[b-hebrew] Semantic/Lexicographical question, from English to Hebrew

Kenneth Litwak klitwak at apu.edu
Thu Jun 2 15:52:11 EDT 2005

    I have a question related to semantic domain and synonyms in English
based upon Hebrew.  Here's my issue.  Say that I want to know all the
Hebrew words used for shrub, but not any words used more generically for
plants for bush, even though bush and shrub are similar in meaning in
English.  How can I go from English back to the specific Hebrew words
for a given thing in Hebrew (or Greek, for that matter), while avoiding
Hebrew words for other things that are more or less synonyms?  I'm
thinking that it would be most reasonable to choose a fairly "literal"
translation, like the NRSV or NASB, find all the places the specific
word is used in English that I care about and then find out what the
underlying Hebrew is, but that sounds like a method prone to error,
given the nature of translation.  Thanks.


Kenneth Litwak, Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor of New Testament

Azusa Pacific University

Azusa, CA


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