Posts tagged Strong's
Reading and studying the Bible are important disciplines for all Christians, but the concept of Bible study can be more elusive. In Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods, Warren starts out by saying, “I have discovered that most Christians sincerely want to study their Bibles on their own, but they just don’t know how.”
There are many classes, books and seminars full of theories and methods to teach you how to study the Bible. I took a class in seminary called Principles of Inductive Bible Study, and to this day I can hear the professor’s voice in my head. Every day the professor would ask, “What’s the first step in inductive Bible study?” and as a class we had to respond in unison, “Observation!” Then he would ask, “What question do we ask in the first step of Inductive Bible Study” and in unison we would again respond, “What does the text say?!” Often he would repeat these questions over and over until he felt we responded enthusiastically enough. He drilled into us what he believed to be the right steps for inductive Bible study, but his was just one out of a multitude of Bible study methods.
I’d recommend taking a look at How to Read the Bible Book by Book and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart as good introductory Bible study resources. Learn To Study The Bible by Andy Deane, and Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul are also helpful for picking up good Bible study tools and habits. Study Bibles, like the NIV Study Bible can provide notes, cross references and other insights into the text to help you in your Bible study. I have several study Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries and other resources that I consult when studying a particular passage of Scripture. However, don’t get too bogged down with study books and miss out on the truths you can glean from digging into the text on your own.
Here are some things I do when studying the Bible (don’t worry; I won’t make you memorize these!):
Context, Context, Context
I start by looking for the historical context: the author, style of writing, time period, audience and the historical background that surrounds the text. I then focus on the biblical context. I read the previous and subsequent chapters to get a full picture of the passage. Finally, I look for how the passage is applicable to my life.
I like to read the passage through three times. I write down repeated words or phrases, metaphors, similes, exclamations or anything that stands out. If anything reminds me of another passage I’ll look it up and compare. I like to pick out a couple of the repeated words and phrases for a quick word study, looking for other places those words are used in Scripture using my Strong’s Bible.
I like to re-write the passage of Scripture in my own words, taking into account all of the work I’ve done up to this point. I then summarize my study in three sentences or less. I’m terrible at memorizing Scripture, but I’ve found that re-writing the passage in my own words helps me to recall the verse, even if it isn’t exact.
Do you have steps for Bible study that you follow? Is there a resource that you find especially helpful for your study? Let us know by leaving us a comment.
Olive Tree’s Content Creation department has been busy building some great resources for Bible Study. They recently published the Olive Tree Bible Maps, and now they’ve come out with another helpful tool to enhance your time in God’s Word: the Olive Tree Concordance, available with the ESV, NKJV and KJV translations.
Why use a concordance in BibleReader? Read below to see what a concordance can do for you. Screenshots are taken from BibleReader running on Windows.
Dictionary Look up
As you read along in your Bible or other resource, you can highlight a word and select “Look Up” from the menu of options. Immediately BibleReader searches your library for resources related to your selected word.
Click on the Olive Tree Concordance from the list of articles to see the entry for the selected word. Similar to a traditional concordance, the Olive Tree concordance gives you a listing of all the other places in the Bible where that word is used. BibleReader goes beyond the traditional concordance by creating hyperlinks for all the verse references, so as you click on one, a pop up window will take you to the Bible text, making a word study quick and easy.
You may have noticed that there is a number listed next to each verse reference in the concordance. This is the Strong’s number for your selected word. Strong’s numbers represent the word in the original language that was translated into your English word.
For example, when you look up “mercy,” you will get a different Strong’s number for the Hebrew words raḥam and ḥânan which are both translated as mercy in English, but have different meanings in Hebrew. When you tap or click on the Strong’s number h7356, the search will bring up all of the verse references in the Bible that contain the Hebrew word raḥam.
In addition to the Strong’s Numbers, you will also receive access to the Strong’s Dictionary when you purchase the Olive Tree concordances. Next to each Strong’s Number in the concordance is a hyperlink to the “Dictionary.” When you tap or click on “Dictionary” a pop up will provide the original language definition. For example, when selecting “Dictionary” for h7356 (raḥam) the entry is:
h7356. רַחַם raḥam; from 7355; compassion (in the plural); by extension, the womb (as cherishing the fetus); by implication, a maiden: — bowels, compassion, damsel, tender love, (great, tender) mercy, pity, womb.
AV (44)- mercy 30, compassion 4, womb 4, bowels 2, pity 2, damsel 1, tender love 1; n m
The dictionary information tells me that raḥam comes from the Hebrew root word with the Strong’s number h7355. I can find the dictionary information for the root word if I click or tap on h7355. The dictionary entry also gives a definition for raḥam and lists the occurrences of the word and how it is translated. There are 44 instances of the Hebrew word in the Bible, 30 of which are translated as “mercy,” four are translated “compassion,” and so on.
As you can see, the Olive Tree Concordances are much more than a list of cross references for each word in the Bible. With dictionary information tied to the original language, these resources are valuable tools for Bible study. Each concordance comes with a copy of the Bible in the selected translation. If you already have the ESV or NKJV Bible in your Olive Tree account, you will get a significant discount on the concordances at OliveTree.com.
Head to our online store to check out these new offerings from Olive Tree!