clayton stirling bartholomew
c.s.bartholomew at worldnet.att.net
Wed Dec 29 16:25:34 EST 1999
>From: Paul Sue <biblia99 at yahoo.com>
> Has anyone any experience with Dr. Zodhiates' books?
> (e.g. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). Would
> they be helpful to people who aren't fluent in the
> original languages?
> How about Robertson's and Vincent's word studies
How helpful these books are depends on how you use them. If you use them
the way that most people do my answer would be NO.
The whole notion that we can understand an ancient text (or any text) by
focusing on WORDS as the basic unit of meaning is highly suspect. These
books are generally used by folks who assume that to understand a text
you need to take a close look at each word or key words.
After thinking about this issue for nearly a decade I have formed a
tentative conclusion that it is nearly impossible to train a
non-linguist to perform a valid word study. What we have for the most
part in the popular** and even in some of the professional exegetical
literature is a lot of misinformation about WORDs.
A sentence which takes the form: "What this word really means in the
Greek/Hebrew is . . ." will very rarely stand up to scrutiny.
Rather than try and train every pastor or bible teacher in lexical
semantics, which is an impossible task, it is more practical to just
shun word study books all together.
For this reason, I would not recommend the use of these books.
Please note I am not attacking the authors of these books. I will leave
that task for someone else. It is the misuse of the information in
these books which is my focus in these comments. However I think that
this misuse is to some extend built into the books themselves but that
issue I will leave for someone with more time
**The "popular exegetical works" which I have sampled are not works done
by ignorant people. They are books by mainstream Pastors/Professors with
real Phd's and lots of other credentials.
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062
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