How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

Posted on: October 4th, 2014 by Michelle Stramel 11 Comments

When it comes to Bible study, a concordance usually refers to one of two things: the concordance in the back of your Bible or Strong’s Concordance.

What is a concordance?

The concordance found in the back of your printed Bible lists common words or phrases in alphabetical order with verse references. You won’t find such a list in the back of your PocketBible Bibles because the built-in search feature replaces it. PocketBible acts as an unlimited concordance allowing you to search for any word or phrase in the Bible and learn where (and how many times) it occurs.

What is Strong’s Concordance?

In the late 1800’s, James Strong decided Bible students needed an exhaustive list of the words used in the Bible and an easier way to tie it back to the original language word. So he assigned a number to every original language word used in the Bible – Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament (8,674) and Greek root words used in the New Testament (5,624). He then went through the King James Version Bible and listed every English word used in that translation. Then he put the two together by assigning an original language word number to each English word so you could see the connection without needing to know Hebrew or Greek.

Along with the original language Hebrew or Greek word, are included a transliteration (so you can pronounce the word) and a brief definition. Over the decades since Strong’s Concordance was first published, others have used his numbers to provide more extensive explanations of the Hebrew or Greek word including W.E. Vine (Vine’s Expository Dictionary) and Spiros Zhodiates (Complete Word Study Dictionaries). Other Bible versions (in addition to the KJV) have used Strong’s numbers to create concordances for their translations. We offer Strong’s-numbered versions of the New American Standard Bible (NASEC) and Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSBEC).

How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible?

With PocketBible, you can view a Strong’s-numbered Bible and tap on the number next to a word to view the definition in any Strong’s-numbered dictionary. This is demonstrated in the video below and explained further in our article on Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible.

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11 Responses

  1. John Harris says:

    Thanks for this help. I find split screen between a non-annotated and the NASEC is terrific. I keep up with my preferred translation and switch to the NASEC as needed. Thanks for this tool.

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      John, you are welcome and thanks for sharing how you use the Strongs Concordance!


  2. Jim Digrieze says:

    Another trick is to load a concordance (like the NASEC) into the main window of your PocketBible screen (if you are using a multiple window format) and then go back to the library and pick another Bible (such as the NASB). Make sure you’ve set your options to synchronize the Bibles. Now you can swipe left and right to go back and forth between your Bible text and your concordance.

    Easy reading and immediate access to the Hebrew & Greek. This trick also leaves your other screen windows free for a bible dictionary or and commentary.

    I’ve been using PocketBible since the Windows HPC version and love it!

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Jim, thanks for sharing the tip. A great idea for using the Strong’s and non-Strong’s numbered Bibles together.


    • Bruce Gilliland says:

      I assume you are talking about the iOS version where the touch zones allow the user to change from one book to another (by default with the top center and bottom center zones).

      The Android version does not have this feature. Swiping right or left takes you to the next/previous chapter, or section in a non-Bible book.

      Of course, it takes only two taps to bring up the open book list and select the concordance book. And the Back and Forward arrows (or menu item) let you go back and forth between that last two books.

      It would be nice to have the zone feature added to the Android version. Personally, I like the old Windows Mobile feature of PB that allowed you to have a book full screen and then swipe left or right to see the next or previous book. This feature was replaced in Android and iOS with split screens, tabs (in the iOS advanced feture set) and the screen touch zone feature.

      The iOS version of PB is getting closer to the functionality that PB Windows Mobile had, but Android still has a ways to go to catch up. Not being critcal, Craig. I understand the need to focus on the Mac OS version. The recent 1.2 and 1.3 upgrades have added good functionlaity.

      • Craig Rairdin says:

        Just to help you understand, the Android version is not being held up by Mac development. Those projects are independent.

        We’re always constrained by the way the particular platform works. On iOS and Windows Mobile before it, the rendering of text is 100% Laridian code so we have a lot of control when you touch or gesture on that text. With Android, we bowed to the pressure that everyone put us under to support continuous scrolling of the text instead of pagination. To do this, we found it best to use the built-in rendering engine that comes with Android. That puts Android in control of taps and gestures, so we get what they give us. Mac works the same way — I’m using the built-in webkit rendering engine for the text and that gives me both a lot of power and several limitations.

        If you put 100 people in a room and ask how they want to interact with the program, you get 100 answers. Some people like the split screen, others want to swipe between books, others want tabs, and others are happy reading the KJV and just want to be able to go full-screen. We can’t implement everything because a) it creates some very complicated state management inside the app and b) we quickly reach a point of low return on our investment of extra time and effort.

        In some ways, each subsequent platform takes what we learned from the last and makes improvements, in other ways it’s a challenge just to implement what we had working before.

        I say all this to say that it’s difficult to directly compare the capabilities of PocketBible on each platform on which it runs because there are a lot of variables that affect what we can do on a given platform.

        I agree with you that we’ve been making good progress on Android. We’re working on a batch of new features right now that will be a bit of a leap in functionality in the direction of compatibility with the iOS and Mac feature sets. Keep in mind with Mac I can often literally use the iOS code directly but with Android we have to re-write it in Java on a platform that has a very different “worldview” than either iOS or Mac.

  3. Dana says:

    Is there a way to use ESV or NIV with Strong’s numbers?

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Dana, we don’t currently have Strong’s numbered versions of those Bible translations.


    • Craig Rairdin says:

      Michelle is correct, but that doesn’t keep you from using the Bibles we DO have with Strong’s numbers.

      Because PocketBible allows you to have a number of Bibles open side-by-side, it’s not a problem to be reading from the ESV but referring to the Strong’s numbers in the KJV or NASB. It’s usually pretty easy to tell which English words go with which, and from there, which Greek or Hebrew words to look up. For example, here’s a random verse in the ESV:

      Ps 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
      and why are you in turmoil within me?
      Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
      my salvation and my God.

      Here’s the same verse in the KJV with Strong’s numbers:

      Ps 42:11 Why art thou cast down[H7817], O my soul[H5315]?
      and why art thou disquieted[H1993] within me?
      hope[H3176] thou in God[H430]: for I shall yet praise[H3034] him,
      who is the health[H3444] of my countenance[H6440], and my God[H430].

      The correspondence between the words is pretty obvious except in the last line, where the ESV uses “salvation” and the KJV says “health of my countenance”. Even then, once we look up the definition of Hebrew word 3444 and see that it means “salvation”, we know where the ESV got its translation.

      It’s important also to keep in mind that Strong’s numbers are most useful when there’s a one-to-one correspondence between the original language words and their English counterparts. This is commonly the case in word-for-word translations like the KJV and NASB, and less so in thought-for-thought translations like the NIV. So even if you had an NIV with Strong’s numbers, you’d have to understand that such a reference work is really making a claim that is false — that is, that there is a Hebrew (or Greek) word that corresponds to each English word in the translation. So you would be doing a little hunting and pecking anyway to figure out how they got from the original language to the English. Having an intervening English word-for-word translation like the KJV or the NASB would be a useful tool.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Hi Craig and Michelle, thanks for this post on using Strongs numbers! I’m a big fan of the Strongs dictionaries, and I own three of them (CWS, NASEC, and KJVEC) and use them all the time.

    I noticed in the YouTube video above, that on an iPad it’s very easy to hide and unhide the Strong’s numbers by tapping on the settings button on the right, and then unchecking “Strong’s Numbers” to hide them (as shown at 1:35 in the video).

    I’m using an Android, and I would very much like to have the same functionality here too! Currently, the only way I can hide and unhide Strong’s numbers is to:

    1) Swipe open the left-side menu;
    2) Tap “Settings”
    3) Tap “Display Settings”
    4) Scroll down to the bottom of the Display Settings
    5) Tap “Show Strong’s Numbers” to uncheck or check it
    6) Tap back
    7) Tap back again

    That’s 7 distinct actions, just to toggle the Strong’s Numbers on or off! Obviously this is far from user-friendly. If I have the NASEC, most of the time I want to read it without Strong’s Numbers on display (so I can just see the text itself easily without the blue hyperlinks everywhere). But if I want to then look up the meaning of some word, I want to be able to quickly turn on Strong’s Numbers, tap the number I want, read its definition in the dictionary, and then hide the Numbers again afterwards – as fast and easy as possible. When I have to go deep into the menu with 7 distinct taps and swipes just to turn on or off the Numbers, this makes it virtually unusable in practice – especially if I’m in the middle of a Bible study or something and need to be quick.

    The way it works on the iPad looks great – nice and fast, just a couple of quick taps. It’s also very easy to toggle the Numbers on Windows, via the View menu.

    I’d really love to see a new entry on the Android menu for “Show/Hide Strong’s Numbers” – I don’t mean the left-side swipe menu, but the short menu that appears when you tap the 3-dot menu icon (or the phone’s own menu button) – along with Search, Split Screen, Forward, Exit. It makes sense to me, logically and design-wise, to have “Show Strong’s Numbers” on that menu too, for quick access.

    Would you be kind enough to implement this please? 🙂

    • Michelle Stramel says:

      Jeremy, thanks for your request. We’ll put it on the list for consideration in a future update. I do believe we’ve had others request that for Android as well.


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