01/29/2018 in: Bible Study Articleson
This week we are highlighting different methods of studying the Bible. Today’s topic is word studies, and we’re using Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods to provide you with this helpful information. At the bottom, we’ve also included a video about our Strong’s Tagged Bibles because they are a fantastic tool in completing word studies.
1) SEVERAL GREEK WORDS ARE TRANSLATED BY ONE ENGLISH WORD
As an example, the English word servant has seven Greek equivalents, each with a different shade of meaning. Be sure to check your concordance carefully to see if this might be true of the word you are studying. Find out what each different original word meant.
2) ONE GREEK OR HEBREW WORD IS TRANSLATED SEVERAL WAYS IN ENGLISH
To overcome this difficulty you will have to do a careful study on all the different renderings of that original word. You can do this quite easily through the use of your exhaustive concordance. For example, the Greek word koinonia is translated five different ways in the King James Version: (1) “communication” — once; (2) “communion” — 4 times; (3) “contribution” — once; (4) “distribution” — once; and (5) “fellowship” — 12 times.
Follow this procedure in solving this difficulty:
- List the different ways the word is translated.
- List how many times it is translated each way.
- Give examples of each translation (if possible).
- Write down how the different meanings might be related.
- Determine if the writer of the book is using the word you are studying in a single sense or is giving it a multiple meaning.
3) AN ORIGINAL WORD IS TRANSLATED BY A WHOLE PHRASE IN ENGLISH
This difficulty will take a little more work to overcome because concordances do not list word translations by phrases. You will need to compare the recent versions of the Bible you are using to see how the various translators have rendered the word.
For example, Paul declared to the Corinthians, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18 KJV). The phrase “beholding as in a glass” is just one word in the original Greek (katoptrizomenoi), and you will discover some interesting truths when you study the origin of that word.
DO A WORD STUDY IN 8 STEPS
- Choose Your Word
- Find Its English Definition
- Compare Translations
- Take Notes on the Original Word’s Definition
- Check the Word’s Occurrences in the Bible
- Find the Root Meaning and Origin of the Word
- Discover the Word’s Usage in the Bible
- Write Out an Application in Your Notes
Here are some good questions to ask yourself:
- How does the writer use the word in other parts of the book?
- Does the word have more than one usage? If so, what are its other uses?
- How does the writer use the word in other books he has written?
- How is the word used throughout the whole testament?
- What is the most frequent use of the word?
- How is it used the first time in the Scriptures?
- Is there any illustration in the context that clarifies the meaning of the word?
- Does the context give any clues to the meaning of the word?
- Is the word compared or contrasted with another word in the context?
THE BEST TOOL FOR QUICK WORD STUDIES
We’ve highlighted several methods for Bible study the past few days! Have you see our other blog posts?
Also, we’ve discounted all of our favorite Bible study tools and methods books. You can find them by visiting our website.