March 6, 2015
Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible
When I need a literal translation known for accuracy, I often turn to the New American Standard Bible (NASB), which AMG Publishers wisely chose for the Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible. Besides giving us an updated version of the NASB, this unique edition, which the publisher kindly sent me for review, offers prolific references to precise meanings of words in the original Hebrew and Greek languages.
Consider, for example, Genesis 22 where God tested Abraham’s faith. The superscription beside the English word “tested” refers us to the back of the book where we find “AMG’s Annotated Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary Of the Old Testament.” When we look up the reference number 5254, we find the original Hebrew word followed by the English rendering, a pronunciation guide, description, synonyms, and this definition: “A verb meaning to test, to try, to prove. Appearing nearly forty times in the OT, this term often refers to God testing the faith and faithfulness of human beings.”
A number of examples help to illustrate the principle before ending the entry with this word: “Finally, this term can refer to the testing of equipment such as swords or armour (1 Sa 17:39).” Interesting – especially in light of New Testament exhortations given to put on the full armor of God! So whenever we’re feeling “tested,” we might recheck our armor to see if we pass inspection according to Ephesians 6:10-18.
Since I’d never thought of that before seeing these study notes, I mentioned it to my husband, who then said God provided armor for us in the first place. Therefore, it cannot possibly be faulty. Good point! So apparently our job is to make sure we put on the armor correctly with Ephesians 6 (also provided by God) as our instruction manual.
Since I’m writing this during Lent, that thought seems especially timely. Reading a reader’s edition of the Bible, cover to cover, during Lent is timely too, but when it comes to in-depth study, I highly recommend this study Bible to dig deeply into the full meaning of key biblical concepts any time of the year.
In addition to the OT and NT dictionaries in the back matter of the book, helpful footnotes occur throughout the text. For example, part of a note on Passover in Exodus 12:46 says, “In this verse and in Num. 9:12, the breaking of the lamb’s bones is forbidden, and in Jn. 19:36 the fact that Jesus’ legs were not broken on the cross is regarded by John as a fulfillment of this very verse.” Slain on Good Friday, Christ our Passover Lamb becomes the final, whole and holy sacrifice needed to remove our sin, restore our relationship with God, and heal our brokenness.
©2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet, writer, and reviewer, is a lifelong lover of Christ, the Bible, and the church in all its parts.
Hebrew–Greek Key Word Study Bible, hardback