Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“My Big Fat Greek Dictionary”

Categories: GRAB BAG
     I remember you said one time some of you guys could read Koine Greek.  I have heard it said that Greek is almost never translated into English correctly.  They may take two Greek words with two meanings and put them into one English word. So can you read the Textus Receptus and, let’s say, Westcott Hort Greek text?  If so, how can someone like me who can’t read Koine Greek be able to look up the Greek words?  For example, if I am reading the Bible and want to look up the word ‘blood’ in the Greek and find the meaning, how can I?

Sincerely,
Monolingual

Dear Monolingual,

Whoever told you that Greek is never translated into English correctly… is incorrect.  There are many wonderful English word-for-word translations of the Bible.  The King James, New King James, American Standard, New American Standard, and English Standard versions are all excellent.  Thousands of Greek scholars have poured over those translations to make sure that they are accurate renderings of the Greek language.  Sometimes translations will take two words from the first language and translate them into one in the second – they also will do the opposite.  This is part of accurate translating; each language has varying words with varying colors and definitions; the translator’s job is to accurately convey one language into another, and sometimes, it takes more or less words to do that.

If you want to be able to look up Greek definitions yourself, the easiest way is to use a Strong’s numbered Bible and a Strong’s numbered Bible dictionary.  Strong’s numbering assigns a number for each Greek word in the Bible, so you can look up definitions without actually knowing the words.  Just find the number in the Bible, and then look up the definition using the same number.  A word of caution, Strong’s numbers only provide definitions; they don’t cover the grammatical elements of the Greek language.