Posts tagged word study

Improve Your Word Studies with Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures


When I first learned how to do word studies I found them to be quite daunting. There was always a wealth of information and I never knew where to start. Of all the challenges I faced, the problem I had most often was picking the “right” word(s) to study from the passage I was reading. Not to mention, would the lexicons I had help me or even mention my verse? If that’s you or you’ve been there before, I want to show you how Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures can make your word studies even easier than they already are in Bible+.

Before We Get Started

Before we get started, I want to address the big question that most have about this resource: If I already have Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary do I still need Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures? The honest answer is maybe, but I strongly believe both are worth owning. While there is a lot of overlap between the two resources, the way you use each is completely different, and they are built to complement one another. The best way to think about them is like this: Vine’s Dictionary is a dictionary, whereas Vine’s Word Pictures is a commentary. So, let’s dive in and see how the two work in harmony. (Screenshots are from an iPad Mini 4).

Using Vine’s Word Pictures

To illustrate how Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures works we’re going to use the ESV Bible and 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 as our passage. As you can see, there’s a lot going on in this passage about comfort, suffering, and affliction. Where do we even begin?! This was one of the problems I had when learning to do word studies. This time, instead of getting overwhelmed, we’ll let Vine’s help us out. With the split window open, you can open Vine’s Word Pictures in the second pane. Since this resource functions as a commentary it will follow wherever your Bible goes.


One thing you’ll quickly notice about this resource is that it’s not like a normal commentary. There are no textual notes explaining the meaning of the passage. That’s what your other commentaries & study Bibles are for. Instead, what you get are the key words contained in each passage with definitions, theological significance, and clear cross references. You no longer have to guess which words to study because they are put in front of you. In this screenshot you can see a few key words include: mercies, comfort, and tribulation/trouble. Given the emphasis of this passage, these are words I’ll certainly want to study further.

I love cross references and Vine’s Word Pictures is not shy about providing them. Bible+ makes it easy to tap on the reference so you can read it without losing your place. Another bonus is that cross references within the same book of the Bible are boldfaced so you can take particular note of them.


Where this resource really shines is its Strong’s linking. Most words that are discussed also contain a transliteration of the corresponding Greek word and its relevant Strong’s number. These are tagged in Bible+ so you can tap on them and get more information about the word you’re studying. Within the pop-up you get the definition from the Strong’s dictionary, which is where Vine’s Dictionary comes into play.

Switching to Vine’s Dictionary

Let’s say the word “comfort” has caught our attention in this passage. We’ve read the entry in Vine’s Word Pictures, looked at the cross references, and perused the Strong’s pop-up. What next? Simple, let’s go to Vine’s Dictionary. The quickest way to get there is to tap the Strong’s number and then select the “Lookup” button at the bottom of the pop-up. From there, we can find the dictionary.


Unlike most lexicons and dictionaries, the nice thing about Vine’s is that it groups the original language words together based on their English translation. For us, this means that in our study on “comfort” we can go to the dictionary and not only find out information about our word’s usage as a noun, but we can easily get more information. Here we see additional material such as Greek synonyms we may want to include in our word study, as well as the verb form of the word. Not to mention, if there are other ways it is translated into English, we can get to those as well.



This is all information we would not have found if we had used Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures alone. And, if we had only used the dictionary we may not have even known this was a word worth looking at. But together we can get the big picture and walk away with a full understanding of the Greek word behind “comfort.”

Get Them Today

Add both Vine’s New Testament Word Pictures and Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary today and improve your word studies. Not only will you save yourself time, but you can rest assured that you’ll never miss an important word again. Get these titles and others in our current sale.

How to do a Word Study


While many have lamented the thought of having to learn the original languages in Bible college or seminary, I relished the idea. I saw it as an opportunity to unlock a new world of Bible study that would give me greater insight for Bible interpretation. After several years of study I learned something very important: my English Bible was often enough. Yes, there were times when knowing Greek and Hebrew proved useful; but, for the most part, I found Bible translators had done a great job in conveying the thoughts of the Bible’s authors. If true, that begs the question. How do I use the original languages in my Bible study? Usually I’m doing word studies, which I want to show you how to do in Bible+.

Find a Word to Study

A few years ago I was teaching through 1 Thessalonians at my church. As I was reading through the second chapter I encountered a phrase in verse 4 that made me pause, “we have been approved by God.” The word “approved” felt a bit awkward to me, so I decided to investigate. To get started, I switched from my standard ESV Bible to the ESV with Strong’s tagging.

ESV with Strong's

ESV with Strong’s

I then tapped on “approved” in 1 Thessalonians 2:4, which gave me some quick information from the Strong’s dictionary. I see that I’m dealing with the Greek word δοκιμάζω (dokimazō), which is Strong’s number G1381. The glosses are helpful in showing me how the word is translated, but that doesn’t satisfy my curiosity.

Strong's Definition Popup

Strong’s Definition Popup

Finding All Occurrences

The next step in the process is to check all the occurrences of this word in the New Testament. This provides a wider grasp for how dokimazō is translated and its meaning(s). Bible+ makes this step really easy. All I have to do is tap the “Search for g1381″ button and it’ll search my ESV Strong’s Bible for every occurrence of dokimazō based on its Strong’s number.

What I found is that dokimazō has a lot to do with the idea of examining or testing something. The majority of the usage comes from Paul and refers to examining one’s self. That’s an interesting observation. And, in the case of 1 Thessalonians 2:4 it’s interesting to see how God is the one approving or examining Paul and his co-laborers for the work of ministry.

It’s also worth noting that dokimazō occurs twice in this verse, which I wouldn’t have noticed from the English alone, since the second instance is translated as “tests.” This data further improves my understanding of the original phrase in question.

Searching for a Strong's Number

Searching for a Strong’s Number

Digging Deeper with Lexicons and Dictionaries

At this point, I have a good grasp on the lexical range of dokimazō, at least how it’s used in the New Testament. But, I don’t want to leave my study at that because I may be missing something. What can I do to go further? Simple, I’ll go back and tap the “Lookup δοκιμάζω” button from my Strong’s popup & search my dictionaries. Of the ones where I have hits, of particular interest to me is the New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. There are two things I like about this dictionary: 1) the entry provides a list of related words that I may want to study further, and 2) it looks at the word’s usage and how it is theologically relevant, instead of just giving me a list of ways it can be translated into English.

Lookup Greek Word

Lookup Greek Word

New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis

New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis

After some reading, I find my understanding of dokimazō to be on par with what the dictionaries say. As it relates to our verse, not only does God test, like on the day of judgment (1 Cor. 3:13), but he is currently testing our hearts, specifically as it relates to our usefulness in ministry.

Get the Resources You Need

While it takes some time to read through all the material, a word study is really that easy with Bible+. Everything you need to do a word study is at your fingertips! Many of the resources you need to perform a word study are currently discounted in our How to Study the Bible sale! Pick them up today while they’re at these low prices!

Look Inside: NIV Word Study Bible

We’re thrilled to release the brand new NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers. This resource includes everything you need to start doing basic word studies in the NIV.

The NIV Word Study Bible provides a complete index of every appearance of every word in the NIV Bible; it’s a must-own for every reader of the NIV Bible. More accurate and comprehensive than online searches and offering complete access to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek from which the NIV was translated, this resource promises to make your Bible study the very best.

Olive Tree’s Bible Study App makes Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers easy and powerful. Tap on a word in the text and open the related dictionary information in a new screen, split screen, or pop-up window, depending on your device and settings.

Here’s quick look inside on how the NIV Word Study Bible can help you in your word studies. (Screenshots are taken from an iPad, but the NIV Word Study Bible is available for all customer running Bible+ 5.9 apps and above, including Android 6.0.)

G/K & Strong’s Number Pop-Ups


Open the NIV Word Study Bible you’ll see that some words are a slightly different color. Tapping or clicking on those words will pop-up the information for that word. These pop-ups contain a wealth of information, including:

  1. The Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers for that word.
  2. A short definition for that word.
  3. An outlined list of the different meanings for that word in the original language.
  4. Often you will also find that another number is included as a link. These can be similar words that you can compare or other words from which your current word selection derives its meaning.

Look-Up Options

At the bottom of the pop-up, there are two buttons that perform “look-ups” or searches based on the Strong’s number or the word in its original language.

Look-up by Keyed Number

The first button contains the keyed number for your word. Clicking or tapping on this button will perform a search in your library for articles containing this number.


Look-up by Original Language

The second button contains the word in its original language. Clicking or tapping on this word will perform a search in your library for articles about the word in its original language.  For example, I see that Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary has an article on this word.


I also love using the NIV Word Study Bible on my iPhone.  It’s a fantastic resource when I’m at church, small group, or on the go.


The NIV Word Study Bible with Goodrick-Kohlenberger (G/K) Key numbers & Strong’s numbers is an excellent resource for diving deeper into the biblical text. It offers insight into the original languages of Scripture without requiring you to have any formal training in Greek or Hebrew.  Be sure to check out the NIV Word Study Bible & More Great New Titles that are 50% Off this week!

Raise Your Ebenezer

One of my favorite old hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. It has gone through many iterations since it was written in 1757 but is still sung in churches all around the world today. Despite the different musical and lyrical changes over the years, one particular line in the hymn has largely remained unchanged.
“Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come…”

But what is an Ebenezer? As a kid the only Ebenezer I knew of was Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. I was pretty certain that wasn’t what Come Thou Fount was referencing but as with a lot of songs that are sung in church, I didn’t know the context or in this case the meaning of the word Ebenezer.

So what is an Ebenezer and what’s the significance in raising it?

Biblical Contextstone tower
The word Ebenezer is actually found in 1 Samuel 7:12 and is translated from the Hebrew אֶבֶן הָעֵזֶר (eben hāʻēzer) which means “stone of help”. The Israelites had already been defeated by the Philistines and 1 Samuel 7 records how they were about to attack the Israelites again. Samuel’s response was to cry out and offer a sacrifice to God and this time the Lord intervenes and the Philistines are defeated. Samuel then took a stone and set it up and called it’s name Ebenezer, again meaning ‘stone of help’.

So, the next time you sing about ‘raising an Ebenezer’ be reminded that the One you are worshiping is where you find hope and he is faithful now just as he was then!

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your worship leader or Pastor about the meaning and context of the songs you sing in worship.


Are there any other songs that you’ve sung in worship that you’ve always wondered about the meaning or context of? Feel free to share in the comments section below.



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