Re: BAGD (was Re: PRWTH in Lk2:2)

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 07 1995 - 06:46:04 EDT

At 10:20 PM 9/6/95, Stephen Carlson wrote:
>I agree with what Kenneth Litwak wrote, and although he does not accuse
>me of those abuses he identified, I feel I must clarify the situation
>lest others draw such an inference.
>First off, Ken's point about the necessity to take such reference works
>as BAGD critically is very important and I agree with it.

The note that Stephen cited is interesting. I would add that, however
valuable LSJ may be, one should not take IT as "gospel" either. I remember
vividly a grad school experience in which a young Brit teaching a Greek
composition class raked us beginning grad students over the coals with the
words, "You Americans have a dangerous readiness to accept at face value
anything that you see in print, and particularly in a reference work." We
always hope that our reference works are not misleading us, but as Stephen
and Ken have noted, they can offer us, so far as word-meanings are
concerned, informed opinions at best, but opinions nonetheless. I'm
certainly looking forward to the new edition of BAGD which, we've been
informed by Edgar Krentz, was delivered by Fred Danker some time ago and is
now in the press at Chicago; it should certainly be better than the last
edition, but its authority will still have a relativity. I've found one of
the nicer features of it in the past to be bibliographic references to
discussions of usage of controversial words (or I should say, of words in
controversial passages).

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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