I am asked frequently in emails what Greek New Testament dictionary I recommend. I don’t think I have ever blogged on this, so here it goes.
In addition, there are some that I do not recommend, such as any of the Vines, Zodhiates, and Strong’s editions of their Greek (and Hebrew) dictionaries as they are deficient resources and often containing errors, not the least they are dated resources. They are popular “dictionaries” indeed—as are many Greek resources that you can find for free on the Internet—but popularity does not necessarily mean reliability. I suggest staying away from them and purchasing the ones I recommend below as they are the standard Greek lexical resources for doing competent studies. See also here my list of recommend New Testament Greek grammars.
*Links are to Amazon
*The following descriptions are of the recommended Greek New Testament dictionaries/lexicons noted above:
“Described as an “invaluable reference work” (Classical Philology) and “a tool indispensable for the study of early Christian literature” (Religious Studies Review) in its previous edition, this new updated American edition of Walter Bauer’s Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments builds on its predecessor’s staggering deposit of extraordinary erudition relating to Greek literature from all periods. Including entries for many more words, the new edition also lists more than 25,000 additional references to classical, intertestamental, Early Christian, and modern literature. In this edition, Frederick W. Danker’s broad knowledge of Greco-Roman literature, as well as papyri and epigraphs, provides a more panoramic view of the world of Jesus and the New Testament. Danker has also introduced a more consistent mode of reference citation, and has provided a composite list of abbreviations to facilitate easy access to this wealth of information. Perhaps the single most important lexical innovation of Danker’s edition is its inclusion of extended definitions for Greek terms. For instance, a key meaning of “episkopos” was defined in the second American edition as overseer; Danker defines it as “one who has the responsibility of safeguarding or seeing to it that something is done in the correct way, guardian.” Such extended definitions give a fuller sense of the word in question, which will help avoid both anachronisms and confusion among users of the lexicon who may not be native speakers of English. Danker’s edition of Bauer’s Wörterbuch will be an indispensable guide for Biblical and classical scholars, ministers, seminarians, and translators.”
“Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon is a modern Greek lexicon using the concept of “semantic domains.” This lexicon differs from other lexicons in that it does not arrange words alphabetically and it does not give one listing of a word with all of that word’s meanings after it. Instead, it breaks words down by their various shades of meaning. It then groups all of those entries together and organizes them by topics and sub-topics. It shows the nuances in word meanings and explains difficult expressions and idiomatic usages of words, and even provides advice on how words might be translated under various conditions. Since it groups words by meanings, it shows distinctions in meaning between similar words, and also between differences in one word’s meaning in different contexts, as well as showing the overlaps between word meanings.”
“A standard and widely-used reference work for nearly 40 years, the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis has been thoroughly revised and updated to aid today’s pastors, students, scholars, and teachers in their study of the New Testament. Offering a wealth of background and information on the meaning of Greek words in the New Testament―as well as related usage in classical Greek sources, the Septuagint, Jewish literature, and more―this important tool offers the following features: Alphabetical arrangement according to Greek words instead of previous order according to English topics; this ensures that individual Greek words are not discussed in isolation from one another and are easy to access. Expanded to include additional Greek words and concepts not covered in the original work, NIDNTTE includes nearly 800 entries covering over 3,000 Greek words. Discussions have been revised to be in line with modern scholarship and bibliographies are updated. Corrections have been made to inconsistencies and omissions in earlier versions. Updated and added consistency to include―for every entry―all necessary background information from classical Greek, the LXX, and Jewish literature. A helpful semantic domain index now directs the reader to all of the Greek words that have something to do with a particular English word. For example, under the English word “Anger, Wrath,” there is a list of thirteen Greek words that are related to that topic. Significant changes have been made in the presentation and discussion of linguistic details.”
“Frederick William Danker, a world-renowned scholar of New Testament Greek, is widely acclaimed for his 2000 revision of Walter Bauer’s A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. With more than a quarter of a million copies in print, it is considered the finest dictionary of its kind. Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament will prove to be similarly invaluable to ministers, seminarians, translators, and students of biblical Greek. Unlike other lexica of the Greek New Testament, which give only brief glosses for headwords, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon offers extended definitions or explanations in idiomatic English for all Greek terms. Each entry includes basic etymological information, short renderings, information on usage, and plentiful biblical references. Greek terms that could have different English definitions, depending on context, are thoughtfully keyed to the appropriate passages. An overarching aim of The Concise Greek-English Lexicon is to assist the reader in recognizing the broad linguistic and cultural context for New Testament usage of words. The Concise Greek-English Lexicon retains all the acclaimed features of A Greek-English Lexicon in a succinct and affordable handbook, perfect for specialists and nonspecialists alike.”