[b-hebrew] Koehler's Lexicon

Trevor Peterson 06PETERSON at cua.edu
Mon Jul 12 08:03:47 EDT 2004


>===== Original Message From <cmeadows3 at verizon.net> =====
>Hi all,
>
>I have all the available TDOTs (Botterweck et al).  Would I benefit much from 
getting Ludwig Koehler's Lexicon?  Thanx!
>

Yes. As already noted, TDOT is selective, and there are plenty of words that 
are linguistically important but do not merit a specific theological word 
study. Also, TDOT is too cumbersome to serve as a general-purpose lexicon, 
both from the standpoint of sheer physical size and in terms of how much 
information there is to wade through. A lexicon is by no means perfectly 
objective or infallible, but it is generally categorized somewhere closer to 
the objective end of the spectrum than a theological dictionary. Unless you're 
really trying to dig into the full exetent of scholarship on a word (and to 
sift it all as carefully as you would any similar resource), a theological 
dictionary can be a rather inefficient and potentially misleading tool. It is 
good for its purpose, but a lexicon is directed more at the purely linguistic 
function of fixing a word's range of meaning. In this respect, it falls 
somewhere between the likes of TDOT and a concordance, since it does provide a 
scholarly construct through which to view the data you would get from a 
concordance. (This seems to be one of the common criticisms, BTW, of the 
Sheffield dictionary--that it refuses to engage in analysis to the point where 
it becomes less helpful as a lexicon and drifts into the category of 
concordance.)

Trevor Peterson
CUA/Semitics




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