A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
and Other Early Christian Literature

Author's Bias: Unknown

Foreword to the First Edition

The history of dictionaries specifically intended for the Greek New Testament opens with a Greek-Latin glossary of seventy-five unnumbered pages in the first volume of the Complutensian Polyglot of 1522, including the words of the New Testament, Ecclesiasticus, and the Wisdom of Solomon. The incompleteness, inaccuracy, and elementary character of this glossary reflect the low state of Greek studies at the time it was published, but it was the first in a long and useful succession of New Testament lexical works.

The first NT dictionary with scholarly pretensions was the Lexicon Graeco-Latinum in Novum Testamentum by Georg Pasor, published in 1619 at Herborn in Nassau. Ludovicus Lucius put out his Dictionarium Novi Testamenti at Basel in 1640 with its words arranged for the first time in strict alphabetic order instead of by word-roots.

Many faults of contemporary NT lexicons were pointed out by Johann Friedrich Fischer in his Prolusiones de Vitiis Lexicorum Novi Testamenti (Leipzig, 1791); among these defects were neglect of the smaller words whose frequent use makes them extremely difficult to analyze and classify, the inclusion of too few or too many meanings, lack of logical arrangement, and insufficient attention to the background of NT words in Hebrew, the LXX, and secular Greek.

Among the works that showed the effect of Fischer's criticism was CA Wahl's Greek-Latin lexicon of 1822 (Leipzig). This was translated into English by Edward Robinson, the eminent American Biblical scholar, in 1825; Robinson brought out his own Greek-English dictionary of the NT in 1836 (Boston).

Up to this time it was customary for dictionaries intended for serious scholarly use to give the meanings of the words in Latin, though Edward Leigh in his Critica Sacra (London, 1639) had made a partial and apologetic attempt to give them in English, and John Parkhurst had published a Greek-English lexicon in 1769.

CLWGrimm published in 1868 (Leipzig) a thorough revision of CGWilke's Greek-Latin Clavis Novi Testamenti. Joseph Henry Thayer of Harvard University, after twenty-two years of arduous labor in translating and augmenting Grimm's work, put out his Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T. (New York and Edinburgh) in 1886.

The first dictionary to appear after the epoch-making discoveries of papyri, etc., beginning about 1890, was Erwin Preuschen's Greek-German lexicon of 1910. Much to the disappointment of many reviewers, it failed to make much use of the new material, though it did include for the first time the words of the Apostolic Fathers.

Upon Preuschen's untimely death in 1920, the revision of his lexicon was entrusted to Walter Bauer of Göttingen. Now, more than thirty years later, we may say that Professor Bauer stands pre-eminent in the history of NT lexicography. When his revision appeared in 1928 (Giessen) as the second edition of Preuschen, it was hailed as the best thing in its field. A third edition, thoroughly revised and reset, came out in 1937 (Berlin), with Bauer's name alone on the title-page.

In preparing for the fourth edition, Bauer undertook a systematic search in Greek literature down to Byzantine times for parallels to the language of the NT. The magnitude of this task and the greatness of the achievement have been well characterized in a review by HvonCampenhausen (ThLZ 75, 1950, 349) of its first three fascicles: We are here dealing with a work 'which, when considered as the performance of one man, strikes one as almost fabulous. Not only was there a gigantic amount of material to be mastered, involving the most minute acquaintance with the whole body of Christian literature, but this task required at the same time the gift of combining and relating facts, and of preserving an adequate scholarly alertness which is granted to but few people; one thinks of the difficulty of immediately recognizing parallels in the respective authors and making proper use of them. This art is all the more admirable because its achievements manifest themselves only in the apparently insignificant form of articles in a lexicon, which purposely are kept as brief and factual as possible; most of the readers will normally not become aware of what has been accomplished.'

To this we may add that Bauer's analysis and arrangement of the small words so frequently used is a great improvement over anything of its kind previously done.

It is this fourth edition of Bauer's Griechisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der übrigen urchristlichen Literatur (Berlin, 1949-52) that we are privileged to present here in English dress, with some adaptations and additions. It has not been our purpose to make a literal translation, which would indeed have been impossible. The difficulties of translation being what they are, those who wish to know exactly what Bauer says about any word will have to consult the German original. On the other hand, our departures from the general sense of Bauer's work have been few and far between.

We have included a few words that are not in Bauer; most of them are those found in the fragments of Papias; all the words of these fragments are dealt with in this lexicon. Other additions are words like εύπερίσπαστος, εύσχημονέω and ξαίνω, which appear in the apparatus of the latest editions of the Nestle text, and for which we gratefully acknowledge the aid of Dr. Erwin Nestle, its editor. One interesting conjecture, άπαρτί, has been included for the first time.

Various other minor changes and additions will be evident to anyone who compares this book with the German original. Slight adjustments have been made in the arrangement of entries, which, we hope, will smooth the way for the user of this lexicon. We have corrected typographical and other small errors in the original, varying from wrong punctuation or accent to faulty NT reference. We can only hope that we have not made too many fresh mistakes of our own. We have also included more irregular verb-forms than Bauer has.

The notations M-M. and B. at the end of an entry mean that the word is treated in Moulton and Milligan's invaluable Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament and CDBuck's Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages; the latter will partially make up for the paucity of etymological information deplored by Bauer in the foreword to his third edition of 1937; we may add that Buck's monumental work deserves to be better known. References are likewise given to all the words treated by EJGoodspeed in his Problems of NT Translation, and to some from FField's Notes on the Translation of the NT. The NT grammars of JHMoulton, Moulton-Howard, and Robertson are referred to when this is possible. All this is largely in addition to the biographical notices given in Bauer.

The references to scholarly periodical literature have been brought up to the latter part of 1954. We have made other additions to the bibliographical notices as our allowance of time and other resources (extremely generous but, of course, not unlimited) permitted. If the user finds them insufficient, his referred to the excellent bibliographies found in Biblica (by PNober), in the Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete, vol I (Heft I 1951f; Heft II, also covering 1951f, publ. 1954) edited by FStier of Tübingen, in the Theologische Literaturzeitung, in NT Literature, An Annotated Bibliography (1943-5 inclusive) publ. 1948 by WNLyons and MMParvis, in BMMetzger's Index of Articles on the NT and Early Church Published in Festschriften (1951), and in many other places. It is also taken for granted that much use will be made of the standard commentaries and other handbooks.

The history of our work should be briefly recounted. When in 1947 the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod observed its centennial, a part of the thank-offering gathered was set aside as a fund for scholarly research. The Lutheran Academy of Scholarship, Dr. MHScharlemann president, had a prominent part in the discussions that led to this decision. The committee, appointed by Dr. JWBehnken, the president of the church, to administer the fund, resolved to have Bauer's Wörterbuch done into English, with such adaptations and additions as would be required. Since the University of Chicago Press had been in negotiation with Dr. Bauer on this subject, the committee of the Church turned this publishing house and enlisted its co-operation and services. The translation rights were duly obtained. Professor FWGingrich of Albright College, Reading, Pa., was engaged to give his full time to the undertaking, having been granted a leave of absence in September 1949. Professor WFArndt of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., an institution of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, was appointed to be the director of the venture. The manuscript was finished in January 1955. This dictionary in its English dress constitutes a gift of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to the English-speaking world, presented in the hope that the work may assist in the interpretation and dissemination of the Divine Word which lives and abides forever.

Various officials of the University of Chicago Press have rendered valuable assistance in the complicated negotiations required to set this project in motion. Among them we may mention particularly Dr. Mitford M. Mathews, head of the Dictionary Department of the Press and editor of the Dictionary of Americanisms. His wise counsel has helped us in every stage of our work.

We have been aided from the beginning of our project by an advisory committee composed of the following scholars: HJCadbury, ECColwell, CHDodd, FVFilson, MHFranzmann, EJGoodspeed, FCGrant, BMMetzger, PSchubert, WWente, APWikgren, CHKraeling advised us on archaeological matters, and AHeidel (d. June 1955) checked the Semitic language materials in our manuscript.

We have also received valued assistance from the following: VBartling, WBeck, HGreeven, WHPHatch, WRHutton, PKatz, PEKretzmann, JRMantey, RMarcus, ENestle, MMParvis, OAPiper, JMRife, and JDYoder. Neither these gentlemen nor those of the advisory committee are to be held responsible for the opinions expressed in this lexicon. The editors accept responsibility for all errors, and invite users of the lexicon to draw attention to any they may find.

Regarding the question whether to enter the contract verbs in their contracted or uncontracted form, we recognize the validity of DJGeorgacas' arguments in Classical Philology 47, '52, 167-9, but have retained the uncontracted forms to avoid confusing the student, who almost invariably learns them in those forms. The references to Biblical literature and Josephus have been checked by Messrs. RStallmann and CFroehlich. In the spelling of proper names we have generally followed the usage of the Revised Standard Version. Finally we express warm thanks to the staff of Cambridge University Press, and especially its typesetters and proofreaders, for their splendid co-operation and assistance.




Foreword to the Second Edition

When the English translation of Walter Bauer's Wörterbuch was published on 29 January 1957, Professor Bauer was completing work on the fifth edition of his book, which came out in nine fascicles during 1957 and 1958. This contained so much new material that a revision of our work was made inevitable. Our second revised edition contains Bauer's additions as well as a number of changes and additions of our own.

In the foreword to the first edition we invited those who found errors in our work to call them to our attention. As a result, we had replies from as far away as Africa and New Guinea, as well as a large number from our own country. Many, if not most, of these errors were corrected in subsequent reprintings, notably the sixth of 1963 and the tenth of 1967, and we wish to express our gratitude to those users of this book. We now extend the same invitation to the users of the second edition.

We also acknowledge a debt of gratitude to the many scholars who sent us valuable suggestions, whether solicited or unsolicited. Two young men did valiant service in checking and correcting the asterisks at the end of many entries; they are John Recks for the New Testament and Almon D. Baird, Jr., for the Apostolic Fathers. As a result of their painstaking work, the asterisks now present a much more accurate picture of the usage than they ever did before. Others who rendered sustained and valuable assistance are heodore Eisold, Robert Stockman, William Reader, and Donald Wicke.

The enormous current proliferation of books and articles has made it impossible to continue the fullness of citation that some of Bauer's entries exhibited. Furthermore, ready access to bibliographical data banks, such as the annual Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete (Patmos-Verlag, Düsselforf, 1951ff) or New Testament Abstracts, published three times a year by the Weston School of Theology, now at Cambridge, Massachusetts (1956ff), suggests that it would not be discreet even to make the attempt. Instead, we have been at pains to add discussions where previously there had been none, and the number of such and other supplemental references to scholarly literature runs well into four figures (apart from Bauer's own additions), and extends into 1973.

More important, the classics, papyri, and inscriptions have yielded fresh formal and semantic parallels, in some cases necessitating rearrangement of patterns of definition. References to the literature of Qumran and to texts of portions of the New Testament published since our first edition are frequent. Indeed, the number of new words and other variants that have been incorporated reflects the contribution made especially by the Bodmer Papyri to the study of the New Testament.

It has also proved impossible to list all available translations of foreign-language publications. Fortunately, the section numbers in the standard grammar of F. Blass and A. Debrunner remain the same in the translation and revision by Robert W. Funk, A Greek Grammer of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, 1961); and the publishers of G. W. Bromiley's translation of the Kittel-Friedrich Theologisches Wörterbuch, the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1964ff), are to be congratulated for maintaining in the main the pagination of that monumental German work. The student is urged to consult these and all other standard reference works, whether we cite them specifically or not.

To Professor Lorman M. Petersen of Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, and the Committee for Scholarly Research (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) under his direction go our warmest thanks for their continuing interest in and support of a costly undertaking. At the same time we record with sorrow the death of our mentor, Professor Walter Bauer (b. 8 August 1877, d. 17 November 1960) and of our esteemed coworker, Professor William F. Arndt (b. 1 December 1880, d. 25 February 1957).



Reprinted from "A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature" 3rd edition published by University of Chicago Press, copyright © 1957, 1979, 2000 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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