The Theological Lexicon of the New Testament, written by the premier biblical exegete Ceslas Spicq, takes its place alongside other standard language tools for New Testament studies. This singular 3-volume set, translated into English by James D. Ernest, combines Spicq’s command of lexicography with a theological approach to New Testament studies. Spicq's quest is not for morphology, orthography, or even grammar or syntax; rather, he wants to uncover the religious meaning of the language used in the New Testament.
Spicq has used many resources, including epigraphical texts, papyri, classical writings, the Greek Old Testament, Hellenistic authors, among others, to create this study. Article headings provide Greek lexical forms, fully tranliterated English forms, and a definition. The extensively footnoted body of each article discusses usage in the papyri, the Septuagint, and classical and Hellenistic writings, applying the results to New Testament interpretation.
Please note: these three volumes will download as a single resource in your digital library.
“secular Greek.—To save means to deliver when there is a particularly perilous situation, a mortal danger” (Volume 3, Page 345)
“So we understand not only that ‘the peace of God passes all understanding’ (Phil 4:7), but that the apostles ceaselessly exhort believers to seek and find peace between themselves, because peace is a distinguishing mark of their religion.43 This is what gives the eirēnē of the apostolic salutations its density of meaning;44 it includes peace with God, the benefits of salvation, harmony with all people, Christian blessedness, that is, peace of heart or calm in the soul which is purified from its sins; an interior well-being that follows justification by faith and is the work of the Holy Spirit.” (Volume 1, Page 434)
“It follows that in the Synoptics, where this compassion is twice attributed to God (Matt 18:27; Luke 15:20), once to the Good Samaritan, and nine times to Christ—almost always to account for a miracle—the word means first of all a physical emotion, true compassion in the face of a neighbor’s misery,9 literally a movement of the entrails at the sight.10 So translating the passive esplanchnisthē as ‘he took pity’ is almost opposite the true sense; ‘he was taken by (or moved with) pity’ would be better. The exact sense is ‘he had a visceral feeling of compassion.’” (Volume 3, Pages 274–275)
“All of these terms derive from lanthanō, ‘go unnoticed, be unknown,’ and in the middle and passive, ‘forget.’ These compound forms with the alpha prefix mean ‘not hidden.’ Alētheia is that which is not concealed, a fact or a condition that can be seen or expressed as it really is. To speak the whole truth1 is to conceal nothing, and alētheia is the opposite of lying or forgetfulness.2 An event is true (alēthēs) when it is unveiled; a hidden reality becomes explicit. A person who is true or sincere is one who conceals nothing and does not try to deceive.” (Volume 1, Page 66)
Classical authors, inscriptions, and papyri are probed for the light they can shed . . . An important resource [now] available to English-speaking people.
—Frederick Danker, Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago
These volumes represent one of the best supplements to Kittel available. New Testament scholars should find much of value here, while those in pastoral work would certainly find the volumes useful in sermon preparation.
—Darrell L. Bock
Ceslas Spicq, O.P., was an internationally recognized biblical scholar known especially for his commentaries Saint Paul: Les Epîtres Pastorales, Les Epîtres de Saint Pierre, L'Epître aux Hébreux, and for his widely acclaimed Agape in the New Testament.
James D. Ernest received his PhD in history of Christian life and thought from Boston College. He is an editor-in-chief at Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.