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Products>Greek Prepositions in the New Testament: A Cognitive-Functional Description

Greek Prepositions in the New Testament: A Cognitive-Functional Description

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Prepositions are notorious for their deceptive simplicity in meaning and usage. Simple spatial meanings can conceal the complexity of abstract ones. English speakers understand how the preposition ‘in’ refers to a spatial relationship between an object and a container: “The apple is in the basket.” But how does that sense relate to an abstract use as in the first sentence of this paragraph: “Prepositions are their deceptive simplicity in meaning and usage.” What does it mean for “deceptive simplicity” to be “in meaning and usage”? In this case, meaning and usage provide the context in which the simplicity of prepositions is deceptive. Greek Prepositions in the New Testament provides an accessible, linguistic account of these types of challenges for the Greek prepositions found in the New Testament.

A brief introduction familiarizes readers with the basic terminology and description alongside an accompanying glossary and bibliography. Each article lays out the basic usage and meaning of a preposition followed by how that usage is extended and adapted to take on more complex or abstract senses. The focus is on providing a representative sample of the most common usage patterns in the New Testament, rather than an exhaustive analysis of every instance of a preposition. Abstract uses of Greek prepositions provide some of the most difficult challenges to students of Biblical Greek. Greek Prepositions in the New Testament seeks to provide an up to date account of the meaning and usage of prepositions in the Biblical Greek.

  • Includes an accessible introduction with a bibliography and glossary
  • Covers all the most common and important uses of prepositions in the New Testament
  • Examines each Greek preposition with helpful examples and explanatory notes

Top Highlights

“Prepositions are relational words. In their most basic senses, they establish a relationship in space between something that can move or change, a trajector, and something that is presented as a stationary point of reference, a landmark.” (source)

“In their syntax, the trajector is external to the prepositional phrase and the landmark fills the role of the object of the preposition.” (source)

“The relationship between these two elements is also asymmetrical. The landmark (the object of the preposition) functions as the stable or fixed reference point for the position of the trajector.” (source)

place, defines the trajector’s position with respect to the landmark” (source)

“the trajector may fill any number of roles in the sentence” (source)

  • Title: Greek Prepositions in the New Testament: A Cognitive-Functional Description
  • Authors: Rachel Aubrey and Michael Aubrey
  • Series: Lexham Bible Reference Series
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Resource Type: Lexicon

Rachel Aubrey is linguist with Wycliffe Bible Translators and a specialist in Cognitive Linguistics and Ancient Greek. She has presented her work at Tyndale House at Cambridge and contributed an analysis of the Greek voice system for The Greek Verb Revisited: A Fresh Approach for Biblical Exegesis. She is dedicated to helping Bible translators in minority languages gain access to linguistically sound tools and resources for Biblical Greek and Hebrew. Rachel has also contributed to to various resources in Logos Bible Software such as the The English-Hebrew Reverse Interlinear Christian Standard Bible, the Lexham Reverse Interlinear Vulgate Bible, aligning the Hebrew Bible with the Latin Vulgate Old Testament.

Michael Aubrey is a linguist with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Michael contributed a chapter to The Greek Verb Revisited: A Fresh Approach for Biblical Exegesis on aspect and imperatives in Greek and has worked on a wide collection of datasets for Logos Bible Software. He is a contributing editor for the The Lexham English Septuagint.


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  1. Rick Brannan

    Rick Brannan


    This is such a useful volume about prepositions. I can't imagine not having it available. I hope Lexham Press is able to publish it in print sometime.