Re: Thayers Lexicon

From: Edward Hobbs (
Date: Thu Aug 28 1997 - 16:52:25 EDT

Mike Ferrando asks:

>I have heard on a number of occasions that
>Thayers is an outdated lexicon.
>However, I have never seen anything specific,
>such as articles concerning this.
>Would you have anything along that line to recommend?

I'm not aware of any articles detailing the inadequacies of Thayer's
lexicon, just as I don't know of articles that exp;lain why a copy of the
original Liddell-Scott (same vintage, well opver a century ago) is not

But the reason is simple. Almost our entire knowledge of the Koine
dialect has emerged since Thayer was published. The papyri finds in Egypt
revolutionized our knowledge both of word-meanings and word-usage, AND of
grammar. It is instructive to read the several prefaces and introductions
to the successive volumes of Moulton's grammar. And a quick look into
Moulton and Milligan's lexicon will show why Thayer simply is an antique.

Both the grammar and the lexicography of Koine Greek have made enormous,
almost unbelievable strides in the last century. Why drive a horse and
buggy when a modern automobile is available? Especially if the horse has
a terminal illness?

Edward Hobbs

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