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A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament Hardcover – January 7, 1972

4.5 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This book has been designed as an up-to-date working took of modest price and compass for the student of biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 425 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (January 7, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802834132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802834133
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This English abridgement of Koehler and Baumgartner's lexicon is perhaps the best reference tool Hebrew students will come across having such usefulness at a reasonable price. It is alphabetically organized and thus quicker than Brown-Driver-Briggs, but it also represents more current scholarship and better linguistic methodology. As well, it is a good size and the entries are generally well-organized. Even if you already have BDB, I would suggest getting Holladay because of the additional information on contextual usage and his more careful use of lexical data from cognate languages.
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Format: Hardcover
All the points Mr. Gould gave are exactly right. So I'll just try personal testimonial to sell you this tool. I have owned this book for 20 years, but whenever I see a used one in the bookstore I try to justify buying it again for my son or anyone. It is that useful.
I study the Hebrew of the Bible often, very often and for years, translating words and looking to get the right shade of meaning. Holladay is the first lexicon I reach for. I can literally straighten my elbow right now and pull it off my shelf of hundreds of books and dozens of Hebrew books and aids. This is because not only is all that was mentioned in the other review but it is compact and readable. Only then, after checking Holladay, do I turn to Gesenius, the others and the multivolumes.
If you are a student, a minister who has to keep looking up 'alma (give it up! ;-), or need a quick reminder of a word meaning, I can't believe you don't already have this book!!! Act like "somebody" and get this NOW.
Binding wise, I have to add, that this book has held up very well to constant use without its dustjacket. One minor casuality is the gold ink on the cover---it has faded some and looks more light green than gold. So what!? I should look so good after 20 years!
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Format: Hardcover
First, I can really only second the other two reviewers'views on this lexicon. It is as convenient to use as a dictionary, (provided, of course, that you know Hebrew alphabetical order and enough Hebrew to recognize Qal stems of verbs), and quite a bit more informative. The book IS concise, containing just over 400 pages (as against the BDB's 1000+), proper names are listed but not defined, and all instances of every word are not cited. Rather, examples of each sense of the word are usually cited. There are errata listed at the beginning and end of the book. In short, this is very handy, and if you've gone beyond the need for Strong's numbers, and want up to date linguistic information, try this edition!
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Format: Hardcover
I have used Holladay for several years. This lexicon is definitely easier for quick reference than the old standard, Brown-Driver-Briggs A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament. It is convenient to take to class or to use at home when reading the Hebrew Scriptures. A particularly handy feature are the lists of the forms of each verb that occur in the Hebrew text, which appear at the beginning of each verb entry.

The only feature that I dislike is that Holladay chose to use transliteration for the Hebrew words within the entries. I realize that he was trying to save space, but I would have preferred Hebrew rather than romanization for the purpose. As it is, one's mind has to continually switch back and forth between the familiar Hebrew alphabet and the alien romanized forms.
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Format: Hardcover
This book delivers what it promises; "an up-to-date working tool of modest price and compass for the student of biblical Hebrew and Aramaic."

The book quality is superb and two years on is still in excellent condition considered the amount of use. The print quality is excellent and very usable. The Hebrew words are bolded, including their various forms. The basic meaning of each word is also bolded. This makes looking up words and their meanings especially efficient. I've found this excellent for translating biblical texts.

One of the most useful features is that each Hebrew word includes its various forms. As a beginner I've found this useful when parsing Hebrew text.

Proper names do not have their English rendering included. This has caused me to have to refer back to my BDB occasionally. This has been the one major flaw I've found in this work. There are transliterations included for specific usages of the Hebrew words. I found this feature a bit annoying sometimes. I would have found the actual Hebrew text to be much more useful.

This is an ideal book for use in translating biblical texts and its size and format make it extremely usable. However, I would not recommend it for in depth word studies or for those who do not read Hebrew.
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Format: Hardcover
I have owned this since 1984. I have since acquired the new Koehler & Baumgartner (KB) "Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 2 Volume Study Edition" which, at this writing, sells for about $250 (I fortunately acquired it for a fraction of that!). Holladay's Lexicon is basically a "pre-abridgement" of that more expensive work. I say "pre-abridgement" because his abridgment (1971) was based on the revised German originals that were later completed and translated into English in 2000 as the KB lexicon. So, when I consult both, I get almost the same definitions, except the bigger work gives more technical information on cognate language, bibliographic information, and often cites more OT verses (the first two of which are useful only for specialists, which I am not).
Holladay's lexicon has at least three advantages over the classic Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB). First, it is based on more updated scholarship. Second, it uses more contemporary English language in its translation of Hebrew words. Finally, it lists all Hebrew words alphabetically, not by Hebrew roots, so finding the right word is much easier than BDB (these three advantages are also true for the fuller KB lexicon).
If you are an OT professor, you may be compelled to use the full KB lexicon. But if you are a pastor or layperson who wants to read the Hebrew Bible, Holladay is all you need. From there, rather than get the BDB or the full KB, consider the Theological Wordbook of the OT, the Theological Lexicon of the OT, or the New International Dictionary of OT Theology and Exegesis. These are all very helpful expansions to understand the word meanings and usages. But to get a quick definition as you are looking up words in the Hebrew Bible, Holladay is unbeatable in terms of accuracy, ease of use, and price.
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