The word “lexicon” derives from the Greek “λεξικόν” (lexicon), neut. of “λεξικός” (lexikos), “of or for words”, from “λέξις” (lexis), “speech”, “word”, and that from “λέγω” (lego), “to say”, “to speak”.
Which New Testament Greek Lexicon to buy?
(1) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition
Frederick William Danker’s edition of Walter Bauer’s Grieschisch-Deutsches Wörterbuch will be an indispensable guide for Biblical and classical scholars, ministers, seminarians, and translators. It is described as an “invaluable reference work” (Classical Philology) and “a tool indispensable for the study of early Christian literature” (Religious Studies Review) in its previous edition, this new updated American edition of Walter Bauer’s Wörterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen Testaments builds on its predecessor’s staggering deposit of extraordinary erudition relating to Greek literature from all periods. Including entries for many more words, the new edition also lists more than 25,000 additional references to classical, intertestamental, Early Christian, and modern literature.
In this edition, Frederick W. Danker’s broad knowledge of Greco-Roman literature, as well as papyri and epigraphs, provides a more panoramic view of the world of Jesus and the New Testament. Danker has also introduced a more consistent mode of reference citation, and has provided a composite list of abbreviations to facilitate easy access to this wealth of information.
Perhaps the single most important lexical innovation of Danker’s edition is its inclusion of extended definitions for Greek terms. For instance, a key meaning of “επίσκοπος” was defined in the second American edition as overseer; Danker defines it as “one who has the responsibility of safeguarding or seeing to it that something is done in the correct way, guardian.” Such extended definitions give a fuller sense of the word in question, which will help avoid both anachronisms and confusion among users of the lexicon who may not be native speakers of English.
(2) Joseph Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Coded with Strong’s Concordance Numbers
For over a century, Joseph Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament has been lauded as one of the best New Testament lexicons available. Both accessible and thorough, it is a work suited for the student of New Testament Greek. Thayer’s provides dictionary definitions for each word and relates each word to its New Testament usage and categorizes its nuances of meaning. Its exhaustive coverage of New Testament Greek words, as well as its extensive quotation of extra-biblical word usage and the wealth of background sources consulted and quoted, render Thayer’s an invaluable resource.