Misuse of Strong's?

From: Theodore H. Mann (thmann@juno.com)
Date: Sat Feb 28 1998 - 20:09:59 EST

        I have many friends and acquaintances who do the following: They
come across a term that interests them in their favorite English
translation, locate that term in Strong's Hebrew or Greek lexicon/s,
notice several other possible translations of the term, and replace the
word in their translation with a synonym from Strong's that better
supports their theological position, or that they think provides an
insight of greater depth. Am I in error when I tell them that "that
ain't the way it works"? I tell them that although a given Hebrew or
Greek term may often be translated in a variety of ways, the exact
translation in any given instance depends on a variety of
factors--grammatical, syntactical, contextual, etc. Is my response
responsible? (If not, I will have to contact quite a number of people
and explain that I have misled them. Not that it matters too much, since
I haven't noticed my friends and acquaintances changing their habits
appreciably as the result of my "instruction.")
Best regards to all,

Dr. Theodore "Ted" H. Mann
Orchard Lake, Michigan

Note to Fellow Beginning Greekers: There is a wonderful book (in my
opinion) available, with which you may or may not already be familiar.
It is by D.A. Carson, and is entitled "Exegetical Fallacies." (Baker) It
focuses on many of the all-too-common errors made by preachers, writers,
and most of the rest of us non-scholars, in our amateur (amateurish?)
attempts to "handle" biblical Greek. I picked it up as the result of
someone else mentioning it on the list, and I would like to recommend it
to you.

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