A brief note on Biblical Word Studies…

15 Apr

Here is a short and (might I add) very well put piece of advice that I stumbled across while surfing the Trinity College Website located in Toronto, Canada.  I believe it correctly outlines the need and proper procedure for conducting any Biblical word study:

"Two factors need to be considered when doing a word study:

A single word by itself conveys very little: it is seldom an adequate guide to a biblical idea. Thus a word like "holy" needs to be studied in its various contexts if we are to discover what the full biblical idea of holiness is. Word study is only valuable as a means of pursuing a given theme: it is only a means to an end. Ideas not words are our goal, and few ideas are tied to a single word.

Since the Bible was not written in English and no translation is perfect, words in the English Bible can represent two or more different words in the original language and the range of meanings in one English word does not do justice to the complexity of the original. The word study tries not only to get at the meaning but also the thought processes of the Hebrew or Greek authors. The context should indicate the meaning of the word being studied. The word study should be based on the Hebrew and Greek originals."

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