RELI101 Religious Studies : Concordance and Lexicon

Task:

The steps involved in word studies are as follows: 
1) Choose the words to be studied.  Choose words you do not understand, “theological” words, rare words, or repeated words.  Find the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek word in a concordance. (Strong’s for KJV/majority text; Thomas’ NAS Exhaustive Concordance for the eclectic text).    
2) Determine the semantic range of meaning for the word (norms of language).  What are all the possible meanings for the word? Use The New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon or The New Englishman’s Hebrew/Aramaic Concordance or Online Bible.  See how the word is translated and used going from the closer contexts to the further contexts.  Check your findings in other theological wordbooks, lexicons, and Bible dictionaries.  See Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament,  Brown’s  New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Kittel’s TDNT,  Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament:  Based on Semantic Domains, Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew, Aramaic, English Lexicon,  Bauer, Arndt, and Gingrich A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon of the NT, etc.  
3) Determine the meaning that best fits the context (norms of utterance).  What meaning does the author have in mind for the word in this particular context?
4. Deal with all cultural and historical issues. Are there any cultural and/or historical issues that affect the meaning of the passage?  Use commentaries, encyclopedias, OT and NT surveys, OT and NT histories, books on manners and customs of Bible times (see Ralph Gower, Victor H. Matthews, J. I. Packer and M.C. Tenney, Unger, etc.)
Homework Assignment:  
1.  Choose 2 of the following words to study from I Thessalonians 5:16-22 (NASB terminology)
5:19>quench
5:20>despise
5:20>prophetic utterances
5:21>examine
5:22>abstain
5:22>form/appearance
2.  Do a word study on each of the 2 words you choose.
a. Discover the norms of language   for each of the 2 words you choose.    How?
1) Look up word in Strong’s concordance (KJV/majority text) or Thomas NAS Exhaustive Concordance (eclectic text/NASB/NIV) or with Online Bible. Write down number. 
2) Find the word in the dictionary in the back of the books or in the Online Bible and record the transliterated word and its meanings.
3) Check the word in the New Englishman’s Greek Concordance and Lexicon.  Look at how the word is used, especially by your author.  Try to discover the semantic range for the word (norms of language).  If using Online Bible run a search of the word using Strong’s number.
4) Check your findings by consulting 2 of the following works :
New International Dictionary of NT Theology -Colin Brown Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament The Illustrated Bible Dictionary  Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible Harper’s Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible 
Louw and Nida’s Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : based on semantic domains Note:  If using Online Bible  or other Bible software you may check the dictionaries in the program.  
5) Summarize the possible definitions of the word based on your research.
b) Select the definition that best fits the context of your passage. Discover the norms of utterance.  How?  
1) Choose the definition of the word that you think best fits the context of the passage being studied. 
2) Try to state why you think this definition is most appropriate for the particular context.  Summarize (one paragraph per assigned word) how this definition affects your understanding of the passage. 
2. Cultural/Historical Issues:
a) Review the data from “setting in life” research.  Determine some of the cultural/historical facts and ideas which may impact your understanding of the passage.
b) Study the origin of the church in Thessalonica from Acts.  Note some observations about its origin and start.
c) Read through 1 and 2 Thessalonians and pay attention to any talk of persecution, the Holy Spirit, spiritual things, and last days (eschatology) issues.
d) Summarize some historical considerations about persecution, the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifting, and last days issues in the church in Thessalonica.
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