Review: Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 3.48.12 PMFor the student of the Greek New Testament, there exists no shortage of Greek-English lexicons. So, why then look to buy another Greek-English lexicon? The answer is likely simpler than one might think. For the sake of brevity, I will list three reasons here: (1) portability, (2) price point, and (3) practical usefulness.

First, it goes without saying, but, a lexicon such as the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is not going to replace a gold-standard work such as A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (BDAG), nor is that its intention. The scope of the entries is comprehensive and wide-ranging, but its size remains concise. Mark A. House has done an excellent job providing the reader with the need to know information about a given Greek word—some more than others—and keeping the volume truly compact. Those familiar with BDAG and similar lexicons know that it’s not an easy travel companion. However, the trim size of the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (7.3 in. x 4.8 in. x .3 in.) is ideal for the daily commute.

Second, let’s be honest, lexicons aren’t cheap. A lot of scholarly effort goes into the production of such works and the price point is reflective. But, with a price tag of only $19.99, the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is not going to break your bank. This is a huge bang-for-your-buck if you are looking to obtain accurate lexical information on a budget. But, again, the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament should be used as a companion rather than a replacement to other, pricier, lexicons such as BDAG—especially for the serious student of the Greek New Testament.

Third, a lexicon can only be as useful as it is accessible to the intended audience. If it’s not useful it’s not worth buying, regardless of the price point. It is here that the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament shines the brightest. The organization and layout of the lexicon are ideal for quick reference, rather than long study. This is important for the end-user because the intended use of a “compact” lexicon is almost always going to be for the purpose of quick reference, not an in-depth study. Moreover, for some of the more significant entries, the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament includes grammatical, etymological, other extraneous information, as well example passage where the word occurs.

The Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is an expanded revision of Alexander Souter’s popular A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Oxford, 1916). Mark A. House has effectively retained the usefulness of Souter’s work and added several appropriate and important update—both in content and aesthetic appeal. From the portability to the practical usefulness of the Compact Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, and everything in between, the reader will do well having this work nearby. If you are looking for a user-friendly supplemental aid for your study of the Greek New Testament, then look no further. This book will be off your shelf often.

 

I received a review copy of these books in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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