Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative

Lexical Aids For Students of New Testament Greek: Preface

According to the psychologist, one learns by associating the new with the old, the strange with the familiar. In studying a foreign language, therefore, the beginner will do well to observe whatever similarities may exist between his own and the other language.

Part I of the following Lexical Aids makes use of this principle of associative learning by supplying, after the English definitions of Greek words, such English derivatives as may be of assistance in remembering the meaning of the Greek vocabulary. The Greek words in the list, furthermore, have been selected and arranged in accord with their frequency of occurrence in the New Testament.

Part II makes a different application of the same psychological principle. Here are exhibited the family relationships among words of frequent and less frequent occurrence. After a student has become acquainted with a minimum working vocabulary of words that occur many times in the New Testament he can make more rapid progress in acquiring a larger vocabulary by learning such additional words as resemble in general meaning and from those which he already knows.

What proportion of attention should be devoted to Part I ('Words Classified According to Their Frequency') before beginning to employ at the same time Part II ('Words Classified According to Their Root') can be determined on the basis of economy of time and effort. A judicious and faithful use of both Parts will speed the day when the beginner can read the Greek Testament with pleasure and profit.

October 1, 1946

Preface to the New Edition

This new edition differs from the previous ones more in form than in content. The two earlier editions, which went through fourteen printings totalling 60,000 copies, were reproduced from the typescript copy prepared by the author; the present edition has been photolithoprinted from type set by the skilled craftsmen of the University Press at Oxford.

At the same time, the adoption of a new format has made it possible to incorporate a number of modifications in the contents. Minor adjustments have been made in several of the definitions, and the number of English derivatives has been increased. The bibliography of Greek lexicons (see pp. 5-6) has been revised in the light of recent publications. In response to requests made by several teachers, the present edition has been supplied with an alphabetical index of the Greek words that are included in the frequency word lists.


February 9, 1969

Taken from "Lexical Aids For Students of New Testament Greek" by Bruce M. Metzger. Used by permission of DIVISION, a division of Baker Book House Company, copyright ©1983. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Book House Company. (

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