Saturday, September 11, 2010

Greek New Testament online!

Back in the day, when I wanted to look up a word in the Greek New Testament, I would pull out an interlinear Greek/English New Testament, an analytical lexicon, and a Greek-English dictionary like the venerable BAG (an initialism for the authors Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich). I'd see a word like ἐμοῦ and the analytical lexicon would tell me it was a form of ἐγώ, and that's what I would look up on the real Greek-English dictionary. The analytical lexicon is a real blessing for those of us who are a little rusty on their Greek parsing skills -- and for people like me who never actually learned them -- because it will tell you what word to look up in the BAG or similar dictionary.

I don't need to do that any more -- well not much anyway -- because the online Greek New Testament has a lot of that information available, well, online. I pointed my browser at and selected a passage (Matthew 25:41 in this case -- I guess I didn't remember what that one was about) and got a window like what you see above. I then positioned the cursor on the "ἐμοῦ" ("circled" in magenta -- detail at right) and clicked.

Up popped a window (at left) with a parsing of the word. Now you need to know a little bit of Greek -- enough to know what to make of "Case  G" (genitive) -- others include N for nominative, A for accusative, D for dative. "Number S" means it's singular; I think Greek has dual as well as plural.

For some real fun, try clicking on a verb -- there are more tenses than I can recite (aorist being just one of them), voice (middle among them), etc.

As you can see, the website doesn't completely remove the need to know some Greek grammar, but it sure comes in handy if you have a network connection. And I'm glad I found this site, because we gave away my analytical lexicon some years ago even though I still have my 1978 Analytical lexicon on the shelf.

What about that disclaimer?

Readers may note that the "Greek Lexicon" window has something about limitations in their source data, consult another lexicon, etc. Of course they're right (it's their database after all). To really know what you're talking about requires that you, well, really know what you're talking about. That includes for example double-checking with another lexicon before basing any real conclusions on the little pop-up window from this website.

But that doesn't negate its usefulness; speaking for myself, there's a far bigger gap between my ears than there is in their database.

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