Biblical Preaching – Part 1

Strong’s Concordance lists every occurrence of every word in the Bible, hence the term “Exhaustive” Concordance.  Each word is listed, along with part of the verse in which they appear, from Genesis through Revelation. The number to the right of each occurrence is keyed to the number of the definition in the back of the concordance.

Concordances are good for several research methodologies:

1.  Finding Verses & Passages

<> You can find a verse by looking up the “rarest” word you remember. For example, suppose you are looking for the verse in which Paul writes about those who “have addicted themselves to the ministry.” The most unusual word in that verse is “addicted,” so you look up this word in Strong’s and you find that it is I Corinthians 16:15.

2. Topical Studies

<> Concordances are also good for topical studies. If you are researching sanctification,” you will find numerous passages in which this term is used. Or “grace” or “prophecy” or “redemption,” etc.

3. Frequency Of A Given Term

<> Concordances are excellent for discovering how often a word is used in the Bible as a whole, or in the Old or New Testament – or even within a particular Bible book or chapter. Note, for example, the may times the word “law” is used in Romans Chapter 7, or the many times “Spirit” is used in Romans Chapter 8. You may be able to draw insightful conclusions just by noting the frequency of a particular word.

4. Definitions

<> Concordances also have dictionaries: Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament. Since the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, any Old Testament words you wish to define will be in the Hebrew dictionary and any New Testament words will be in the Greek dictionary. You do not have to be fluent in either language to look up words for the Bible has already been translated into English.

Note that these dictionaries give only brief definitions and are usually not sufficient to completely define a given term.

5.  Accuracy In Definitions

<> Concordances are also great for finding the different shades of meaning for a word that may be spelled exactly the same. For example, look up the word “teach” and note the many different meanings attached to this word.

When you are studying a particular text, you will better understand the intent behind how that word is used as you study the definition in its context. Often a Hebrew definition of the same word in Greek are vastly different.


Exercise One:
Look up the word “Aaron”. It’s first listed in Exodus because the name of Aaron is not found earlier in the Bible.  You will note that “Aaron” is found in several Old Testament Bible books, up through Micah. Since the word “Aaron” is not found in any of the Old Testament books, beyond Micah,  it’s use in Micah is the last listing for the word “Aaron”.

Note that the name Aaron is also used four times in the New Testament. These verses will also be listed in Bible-book order up through its last occurrence in the New Testament which is what book?

Exercise Two:
Look up the word “bold.” Note it is used only one time in the Old Testament, in the book of Proverbs. The other 10 times the word “bold” is used, it is in the New Testament. How do you know? Because the other books listed in which “bold” is used are all New Testament books. But is it defined the same? Look it up and check it out.

Exercise Three:
What’s the easiest way to discover the book, chapter and verse of “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for?”  Which of the words in this verse would you look up to try to find your answer and why?

Exercise Four:
Using my concordance, how can I discover what famous Bible character was renamed “Zaphenath-Paneah” by a Pharaoh?

Exercise Five:
Look up the word “witness” in your concordance. How many times does it occur in the Old Testament? How many times in the New Testament? What are its various definitions? What can you deduce from this information?

Maxim of the Moment

The bankrupt man is the man who has lost his enthusiasm. - H.W. Arnold