The New Lexicon Of The New Testament -- By: B. B. Warfield

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 044:173 (Jan 1887)
Article: The New Lexicon Of The New Testament
Author: B. B. Warfield


The New Lexicon Of The New Testament1

Rev. Prof. B. B. Warfield

It was as long ago as 1864 that the first announcement was made in the Bibliotheca Sacra (October number, p. 886), of the intention of Professor Thayer, at that time of Andover, to prepare a translation of Grimm’s Latin Lexicon of New Testament Greek, the first edition of which was then in course of publication. Exactly twenty-two years have slipped away while the book was preparing, a second edition of the original (completed in 1879) having appeared in the meanwhile and been made the basis of the translation. This has been a quarter of a century of constant growth in New Testament studies and of unremitting effort on the translator’s part to subsidize the continually increasing material in the interests of his work, which thus took more and more the character not so much of a translation as of a revised, improved, and enlarged edition.

Dr. Grimm’s Lexicon Græco-Latinum in libros Novi Testamenti already stood at the apex of a long development of New Testament Lexicons. The springs of this development may be said to have risen in George Pasor’s Lexicon, which appeared first in 1626, and often afterward up to 1774 (with animadversions by J. F. Fischer). Stock’s Clavis lingæ sanctæ N. T. (1725 up to Fischer’s edition of

1752), and Schöttgen’s Novum Lexicon Græco-Latinum in N. T. (1746, enlarged by Krebs, 1765, and by Spohn, 1790), together with Fischer’s Prolusiones (1799) may be accounted affluents of the stream, which became a river in the first great work in this department, J. Friedr. Schleusner’s Novum Lexicon Græco-Latinum in N. T, which appeared at the end of the last century (1792). Schleusner’s position at the close of the long discussion as to the nature of Hellenistic Greek placed all the materials that had been gathered throughout that contest within his reach, and he embodied them with liberal hand in his book, thus collecting a vast mass of undigested matter for the use of his successors. It almost at once displaced all previous Lexicons, and passed through four editions (1792 to 1819) before it was itself supplanted by the better arranged and digested works of Wahl (Clavis N. T. philologica, etc., 1819), whose strength was given to the investigation of the classical usage of the New Testament words, and Bretschneider (Lexicon Manuale Græco-Latinum in libros N. T.,1824), who performed a similar service for the Hellenistic usage. These two really meritorious works held the ground in a series of three parallel editions (the third of each falling respectively in 1843 and 1840) unt...

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