This Interpretive Lexicon has two primary functions aimed at facilitating the exegetical and translational task, namely as a lexicon and also as an interpretive handbook. First, this book lists the vast majority of Greek prepositions, adverbs, particles, relative pronouns, conjunctions, and other connecting words that are notorious for being some of the most difficult words to translate. For each word included, page references are given for several major lexical resources where the user can quickly go to examine the nuances and parameters of the word for translation options. This book will save considerable time for students of the Greek New Testament text. For example, for the Greek preposition en (occurs 2,750 times in the New Testament) covers four pages of small print in the Bauer-Danker lexicon (BDAG). But Interpretive Lexicon digests those pages in just a few lines, with the page numbers and section references given for A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Edition (BDAG, ’00) and 2nd Edition (BAGD, ’79), Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Daniel B. Wallace), and Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament (Murray J. Harris). Thus, the translation options can be analyzed quickly. For words with a lower frequency of occurrence and fewer translation options, this book may be sufficient in itself as a lexicon.

Secondly, these prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, and connecting words in Greek, as in every language, function as explicit discourse-level markers that are essential for ascertaining the main point(s) of a passage. Therefore, this Interpretive Lexicon also evaluates the discourse function(s) of each word that is defined and catalogued, and categorizes its semantic range into defined logical relationships. This feature of the lexicon adds an interpretive element, since translation must include interpretation, at least on a linguistic level. For example, en may be translated in many ways, but those ways are categorized broadly in this book into relationships such as locative (in, among, on), means-end (with, by), grounds (because, on account of), temporal (while, at), and so on. This interpretive feature of the book is tremendously helpful for the exegetical process, allowing for the translator to closely follow the logical flow of the text with greater efficiency. This Interpretive Lexicon is thus a remarkable resource for student, pastor, and scholar alike. 

About the Authors

Gregory K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is J. Gresham Machen Chair of New Testatment, Proferssor of New Testament and Bible Theology at Wheaton College Graduate School.

William A. Ross is a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge.


One of the most challenging tasks in language acquisition is mastering the small words that are the warp and woof of an author’s thought. Frequently, these words reveal the logical flow of a discourse and are thus crucial for understanding a given text. Gathering up the data from reference works, principally BDAG, Greg Beale and company have laid out the material in a way that focuses on the various kinds of logical relationships intended by the author. Systematically labeling each word in this lexicon according to sound discourse analysis principles, they have produced a volume whose time has come. – Daniel B. Wallace, Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

As evangelical Protestants we believe in sola scriptura. We are committed, therefore, to discovering the meaning of the Scriptures, which means that we must study the Scriptures with intensity and rigor. This invaluable tool assists us in the task of careful exegesis and should be warmly welcomed. – Thomas R. Schreiner, Professor of New Testament Interpretation; Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Your life depends on the meaning of little words. ‘Soldier get in your foxhole now!’ If you think ‘in’ means ‘out’ you’re dead. The stakes are even higher with ‘justified by faith.’ Or, ‘in this hope we were saved.’ Or, ‘created in Christ Jesus for good works.’ Or, ‘On account of these the wrath of God is coming.’ Beale’s Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek is dedicated to the conviction that crucial and glorious things in scripture come into focus through rightly understanding the relationships signaled by these little words. This book wins my affection especially by correlating its definitions with the relational symbols I have been using for 40 years. The book will accomplish a high purpose if it merely heightens the Bible-reader’s expectancy that life-changing meaning is found not just in words and phrases, but in how words and phrases relate. Thank you, Dr. Beale and your team. – John Piper, Chancellor and Professor of New Testament, Bethlehem College and Seminary

Teaching Resources

This title includes 0 Teaching Resources for instructors. These resources may include presentation slides, image and map libraries, quizzes and exam questions, and more.

Study Resources

This title includes 1 Study Resources for those wishing to enhance their learning. Watch videos featuring the textbook authors, test your knowledge with quizzes and flashcards, and more.

Get Access

Sign in to your Zondervan Academic account to access TextbookPlus+ resources.

Don't have an account? Sign up today.