We are learning how to use the Blue Letter Bible, an online, interactive, and very powerful study tool. If you are just joining us, place the link for the BLB in your favorites or on your desktop. And welcome to the study. You may want to subscribe to this blog in order to keep up with the lessons. You may do so by signing up with the FeedBlitz on the right-hand side of the blog. However, all lessons will be archived under the category titled Bible Study Methods. You can go there at any time and get a lesson to review or to catch up.
In the last lesson, we saw how to use the V button to discover the various translations of a verse. While we are not yet able to have parallel viewing panes in which to read an entire passage of scripture, it does help to have the various version for each verse. A bit cumbersome if you are used to having parallel windows with your particular software. But this will work for the in-depth Bible study that is available with this tool. The people at BLB told me they are working on developing parallel viewing panes.
In this lesson we will learn about using Strong’s numbers to aid in our study. Strong’s is the word used to reference the original comprehensive concordance to the Bible. If you are not familiar with the reference work, that is okay. Using it within the BLB will open a new world of study for you.
Bring up the homepage of the BLB, and in the search box enter Hebrews 11:6. For information on how to do this, go to Lesson 1.
Notice the blue buttons next to the verse on the left-hand side. Click on the “V” button to bring up the various translations, and read through them. Make any notes about something that strikes you.
Close the translation window. There is a red X at the top right corner of the drop-down window. That will bring you back to your verse.
Now click the “C” button. A window opens that is labeled Lexicon/Concordance for Hebrews 11:6. The first part in the window will mean nothing unless you have had some Greek instruction, which I am not prepared to take you into during these studies. It’s not at all necessary to be able to read the Greek rendition.
Underneath that you will see the verse broken down into words and phrases. Next to some of them, you will see the letters PHR, which indicates that this is a phrase translating just one word.
Next to that column is a list of numbers, each preceded by the letter G. The G indicates the particular dictionary of Strong’s Concordance that is being used. The book contained two dictionaries–one for the Old Testament and one for the New. The OT is written in Hebrew. The NT is written in Greek. Hence the letter G. When you are in the OT, the letter that will be used is an H.
The numbers refer to the numbers in Strong’s dictionary.
In the last column is the Greek spelling of the word followed by a transliteration–the English equivalent of the Greek.
If you read down the first column, you will notice that the entire verse is printed out. Each word or phrase that translates from the Greek is given in that column.
Let’s suppose that we want to learn something about pleasing God. What does the Bible say about pleasing God?
We can begin with this verse, because we are told that we must have faith in order to please Him. But, maybe there are other passages that would help me to learn what it means to be pleasing to the Lord. We have an excellent resource in the BLB that will help us do just that.
Go down to the phrase “to please” and roll your mouse over the number “G2100.” You will notice that it is hot-linked.
Click on the G2100. That brings up an entirely new window labeled Lexicon Results with a lot of information in it, and new roads to take in our exploration.
You first see the Greek word under consideration; then its transliteration into English; and then its pronunciation key.
If you are a linguist, the part of speech is given and also its Greek etymology (root). It won’t hurt you to look into these aspects even if you aren’t a linguist. It will add to your knowledge, and when you hear someone teaching on this, your experience under that teacher will be enhanced by prior knowledge.
Continuing on down the various boxes we see that a reference is given for the TDNT. The BLB does not have that work available for us to use. But, if you have it in another of your programs, then this number will help you to get there quickly to add to your study.
Next to the TDNT is the entry from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words. That is another excellent resource for good Bible students, and we will look into that next lesson.
For now, we want to continue on down the remaining windows of the Lexicon Results.
The “Outline of Biblical Usage” gives you the basic meaning of the word. Then we see how often the Greek word is used in the KJV.
This is important. It is not how often the word “please” is used. It is how often the Greek word that is translated “please” in this particular is used in the Bible. Big distinction!! And we will get into that in future lessons.
NOTE: As we progress, you may have a question about something that we have covered. Be sure to use the comments section for all comments and questions. Also, read the comments section, because someone may ask or say something that will benefit you as you go through this study. Thanks