Help files

When it comes to Bible study, we can get a lot of help from various Bible study tools.  Except for Bibles, these tools are not generally considered inspired, but they are widely accepted as reliable.  Because they deal with God’s book, I’d expect Him to have an interest in how they turn out.  In any case, take advantage of any of them that work for you.

Concordances are lists of words found in a Bible.  The entry for any word usually shows the citations where the word is found, a snippet that contains the listed word in the verse cited, and a reference to the Hebrew or Greek word it is translated from.  Concordance software programs for computers are usually search engines married to lexicons.  Concordance software is available from various companies, as well as online.  An online search will find them.  Before computers came to the desktop, concordances were printed as books or as appendices to Bibles.  Each printed concordance is produced for a particular translation.  These concordances are usually labeled  ‘complete and unabridged’, ‘comprehensive’ or ‘concise’.  The most popular complete versions are ”Cruden’s”, “Strong’s” and “Young’s”.  These are produced for the King James Version [KJV].  These Wikipedia articles give more details about each of these.

A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures, more commonly known as Cruden’s Concordance

Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

Lexicons are dictionaries.  Many Bible scholars have produced lexicons of Bible words that give the Greek or Hebrew word from which the modern text has been translated.  They also give definitions of the original language words.  Some of the more popular ones are listed here.  Where one finds these one will probably find others.

Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, commonly known as Brown–Driver–Briggs

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

Interlinear Bibles have the original language placed between the lines of the modern text.  So one will find a line of English followed by the line of Greek or Hebrew it was translated from.   Or one will find a line of Greek or Hebrew followed by its English translation.  Because English word order is usually different from the original word order, each method has its value.

Commentaries contain the comments of various Bible scholars about Bible passages.  Many commentaries have been, and continue to be produced.  Some of the more commonly accepted ones are listed.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

 John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible

Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The Geneva Study Bible contains extensive marginal notes about the text.  The link connects to the Wikipedia article about it.

Online Bibles are available to expand one’s exposure to different translations.  A search for ‘online Bibles’ will turn up several websites.  These include various non-English translations for those not fluent in English. Among the languages I have found are English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Cherokee, Hindi, Punjabi, Japanese, Nepali and Persian.  One advantage of most online Bibles is that they are searchable.  When I read a printed copy, I will often use the online version to find passages.

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