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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

On theologizing biblical lexicography

Adrian Warnock has blogged on the Greek word agape, as it is described in a seminary journal article. I have responded in a comment to the post, warning of the dangers of theologizing biblical lexicography (the problem was not with Adrian, but, rather, in the journal article). You can read Adrian's post and my response by clicking links for my post here. The lexicographical issue is important since how we understand the meanings of words used in the biblical source texts is critical to meanings we intend to communicate with our Bible translations. It is especially important to avoid "theologizing" biblical lexicography, which is finding meanings in the words of the biblical source texts which were likely not there. We do better to find the meanings through careful study of the lexicography of the linguistic context in which the biblical texts were written, nuanced, always, by changes in language use, not the least of which is usage by the New Testament authors themselves. We especially must avoid falling for the discredited notion that the Bible was written in some special biblical language or "Holy Ghost language," as was sometimes claimed in the past.

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