Burer and Miller vs. Kubo: A Comparison of Greek Reader’s Lexicons


ReadersLexiconvsKuboReview By: J. Bisbee

A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (NRL), by Michael H. Burer and Jeffrey E. Miller is a fantastic resource for first year Greek students, pastors and laymen alike. NRL provides concise definitions for every word that occurs fifty times or less in the Greek New Testament.  Contextual definitions are drawn from today’s standard lexicon, W. Bauer, F.W. Danker, W.F. Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3d ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). Each word is defined and categorized by book and verse. Word frequency numbers also display how many times a word appears in the book at hand, other books by the same author, and the entire NT. Statistics for these numbers were drawn from the standard NA27 and UBS4 Greek New Testament. NRL even provides cross-references.

A similar source is Sakae Kubo’s A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. This source also includes definitions for words that occur fifty times or less, but its definitions are drawn from the 1957 version of Walter Bauer’s A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian literature. Secondly, this work is based on the NA26 only. Word frequency numbers appear for the book at hand and the entire NT. But, unfortunately, the category “other books by the same author” is excluded. Lastly, statistics for these frequency numbers were drawn from Robert Morgenthaler, Statistik des neutesamentlichen Wortschatzes which was printed in 1958. While Kubo’s Lexicon is based on older scholarship, it does have its advantages. Appendices in the back include an alphabetical list of words which occur more than fifty times, irregular verb forms, and a beginner’s guide to translation that contains paradigms.

While both are fine sources, A New Reader’s Lexicon of the Greek New Testament (NRL), by Michael H. Burer and Jeffrey E . Miller is highly recommended, since it contains the most recent scholarship.  Purchase NRL today, for only $27.99. Sakae Kubo’s A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is also available for $23.99.

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