[b-hebrew] Koehler's Lexicon

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Mon Jul 12 09:05:40 EDT 2004

On Monday 12 July 2004 06:03, Trevor Peterson wrote:
> >===== 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. [snip]

Agreed.  A theological dictionary reflects the views of the individual who 
worked on a particular word.  The biases toward this or that philosophical 
underpinning are especially easy to see in the TDNT, which includes scholars 
such as Bultmann and others of his school.  I only have one volume of the 
TDOT, graciously given to me by its translator after I helped him with some 
portions of it, and I haven't used it all that much so I don't know much 
about those who wrote in it or how well the articles came out.  But as Harold 
pointed out, the set doesn't cover all the words, and as Trevor pointed out, 
it's HUGE.  What I like to do is, I read fairly casually, as I would any 
other book, using my nice and compact Hollady lexicon where needed for the 
more obscure words.  When a term or phrase catches my eye, then I dig out the 
big guns and look closer with things like KB and/or the theological 
dictionaries such as my one little TDOT and the less voluminous Theological 
Wordbook of the Old Testament (which sometimes falls prey to the same 
problems as the TDNT, though with its own more conservative twist).  Then I 
have to sift it all through my own knowledge and experience and figure out 
where I end up.  At times it's not a pretty sight, but in the end it's most 
rewarding, at least on a personal level.

So the short answer is, yes, if you can afford KB, get it.

Dave Washburn
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

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