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Thread: Hebrew Words and How They Are Translated in the NT

  1. #1
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    Default Hebrew Words and How They Are Translated in the NT

    This is my first post as I did not know what to search for, so I apologize if this has been asked in times past.

    My goal is to search for a Hebrew word, in this instance חסד, and to analyze where these OT passages are cited in the NT. I would like to see how the NT translates this word (usually "eleos" from what I have seen).

    I have searched through Carson's "Commentary on the NT Use of the OT," and I have a general idea, but I want to make sure that I don't miss anything.

    Is there anyway to do this kind of search in Bibleworks?

    Thanks!
    Greg

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    Hi Greg, and welcome to BibleWorks and to the forums! You've asked an extremely complicated question (but you probably knew that!). I'll try to address a couple of levels of it, but others will be able to offer more help I'm sure.

    First of all, it's important to realize that, with possible rare exceptions, the NT writers generally do not quote directly from the Hebrew Bible. Rather, writing in Greek, they quote from the Septuagint, the common Jewish translation of the scriptures from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek. For writers like Luke and Paul, the Septuagint was what the King James Bible has been to most English-speaking Christians: not just a translation, but a sacred text with a kind of authority of its own. (The name "Septuagint" [Latin for 70, hence the common symbol LXX] refers to the legend that 72 Jewish translators, working independently, all produced an identical translation, by divine inspiration.) There is some evidence that some of the NT writers were aware of other Greek translations; but that's a long conversation, and the Septuagint is the simplest place to start. For more information about the LXX, see for instance http://www.kalvesmaki.com/LXX/lxxfaq.htm (unfortunately, that site is hard to use; it looks like there is good information there, but a lot of the links are broken).

    So what you really want to know is (a) how the LXX generally translated חסד; and (b) when NT writers quote LXX passages containing translations of חסד, do they follow the LXX rendering, or make adaptations (or use other translations)?

    WRT (a), BibleWorks provides a wealth of resources, all accessible from the Resources menu. First, there is the Hebrew/Greek Parallel Text, by Tov and Polak (Parallel Hebrew-LXX on the menu). I haven't used it much, and others can give you better advice on it; but it has a good help file of its own, and I was pretty quickly able to confirm that, as you surmised, ἔλεος is the most common rendering. For working with the LXX, there are other tools as well. On the Resources menu, click Greek/Hebrew Lexicons, and in that module do Lexicons > LEH Lexicon. This will open the Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, by Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspiel. Under Resources > Greek grammars, there is the old but valuable Grammar of Septuagint Greek by F. C. Conybeare. For more guidance, under Resources > Miscellaneous, there is the New English Translation of the Septuagint, ed. Pietersma and Wright.

    For getting from (a) to (b), under Resources > Miscellaneous there is Old Testament Quotations in the New Testament by Archer and Chirichigno. If you've found some particularly significant uses of חסד that you want to track into their citations in the NT, this can be helpful. Another tool is the X-Refs tab in the Analysis Window. If you search for חסד in a Hebrew Bible version, then select a specific verse, e.g., Hosea 6:6, this tab will show a list of references to that verse elsewhere in the Bible. Also, the Resources tab in the Analysis Window will list places in various resources (such as those I mentioned above) that mention that verse.

    I hope this is helpful, at least enough to get you started. Note that all of the above refers to BibleWorks 10, which is what I use. If you have an earlier version, things may be different!
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response! Yes, I understand that what I am asking is complicated, that's why I've come to the experts.

    Yes, the NT uses the LXX quite a bit, although perhaps not exclusively. Thus, here's the method which I have in mind (if we can do it!):

    1) Do a search for a word, like חסד
    2) Be able to filter that list (since there are around 200 instances of this word in the OT) to verses that are quoted or alluded to in the NT (the allusion part is not as big of a deal to me right now and would make this a MUCH more complicated process). My thought in how to accomplish this is if there was a way to filter that list by comparing it to a resource like one you mentioned.
    3) With this list much shorter, this would then allow for a comparison of BHS, LXX, and NT verse comparison.

    Obviously the hard part is step 2. I don't know how to cross reference against other resources, of if that is even an option.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks again!
    Greg

  4. #4
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    The Archer/Chirichigno resource is complex, and I doubt if there's a way to use it as an automatic filter, unfortunately. The X-Refs tab uses a BW Master cross-reference list that is compiled from other sources; again, I don't know that there's a way to use it as an automatic filter.

    However, there are others on this forum who have much more experience than I do with some of these tools, and hopefully some of them may be able to chime in soon with more ideas. In the end, though, it may be necessary to use the old eyeball method to trim down the long list.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthiasfan View Post
    Thanks for the response! Yes, I understand that what I am asking is complicated, that's why I've come to the experts.

    Yes, the NT uses the LXX quite a bit, although perhaps not exclusively. Thus, here's the method which I have in mind (if we can do it!):

    1) Do a search for a word, like חסד
    2) Be able to filter that list (since there are around 200 instances of this word in the OT) to verses that are quoted or alluded to in the NT (the allusion part is not as big of a deal to me right now and would make this a MUCH more complicated process). My thought in how to accomplish this is if there was a way to filter that list by comparing it to a resource like one you mentioned.
    3) With this list much shorter, this would then allow for a comparison of BHS, LXX, and NT verse comparison.

    Obviously the hard part is step 2. I don't know how to cross reference against other resources, of if that is even an option.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks again!
    Greg
    I can offer two ways to do step 2, neither of which is truly automated.
    In any case, run your query. (I got 255 hits in 245 verses)

    If you want to use Archer & Chirichigno (they do include valuable commentary on each case they use) you can go into A&C and search for each of the verses from your query. This is not as daunting as it sounds, though it is not for the faint of heart. A&C in BibleWorks does not have an index of OT references (it does have one of NT references). You might look for a copy of the printed edition to see if it has such an index.
    You can search by going into the "Quotation Tool" part of A&C, click in the body of the text, and Ctl F to bring up the find window. (I am assuming a Windows environment) Use the full book names, and be aware that a reference may be to a range of verses, so when you find a chapter you want, check the verse number by eye.
    The MT chapters/verses match BW WTT version.
    The LXX chapters/verses match BW LXT/BGT version.
    The English text is NAS for MT and NT, LXE (Brenton) for LXX.

    Another source of NT quotations from the OT is several synoptic tool files supplied with BW10.
    otntgrk.sdf "by Mark Eddy, incorporating work by Jeff Jackson" uses the chapter/verse numbering of BGT.
    otnt.sdf "Contributed by Jeff Jackson/edited by Mark Eddy" uses the chapter/verse numbering of NAU.
    Either of these could be massaged into *.vls format to use with BW's Verse List Manager. If you generate a Verse List from the query mentioned above, you can then use the VLM to find the verses in both lists.

    David mentioned the LEH lexicon of LXX greek; yes, it is a good resource, but it is an extra-cost add-on to BW10.

    Hope this is of some use to you,
    Jim

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    Good ideas, Jim. I wondered if there were some way to involve the Verse List Manager to create some automation. I hadn't thought about the synopses, though.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

  7. #7
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    The Verse List Manager can be a help with this project. Add the OT in NT verses to the Verse List Manager. You can get the list of verses from Archer & Chirichigno, the Synopsis Windows files already mentioned, and from other resources. There is a box at the bottom of the Verse List Manager where you can manually enter verses. You will want to use a version in the Verse List Manager that has both OT and NT sections, such as the BGT. In this way you can add both OT and NT verses into the list. (The version used for the verse listing is the current search version.)

    Once you have this list in the Verse List Manager, then select Export on the Verse List Manager menu, and select "Export to Search Window" to export the list from the Verse List Manager to the Search Window. Right-click on the Search Window and set "Make Search Results New Search Limits". Now when you run your searches the only search results you get will be within the OT in the NT verses from your verse list.

    Blessings,
    Glenn
    Glenn Weaver

  8. #8
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    Excellent responses, all. Thank you!

  9. #9

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    If anyone should take the time to create the verse list described by Glenn, it would be greatly appreciated if you share it here!
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies
    United Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg & Philadelphia
    uls.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  10. #10
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    If I were to make the list, it probably would not be until after this semester is over. I did want to state a limitation that would still exist for this study in case anyone wanted to do something similar.

    When I read a passage like Romans 15:9-12, חסד is not in any of the passages cited from the Old Testament (if memory serves me well). In verse 11, Paul quotes Psalm 117:1 which does not contain this word, but the very next verse does. In fact, Psalm 117:2 seems to act as an explanatory verse as to why this praise should occur. So there will be a limitation on doing this kind of search because it does not take surrounding context into consideration.

    The extra step that would have to be added (at least from my perspective), is to be able to do a search for חסד within a certain number of words for quoted OT texts.

    Quote Originally Posted by MGVH View Post
    If anyone should take the time to create the verse list described by Glenn, it would be greatly appreciated if you share it here!

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