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BDAG Errata

October 10, 2012

As valuable a tool as BDAG is, a tool of this complexity and magnitude is bound to have typos, etc. The following is a list of typos, corrections, etc. that I’ve noted in BDAG. Some are only stylistic (e.g., italics–but even the typography in this complex volume is semantic), others are substantive errors. These are based on a first printing copy; errors are being corrected in subsequent impressions (beginning at least with the 3d printing, 2003, perhaps earlier). If you’ve spotted others, drop me a note and I’ll add them (if I can verify your suggestion) see the contact page for an address. Listed by page number. (Note that Greek text is Unicode.)

27, s.v. αἰνέω, Jer. 20:13 should not be listed as an example of a dative object representing the Hebrew lamedh with HDH or HLL (the lamedh is on another verb in this verse: ShYR, ‘to sing’: ShiYRu LaYHWH). In Jer. 20:13 the verb HLL is followed by the object marker with a noun: HaLLu ‘eTH-YHWH. [The examples listed in 1 & 2 Chron. are correct in this regard.] Jer. 20:13 does have αἰνέω with a dative object, it just doesn’t correlate with the Hebrew as the entry in BDAG implies. (This note may have come from BDF sect. 187.4.)

57, s.v. ἄν I.c.γ. italics missing:
now: “ὁσάκις ἐάν as often as:”
should be: “ὁσάκις ἐάν as often as:”

83, s.v. ἀνίστημι, lists the etymology as “α- priv., ἵστημι, but this word is a compound of ἀνά + ἵστημι; it does not have an alpha privative. (added 1/14/05)

140, s.v. ἄρχων, col. 2, 2, line 3, following the ref. to 1 Cor. 2:6-8, the note “s. 1b above” should be: “s. 1c above”

131, s.v., ἀριστερός, α, ὁν, the lexical form is accented incorrectly, it should be: ἀριστερός, ά, όν,  (added 4/16/2010)

152, s.v. ἀυτός, The lexical form is wrong; instead of the neuter ending, a masc art is given. Change the rough breathing mark to an acute: ἀυτός, ή, ό (added 3/7/2009, reported by Zdeněk Halas)

208, s.v. γρηγορέω, #2, comma missing between definition and gloss; should be: “to be in constant readiness, to be on the alert.

228, col. 2, line 12, s.v. διαθήκη; ref. Jer. 38:31 should be 31:31. (added 8/14/06)

240, accent missing on διαχωριζω; should be διαχωρίζω.

246, s.v. δίκαιος, “righteous” should be listed as a gloss (it is used frequently as a gloss in the article following [and italicized], so was probably accidentally omitted from the gloss list?)

295, s.v. εἴτε, s. εἰ 6o (which looks like ’60’) should be punctuated: 6.o. –i.e. sect. 6, subsect. “oh” (on p. 279).  (added 9/5/06)

301, line 7 of entry s.v. ἔκδικος, wrong portion of text cited (?);
now: “Of civil authority: διάκονος ἔκδικος agent of punishment Ro 13:4” 
but should be: “Of civil authority: ἔκδικος εἰς ὀργην agent of punishment Ro 13:4″ (?)

302,”ἐκέρδησα s. κράζω.” should read “… s. κερδαίνω.”

350, s.v. ἕξις, lines 6-7, Greek text of Heb. 5:14 is out of order:
now: αἰσθητήρια διὰ τὴν ἕ. τὰ γεγυμνασμένα
correct: διὰ τὴν ἕ. τὰ αἰσθητήρια γεγυμνασμένα

351, col. 2, ἐξόν [the participle form of εἰμί], the cross-reference should be to ἔξεστιν 1.d. rather than to point 4 (which doesn’t exist in that entry). (added 2/1/2012, courtesy of Jaripekka Juhala)

356, s.v. ἐπαγωνίζομαι, English spelling error in extended definition: extert should be exert. (added 11/15/2012 courtesy of Wayne Anderson)

366 (last text on the page), “–M-M” should be at the end of the article/entry (= p. 367, col. 2, line 3) (added 3/24/05)

368, s.v. ἐπίγειος, in the first division, “1. pert. to what is chacteristic of the earth…” should be “characteristic” (just an English typo/misspelling). Spotted by Ronaldo Ghenov, 1/2/2014.

386, In the entry for ἐπιφάνεια, the reference “ALaw, Manifest in Flesh ’96” at the end of the first paragraph should be “ALau, Manifest in Flesh ’96”. The work in question is: Lau, Andrew Y. Manifest in Flesh: The Epiphany Christology of the Pastoral Epistles. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1996. Chuck Bumgardner, reported 6/11/2016

455, s.v., θῆλυς, 5th line of entry: incorrect accent in a citation (text reads “εἴτε ἄρσενα εἴτε θηλείαν GJs 4:1,” should be θήλειαν). This error spotted by Zdeněk Halas, reported 1/6/2009

487, s.v., κἀγώ, 3.b. “(cp. 16:9)” verse ref. should not be bold (text reads καί ἐγώ, not κἀγώ)

500, s.v., κακολογέω, the 2S future form is given as οκακολογήσεις; where the stray omicron on the front came from, I’ve no idea! [Spotting this typo is to be credited to my 2d year Greek class, fall 2005. Sharp eyes guys!] (added 9/14/05)

518, s.v., κατακόπτω, English spelling error in gloss: lacereate should be lacerate. (added 10/6/08)

608. s.v. μάγος, there should not be a rough breathing mark over the genitive ending.  (added 10/17/11, thanks to Wes Dingman)

649, col. 1, line 7, s.v. μήποτε, “the text” should not be bold

659, col. 1, s.v. μόνος, 2.c.x, 3 lines from the end of the paragraph: “…TestJob 11:7; Ar 13, 7) Mt 21:9 …” There is a period missing after the abbrev “Ar”–which makes the reference to a totally different source (see BDAG’s abbrev. list 8!). The text intended is the Apology of Aristides = POxy 1778 (not the journal Archaeologia). There is also some question as to the reference; is it 13.7 (as in BDAG), or 13.6 (where I’ve found the text elsewhere)? I’ve requested an ILL copy of the published edition of this text from JTS 25 (1924): 73-77, H. Milne, “A New Fragment of the Apology of Aristides,” which BDAG cites by page and line number, to verify his reference. Thanks to the several people who helped me sort this out on my blog on March 6, 2009. [There may be a similar problem on 692, s.v., ὅθεν, 1.b. (last line on the page), but I haven’t verified that; reported on my blog by Thomas.]

661, s.v., μύλος, 2. Mt. 9:42 should be Mk. 9:42

690, col. 1, line 2, “narrrative” > “narrative” (an extra r), s.v., ὅδε

737, s.v., οὐρανόθεν; accent missing from root form: οὐρανος should be οὐρανός.

794, s.v., πέμπω, first line of entry: 1 aor. form is given as ἑπεμψα, but should be ἔπεμψα  (i.e., smooth breathing and acute, not rough breathing). (added 3/7/2009, reported by Zdeněk Halas)

829, s.v. πλήρωμα, 1.b., the first part of the entry should not be italicized (it is the definition, not part of the gloss); correct = “1.b. that which makes someth. full/complete, supplement, complement…”

878, s.v. προσέρχομαι, 1.b. (end), the reference to 1 Peter 2:3 should be to v. 4, not v. 3

897, accent missing on neuter ending of πυκνός, ή, ον (should be listed as: πυκνός, ή, όν)

946, s.v., στοιχέω, the comments on Phil. 3:16 and Rom. 4:12 have gotten tangled and confused. The translation given after the Greek text of Rom. 4:12 is for the preceding Phil. 3:16 (check both your Greek text and the punctuation in BDAG). The transl. of the phrase from Rom. 4:12 (which was included in BAGD) has been omitted; should have “follow in someone’s footsteps” here. [This error was first noted by Randy Leedy on the b-greek list, 11/06/02.]

948, s.v. στρέφω, the second aorist form given in some early printings in incorrect (I think this has been corrected since it is correct in my electronic copy in Accordance. RD); instead of ἐστράφν, it should beἐστράφην.  (added 4/16/2010, reported by Zdeněk Halas)

956, col. 1, line 15, s.v. σύλλημμα, ατοσ, τό, should have a final sigma on the genitive ending: σύλλημμα, ατος, τό, (added 5/6/05; pg # correction from Peter Scott, 9/08. Thanks.)

987, col. 2, line 17, “in control of onself” should be “in control of oneself” (added 9/23/2013, courtesy of Ronaldo Ghenov’s sharp eye).

1028, s.v. ὑπάγω, def. #1, spelling/typo: soneone’s > someone’s

1088, s.v. χράομαι, 3. last two full lines, φιλανθρώπως … χρησάμενος–the NT ref. is missing, add: Acts 27:3 (Thanks to Jeff Smelser for spotting this one.) (added 9/22/06)

1101, s.v. ὧδε, 2. “a ref. to a present event, object, or cicumstance…”; should be “… circumstance…” (English spelling error). (added 3/28/2012, reported by Ronaldo Ghenov)

BDAG

October 10, 2012

Short Notice: BDAG3

bdagDanker, Frederick W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3d ed. Based on Walter Bauer’s Griechisch-deutsches Worterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der fruhchristlichen Literatur, 6th ed., ed. Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, with Viktor Reichmann and on previous English editions by W. F. Arndt, F. W. Gingrich, and F. W. Danker. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2000. lxxxix + 1108 pgs. Hardcover. $85.00. ISBN 0-226-03933-1.

[Photos of these scholars and published reviews at end, along with an “Intro to BDAG.”
And Errata for BDAG on a separate page.]

Long awaited, the recent release of the third English edition of Bauer’s lexicon–the standard in New Testament lexicography–marks a significant achievement in biblical scholarship. Everyone who is serious about grappling with the text of the Greek testament owes a great debt to Frederick Danker and to the University of Chicago Press. Originally due in the mid-90s, many of us have fretted over innumerable delays, but the wait has been worth it.

The history of BDAG (as the new edition is to be known) may be traced to Preuschen’s Vollstadiges griechisch-deutsches Handwoterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testament und der ubringen Urchristlichen Literatur which appeared in 1910–the first lexicon to be published after the discovery and study of the papyri (though unfortunately the papyri evidence was not used by Preuschen). This work was revised several times by Walter Bauer as Griechisch-deutsches Woterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments und der ubringen Urchristlichen Literatur. The fourth German edition (1949-52) was the basis of the first English edition prepared by William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich (1957). A second English edition (in which Danker took the place of Arndt who had died in 1957) followed in 1979, based on Bauer’s fifth edition (1957-58). The sixth edition of the Woterbuch (following Bauer’s death in 1960) was edited by the Alands (Kurt and Barbara) and Viktor Reichmann (1988). The third English edition builds on the preceding English editions, the sixth German edition, and Danker’s own work. (Gingrich died in 1993.)

The two most obvious and appreciated changes from previous editions are the inclusion of actual definitions of each Greek word (rather than simple English translation glosses) and the much improved typography. There is a considerable difference between how one might translate a Greek word into English and defining that word. The only other lexicon which has attempted to provide definitions is Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT Based on Semantic Domains. BDAG still includes translation glosses, but finally gives something equivalent to what readers would expect to find in a dictionary of their own mother tongue: definitions.

As to the typography, the user will quickly notice that the pages are much more legible. Although the main text is still set in 7 point Times New Roman, the leading has been increased to 10 points; the main entry word is set in a larger (10 point), bold typeface; and a brighter paper has been used. All NT references are set in bold, which makes it much easier to locate specific instances of a word in the NT. Perhaps the most distinctive innovation in the typography is the use of bulleted numbers to outline the semantic divisions of each article. Top level divisions are numbered with solid bullets and second level categories with hollow bullets (see illus. below). This greatly facilitates tracing the structure of BDAG’s entry and the semantic range of each word.

Other changes include the very large increase in non-NT citations (an additional 15,000 according to the publisher) and a major reworking of the abbreviation lists in the front matter.

The inevitable question that must arise upon the publication of such a book is, “Should I buy it?” If you are a student of the Greek NT and have not yet purchased a standard lexicon, the answer is an unqualified Yes. You will never accomplish any serious exegesis if you remain forever with only a beginner’s lexicon (as Newman’s Dictionary must be judged; it has other limitations as well). There is no other equivalent tool. Louw and Nida’s Lexicon has a different focus altogether. Abbott-Smith is much more limited (though handy enough to carry on vacation). Thayer ought not even be considered since his work is both inaccurate and seriously out of date (it is “pre-papyri”). The only other major lexicon is Liddell and Scott, but that work focuses primarily on classical Greek even though the LXX and NT are included. So buy BDAG (sell your car if necessary!) and learn to use it. You will not regret your purchase.

Another easy recommendation can be made for those who are either teaching Greek or who are doing graduate work in NT (or theology). In either case you simply must buy the new edition. As a teacher, all your students will be using BDAG in just a few years, and you will have to have the tool that they are using. For graduate students, only the most recent research is adequate, particularly when you reach the dissertation stage. (You can always “retire” the older edition to a handy place by your favorite reading chair at home–which is where my old BAG has been for a number of years.)

But what if you already have the first or second edition of Bauer’s lexicon (BAG or BAGD)? Here advice is more difficult. If all you have is one of the earlier editions and your eyes are not as keen as they once were, then the much improved legibility of the new BDAG may be worth your investment, especially if you do not also own Louw and Nida’s Lexicon, for then you would gain the added definitions as well. If you own an earlier edition and you also have Louw and Nida, then the choice becomes more difficult. You might decide to be content with these two tools–and that would be a viable decision if you regularly use both these tools together. More commonly Louw and Nida sits on the shelf untouched, and that is not good. It does take longer to consult two reference tools than one–and Louw and Nida is more clumsy to use than Bauer since one must first find the word in the index volume and then trace its multiple occurrences in the main volume. The gain in using the new BDAG might well expedite your study and even prompt you to pull down Louw and Nida to compare definitions.

Intro to BDAG

“An Introduction to the Bauer/Danker Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament” (R. Decker, 27 pgs., .pdf format). This is an extensive introduction to the history and use of BDAG. This has existed in various forms for several years as I have taught my students how to use BDAG. This is the first edition sufficiently complete to justify posting, although it is still to be regarded as a draft and not a final, polished version. Also see one of my PowerPoint files that I use in class:

A Basic Introduction to BDAG3”  This is one of the items that I use to introduce my students to BDAG. Please read the notes on the last slide. Requires XP version of PowerPoint (or newer). It’s probably best to download the entire file and run it from your hard drive rather than trying to view it over the web. (In Windows, right click the link and select “Save target as…”; In Mac, click and hold for the pop-up menu, then select “Save…”)
Alternate format: Adobe Acrobat *v. 5* .pdf format.  Revised and expanded versions posted 9/13/2007.

Errata for BDAG

As valuable a tool as BDAG is, a tool of this complexity and magnitude is bound to have typos, etc. My list of errata for BDAG (based on the first printing) is on a separate page. It’s not long; the Univ./Chicago Press has done an outstanding job with an exceedingly complex typesetting job. Some typos have been corrected in subsequent printings.

Notes on the Danker Festschrift

Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker, ed. B. Taylor, J. Lee, R. Burton, and R. Whitaker (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004). Notes and my summary of the book. See especially Danker’s article, “Lexical Evolution and Linguistic Hazard” (pp. 1-31), formerly [I think!]: “Lexicographical Hazards” in SBL 1985 Seminar Papers, ed. K. Richards, 235-41 (Scholars Press, 1985).

Other Reviews of BDAG

  • Review by Jerker BlomqvistBryn Mawr Classical Review, June 2001
  • Review by Kim Haines-EitzenElectronic Antiquity 6.1
  • There are several reviews posted on the Review of Biblical Literature (RBLsite. Links to each of these (as of 10/23/02) are linked directly below. (The link in this entry goes to a page listing all reviews of BDAG on RBL.)
  • Review by J. L. North, JTS, ns, 54.1 (2003): 271-80
  • The review listed above by Terry Roberts has now been reprinted in the Danker Festschrift: Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker, ed. B. Taylor, et al, 53-65 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004).

Other Relevant Articles

Reviews of 2d ed., 1978 (BAGD)

  • Gordon D. Fee, Christian Scholars Review, 10.1 (1980):92-93.
  • Francis Gignac, CBQ 42 (1980): 555-58.
  • Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Theological Studies, 40.3 (1979): 533-35.
  • Schuyler Brown, JBL 100.2 (1981): 290-91.
  • R. W. Klein, Currents in Theology and Mission, 6 (1979): 63-66.
  • Georgacas, CP [Classical Philology?] 53 (1958) 58-59.

Reviews of 1st. ed., 1957 (BAG)

  • Wm. Barclay, NTS 9 (1962): 70-72.
  • G. Friedrich, TLZ 88 (1963): 38ff.
  • E. des Places, Biblica 38.3 (1957): 355-56.
  • S. L. Johonson, Jr. BSac 114.456 (1957): 372.
  • Holt Graham, Anglican Theological Review 39.4 (1957): 584-85.
  • Stiles Lessly, Christian Century 74.17 (1957): 535.
  • ‘D.G.B.’ in Irenikon 30.2 (1957): 243-44.
  • A. A. Stevenson, Month 17.6 (1957): 407-08.
  • Times Literary Supplement, Ap. 19, 1957.

Photographs

FredDanker01

Fred Danker at SBL (early 2000s?)

WBauerLowRes

Walter Bauer

DankerSm

Frederick William Danker (1920–)

ARNDT William F

William Frederick Arndt (1880–1957)

Gingrich01

Felix Wilbur Gingrich (1901–1993)

ARNDTGINGRICH1

Photos of Arndt and of Arndt & Gingrich courtesy of the Concordia Historical Institute. Photos of Gingrich (this page and other page linked) courtesy of Gingrich Library at Albright College.

For all those of you fortunate to be using Accordance as your Bible Study software, there’s a Back to School sale in progress that enables you to pick up BDAG for only $120—a pretty good price considering the list price is now $165.

The details (from Accordance blurb):

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gingrich

This is the highly respected, third edition of the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament edited by Frederick William Danker. It is the standard lexicon for Greek New Testament studies in seminaries and universities worldwide.

Price: $165 | Sale Price: $119.99

More info or order here.

For comparison, BDAG is $150 for both Logos and BibleWorks (per their site listing as of today).

(For those who know or are preparing to learn Hebrew, HALOT is also available at $140.)

After discussing second aorist forms yesterday, my TA and I were just looking at BDAG’s entry for φέρω:

φέρω (Hom.+) impf. ἔφερον; fut. οἴσω J 21:18; Rv 21:26; 1 aor. ἤνεγκα, ptc. ἐνέγκας; 2 aor. inf. ἐνεγκεῖν (B-D-F §81, 2); pf. ἐνήνοχα (LXX, JosAs). Pass.: 1 aor. ἠνέχθην 2 Pt 1:17, 21a, 3 pl. ἐνέχθησαν Hs 8, 2, 1.

This listing seems odd to me. Note the items I’ve bolded. Why would ἤνεγκα and ἠνέχθην be listed as first aorist forms? I would think they should be designated as second aorist since they are formed from a different stem (*ἐνεκ). For now I’ll call them an anomaly, but “error” looks more likely–as hesitantly as I am in disagreeing with Danker.

I just received this note from Jim Darlack, but neither he nor I have direct access to the printed editions relevant to resolve this question. Does anyone have any comments on what Jim has found?

BDAG, p. 320, col. 2, under the third definition given for ἐλπίς, there is a reference to Vi. Aesopi G 8 P. that reads “ἀπὸ θεῶν λήψεσθαι ἐλπίδας.” Looking at TLG, under Vitae Aesopi, Vita G. {1765.001} Section 8 line 6, the text reads “ἀπὸ θεῶν λήψεσθαι χρηστὰς ἐλπίδας.”

The TLG text is based on the edition by B.E. Perry (Aesopica, vol. 1. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1952: 35-77) to which I don’t have access, so I cannot confirm whether or not TLG has made the error.

The same potential error is in BAGD (under the 4th section on ἐλπίς). Looking at the front matter, BDAG cites the editions of Perry as well as Eberhard’s Fabulae Romanenses Graece conscriptae ex recens. et cum adnotationibus (1872), but BAGD cites only Eberhard, so I wonder if it is because BDAG/BAGD’s citation is based on Eberhard rather than Perry. Vol. 1 of Eberhard is online via Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?q=editions:OXFORD590351078) but I was not able to locate text “G”.

BDAG, s.v. πέραν, 796–97.b.β:

πέραν w. gen. can also be used w. the art. as a subst. (X., An. 3, 5, 2 εἰς τὸ πέραν τοῦ ποταμοῦ; Jos., Ant. 7, 198) ἦλθον εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης they came to the (land on the) other side of the lake Mk 5:1.

πέραν is technically an adverb, but it can be used as a preposition with the genitive (e.g., Mark 3:8; 10:1). In the portion of BDAG cited above, however, it is listed under “πέραν w. gen.” as a substantive with the article. But in the three examples cited (Xenophon, Josephus, Mark) it is an accusative article—the genitive is a word which modifies the accusative object of the preposition εἰς, not a genitive object of πέραν.

εἰς τὸ πέραν τοῦ ποταμοῦ (X., An. 3, 5, 2)

εἰς τὰ πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου (Jos., Ant. 7, 198) [ref. only, text not cited in BDAG]

εἰς τὸ πέραν τῆς θαλάσσης (Mark 5:1)

I would think that this should be listed as “πέραν w. acc.” and the refs. given here should have been under sect. a, not b.β.

Or am I not awake yet this morning? 🙂

(πέραν also occurs with a dative object in LXX; e.g., Josh 22:11.)



Be sure to see Carl Conrad’s comment below which explains the construction nicely; this is not an error.

A new word in BDAG

May 10, 2009

One normally turns to BDAG to learn or study Greek words. This morning I learned a new English word from BDAG. As I mentioned last week, I’ve just begun a new series on Hebrews in the adult Bible class at Northmoreland Baptist Church. As I was once again working through the early verses of Heb 1 in my Greek testament I was reflecting on the use of αἰών. It is translated variously in the English translations: ages, world, universe, etc. (see both Heb 1:2, ἐποίησεν τοὺς αἰῶνας and 11:3, κατηρτίσθαι τοὺς αἰῶνας). The note in NET reflects a likely explanation for a word which is normally used in a temporal way, but in these two verses (& possibly others outside Hebrews) is apparently used of a physical entity: “The temporal (ages) came to be used of the spatial (what exists in those time periods).”

I was curious about what BDAG said about this use, so I flipped it open to the entry for αἰών and began reading:

αἰών, ῶνος, ὁ (Hom.+; gener. ‘an extended period of time’, in var. senses)
1. a long period of time, without ref. to beginning or end,
a. of time gone by, the past, earliest times, readily suggesting a venerable or awesome eld οἱ ἅγιοι ἀπ᾿ αἰῶνος προφῆται the holy prophets fr. time immemorial

“A venerable or awesome eld“?! My first instinct was to grab a note pad and jot myself a note to add a new entry to my BDAG errata page! “Eld” is obviously not a word. I even verified that by grabbing a dictionary that sits by my reading chair. No “eld.” But it sounded so natural. My next instinct was to check the older BAG (i.e., 1st ed.) to see if anything there might suggest the correct wording. Nothing. On a lark I pulled up the dictionary app on my Mac and typed in “eld.” Lo and behold, there is a word “eld.” So that’s my new word in BDAG for today:

eld
noun poetic/literary
old age.
• former times; the past.
ORIGIN Old English ieldu, eldu, of Germanic origin; related to ELDER and OLD.

And now you know it also.

Since I’m on the subject, here’s the answer to my original query of BDAG. The two refs. in Heb are listed under #3, “the world as a spatial concept, the world.” In addition to Heb 1:2 and 11:3, there is also 1 Tim 1:17 and Rev 15:3 v.l., and another dozen from LXX and other koine lit. But then BDAG adds this note: “But many of these pass. may belong under 2.” The #2 listing is for αἰών used “a segment of time as a particular unit of history, age. I’ll let you pursue it from there.

BDAG perplexity

March 6, 2009

BDAG, s.v. μόνος, p. 659.2.c, 3 lines from end of that section:

(μηδὲν) . . . εἰ μὴ . . . μόνον (TestAbr B 11 p. 116, 3 [Stone p. 80]; TestJob 11:7; Ar 13, 7) Mt 21:9; Mk 6:8. μηδενὶ . . . εἰ μὴ μ. Ac 11:19. On 1–2c s. KBeyer, Semitische Syntax im NT ’62, 126–29.

I’m trying to identify the citation “Ar 13, 7.” According to the abbrev list, “Ar” (no period) = Archaeologia (London) 1770, 1888ff. I assume that is a journal.

The sort of reference in this context doesn’t make good sense as a journal reference since it appears to be citing an instance of a particular Greek construction in a primary source—parallel to several Pseudepigrypha citations. So I wonder if the abbreviation should be “Ar.” instead.

“Ar.” = Aristides’ Apology (= POxy 1778), cited from Milne’s ed. in JTS, 1924.

I don’t have access to JTS that far back in either our seminary’s print holdings or in our online databases (JTS online is in Proquest, but only back to 1997.)

Any ideas? Or anyone have easy access to JTS to check my hunch? (I can get it via ILL, but that will take several weeks.)


RESOLVED: Be sure to read the comments on this post (summary in comment #8). It’s been a most interesting discussion, but with the help of several readers we think we have identified at least one error in BDAG (possibly two).

My second-year, Greek Reading class has been discussing BDAG. Here’s a reply I wrote to some of the discussion on the course blog. I thought it might be of interest to those of you reading this blog as well.

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I sense that most of you are beginning to appreciate just how much info is in this volume [i.e., BDAG]. And some of you are perhaps a bit overwhelmed by it. That’s natural. But view it as a challenge–a challenge that you *can* handle. It’s a tool, and an important one, in understanding the NT–and that ought to be one of the top priorities in your seminary preparation. All the practical skills in the world (as necessary as some of them are) will do you absolutely no good if you don’t have the ability to minister God’s Word to those whom God entrusts to your care. A superficial knowledge of the NT is not adequate for the challenges you will face in ministry, nor will your people be satisfied long term with shallow ministry. I think one of the reasons that pastorates are so short these days is that there is far too little depth in the pulpit.

BDAG is not a “cure all,” but it is one of the tools that enables you to do more than frivolous Greek study based on Wuest and Strong’s numbers. Your Greek testament, BDAG, a good grammar (such as Wallace), a Greek concordance (these days likely computerized–ideally Accordance! [1]), and a strong dose of stubbornness [2] and commitment [3] will take you a long ways in building a stable, lasting ministry.

Notes on the last paragraph:

[1] Accordance runs only on a Mac and isn’t cheap–but it’s worth the cost [of the Mac!] to use it. It isn’t designed primarily as a “library tool” (though it has a wide selection of books), but as a language study tool, it is without peer. [Warning: “rant” ahead. 🙂 ] Yes, I’ve used BibleWorks (the most capable language tool on Windows, but a unintuitive interface that only a programmer could love!) and also run Logos (probably “walked” would be a more apt metaphor! It’s a sluggish behemoth of bloated code). Yes, I’m opinionated on this matter; amazingly, many people don’t agree with me (can you imagine that?!)–I suspect mostly because they’ve never using Accordance–or have an institutional “lock-in/restriction” to Windows only. Mac avoids a lot of hassles on other scores as well. [End of rant. 🙂 ]

[2] Stubbornness, not as a general personality trait, but in regards to maintaining your language skills. I was never the smartest Greek student; many received higher grades than I. But many of my straight A classmates have long forsaken their language skills. Tis a pity. I was just stubborn enough to determine that this was worth learning and using regularly. As a result I likely learned more Greek in the dozen years I spent in the pastorate than I did in college, seminary, and graduate study combined. (And I had 2 years in college, 3 more in seminary, and another in my ThM work before I began pastoring full time–all of which was good training; I’m not suggesting that I didn’t lean a lot then! But you learn a lot more by using it regularly year after year than you possibly can in the classroom. (I’ve probably learned more since beginning to teach Greek, now 17 years ago, mostly because of all your questions I’ve had to answer! 🙂

[3] Commitment: to the authority, sufficiency, and reliability of God’s Word. If the Bible is inspired in its original autographs (as I hold), then I have no choice but to commit myself to the biblical languages. My bibliology requires that of me. And rightly so.

Back to the main point, using BDAG. (Thought I’d forgotten didn’t you? 🙂 ) Don’t let the mass of detail overwhelm you. Learn to use it first to get the big picture. Then gradually drill down as you focus in on the particular passage you’re working on. You can ignore some of the data you find. Practically speaking, I realize that most seminary students and pastors are not going to make much use of the German bibliography that’s there in abundance. Nor a lot of the diachronic data regarding usage long before the NT. That’s OK. But even with that caveat, there’s lots left. Will you ever look up every word in BDAG as you preach through a NT book? Probably not, at least not on most passages. But you might on some. Right now you need to look up a lot of info simply because most of you have only had 2 semesters of Greek. It takes some time to get your Greek “legs” under you and begin reading more easily and rapidly. (This course is designed, in part, to help move you along in that direction.) As you do, you’ll soon develop a sense of where the greatest value comes in using BDAG. (And it isn’t just in the new words you don’t know.) Whenever you hit a snag and a passage just doesn’t seem to make good sense, it likely time to grab BDAG. As you discovered this week, even a little thing like a preposition can be very flexible in usage. Someone commented on the course blog about being sensitive to how the author seems to be relating various contextual elements together with a preposition. That’s exactly the point. And that’s where BDAG can help a great deal.

The electronic versions of BDAG can expedite quick reference to data on specific verses–at least those that BDAG lists by reference, so if you have the luxury of owning a e-copy as well as a print version, use it to find such listings. I’m not convinced that reading it on screen is ideal, esp. for lengthy articles, but that’s another matter–and one concerning which I have some Luddite ideas! 🙂 Someone asked me the other day if BDAG were available for a handheld. It’s not. And I can’t conceive of how something like BDAG could ever be a practical tool in that format. (I gave up using a Palm a few years ago simply because the limitations of what one could see at one time made reading context nearly impossible. If there’s one thing you hear in my classroom it’s context, context, and more context. If I can only see a small snippet at one time, it’s really difficult to grasp contextual relationships, whether in the Greek NT, English, or in a tool like BDAG.) But I digress. Again.

Several of you have commented on the improbability that you’d ever use any of the bibliography entries in BDAG. Don’t jettison that help too quickly. No, it won’t help on Sat night when you’ve delayed finishing (or starting!) your Sunday message too long, at least not until such time as we can all access full text journals for free on the net. But I’d encourage you to plan your preaching much longer in advance. You really ought to know 6 mths or a year in advance what you will be preaching. Since I’m sure you will all be expositors preaching carefully (and relevantly!) through one book after another, you can (and should) be working ahead, gathering material, translating, thinking about the series you are going to begin the next year, etc. That’s when you can benefit from BDAG’s bibliography. When you run into what seems to be a tough passage with some key terms, you can make an effort to get some of those articles (and many of them are in English) so they are at hand when you need them. Even if you don’t have a good theological library at hand, most local libraries gladly fill inter-library loan requests so long as you have all the info they need. And BDAG will provide it for you. It’s not “just for scholars.”

Perhaps some of the ideas you’ve just read are novel ones. That wouldn’t be surprising since many of you may have never had exposure to this sort of pastoral ministry. Some have the perception that the pastorate is about programs and personal work. It includes that, but your primary responsibility as a pastor (which, remember, is the word “shepherd”) is to feed the sheep. Someone once said, shepherds don’t have lambs, healthy sheep do. You’ll get to be a midwife on occasion, but serving the sheep is your first priority, caring for them, leading them to green pastures in the Word, guarding and warning them–all of which must be done by and based on the Word. And God saw fit to have his new covenant revelation written in Greek. Doesn’t leave you many options does it? Learn to make Greek a profitable and regularly-used tool, or become a second-hand, second-rate hired man panning off someone else’s work–and hoping they got it right.

Do you remember what you read from Martin Luther regarding the importance of the biblical languages earlier this semester? It’s worth reflecting on again in this context.

(And yes, the same principles apply to the OT and to Hebrew as well–but this is a Greek class! 🙂 )

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For those reading just this page, you might be interested in my regular web page devoted entirely to BDAG.

Revised ppt file, Intro to BDAG

September 13, 2007

I’ve just posted a revised Intro to BDAG file. It is not a substantive revision in content, but should now work better on a Mac (the previous version was apparently not opening correctly or at all on some Macs). I have also updated the Greek text so that it is now all Unicode format. It’s linked on my main BDAG page, or here’s a direct download link.

Typo corrections to BDAG

September 12, 2007

I’ve just discovered that there have been “silent corrections” of typos in BDAG. I don’t know how extensive these are or in what printings they began. Although both of my copies have the same typo at one place, I read a copy today of the 2003, 3d printing that had the same typo corrected. Since I have an entire web page devoted to listing such typos (of which Danker is aware), I should probably check all of them to see what corrections have been made, but I do not have direct access to a very recent printing.

If anyone knows anything more about this, I’d be glad to hear of it.

Below is a “brief review” of the new intermediate Greek grammar. Although I have not thoroughly read the entire grammar, I have skimmed it and provided some assessments at the end of the review.deeper

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament. By Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2016. 550 pp.

Seasoned New Testament scholars, Köstenberger, Merkle, and Plummer have provided an intermediate Greek textbook that is sure to assist both professors and students with a current resource for the study of the grammar and syntax of the Greek New Testament. Their goal is to provide a resource that is accessible and fun to students. They claim this is a textbook, not a reference guide/resource; a hands-on, practical guide to assist in the proper interpretation of God’s word.

The format of the textbook is straightforward and user-friendly.

First, each chapter begins with a section titled, “Going Deeper.” The purpose of this section is to introduce the student to a practical illustration that applies the material found within the chapter. For example, chapter 3 – which discusses the Genitive case, walks the student through common wording that is often found on Christmas cards (“peace on earth, good will toward men,” ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας). Is this an accurate translation of the Greek text? There is also a text-critical issue with this verse; should the text read εὐδοκίας (gen case), or εὐδοκία (nom case)? And, is Luke (2:14) suggesting that good will go to all men, humanity at large?

Following the “Going Deeper” section, each chapter states the objectives and introduces the material. Several biblical examples, written in Greek and translated into English for the ease of the student to follow along & see the relevant syntactical forms, illustrate the grammatical and/or syntactical category discussed in the chapter.

Third, and probably one of the unique sections of the grammar, is the inclusion of practice sentences. These are carefully chosen to provide students with the ability to practice the skills they have learned. This feature is unique because it is unlike the typical intermediate grammar; that is, most grammars either do not include practice sentences or publish them in a separate volume. This grammar includes them.

Fourth, this intermediate grammar offers vocabulary for students to memorize. In the introduction (p. 4), it states that the student who memorizes all words in the New Testament that occur 15 times or more will have memorized 830 words.

And last, this grammar offers a built-in reader. By reader it is meant that there are New Testament texts for students to translate at the end of each chapter. These texts were carefully selected so that students were exposed to the following: (1) grammar & syntax discussed in the chapter, and (2) a pastorally relevant/theologically foundational/or doctrinally debated text that is 10-12 verses in length. The reader sections also provide helpful notes to guide the student through the translation process.

One of the benefits to this grammar for professors is the available resources. There are a number of teacher aids from weekly quizzes to PowerPoint presentations to chapter summaries. These resources are accessible at www.deepergreek.com

As the reader thumbs through the table of contents, he will not be surprised to find typical chapter titles for an intermediate grammar (e.g., Genitive Case, Dative Case, Participles, Infinitives, etc.). However, the authors have also incorporated recent studies within the fields of verbal aspect and discourse analysis into chapters 7 and 13 respectively. They have consulted a number of NT scholars (e.g., Campbell, Decker, Porter, Black, Huffman, Runge) to provide the latest information and/or techniques; especially in these fields.

“Keeping current” is a must in New Testament Greek grammar. With a publication date of 2016, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is sure to have the latest information on key grammatical and syntactical concepts. I am especially impressed with chapter 15 (Continuing with Greek) because it offers resources for students of the Greek NT. The writers of this Greek grammar strongly encourage their readers to invest time into recommended resources and tools such as websites (e.g., ntresources.com), exegetical commentaries (e.g., EGGNT series, Handbook on the Greek Text series, etc.), lexicons (e.g., BDAG), and grammars.

This is an all-in-one grammar that will be a great help to the student or pastor who desires to advance his understanding of the Greek New Testament. If you plan to learn or continue to learn Greek, you will want this text on your shelf.

Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching. It is too often skipped because of the Christmas holiday shopping season. The majority of consumers therefore, see Thanksgiving as the day before shopping really begins, black Friday. In order for us to consider our own time of thanksgiving, I wonder if we could just pause for a moment or two and see how Paul uses the term for ‘thanksgiving.’  To whom and/or what are you thankful? Does God make the list as one you direct your thanksgiving?

I have chosen to consider Paul’s writings because of the number of uses of the Greek word εὐχαριστέω. Paul uses this word in almost all of his letters; especially to “express appreciation for benefits or blessings, give thanks, express thanks, render/return thanks” (BDAG, 415).

The typical structure of Paul’s letters includes an element known as the thanksgiving (Roetzel, The Letters of Paul, 72). It is this formal element, found in all of Paul’s letters except for Galatians, which ends the opening salutation and signals the basic intent of the letter. One could say that the thanksgiving section serves as a ‘mini table of contents’ for the letter.

There is no doubt that each of Paul’s letters is different, touching various issues depending on its original recipients within a given historical context. His letters are occasional, and thus intended for specific situations. Although each letter possesses a unique and different purpose, and therefore is structured to fit the context to which he is writing, Paul still maintains consistency in most of his letters by including the thanksgiving element.

So why does Paul give thanks? And how does this affect me, the reader? Paul typically gives thanks for two reasons. First, Paul’s prayers are God-oriented. He often renders thanks to God; that is, God is the object (τῷ θεῷ μου) of the thanksgiving and/or praise, gratitude (cf. Phil 1:3; Col 1:3; Phlm 4). Paul states in the text that he offers thanks to my God, which is represented by the personal pronoun μου, to demonstrate his personal relationship with God. Hansen states, “The personal pronoun communicates the transforming impact of God’s gracious salvation in Christ Jesus on his own life. God’s grace so transformed him that even in prison his gratitude to God guided his prayers, attitudes, and thoughts” (The Letter to the Philippians, PNT, p. 45).

For Paul, God is uppermost in his mind, especially for God’s work in and through Paul’s recipients of his letters. God and His grace is the source of salvation (1 Thess 1:4; 1 Tim 1:12-16). God and His power removes spiritual hindrances and directs, guides the believer’s path (1 Thess 3:11). God and His gospel empowers fellowship with one another for unity and evangelism (Phil 1:3-5). And God and His love provides hope with the promise of growth through His Spirit to glorification in Christ (2 Thess 2:13-14). Due to God’s work in the believer’s life, Paul expresses gratitude to God.

Second, Paul’s prayers are others-oriented. He renders thanks for, or for the benefit of (περί) his recipients; or for the sake of someone, some entity’s interest (ὑπέρ, BDAG, 1030). Paul not only directs his prayers to God but also for others. Over and over throughout Paul’s letters, he is consistently and persistently bearing in mind those to whom he is writing. His prayers are not self-interested; rather the interest of others takes first place. The reasons for his diligent labor of prayer on behalf of others is the recipients’ faith in God (Rom 1:8-9; 1 Thess 1:3; 2 Thess 1:3); love for others (1 Thess 1:3; 2 Thess 1:3; Phlm 4); hope of Christ’s coming (1 Cor 1:7-8; 1 Thess 1:3, 9-10) and the continued growth in their walk with Jesus Christ (Eph 1:16-19; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thess 3:11-13). Due to Paul’s pastoral and mutual care for the congregations found within his letters, he labors constantly in prayer on their behalf. His joy is found in the growth of others (Phil 1:4-5; 1 Thess 3:6-9; 2 Thess 1:4; Phlm 7) and the love that his recipients share toward for others. This is evidenced through his boasting in God’s accomplishments (2 Thess 1:4).

Paul gives you and I as the reader of his letters reasons to express our gratitude to God for His gracious work in and through us. God continues to show Himself faithful to us, regardless of the circumstances we endure. Are you thanking God for your salvation? For your eternal hope? For your unity with other believers?

He also gives us reasons to offer prayers, selflessly for/on behalf of others. Are your prayers consumed with the list of issues ‘you’ are going through? Or are your prayers also concerned with the growth, mutual care, and love for others? What will God hear from you this Thanksgiving season?

Posted below is a 2-page pdf file with a list of 48 verbs in the NT that take a dative direct object. This is not complete, though it is more complete than other lists I’ve seen thus far. It is based on the list of 20 verbs in Robertson’s Grammar and then supplemented with a search of the entries in BDAG using Accordance to find verbs that have notes regarding the use of the dative. I’m happy to have feedback on this list, either suggestions for omission (if you think I’ve included inappropriate verbs) or for addition for those that I’ve surely missed. I am distinguishing between verbs which take a direct object and others that have a dative complement. I realize that some prefer just to list them all as complements, but I think there is a legitimate distinction in some instances.

Verbs_DativeDO.pdf

The most recent issue of Novum Testamentum has a good article by John Lee: “Etymological Follies: Three Recent Lexicons of the New Testament,” 55 (2003) 383–403. Anything written by Lee on lexicography is worth reading carefully. (His book on the history of lexicography in the SBG series is extraordinarily valuable. It may sound dry, but it will repay careful reading.)

Lee’s targets in this article are the lexicons by Trenchard, Newman (rev.), and Danker’s CL. All three have introduced etymological notes of various sorts. Lee considers the first two to be unmitigated disasters. Danker is treated more kindly, but the purpose of this etymological information is not, Lee thinks, well designed. I would agree at this point, and that despite the fact that I commended Danker’s CL in my last post! There is some help here, but most of the bracketed material near the beginning of each entry might better be ignored by students, esp. beginning students.

Here’s Lee’s assessment of Danker in summary:

Danker’s foray into etymology is not a disaster, as are those of Trenchard and Newman, but it is ill-advised. The main problem, apart from inaccuracies, is the randomness of the information given. Danker simply chooses something without any consistent system. One can see the difficulty faced: to summarize in a few words a complex and highly variable body of data on each word. But one could wish he had defined his system and objective more clearly, for himself as much as for us. Part of doing so would have been to decide what purpose the etymological information serves and how it would impact the reader (401).

The issues with Trenchard and Newman (rev.) are much more substantive and serious. Trenchard bases his work on Greenlee’s NT Greek Morpheme Lexicon. It turns out that Greenlee’s lexicon is not very reliable since it is based on the abridged edition of LS, but that ed. is an abridgment of the first ed. of LS in 1843! The unabridged editions of LS have all been considered notoriously unreliable as to etymology in all editions up to the current 9th ed. (1940 + supplements since), and the current editors are not happy with everything in the 9th ed.! As a result Greenlee, and in turn Trenchard, perpetuate long since discredited speculation regarding the etymology of many words. When it comes to Newman, Lee concludes that his primary source for etymology is none other than Trenchard! So the errors are compounded.

The introduction section of Lee’s article sets this discussion in context with a helpful discussion of the current status of etymological study. There are a few (but only a few) reliable resources for such work.The few include Frisk (3 vols. in German, 1960–72), Chantraine (French, 1968–80; new ed. 2009), and most recently the massive work of Robert Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (2 massive vols from Brill [so you know what they cost!], 2010). I saw Beekes at the last SBL I attended (2010 when Beekes’ work was released). Very impressive, but also prohibitively expensive for most scholars to own (prices on Amazon start at $505!). Also to be noted is the older French work of Boisacq (1916), but his work was superseded and replaced by Frisk and Chantraine. It appears that too much of Danker’s data comes from Boisacq and not enough from Frisk and Chantraine. Danker never tells the reader what he used, though all 3 of these works are in the bibliography of BDAG, so we know he was familiar with them. He could not have used Beekes, of course, since it was published afterward.

Those who know my emphasis on synchronic priority may wonder why I spend so much time talking here about an obviously diachronic matter. I would remind you that I’ve never said that diachronic study is illegitimate, only that for NT exegesis synchronic study must be given priority. There will always be a need for scholars to grapple with diachronic data, including the difficult (and sometimes speculative) area of etymology.The cautions regarding diachrony and etymology found in Silva (God, Language and Scripture), Carson (Exegetical Fallacies), and Louw (Semantics) need to be heeded. (Lee does reference all three of these discussions [p. 403 n. 34], though his article is based on primary data and is not a discussion of the theoretical issues as found in Silva, Carson, and Louw.)

I agree with Lee that the danger of including etymological data in small lexicons is great, especially as these are transferred into digital editions and thus easily copied and perpetuated despite the large number of errors in Trenchard and Newman, and to a lesser extent, Danker’s CL (though that is not yet, I think, available in a digital format for any of the major Bible software tools—though it is in a poorly designed and clumsy to use Kindle ed.). Lee’s entire article is well worth your reading carefully.

(Updated 11/3 to correct the spelling of Beekes as noted in the comment. Thanks.)