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How To Do A Word Study Without Knowing Hebrew Or Greek: Step 2: Find Terms, Etc.

Learn how to use print and online resources to do a word study.

Find All Relevant Terms, Passages, Transliterations & Numbers

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 to the right of 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 concept. 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 Condordance (see list above) 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-to-English (Old Testament passages) and Greek-to-English (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:

Concept Terms/Synonyms Strong's # G/K # Transliteration(s)
Grace Grace OT: 2580
NT: 5485
OT: 2834
NT: 5921
OT: (c)hen
NT: charis
Kindness OT: 2617a
NT: 5360, 5363, 5543, 5544
OT: 2876
NT: 5789, 5792, 5982, 5983
OT: (c)hesed
NT: philadelphia, philanthropia, chrestos, chrestote

Now you're ready to look up your terms in the word study resources located in the Stamps Library reference collection. Go on to step three.