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A. J. wrote:

Hi Mike,

I was talking with someone at work about the various Bible versions and translations there are.
I mentioned that it is sometimes challenging to get to the true meaning of some passages due to the different modes of language and idioms held by the original authors. I went on to say that because of this, the meaning sometimes gets lost in the translations we have today. I concluded that the best way of knowing for sure is to go back to the original Greek or Hebrew to find out the real meaning.

Later that day I got curious and tried to find some web site that might have a greek translation of the New Testament and I found a site called Blue letter Bible.

  • In your opinion, is this a good source to go to find a more detailed meaning of Scripture?
  • Are there any books or other web sites you recommend for a serious Bible Study or exegesis of Scripture?

Thanks for your help.

— A. J.

  { What do you recommend for a serious Bible Study or exegesis of Scripture plus is this site OK? }

Mike replied:

Hi A. J.,

I've never heard of the Blue Letter Bible, but maybe one of my colleagues has.

I would personally recommend is getting a good Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.

Some of my colleagues may disagree with me, but I would not get something like the Jerome Biblical commentary, because it has the fingerprints of Raymond E. Brown throughout.

Based on certain things I've heard, I think the man is a loon, if not crazy. I base this from what
I have heard attributed to him in his Scriptural commentaries on Our Lord's birth and early childhood from other Catholic Apologist colleagues.

As you probably know by reading the questions and answers from our site, none of us are
Pre-Vatican II only guys, nevertheless, the Commentary I use as my gold standard is
the 1954 A Commentary on Holy Scriptures by Nelson. You may be able to get one used at a local used book store or by searching for old, rare books on-line.

1954 A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture
Copyright 1953 by Thomas Nelson and Sons

My colleagues may have other suggestions as well.


John replied:

Hi A. J.,

This is clearly a Protestant web site. That said, the linguistic tools may OK, but if you are going to begin to exegete the original languages it's not exactly as simple as looking at the original language and relying on tools.

There are plenty of language tools out there, from Strong's Concordance to a variety of lexicons, and interlinear Bibles.

One can do word studies by looking at how a particular Greek word is used in different contexts in the New Testament and in particular by a certain human author.

For example: How does Paul use the word Pistos (Faith) as compared to how John and James use of the word. You can then look at how it's used throughout the New Testament.

For another example, their appears to be a theological dichotomy between James and Paul on the matter of justification but in reality, there isn't, because James did not use the word faith the same way.

  • James uses the word to mean a mental assent.
  • Paul uses it in a manner that implies trust and obedience that accompanied mental ascent.

These nuances can usually be detected in most available English translations if we are careful about looking at the context.

John DiMascio

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