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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.

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Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

By Joseph Thayer

An outdated but still helpful resource

Thayer’s lexicon is considered a “classic” Greek reference tool. And many people to this day favor it. However, it is in fact an outdated work. It was produced in the 1800s, and much has been learned about the Greek of the NT since that time.

Thayer’s still has some value. And I did refer to it some as I was working on my Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT). However, much more often, I referred to newer lexicons like Friberg’s or Bauer’s.

But what makes this lexicon so favored is that it is inexpensive since it is in the public domain. Moreover, many newer editions are coded to Strong’s Concordance numbers. This makes this work accessible to non-Greek readers. And it is good that people are introduced to Greek word studies in this way.

However, too many people seem to think they can figure out what the Greek “really” means by getting the Strong’s number and looking up the word in this lexicon. There is much more to studying the Greek text than such simplicity, as anyone who as actually taken the time learn Greek and worked with the actual Greek text will tell you.

So I would say this lexicon might be good to have as one resource, but I would strongly recommend getting a more up-date lexicon to compare it to. And trust the newer lexicon to this one.

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


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