Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study

I've been trying to compile a list of resources that I think my seminary students--but it would apply to anyone serious about Bible study--need most if they want to study the Bible using the original languages but whose native language is English.

My assumptions here are that people need a variety of resources to conduct Bible study for preaching, teaching, self-edification, reflection, and devotion. At the seminary where I teach (LTSG), about a year's worth of Greek is required. Hebrew is not required but is encouraged as an elective. I am assuming some facility with Greek, therefore, but I am not assuming that people will be 'fluent' in Hebrew or even Greek. I do assume that with the proper resources they will be able to make use of both. I am also assuming here that English is the primary, native language, and so the secondary resources and translations I highlight are English ones.

Interested in seeing my list? Well, I'm interested in hearing what you think of it. Please note that I am not angling for a theological fight here. You can probably guess from my list that I am some flavor of moderate Protestant (ELCA Lutheran to be precise with a Missouri Synod Lutheran background). That is, I don't think that any of the primary resources I list have any theological bias, but my inclinations are probably indicated by my preference for the NRSV as the 'neutral' English translation with which I make comparisons. Okay, so I am open to suggestions, and I am also hoping for a show of charitableness. (BTW, anyone is welcome to take my list and adapt it to their particular interests. Just give some acknowledgement.)

Here it is: Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study


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  2. Diogenes is an excellent choice. For the LSJ lexicon, I use it instead of Perseus. From what I remember, Perseus transliterates the Greek, which is really annoying. But with the Diogenes app, everything is in Unicode. You can also search inflected words -- it will parse/decline the word for you, but you must type the word entry with all the necessary breathing marks and accents.

    Read more about Diogenes here:

  3. I just checked Diogenes, Jeremy. Thanks for pointing it out. Before I try to download/install it, however, can you tell me if you have to have the TLG or PHI data to use it.
    (BTW, Perseus can be configured to display in Unicode Greek, but the site is so unreliable...)

  4. No you don't. It's with the software but beware it's 64 mb.

  5. Wow. Thanks a lot. Great resource.

  6. Thanks for the resource!
    Typo you might want to correct:
    'The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freidman' - 'Freidman' should be 'Freedman'.

  7. Thanks, Joel. I had the privilege of having supper with Freedman a year or so before he died. What a fun and fascinating person he was!