Re: Lexicon

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 14:59:46 EDT

At 01:03 PM 8/13/97 -0500, Burton J. Rozema wrote:
>Can anyone recommend a lexicon for NT Greek for use with students in the
>first year or two? I hesitate to have them buy Arndt and Gingrich (too
>much at this stage and too expensive), and the lexicon in the back of the
>UBS text is just too brief and "narrow" for my tastes. By "narrow" I
>mean it often gives only one meaning, which discourages students
>from picking up all the nuances, and gives them no practice in using a
>serious lexicon.
>I have used Gingrich's abridged, which at this point is my only
>alternative, unless someone has a better suggestion.

I like Louw and Nida, which is really fairly easy to use, especially since
it gives real definitions. Of course, it is only easy to use if you start by
looking things up in volume 2, then go to volume 1. A lot of people miss
that fact, and find it very daunting.

Here's the blurb I wrote for Louw and Nida on The Little Greek Home Page at

A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament based on semantic domains,
Johannes P. Louw and Eugene A. Nida. New York, NY, United Bible Societies,
1988. ISBN:0-82670-3402.

This is the easiest lexicon to use for general translation work, and the
fastest one to look things up in. Most lexicons try to give you a feeling
for the different kinds of meanings that a word might have, then point you
to examples which illustrate each meaning. To really understand them, you
have to digest the examples carefully. This lexicon gives fewer examples and
more complete definitions, which makes it much easier to grasp the meaning
quickly. It also lets you look up words in English and translate them into
Greek, which can be useful for exercises that require you to write Greek.

To use this lexicon, always start with the second volume and look up the
word in the alphabetical list. If you don't, you will never figure out how
to use it.

The cheapest place to buy it is the American Bible Society (1-800-322-4253).


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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