How to use BDAG - Rodney Decker

This is a repost of mine from about a year ago but I thought it would be helpful to post it again with the new semester starting. BDAG is an invaluable resource but unfortunately many people treat it like a dictionary for glosses. If you spend the time now to learn how to use it then it will help your Greek studies in the future...

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If you're anything like me you began using A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Christian Literature (BDAG) without stopping to think about how actually to use it.  Sure, you can use it to find a reliable gloss but there is a wealth of information in there that you are not tapping into.  Rodney Decker has written (back in 2003) an extremely helpful essay giving a brief history of lexicography and BDAG along with an extensive analysis of how to actually use the lexicon.  This is one essay that I wish I would have read in my first semester of Greek.

You can find the link to the essay here.  The essay is also in the appendix of his Koine Greek Reader

Also, you should check out his website/blog, NT Resources, which is filled with a wealth of Greek and other biblical resources.