Translating Words

Intended Field of Meaning
"Strong's has several different definitions listed for this particular word."

The above statement is among the most annoying statements one can run across in Biblical interpretation. Numerous individuals, many educated Trinitarian apologists included, suppose that every Greek and Hebrew word has a whole range of different definitions just as some English words do and so sometimes a word can "mean" this and sometimes a word can "mean" that. Such claims are a very naive perception of the facts and this error is so common it is disturbing.

When Strong's, or a Lexicon, lists various "meanings" for Hebrew and Greek words, the intent is not to tell us that the original Greek and Hebrew word itself means different things in its own language but it can mean different things in our language. When we translate from one language to another, it is often very difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to find an appropriate English word that carries the exact same field of ideas as the original Greek or Hebrew word.


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