Comparative Biblical Lexicography: A History for Morphology and its Use in the Making of Concordances: In View of Methods for Determining the Meaning of a Word and Macrostructure’s Effect on Microstructure in the Process of Making Dictionaries
Since Wilhem Heinrich Gesenius published Lexicon Manuale Hebraicum et Chaldaicum in Veteris Testamenti Libros in 1836, the primary focus for traditional dictionaries has been to utilize the theories of etymology and comparative linguistics to find the best possible meanings for words. As significantly influenced by James Barr and others, modern scholarship and dictionaries have moved away from these traditional theories to the theories of syntagmatic/pragmatic relations and structural semantic analysis via domains. Prominent examples for these modern dictionaries include The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (1993) and A Semantic Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew (2000).
Another issue with traditional dictionaries is the limited provision of the possible occurrences for Hebrew and Aramaic words. Modern lexicographers have moved away from providing only a few samples to listing all the occurrences of a lemma and its derivatives. This particular process incorporates the traditional making of concordances. The combination of modern methods for determining the meaning of a word and the incorporation of making concordances has caused the critical issue of cumbersome articles in modern dictionaries. This necessitates reading all the articles in these modern dictionaries each and every time the reader has an inquiry.
In view of these issues, a study for morphology is proposed as first presented by the Masoretes and its implementation into the making of concordances by Johann Buxtorf’s Concordantiae Bibliorum Hebraicae (1632). This study will aid modern lexicographers in more suitably organizing their macrostructures. In turn, a more effective macrostructure will support modern microstructures and their semantic theories, permitting quick and easy access to particular occasions within those sources.