The first stop for previous generations of preachers, scholars, and readers of Scripture in their study of any word in the Bible was the Strong’s Concordance. First published in 1890, Strong’s is a massive index of every English word in the King James Version of the Bible. Each corresponding word in the original language is marked with a unique number, allowing the user to both identify the underlying Hebrew or Greek term and see every verse in the Bible using that term. The exhaustive coverage presented in Strong’s continues to offer English speakers today a better understanding of God's Word through direct access to the original languages.
Although word studies have advanced considerably in the 130 years since Strong’s was published, this resource still has value for those working in particular Bible versions. We’re going to look at a number of ways to use Strong’s effectively in Verbum, and we’ll introduce other advanced resources and methods to further enhance your study.
Search for Words Using Strong’s
Finding Strong’s numbers in Verbum is straightforward. You can access these numbers in three ways:
Inline Reverse Interlinear
First, open the Interlinear Options menu, which is found at the small arrow next to the Interlinears icon, in any of the major Bible translations in Verbum, and select Strong’s Numbers under Inline Reverse Interlinear.
Immediately you will see the layout of your Bible change, with a series of 3- or 4-digit numbers beneath almost every word. These are the Strong’s numbers, and each one is a hyperlink to other resources in your library. The interconnectivity of our edition of Strong’s is just one of the many advantages to using Strong’s in Verbum versus a physical print edition. You can quickly revert back to a normal view by clicking the Interlinear icon .
The value of displaying the Strong’s numbers in this manner is that you have immediate access to further information on any term in the Bible. Hover over or click a hyperlinked number, and one of your prioritized resources will open to the corresponding word entry. (Note, however, that this will depend on which resources you have in your Verbum library, as well as the prioritization of those resources: Read this article to learn more about prioritizing your resources in Verbum).
As a quick example, hovering over the number 4161 underneath “has made us” in Ephesians 2:10, shows a preview of the entry for that word in the DBL Greek. If you wish to open other resources, such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words or Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, for example, then simply prioritize those instead.
Reverse Interlinear Pane
The second option to access Strong’s is through the Reverse Interlinear Plane, again accessed under Interlinear Options. This will open a pane at the bottom of your chosen Bible that displays highly organized information for any word that you click. So if we click the word “workmanship” in Ephesians 2:10, the panel entries all change accordingly, including Strong’s:
The third way to search Strong’s numbers is through the Context Menu. To do this:
- Right-click any word in your Bible.
- Find the option on the left side titled Greek Strong’s, which will be followed by a number.
- Click Greek Strong’s, and the right side of the window will display the Look up section. Here, Verbum presents a number of resources that also use the Strong’s number system, including the Theological Dictionary of the Old or New Testament, the Dictionary of Biblical Languages, and more.
- Click any one of these resources to open it.
Other Resources for Word Study
Strong’s historical and global impact in translation efforts is, perhaps, unmeasurable. However, in the hundred years since the first publication of Strongs, dozens of new Bible translations have been produced, technology has advanced greatly, and other study resources have been introduced, including Verbum Bible Software. Let’s look at a few resources through an example from Genesis.
Suppose you are reading in Genesis 1 and want to know more about the term “day,” or yom, used throughout the Creation account.
- First, ensure that you have clicked the Corresponding Words option under the Resource subheading in the Visual Filters icon.
- Now, simply click the word day, and every instance of “day” in the ESV is highlighted.
The value of this tool is the simple visualization of repeated instances of the word you are studying.
Next, right-click any instance of “day” in Genesis 1 to bring up the Context menu. On the right-hand side of the window, you will notice numerous options. You can examine the Hebrew word yom or “day” under the heading Manuscript, in terms of its lemma, root, and morphology. Click Manuscript to display all the resources under that category on the left-hand side of the window, including the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, the Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon, and the Lexham Theological Workbook. This is similar to the search we looked at earlier using Strong’s numbers, but selecting Manuscript brings up additional resources that do not use Strong’s.
Verbum also includes a number of native word study tools that you should become familiar with. In the Context menu, you will find the Bible Sense Lexicon, Bible Word Study, Power Lookup, and others.
The Bible Sense Lexicon can be accessed from the Sense section of the Context menu, providing a helpful list of lemmas and definitions, along with a schematic of a word’s origins.
Bible Word Study is an incredible resource for any word study, offering detailed information on individual biblical words, lists of resources in your library addressing that term, and examples from the Scriptures using that term. You can find it in the Lemma section of the Context menu.
Finally, Power Lookup generates a list of the best resources in your Verbum library in a new panel, allowing quick access to definitions and information that can be expanded with just a click. Most of the options on the left side of the Context menu feature access to Power Lookup.
Note: The information displayed in Power Lookup depends on where you open it from. For instance, if you open it from the Greek Strong's section, it will display content from your other resources that make use of Strong's numbers. But if you open it from the Lemma section, it will display content from your lexical resources.
Make a habit of using these resources as part of your workflow, and see your understanding of Scripture grow.