As most of my regular readers know, I used to be a Bible study leader for Precept Upon Precept studies. And I am passionate about inductive study. I cannot express how exciting it is to really understand what the Word of God not only says, but means! One of the most important tools in our tool box for Bible study is word studies. This is so vital to truly understanding what God said and what He meant when He said it.
Since getting started with word study can seem a bit overwhelming, I am sharing the resources you need. As you learn how to use the resources for accurate Biblical word study, you will discover a beautiful life-long practice for your Bible study. I sincerely hope to offer encouragement for getting started with word studies during your private study.
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Psst…If you got here and you don’t even know what I mean when I talk about Biblical word study, go here and read this article. Then come back here and get the resources you need!
Here are the resources you will need for your word study. You can get them a little at a time, ask for them for birthday or holiday gifts, or search them out in a thrift store. But they are all invaluable in Biblical word study. If you are planning on getting them one at a time, I would start at the top of the list and go down.
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is a resource similar to the concordance found in the back of many Bibles. However an exhaustive concordance will include EVERY word in the Old Testament (your Hebrew and Aramaic study tool) and New Testament (your Greek study tool), making sure you have the right resource no matter what word you are looking up. Not every concordance is equal. Ensure you are getting a) an exhaustive concordance and b) a concordance in your preferred translation of the Bible I prefer NASB, but you can get it in other versions.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary resembles an encyclopedia. But it is formatted like a dictionary. It is not exhaustive, like Strong’s Concordance; but it includes many of the key words of both the Old and New Testaments. If you compare your word study to a stretch of dirt, the Strong’s Concordance will be the topsoil and Vine’s Expository Dictionary would be the next layer down. You will be getting more information and start to get a fuller understanding of what the word you are researching means (using the Greek or Hebrew).
Word Study from Zodhiates
The Word Study series is multi-volume set of books, which covers every word of the Old and New Testaments. Depending on what you purchase, you can also get a New Testament or Old Testament with word study tools included in the text. If you are interested in buying the entire set, the place to get it is Christian Book Distributors. They have the best price for the whole set. You can get it through this link.
If you are looking to add these resources one at a time, I recommend purchasing the Word Study Dictionaries for the Old Testament and the New Testament first. These two resources give you the expanded definitions of the words you are studying. The Word Study Dictionaries will have full and detailed definitions of all the words of each testament coded to Strong’s Concordance numbers. So once you have the Strong’s Number (found by using Strong’s Concordance), you will be able to use these dictionaries to get broader understanding of the words you are looking up.
|The Complete Word Study Old and New Testament Dictionary Set, 2 Volumes|
Then you can add the Word Study Old Testament and the Word Study New Testament. These resources will give you more information about the words you are studying. Characteristics like mood, tense, and voice are detailed. They will also provide for exhaustive cross-referencing of the words you are studying.
|Complete Word Study Pack, Old Testament and New Testament|
Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament
This resource is so precious to me! I just love reading it! Though it is one of my favorite Biblical resources, I list it last on the list. It comes closest to being a commentary of any of the word study resources. If you are interested in only the meaning of the word, you need to use the other resources on this list. If you are interested in just a tiny bit of commentary along with the definitions, you need to read Wuest! I usually do my word study of a word and get a FULL understanding. Then I go to Wuest to tie it all together.
Sadly, this is not an exhaustive resource. Wuest only provided Greek study tools for studying the New Testament. It can be a little random in its ordering – meaning the books are not in order of the Biblical canon. So it can kind of be like playing the lottery to find out if Wuest has included the book you are looking for in his work. I included a list below which details the books included.
In case you write it off as unnecessary because of its incomplete study, please reconsider. This volume set includes an expanded translation of the entire New Testament. Because it helps Bible students understand the mood, tense, and voice of the words in a seamless translation, it is worth the price of the entire set. I have been reading the chapter translations aloud with my Bible study students as we finish the study of each chapter. They have enthusiastically enjoyed it!
Wuest’s Word Studies – Details
NOTE: The publishers reformatted and republished Wuest’s collection of word studies since I purchased them years ago. You may be able to find them used. Or you can purchase them separately. Honestly, I was shocked by the price of these! But I stand by their value to the Bible student interested in word study. I recommend you use the following chart to determine which volume to buy according to your current study. The Expanded Translation is invaluable. It is also the most moderately priced of the group.
- Wuest’s Volume I – Mark, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians. These treatments are wonderful, especially the only gospel Wuest fully addressed.
- Wuest’s Volume II – Philippians, Hebrews, The Pastoral Epistles, First Peter, In These Last Days. In These Last Days includes the prophetic books at the end of the New Testament.
- Wuest’s Volume III – Golden Nuggets, Bypaths, Treasures, Untranslatable Riches, Studies in the Vocabulary, Great Truths to Live by. These resources are individual word studies or topics. They use words sprinkled throughout the New Testament.
- Wuest’s Expanded Translation – a must have for Biblical Word Studies!
A Word about Biblical Word Study
This list of Biblical Word Study resources is by no means exhaustive, but I believe these are a wonderful start.
You, too, can know what the individual words of the Bible mean through your own study. Even without a cursory knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, you can learn about the orignial languages of the the Bible.
You, too can work through and understand the Bible in a new and exciting way. And you don’t have to do it in a sermon or classroom setting!
You can worship the Lord more accurately because of your new understanding. You can know what He meant when He breathed His word into men, who were faithful to write it down.
More Biblical Word Study
By the way, this Biblical word study thing is so important to me. And I am so passionate about sharing it with others that I wrote a book about it. The book defines and details the process for adding Biblical word study to your Bible study routine. It will make a wonderful addition to your Bible study basket.
For more information about the book and to get a FREE preview chapter, you can sign up here.
I welcome your questions about Biblical Word Study (it is a topic about which I am passionate)! I would love to help you discover how to study the Bible for yourself! Whether you are in a formal Bible study or studying on your own, I would love to show you how. These tools for studying the Bible will bless you for a lifetime! Please leave any questions in the comments or drop me a line.
Blessings to you as you study the words of the Word.