Okay, so it happens to us all: we get away from seminary and our ability to work with original languages deteriorates… rapidly! 🤣 Usually that doesn’t mean the end of the world per se as we tend to still be able to interact with it on some level, but it does leave us susceptible to parroting what I would call “Biblical language folklore.” This can be dangerous because it can sound great from the pulpit, but be entirely misleading from the “big idea” that actually exists in the passage. 🤦
So how do we avoid falling into the Biblical language folklore trap? Most of us benefit from having Bible software, especially Logos Bible Software, and a digital library to perform word searches or examine grammar usage to confirm what we have heard preached before (or worse: seen slapped on a bumper sticker 😜). Similarly, for various legitimate reasons, translations will take a fairly wooden and flat approach to translation that often fails to bring forward the full force of Koine Greek as an aspectual language… translators generally intend for pastors to help with interpretation of grammatical features and bring forward nuance from the pulpit. 📖🧑💼⛪
Here’s a quick list of the baseline digital resources you should have and regularly reference in your Logos/Faithlife digital library to help protect against Biblical language folklore:
- Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament: SBL Edition
- A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (aka the BDAG)
- A Greek-English Lexicon (LSJ)
- The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT)/The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament Abridged (TDNTA)
- Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (by Wallace)
- Lexham SGNT Notes, SBL Edition: Expansions and Annotations
- Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible
- Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint (Swete or Rahlfs editions)
- New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE)
- The Hebrew-Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT)
- A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (by van der Merwe)
With these resources, fact checking for your sermon is generally just a simple right click of words in the passage. Similarly, you can catch grammatical nuance faster and easier (unless you’re already a full-time Greek or Hebrew professor of course 😉).
Need help getting your church up to speed with using technology to build better sermons? Book a meeting with me.