Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

Post Reply
Switch to Forum Live View Greek Bible made easy
10 years ago  ::  Dec 17, 2008 - 5:02AM #1
Posts: 244
Well sort of easy.

This is a method you can use to look up Greek words in a  Bible verse without having to know Greek.

1) Go to and look up a verse in the "[B]Greek & NRSV Interlinear"
2) If you hover your mouse over the Greek words you will see the "lemma" or root form of each word (you can do the same by clicking on them). This is important because Greek words are conjugated and declined. For example John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world..." The Greek here is      οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον. The word for "loved" here is ἠγάπησεν. Even if you can read Greek letters you might not recognize that word as "agape" because this is the 3rd person aorist (past tense) form of the verb. So the word here transliterated is "hegapesen". But when you hover over the word it tells you the root is      ἀγαπάω or "agapeo" as well as the basic English translation and grammatical form. Which means we can move to...

3) Look up the Greek word in a good Greek-English dictionary. What makes this hard normally is that if you just tried to look up ἠγάπησεν in Jn 3:16 under the letter η you would never find it, because it is under the letter α for ἀγαπάω (the root form). But now you know the root form, just like a pro, woo hoo! That's pretty huge because Greek is extremely complex and memorizing all the possible forms can be an overwhelming task.

Now instead of relying on English Bible dictionaries, you can use  a real Greek-English lexicon. The standard is the BDAG which is short for the "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature". This is the lexicon used by scholars. It is pretty expensive though, and can be kind of hard to follow written in cryptic abbreviations. The worst is probably Vine's since it is so out of date. Personally, I like to use the "Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament".

Now this does not mean you can really read Greek of course. Remember mastering a language and using a trick like this are worlds apart so let's keep our humility intact! But it is a big step beyond just looking up English words in a concordance. :rolleyes:
Quick Reply
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing

    Beliefnet On Facebook