[B-Greek] RE: Trench's Synonyms

Polycarp66 at aol.com Polycarp66 at aol.com
Tue Feb 18 10:34:53 EST 2003

In a message dated 2/18/2003 10:07:04 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
gross at xinetd.ath.cx writes:

> I have also felt that the voluminous postings from BDAG that I have seen 
> tend to shed very little light on a specific passage, primarily because 
> they can entice one to opt in to a statistical view of the text.
> Wouldn't it be fair to say that reading the local context of a passage 
> is likely to give one more information than referring to some massively 
> inclusive reference of Greek usage?   I realize that such references are 
> valuable in order to give us a bird's eye view of how a word was used, 
> but isn't it fair to say that the passage itself (in Greek, of course) 
> will shed more light on its meaning than we can get from using 
> statistical methods to analyze individual words and grammatical 
> relationships between words in the passage?
> I don't mean to minimize the work of those who have labored long hours 
> to produce these types of inclusive references, but just to voice 
> agreement with what you have said.  To me, the reference work cannot 
> ever provide "the last word" on a passage.  I still try to leave myself 
> open to see new things in a text itself, without disregarding what the 
> reference works tell us.

I wouldn't quite go that far.  You need some guidelines to determine the 
range of meanings and what seems to go with a particular word (what verbs 
take a dative or a genitive, same with preps, etc.) .  Though you could get 
lost in some of the entries, if you take them one at a time and see whether 
it would or would not apply to a specific passage, they can be not only 
helpful but virtually a necessity.  Don't feel constrained to use only the 
glosses used in an entry, however.  There are plenty of good English synonyms 
for many of these words which could be used and which might seem more 


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