How I Learned to Love Greek Lexicons

learn-love-lexiconDuring my time in seminary, fourth-semester Greek was synonymous with “pain.” This “pain” took the form of two, massive exegetical papers, each 30 pages in length.

Those papers were seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stood in the way of any person hoping to finish their seminary degree. An exegetical paper is intimidating because the content to be covered is very technical, and the time expenditure to complete the task is great.

I remember very clearly working on a section in one of those exegetical papers: the diachronic word study. For those who don’t know, a diachronic word study is the process of tracing a Greek word’s usage throughout history from Ancient Greece to the New Testament, and on to the time of the early church.

One of the most difficult parts of this word study process was navigating the lexical resources we were tasked to reference in our paper. Lexicons are heavy tomes filled mostly with unintelligible scribbles in barely-legible sized font. There were so many abbreviations in these volumes, I felt like I needed a decoder ring to navigate effectively.

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