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Biblical Greek: IntroductionWelcome to our new section on Biblical Greek! We have provided a very brief introduction to the subject to whet the appetite of the reader. This is not intended to be an in depth course on the subject, but rather as a way of motivating the reader to get involved in studying the Greek sources of God's Word. In that sense, it will be similar to our verse of the day section, which is not meant to be your sole source of Bible reading, but rather as a means of inspiring the reader to read God's Word, cover to cover.
We pray that this will inspire you to dig deeper into His Word. Studying the Greek roots will give you a deeper understanding of His Word, and give you an appreciation for the process of translating His Word, written thousands of years ago in a different language and culture, into modern language and culture. His message is eternal and unchanging, although the language in which we express His message is changing. A knowledge of Biblical Greek will open up a whole new world of tools and study aids for advanced study. A large number of doctrinal errors and heresies can be resolved by a careful look at the original language of the Bible.
Plans for this SectionWe will occasionally provide a few new words from the Greek New Testament, along with abbreviated definitions, relevant verses from His Word, links to the Crosswalk and Blue Letter Bible lexicons, and other info, which will be archived on the site for future reference. We will also provide, on an irregular basis, some discussion of Greek grammar. If you are seriously interested in the Study of Greek, you will need to acquire a book on Greek grammar, and at least one Greek lexicon and concordance. It is not our intention to write another grammar text and put it on the net, but rather, to give some of the basic rules, and let the reader pursue in-depth study of grammar via the excellent texts already available.
There is one primary reason to learn Biblical Greek: A sincere desire to better understand God's Word, and use it in your life and ministry. Your motives are only known to you and God, and He knows your motives better than you do! If you want to study Greek for the wrong reasons (e.g., to impress people in a chat room, an act of pride), it will only be a burden. If you learn it for the right reasons, it will be a blessing!
The essential messages of scripture are perfectly clear in any of the major translations. Martin Luther once said that the essential messages of the Bible are so clear that a child can understand them. So before you begin a study of Biblical Greek, make sure you understand the basic doctrines of Christianity, and know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. With a solid base in the essential and core doctrines of the faith, a deeper study of God's Word can truly be a joy.
We will begin our study with our first Greek word, defined below. It is the word for God - a great beginning!
We will be listing words in the Greek vocabulary in a tabular format. The table will contain the Greek words in a Greek font, along with their transliterated spellings, links to the Crosswalk and Blue Letter Bible lexicons, definitions, word frequency counts, and Strongs numbers.
Note: The left column (labeled Greek Word) contains the Greek word "Theos" both as a Greek font and as a gif image. These should look identical. If they don't, see our section on Greek fonts to update your PC.
Description of Table Headings:
Greek WordInitially, this column lists the Greek word as a gif image, and as a text item with Greek font. The gif should be readable by all browsers. The gif's will be listed for the first few words to give readers a chance to install the Greek fonts. As the section grows, we will drop the gif images, and print the text in the Greek font.
TransliteratedThis column lists the Greek word as it is usually listed using characters from the English alphabet. Although the transliterated spelling is useful for introductions to Greek, it is Strongly advised that you learn the actual Greek spellings. Almost all advanced tools, such as concordances, lexicons, and Grammar studies assume a knowledge of the Greek spellings. For example, the word agape in transliterated English is actually based on the following Greek word using the Greek alphabet:
Strong's NumberEach Greek word is listed with its corresponding Strong's number. Since most online tools like Crosswalk and the Blue Letter Bible use Strong's numbers, this will help you find further information about the word. Some people prefer to use G/K numbers (Goodrick/Kohlenberger) instead of Strong's numbers, which correspond to the updated manuscripts now in use. The G/K numbers are used in "The Greek English Concordance to the New Testament : With the New International Version" (see our book section). A conversion between G/K numbers and Strong's numbers is found in Mounce's book "The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament".
Crosswalk Linkwww.Crosswalk,com has a large number of tools on the net for studying God's Word. The tools on the Crosswalk site will be used frequently. The Crosswalk site is also the source of our Interlinear Verse of the Day, and contains the Greek fonts you will need to view the Greek characters. The main Crosswalk site can be reached via the link below:
Blue Bible LinkThe Blue Letter Bible also has a large number of tools on the net for studying God's Word. The main Blue Letter Bible site can be reached via the link below:
Word CountThis is the number of times (in all its tenses, cases, etc.) the word is used in the New Testament. The word count will come from Warren Trenchard's book, "Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek New Testament". There are 138,162 words in the Greek New Testament (varies a bit, depending on manuscript). If you add all of the word counts for the words listed in the table, and divide by the total number of words, you can get an estimate of the percentage of the New Testament that you can read - a good way to track your progress! The number in parenthesis (if present) is the word count from the Crosswalk or Blue Letter Bible Lexicon. The numbers differ, since they use different Greek manuscripts (I believe Trenchard uses the latest corrected UBS 3 version, and is probably more accurate, although he does not say which version he is using in his book).
Definition (Brief)A brief definition of the word is given in this column. This information is retrieved from the Definition(s) section of the Blue Letter Bible or Crosswalk lexicons. The definition is not meant to be exhaustive. For in-depth study, I recommend that you consult the online lexicons, or one of the more detailed lexicons available in book form. If you find a more detailed online lexicon in the public domain, I would love to hear about it! The definitions used by Blue Letter Bible and Crosswalk are based on Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, by Joseph H. Thayer. The "corrected edition" of Thayer's was published in 1889, and is in the public domain.