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Thayer's Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament

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Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament is one of the greatest achievements in biblical scholarship at the turn of the twentieth century. As the culmination of nearly three decades of work, it contains more than 5,000 entries, references to hundreds of grammatical and exegetical works, detailed etymology, and complete summaries of both biblical and extra-biblical word usage. The publication of the revised edition of Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon in 1889 represents a watershed event in nineteenth-century Greek lexicography, and it remains an important tool for students and scholars of the Greek New Testament more than a century after its first appearance.

Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon is a revised and translated edition of C.G. Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti, which was first published in 1841. After numerous revisions by both Wilke and his successor, C.L. Wilibald Grimm, Joseph Henry Thayer took over the project. Thayer devoted nearly thirty years to the translation—making thousands of revisions based on the latest Greek scholarship. The first publication of Thayer’s Greek–English Lexicon appeared in 1885, and an updated edition was published in 1889—the edition available from Logos Bible Software.

Resource Experts
  • Complete, unabridged text of the 1889 edition
  • Detailed discussion of synonyms in the Greek text of the New Testament
  • References to hundreds of grammatical works, commentaries, and exegetical works
  • Hebrew equivalents
  • Etymology
  • Summaries of extra-biblical word usage
  • Draws from Greek texts of the New Testament, plus 340 extra-biblical authors from the ancient world
  • Appendices containing borrowed words, individual words exclusive to individual New Testament writers, helpful compilation of verbs, and more

Top Highlights

“ Moreover, the word χάρις contains the idea of kindness which bestows upon one what he has not deserved: Ro. 11:6;” (Page 666)

“ἐκ, before a vowel ἐξ, a preposition governing the genitive.” (Page 189)

“to be calm and collected in spirit; to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect:” (Page 425)

“1. prop. to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent” (Page 446)

“ as filthy words, indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males and females, etc.” (Pages 79–80)

The publication of this lexicon unquestionably brings in a new epoch for English-speaking students of the Greek Testament. . . . It will affect commentaries, sermons, Sunday school expositions, and other religious literature.

Methodist Review

  • Title: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
  • Author: Joseph Henry Thayer
  • Publisher: Harper & Brothers
  • Print Publication Date: 1889
  • Logos Release Date: 2010
  • Pages: 728
  • Era: era:modern
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. N.T. › Language, style--Dictionaries--English; Greek language, Biblical › Dictionaries--English
  • Resource Type: Lexicon
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2024-03-25T21:00:25Z

Joseph Henry Thayer was born in 1828 in Boston. He graduated from Harvard in 1850 and from Andover Theological Seminary in 1857. From 1858 to 1864 he served as a pastor—first in Quincy, Massachusetts, then in Salem—and served as a chaplain in the American Civil War. After the war, he returned to Massachusetts to become Professor of Sacred Literature at Andover Theological Seminary, where he taught until 1882. In 1884, he began teaching New Testament criticism at Harvard.

In addition to his Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament, Thayer was also the editor or translator of numerous works, and the author of Biographical Sketch of Ezra Abbot, The Change in Attitude Toward the Bible, and Books and Their Use. His academic achievements were recognized with honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Dublin University. Thayer died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1901—sixteen years after the first publication of his Lexicon, and the same year Adolf Deissmann’s Bible Studies was published, which would revolutionize New Testament lexicography.


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  1. Charlie Orr

    Charlie Orr


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    Brad Kilgore


  10. Logosed



    It took me a long while to discover this Lexicon because I was always looking for the "best" and found my way first to BDAG, which is touted as the best Greek Lexicon. However, despite the many strengths of that work, and its usefulness, I have to confess that I now find THAYER more helpful and use it as my lexicon of choice over BDAG. The main reasons for this include: a) its explanations of the origin of Greek words b) its linking of Hellenistic Greek to Classical c) its highly accurate glosses d) Its explanations seem more logical to follow. I can now say quite categorically that it is a great work in its own right and not an all inferior to other "modern" lexicons. In some respects it surpasses them, or at least, has not as yet been surpassed by them.
Save 25% off during the Memorial Day Sale!


Digital list price: $19.99
Regular price: $14.99
Save $3.75 (25%)