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This page provides a review of a reference work that was consulted while working on the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT). To purchase a copy of the third edition, click here.

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

By Walter Bauer (Author), Frederick William Danker (Editor)

Very worthwhile

I purchased the second edition of this volume when I was studying Greek at Denver Seminary, back in 1989 as it was highly recommend by my Greek professor. And I used it quite a bit during seminary and even after that in my personal Bible studies.

When I began work on my Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT), I got the BibleWorks software program. That program has several lexicons that come standard with it, and it is a lot easier to use those lexicons than to look up words in this volume. But even with that program, with wanting to be exact as possible in my translations, I would still check Baur on occasion as it contains information that is not found in BibleWorks. Most especially, this volume indicates how words were used in extra-biblical literature. And this info can be a great help in getting an idea of how a particular word was used at the time the NT was written.

For instance, I depended on information in Baur to decide how to translate the plural of adelphos. Most lexicons give definitions like “brother, fellow Christian, fellow believer” (Friberg on BibleWorks). But Baur’s lexicon indicates “The plural can also mean brothers and sisters” (p.16). It then gives specific examples of this usage in extra-biblical literature.

This concurs with what I was taught at seminary that adelphoi was used to refer to a group of only men and to a group of both men and women. So I decided that the best way to render this word was to use “brothers [and sisters].” This rendering indicates the term definitely includes men but might also include women (e.g., Rom 1:13).

So this lexicon can be very helpful in pinning down the exact usage of words. But it is very expensive, and I see it is now available as an add-on for BibleWorks. Given the expense of the new third edition and of the BibleWorks add-on, since I already own the second edition, I won’t be getting either of these. But if you don’t own a previous version and intend to do in-depth Greek word studies, then either this hardcopy version or the BibleWorks add-on would be worthwhile.

Review of Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Copyright (c) 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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