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How can I find the meaning of words in their original language?

by Stephen Davey

Randy from North Carolina asks: “For my personal Bible study, how can I find the meaning of words in their original language?”

 

Randy, I am encouraged by and rejoice at your desire to dive into the Word of God, seeking to understand it deeply and thoroughly.

 

I want to provide you with a couple detailed options and provide you with some encouragement.

 

Depending on your commitment level and time restraints, the most thorough way to understand the Bible in its original languages is by learning Greek and Hebrew, either online, or through seminary classes, or some other means. It is never too late to learn, and a course in these languages are almost always required for biblical scholars and seminary students.

 

If that is too much of a commitment for you, other helpful resources are available. Interlinear Bibles are available, which provide the English text and its original text side by side. With that resource, and a respected Greek or Hebrew lexicon, you can identify any word from English to its original, and then look up its academic definition in its original language.

 

A digital version of this same process would be available with a Bible software, like Logos, which also provides Greek and Hebrew definitions for any word.

 

But friend, understand that just because you are not reading the Bible in its original languages does not mean you are missing out on some secret insight or further communion with God. The best English translations are perfectly adequate to commune with God and understand His meaning and intention in His words.

 

Reading the English Bible with a desire to submit to it enhances biblical maturity even more than someone who merely studies the Bible in Greek and Hebrew with no desire to apply its truth.

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