Theological Dictionary of the NT: Abridged in One Volume (TDNTa)

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This dictionary is a landmark Greek dictionary which has come to us through a lot of people and years of scholarship dedicated to making this scholarly work available.  One of the neat features about this work is that it has Strongs numbers, so those who are not proficient in the Greek language can still use the work, working off of the Strong’s Greek Numbers.

Note that there is a foundational work back to Gerhard Kittel, and thus that work is called “Big Kittels” or just “Kittel”, and there is the present work we are offering which is abridged, and called “Little Kittels”. The unabridged Kittel is very large, and has very long and detailed studies on each word, including a lot of linguistics, Greek, German, Latin, Hebrew, etc. It is a very scholarly work, and understood best “by scholars” (very educated scholars at that). Little Kittel though has been edited so as to delete most of that, and leave a simple work that most laymen could understand (and most Bible students with normal Greek abilities, or no Greek abilities at all, in the style of Strong’s Lexicon perhaps).

For actual samples of articles in the dictionary, click on the image at left (a popup viewer should open) and then use the left-right arrow keys on the keyboard, or click on the far left or far right arrows on the image itself.

The samples are:
ábyssos/άβυσσος [abyss]
agathós/αγαθός [good],
ángelos/άγγελος [messenger, angel],
kýrios/κύριος [Lord, lord], -searching dictionary for a word
kýrios/κύριος [Lord, lord],  – searching using Strongs Number
mágos/μάγος [magician, Magus],
méli/μέλι [honey]


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS: More than 2200 entries, with Greek words restored, fully indexed, including Strong numbers*


The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in one volume (TDNTa), also known as “Little Kittel”, is considered by many to be the best New Testament dictionary ever compiled. One of the most widely respected theological dictionaries put into one-volume, abridged form. Focusing on the theological meaning of each word, the abridgment contains English keywords for each entry and tables of English and Greek keywords.The one-volume abridgment of the 10-vol. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, keeps most if not all of the information that pastors and laypeople can use, leaving out the technical and bibliographic information. It explores how each word is used, often in detail, explaining and expounding the underlying concepts. As a consequence, this work allows people who are not scholars to develop a deep understanding of the meaning and usage of words and concepts in the NT, letting them appreciate the nuances of meaning in the text and giving them a deeper understanding of what the biblical author is saying.

There were more than 100 distinguished scholars that were key in the making of this work, and these include specialists in Old Testament, Septuagint, Hellenistic, Semitic and Rabbinic studies.

Features of the electronic version:

  • Greek words have been restored from their transliterated form
  • All words discussed have been indexed and are directly searchable from Greek New Testament texts with Lemma information (like the Nestle Aland 27).
  • *Strong numbers have been added for the first word of each topic

Read the Preface. I would also highly recommend that you read the Usage Notes from the first and second entries in the Dictionary.

Reviews (1)

1 review for Theological Dictionary of the NT: Abridged in One Volume (TDNTa)

  1. webmaster (verified owner)

    In analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of a Greek lexicon, there is a lot to consider, and a general presumption has to be made as to what is a “good” lexicon. Older works used and endorsed the thinking that the etymology (which words come together to make a new word) is what defines the meaning of a word. (This in part at least is the thinking of the TDNT.)

    The opposing theory says that usage (immediately before and contemporary with the usage in a work) is what defines the meaning of a word. Words such as Liddell and Scott and Thayers concentrate on the actual usage of words in contemporary and classical Greek (Thayers) and contemporary and classical Greek plus New Testament usage (Liddell and Scott). The problem is that both approaches must be used to secure “the possibilities” of word usage and meaning, and then all the possibilities compared meticulously with actual New Testament usage to discern what the New Testament writer wanted to say.

    So the best view is that etymology is useful, but not necessarily the sum and end all to what words mean. For example, “Thanksgiving” comes directly from its eytymology, “Give thanks”. That is how it was formed, and etymology is valid in its case to understand its meaning. But “grapenuts” does not have a valid etymology. Grapenuts are neither grapes (nor anything having to do with grapes), nor nuts (nor anything having to do with nuts). So grapenuts etymology NEVER was valid, we just have a word that is weird. The Bible scholar takes note of both possibilities and studies how the New Testament writers used it, what context provides as clues, and how other places in the Sacred Text defines the concept. Etymology can be useful, but it does not absolutely have the final word.

    Equally how words are used in secular or classic Koine Greek do not do the meaning justice either, because Jesus and the New Testament writers used secular words and gave them religious meaning. An example here is “save”, which means to pull from harms way. This word was purely secular with no religious meaning until the Old Testament writers started using it in a religious context with a religious meaning. That is more pressing to define the word than etymology or classic usage.

    Works like TDNT and Vine’s still have a place in theology though, as they show the general birth of the concept of the word, and the later works fine tune how the word was understood at the time it occurs in later literature.

    See Andrew David Naselli’s assessment.

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