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Narrow Your PocketBible Searches With Strong’s Numbers

Posted on: March 11th, 2015 by Michelle Stramel 5 Comments

Two of the major features of Strong’s Concordance are that it provides an exhaustive list of the words used in the Bible and it links those words back (via the assigned number) to the original language root. If you add Strong’s Concordance to PocketBible, you can search for occurrences of the root word in the Bible using its Strong’s number. We offer three versions of Strong’s Concordance for use with PocketBible: KJVEC, NASEC and HCSBEC.

What is the benefit of using Strong’s Numbers in my searches?

Some things are not apparent in the English translation.

For example, in John 21, Jesus asks Peter three questions, “son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” (v15); “son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (v16); “son of Jonas, lovest thou me?” (v17). While the KJV translates “lovest” the same each time, Strong’s assigns a different root word to Jesus’ first two uses of “lovest.” Strong’s indicates a root word of agapao (which is assigned the number 25) in the first two questions and then phileo ( which is assigned the number 5368) to that last use of “lovest.” When Peter responds to Jesus’ questions, each time he he uses the word phileo (G5368) to convey his feelings for Jesus.

You could look at the definitions for these Strong’s words and find out what others say about the meaning of these two words. But you could also explore these words in context for yourself with PocketBible. How are these two forms of love used elsewhere in the New Testament? How were they used by Jesus and Peter elsewhere? While your dictionaries may cite some verses where these words are used, the PocketBible search feature will provide you with an exhaustive list of usage.

How can I use Strong’s Numbers in my PocketBible searches?

Simply input the Strong’s number (i.e. G25 or H157) into the PocketBible search field to search for occurrences of that word in a Strong’s-numbered Bible.

To continue with our example, let’s use the PocketBible search feature to find out more about the word “lovest.” The search results presented below are from the KJV and the search is limited to the New Testament since we are talking about a Greek word. The bolded text is what is entered in the search field in PocketBible (or the syntax needed to get the results mentioned).

  • lovest – PocketBible reports this specific word form occurs 4 times in the KJV New Testament (KJVNT)
  • lov* – a second search (with a wild card) tell us that there are 202 variations of the word lov* that occur in KJVNT. The asterisk that follows the letters “lov” is a wildcard which tells PocketBible to search for all endings of the word (wildcards are not needed in the Android and Mac versions of PocketBible as they automatically report all word variations).
  • G25 – 109 verses in the KJVNT use this Greek word with the Strong’s number 25 (which we know from our dictionary means agapao).
  • G5368 – 21 verses in the KJVNT use this Greek word with the Strong’s number 5368 (which we know from our dictionary means phileo).

Thus we now know that while a form of the word “love” is used 202 times in the New Testament, only 109 of those times is the root word agapao and 21 times, phileo. That really doesn’t tell us much except to say that G25 is more commonly used in the New Testament. Given that we also want to know context for these words and how Jesus used them, we could re-run our searches and limit them to the Gospels. From there we could browse through the list to consider how these words were used in the reported verses.

For example, PocketBible reports that G5368 is assigned to the word “kiss” in Luke 22:47, referring to Judas kiss. In addition, G5368 is the root used for the word “loveth” in John 5:20 – “For the Father loveth (G5368) the Son…” So phileo is the root word used for Judas kiss and also to describe how the Father loves the Son. Hmm…this is the time I would be checking Vine’s or the Complete Word Study Dictionary to see what they have to say on this.

You can also use PocketBible to find a particular English word only when it’s translated from a specific Greek or Hebrew word. For example, love:G5368 will find all instances of the word “love” where it is translated from the Greek word 5368. To find a particular English word only when it’s not translated from a specific Greek or Hebrew word, using the format, love:-g5368, will find all instances of the word “love” where it is not translated from the Greek word 5368. To find a particular Greek or Hebrew word only when it’s not translated as a particular English word, using the format, -love:g5368, will find all instances of the Greek word number 5368 where it is not translated into English as “love.” This last search should give us Luke 22:47 where g5368 was used for the English word kiss (as we found above).

Related articles: Accomplishing Word Studies in PocketBible, How can I use Strong’s Concordance in PocketBible? and Shortcuts for turning on/off Strong’s Numbers in PocketBible Bibles.

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5 Responses

  1. Anita Smith says:

    Perfect timing for this article. I have been wondering how to search for a strongs number. Now I know!!

  2. Ken Philpott says:

    Thanks Michelle. I’ve used the Strong’s searches quite a bit, but the last paragraph was excellent. I didn’t know you could go so deep. Very flexible. I love PocketBible.

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