Troublesome Topic: GENERAL COMMENTS


With the type and number of online resources available today, anyone can pull off a basic word study from the original Hebrew or Greek texts. I want to encourage you to go for it, but I want you to do it wisely, humbly, and as well-equipped as is possible with just a few minutes of preparatory reading.


I recommend that most people find and use the interlinear option. Such arrangements usually have several lines of information including the text of the original language, a chosen rendering/meaning of each word in English, a transliteration

Go to footnote number

or pronunciation guide, an abbreviated summary of the grammatical role each word plays, and the number of that word in Strong’s numbering system. Some also show you the root word behind the word in the text.

The rendering or meaning offered for each word usually comes from one of the well-known versions of the Bible, often the King James, the New King James or the NASB. It only shows you one meaning of that word, unless you click on the number associated with it; doing so will take you to the various lexica that the site offers. Here you will see more than one explanation of the various meanings and uses of that word. You will need to choose which meaning you think fits best in that verse based on a variety of factors including grammatical role of that word, similar uses, context, intended meaning, and most accurate expression of that idea in English. Sometimes you will agree with the English version shown, and sometimes you will not. Even if you agree with the English rendering provided, you will often find a richness of meaning that does not come through with the English word.


The concordance prepared by James Strong is the best known and most used Bible concordance. His numbering system is used in all the Bible study web sites I have seen. The genius of Strong’s numbering system is that it gives us a clear yet simple connection between English and the original languages of the Bible. He gave each Greek or Hebrew word a number. This is important because there are often several Greek or Hebrew words that convey a concept, thing or action. This number ensures that you are shown the information about the word used in that verse, not another Greek or Hebrew word with similar meaning. If you go to the verse you are wanting to study and click on the number associated with one of the key words of the verse, you will see Strong’s summary of meanings for that Greek or Hebrew word, his thoughts on the root word that the one being studied came from, and one or two explanations of the word from respected lexica, some of which are quite lengthy. Thus, the number is used to clearly identify that specific Greek or Hebrew word, but clicking on that number will show you much more than Strong’s summary of the meaning.


One of many positive things about using the internet for studying the Bible is that you can compare several well-respected translations without having to buy each of them in hard copy. If you are not sure of what you are seeing in your study of Greek or Hebrew, or if you think you see something totally new, consult a number of English translations to see the various ways in which they express things.


1: What is a transliteration?

A transliteration is an attempt to express that Greek or Hebrew word using English characters.