Copy of message sent earlier on Lexicons

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 18:46:14 EDT

From: LUCY::EHOBBS "Edward Hobbs" 13-AUG-1997 14:59:30.69
To: IN%""
Subj: RE: Lexicon

Burton Rozema asks:

<<<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 will make the same recommendation that I have made again and again on
this List: ABOVE ALL OTHER STUDENTS, first-year students need to use (and
preferably to own) Bauer's Lexicon (and let's call it Bauer's lexicon--
Arndt and Gingrich were only translators; we do not say "Crime and
Punishment" by Constance Garnett!).

Burton Rozema is right about the Newman "Lexicon" bound with the UBS GNT.
Not only is it "too brief and narrow," it isn't even a lexicon, but
a list of how many translators translate this word.

>From the beginning, students need to know that Greek words are not coded
forms of English words, that they cover differently-shaped "domains," and
that reading the Greek New Testament yields far more than ANY translation
(or set of glosses, a la Newman's dictionary). If using Bauer's Lexicon is
taught as an "advanced" issue in Greek, most students will either never
learn to use it, or will always use it improperly (i.e., by looking in it
for a translation in this passage).

My own priorities for purchase by new students in Greek is:
        (1) Buy UBS or NA Greek New Testament.
        (2) Buy Bauer's Lexicon (translated, sometimes mistranslated, by
                Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker).
--And only then,
        (3) Buy the textbook the teacher is using.
        (4) Asd soon as one can afford it, get a complete concordance to
                the GNT -- Aland if one can afford it,
                Moulton-Geden if one can't afford Aland.

        The short Gingrich dictionary is not of much use, and it is
hideously expensive for what it contains.

        The old Abbott-Smith is a really good, even if somewhat outdated,
lexicon; but at $35 (T&T Clark), why not spend a little more and buy Bauer?

Edward Hobbs
(teaching Greek for exactly 50 years now)

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