There are a number of works out on the market now that allow those with no background in Hebrew
or Greek to be able to have a basic understanding of those language's most common words. There are
4 types of references that can help you understand the meaning of the original language: a) Word
Studies, b) Grammars and Syntax, c) Lexicons, and d) Concordances.
Word Studies are references focused on very deep studies of significant words in the Bible;
they examine the origin and morphology of a word. By understanding how the context or use of a
word changes over time, you could understand the different meanings and subtle nuances of a word.
Grammars and Syntax focus primarily on sentence structure and arrangement. What was the verb
form? Was the noun the object, subject of a verb or an object of a preposition or even an appositve?
If you have a tough time in English, you'll need a grammarian for Hebrew or Greek!
Lexicons categorize how words are used in relation to each other and clarify their contextual
meaning. Together with Word Study references, they provide a thorough insight into the meaning of
the words found in the Ancient Text.
A Concordance is a collection of the most common words found in the Old and New Testaments.
An exhaustive concordance will list every word found in Scripture and all of their occurrences,
whereas those that are in the back of Bibles will not. By using a numbering system, some concordances
will identify the actual Hebrew or Greek word that has been translated into English. For instance,
though there are three different Greek words used in the New Testament for love (each having its own
nuance), our English texts translate them all the same way. A good concordance will show those
distinctions. The concordance you choose will have to match up with the Bible version you study from
(most major versions have concordances available).
Tools: Bible Language Helps
This page lists the titles of many excellent references called Bible language helps with links to the
publisher's forewards / prefaces. If you take a moment to read some of these prefaces / forewords, you'll
find that they in themselves are enlightening.
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