Many years of use have confirmed the value of the Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament in both the German and the English versions. At the same time its size and the
technical nature of much of the material have inhibited many Bible students who might have profited
from its essential insights. To overcome these difficulties this single-volume condensation of the
nine volumes, this "little Kittel," has been prepared and is being offered to what it is
hoped will be a much wider Christian public.
The purpose of TDNT is to mediate between ordinary lexicography and the specific
task of exposition, particularly at the theological level. The discussion of each New Testament word
of religious or theological significance includes comments on the word’s secular Greek background;
its role in the Old Testament, both in the Hebrew and the Septuagint texts; its usage in such sources
as Philo, Josephus, the pseudepigraphal and rabbincal literature; and finally its varied uses in the
New Testament and, where pertinent, in the Apostolic Fathers.
In preparing this summary, which amounts to roughly one-sixth of the original, the
following changes have been made. All Greek words, including those in the main entries, have been
transliterated. And while the order of the entries is the same as in the original (and thus not strictly
alphabetical in English), their more prominent (and especially New Testament) meanings have been added in
brackets for ready reference. These meanings have also been placed in the running heads at the tops
of the pages and in the alphabetized Table of English keywords. An alphabetized Table of Greek keywords
replaces the Tables of Contents found at the beginnings of each of the original volumes.
Philological, archeological, and other supporting materials have been drastically
reduced, as well as references when fewer are sufficient. Footnotes and bibliographies have both been
excluded; interested students can find what they require in the original articles. The focus is on the
biblical and especially the New Testament usage, so that the related classical, Hellenistic, apocalyptic,
rabbinic, and patristic fields receive more cursory attention. In the biblical sphere itself the
emphasis falls on the theological meaning in accordance with the main purpose of the enterprise.
So as to facilitate easy transition for those who might desire more detailed information,
the relevant volume and page numbers in the full set are found at the end of each article or section.
The names of the authors are also given in recognition that this is not an original work but a condensation
of the work of others. But their names are put in brackets (with page references) so as to indicate that
these scholars, many of whom are now deceased, bear no direct responsibility for the summarized version.
Students might bear this in mind should they wish to refer to this version or to quote from it. Every
effort has been made, of course, to reflect the contributors’ materials and interpretations as faithfully
as the circumstances of condensation permit.
This shorter version is being released in the confidence that these materials can both
extend and deepen our understanding of the theology and message of the New Testament, and in this way
contribute to the proclamation of the gospel and the edification of the church.
Geoffrey W. Bromiley, Pasadena, California
"College students, seminarians, pastors, and other church ministers, who may not have been able
to afford or even use the nine-volume ‘Kittel,’ will now find this ‘Little Kittel’ a welcome vade
mecum for their study of the New Testament." Joseph A. Fitzmyer