What is TDNT?

TDNT stands for Theological Dictionary of the New Testament which was edited by Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich and translated from the German by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. This 10-volume set is a standard resource for in-depth word studies of every word of theological or religious significance in the Greek New Testament. In the editor's preface, Bromiley states, "While it is not a simple lexicon, it obviously cannot replace either the full commentary or the biblical theology" (Vol 1, ix). One of the other distinctions of TDNT is its use of many different contributors. Though our New Testament Lexicon references the TDNT numbers, we do not currently make the TDNT available through the Blue Letter Bible.

What Do the Numbers Mean?

When using the lexicon on the Blue Letter Bible for the New Testament, one of the references cited is the TDNT. Here is the TDNT reference for the word "stephanos" [4735]:

TDNT - 7:615,1078.

Notice that the first number (7) refers to the volume in which this entry appears. The word "stephanos" is found in the seventh volume of TDNT.

The second number—appearing after the colon—refers to the page number within that volume. The word "stephanos" appears on page 615 of the seventh volume.

The last number—appearing after the comma—refers to the page number on which the entry appears in the abridged addition of the TDNT.

How does it work?

The TDNT explores each word as it is used in various context in and around the time of the writing of the New Testament. For an example, the 21 page entry on "stephanos" (crown), and "stephanoô" (to crown) is laid out as follows:

  1. The Use and the Significance of the Crown (Wreath) in the Ancient World.
    1. Meaning
    2. The Nature of the Crown
    3. The Use of the Crown
      1. The Cultus
      2. Oracles
      3. Processions and Feasts
      4. As a Sign of Salvation and Protection
      5. The Mysteries
      6. Political Life
      7. The Games
      8. The Army
      9. Private Life
        1. As a Sign of Joy and Respect
        2. At Weddings
        3. At Symposia
      10. The Cult and Honouring of the Dead
  2. The Crown and Crowning in the Old Testament.
    1. Occurrence
    2. Use of the Crown
    3. Figurative Use
  3. The Crown and Crowning in Judaism.
    1. Use of the Crown
    2. Figurative Use
    3. The Crown in Apocalyptic
    4. Rabbinic Theology
    5. The Metaphor of the Contestant in Philo
  4. The Crown in the New Testament.
    1. The Figurative Use in Paul
    2. The Crown of Victory and Life
    3. The Crown as a Symbol of Divine Honour.
    4. The Crown of Thorns in the Gospels
  5. The Crown and Crowning in the Early Church
    1. The Martyr's Crown
    2. The Crown in Gnosticism
    3. Early Christian Art
    4. The Crown of Thorns in Early Christian Art
    5. The Wedding Crown in the Early Church
    6. The Rejection of the Non-Christian Use of the Crowns
    7. The Use of Crowns in Post-Constantinian Era (Vol 7, 615-636).

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