Bible word study: How do you choose which words are worth studying?

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Posts 63
Dan Starcevich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2021 10:49 AM

What a great question P A.  I also take a more heuristic approach.  I am looking for repeated words or phrases, repeated lemmas.  I also look closely at the verbs.  They are usually carrying the weight of he narrative or argument the writer is making.  I don't necessary do a full on word-study of each verb. But Logos makes it pretty easy to go through the standard lexicons quickly and see the range of meanings a word has and the gloss they offer in a particular passage.


Posts 9
David Uebergang | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2021 5:53 PM

Good reply, thanks. Similar to what I was thinking. Main verbs seem to be a great starting place as they can carry so much info. And repetition is a key, especially in OT like Psalms or even narrative.

Posts 2844
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2021 6:15 PM

Back when I was learning Greek in school, we'd have to deal with every single word in a verse. While that sounds terribly picky, it means you don't discount anything mundane. 

One thing I am noticing more is that words used at the beginning and the end of a passage are often clues as to the whole passage's meaning. This might be more of an OT thing, but it's noticeable.

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 2702
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 11 2021 7:42 AM

Dan Starcevich:
 I am looking for repeated words or phrases, repeated lemmas.  I also look closely at the verbs.  They are usually carrying the weight of he narrative or argument the writer is making

I am of similar thought to Dan. verbs (especially when a tense changes), repeated lemmas, repetition within a Louw-Nida domain, similar sounding words in audio of original language. words fronted in discourse tagging.

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Posts 1597
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 11 2021 10:11 AM

IIRC, there's a good essay on word studies by John Walton in the first volume of NIDOTTE.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 2
Evan | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 10 2022 9:33 AM

Is it necessary to choose a word in the Bible to study? Any meaning can be understood in the context of the text and in a different context it will sound different. 

Posts 1130
xnman | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Mar 12 2022 5:25 AM

Generally... for me...  I start looking at the passage I am studying.... and I ask 3 questions...

1. Who is talking?

2. To whom they are talking to?

3. What are they talking about?

Then, having answered those questions.... I pick words that relate to those questions... and drill down on the words (open them up to find what is meant by them in the context of the passage). With the Logos "right click on the word" or "changing to Interlinear" I find one can chase a word pretty good. With the Interlinear.... I use Strong's, Vines, Thayers and there are others of course.... But I find this can get me started and sometimes get me along on my way to understanding how the word is used in that particular passage. Context is important.

And when one gets into Greek or Hebrew...the difference in the language is a bit of a hindrance as one word can mean different things. 

For example (don't mean to start something, just using a good example here)...

"Oinos" (wine) as it's used in John 2 where Jesus turned water to "wine".... "Oinos" is the Greek transliterated word for wine.  It can be either "alcoholic or fermented" or "non-alcoholic or non-fermented" So after chasing the word down...and finding that out... then one has to go back to what is the CONTEXT of the passage (or surrounding passages) as to how the word is actually used and even to who is talking and to whom are they talking or whom is talked about.

Many people just read the passage and think... "Jesus turned water to "alcohol" ... so alcohol is ok to drink. But is it really the case? In the O.T. a Priest could not imbibe in alcohol.... and Jesus is our "High Priest".... soooo... our High Priest can do what other Priests were forbidden to do? hmmm....

And to go along with that... vs 10 talks about the guests being "well drunk" (which encourages another good study about Jewish customs at weddings) and about the word itself.... Would Jesus actually participate in helping people to get drunk.... when drunkenness is a sin? I don't think Jesus ever sinned, myself.

In fact a good study of "wine or Oinos" throughout the New Testament is a very good study to get into.

Does God actually say "if your sick, drink some alcoholic beverage for your stomach's sake? (1Tim 5:23)?? Maybe I need a lot of wine because I am very very sick? hmmm.... Isn't it funny how the human mind works around some things? lol

Word studies can be verrrry intttttteeeerrrrrristing!!!! Geeked

Bottom line - word studies are important... they can enhance our understanding of God's word greatly!

I do word studies all the time....and I have lots of Notes in Logos about those word studies.... because I have soooo much to remember....  and at the point I need the information... my brain index is messed up... and I have to re-index my brain .... which takes forever....

Whew!  Yep.... I am thankful for Logos Notes!!! lol

xn = Christan  man=man -- Acts 11:26 "....and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch".

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