Now that you’ve got several good translations and a few good maps, for your next tool consider a good concordance. A concordance is an organized list of all the biblical texts which contain a given word. Concordances allow you to broaden your understanding of how a word is used and its range of meanings.
Most often you will use an English concordance, but there are also concordances of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Greek New Testament, the Latin Bible, the Syriac Bible and the Septuagint. Since there are different translations, there are different concordances. The best concordances indicate when the English word is translated by a different Greek/Hebrew word. For example, when you see the English word “love” they indicate which of the possible Greek words is being translated.
Concordances are described with the following terms:
- Analytical — the words of the translated Bible are arranged alphabetically, classifying each under the respective Hebrew or Greek term behind the English translation (my preferred type).
- Exhaustive — the words are arranged alphabetically without classification of the original terms, including “if” and conjunctions.
- Complete — every word is cited and at least one passage is indicated for each word.
Analytical Concordance of the Bible, ed. Robert Young.
New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible (get the latest edition)
New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible [Out of print, but still a favorite.]
Many Bible concordances (and other reference works) are now available online or bundled in Bible Study software — saving you the cost of the book and making your searches much quicker!
Concordances in software
Some concordances are bundles in Bible Study software. The software is updated constantly and new features are added regularly. Most Bible software allows you to compare versions, conduct word searches, quickly gather lists of passages and search different versions of the Bible and various reference works. The software usually also contains English Bibles, Bible Dictionaries, topical Bibles, commentaries, original language texts, original language tools, English language tools, surveys, maps, and historical information in a searchable format.