A Greek and English Lexicon
the New Testament
Charles H. Welch wrote:
The name that comes to mind in association with Lexicons that have a distinct bearing upon the Scriptures is that of Parkhurst. There are two from his pen; one for the Hebrew and one for the Greek. We quote the title page of the Hebrew Lexicon, which is fairly descriptive and gives a good idea of the nature and scope of both works:--
"An Hebrew and English Lexicon, without points, in which the Hebrew and Chaldee words of the Old Testament are explained in their leading and derived senses, the derivative words are ranged under their respective primitives , and the meanings assigned to each authorized by references to passages of Scripture, and frequently illustrated and confirmed by citations from various Authors, ancient and modern."
To this work is prefixed an Hebrew and a Chaldee Grammar, without points. The 7th edition, corrected and improved, was published in 1813. Parkhurst stresses the importance of the Hebrew tri-literal root. Care is necessary in taking his English derivations from the Hebrew. It is easy to mistake similar sounds for evidences of similar pedigrees, but this error is not confined to Parkhurst. Dr. McCaul, Professor of Hebrew in King's College, London, wrote:--
"With regard to the Hebrew roots assigned by Parkhurst, the student will observe that, in consequence of his rejection of the system of vowel points, they sometimes differ considerably from those given in modern Hebrew Lexicons. In such cases, the reader must be led by the weight of evidence and analogy, and receive or reject Parkhurst's conjectures accordingly. He will, however, often find them both sagacious and valuable anticipations of that system of comparative etymology which now obtains in the Indo-European languages, and which has of late been applied to the Hebrew and its sister dialects."
After an interval of seven years, Parkhurst published his companion Lexicon to the Greek of the N.T. Its title page reads as follows:--
"A Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament in which the words and phrases occurring in those sacred books are distinctly explained, and the meanings assigned to each authorized by references to passages of Scripture, and frequently illustrated and confirmed by citations from the Old Testament and from the Greek writers. To this work is prefixed a plain and easy Greek Grammar, adapted to the use of learners, and those who understand no other language than English."
Later editions contain additional information compiled by Hugh James Rose, B.D., and Dr. J. R. Major added points to the Hebrew words that are cited, and an Appendix of proper names. Each Lexicon runs into over 700 pages and, while they must be used with discrimination, they are a library in themselves. They can often be obtained, second-hand, at a low price, the two copies in our own possession costing but a few pence each!
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