Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IBS-17 How to Use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

The Big Idea: How to use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, a hardbound massive book and also an online resource. 

Around 130 years ago Theologian James Strong created a massive resource to find any Bible Verse in the King James Bible. It was indexed according to every word in a verse. 

Why it is useful for Christians:

  • Find the reference for any verse using a word in the alphabetical index.
  • Check the root word in original Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) languages.
  • Each word indexed by number. This index number is still used today in original language tools and in online references. 
  • Find basic information about that word.

Let’s illustrate

We can examine the word “beginning” from the Old and the New Testament.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

Strong’s index of English words is alphabetical. In the “Bs” look under “beginnings.” We can sample the verse in both Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1.

Notice the highlighted number at the end of the reference line. This is the Strong’s index number for Hebrew in the Old Testament, and Greek for John’s reference in the New Testament. 

The appendix of Strong’s Concordance lists all the Hebrew words and Greek words by number. See number 7225 used in the Hebrew for Genesis 1:1. 

Following the Hebrew dictionary is a Greek dictionary with word number 746 from the root used in John 1:1

Occasionally an old Strong’s Concordance is at a Thrift Shop or on a give-away book table.  Even the oldest versions are useful, though some are quite musty and threadbare! Grab it! Several modern versions have an identical model (NIV, NASB, and the ESV). 

Additionally electronic Bible resources use Strong’s.

Apple and Google Play have a Strong’s Concordance App.

The Blue Letter Bible

From the opening page of the Blue Letter Bible, put in the Bible Reference. Hit the Green search.

The verse opens. Hover over the tools icon and a menu will give you options. Choose interlinear;  it will give you each word with Strong’s Numbers.

Bible Hub

The opening page of Bible Hub top line allows you to enter the Bible Reference.  Notice one of the lower listed resources is Strong’s (highlighted in orange by me). That will guide you to the root words of Genesis 1:1.

These are basic examples for online use. Choose one as a favorite and learn how to use it. There are great tutorials on YouTube and blogs on how to use them to full advantage. 

Deeper Christian Blog: A Simple Guide for How to do a Word Study 

Video: How to do a Blue Letter Bible Word Study by Pam Gillaspie

For pastors and theologians, these tools are only a starting point, and some argue they are less than accurate, with the Dead Sea Scroll findings more recently.  Still for a starting point, for a serious student of the Bible, this is very useful.


This is the seventeenth in a series called Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Using Blue Letter Bible for a Word Study
Previous post: What is a Word Study?

Table of Contents


1. Have you ever quoted a verse and wondered where it is found in the Bible? What does this tool do for you now?

2. If you notice a word used many times in a book of the Bible, such as light or money, what might that tell you about the book or the passage?

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