Understanding a word in the original language - what resources do I have in In Logos version is 4.2 SR-2

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MarCya Mooney | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Feb 4 2011 10:29 AM

When I want to know exactly what a word means in the original language (Hebrew) in a particular verse, where do I go to find the best translation of THAT word in that exact verse?  Not like Strongs where it tells me the word meant “This or that” so many times and something else a number of times.  That is NOT helpful.  I want to know what the word means in that exact instance only! 

My Logos version is 4.2 SR-2

What books/helps might I have that will help me

 

Thanks so much for your help

 

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 10:40 AM

What you ask is difficult because there can be disagreement over what specific nuance a word conveys in particular contexts.

My first port of call would be to look up the word in a lexicon (HALOT, CHALOT, BDB) and see if that verse is listed as an example of a particular meaning. This will give you some idea of the range of meaning the word can convey. Then I would compare how different translations translate that particular word. I would pay close attention to any footnotes the NET Bible might have on a word.You can also look to a technical commentary or the better expository commentaries to discuss the particular meaning of a word.

Remember context is king!

Posts 1770
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 10:53 AM

One of the many things that I have learned from Mark Barnes' videos is that if you click on the Louw-Nida numbers during a word study, it is keyed to give you the precise definition that most people (scholars?) agree to be the very best translation for that particular word for that instance. Strong's is numbered just specifically for that word, Louw-Nida is keyed for that word in that particular verse. Maybe he (or someone else) can explain it better. Without being a person with knowledge of the ancient languages, I think that this is about as close to "for sure" that I can get. Once I get the Louw-Nida information, I start digging further.

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steve clark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 10:55 AM

MarCia Mooney:
What books/helps might I have that will help me

If you have Vine's, it helps me (from a layperson's view).

 

(if you click on the above image, your browser should show you a zoomed view)

  1. When i hover over the Strong's number, Logos4 pop-up the definition from Vine's (if that number is found in Vine's).
  2. Clicking on the number opens Vine's to that location. As you can see Vine's gives a clearer definition that a layperson as myself can grasp.
  3. But you will need it prioritized in your Library for this to happen.

 

As for exact definition per scripture reference, Kevin's explanation is best.

QLinks, Bibl2, LLR, Macros
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Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 11:23 AM

Rick Hypes:

One of the many things that I have learned from Mark Barnes' videos is that if you click on the Louw-Nida numbers during a word study, it is keyed to give you the precise definition that most people (scholars?) agree to be the very best translation for that particular word for that instance. Strong's is numbered just specifically for that word, Louw-Nida is keyed for that word in that particular verse. Maybe he (or someone else) can explain it better. Without being a person with knowledge of the ancient languages, I think that this is about as close to "for sure" that I can get. Once I get the Louw-Nida information, I start digging further.

Unfortunately L-N is a Greek language thing. It cannot help with a Hebrew word study.

Posts 1770
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 11:31 AM

Kevin Becker:
Unfortunately L-N is a Greek language thing.

Thanks for the correction Kevin, I read through MarCia's post way too quickly.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 12:05 PM

MarCia Mooney:

When I want to know exactly what a word means in the original language (Hebrew) in a particular verse, where do I go to find the best translation of THAT word in that exact verse?  Not like Strongs where it tells me the word meant “This or that” so many times and something else a number of times.  That is NOT helpful.  I want to know what the word means in that exact instance only! 

My Logos version is 4.2 SR-2

What books/helps might I have that will help me

 

Thanks so much for your help

 

Kevin has already noted that you should consult one of the better lexica such as HALOT or BDB, but I would recommend a further step.  Note how the words are used in various contexts and the other words with which they are used.  This will give you a sense of the significance of the word you are trying to understand.  Don't simply look at the entry and note that it is used in the senses X, Y, and Z and that the lexicon cites your passage under Y.  Dig a little deeper. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 12:47 PM

George Somsel:
Kevin has already noted that you should consult one of the better lexica such as HALOT or BDB, but I would recommend a further step.  Note how the words are used in various contexts and the other words with which they are used.  This will give you a sense of the significance of the word you are trying to understand.  Don't simply look at the entry and note that it is used in the senses X, Y, and Z and that the lexicon cites your passage under Y.  Dig a little deeper. 

George is right, I should have expressed this concept explicitly. One way you can do this is performing a lemma search and then saving the results as a passage list which you can then print out and take notes on the word's usage. Sometimes viewing the results with the Aligned view can be helpful also.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 2:54 PM

Hi George

George Somsel:
Kevin has already noted that you should consult one of the better lexica such as HALOT or BDB, but I would recommend a further step.  Note how the words are used in various contexts and the other words with which they are used.  This will give you a sense of the significance of the word you are trying to understand.  Don't simply look at the entry and note that it is used in the senses X, Y, and Z and that the lexicon cites your passage under Y.  Dig a little deeper. 

With respect to looking at how words are used in various contexts and with other words.

How much would you say that this needs to be constrained by author / book or can it be used more widely?

For example is it valid to look at how a word is used in one of the Gospels and expect Paul to use it similarly or - on the other hand - is is reasonable to expect that the way Paul uses a word in one letter would be similar to his use of it elsewhere?

Similarly, is it valid to look at the use of a word in the Psalms to inform what Isaiah would have meant when using the same word?

Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Graham

 

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 3:10 PM

Graham Criddle:

Hi George

George Somsel:
Kevin has already noted that you should consult one of the better lexica such as HALOT or BDB, but I would recommend a further step.  Note how the words are used in various contexts and the other words with which they are used.  This will give you a sense of the significance of the word you are trying to understand.  Don't simply look at the entry and note that it is used in the senses X, Y, and Z and that the lexicon cites your passage under Y.  Dig a little deeper. 

With respect to looking at how words are used in various contexts and with other words.

How much would you say that this needs to be constrained by author / book or can it be used more widely?

For example is it valid to look at how a word is used in one of the Gospels and expect Paul to use it similarly or - on the other hand - is is reasonable to expect that the way Paul uses a word in one letter would be similar to his use of it elsewhere?

Similarly, is it valid to look at the use of a word in the Psalms to inform what Isaiah would have meant when using the same word?

Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Graham

 

First of all, it isn't simply a matter of usage in particular books.  What must be considered is the type of literature in whose context a particular word is used.  Is it used in fairly straightforward "historical narrative" or is it used in a prophetic oracle of woe?  Is it used in a psalm of praise or in an enthronement psalm?  The gattung or genre of the writing is important for understanding its use.  While the particular book in which it is found is of importance (I'm thinking very particularly in the NT where Paul may use a word in a much different manner from the apocalypticist), it is the narrower context which is more important.  It is, of course, important to do a global survey of the use of a particular word, but sometimes (frequently) that is not sufficient.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 2432
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 5:12 PM

For Hebrew, the grammatical structure of a word might change the definition. If you have Logos Scholar, you can see the actual structure of a word. If you search for that specific structure, you will get closer to the meaning. And I agree, context will pinpoint which shade of meaning is implied. 

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 5:34 PM

Michael Ballai:

For Hebrew, the grammatical structure of a word might change the definition. If you have Logos Scholar, you can see the actual structure of a word. If you search for that specific structure, you will get closer to the meaning. And I agree, context will pinpoint which shade of meaning is implied. 

It is necessary to note that one does not simply choose one possibility from a range of possible meanings because he happens to like that meaning in the context.  There must be a solid basis in similar contexts to undergird that understanding.  Too often I have seen students simply choose a gloss for a word because they happened to like that meaning -- as a matter of fact, I remember having done something similar myself once upon a time. 

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 10871
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 6:47 PM

I don't mean this to sound too obvious, but to get what a specific word means in a specific verse, the only real way to to compare the english translations. I know that sounds too simple, but most english translations are the combined work of teams of scholars who ask the exact same question you're asking. So, comparing the translations is a good first step. If you have commentaries that include their own translations, that is your next best step, since they typically explain why they chose a translation in a specific verse. Good luck!!

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 6:51 PM

Denise Barnhart:

I don't mean this to sound too obvious, but to get what a specific word means in a specific verse, the only real way to to compare the english translations. I know that sounds too simple, but most english translations are the combined work of teams of scholars who ask the exact same question you're asking. So, comparing the translations is a good first step. If you have commentaries that include their own translations, that is your next best step, since they typically explain why they chose a translation in a specific verse. Good luck!!

Of course, you could always skip the work and the difficulty and simply stick to the English.  Why learn Greek and Hebrew?  Devil  Yes, I'm being the devil's advocate.

EDIT:  You say that not all English versions agree?  Well, flip a coin.  BeerBeerBeer

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 7:09 PM

George Somsel:

Graham Criddle:

Hi George

George Somsel:
Kevin has already noted that you should consult one of the better lexica such as HALOT or BDB, but I would recommend a further step.  Note how the words are used in various contexts and the other words with which they are used.  This will give you a sense of the significance of the word you are trying to understand.  Don't simply look at the entry and note that it is used in the senses X, Y, and Z and that the lexicon cites your passage under Y.  Dig a little deeper. 

With respect to looking at how words are used in various contexts and with other words.

How much would you say that this needs to be constrained by author / book or can it be used more widely?

For example is it valid to look at how a word is used in one of the Gospels and expect Paul to use it similarly or - on the other hand - is is reasonable to expect that the way Paul uses a word in one letter would be similar to his use of it elsewhere?

Similarly, is it valid to look at the use of a word in the Psalms to inform what Isaiah would have meant when using the same word?

First of all, it isn't simply a matter of usage in particular books.  What must be considered is the type of literature in whose context a particular word is used.  Is it used in fairly straightforward "historical narrative" or is it used in a prophetic oracle of woe?  Is it used in a psalm of praise or in an enthronement psalm?  The gattung or genre of the writing is important for understanding its use.  While the particular book in which it is found is of importance (I'm thinking very particularly in the NT where Paul may use a word in a much different manner from the apocalypticist), it is the narrower context which is more important.  It is, of course, important to do a global survey of the use of a particular word, but sometimes (frequently) that is not sufficient.

Logos offers Learn Greek and Hebrew videos => http://www.logos.com/product/5876/learn-to-use-biblical-greek-and-hebrew-with-logos-bible-software

The Hebrew series has 11 videos; third one is a Hebrew word study (video is 2 hours and 25 minutes in length).  After discussing various lexicons and putting them away (reminded me of George's never an interlinear), learned a Bible Word Study (BWS) of a lemma includes distribution summary - can click for graphical report of occurrences in biblical genres.  Also, BWS has grammatical relationship examples.  Likewise, clicking BWS verses - look at context - may find synonyms.  Hebrew BWS video also discusses couple fallacies (diachronic and restrictive) and polysemy (Hebrew & English).

 

Observation: Bible Study (and higher) packages include Dictionary of Biblical Languages (DBL) with Semantic Domains:

Aramaic => http://www.logos.com/product/691/a-dictionary-of-biblical-languages-w-semantic-domains-aramaic

Greek => http://www.logos.com/product/693/a-dictionary-of-biblical-languages-w-semantic-domains-greek (links to Louw-Nida lexcion)

Hebrew => http://www.logos.com/product/692/a-dictionary-of-biblical-languages-w-semantic-domains-hebrew

Logos has a blog entry about using DBL's Semantic Domains => http://blog.logos.com/archives/2005/09/_when_you_are_s.html

Logos has a product guide for Hebrew text and tools => http://www.logos.com/hebrew/ot - Technical commentary list includes UBS Handbooks => http://www.logos.com/product/7842/the-united-bible-societies-old-testament-handbook-series that tries to clearly describe what is being expressed in every verse, important for translation along with cross cultural illustrations (included with Scholar's Gold, Scholar's Platinum, and Portfolio)

Noticed an advanced set of reference grammars in pre-publication still gathering interest => http://www.logos.com/product/4679/biblical-languages-reference-grammars-and-introductions

Also noted pre-publication of Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls => http://www.logos.com/product/5961/qumran-biblical-dead-sea-scrolls-database with morphological tagging shipping soon.

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 7:59 PM

Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :):

Noticed an advanced set of reference grammars in pre-publication still gathering interest => http://www.logos.com/product/4679/biblical-languages-reference-grammars-and-introductions

There are some good items in this collection such as Smyth's Greek Grammar and Driver's A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew.  There is also Westcott & Hort's Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek which sets forth the principles which they used (and which are largely still used) in textual criticism.  Unfortunately there is a lot of dated, though perhaps still valuable, material in the collection.  It might have better been divided into areas of interest such as Greek, Hebrew, Latin, other.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 293
Mike Measley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 7:59 PM

There is an old Blog post that is relevant to this discussion.  It is the basis for the video in the Hebrew series mentioned above.  It can be found at:  http://blog.logos.com/archives/2010/06/you_are_smarter_than_a_lexicon.html

Right-clicking on a word, selecting the lemma, and choosing Bible Word Study is a great way to study a word.  Clicking on a word in the translation ring will show the passages where it occurs so that you can see the word in use for yourself.  Keep in mind that you will want to view the context for each of those occurances to understand the meaning of the word in context.  That is one of the keys to a word study.  Don't just look at the verse.  Examine it in context of the paragraph, chapter and book.

 

Windows 7, Nexus 7

Posts 58
MarCya Mooney | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 4 2011 8:20 PM

I want to thank everyone for their very good advice!  I appreciate every comment, especially yours Denise - Very down to earth, common sense!

Blessing to all of you!

MarCya

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 5 2011 12:45 AM

Thanks all - appreciated

Graham

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HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 5 2011 1:55 AM

George Somsel:

It might have better been divided into areas of interest such as Greek, Hebrew, Latin, other.

SYRIAC!!! That other language is called SYRIAC! I won't object if you ever put Dutch into the category "other" or "minority languages", but Syriac (and Aramaic as a whole) is too important for Biblical studies and patristics to be classified in this way.

Denise Barnhart:

I don't mean this to sound too obvious, but to get what a specific word means in a specific verse, the only real way to to compare the english translations. 

And perhaps you could compare a few non-english translations as well? Wink

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