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Subject Guide: Bible & Theology: Word Study w/o Knowing Hebrew or Greek

Word Study

Bible Word Study without Knowing Hebrew or Greek

1. Identify the Hebrew or Greek word.           

  • Look up the Hebrew or Greek word for the English word.

             1. Bible concordance

                      The Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the Holy Bible: ESV Zondervan NASB Exhaustive Concordance
                      The NIV Exhaustive Concordance (example below) The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (KJV)  (example below)
                      The NKJV Exhaustive Concordance  

 

 

 

             2. Interlinear Hebrew or Interlinear Greek Bible        

                      The Interlinear Bible Hebrew-Greek-English The Parallel New Testament in Greek and English with Interlinear Translation.
                      The NIV Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament Interlinear for the Rest of Us: The Reverse Interlinear for New Testament Word Studies (NIV)
                      Hebrew Interlinear Bible (OT - online)

 

             3. Software or website

                      Blue Letter Bible BibleStudyTools.com   STEP: Scripture Tools for Every Person                  Bible Hub                 

 

  • Write down the transliteration of the Hebrew or Greek word.

 

                Example: χάρίς would be transliterated as charis

 

  • Mark down the Strong's and G/K numbers.

                The following resources have a list of corresponding Strong and G/K numbers:

                      The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible: New International Version    The NIV Exhaustive Concordance

 

2. Find the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek word.

  • Look up the basic meaning of the word in a Bible concordance.
  • Find the range of meaning (semantic range) in a Dictionary of OT or NT Words.
                Expository Dictionary of Bible Words The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words
                Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words Old Testament Word Studies
                New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
                New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (example below)
                New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words (online) (example) 

 

3. Learn what the Hebrew or Greek word means in context.

  • Start at the immediate context (inner circle) and only go to a broader context (outer circles) as far as you need.

1st.  How is the word used in the verse?

Example: 1 Thess. 4:3 What does sanctified or holy mean? abstaining from sexual immorality

2nd. How is the word used in the paragraph?

Example: In 1 Cor 13:12, when is then? at the time they saw themselves face to face and at the time they recognized as they are recognized. Then referred to what happened in the illustration.

3rd.  How is the word used in the book?

Example: 1 Tim. 1:10 What is sound doctrine? The Greek word means healthy which corresponds to other medical terms in 1 Timothy. Sound doctrine is doctrine that is opposed to false teaching.

4th.  How is the word used by the same author in another book?

Example: John 1:4-9 talked about Jesus being the light and 1 John 1:5-7 talked about God being the light.

5th.  How is the word used in the same Testament?

Example: John 3:16 "For God so loved..." What does the word so mean? The English word so means to such a great extent or and for this reason. But in Matt 6:9 "In this manner, therefore, pray", the word is translated in this manner.

6th.  How is the word used in the other Testament?

Example: In Luke 14:26 Jesus told His disciples to hate their father and mother, yet in Ex 20:12 God told His people to honor their father and mother. Matthew 10:37 resolves it. Jesus told them not to love father or mother more than Him.

7th.  How is the word used in the biblical time and culture?

Example: 2 Tim. 2:4 In Greek literature word for entangled means an animal caught in thorns.

 

4.  Avoid common mistakes.

  • The meaning of an English word that is derived from a Hebrew or Greek word does not necessarily define the Hebrew or Greek word.

                Example: Rom. 1:16 Dynamite is derived from the Greek word dynamis which is translated as power in most English Bibles, but God's power is never

                pictured in the Bible as something that blows things apart.

  • The origin of a word does not necessarily define its use in the Bible.

                Example: 2 Cor. 7:10 Repentance (metanoeo in Greek) is derived from two Greek words, i.e. meta which means after and nous which means mind.

                However, metanoeo in the N.T. means a change of life, not just a change of mind.

The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (example)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NIV Exhaustive Concordance (example)

Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (example)