word "gloss" is a linguist's term for "word definition.
 

GreekLexicon.org

www.GreekLexicon.org is a terrific, concise lexicon that is very flexible in how you look up a word.

If you happen to be accessing a Greek verse through an application on your phone, and you can know the Strong's Number for a given word, but can't type Greek text on your phone, GreekLexicon.org will let you look up a word by entering the Strong's Number.

While the LSJ is a convenient lexicon if you want to look up a verse and then drill down into it, if you just want to look up a word, you can't enter that word in the Greek alphabet. You have to use something called "betacode" which I have never used enough to remember. With GreekLexicon.org, you can copy a word from your web browser, for instance, and paste it directly into the search field.

LaParola.net and the TDNT

www.LaParola.net/Greco is a helpful resource that comes and goes. Sometimes the lexicon works great, and other days it is broken.

"La Parola" is Italian for "the Word". This site is run by an Australian missionary to Italy who moved there in the early 90s to work with the Italian member movement of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, called the GBU - Gruppi Biblici Universitari.

After leaving IFES staff, he remained in Italy, married an Italian, has been involved with church planting, and is the programmer for an Italian language Bible study software package. He maintains this web site as an extra support for Kingdom people.

Enter a reference to see a verse, then double click on a word in that verse. On good days, you will see a wealth of information about that word, including every grammatical form of the word that occurs in the NT, and a reference to the volume number and page from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), if there happens to be a TDNT reference for that word.

Although the TDNT is unavailable on the web, as of January 14, 2015, I can get a brand new hard copy of the full twelve volume set for only $207 CDN at Amazon.ca. This works out to less than $20 per volume...a fabulous bargain for those who enjoy digging deeper into word studies.

I would not recommend buying a copy of the TDNT if you are just 3 weeks into an Introductory NT Greek course...but if you stay the course for one or two semesters and are still interested, then this could make a terrific Christmas gift suggestion to mention to your loved ones when they say "What would you like for Christmas?"


Interlinear Bibles

While you are still early in your Greek studies, interlinear Bibles can be very helpful to you. There are two kinds for you to be aware of:

     - Traditional Interlinear

     - Reverse Interlinear

The numbers you run into in both of these interlinear Bibles are from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Though published in 1890, it included something that made it fit very well with the computer age: every single Greek and Hebrew word used in the Bible was assigned a unique number.

So early on in the computer era - before the widespread adoptance of Unicode fonts, which made it possible for everybody to see foreign language fonts properly displayed on their monitors - people built lexicons for Greek and Hebrew that were indexed by their "Strong's Number".

Even though Unicode fonts have now become standard on every new PC, the use of Strong's Numbers makes it possible for people to look up word definitions even when they can't read the text of the words in Greek or Hebrew script.

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