James Strong was born in 1822 and died in 1894. He studied to become a theologian and created one of the greatest resources available to us today in better understanding the meaning of Biblical words. Strong’s Concordance was published in 1890 and identifies the Hebrew (for Old Testament) and Greek (for New Testament) root for each word used, assigning those root words a number, and enables a reader to obtain the meanings of the original language for that root. Imagine breaking down the entire Bible by each word used and then identifying which Hebrew or Greek word root that came from and creating an index of them. Like Webster’s 1828 dictionary which amazes me was published far before computers were available, this monumental work truly shows the passion and depth of understanding this individual had for the Holy Scriptures.
I first encountered his concordance in a college institute class where our instructor put together a bulk order for our class for those that wanted one. I don’t know how current editions differ from what was published in 1890, but the type is small and the large book is about 3” thick. You can pick one up on Amazon or download a free app for your smartphone or use one of several free online resources. I use my book fairly regularly but I’ve also discovered the online versions have some advantages as well.
Lets go to this site:
This is the best site I’ve found to do a search and have Strong’s references pop up for all the words on scriptures found in a search. There is an easier site I’ll mention below for individual verses.
At the top, click search.
In the box at the top of this screen, under “Search the Bible,” type “God” and make sure KJV is selected and hit enter. Every instance of the word God in the Bible is returned here. Now look up in the top menu area where it says “Strong’s” and click that link. We now have these verses show with Strong’s Concordance references. Look at Genesis 1:1 next to God and you’ll see “H430”. That means that word 430 in the Hebrew section of Strong’s Concordance is the root word for this English word. Now click H430 to see the Hebrew root.
We now go to a screen that shows us the root is Elohiym, (sometimes seen as Elohim). Look over the meanings of the word and note that this is a plural word in Hebrew. When we read “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” what are we really reading if we substitute some of the other words into this verse like “In the beginning, the Gods, or divine ones, and angels created the heaven and the earth.”
Now click your back button and click on H1254 next to the word created. This word “bara” has meanings to create, shape, and form things. Scroll down on the page and you’ll see where this word is used all through the scriptures. Note that the same word for create is used for the heavens, the earth, the creatures, man, and everything God created. Now compare your new understanding of Genesis 1:1 to Abraham 4:1 in the Pearl of Great Price.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Abraham 4:1 “AND then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.”
Does this help us understand the Bible better and see how it aligns better with modern day scripture? It certainly does. Bookmark the link above and tag it for Strong’s Concordance. We’ll be returning to this resource periodically.
(Try looking up Psalms 8:5 with your new understanding…)
Another amazing site you can access Strong’s Concordance from is BibleHub.com. I’m going to cover it in another resource email for different reasons, but if you just want to see everything about a single verse of scripture including Strong’s references, it’s got a very clean and easy interface that makes seeing Strong’s dictionary of meanings very quickly.
Also visit LDS Scripture Study Aids for more resources.
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