Word study suggestion

From: Randy LEEDY (Rleedy@bju.edu)
Date: Mon Nov 09 1998 - 14:34:59 EST

As I've been working through word-study projects with my students this
semester, a thought occurred to me that seems very helpful. I thought
I'd share it with the list and see what kind of feedback it gets, if

I used to try to drill into my students' heads that the objective of a
word study is to discover a word's MEANING, not necessarily what the
Bible teaches ABOUT the idea(s) the word represents, this latter
endeavor being more properly termed theology than lexicography. My new
idea (new to me, at least) is that instead of getting my students to
fill in the blank after the expression "This word MEANS ________," to
get them to fill in the blank after "This is the word one uses WHEN
TALKING ABOUT _________." This model reflects more clearly the fact
that words do not have meanings as inherent properties but rather that
we associate ideas with words as a matter of linguistic convention.
Further, it draws attention to context rather than the word itself as
the basis on which we discern meaning.

Any confirmation, amplification, or correction of the validity and
helpfulness of this formulation?

In love to God and neighbor,
Randy Leedy
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC

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