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Dictionary of New Testament Theology: Volume 1 Hardcover – July 4, 1986
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From the Publisher
Study the meaning and significance of Old Testament words in depth without having to know Hebrew or Greek. Discover the nuances of words in the context of the Ancient Near East and the Old Testament. A combination theological dictionary and lexicon, this valuable reference includes introductory essays, cross-referencing, articles on theology, and more.
From the Back Cover
The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology is, first, a basic enlargement of the German Theologisches Begriffslexikon zum Neuen Testament. On its first publication in German it was recognized as a major reference work and has since become a more and more widely acclaimed as an important tool for understanding the theology and message of the Bible. Its translation and publication in English, together with the extensive revisions and additions, provide a unique source of information, invaluable to ministers, teachers, and anyone interested in the study as well as the teaching of the Bible. Some of its main features are: - Concise discussions of the major theological terms of the Bible - Arranged in English alphabetical order - Does not require knowledge of Greek and Hebrew - Discusses the use of each key term in classical Greek, the Old Testament, the rabbinic writing, and the New Testament - Glossary of technical terms - Full bibliographies - Complete indexes that make the wealth of information in these volumes readily accessible
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Before acquiring this work, I wrestled with `Theological Dictionary of the New Testament', edited in German and completed around 1933 by Gerhard Kittel, and translated into English by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, which has 10 huge volumes filled with a wealth of information, except that everything is organized by original Greek terms, and my reading of Greek is simply not up to snuff yet. So, while I have never been disappointed by this resource, it is simply too clumsy to use for the quick check on a meaning.
Brown's translation, on the other hand is marvelously organized by English words, with a transliteration of the Greek into English characters, followed by the original Greek script. Super, when the term you want is one of the major terms. A fly enters the ointment when the term you want is secondary to a more common word. I ran into this situation when I tried to look up `mute' (kophos) which my annotated Bibles told me could bean both deaf and dumb. Well, there was simply nothing there in volume 2 (G - Pre) under `mute'. By this means, I discovered the great value of Volume 4, the `Indexes'. `mute' was here in abundance, with the primary entry (within the entry for `dumb') highlighted, and I was merrily on my way.
I discovered an even greater value to this work when I looked up `hypocrisy', to help me understand the use of the word in Luke (who happens to use if far less frequently than Matthew). A recent lecture on Matthew stated that `hypocrisy' didn't mean the same to the ancients as it does to us. I did not entirely trust this observation. As I stated above, this Dictionary gives at least three different interpretations of words, one for classical Greek, one for Old Testament (LXX) Greek, and one for New Testament Greek. Well, classical Greek did mean an actor or explainer of narrative in dramas who may have performed with a mask. But usage in the Synoptics is virtually identical to our modern meaning. Even better, Luke's quote of Jesus may even been a metaphor using both meanings, one who explains as well as one who does not believe what they preach.
I was even more pleased with the book when it confirmed an interpretation I had of Luke's use of `yeast', which disagreed with the notes in my study bible. Brown, et. al. even went so far as to point out the common mis-interpretation of `yeast' in this context.
You may be using `Vines Complete Expository Dictionary', which puts everything in a single volume and is keyed to Strong's concordances. I've used Vines often, but I also often find this book light on interpretations in all parts of scripture. Vines is good, but this set of four smallish volumes is better for quick, but discriminating reference. Of course, it also has all the usual scholarly doo-dads, which are great, but not as important as the sound, discerning interpretations.