Study of Hebrew

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R. Andrew Compton

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks, so that would be how you use the lexicon and dictionary in combination?
Yep - that is how I do it. I've found it helpful in that way. There are some other lexical/word-study sources I use, but those are the main ones: a lexicon and a theological lexicon. If I really feel the need to go deeper, I begin using lexicons of the cognate languages cited in the HALOT and NIDOTTE entries (e.g., Akkadian, Aramaic, Ge'ez, Ugaritic, Arabic, etc.), but I rarely find myself doing that. Hope that helps!
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Yep - that is how I do it. I've found it helpful in that way. There are some other lexical/word-study sources I use, but those are the main ones: a lexicon and a theological lexicon. If I really feel the need to go deeper, I begin using lexicons of the cognate languages cited in the HALOT and NIDOTTE entries (e.g., Akkadian, Aramaic, Ge'ez, Ugaritic, Arabic, etc.), but I rarely find myself doing that. Hope that helps!
Would there be to you a difference between using the sources for personal studies, and when preparing for a class or to preach?
 

R. Andrew Compton

Puritan Board Freshman
Would there be to you a difference between using the sources for personal studies, and when preparing for a class or to preach?
For me personally, it is the same for both, mostly because I like to first be introduced to the meanings of a given word lexically/linguistically, and then I feel that I have something upon which I can build theologically. Although, this is not meant to artificially divide the two from each other. (Al Wolters has made an interesting note that though we often ground "higher order" theological decisions on "lower order" grammatical and textual observations, there are times when decisions made about seemingly "lower order" decisions are themselves dependent upon "higher order commitments." For example, we can study the Greek word διακονος [deacon], but how we understand the nature of the office of deacon theologically will inform our understanding of the use of the word. For example, in Romans 16:1, Phoebe is a διακονος of the church in Cenchrea. The ESV translates this as Phoebe being a "servant" whereas the New Living Bible translates this as Phoebe being a "deacon." Because of my own confessional commitments and ecclesiastical affiliation (URCNA), along with the exegetical studies my churches have conducted, I think the ESV renders a better translation, but for someone who affirmed women's ordination, they would be more likely to follow the New Living Bible. This is just one example of a seemingly "higher order" item informing a "lower order" item.) Nevertheless, it is more often than not the case in my own study that having established a word meaning using HALOT (or BDAG for the New Testament), I am then able to more profitably use NIDOTTE or NIDNTTE. Of course this is not something I always have the time to do in my personal study, but when I do, it is still the approach I follow.

[If it interests you, the Wolters article I mentioned above is this one: Wolters, Albert M. "Confessional criticism and the night visions of Zechariah." In Renewing Biblical Interpretation, eds. Bartholomew, Greene, and Moller (Zondervan/Paternoster, 2000), pgs. 90-122.]
 
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