Re: Cremer

From: Phillip J. Long (
Date: Mon Oct 26 1998 - 09:05:16 EST

On Sat, 24 Oct 1998 16:14:30 -0400 (EDT), you wrote:

>"Silva's criticism (and others, for that matter) of this type of study
>is that there is more to a biblical concept that a single word. For
>example, "to sin" is a biblical concept that cannot be confined to a
>single Greek word."

This summary is found on page 27 of Silva's book, concluded a section
dealing with the dangers of a lexical approach to theology (25-27.)

>But this is a gross misreading of the Kittel project. It was planned as a
>study of "Begriffe" in the NT. (Beware of an etymological translation of
>"Woerterbuch"!) Anyone who has used this remarkable tool in any depth is
>thankfully aware of this fact. A couple of examples at random:

In fairness to Silva, Kittel, Edward Hobbs, or anyone else that is
offended at the above summary, Silva restrains his criticism on page
30, note 52. He says there:

"This unfair caricature is meant only to stress the dangers in the
format and ion the (indirect) claims of TDNT: I certainly do not wish
to denigrate the content of the articles, most of which are, as no one
would care to deny, quite indispensable."

I would quite agree with this assessment, I use Kittel regularly,
there is a great mass of information there that is useful. It sits on
my shelf along with the it's OT sister (TDOT) along with Colin Brown
and the NIDOTTE, all of which are essential lexical sources. The tool
can be used well, or it can be used inproperlly in exegesis (usually
from a pulpit!)

>We might keep in mind that even a "semantic domain" approach, which
>gave us Louw & Nida's lexicon, does not mean that it replaces the older
>approach of Bauer; they simply do different things.

Can anyone hope to produce a lexicon that is free from criticism? I
doubt it.

I think that the original thread was about the usefulness of Cremer's
work, I simply was commenting on the *type* of lexicon which describes
Cremer, TDNT, NIDNTT, etc. There are strengths and weaknesses, as
there are with any tool. I *think* that Silva is arguing for the
appropriate use of these types of lexical aids, rather than a complete
reliance on them.

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