Friday, April 30, 2021

Jongkind concludes Cambridge Greek Lexicon review

AT THE ETC BLOG, Dirk Jongkind has two posts concluding his review of the Cambridge Greek Lexicon:

The Cambridge Greek Lexicon 3 – Scope and Use

Here it gets interesting. The coverage of the Lexicon extends from Homer to the early second century’ and ‘most of the major authors who fall within that period are included.’ This is a lexicon aimed at students, covering most of the major literature of said period. What does that mean from a New Testament perspective? The Gospels and Acts are covered, but not the remainder of the New Testament.


Also, there is no Greek Old Testament, no Philo, no Josephus.

It is a Lexicon of a certain body of Greek literature (and indeed an important body which New Testament scholars do well to read), but it is not a Lexicon of the Greek language as a whole. There are no papyri, there is no epigraphic material.

To be fair, these limitations were well known and publicized before the lexicon came out.

Cambridge Greek Lexicon 4 – Do We Need It?

In the end, the Cambridge Greek Lexicon is a good lexicon for what it is. Do not judge it because it is not what you want it to be. And since we all ought to read lots of Greek, it is a great help. And, going full book lover again, I like the feel of the lexicon, the clarity of the lay-out. It is calling out to me to be used, it does not want to stay on the shelf. It is stirring up ζῆλος, perhaps more than φθόνος.

But should you tell your New Testament Greek students to get this? No, not really. The opportunity cost is considerable (money, shelf-space), and the immediate pay back relatively low.

Background here and links and here.

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