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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.
The title link is a direct link to where the book can be purchased from .
New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology
By Colin Brown
Very thorough, but sometimes, too much
I purchased this four volume set when I was studying Greek at Denver Seminary, back in 1989 as it was highly recommend by my Greek professor. I used it quite a bit during seminary and even after that in my personal Bible studies, and more so when I started working on my Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT).
The arrangement of this set is by English not Greek words. But the fourth volume provides an index to where the discussion on Greek words can be found.
For each entry, the English word is given in bold, then the basic Greek word in a box. Then variant forms of the Greek word are given and synonymous Greek words, each with an English equivalent. Then the main article begins with a discussion of the use of the word(s) in classical Greek literature. Then there’s a discussion of the usages of the word(s) in the LXX translation of the Hebrew OT, often indicating what Hebrew word the LXX was translating, and finally is the discussion of the usage in the NT.
So lots of information is presented, and if you read through the entire article for a word, you will definitely gain full knowledge of the history and usage of the word. However, the thoroughness of this set can sometimes be a drawback. It is just too much information and takes too long to read through. Most of the time when studying a word, you don’t need that much background, so standard lexicons, like the ones on the BibleWorks software program, provide sufficient info.
But that said, I am glad I purchased this set when I did. I didn’t refer to it that often in my translation work, but on the occasions that I did, it helped to clarify how to translate a particular word.
For instance, some claim that porneia only refers to prostitution. The article in volume one of this set explains that this was originally the sense of the word. However, by the time of Christ, porneia referred to any kind of sexual intercourse outside of a Biblically lawful marriage (pp. 497-501). As such, I rendered this as word as “sexual sin” with the alternative translation of “fornication.” I explain in more detail the reasons for these renderings in the Glossary contained in the Companion Volume to the ALT. The information for that glossary entry was mainly taken from the article in this set.
This set is also helpful when working on articles for my Web site. And it would be helpful in sermon preparation.
All that said, this set is rather expensive. So only get it if you really think you will need in-depth word studies for transition work, sermon preparation, and the like. Less expensive lexicons and software programs will provide sufficient information for less serious Bible studies.
Review of New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Copyright (c) 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.
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