Using BDAG as You’ve Never Used It Before

My friend and colleague Johnny recently came up with some pretty cool tricks for using BDAG to help when reading the Apostolic Fathers in Greek.
The trick is pretty simple, but is involved to explain. So I made a video.

Think about other applications of this same technique:

  • Maybe you’re interested in where BDAG has cited a particular section of BDF? You could use this same trick. As an example, BDF §260 has to do with how the article is used with personal names. Want to know where BDAG cites or points to this section? Search BDAG for “bdf in 260”.
  • Maybe you want to see where BDF has referenced Ignatius to Polycarp. You can do the same search the video demonstrates, only do it in BDF: “af in ipol”.
  • You get the gist. I’m sure you can think of others.

How cool is that?


  1. Steve Maling says

    Many thanks, Rick. This post IS helpful.
    Now a related question: I can’t get the “BDAG Search” dialogue you do. My SESB search dialogues come up, but not the BDAG (I have the BDAG/HALOT bundle. [Some weeks ago I emailed your gracious colleagues in Tech about this, but either they haven’t replied yet or their reply got lost somewhere in the ether.]
    Steve Maling

  2. Steve —
    Glad the post was helpful. I’ve also queried tech support about your question, hopefully they’ll get to you soon.
    – Rick

  3. Steve,
    Pop in the BDAG CD and run the installer again. I bet you just missed the search addin. That happened to me once before.

  4. Very cool!

  5. Thanks, Rick.
    What would one type instead of ipol if one wanted to find references to ALL of the apostolic fathers? I would expect something like “af in *”. I know how to do this for the Bible, by “bible in gen-rev” but that’s because I know the order of books in the bible. Since I don’t know the order of books in the AF or the Pseudepigrapha or Josephus or Philo, how would I search for references to an entire corpus?