Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beyond All Speculation

"Cruden's for the crude, Young's for the young, and Strong's for the strong." So goes an old memory device about concordances. In that way only, I am a Strong man.

Do you use a concordance? It could seem so dry. After all there is a much simpler way, coined by the Witte family music tape. It is called "Pop it, pick it and prove it." You just highlight your favorite verses and use them to make your point, when you pop your Bible out. Or, more likely, your New Testament. If this works for you, then God bless you.

But, say, you are home alone, and you are thinking, "I wish I knew all the Bible says about a certain word or idea." I'll just pick one at random--"love". Let's look up "love", you think. And suppose you are old fashioned enough to own a concordance. Further, let's just imagine you have a Strong's concordance of the King James Bible.

How thorough is your concordance? If you should be the owner of a Strong's, the answer is "completely". This two-handed, heavy book, contains every mention of "a" or "and". That is why it is so very big. It took 40 years to compile it. But if the word you are looking for is in the Bible, Strong's has it.

Of course nowadays this wonderful book is online, with some very helpful new features. You can look up more than one word at a time, and in a number of translations. A dictionary is built in, so that you can easily look up the definition of any word in question, in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.

I was explaining the term "persnickety" to a young girl. After I had defined it, she said, "You mean like you?" It was funny to me, that I came across to her like that. Guilty as charged.

I am not picky about food at all, but when it comes to the meaning of a Bible word I want to get it as right as I can. New and deeper truth can come to you this way. Look up every place a key word appears in the Word. Check its definition in the original language if needed. Old traditional ideas that are false will fade away when you see every mention and original meaning of a word. They may be replaced by wonderful new insights of what you have been taught was true.

Your Bible is right most of the time, even in paraphrase versions, but I want to get as close to the original text and every mention of a word as I can. Guess that is why the little girl called me "persnickety".

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