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Word Studies


'I'm interested in people and they don't care about Greek & Hebrew words. ... Moulton & Geden, Concordance to the Greek Testament or the Computer concordance ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Word Studies

Word Studies
Word Studies OT
  • With so many linguistic helps available, why
    should anyone spend time learning to do Greek and
    Hebrew word studies?
  • Why cant we just read up on this word in
    Kittel? Because Kittel (TDNT) does not
    discuss this word.
  • Im interested in people and they dont care
    about Greek Hebrew words.
  • Thats where you come in. Its your
    responsibility to make the Bible come alive, and
    word studies are one way of doing this.

Word Studies OT
  • Hebrew Word Studies
  • Etymologytracing historically the origin and
    development of a word.
  • Usageanalyzing the occurrences of the word in a
    given body of literature (e.g., the OT) and
    seeking to lay bare the categories of meaning.
  • Verificationchecking findings against reference
    materials produced by specialists in the field.
    (Verification is important even with the finest
    of resourcese.g., almah.

Word Studies OT
  • Hebrew Word Studies
  • In a Hebrew word study, is important to
  • Focus on the root form of the word.
  • Then to consider the usage in the Semitic family
    of languages of which Hebrew is a part.
  • Broadly speaking, the Semitic family tree may be
    dived into East Semitic, South Semitic and North

East Semitic
South Semitic
North Semitic
Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • The etymology of a given word not only considers
    the derivation and history of that word but also
    its meaning in the cognate Semitic languages.
  • To properly trace the historic development of a
    given Hebrew term, you should have access to the
    Gesenius Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old
    Testament, edited by F. Brown, S. R. Driver and
    C. A. Briggs, and

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • The Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti libros, by L.
    H. Koehler and W. Baumgartner.
  • and, if possible, its revision, the Hebrew and
    Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament.

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • Three other works are important
  • Konkordanz zum hebraischen Alten Testament, by G.
  • Veteris testamenti concordantiae Habraicae atque
    Chaldaicae, by S. Mandelkern
  • Concordance to the Septuagint, by E. Hatch and H.
    A. Redpath

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • In a study of the word dabar (BDB, p. 180), you
    will see that the editors have gone to
    considerable lengths to provide the equivalent
    meaning of a given Hebrew word in related semitic
  • Building on what they have supplied, you can
    write down their dictionary definition of the

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • This should then be compared with the
    definition(s) given in Koehler and Baumgartners
  • Differences of meaning should be noted and
    reflection given as to the possible reasons for
    these changes.
  • In tracing the possible common origin of a word,
    the lowest common denominator (or common idea
    behind the historic development and meaning) of
    the word should be sought.

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • Caution needs to be exercised to prevent the
    inexperienced researcher from too readily
    adopting opinions based upon inadequate data.

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • With dabar as an illustration, we find at the
    beginning of the discussion there is a listing of
    the meanings of this word in Arabic (Ar.),
    Aramaic (Aram.), and Alexandrine manuscript of
    the Septuagint (A), Assyrian (As.), and Syriac
    (Syr.), et cetera.

BDB p. 180
Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • Because Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) has been
    discovered in more recent times, the important
    contribution of Ugaritic studies to the OT
    literature will not be found in BDB and will have
    to be obtained from others sources (e.g., Cyrus
    Gordons Ugaritic Textbook.

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • With some idea of the meaning, it will now be of
    value to
  • Take note of the derived terms which may
    illustrate the basic idea.
  • The occasions when the word is used.
  • The people involved.
  • The synonyms, antonyms or homonyms employed in
    different forms of Hebrew parallelism.
  • The situations giving rise to its usage.

Word Studies OT
  • Etymology
  • Then, having examined as thoroughly as possible
    the dictionary definition of the word and its
    meaning in cognate Semitic languages, it is
    appropriate to consider in depth and detail its
    usage in the canonical Scriptures of the OT.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • The usage of a term is of the utmost importance
    in determining its meaning.
  • To survey its usage, you will need to use one or
    more concordances.
  • Students lacking a knowledge of Hebrew that
    permits them to use the more technical reference
    works will find Strongs concordance especially
    if the number listed against each entry is
    checked with the brief definition in the index at
    the back.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Likewise, many have found Youngs Analytical
    Concordance to be of great value.
  • However, because a study of a word must be
    undertaken in accordance with its root, it may be
    necessary to resort to the Englishmans Hebrew
    and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Indispensable tools for the student with a
    knowledge of Hebrew include
  • Lisowskys Konkordanz zum hebraischen Alten
    Testament, with the meaning of each word given in
    Latin, German and English.
  • The value of the work lies in its listing of
    every Scripture verse in which a particular
    Hebrew word is found.
  • Mandelkerns Veteris testamenti concordantiae
    Habraicae atque Chaldaicae.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Indispensable tools for the student with a
    knowledge of Hebrew include
  • Mandlekern lists each distinct form separately
    and provides the researcher with references for
    each root of a word and for the Greek of the
  • Hatch and Redpaths Concordance to the
    Septuagint, a work that makes available parallel
    references to the Greek text of the LXX.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • The procedure to be followed is to
  • Look up each occurrence of the word
  • Evaluate its usage in the light of the context
  • And decide on its precise meaning.
  • When this has been done, the different usages may
    be grouped together into semantic categories for
    further study.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • For e.g., the verb bahan is found to mean to
    examine, to try, to prove.
  • Its derivatives include testing, watchtower,
    siege towers and assayer.
  • The occurrence of bahan is chiefly in Job, Psalms
    and Jeremiah (though not confined to these).

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • In addition, it occurs in parallelism with nasa
    (to put to the test, to tempt) and sarap (to
    smelt, to refine).
  • What then is its basic meaning?
  • It would seem to denote examination with a view
    to determining the essential qualities or
    integrity of a person, a group of people, a place
    or a thing.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • On closer examination, the usage bahan generally
    has God as the Subject, whereas nasa almost
    always has man as the subject and sarap is used
    exclusively in a religious sense with God as the
    Subject and man as the object.
  • Three of the references to bahan reverse the
    general order and have God as the One being
    tested (Ps. 959 Malachi 310,15) by the
    attitude and conduct of His people.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • A further observation of the usage of bahan is
    that nasa and sarap seem to denote the attainment
    of knowledge through testing, whereas bahan seems
    to point to the acquisition of knowledge through
    learning or intuition.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Similar studies may be done of key Hebrew words
    like hesed, lovingkindness qadosh, holy
    tselem image tsedeq righteousness gibbor
    man or woman of valor, mighty warrior, and
    many others.
  • Each word will have fascination all its own and
    the insights derived will lend themselves to
    homiletic sub-division, sermonic illustration,
    and practical application.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Of further interest is the comparison of the
    Hebrew text with the OT in Greek (LXX).
  • Hatch and Redpaths Concordance to the Septuagint
    will be needed for this.
  • In this connection it is interest to compare the
    Greek translation of Isaiah 714 with the Hebrew
  • The focus is on almah, young woman.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Some lexicographers say that if Isaiah had
    intended us to us to understand virgin he would
    have used the term bethulah.
  • Most lexicons agree are they correct?
  • Questions How did Ahaz, and the Hebrews of the
    time of Isaiah, and the Jews of Jesus day,
    understand Isaiahs prophecy?

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • And how did the Jews who translated their own
    Scriptures into Greek understand the usage of
    almah in this passage?
  • Interestingly, the Greek text of Rahlfs
    Septuaginta id est, Vetus Testamentum graece
    iuxta LXX interpretes (2 vols. 3rd ed. 1965)
    uses the word parthenos as the Hellenistic
    equivalent of almah, and parthenos unequivocally
    means virgin.

Word Studies OT
  • Usage
  • Further corroboration of this comes from another
    Jew named Levi (Matthew).
  • When quoting Isaiahs prophecy he used parthenos
    to describe Christs miraculous conception by
    Mary (Mt. 123).
  • Reference to the LXX provides many such sidelight
    on the terms employed by the writers of Scripture.

Word Studies OT
  • Verification
  • Because the most valuable lexicons may, on
    occasion, be misleading, you will need to verify
    your findings.
  • In doing so, reference may be made to a variety
    of source materials alluded to in earlier
  • These include commentaries like the NICOT and the
    NICNT, and exegetical works like the
    International Critical Commentary.

Word Studies OT
  • Verification
  • The ICC, while not conservative, may prove
    helpful to the researcher in either broadening
    his/her perspective on the usage of a word or
    providing insights into the way the meanings of a
    word may be analyzed.
  • By regularly evaluating the material in lexicons
    as well as TDOT and TWOT, you will be able to
    verify the results of your own research.

Word Studies OT
  • Verification
  • This will be evidence by
  • The assurance you bring to your exposition of the
  • The interest that you are able to generate in the
    study of the OT,
  • And the way in which seemingly irrelevant issues
    suddenly take on contemporary significance.

Word Studies NT
  • A preacher cannot minister effectively without
    having an in-depth understanding of the meaning
    of words and terms used in the Bible.
  • A study of specific words used in the NT may be
    expected to do the following for us
  • Aid in providing an enriched perspective and an
    in-depth understanding of the theological and
    practical importance of the word in question.

Word Studies NT
  • A study of specific words used in the NT may be
    expected to do the following for us
  • Serve as a check on the lexical aids that we all
    must use.
  • Reveal to us the many-faceted riches of Gods
  • Word studies do not take the place of exegesis,
    but are basic and fundamental to an accurate
    interpretation of the text.

Word Studies NT
  • Exegesis involves the comparison of different
    documents, grammar, syntax, the theological
    background of each writer, the occasion of the
    book, its purpose, the context of the passage,
    and the characteristics of the writer.
  • The procedure for doing a NT word study is
    essentially the same as for the OT, only the
    resource tools are different.

Word Studies NT
  • For e.g., a word study should be based upon the
    historical development of the usage of the word.
  • this involves an awareness of the phases in the
    development of the Greek language.
  • Two distinct phases are of particular interest
    classical and Koine (or common Greek, with the
    latter embracing the translating of the OT into
    Gk, the writing of the NT, and the sermons and
    books written during the post-Apostolic age.

Word Studies NT
  • Also, a word study should be inductive.
  • Researcher must determine all possible meanings
    of the word being studied.
  • Then, categorize their meaning in accordance with
    the time period and the situation that gave rise
    to its use.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • The word must be studied in accordance with its
    root form only then can it be studied
  • Study of root forms is complex is complicated by
    the inclusion of prefixes, suffixes, and infixes.
  • There is always the danger that inexperienced
    researchers will take the root form of a word and
    its meaning as the only meaning.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • The true meaning of a word can only be found in
    its usage. (Get help from F. Blass and A.
    Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament
    and J. H. Moulton and W. F. Howard, The Grammar
    of New Testament Greek (esp. vol. 2, pp. 267-410).

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • Once the root has been ascertained, the process
    of tracing the usage of a word through the
    historical stages of its development can begin.
  • Use
  • Liddell/Scott, Greek-English Lexicon for the
    classical period (note references to Loeb
    Classical Library).

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • Use
  • Hatch Redpath, Concordance to the Septuagint of
    the Old Testament in Greek.
  • Moulton Geden, Concordance to the Greek
    Testament or the Computer concordance to the
    Novum Testamentum Craece/Computer-konkordanz zum
    Novum testamentum Graece for word usage in the NT.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • Use
  • Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the Greek
    Testament for the use of Koine words used in the
  • Lampes Patristic Greek Lexicon for illustrations
    of the meaning attached to words after the period
    of the Apostles.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • Why is it necessary to trace the meaning of a
    word through the different stages of history?
  • Over time words change in meaning a historical
    approach alerts us to these changes.
  • E.g., in NT eritheia is the word for strife or
    selfish ambition.
  • This was not always its meaning.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • Its original meaning degenerated so that in each
    of 7 occurrences in the NT it is used of
    contention or abuse of ambition.
  • Eritheia originally came from the root eris
    meaning day laborer and meant labor, or more
    directly, labor for wages.
  • It involved doing a days work for a days wages.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Etymology
  • The change in meaning seems to stem from the
    motives of the laborers.
  • Emphasis no longer placed on honest labor.
  • This led to disputes between an employer and a
    united band of employees.
  • Eventually it came to be applied to one who would
    exploit a situation (by causing strife) for his
    own advantage.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Context
  • A word must be studied inductively in its varying
    contexts before its nuances or meaning during a
    particular period of time, or use by a specific
    author, can be determined.
  • In other words, induction must precede deduction.
  • Barber does injustice to context while arguing
    for context, pp. 97-8.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Verification
  • Sometimes even the finest of lexicons can be
    misleading, it is wise to verify the results of
    research by consulting several sources (e.g.,
    Kittels TDNT or Browns NIDNTT), as well as the
    best of commentaries.
  • By evaluating the critical data contained in
    these reference works, or the comments by the
    author of a technical commentary, you will be
    able to verify your own research.

Word Studies NT
  • Greek Word Studies
  • Verification
  • Only by following the process described above
    will one be able to modify and advance the work
    of those who have gone before.

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