Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Note to My Lay Readers

I wanted to help my lay readers a moment by saying something important to you, and that is this:

Stop using Strong's and Vine's to look up Greek and Hebrew words!

These works are atrocious. They are archaic works that came to their definitions in a more linguistically naive age, and they are going to be flat out wrong and lead you to conclude all sorts of false things about what the text actually says. Words are given their nuances through context, so you need to read the context of the entire book, and the immediate context (and even the author's works as a whole) in order to understand the word better in a particular text. That means that it's going to be a much more laborious task in attempting to interpret Scripture in the original languages on your own. If you don't want to do that then get good current commentaries on the book that will help you look at the words you want to study (get a list from someone who you trust knows what good commentaries are out there).

I hope that helps. God bless you in your study and desire to rightly divide the word of truth.


  1. I tend to use Kenneth Wuest's volume of books. He goes beyond simple word translations to context and literary usage in other Biblical and period texts. (And he writes on a level I can grasp)

  2. I've never used Wuest before, but if he goes to context and use, that's what you want. The only other danger would be to avoid a transference of contexts along with the word. For instance, saying Word X means this in Text A because it means this in Text B. There is a work by Louw and Nida that I think laymen can use, and this is used by scholars too, but it's more difficult to find and more expensive.