Using Greek To Enhance Personal Bible Study
By: Teleios Research
Teleios searched the Greek verbs and nouns used in the book of Ephesians 1:1-14 and compared how they were used elsewhere in the New Testament. We wished to determine if the search results could help clarify the translation of the Greek into the English King James Version (KJV).
A senior student at Dallas Theological Seminary, who had completed 3 years of Greek coursework, analyzed the text by searching in the Bible software program eSword and the included words using a well-known Greek lexicon, Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
Each Greek word resulting from a search of the corresponding KJV English word was categorized as: (1) there were too few or too many (>30) verses appearing in the search to be useful; (2) the search confirmed the use of the word in the verse; (3) expanded the number of definitions to consider for the word; (4) narrowed the choices of potential definitions;
We searched separately in Ephesians alone, all epistles of the apostle Paul, non-Pauline epistles, and all the New Testament.
Of the 74 words searched we found that within Ephesians alone, for approximately half (n=36) of the searches, the Greek word used supported the translated English word. Of the remaining words approximately 1/3 each (n=11-12) either: expanded, narrowed or provided a better definition for the KJV term.
This ratio of categories remained unchanged when the search was expanded to other portions of the New Testament except in 12 cases when the whole New Testament was included there were too many words to assess efficiently.
The study suggests Greek word searches may enhance personal verse by verse Bible study by supporting the English word translation used in KJV, providing additional definitions to consider, narrowing the potential definitions of the word or giving an improved translation.
More research is needed to fully understand how to maximize current Bible study tools to gain the most in understanding the Bible, not just in Ephesians, but also throughout the other books in the Bible.
Other findings from Teleios Research are on our website (http://www.teleiosresearch.com/
WC Stewart, E Armstrong, JA Stewart, LA Nelson
About Teleios - Teleios is a non-profit foundation that seeks to demonstrate the truth of scripture and the Christian faith through scientific methods by providing evidence for the positive results of a biblically-based lifestyle. Prior studies conducted by Teleios have shown that the practice of the Christian faith (praise, prayer, fellowship, service and Bible study) and security of salvation increases well-being while reducing guilt.
Lindsay Nelson - Teleios Research