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Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon

Ninth Edition, with Revised Supplement 1996
H. G. Liddell and R. Scott

Revised and augmented throughout by Sir Henry Stuart Jones, with the assistance of Roderick McKenzie, and with the cooperation of many scholars. Supplement edited by P. G. W. Glare.

  • 2,438 pages
  • 127,000+ articles
  • 26,000+ updated articles in the supplement, now integrated into the body

Imprint: Clarendon Press - Oxford

The world's most authoritative dictionary of ancient Greek
Indispensable for biblical and classical studies alike, the world's most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary of ancient Greek is now available with the Revised Supplement integrated into the body of the text for the first time ever. The publication of the Revised Supplement in 1996 marked a major event in classical scholarship and was the culmination of 13 years' painstaking work overseen by a committee appointed by the British Academy, involving the cooperation of many experts from around the world.

The Main Dictionary: Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon (9th edition 1940), is the central reference work for all scholars of ancient Greek authors and texts discovered up to 1940, from the 11th century BC to the Byzantine Period. The early Greek of authors such as Homer and Hesiod, Classical Greek, and the Greek Old and New Testaments are included. Each entry lists not only the definition of a word, but also its irregular inflections, and quotations from a full range of authors and sources to demonstrate usage.

The Logos Bible Software Series X electronic edition is the most useful version of Liddell and Scott (LSJ) ever assembled (see Preface below). It is the only edition in which the hundreds of pages and 26,000+ articles of 'Supplement' material have been integrated into the text of the main lexicon, allowing the user to instantly access the 1996 revisions and additions without flipping pages. And like all Logos reference works the electronic edition links to all the other reference books in Logos Bible Software Series X for instant lookup of related texts and Bible references.

Note: For Classicists who use Antiquarium 2 by Quadrivium Software, the Logos edition of LSJ can be accessed from within Antiquarium via a single keystroke.

Praise for the Electronic Edition

...the digital LSJ is a real gain and a must for classicists. (more...)
     —Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Willeon Slenders, Radboud University Nijmegen

All in all, it is a pretty slick way to access that magnificent reference work. (more...)
     Classical Review, Rob Latousek (Centaur Systems), Random Access columnist

In the electronic Liddell and Scott, the Revised Supplement is seamlessly woven into the dictionary's lemmata and is available nowhere else electronically. The presentation of the dictionary's entries in the electronic Liddell and Scott is much easier to read, with generous white space separating subsections that in the print Liddell and Scott cause blurred vision even in the youngest. In addition, while not correcting all of the erroneously or confusedly labeled sections and subsections of a lemma's definition...the electronic edition's layout makes it easy to see an ordered and logical presentation of the definition. (more...)
     —Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Gerald Verbrugghe, Rutgers University, Camden

Preface to the Electronic Edition of A Greek-English Lexicon

This Logos Bible Software edition of A Greek-English Lexicon (hereafter “LSJ”) has a number of distinctives, including:

  • Integration of the revised (1996) supplement in the main body text.
  • Formatting enhancements that make the text more readable.
  • Inclusion of various fields for searching enhancement.

Supplement Integration

Oxford University Press achieved a monumental task in lexicography with its comprehensive update and 1996 release of the supplement to the ninth edition of LSJ. Out of the more than 125,000 articles of LSJ, the supplement specifies over 25,000 updates—one out of every five articles.

In preparing an electronic edition of LSJ, the next natural step was taken: full integration of the supplement content into the main body text of LSJ. Lexicon users no longer need to examine two different locations in the lexicon when studying a word that is included in the supplement. The content has been seamlessly integrated.

Articles that have been updated in accordance with supplement guidelines are denoted by the presence of a circled star circled star for LSJ preceding the article headword. This is reminiscent of the print edition’s symbol denoting updated articles and as such should be familiar to users of the printed text.

Formatting Enhancements

The text of the print edition of LSJ is typographically dense. The font size is small, and definition senses are listed consecutively with no vertical breaks. These are all justifiable formatting decisions for a print edition of a lexicon such as LSJ as they reduce production cost through keeping page count down, allowing more information to be packed into the lexicon.

In an electronic edition, however, the text can have “room to breathe.” Rather than fully emulate the printed two-column format, decisions were made early on to use vertical and horizontal white space to make the articles themselves more readable. Indentation, therefore, shows the overall structure of an article. The outline-style formatting of many of the articles is now visible and helpful in determining the scope of a given word. This has the additional benefit of making the text easier to skim when searching for a particular sense of a word.

The print edition of LSJ also conserves space in its grouping of article headwords by prefix where words with similar prefixes are able to be logically grouped. The front matter states, “The Hyphen has for the most part been used without regard to etymology, to represent that group of letters which is common to two or more consecutive words.” The print edition, therefore, contains dashes in headwords to denote the prefix for a given group, then sub-entries within the group are suffixes that assume the previous prefix.

This as well has been enhanced in this electronic edition. Each article begins a new line, and each headword is complete, with prefix and suffix joined forming one word. This, of course, makes it easier to locate a given headword in the text.

Search Enhancements

The print edition of LSJ employs some typographical practices that allow certain assumptions to be made in the electronic edition.

Firstly, italicized text, with the exception of abbreviations, indicates a definition gloss. In several instances, particular instances of words in classical literature are cited and glossed. Therefore all italic text has been indexed within a gloss field. This field is searchable, so one may locate instances of a given word (e.g., boat) when it is supplied as a gloss.

Secondly, text within [square brackets] indicates a prosodial remark. Therefore all text within square brackets has been indexed within a prosody field.

Thirdly, text within (parentheses) indicates an etymological remark. Therefore all text within parentheses has been indexed within an etymology field.

Fourthly, Greek headwords have been indexed within the lemma field. Other Greek words appearing in bold text have been included as article-level topics.

For more information about these fields, choose Help | About this Resource from the main application menu. For information on searching using fields, search the Libronix Digital Library System Help Manual for (include the quotes) “Field Searching.”

Final Note

Several skilled hands and minds have been associated with the preparation, improvement, development, and publication of this great lexicon over the past 160 years. It is a privilege to now be associated with this highly respected body of work.

The Value of A Greek-English Lexicon (LSJ) for Biblical Studies

A Greek-English Lexicon, also known as Liddell & Scott or as LSJ, is perhaps the most well respected classical Greek lexicon available today.

Though LSJ deals primarily with classical Greek, it has several applications to Biblical study:

  • Provides information on words in LXX, which is typically lacking in NT-oriented Greek lexicons
  • Provides information on words in NT as many of these words were frequently used in secular literature
  • Provides information on words infrequently used in the LXX or NT
  • Provides information on classical usage of words, which may be helpful in etymological studies

Using LSJ with New Testament Studies

The example of προσέχω in 1 Tim 1:4 is a decent example of the use of LSJ with New Testament Studies. It also serves as an example for learning more about classical usage of Greek words.

4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. 1 Timothy 1:4 (ESV)

The word προσέχω in its various inflected forms, occurs 24 times in the New Testament. BDAG glosses the sense of the word as used in 1 Tim 1:4 as pay attention to, give heed to, or follow. The ESV above translates προσέχω as to devote. BDAG notes that when used with a dative, the idea of pay attention to is most likely intended.

LSJ discusses a number of senses of the word. For instance, as is visible in the screen capture to the right, several nautical senses are discussed. In sense I.4.b, LSJ notes that the word, when used with a dative noun (and "myths and endless genealogies" is in the dative case) can be glossed as "devote oneself to a thing" and offers several classical citations that can be examined to confirm this reading.

One sense of the word that isn't presented in the portion of the LSJ article in the screen capture is an interesting citation from Theophrastus, who uses the word passively of gum (yes, gum) sticking to something.

While the primary definition offered in this instance in BDAG is, of course, correct, LSJ proves valuable to examine simply to get a better understanding of the word προσέχω and the nuances it held in secular Greek society.

Using LSJ with Septuagint Studies

The example of άλήθεια (inflected form άλήθειαν) in Leviticus 8:8 is insightful. The word άλήθεια occurs frequently in the LXX and is typically translated truth. However, note this verse in English:

8 And he placed the breastpiece on him, and in the breastpiece he put the Urim and the Thummim. Leviticus 8:8 (ESV)

The word άλήθεια is here translated as Thummim. But why is that, as the seemingly proper translation should be truth? A Greek English Lexicon of the Septuagint (hereafter LEH) glosses this particular reference with "symbol of the truth (of the Thummim)". So the translation as Thummim is justified, but the justification (apart from simple fiat) is not forthcoming.

Enter LSJ. The LSJ definition lists a number of senses. The fourth major sense (the entry in LSJ is so long that the fourth sense does not show in the screen capture on the right) reports:

IV. symbol of truth, jewel worn by Egyptian high-priest, D.S.1.48, 75, Ael.VH14.34: of the Thummim, LXX.Le.8.8

Note the two citations. D.S. refers to a first-century BC author (Diodorus Seculus) and Ael refers to a second to third century AD author Aelianus. In these references LSJ cites two sources where άλήθεια was used to refer to a jewel worn by the Egyptian high priest as a symbol of truth. A usage that looked unique in the LXX found parallel usage in non-biblical Hellenistic literature, giving information about a word's usage that would be beyond the scope of any NT lexicon.

Another Septuagint Example

The example of διαφορέω in Jeremiah 37:16 (Jer 30:16 ESV) is also helpful. The word διαφορέω apparently only occurs here in the Septuagint, and it does not occur in the New Testament. Here is the verse in English:

16 Therefore all who devour you shall be devoured, and all your foes, every one of them, shall go into captivity; those who plunder you shall be plundered, and all who prey on you I will make a prey. Jeremiah 30:16 (ESV)

The word plunder represents the word διαφορέω. Well, plunder is really a translation of the Hebrew as the ESV uses the Hebrew Old Testament as its basis, but this is close enough for purposes of this example. LEH glosses διαφορέω as to tear to pieces. However, the LEH definition ends there, and nothing else is mentioned.

The LSJ definition, however, is much more extensive. It lists five major senses of the word and provides a number of examples from classical literature. After all, if the Ancient Greeks knew how to do anything, it was war — just think of the battles between the Athenians and the Spartans. LSJ even notes some usages of διαφορέω in medical writers, providing a well-rounded glimpse of how classical Greek writers used this term.

Once again, the primary sense of διαφορέω as defined by LEH does provide the basic information needed, but the expanded information offered by LSJ on this word is helpful to gain a fuller understanding of the term.

Using LSJ with Infrequently Used New Testament or Septuagint Words

One problem students of Greek encounter is the problem of words infrequently used in the New Testament and Septuagint. The use of λουτρόν in Titus 3:5 offers an interesting example.

5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5 (ESV)

The word λουτρόν is translated as washing in the ESV. It occurs twice in the New Testament; here and also in Eph. 5:26. Again, the BDAG definition is adequate and conveys the meaning of the word in the New Testament. However, when examining LSJ, one sees that LSJ uses the majority of its definition listing citations to the actual, physical sense of bathing, not the ceremonial or figurative sense. So, while the sparse New Testament usages are concentrated on the idea of a figurative cleansing, the word λουτρόν could also perhaps carry the sense of actually bathing. While LSJ does not alter the primary understanding of the NT sense of the word (it actually confirms it in one of its senses) one does arrive at a greater idea of the range of meaning of a word.

So once again LSJ has helped in gaining a clearer picture of what λουτρόν might have meant in its normal, everyday context. While the context of Biblical study is primarily a religious one, people from the New Testament era lived in both spheres — the secular and the religious — much as we do today. Understandably, even today our concept of washing or bathing in the context of Titus 3:5 is enhanced simply because we have an idea of what it means to wash ourselves physically. The same is true for all languages. LSJ simply helps in providing a larger context of Greek usage, which helps enhance understanding of these terms as the Bible is studied and interpreted.


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