Summary of How Biblical Languages Work – Chapter 3

          In order to understand Biblical languages, one must understand how words are put together. Each word has small meaningful parts that make up the word. These parts are called morphemes. The study of how words are structured is called morphology. Morphology is used to see the pattern of Greek and Hebrew words. There are four ways to look for morphemes and those are as follows: 1. Collect similar words. 2. Compare changes in the form of the words with changes in meaning. 3. Draw lines to indicate the parts of words that stay the same and the parts that change. 4. Define each part of the word. In the book the author gives several examples of how this works.

                Morphemes can be classified or grouped in several ways. The key in studying the Biblical languages is to look for the root of the word. Once you identify the root of the word, you can then ascertain the meaning of the word.

                In putting words together, there are often questions that are asked concerning nouns and pronouns. Those questions may include: how many are there, what kind of thing it is, how does it relate to me, and what is it doing in the sentence? Some of the terminology used to answer these questions: number, gender, person, and case. Examining these questions will help in understanding the changes in nouns and pronouns. These changes in nouns and pronouns in Biblical languages are called declension. The changes that occur in verb forms are called conjugation.

                The author of How Biblical Languages Work, gives clear examples of how the putting together of words actually works. It is important that we understand how the words of scripture are structured in order to come to a more full understanding of God’s Word so that we will be students of God’s Word that ‘rightly divide the Word of truth’


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