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An Index to the Revised Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich
Greek Lexicon: Preface

Author's Bias: Unknown

The first edition of An Index to the Revised Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich Greek Lexicon was published by Wycliffe Bible Translators to provide for its translators quicker and easier access to the wealth of information in Arndt and Gingrich's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BAG), a translation and adaptation fo the fourth revised and augmented edition of Walter Bauer's lexicon. I was pleased that the Index not only met this purpose, but that Zondervan Publishing House later published it for the general public.

The appearance of the second edition of BAG, revised and augmented by F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker from Walter Bauer's fifth edition, 1958, made necessary this new edition of the Index. We have taken this opportunity to completely redo this work, hoping to reduce the number of errors and lacunae that existed in the first edition. I appreciated the corrections and comments received from users of that edition, and look forward to similar cooperation for this one. I would be naïve to think that a work of this nature would be without errors; we trust, however, that they are now fewer.

The Index is a timesaver for all users of BAG, from those who know little Greek to those who are proficient in Greek studies. Experiments performed showed that for a proficient Greek student the amount of time spent in locating the specific references in BAG was cut by more than half. The time saved is even greater for those who know little Greek.

There are other reasons for using the Index. When the user needs to know how the lexicographer classifies an instance of some frequently used word, he often can find it only after a diligent and time-consuming search for the verse reference through three, four, or more columns of closely packed entries; that is, if the particular reference is included at all as an example. If he fails to find the reference after such a search, he still cannot be sure that the reference has not been overlooked when scanning through the columns. With the Index the user can immediately ascertain whether or nor the word is cited and turn directly to the correct section in BAG.

The advantage for the user who knows little Greek is obvious. He can find entries in BAG readily without having to struggle parsing the forms in the text to identify them. Experience shows that those whose Greek is wobbly rarely bother to go through the steps needed to use any lexicon. By consulting the Index, these people can begin using a lexicon once again.

Use of the Index

Use of the Index is straightforward. The entries are listed in the order in which they appear in the New Testament, beginning with chapter one of Matthew, and proceeding verse by verse to the end of Revelation. Each new chapter is clearly marked; verse numbers are indicated at the left-hand margin of each column. A letter (a, b, c) with the verse number indicates the first, second, or third occurrence of the same Greek word in that verse.

Sections under Greek word

The authors of BAG have divided their discussion of many Greek words into sections and subsections. Such sectioning is indicated in the Index, immediately following the Greek word. Primary sectioning is usually indicated by Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.), subsectioning is indicated by lower-case letters (a, b, c, etc.), and further subsectioning is indicated by lower case letters of the Greek alphabet.

In some cases the authors have incorporated higher-level divisions, starting with Roman numerals (I, II, etc.), before dividing into the standard sections indicated by the Arabic numbers. In a few places they have begun major sections with upper-case letters (A, B, etc.) before subdividing into Roman numerals, etc. All of these are marked in the Index: for example, under Acts 3:16 the word έπί appears followed by II 1 b γ.

Page numbers and quadrants

On the right side of each column the page number and quadrant where the entry will be found appears. Quadrant a indicates the upper half of the left-hand column, quadrant b indicates the lower half of the same column, quadrant c indicates the upper half of the right-hand column, and quadrant d indicates the lower half of the same. It is never necessary to search more than half a column to find a particular verse reference.

English glosses

Next to the page number on the right side of the column is an English gloss representing the Greek word. We have included them so that those who know little or no Greek may also benefit from BAG. By referring to the English gloss and then to BAG, they can easily find the discussion that interests them. Care was taken to choose fairly representative glosses, but it would have been impossible to give an adequate gloss for each entry in the Index. The user of the Index should not rely on the English glosses to convey adequately the meaning of the Greek word, but should refer to BAG.

In some cases grammatical descriptors are indicated in lieu of an English gloss. Such descriptors are written within parentheses; for example, (particle).

Variant readings

The user may be surprised to find a large number of entries for Greek words that do not occur in his version of the Greek New Testament. There are two reasons for this. Frequently it is because the word is a variant reading; sometimes it is because the authors refer to a verse because it gives supporting information to their discussion of the Greek entry, although the Greek word does not occur in the verse.

Multiple entries

The Index frequently supplies multiple occurrences for one occurrence of a Greek word. These represent possible alternate-meaning discriminations. There are also several cases where the first such entry does not indicate a corresponding section division. This is because said entry refers to the introductory grammatical information and not to a meaning discrimination.

I wish to express my appreciation to the many people who gave assistance in the preparation of this second edition. Ruth Bishop provided the major assistance through marking verse numbers in BAG, teletyping the data for the computer, and proofreading the Greek words produced by the computer through the phototypesetter. Lucia Tedesco assisted in marking the verse numbers in BAG. Ann Church also proofread the Greek words, as did Dr. Ben Chapman of Zondervan Publishing House. Ramona Miller assisted in teletyping the data for the computer. Mae Toedter and Arlene Sanford proofread computer displays. Jean Alsop, my wife, in addition to proofreading, compared this edition with the previous one.

I also wish to thank the personnel of the computer department and of the publications department of the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Mexico for their patience and assistance during the time when this material was being processed through the computer and the phototypesetting equipment respectively.

John R. Alsop

Mexico City

January 28, 1981

Taken from AN INDEX TO THE REVISED BAUER-ARNDT-GINGRICH GREEK LEXICON by F. WILBUR GINGRICH and FREDERICK W. DANKER, edited by JOHN R. ALSOP. Copyright ©1981 by the Zondervan Corporation. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House (www.zondervan.com).


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