How to define stuff in the Bible


To find out the meaning of a word, a person
normally looks it up in a Webster’s Dictionary. However, we can’t trust a normal dictionary
to define Bible words. Why not? If you look up the word “baptize” in a
modern English dictionary it will tell you the word means immersion, sprinkling or pouring. Like other words in the English language,
baptize has taken on different meanings over the centuries. The Greek word, as it was used in the day
when the Bible was written, meant only to immerse. The key to understanding Bible words is to
find out what the words meant to the people who lived during the time when the Bible was
written. Only when we understand what the words meant
back then can we figure out how to apply them to our own situation today. To properly define a word from the Bible,
you’ll need a dictionary of Old and New Testament words. These dictionaries are edited by scholars
of the ancient Biblical languages and are reliable for defining Bible words. Vine’s Dictionary is one of the easier ones
to use. Let’s look up the word “warn” as an example. Like an English dictionary, Vine’s is alphabetical
so using it should come naturally. When you find the word you’ll see that it
lists every Greek word that’s translated as the English word “warn”. Each Greek word is spelled in English followed
by the Greek spelling along with its Strong’s number. As you can see, there are three Greek words
translated using the single English word warn. If you’ve already looked up the word using
a Strong’s Concordance, you’ll be able to zero in on the specific Greek word you are
looking for. Other dictionaries such as Thayer’s are not
listed alphabetically, but instead are sorted numerically by Strong’s number. Either way you’ll be able to find the word
you’re looking for if you use a Strong’s Concordance as a reference. There are online resources that will give
you the same information as the hard copy dictionaries. There are also apps for mobile devices that
provide these same resources. To truly understand the meaning of a word
in the Bible, you must determine what it meant in the time period in which the text was written! A good Bible dictionary will help you achieve
this.

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