Words are the building blocks of language, connecting like small pieces of a puzzle to bring the larger picture to life. As we grasp the meaning of individual words, we are able to comprehend the meaning of an entire passage. Yet, as we have seen in this chapter, the meaning of a word is determined by the context surrounding that word. Context determines word meaning just as word meaning helps form the context. When doing word studies, you can clearly see the dynamic interplay between the parts and the whole.
We began the section by making you aware of a number of the most common word-study fallacies. We hope the information in this section will help you avoid such mistakes. Next, you learned how to locate words that need further study and how to study the underlying Hebrew or Greek word using a concordance. The process is simple, even though it takes time: (1) Choose your words carefully, (2) determine what the word could mean, and (3) decide the most likely meaning of the word in context. Finally, we encouraged you to check your work by consulting the experts. We left you with the example of “offer” in Romans 12:1. Now it’s your turn to give it a try.