Friday, October 08, 2010

Barclay Newman's revised Greek-English Dictionary

A Concise Greek English Dictionary of New Testament

A Concise Greek English Dictionary of New Testament
Revised Edition

by Barclay M. Newman, Jr.
German Bible Society, 2010
xi + 220 pages, English and Greek
Cloth, 5 x 7
ISBN: 9781598566499
List Price: $34.95
Your Price: $31.46

Barclay Newman's revised Greek-English Dictionary arrived today. It was slated for a December release, so this is two months early. I was curious what the revisions were, so I thumbed through it. The most obvious change was the addition of roots in parentheses after a word and the splitting of the root from the prefixes; it reminded me of An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Personally, I like it, although others may not. As long as one doesn't try to use the root to shoehorn the definition, I find knowing the root of a word helpful; that is one feature of the middle Liddell I always liked.

The preface states that they checked the definitions, modifying some and clarifying others. In my quick review, I only noticed that some Greek phrases where the Greek had been abbreviated were now written out in full. The dictionary part itself is only 2 pages longer than the original version, so the revision couldn't have been too extensive.

They did add an appendix of sorts, "A Sampling of Some Greek NT Words That Share Similar Meanings." The preface warns it is incomplete, "more in the style of an enchiridion than an exhaustive study." The sampling is in English alphabetical order, a total of 67 English headings. I'm not sure what to make of it. It could be useful, but I fear that people who don't understand Greek might use it incorrectly. But then there is that danger with any tool.

Those who like the original dictionary will doubtless like this one and find it an improvement. Those who don't like the original will find little to dissuade them from their dislike. It is still a very concise dictionary with glosses and minimal context for those glosses. But, that is what it was designed as. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of a Greek word should always consult a larger lexicon with references and contexts to understand the semantic domain of the word.

1 comment:

Sarah Madden said...

Wow -- this is terrific news that it's been updated. Although it doesn't replace my BDAG (nor is it meant to), I have several copies of the earlier edition of this cool little dictionary. It lists ALL the words in the Greek NT, yet it is slim (1/4 inch thick) and the same H and W as the small Nestle-Aland NT, so you can find words quickly plus not break your back hauling it to class, the office, or church.