Frederick W. Danker (1920–2012)
Yesterday was a somber day for every student of New Testament Greek. Arguably the world’s foremost Greek lexicographer, Frederick W. Danker, passed away at the age of 91. In the world of New Testament studies there are a number of “giants” who stand shoulders above their peers. Professor Danker was one of those giants. For many, he will forever be known as the “D” in the acronym BDAG: Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich. Published in 2000, and weighing in at over 1,100 pages, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (known simply as BDAG) is the definitive dictionary for New Testament Greek. Whereas its predecessors (BAG, BAGD) were simply translations and adaptations of Bauer’s German dictionary into English, Professor Danker’s dictionary was for all practical purposes an entirely new work altogether. It is said that for ten years, Professor Danker worked on BDAG twelve hours a day, six days a week. Because of Professor Danker’s sacrifice of personal time and energy, we can study the word of God in the Greek language, knowing that we have an authoritative and comprehensive Greek dictionary of the New Testament. May you rest in peace Professor Danker.