Study Helps: Strong’s Concordance
(for Word Meanings)
I sat in a number of seminars where I would hear “This word in the Strong’s is……” The definitions so given brought clarity and depth to the scripture passage being taught. My mouth watered to be able to experience this richness in my own studies. I bought a Strong’s, cracked it open, and nearly fainted. “This thing needs a user’s manual!”
Simple Design, Once You See It
Actually, the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (the full name of this book) is simple to use, once someone points out the simple concepts on which it is based. So here are the concepts:
• Words are taken from the Parallel Bible translation (KJV and NKJV work for me).
• Old Testament was written in Hebrew.
• New Testament was written in Greek.
• Words are listed alphabetically in the Main Concordance. Each word is ascribed a number. These numbers are found in the right side of the entry column. These numbers are used to help locate the definition.
• Definitions are given in the back two sections: Hebrew and Greek. If the word you are looking up is found in the OT, then you will be checking for your word’s assigned number in the Hebrew section at the back. Likewise, is the word is from the NT? Then you will be digging into the Greek section.
This sounds complicated, but really isn’t. Let’s try looking up “abide” from John 15:4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
• Locate “abide” in the Main Concordance. Remember that the words are in alphabetical order. Scan down the list of Scripture references until you come to John 15:4.
• The word “abide” in this reference will be depicted by “a’”. The entire word “abide” will not be written out in any of the references. So this entry reads: Joh 15:4 except it “a’” in the vine 3306.
• 3306 is your reference number for the definition.
• Take time to scan over the variety of numbers in the “abide” column. This means that there are several meanings for the word that translates into “abide” in English.
• The meaning you want for “abide” in your particular scripture is 3306.
• Find that number in the Greek section since this scripture is from the New Testament. This means that the Scripture was recorded in Greek. Make sense?
The number 3306 in the Greek Dictionary of the New Testament gives you this:
Men-o is the pronunciation of the word in Greek.
It is a primary verb.
To stay (in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy)
• Be present
• Tarry (for) x thine own
This much information certainly helps to open up the meaning of “abiding” in the vine doesn’t it?
Let’s do one more, just for practice and clarity. Look up “know” from Psalm 46:10. Be still and know that I am God.
• Find “know” in the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary since this word is from the OT.
• The ditto (“) marks to the right of your entry trace up to the number 3045. The meaning of “know” in the OT is predominantly 3045. You can tell by checking all the numbers listed for “know”. Very few!
“Yadah” is a lengthy entry. If you feel that this is an important word to look at, copy the list so that it looks like the “abide” list. Most people I know find this an easy format in which to study a word’s meaning.
Once you have the meanings sorted, it’s much easier to reflect on them, ponder, pray for revelation. Be certain to make notes for later. These notes become part of your own treasure chest.
This should help you get started with mining the Strong’s for word meanings.
But there’s more to be had. Click over for some instruction on how to use the Concordance part of Strong’s to find scripture references. I’ll meet you there.