TDOT vs NIDOTTE or, Why is the TDOT worth it?

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Posts 104
Bentley Crawford | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Dec 1 2015 12:48 PM

Friends, can anyone provide helpful feedback for young aspiring language scholars on what the differences are between the NIDOTTE and the TDOT and what makes it worth the purchase?

Thanks!

Posts 2687
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2015 3:21 PM

https://community.logos.com/forums/p/106938/739738.aspx#739738 

TDOT is longer and more detailed. Both offer deep word study which is very useful.

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 1118
John Goodman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2015 4:15 PM

Personally I find these types of lexicons to be of limited use. Essentially they look at all occurrences of a word plus relationships to other words and then supply a range of possible meanings based on looking at the context as well as relationship to other words that are similarly spelled or from related languages. There is, of course, a value in having a dialogue partner for your thinking and in that sense it is good to own one good resource of this type. The lexicons get bigger and more expensive by covering more words but the smaller lexicons may well have every word which will catch your interest already.

Why not work with TLOT (which is a bargain and an adequate dialogue partner) for a while and get a deeper understanding of what you want from a lexicon. Then spend the big bucks on the right one?

Just don't forget that all your Bible translations and commentaries offer multiple opinions of this same type of dialogue on each specific instance of a word in fractions of a second with the Bible Word Study and passage Guide. For these reasons I'd argue that not owning one is not going to hold you back a great deal. It could even help you go further by making you do more independent thinking.

IMHO you need HALOT, UBS Translators Guides, NET NOTES, and Word Biblical Commentaries + all the Lexham tagged resources before either of these big lexicons.

Chat to your tutors about it.

Despite all those reasons why not, TDOT is a bargain right now and if you are going to go far with Hebrew and have the cash then snap it up.

גַּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֮ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֝חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה

Posts 2589
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2015 5:12 PM

To add to the useful remarks above, both NIDOTTE and TDOT are excellent works. But the validity of unpacking theological meaning from small, discrete units of meaning (i.e. words occurring in natural sentences) can be overstated. You need to develop a feel for how far you can go with that.

Also, TDOT scholars are not all evangelical. For some folks that is cause for concern. Personally, I would want to think critically whether the info comes from evangelical scholars or not.

Posts 461
Dave Moser | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2015 5:33 PM

Lee:
the validity of unpacking theological meaning from small, discrete units of meaning (i.e. words occurring in natural sentences) can be ABSURDLY overstated.

Fixed.

These are useful theological dictionaries. However it's a tragedy that they are arranged in a way that makes it look like any single word holds an essay's worth of meaning.

Posts 2687
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 1 2015 11:34 PM

It should be noted that the basic definition doesn't need heavy artillery but what you are doing is getting a feel for how a word so long ago got put into place. This is primarily an exegetical tool.

The other thing is that this kind of reference in Logos rocks. Going over to a bookshelf and picking the right volume and flipping to the right page is history. 

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 112
Randy | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 24 2021 1:23 PM

John Goodman:

Personally I find these types of lexicons to be of limited use. Essentially they look at all occurrences of a word plus relationships to other words and then supply a range of possible meanings based on looking at the context as well as relationship to other words that are similarly spelled or from related languages. There is, of course, a value in having a dialogue partner for your thinking and in that sense it is good to own one good resource of this type. The lexicons get bigger and more expensive by covering more words but the smaller lexicons may well have every word which will catch your interest already.

Why not work with TLOT (which is a bargain and an adequate dialogue partner) for a while and get a deeper understanding of what you want from a lexicon. Then spend the big bucks on the right one?

Just don't forget that all your Bible translations and commentaries offer multiple opinions of this same type of dialogue on each specific instance of a word in fractions of a second with the Bible Word Study and passage Guide. For these reasons I'd argue that not owning one is not going to hold you back a great deal. It could even help you go further by making you do more independent thinking.

IMHO you need HALOT, UBS Translators Guides, NET NOTES, and Word Biblical Commentaries + all the Lexham tagged resources before either of these big lexicons.

Chat to your tutors about it.

Despite all those reasons why not, TDOT is a bargain right now and if you are going to go far with Hebrew and have the cash then snap it up.

--Joining this conversation late, but wanted to comment here. I have HALOT, and have tried it a several times. I quit using it because of how frequently it didn't even cover the word I was looking for (estimated 40% of the time). That said, I would recommend little Kittle over the full TDNT. The full version is so lengthy that by the time I finish reading all the various usages of the word in secular Greek, I forgot what I was even looking for. It's too much information for me. The condensed version pretty-much has all the same information in a concise format that enables you to actually get through the material and comprehend it, without being overly distracted. I also like Eerdman's Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. It really gives a comprehensive and theological understanding of the words as they are used in Scripture. 

I cannot recommend Word Biblical Commentary. I'll give it credit for being very thorough. They give you a lengthy Bibliography, an original translation, extensive translation notes, an overview of the form and background of the passage, then a detailed commentary, and a final segment called "Explanation", where they make practical application for daily living. I did enjoy the volume on 1 Timothy by Mounce, and some of the volumes aren't bad. However, the second book on the Psalms by Tate, was the worst excuse for a commentary I have ever seen. The author didn't show the slightest hint of actual devotion to Christ. It was like it was all a mental exercise, where skepticism and doubt was viewed as being "scholarly", and recognition by other theologians was the highest goal. Tate ended up sewing more seeds of doubt in my mind than edifying me with what the Bible actually means. Instead of promoting faith in and understanding of the Scripture, this individual commentary more often fills my mind with doubts and anxiety that I didn't originally have. He frequently says to the effect we "can't be sure" of what the real meaning is, even when dealing with matters I had confidently believed in, and often adopts a critical view of Scripture. For example, on Psalm 69, he attributes the book of Isaiah, not to the prophet Isaiah, but to "the exilic groups responsible for the Book of Isaiah"[1] . Sometimes, Tate introduces concepts which seem completely foreign and outlandish to the text. In Psalm 65, for example, when it refers to God being the "hope" of "all the ends of the earth", Tate says, " It is possible that the “ends” carries the connotation of ominous, demonic forces which lurk in mysterious faraway places and which may come forth from time to time to threaten the orderly course of life[2] " He goes on to repeatedly read the concept of demonic forces into the text, where it doesn't seem to fit.

[1] Marvin E. Tate, Psalms 51–100, vol. 20, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1998), 202.

[2] ibid., 142

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