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OT210 Hebrew Grammar I: How To Do A Word Study Without Knowing Hebrew Or Greek

Course guide for OT210 Hebrew Grammar I

How To Do A Word Study Without Knowing Hebrew Or Greek

Concordance entry

A Bible concordance is an alphabetical list of the main words used in a particular translation of the Bible, along with their immediate contexts (i.e. the passages in which they appear). Concordances using numbering systems will also include a number that coordinates with a Hebrew or Greek glossary in the back of the concordance. The glossaries in the back include brief definitions of Hebrew and Greek words - there are other reference tools that will provide much more information for each term (included in Step 3).

Use the list below to find an appropriate concordance (or more than one). All of the ones listed include either Strong's numbers or G/K numbers, and have glossaries in the back. Once you've selected a concordance, go on to Step 2.

Bible Translation Title Call Number Numbering System
KJV Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Reference BS425 .N385 1981 Strong's
KJV New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Reference BS425 .S8 1995 Strong's
KJV New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Reference BS425 .S8 2010 Strong's
NAS NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Reference BS425 .N385 1981 Strong's
NAS Strongest NASB Exhaustive Concordance Reference BS425 .N27 2004 Strong's
NIV Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance Reference BS425 .G62 2004 G/K
NIV Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance* Reference BS425 .G62 1999 G/K

* This concordance has a conversion chart in the back that allows you to look up Strong's numbers in order to find the corresponding G/K number (and vice versa).

Look Up Terms & Synonyms

Once you have your concordance (or concordances), look up the term of interest (i.e. 'compassion'). Be sure to also look up any synonyms you can think of (i.e. 'mercy'), as well as any word variations (i.e. 'compassionate,' 'merciful,' etc.).

Select the Most Representative Scripture Passages

While you look up your terms in the concordance, write down the scripture citations that are most representative of your concept.

Find the Most Appropriate Strong’s & G/K Numbers

In the concordance, you will see a list of Scripture passages, beginning with the Old Testament, which contains the term (usually bolded). You should also see a number included with each passage. You will use this number to find the Hebrew or Greek word that is used in the particular verse. For the more common terms, you will notice that there isn't just one Hebrew or Greek term used. You should look up all the numbers listed in the concordance glossary to be thorough – many of the terms will be similar, but will perhaps have different nuances or emphases. You may not need to consider every single word that's used – look for those terms that are used most frequently and correspond most closely to your understanding of the word. Make a list of all the different numbers given for the Old Testament passages, and another list of all the different numbers given for the New Testament passages. Use the conversion table in the Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance (see concordances in Step 1) to get both the Strong's and the G/K number for each term.

Find the Transliteration for Each Hebrew and Greek Word

Look up the numbers in the Hebrew (Old Testament passages) and Greek (New Testament passages) glossaries/dictionaries in the back of the concordance. If there is an English transliteration listed, write this down next to the corresponding number (i.e. χάρίς would be transliterated as 'charis').

A table, like the one below, can help you organize all the information:

Now you're ready to look up your terms in the word study resources located in the Barbour Library reference collection. Go on to Step 3.

After completing steps one and two, you should have a list of Strong's and/or G/K numbers that represent the various Hebrew and Greek words used for your term, as well as some transliterated terms. You have also gotten at least a basic understanding of the word definitions. Use the following resources to research your term(s) in more depth:

Old Testament Resources

Title Call Number Arrangement & Usage
New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis (NIDOTTE) Reference BS440 .N438 1997 vs. 1-5
  • Hebrew terms are listed in alphabetical order with their corresponding G/K numbers.
  • Look up your G/K number - the numerical order of the G/K numbers roughly corresponds to the alphabetical order of the Hebrew terms; other access points are the English word, and the Old Testament passage.
  • Articles have bibliographies.
Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TDOT) Reference PJ4835 .G5 T5E  vs.1-15 
  • Hebrew terms are listed in alphabetical order along with the transliterations.
  • The only way to find your term is by looking for the transliteration in the Contents section at the beginning of each volume. This can be tricky since there is significantly more variation in Hebrew transliterations than those in Greek. Ask a librarian for help if you can't find your particular Hebrew transliteration.
  • Articles have footnotes.
Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament Reference BS440 .T4813 1997 vs. 1-3
  • Hebrew terms are listed in alphabetical order with their corresponding Strong's numbers (indicated below the Hebrew term - for example, "S 127").
  • Look up your Strong's number - the numerical order of the Strong's numbers, as with G/K numbers, roughly corresponds to the alphabetical order of the Hebrew terms.
  • You may want to scan the "Table of Words" found at the beginning of each volume - although listed in order by Hebrew word, you may be able to pick out your term by looking at the English translation in bold.
  • This resources also conveniently lists references to the Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB), the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (TDOT), the Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT), the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT), and the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (NIDOTTE).
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) Reference BS440 .T49 vs. 11-2
  • Hebrew terms are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Look up your Strong's number in the index, then look up the term by the TWOT number.
  • Articles have bibliographies.

New Testament Resources

Title Call Number Arrangement & Usage
New International Dictionary of New Testament Theological & Exegesis (NIDNTTE) Reference BS2312 .N48 2014 vs.1-5
  • Greek words are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Look up your G/K number by looking at the words listed in the boxes that head each article - the numerical order of the G/K numbers, roughly corresponds to the alphabetical order of the Greek words.
  • Other access points include the List of Concepts at the beginning of vs. 1-4 (you can look up major terms in English), and the Greek Word Index in volume 5 (this can help you find the major word group that includes your particular word). There is also a Strong's and G/K number conversion chart at the end of volume 5.
  • Articles have bibliographies.
New Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament Reference BS1965.2 1998
  • This resource is arranged in order by New Testament book and verse.
  • If you are interested in your term as it appears in a particular New Testament passage, look up the passage - terms found in the passage are listed in bold, and will have the G/K number in parentheses.
Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT)

Reference PA881 .K62E 1985 (abridged volume)

Reference PA881 .K62E 1964 vs. 1-10 (unabridged set)

  • Greek terms are listed in alphabetical order in the unabridged set (vs. 1-9)
  • Articles have bibliographies in the unabridged set.
Abridged Volume
  • Use either the Table of Greek Keywords (for any transliterated words), or the Table of English Keywords - both tables are at the beginning of the volume.
  • After finding an article that discusses your term, look through the article to find references that look like this: [R. Bultmann, VI, 174-182] - this is a reference to a much lengthier article on the same term in the unabridged set (see below), which will give you more information.
Unabridged Set:
  • Volume 10 (X) has an extensive list of English words in its Index of English Keywords section at the beginning. You can also find your word by looking up the Strong's number in the Index of Greek Keywords.
  • Once you find your word in the index, use the information to the right of the word to locate the volume that has the complete article. 'II:284-317' refers to volume 2, pages 284-317.

 

While the following sites include many older reference resources (in the public domain), they also include many useful Bible searching features, and cross-referencing with Strong's numbers and resources included in Step 3.

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