Word Study Tools

In response to my Hot List for Pastor's post, mwh wrote: 'Oh let not my lord be angry, and I will speak again but this once.' Do you want to add five word study tools (by which you qualified your statement to begin with)? Just curious."

Here's my reply:

Well, I will - but I may show my ignorance here. What I use is pretty simple:

1. A Greek Testament. I have the United Bible Societies text, 4th edition.

2. A Greek Concordance. Mine is in the Online Bible program. The only problem is that its keyed to the TR (Textus Receptus) instead of the UBS4. But with a little cross-checking with good commentaries and/or the UBS4, it works fine. I use this just to locate where Greek words are used in the NT.

3. A Greek Lexicon. Of course the standard is BDAG. I don't have it, b/c I've never wanted to plunk down the money. Again, I use the one on Online Bible. I'm wary of citing it for authoritative definitions, but it seems fairly accurate in giving the basic lexical meaning of the word. Some day, I'll get the BDAG.

4. Some kind of parsing guide. I again use what's available in my software. It's not very sophisticated, but I don't know Greek well enough for much more info than it gives me. If I want to make a point out of a case, mood or tense, I usually check it with (1) a Greek Grammar (I've got two, a basic text and an advanced text), (2) a good commentary, or (3) someone who knows Greek better than I do. I try not to go out on limbs with Greek (especially after reading Exegetical Fallacies!!)

5. A Theological Dictionary. I don't use this often, but I do have the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT, edited by Kittel). I think most contemporary scholars have concluded that its not always reliable, but I have it for occasional reference.


Brian G. Hedges said...

Well, don't be discouraged, brother! I used a Strongs for many years before I learned how to use some of these other tools!

One I forgot to mention, that is kind of a good one-stop book is Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study New (and Old) Testament. It is keyed to strongs, has a Greek concordance (though not complete), a Lexicon, and a parsing guide. Before I discovered help in computer programs, this was my first choice. However, it is also based on the TR, not the USB4 (or Nestle-Aland, the other critical text).

mwh said...

Thanks, Brian!

mwh said...

I've haven't used Online Bible for a while; I've found e-Sword to be more user friendly (better GUI, etc...). To my chagrin, you have to pay for the NASB module, but like good marketers Crossway has the ESV for free. I've found that e-Sword is slicker at exporting verses (for Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, etc...), and if you are an ESV man anyway...

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Brian, I haven't visited your site in a while, but have appreciated what I've read here, as I do every time I have a browse.
I appreciated your review of Bridges, your explanation of your review system and the sensible stuff about debt.

Concerning Randy Alcorn, I like what he says on giving and money, too, but have taken on board comments by Ardel Caneday and others about his writings about rewards and heaven.

It would be great if you could talk your church into assisting you to purchase a decent software program such as BibleWorks, making sure it includes BDAG and HALOT. You will get stacks of other great reference works thrown for free, too.

This would be a great investment for anyone inclined to help you have it.