Lexicons are valuable resources to determine possible meanings of original language words and how these words are used. With Logos, you can easily navigate lexicons, find entries for words with a few clicks, and link lexicons to Bibles and other resources or guides.
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Different types of lexicons
It is important to realize that there are two main types of lexicons: those that focus on the likely meaning of words and those that explore the theological concepts associated with those words. Both are useful and it can be helpful to consult lexicons of both types.
The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon is a lexicon that focuses on meanings of words with an example shown below:
After some introductory information (which we will look at in more detail below), it simply lists how this particular word is translated (in this case in the AV). Other lexicons of this type will list the references as well. So the main focus of these types of lexicons is looking at the different meanings associated with the original language term and, sometimes, where they occur.
The Lexham Theological Wordbook is an example of a theological lexicon with its entry for the same word shown below:
Here the focus is more on how the word is used and what concepts it portrays.
Understanding entries in lexicons
As shown above, lexicons contain some introductory information for each article and it is helpful to understand what it means. It is important to recognise that each lexicon provides different information at this point.
Taking the Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon as an example it has:
3140 μαρτυρέω [martureo /mar·too·reh·o/] v. From 3144; TDNT 4:474; TDNTA 564; GK 3455
The number at the beginning, in this case 3140, is the Strong’s Greek Number. This is a system that assigns a number to each original language term, making it easy to look up all such occurrences. Hovering your cursor over the number will show a link to the associated article in your highest prioritized lexicon that is indexed by Strong’s Numbers. (We’ll look at how to prioritize lexicons below). You can click the link to open that lexicon to the linked article.
Following the number is the lemma – the base form of the original language word.
This is followed by the English transliteration – a way of representing the word using English letters and a guide to pronunciation.
The individual letters following this show information about the part of speech. In this case, the v, indicates a verb. You can hover your cursor over these to see what they represent.
The remaining entries, before starting to look at occurrences of the word, are links to some other lexicons that have articles on the same word.
Navigating in lexicons
There are a number of ways to navigate in a lexicon.
Using the table of contents
The Table of Contents, accessed by clicking the vertical bars icon at the top-left of the panel, provides an easy way to lookup an entry. Different lexicons organize information in a range of ways.
The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon uses Strong’s Numbers:
The Lexham Theological Wordbook organizes entries by key concepts or meanings then, for each one, provides a brief theological overview and information about the underlying Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek words:
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament organizes words alphabetically in Greek:
Each of these provides a convenient way to navigate to a particular entry using a “point and click” approach.
Using the find box
Another way of navigating in a lexicon is using the find box at the top of the panel. Options will vary depending on how the lexicon has been tagged.
Click the box to see the navigation options:
You can navigate to different places in the lexicon using any of these representations. So, if you wanted to look up the word ἄνθρωπος and knew that it was associated with the Strong’s Greek Number 444, you could enter either of these and select the appropriate option from the dropdown menu to navigate to that point.
Exactly the same techniques work for Hebrew words, where entering either the Hebrew letters or the transliterated letters (depending on what is supported by the lexicon) will enable you to navigate to the relevant article:
takes you to:
Looking up lexicons from the context menu
One of the easiest ways to find words in lexicons, particularly if you are working through a text, is to use the context menu (invoked by right-clicking a word). This provides a range of options including that of looking up entries from five of your lexicons. To get this lookup, you need to select the lemma on the left of the context menu as shown below:
Click any of the linked lexicons to open it to the relevant article.
The order they appear is based on how you have prioritized them in your Library. (If you haven’t done any prioritization, a default scheme applies).
To prioritize lexicons, open your Library and filter your resources to just show lexicons. Then select the Prioritize Resources option from the panel menu:
You can now drag a lexicon to its prioritization position:
It is a good idea to prioritize both Hebrew and Greek lexicon so that each set includes:
- A concise lexicon to provide a quick idea of the word and its meanings
- One that focuses on the meaning of the word in slightly more detail
- One that looks at how the word is used theologically
This enables you to access any type of lexicon easily from the context menu.
Linking lexicons to a Bible to provide single-click access
Another way to look up entries in a lexicon is by linking it to the Bible (or other resource) you are reading. Then, clicking the word will update the lexicon to the appropriate entry.
To link resources together add them to the same link set:
For more information on setting up link sets, click here.
Changing display options
Some lexicons are, by default, quite dense in the way they present information and this can make them difficult to read.
The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (often referred to as BDAG) is a good example of this with a typical entry appearing as shown below:
For some lexicons, the Outline Formatting visual filter can make them much easier to read:
Emphasize active references
Sometimes in a long lexicon article, it can be difficult to find where the particular verse you are studying is mentioned. If you turn on Emphasize active references in the lexicon, Logos will highlight where that particular verse is referenced in the article making it easy to focus on that section.
Accessing all relevant lexicons from the Bible Word Study Guide
You can use the Lemma Section of the Bible Word Study Guide to get easy access to all of your lexicon entries on any particular word. All of the lexicons are listed in order of prioritization.
You can hover over a lexicon name to see the start of the article and you can click the lexicon to open it to that article. This provides a very easy way of accessing a range of lexicons when studying a particular word.