Daily Gleanings: Lingusitics (5 November 2019)

Kris Lyle has a substantive but accessible discussion of the (non‑)use of linguistics in recent biblical studies. In particular, Lyle takes aim at the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew.

Lyle makes the point that

for biblical language lexica [advances in modern linguistics] mean[] we’re able to do a lot more than record collocational patterns and provide target language glosses.

But despite the aims of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew to take special account of modern linguistic advances,

in the end, we are left with much of the same when we consult the pages of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew: English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements.

Lyle thinks “it would indeed be a very inconvenient way of studying a Hebrew text to look up the meanings of all the words in this large and exhaustive work.”

If one uses the Logos edition when working through a Hebrew text, this inconvenience vastly dissipates.

But Lyle’s summary of the Dictionary‘s contents as mainly involving “English glosses and a comprehensive treatment of collocational arrangements” seems pretty fair.

And even though this emphasis doesn’t put the Dictionary at the forefront of linguistically-informed lexicography, it certainly does provide a huge reservoir of other kinds of valuable information about classical Hebrew.

For Lyle’s full discussion, see his essay now newly reposted at Koine Greek.

Daily Gleanings: Book Reviews (28 June 2019)

Mike Aubrey discusses six recent and forthcoming books in the area of Greek linguistics.


Mark Ward reviews Dirk Jongkind’s Introduction to the Greek New Testament Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge (Crossway, 2019).

About half of the review summarizes the book. Approximately the other half interacts with ch. 7’s proposal of a biblical-theological view of textual transmission.

For the full review, see Mark’s original post.

Daily Gleanings (20 May 2019)

Mike Aubrey points to a full set of video recordings of lectures from the recent SEBTS conference on linguistics and NT Greek. I’ve included this playlist below as well. The “hamburger” button in the upper left-hand corner will expand the playlist contents with a list of speakers and their topics.


Larry Hurtado reviews Michael Dormandy’s recent TC essay, “How the Books Became the Bible:  The Evidence for Canon Formation From Work-Combination in Manuscripts.”

Daily Gleanings (3 May 2019)

Mike Aubrey is “rethinking transitivity and the Greek perfect.”


The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity provides a database that is

making readily accessible and searchable as much as possible of the early evidence for the cult of Christian saints (up to around AD 700), with key texts presented in their original language, all with English translation and brief contextual commentary.

Work on the project was set to conclude 31 December 2018 with some minor work continuing into this year.

HT: AWOL

Aubrey on theological lexica

Mike Aubrey has provided an excerpt from an essay of his in Linguistics & Biblical Exegesis (Lexham, 2016). The excerpt strives carefully to work out a middle ground that is neither wholly on the side of theological lexica nor on that of James Barr’s critique of them.

Instead, Mike suggests,

If the failure of theological dictionaries was the assumption that words and concepts are identical, then the failure of the structuralist semantics that dominated the field when James Barr wrote his critique was the assumption that words and concepts are dramatically different. If words mean anything at all, then there must be a substantive relationship between them and the concepts (both associative and denotative) they evoke mentally.

Particularly if language is indeed the medium and horizon of human hermeneutic experience (e.g., H.-G. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 401–514), then the question of theological (or other conceptual) lexicography would still seem to be quite appropriate to ask, albeit perhaps in a chastened fashion in the continuing wake of Barr’s critique.

For the balance of Mike’s reflections, see his original post.