Some Bible study resources keyed to Strong's number system
The Strong's number system identifies the Hebrew and Greek words from which the Bible was translated. This Web page lists and describes Bible study resources (Bibles, dictionaries, concordances, and software) that enable you to use the Strong's number system to understand the Hebrew and Greek words behind the KJV and other translations.
Most of these resources do not require any knowledge of Hebrew or Greek. For example the Strong's numbers for Bible passages are found in the "KJV/Strong's" texts that are provided in some of the earlier editions (e.g., 1/4/98 to 7/11/99) of the weekly Bible Lesson Study Aid, available at http://www.bibletexts.com/bl.htm.
One interesting anomaly about Strong's number system that most people do not even notice is that there are no Greek words numbered 2717 or 3203 through 3302. The reason for this is stated in the "Preface" of the Greek dictionary section of Strong's Concordance. In "NOTE" on page 6, which faces and immediately precedes the "Greek Dictionary of the New Testament," is found the following comment:
Owing to changes in the enumeration while in progress, there were no words left for Nos. 2717 and 3203-3302, which were therefore silently dropped out of the vocabulary and references as redundant. This will occasion no practical mistake or inconvenience.
Word Study Greek-English New Testament with Complete Concordance (edited by Paul R. McReynolds, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1998) This is a uniquely valuable study aid. It includes the NRSV text on the left column with interlinear text to the right of the NRSV text. The interlinear text includes three parallel rows of text on top of each other. In the middle row is the United Bible Society's Greek New Testament, Third Edition, Greek text. Above each Greek work is the coinciding Strong's number. Below each Greek word is the literal English translation of that word. Its inclusion of (1) the Strong's numbers with the Greek-English text together with (2) a complete Greek-based English concordance, arranged numerically by the coinciding Strong' numbers, makes this an especially convenient and valuable resource. For further details, browse BibleTexts.com's book review.
The above books can be ordered by phone or via the Web from either of the following sources:
Tips about the use -- and warning about the misuse -- of the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in Strong's Concordance
The Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance have to be used very carefully, because they are very easily misused. In Strong's dictionaries the words following the dash (--) are the words used in the King James Version translation, which are not necessarily at all accurate representations of the real meaning of those words.
In fact, In many, many cases the present meaning of those English words does not accurately reflect the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek words with which they are associated in the KJV. The definitions preceding the dash (--) are often very sketchy and obscure, but are usually more accurate. For really reliable definitions that are not misleading, it is best to consult authoritative Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, such as some of those mentioned in the first section of this webpage. The Strong's concordance dictionaries should never be used as a thesaurus for finding related words.
Also as in English or any other language, the Hebrew and Greek words from which the Bible was translated need to be understood in their proper context. If taken out of context, the meaning of the word, of its associated phrase, and of the entire sentence and paragraph may be entirely distorted. This is why it is best to read a passage in a more word-by-word translation, such as the New American Version or the New Revised Standard Version, AND well as a more phrase-by-phrase translation, such as the Today's English Version or the Revised English Version. It is important to learn what the writer intended to write, rather than simply forcing a passage to mean what we want it to mean. It ultimately is much more liberating and rewarding to discover the intended meaning than simply to reinforce our preconceived notions.
Relevant to this is a statement that I have often made on this website:
The BibleTexts editor's desire is to arrive at honest conclusions that are consistent with all available facts. He deeply respects all who honestly arrive at genuine conclusions, even if those conclusions differ from his own conclusions. It is not the intent of the BibleTexts editor to prop up any opinions, which are often the result of one's selectively using only those facts that support such opinions -- and conveniently disregarding facts that undermine such opinions. The BibleTexts editor does not want to have any personal opinions. He only wants to develop faith-inspiring, honest conclusions that lead to being "filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." (Col 1:9, NRSV) So please feel free to share with this website editor any facts that may help lead to even better or further refined conclusions.
Recommendations for Strong's-based additions to your library
You may want to especially consider the following as possible additions to your Bible research library. None of these require any knowledge of Hebrew or Greek.
Great Bible research tools usable by any serious KJV Bible student: Nelson's Quick Reference Vine's Dictionary of Bible Words and Englishman's Hebrew Lexicon and Concordance and Englishman's Greek Lexicon and Concordance (These do not require any knowledge of Hebrew or Greek.)
Software with a wide choice of Bible research tools usable by any serious Bible students: PC Study Bible Complete Reference Library or Logos Bible Software 2.0 CD
Dictionary with indepth explanations of Old Testament words: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (2 Volumes)
Dictionaries with in depth explanations of New Testament words: Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (10 Volumes) or Theological Lexicon of the New Testament (3 Volumes)
Old and New Testaments with Strong's numbering above some of the English text - Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible / NASB
New Testament with Strong's based Greek concordance - Word Study Greek-English New Testament with Complete Concordance
Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer