Saturday, March 8, 2008

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, James Strong

One would be hard pressed to find a tool more effective and beneficial to studying the word of God than a concordance. A concordance allows the inquirer to find that difficult to find passage he or she cannot locate.

James Strong (1822–1894) was professor of exegetical theology at Drew Theological Seminary. Strong was an American Methodist who was born in New York City and died in Round Lake, New York. He, and a team of others, spent more than thirty-five years in preparation of this concordance. It was first published in 1890 and remains a popular seller to this day.

The term "exhaustive" means it contains a reference for every word in the King James Version Holy Bible. For example, if you wanted to find all the occurrences of the term "baptism" the concordance would give you a citation for each occurrence, a portion of the passage, and a number.

James Strong assigns each Greek and Hebrew term a reference number often called a "Strong's Number". There are 8,674 Hebrew and 5,624 Greek words numbered in the concordance. Many other Bible helps (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Vine’s Expository Dictionary) are keyed to Strong’s numbers which helps locate and facilitate the use of other research material without having to know Greek or Hebrew.

The concordance is group by the English word in the translation, not grouped by the Hebrew and Greek terms. Another invaluable way to study the Bible is by the grouping of Hebrew and Greek words rather than the English translation of the words. An excellent concordance that is structured by Hebrew and Greek terms is Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible. The Strong’s Concordance also provides a lexicon (or dictionary) of the Hebrew and Greek terms that are brief but very valuable. If you do not have a concordance and you can only afford one, I recommend Strong’s Concordance for your home Bible study primarily because of the recognition of the Strong's Numbering System by other major reference works.

Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, Vol. 7, No. 12, December 2000, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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