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Strong's Numbers

The issue of whether or not Strong's numbers, or other similar schemes, are helpful for those who are not versed in the original languages has been hotly debated. The potential for misuse is probably very high, but there are also a number of advantages associated with its correct use. David Lang has just posted an informative article about the practical use of these numbers in Bible software, from a Mac perspective. Except for the test cases, everything else should be relevant to users of Bible software packages for Windows.

The purpose of all these numbering systems (Strong's, revised Strong's, or Goodrick-Kohlenberger's) is to allow the user who has no familiarity with Greek and Hebrew to carry out some research on the underlying original terms behind some English translations of the Bible. We keep coming back to the well-known and often discussed "a little knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is a dangerous thing", but I'm afraid that just about anything can become a source of exegetical fallacies (e.g., the popular use made by some modern preachers of the Amplified Bible -- a.k.a. the totality-transfer fallacy). So, I guess the bottom line is this: any system or method is as good as the people who use it. We probably need to stress the importance of a good solid preparation in the field of the humanities -- including classical languages and a fair amount of critical thinking. This, I think, is woefully lacking in most churches and seminaries today.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 18, 2004 5:46 PM.

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