Friday, June 11, 2010


Yesterday, I mentioned that I would try to explain why I prefer Young's Analytical Concordance of the Bible over the most popular concordance, Strong's. Note: It is important that the serious Bible student use helps that are references to the same Bible translation. They are pretty much a waste of time if you are using the NIV and they are KJV. I am not sure, but I believe even the student using the NKJV will have a problem when using a concordance that is KJV.

The main advantage gained by using the Young's is that each and every word in the Bible shows the exact Hebrew or Greek word from which it was translated. This is extremely important. A good example would be the word "miracle" found in 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, & 29. It is from the Greek dunamis, and it is the word from which we get "dynamite." It is used to emphasize the God-given power to do things such as heal the lame, raise the dead, cast out demons, to make a person blind, and to heal through handkerchiefs or aprons. (Acts 1:8; 4:33; 1 Cor. 1:24; etc.).

If one uses Strong's, the word "miracle" will be defined as: power, inherent ability, mighty works, a sign, a mark, a token, etc. The reader has to choose which one he or she believes fits best in the context of the passage. In Young's, the exact meaning is presented under the word being studied, and the original Hebrew or Greek word translated as such is also shown in the Lexicon in the back of the book with all the other ways in which the KJV translates it. For instance, dunamis is also translated "ability (1x), abundance (1x), meaning (1x), might (4x), mighty deed (1x), mighty work (11x), miracle (8x), power (77x), strength (7x), violence (1x), wonderful work (1x), worker of miracles (1x), and mighty (1x)." Even a casual glance at these immediately tells us that the word refers to a supernatural power-backed ability.

There is another word that is translated "miracle" in the New Testament. Semeion is translated: "miracle (22x), sign (51x), token (1x), wonder (3x)." When semeion is used, the writer is indicating God's purpose to authenticate the messenger. So, does it make a difference? God must have thought it did. One emphasizes the supernatural ability given the person to perform the act, while the other emphasizes the purpose for which the ability was given. Ability focuses upon the Christian; power focuses upon God. You and I need to "check out" the translators just as carefully as we are to "check out" the preachers using the translation (Acts 17:11)! With Strong's, it is impossible, but with Young's, you have the exact Hebrew or Greek word to understand exactly what the writer meant.

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