Strong’s Concordance

Need to write a sermon on a topic but don’t know where to start? Since 1890, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has been helping fundamentalists string together verses that contain the same word regardless of their respective contexts. You need proof texts? We got proof texts.

But wait, there’s more! Want to go even deeper and give your message that scholarly air? Jump into the list of 8674 Hebrew and 5624 Greek root words used in the Bible.  Pick the definition of the word that closest fits your preconceived idea of what the passage should say, throw in a healthy dose of Scofield’s notes and away you go!

Order now and we’ll also include a handy guide to Making 1611 English Mean Whatever You Want. This little book is packed to the gills with ways to milk obscure words and obsolete phrases for all the power and prestige you can stand! A $1,348,103 value yours absolutely free!

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, so let’s get dangerous! Operators are standing by.

49 thoughts on “Strong’s Concordance”

  1. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, so let’s get dangerous!

    Words cannot express how much I like this post, so I’m just going to quote the above line and say “kudos.”

  2. I got this for a high school graduation gift, and thought “this book is never gonna get touched”. I didn’t know how widespread it was back then thought it was just my dad & his friends. I don’t think I ever used it even once. It’s probably in a box in a closet somewhere. I can’t imagine there is a greater tool for fundies to learn how to manipulate scriptures.

  3. Thanks that was funny. I was meaning to suggest The Old Scofield Bible or the Thompson Chain. Maybe there should be a voting pole on the top fundy study Bible. I think the mistake people make is that its like some comprehensive lexicon. It just show how the words are translated and in what verses.

  4. The top fundy text Bible? Now there’s an idea. I was warned against the Thompson Chain Reference Bible because it is amillenial. (I still have one and it hasn’t converted me yet.) I wonder if the John R. Rice Study Bible will get any votes. JR’s footnote on the “falling away” as the rapture is a classic.

  5. Oh wow! Nail-Head-Darrell. I bet some people don’t even know how incredibly accurate this post is. When I was in high school, the pastor at our little Christian School wanted me to preach in the fine arts competition (competitive preaching *sigh* that would be an awesome post).

    He basically told me to preach exactly how Darrell is describing it except without the humorous hyperbole! I did the topical preaching because the expository seemed to hard. Having heard him preach for years, apparently he thought the same thing. 🙂

  6. LOL, oh wow, I forgot about this book! My dad had a copy of it when he entertained being a pastor himself. He put himself through Bible college, but then decided that he wasn’t cut out for the ministry. Still, our home library had this, and probably every other study text you could imagine. I still remember playing with his Hebrew and Greek flashcards he used to study with…

  7. If a pastor references back to the original languages, he may end up using the phrase “a better word would be ______” from the pulpit. If a KJV only/ KJV preserved advocate refers back to the Greek/Hebrew, it is a dangerous thing to do because it may reveal issues with the KJV translation. If a KJB inspired does it, it’s heresy. Pastors of newer translations rarely mention the original languages because the translation work is already done.
    I bought my NIV in 1981 while in bible college, the church I attended was pastored by the head of the theological department of the seminary associated with the college.
    He had to use the KJV and spent most of his time referencing the original languages and saying the magic words “a better word would be ______”. About 90% of the time, the word he used was in the NIV.

    1. Yeah, half the sermons are a dictionary lesson when they use the kjv, I guess that builds up their egos making them feel extra smart. 🙄

  8. Partner Strong’s Concordance with Bible software with search features, and you got yerself a fool-proof proof-text.

  9. Ouch. Been there, done that, have my copy of Strong’s around here somewhere. I was the nerdy teenager who actually used Strong’s during my daily devotions (I read encyclopedias and dictionaries for fun, too). In my case that was actually a good thing, since it caused me to see that the KJV wasn’t all that great a translation and some of those newer translations are actually quite accurate. Haven’t used it in years, though – probably not since I was required to use it in my hermeneutics class in Bible college.

    @Ron Bean: Thompson Chain is amil? *scratches head* That’s news to me, and I’m amil!

  10. Gosh you guys, I LOVE my Strong’s Concordance. It’s one of the biggest tools that showed me what a joke fundy preaching is. I hear what you’re saying about preachers using it to stitch unrelated verses together to defend a pet topic. But honest, I *wish* Jack Schaap, Jeff Owens, Bob Gray (TX), and those clowns would even do as much as that! The crappy sermons you grew up on were way better than the crappy sermons I grew up on!

  11. @ Dan:

    Matthew Henry? Puritan, Calvinist, infant baptism, and other Reformed beliefs. I can’t see how any fundy could use Henry’s work regularly without, 1) seeing that he was a Calvinist, and 2) be converted from fundy to a Calvinist.

  12. We had both in our house growing up. But, my father grew up Presby. He was the product of Presbyterian missionaries to the NW NC mountains in the 1930s and 40s.

  13. strong’s concordance is for the strong, young’s concordance is for the young, and cruden’s concordance is for the crude.

  14. @Richard Sullivan: Probably the same way they can read and quote Spurgeon “without, 1) seeing that he was a Calvinist, and 2) be converted from fundy to a Calvinist.”

  15. @Kevin. Competitive preaching. Mm yes. Our summer camps had that. I did it last year (my senior year) just because. Thankfully, I was a little more reformed at the time and didn’t do a topical. All that to say, I didn’t win. Kinda glad I forgot to get my “score sheets”. I’m not sure I’d want to know what they’d have to say about my exposition of the text. 🙂

    Great post though!

  16. @BASSENCO I totally concede that point! I’m quite certain you had a much crazier fundy upbringing. My church was fundy, but sans most of the shennanigans. Wasn’t till I got to Pensacala that I realized how even my crazy fundy parents weren’t as nuts as they could have been. I still shake my head at how anyone can thinki what Pensacola/BJ is doing is good, let alone Hyles Anderson/Schaap.

  17. I wonder if a study has been done on the fundy demographic of 18-30 year olds. I would be interested to see how many in this age group are still in fundy churches after having been raised in the fundy tradition. I have observed that there is a mass exodus of this age group in the local rural fundy churches. Entire youth groups are dwindling down to nothing. As soon as they can get away they get out, ans many are getting out of church entirely. Some of those are so messed up in their doctrine and thoughts of God and who He is they practice a self imposed legal system on themselves in hopes that God will let them earn credit and these brownie points will count at the Judgment. Man centered religion learned at the altar of fundamentalism…

  18. @Don And THAT is why I produce daily devotions and am putting the Gospels onto audio, read by Caroline John. Maybe if we give them the Bible in a way unlike their weird culture has done, they will sit and listen to it, and hear it as it was intended, read through, with its ideas in context. Sorry for the ad space, but,

  19. I will not be able to sleep until I learn the significance of “$1,348,103 .” Maybe that’s the number of words in the Bible?

  20. Great post. The Sunday school material we use used a reference that I am sure just came out of the Strong’s as they didn’t use the verse correctly. Just take a word and see how many verses we can print to fill the lesson and have said verses say what we want them to say.
    No one in the class caught it–not even the teacher — drinking the kool aid flavor of the day.

  21. @Don
    An informal poll of a BJU Bible class I took had less than 25% of the class calling themselves “fundamentalist”…but it seemed that the thing people didn’t like was the connotations attached to the term, not the theology/doctrine behind it

  22. @Don. I think my sister and I have thought about that too. More her though. 🙂 But I wouldn’t be surprised at how large that number would be that has made the exodus. I can personally say that I fit into that demographic (lower end!) that has made the exodus. And I’ve noticed the same thing. Go into an IFB church with a college group. You may not find more than 10. And that is generous even at times. Granted, some just don’t like the “church scene” in general. But I know some teenagers at my old IFB church who have said that they wanna get out ASAP. Some I have a feeling for other reasons, but some for lack of preaching (doctrine may be snuggled in there somewhere too).

  23. @ Ron Bean

    You got a Rice Reference Bible?Its impossible to find one of those I think there may be one or two on Amazon. Sword of The LORD does not carry half of the stuff Rice used to publish. They only publish his commentaries on the 4 gospels + Revelation (I think) but not his Genesis , I+II Corinthians, or Thesselonians. You Tink they would publish the founders work. BTW I( do not think that there has ever been a post on Sword of The LORD.

  24. @ JimeE

    “He had to use the KJV and spent most of his time referencing the original languages and saying the magic words “a better word would be ______”. About 90% of the time, the word he used was in the NIV.”

    That same thing happened in my church, except with my ESV. I wonder how much sermon time they waste doing that.

    Once, in a Fundy Ladies’ Bible Study, I used Strong’s to prove that some of the added italic words in the KJV were incorrect. It didn’t go over well.

  25. Yeah, I remember thinking more than once that having that much information so prepackaged and requiring so little thought and training to assemble something was a pretty strange idea. Having a Strong’s concordance on my desk makes me an interpretational expert as much as having a Physician’s Desk Reference makes me a surgeon. And yet when hiring someone to care for the immortal souls of a congregation, we’ll let the training credentials pass. Just try getting into the OR based on your extensive collection of “Grey’s Anatomy” DVDs!

  26. @mounty
    Just came from an IFB church where we were trying to introduce reformation theology. We were between pastors and we had a pastoral search group. To start of with we actually required candidates to submit resumes and fill out an application. After six months of not finding anyone qualified this is what the deacons came up with, “Let’s just get them in here and preach them… you can tell more about a preacher from his preaching than you can what they put on paper.”
    That was if not the dumbest thing I had ever heard in church then certainly in the top 20.
    Three weeks later I and my family shook off the dust and moved on. So yes any self-proclaimed jackass can say he was called to preach and the Fundys fawn all over them (especially in rural small, country, backward, biblically ignorant, IFB hideouts and bunkers). Once exposed to Biblical truth you either have to leave or just switch your brain off and settle in with your mug of kool-aid.

  27. Wow Don ,

    We have a church constitution and it requires a
    pulpit commitee of 5 members elected by 3/4 majority. The pulpit comitee must recieve and read through applications(a 15 page long questionair, listen to preaching tapes/CDs by candidates, conduct interveiw over the phone and if 4 out of vote to bring him hear a face to face interview.(This is not in the Constitution, but its what they do.) A candidate must agree with the Church Articles of faith.If the candidate comes in view of a call he must teach Sunday School and preach both services. During the after noon there is a 2 vhour question an answer time between the members and candidate. The Sunday after the membership votes by secret ballot. Did your church just decide to leave the finding up for the deacons or did everyone just vote for the deacons or did you have a choice?

  28. Wow, an IFB church with a real honest to goodness Constitution? No, out here in the sticks it is just fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best. No kidding. This group paid taxes because they did not want to go through the exemption process. For 20 years it was ran my one man. Total control… total manipulation. I drank the kool-aid there for 10 years, and the Lord graciously opened my eyes to the rality of the IFB cult. I have nothing good to say about the IFB movement whatso ever other than it can’t die soon enough.

  29. My church is over 50 years old. The Constitution was put in place because of pastoral issues. I heard that one guy tried to sell our church’s property(pretty good sized) without the churches knowledge. I think most of bad stories happened in the late seventies early eighties(before my time).

  30. Constitution? by-Laws? We don’t need no stinkin constitution or by-laws….. Hey who need those things when you have a self-anointed man of gawd who preaches inspired messages given to him between the pastor’s throne and the sacred desk? When you are gawd’s mouthpiece you speak for gawd and anyone who questions the undersheperd questions gawd himself!
    That is what they wanted to return to where the “pastor” defined who they were and what they believed as a church…. having been brought into the light they ran back into the IFB cave at the first opportunity. Reminds me of those who ran back to the bus in Lewis’ “The Great Divorce.”

  31. @ Don, *like* the Lewis reference. Good book – but then I like nearly everything he wrote.

    @ Jim E <>
    That sounds like the church I visited this past Sunday. The pastor read 2 Chron. 25:2, “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” He then explained that the ESV (which he said he read for his personal devotions at home) said “not with his whole heart.” I had the ESV in my hands, but everyone else had the KJV.

  32. It seems a bit disingenuous to castigate the concordance over the fact that some have misused it. Countless people (including myself) still use the concordance on a regular basis, not to use verses out of context or manipulate Scripture, but as a starting point for studying about a certain topic.

    As a missionary in a third-world country I can say that our people here would LOVE to have a resource that helped them to search the Bible by topic. Thankfully, another missionary is now working on an exhaustive concordance in our language. I am excited to get it into the hands of new Christians who want to study the Bible for themselves. Remember, that’s a GOOD thing.

    Oh, one more thing. Can someone explain to me what is so wrong about giving a teenager a concordance for a gift? I don’t see what is so wrong about encouraging a teenager to search for God’s wisdom in the spirit of Proverbs 2:1-5. Of course, daily Bible reading is a means to that end, but so is choosing a topic (for example: What kind of friends should I have?) and seeking God’s truth on the matter.

    Oh well. Just my $.02 in defense of the concordance.

  33. It seems a bit disingenuous to castigate the concordance over the fact that some have misused it.

    You know what else is disingenuous ? Saying I castigated the concordance when I did no such thing.

    If you can point out where I said anything negative about the Concordance itself (as opposed to its misuse by some) , I’ll be glad to retract it.

  34. I’m sorry if I was misunderstood. I was commenting on your post AND the ensuing comments all together as a unit. You are right in saying that you did not directly castigate the concordance; however, your satirical approach to the concordance (which was very well-written, and funny, by the way) provoked a number of comments by your readers that seem as if they have no use for the concordance. If a person just arrived from another planet and had never heard of the Strong’s Concordance, this article (and the comments) would cause that person to hold that book in pretty low esteem. Comments ranged from “I got one as a high school gift and never used it once” to “I was the nerdy teenager who used the concordance in my daily devotions”.

    Perhaps “castigate” was too strong a word. It just seemed like the article and several of the comments were kind of mocking people who use the concordance. I didn’t really want to argue about it, but rather I wanted to put in a good word for a book that has been helpful to many and seemed to be getting a bad rap.

  35. A few comments for Stephen:

    – Darrell is not responsible for the comments made on this blog. The commenters on this blog are responsible for their own comments.

    – As the person who made the “nerdy teenager” comment I wrote that in the *defense* of Strong’s, which I happen to like and count as a positive influence on my spiritual growth. However, it has also been abused by many preachers, and that abuse is the subject of this post. Personally I don’t use Strong’s anymore, but only because it is *much* quicker to simply type in the key words of a verse into Google, Bible Gateway, or one of the Bible programs I have on my computer.

    – The alien argument?????????? Really????????????? Yeesh.

  36. Actually, when I was a teenager, Strong’s Concordance helped me see that the fundamentalist interpretations I was exposed to were nowhere close to the true meaning of the texts.

  37. My pastor is killing me with the proof texting. Looks like a bible shotgun went off on my notebook as he culls 25 verses from everywhere; some of them are not even whole sentences. But since I’m a woman correcting him on this technique is not an option. He graduated from a very popular school in Greenville, SC. Who needs doctrinal creeds or proper handling of an entire text; wouldn’t want the sheep to actually know how to get back to good pasture. 😥

  38. Though let it be said a concordance used rightly is a good ally for any christian seeking to be a good Berean. They don’t really encourage that much anymore. Hmmm… wonder why?

  39. Amazing to see how many intellectual “fundys” comment on this concordance!!!!! I use Strong regularly, but then my interest is to see what the text of the Bible actually says, rather than show off how “cool” I am to 21st century intellectual “fundys”!! The only people who suggest that Strongs has all the answers are in fact these intellectual “fundys”, whose aim is to set up a straw man in order to show how clever they are at knocking it down. Wonderfully clever!! In point of fact, all that Strong aims to do is help you identify the words in the original text. But then, maybe not many readers of this site are actually interested in that.

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