Bible Dictionaries

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Simultaneously Search the following resources

  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
  • Easton's Bible Dictionary (EBD)
  • Smith's Bible Dictionary (SBD)
  • Strong's Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew Words
  • Relevant Maps
  • Definition of the word - click link at bottom of page (referred to as "Word Study") - very nice.

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Index A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Hint: You may need to check alphabetic index for specific terms. E.g., a search for "temple" does not yield an article in ISBE, but under "T" you will find "Temple, A1" and Temple, A2" with lengthy articles.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

CARM Theological Dictionary

Articles are well written. Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (CARM) has compiled a small but useful collection of theological terms (like amillenialism, antinomianism, Arianism, Calvinism, Sola Fide, etc.). These terms are not generally found in Bible dictionaries.

Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

From the author of Strong’s Concordance and the result of the culminating efforts of two hundred editors, and was originally in 12-volumes entitled the Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature without doubt one of the largest Bible reference works ever published in the English language. Begun in 1853 under the editorship of James Strong and John McLintock, this massive reference work contains more than 31,000 articles and 17,000,000 words, along with hundreds of pages of bibliographic material and thousands of illustrations.

Described as the most gigantic literary enterprise of its age, the Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature aims to put into a single reference work the accumulated knowledge of all previous biblical scholarship. It quickly became the one of the best-selling Bible reference works of all time, and remains one of the largest reference works ever published. These volumes contain detailed articles on biblical, historical, and theological topics, including sixteen pages on the Tower of Babel, fifteen pages on David, thirty-three pages on marriage, and the longest article on Mormonism ever to appear in a reference work—before or since.

The Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature also includes thousands of bibliographic articles on individuals whose lives appear in no other reference work and nowhere else in print. That makes the Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature a vital tool for historians of American Christianity, as well as for scholars attempting to understand the nineteenth century origins of current topics in biblical and theological studies.

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Contains over 40 million words in nearly 40,000 articles

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Holman's Bible Dictionary

This is a more modern dictionary with crisp, succinct definitions.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

King James Dictionary

Lists more than 6,500 words whose definitions have changed since 1611.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia

Nave's Topical Bible

Torrey's Topical Textbook

Lists more than 20,000 topics with Bible references. Excellent resource to prepare a Bible study on a specific topic.

Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament

Vine's Expository Dictionary of the NT

This is the classic resource for Greek word studies.

See also: Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament all in one pdf


NOTE - All of the resources below can be borrowed from (Vines and NIDNTT do not need to be borrowed). This list also includes resources to help study the Bible. 

See also the list of Word Study Resources 

The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament by Zodhiates, Spiros - This is my "go to" resource for Greek word studies. One on the best lexicons for laymen. Highly Recommended for Greek Word Studies to aid your interpretation of a passage. 

Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament by Friberg, Timothy. Shorter definitions than Zodhiates but does an excellent job in summarizing the various nuances of a specific Greek word. One of my favorites.

Shorter Lexicon of the Greek New Testament by Gingrich, F. Wilbur. Similar to Friberg but shorter definitions. Gingrich however gives more Scriptures for each nuance, whereas Friberg generally gives only one representative Scripture. 

A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament, and other early Christian literature (BDAG); by Bauer, Walter, More detailed definitions but need to know Greek. Zodhiates and Friberg are much easier to use. 

Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament : abridged in one volume (TDNT) - Classic ("Little Kittel") work summarizing the 10 volume set by Kittel. For most of us the abridged definition is "more than enough!" 

Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words - pdf. The old standby. You can also borrow Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Richards, Larry,  It is does not go into great depth on the Greek or Hebrew words but does have some excellent insights. 

Expository Dictionary of Bible Words : word studies for key English Bible - Stephen Renn

Liddell and Scott's Greek-English lexicon, abridged : the little Liddell by Liddell, Henry George. The abridged version. You need to know Greek to use.

Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament : based on Semantic Domains - Louw Nida. Brief but nice definitions. Not easy to use - you need to know some Greek. Classifies Greek words into 93 "semantic domains" (see list on page XXV) and if you can categorize the word you are looking for in one of the domains, it can help find the specific word you are interested in. 

The New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament by Rogers, Cleon - This book is a gold mine of little gems on individual Greek words in any NT passage you are studying. If you have time it is always worth checking out! I use it in my Greek word studies all the time. 

The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (NIDNTT) by Brown, Colin - Click here for a more detailed discussion of how to use this valuable 3 volume resource which has no restrictions.

NIDNTT - The entire work is divided into articles under English titles, arranged in alphabetical order. . Note that  each article has a separate author (including men like J. I. Packer, D. A Carson, J. A. Motyer, F. F. Bruce, et al - see list of contributors). These in turn contain one or more studies of the relevant terms in New Testament Greek which have been grouped under key words. Thus, the article on Baptism, Wash is divided into separate studies under the key Greek words baptizō, louō and niptō. For the sake of easy reference the key Greek word is bolded at the head of the appropriate study thus: βαπτίζω. In each case there follow the principal forms of the associated Greek words and their cognates which are given in both Greek letters and transliteration together with their basic dictionary equivalents. In the electronic edition Greek headings and references to Greek articles can be shown in Greek letters or in one of two transliterations. Each article is divided into three main sections denoted by the letters CL indicating discussion of the word in classical and secular Greek, OT in Old Testament usage, and NT dealing with New Testament usage. They are arranged as follows:

CL Discussion of the word in secular Greek. Uses of the word are illustrated by references to classical literature, inscriptions and papyri.

OT Discussion of the word in the Old Testament. The language of the church of the New Testament era was Greek, and the Old Testament Scriptures used by the church were largely the Greek translation of the Hebrew known as the Septuagint (LXX). The discussion is therefore based on the terms as they occur in the LXX and other Greek versions. But throughout these are compared with the corresponding Hebrew words of the Hebrew Masoretic text. This second section also includes discussion of terms in rabbinic writers, Philo and Josephus, and the discoveries at Qumran

NT Discussion of the word in the New Testament, noting statistical occurrences of the word, its uses in relation to its background, and the specific emphases of individual writers and writings. Bibliographies are appended to all major articles.


Abolish, Nullify, Reject

καταργέω G2934 (ED: NOTE THESE ARE NOT STRONG'S NUMBERS BUT "Goodrick-Kohlenberger" numbers - SEE DESCRIPTION) (katargeō), abolish, nullify.

CL Derived from argos, meaning inactive, idle, unused, useless, katargeō is a late word which in secular Gk. means to render inactive, put out of use, cancel, bring to nothing, do away with. It is used in a wide range of contexts.

OT It only appears in the LXX in 2 Esdr. [Heb. Ezra] 4:21, 23; 5:5; 6:8, where it signifies hindering or interrupting the rebuilding of the temple.

NT Of its 27 occurrences in the NT, one is in a parable (the non-fruiting fig tree of Lk. 13:7 “cumbers” the ground in the sense of making it unproductive); the rest are in theological contexts, all but one being in Paul, who uses the word mainly to express the following:

1. God’s putting out of action through the cross and the parousia destructive powers which threaten man’s spiritual well-being. These include (a) world-rulers (1 Cor. 2:6: possibly human, but more likely demonic); (b) the law which set Jew and Gentile at enmity and made both guilty before God (Eph. 2:15, cf. Rom. 7:2, “discharged from the law of the husband”); (c) the body of sin (Rom. 6:6: Paul means “our sinful self”, “the sin-dominated nature that was ours in Adam”); (d) the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:8); (e) all forces hostile to Christ at present (1 Cor. 15:24), including death, already brought to nothing in principle through Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor. 15:26; cf. 2 Tim. 1:10). The writer to the Hebrews adds (f) the devil (Heb. 2:14).

2. God’s removing and displacing what is transient to make way for better and abiding things. Already displaced through the coming of the new order in Christ is the “glory”, such as it was, of the Mosaic dispensation (2 Cor. 3:7, 11, 13), and the “veil” which was on Jewish hearts like Paul’s (2 Cor. 3:14). Being displaced, as God’s plan goes forward, are “things that are (sc., something)” in this world—though grammatically neuter, the phrase denotes people (1 Cor. 1:28). Due for displacement through the changes which the parousia will bring are (a) the belly and food (1 Cor. 6:13: our present bodies will be changed), and (b) prophecies and conceptual knowledge (gnōsis), which, being at best modes of partial and indirect apprehension, will be left behind, as a grown man abandons childish things, when we apprehend God directly by sight (1 Cor. 13:8, 10, 11).

3. Man’s attempts, witting or unwitting, to contradict and cancel those principles and powers of divine working which bring salvation. To preach justification by circumcision, and to seek justification by works of law, is not only to cancel the offense of the cross (Gal. 5:11), but also to be “severed” (cancelled, discharged) from Christ and his grace (Gal. 5:4). But as faith does not cancel the law (Rom. 3:31), nor the law the promise (Gal. 3:17), nor Israel’s unbelief God’s faithfulness (Rom. 3:3), so the gospel of grace will stand, despite man’s efforts to nullify it, and in the end it will triumph.

Though katargeō is elusive in translation (AV renders it in 17 different ways, RV in 13), its basic meaning of rendering something inoperative is clear and constant.

New Testament Words in Today's Language by Detzler, Wayne A - Wonderful resource to supplement word studies.  3 ratings THIS IS A SLEEPER! 

New Testament Words - William Barclay - 59 ratings very interesting resource - covers about 70 NT Greek words in Barclay's unique style. On page 289 there is a helpful index of English words with the corresponding Greek word, in turn followed by the places Barclay described them in New Testament Words and in his Daily Study Bible series (see list of DSB commentaries here). E.g., take the Greek word for "Covetousness" which is pleonexia and is found in New Testament Words on page 61 and pp 233-235 and is also described in the Daily Study Bible entries for : Mark 7:14-23; Ro 1:28-32; Eph. 4:17-24; Col. 3:5. So you can click the DSB commentary on Mark 7 and scroll down to Mark 7:14 to see Barclay's entry for pleonexia which concludes "Pleonexia ( G4124) is that lust for having which is in the heart of the man who sees happiness in things instead of in God." Interesting!

Word meanings in the New Testament - Matthew-Revelation by Ralph Earle. Strictly speaking this is not a lexicon, but it offers insights on select words in a verse by verse format (but not every verse is included in the analysis). This resource is worth checking if you have time as it can occasionally give some wonderful insights on a specific Greek word. 

Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Volume 1 - A thru E);  Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament (Volume 3- P thru ...) Volume 2 not available. I do not find this adds much to the easier to use resources like Zodhiates and Friberg

A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament by Souter, Alexander. Brief definitions. Need to know some Greek. Not that helpful. 

So That's What it Means - This is another book formerly titled "Theological Wordbookedited by Charles Swindoll. It is now under this new title So That's What it Means and can be borrowed - it is more like a dictionary than a lexicon but the comments are superb! The contributors include DKC—Donald K. Campbell, WGJ—Wendell G. Johnston, JAW—John A. Witmer, JFW—John F. Walvoord 

Christian Words  By: Turner, Nigel, Published: 1980 - >500 pages. An interesting, unique resource on Greek words (no Hebrew) with extensive bibliography. For an example see "Abba" and "Alleluia" - "In Christian vocabulary Alleluia is a heavenly song, a chant of saints in the bliss of Paradise, echoed on earth as joyful seasons." One caution is he uses the Apocryphal writings extensively - I am not sure of his theological persuasion.

Zondervan NASB exhaustive concordance - 1589 pages

Pocket dictionary for the study of New Testament Greek by DeMoss, Matthew S. If you want to dig a little deeper into Greek. 66 ratings

Synonyms of the New Testament by Trench, Richard Chenevix - or click here for list of 108 entries

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

Many definitions have Biblical references. Excellent English dictionary

Web Bible Encyclopedia

Enter search term in box below to retrieve "hits" but note that not all "hits" are specific for the "web encyclopedia" so is not quite as helpful as searches in the preceding dictionaries (but there are pictures and maps with some of the definitions). This site is also developing a "WEB BIBLE", using the KJV with links from "key words" in the text to specific definitions of those words. To get an idea of how it might be useful when it is fully developed go to WEB BIBLE and under "Old Testament" select Genesis & chapter 15. Click on "Abram" (in blue) (then click Abraham) for the linked definition.

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