If you’re as book obsessed as us, then you know the truth of the preacher’s statement at the end of Ecclesiastes. “Of making many books there is no end” (Eccl. 12:12).There’s always another book and you simply can’t read all of them. Our desire, though, is to make as many books available as possible that can help you connect with God. But we know full well that not every book is going to have that same effect. Every once in a while, though, a resource comes along that we think will serve that purpose greatly. That’s how we feel about The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Let’s look inside this exciting new resource available now with the Olive Tree app.

Introduction: What is an Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words?

Before we share some screenshots with you, let’s first attempt to answer your questions about this specific resource. Here’s what the editors, Tremper Longman III and Mark L. Straus, have to say about this dictionary.

Words are the building blocks of human language, and it is impossible to understand a written text without understanding the meaning of its words. When English speakers read a text in English, they know from prior experience the meaning of its words and—just as important—how these words interact with one another to produce an act of meaningful communication.

We believe the Bible is God’s Word, his message to humanity. If we are to hear God speak to us today, we must understand the meaning of its words. A key challenge we face, however, is that the Bible was not written in English. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew (with a few Aramaic sections), and the New Testament was written in Greek. To understand its message we must know the meaning of these Hebrew and Greek words. This is where Bible translation comes in, and there are many excellent versions of the Bible for English speakers. Your most important Bible study tool is a good translation of the Bible.

This expository dictionary is meant to help you understand the various possible meanings of Hebrew and Greek words and to determine from their contexts their most likely meanings. While there is no substitute for learning to read Hebrew and Greek, students of God’s Word can be greatly aided by a tool that examines the meaning of the original words of Scripture. In this dictionary Hebrew and Greek words are organized under English headings and their various possible meanings are discussed.

Features and How to Use This Dictionary

Three Dictionaries in One

What good is a resource if you don’t know what it is and how to use it, right? I often feel that way about the unread books I have on my shelves. Why did I buy that book? I figure I’ll get around to them at some point, but now they just take up space. If you’re going to purchase a resource like this, then we want to make sure you can get the most out of it in our app. So, here’s a breakdown of how to use The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words.

The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words is actually three dictionaries in one. This resource includes an Expository dictionary, a Hebrew-English dictionary, and a Greek-English dictionary. Here’s a look at the three dictionaries in the table of contents.

The Expository dictionary is the main feature of this resource. These entries are based on the English translations of Hebrew and Greek words and includes roughly 1200 entries for each language.

You can see from the above screenshot all the information included in these entries. Included is the English word and other associated English words, the Hebrew words for the Old Testament definition and the Greek words for the New Testament definition (see below).

Exhaustive Hebrew-English and Greek-English dictionaries make up the other two-thirds of this resource. They include every word in the Old (Hebrew) and New Testaments (Greek) respectively.

If one of those words has an entry in the Expository dictionary, then the editors include the English word, which we link to the entry.

Using the Resource Guide

While there may be some who opt to use The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words in the main window of our app, most users will use this dictionary in the Resource Guide. There are multiple ways to do just that depending on the resource you are using in the main window.

If you have a Strong’s tagged resource, then simply tap the word you want to look up. In this example, we’re looking up Paul’s use of the word “mystery” in Ephesians 3:3.

In the popup window, select Lookup μυστήριον and then tap the entry for The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words in the Resource Guide.

You can take same steps from the Hebrew or Greek text if you’re using one of those resources. Just tap the Hebrew or Greek word and then tap Lookup. If you don’t have a tagged resource, then long tap the English word to highlight it, select Lookup, and then tap the corresponding article in the Resource Guide.

You can also search directly from the Resource Guide. Simply tap Lookup, type your word in the search bar, and tap the article when it appears.

One more feature of this resource is the inclusion of infrequent but theologically significant words. The example below is an entry for a word found only once in the New Testament. The editors determined it theologically significant enough to include an entry for it.

Interesting and Compelling Features

  • The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words is the first expository dictionary to be published in the past 15+ years. It is the most up-to-date resource in terms of scholarship and is based on the most recent linguistic theory.
  • Compared to previous expository dictionaries, The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words achieves greater balance in terms of Old Testament and New Testament entries (about 1200 Hebrew and 1200 Greek words altogether).
  • While the working guide for The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words was to include words that occur more than 25x in the Old Testament and more than 10x in New Testament, it also includes words that may not occur as often but are deemed valuable to study from a theological point of view.
  • The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words shines a bright light on the connections between the Old and New Testaments. Old Testament and New Testament words are grouped together within each English word article so that connections are easily recognized.
  • The book provides excellent cross-references to other ways a Hebrew or Greek word is translated into English, which keeps in mind all the bestselling English translations [NIV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, ESV].

The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words

If you’re a user of Olive Tree Bible Software, then you see the value of resources like this. Hopefully, you’ve seen how valuable this resource can be as you strive to connect with God through studying His Word. We believe The Baker Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words can greatly assist in that endeavor. Follow the link below to learn more or to purchase this resource for your Olive Tree library.

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