Item description for The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Ludwig Koehler, Walter Baumgartner & M. E. J. Richardson...
The third edition of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner's Hebrew dictionary is widely acclaimed as the most up-to-date dictionary for the Old Testament and related literature in classical Hebrew and Aramaic. The long-awaited English version of this classic reference tool for Bible scholars is intended to become the standard modern English dictionary for biblical Hebrew. The complete and unabridged translation is being prepared by an international team of Hebrew and Old Testament scholars. Combining scholarly thoroughness with easy accessibility, the dictionary meets the needs of a wide range of users. The dictionary contains the complete vocabulary of the Hebrew Bible, extended with variants from the Oriental and Samaritan textual traditions, the Ben Sira fragments, the Dead Sea Scrolls, etc. It takes full advantage of the enormous advances that have been made in Semitic linguistics since the publication of older dictionaries like Gesenius and Brown-Driver-Briggs. Another important advantage is that it offers a strictly alphabetical order of entries rather than an arrangement by verbal roots. This user-friendly feature makes the dictionary especially suited to the beginning student of classical Hebrew, but will also save the more advanced user much time. Specialist users will find here a wealth of bibliographical information on Old Testament exegesis. The dictionary will be published in four volumes.
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Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.84" Width: 7.08" Height: 1.48" Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Release Date Jun 14, 2001
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN 9004096965 ISBN13 9789004096967
Availability 0 units.
More About Ludwig Koehler, Walter Baumgartner & M. E. J. Richardson
Reviews - What do customers think about The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament?
The gold standard, but don't ask me to carry it to class for you Jul 8, 2008
This review is for 4 Hebrew lexicons in common use: Brown-Driver-Briggs, Koehler-Baumgartner, Holladay, and Langenscheidt.
The sizeable Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon is a development of Gesenius' historic work, and a long-time standard in English speaking countries. However, it has become dated, and now is used mostly because Hendrickson put out a cheaply constructed version keyed to Strong's concordance. Oxford's Clarendon Press edition is superior if you are required to get BDB. In addition, organizing entries by verbal root rather than alphabetically makes it difficult to use "BDB" for those without intimate knowledge of Hebrew. Fortunately, there is an alternative.
The Koehler-Baumgartner lexicon is superb and thorough, and based on the latest Hebrew and Aramaic scholarship. The authors also took into account cognates from Ugaritic and Akkadian, so users of this massive work have a goldmine of information to draw from. By massive, I mean it is over 2000 pages in 2 large volumes. This plus its $190 asking price means it might be better to let the university or seminary library bear the brunt of purchasing and housing it unless you are an Old Testament specialist.
Most readers will be best served by the work of William Holladay, a reasonably sized 426 pp lexicon based on the latest scholarship. Holladay abridged K-B by removing bibliographic references and other information most needed by specialists. It is well organized (alphabetically), and the font is clear. Entries also have references (not exhaustive) to use within the Old Testament, meaning it can be used as a poor man's OT concordance. While Holladay is manageably sized enough (9.75" x 6.875" x 1.25") to be pleasant to read and easily portable in a bookbag, it is not the smallest resource available.
Some may be tempted to go a step further for the ultimate in compactness with the Langenscheidt pocket dictionary. This item is 6" x 4" x 1" and quite lightweight - in its 1959 iteration anyway. Its definitions are limited in scope and scholarly foundation, but still, what else fits in your coat pocket?
My overall recommendation: Holladay for everyone, supplemented by Koehler-Baumgartner for those who need and can afford it.
This lexicon should be in the library of anyone seeking to understand the deeper meanings of Hebrew words in Tanach. No one text stands alone in that regard; however, it is felt that Koehler - Baumgartner is indispensable for any serious student of Biblical Hebrew, and everyone is a student of this wonderful language. The 2-volume unabridged study edition is affordable and is more space efficient on the shelf. Buy this one with confidence.
The best resource Feb 12, 2003
The best English lexicon of biblical Hebrew & Aramaic, KBL is also easier to use than the classic BDB. Words are listed alphabetically, rather than grouped by root, with cross-references to other words from the same root (no more trying to figure out a noun's putative "verbal root"). Akkadian tends to dominate the etymological information, rather than Arabic), along with Ugaritic. Glosses tend to be traditional, although references within the articles and the extensive supplementary bibliography (84 pages; alphabetically by author) allow you to find narrative lexical discussions. The Aramaic section is outstanding, with citations ranging far beyond biblical Aramaic. Although some might be tempted to begin with an "intermediate" lexicon such as Holladay, KBL's layout, clarity, and wealth of information makes this appropriate for both beginning students, pastors, teachers, and other scholars.
The New Koehler-Baumgartner Jan 10, 2001
The printed 5 volume set provides a fine supplementary lexicon for all students of the Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. The volumes are finely bound, printed on acid-free paper (though not ANSI certified). Each volume is smyth sewn.
Much more asthetic than using a computer screen, the printed version allows you to view all 5 volumes at the same time, even without electricity! Though it cannot compare with the search power of the CD version. The main text is in a two column format and all of the fonts are easy to read.
These volumes will become the standard Hebrew Bible lexicon. Unfortunately! However they should be supplemented with other works because:
(1) They do not show all of the needed etymologies, many entries display no etymological data. (Ernest Klein's work is recommended here). The data from North/West Semitics could be expanded, it is lacking in many entries. Hittite data seems deficient as well as some Sumerian data -- let's face it, they are early influences on the Semitic languages. The Koehler-Baum. work only skims the surface when it comes to etymologies.
(2) Many important works by evangelical scholars (such as S. P. Tregelles, Gleason, Archer, Kyle Yates, E. Young, Robert Dick Wilson, et al) were not even utilized. Too much emphasis was given to the popular works done by secular scholars.
(3) Ugaritic, Phoenician, Arabic and other fonts (scripts) are simply transliterated. They should have been printed out in their original script. Transliteration tables could have also been included for the scholars who are not familiar with these languages, but accuracy can be jeopardized when the original scripts are just transliterated, and it takes time and effort to "recompose" them. Perhaps they were transliterated so that the digital search engines could be simplified. Poor trade off!
(4) Some important definitions are missing for some entries! Thus other lexicons are needed. For example: sh-r-Ha (shin, resh, he) in volume 4, pages 1652f does not show the meaning as "to shine" (from a possible Arabic root) nor as "chains" or "bracelets" as in Isaiah 3:19.
(5) Textual variations are often not listed, and the Qumran literature and data could have been better utilized.
(6) Foreign word indexes could have been supplied, and an index of Biblical passages could have been added. Several hands worked on the 5 volumes, and a variety of abbreviations are used for the Biblical books, making Biblical book cross references difficult even on the CD version.
All in all, a very useful addition. The price is quite high and the folks at Brill often ask too much for their publications. The work NEEDS to be supplemented, and some entries are woefully deficient -- giving only a partial definition. Coupled with the poor etymological data -- this is not acceptable. Gary S. Dykes
A Great Work of Scholarly Value for this Ancient Language Jun 14, 2000
This series of Lexicons give a never before seen view into ancient Aram and the language of Jesus Christ and his followers. For anyone interested in further study of the passages of the Bible, this is a collection that should be a requirement to add to your library. You will appreciate it more as you study it. The Bible and the Talmud no longer need be cryptic in their original forms.