Memorising Vocabulary

David and Glennis Cashmore (
Sat, 31 Aug 1996 15:40:39 +1200

How much vocabulary should one memorise?

Bill Mounce comments in his textbook (p325) that it is debatable whether it
is worth learning words that appear more than 50 times in the NT. However,
other textbooks go down to a lower level (e.g. Wenham - 30 words or more).

My current approach is to learn words occurring 20 times or more. In the
passages I am studying (Mark and 1Cor for a BD paper) I learn the
additional words in the context of the passage. i.e. the passages become
so familiar that I know what the words are. Many, I could not recognise
outside the context of the passages(!)

I would like to continue learning more vocabulary and have more or less
decided to keep learning words down to 10 times or more in the NT. I am
using Bill Mounce's FlashWorks to do this along with some additional MS
Access Queries to get at his database and produce vocab lists (it would be
nice if FlashWorks did this, but that is another story).

Has anyone any comments?
How many words do you learn?
What is the best way to learn them?

Key stats are as follows:

Times occurring in NT Number of words to memorise
>= 50 325
>= 40 393
>= 30 480
>= 20 650
>= 15 828
>= 10 1152

regards David

PS If I was content to use Zerwick alongside my Greek NT I could get away
with only learning words occurring 60 times or more. However, Melbourne
won't let me take Zerwick into an exam :-)

David and Glennis Cashmore
110 Mark Avenue
Grenada Village
Phone: 64-4-478-1841
Fax: 64-4-472-1677