A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament
Superb resource if you are studying Hebrew
I have owned this since 1984. I have since acquired the new Koehler & Baumgartner (KB) "Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 2 Volume Study Edition" which, at this writing, sells for about $250 (I fortunately acquired it for a fraction of that!). Holladay's Lexicon is basically a "pre-abridgement" of that more expensive work. I say "pre-abridgement" because his abridgment (1971) was based on the revised German originals that were later completed and translated into English in 2000 as the KB lexicon. So, when I consult both, I get almost the same definitions, except the bigger work gives more technical information on cognate language, bibliographic information, and often cites more OT verses (the first two of which are useful only for specialists, which I am not).
Holladay's lexicon has at least three advantages over the classic Brown-Driver-Briggs (BDB). First, it is based on more updated scholarship. Second, it uses more contemporary English language in its translation of Hebrew words. Finally, it lists all Hebrew words alphabetically, not by Hebrew roots, so finding the right word is much easier than BDB (these three advantages are also true for the fuller KB lexicon).
If you are an OT professor, you may be compelled to use the full KB lexicon. But if you are a pastor or layperson who wants to read the Hebrew Bible, Holladay is all you need. From there, rather than get the BDB or the full KB, consider the Theological Wordbook of the OT, the Theological Lexicon of the OT, or the New International Dictionary of OT Theology and Exegesis. These are all very helpful expansions to understand the word meanings and usages. But to get a quick definition as you are looking up words in the Hebrew Bible, Holladay is unbeatable in terms of accuracy, ease of use, and price.
April 25, 2011
For a beginner it is the easiest to use.The format is clear and concise as it is represented.
August 6, 2009
This is an indispensible book for anyone who works on a regular basis in the text. Its perfect size is only second to its thoroughness. The content is as clearly presented as it is clearly written on the page. I have used this volume for years and recommend it to all who have a basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew. There are more complex and exhaustive works available, but for daily reading and working though the text it is wonderful. Pick one up and you will see. It is truly a must have.
April 7, 2008