One of the super things that God did that enables us to study is to provide us with study tools. The most basic of the tools is the Strong’s Concordance.
Mr. Strong and his committee cataloged every word in the Bible and every occurrence of that word. He put each word in alphabetical order and provided five or six words around each word so that you could be reminded of the context.
That’s a fabulous blessing to us who don’t have the whole Bible memorized J. If there’s a time when you’re thinking of a few words of a verse, but can’t remember its address (its book, chapter and verse), you can look that word up and instantly find all the places in the Bible that word was used. The surrounding context helps you identify which use you’re looking for, and the address is right there! That section of your Strong’s is called the “Concordance” and is invaluable.
Not only that handy dandy tool, but the Strong’s also includes two dictionaries: one in Hebrew for Old Testament words, and another in Greek for the New Testament words. Mr. Strong assigned a number to each entry in the concordance SO THAT we don’t need to learn Hebrew or Greek to find out the original meaning of the word! Both of the dictionaries are in numerical order, so you look up the word by the number.
There are many other word study tools, most of which make use of the Strong’s Number system – the number that links the original language word with a number. Because of that, it’s handy to have a Strong’s and to know how to use it.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a Strong’s Concordance, know that they now come in editions that match various translations of the Bible. There’s an NIV Strong’s, a NASB Strong’s, and a KJV Strong’s. It’s important to have one that matches the version from which you are studying.
There are even more “tricks” that a Strong’s will help you perform. It’s really a fabulous tool, and one that I’d be unwilling to do without. Also remember that, like any tool, it will take time to learn to use properly. Don’t feel discouraged when learning this new skill – it’s valuable to know how to use this tool skillfully.
When I get to heaven, I’ll find Jesus and give him a huge hug, then I’m going to find Mr. James Strong to thank him for the gift of his book. It’s enabled me to open the Bible and to study it with a depth that I didn’t know was possible!