The Blue Letter Bible
There are some helpful online Bible search and study tools out there, and today I’d like to mention one of them: The Blue Letter Bible.
It is based on the KJV, but it can also display other versions, like NKJV, NLT, NASB, Webster’s, Young’s, Darby’s, ASV, HNV, RSV, Vulgate, and Greek NT. The Greek text is Stephen’s TR (1550), with no accents, breathings, diacritics, or punctuation. There is another Greek text available — also unaccented — that combines the text of Wescott-Hort (1881) with NA variants. Besides, all verses can be listened to online in any of the three audio Bibles available (KJV, NKJV, and NLT). In the KJV, chapters, verses and words are heavily linked to a whole slew of study helps and reference materials, which can be accessed right from the Bible text by clicking on the buttons displayed to the left of the verse reference. The K button is used for cross-references (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge), the C button for Concordance/Lexicon information, and the D button for Bible dictionaries (Naves Topical Bible, Torrey’s, Easton’s). There are other buttons for multimedia helps (audio/video commentaries, study tools and text commentaries), images and maps, hymns, and other translations. Hymns are in MIDI format, and the different audio files in Real Audio. When a number of resources are available, a drop-down menu lets us select the one we want to jump to
(as shown below).
All the information and hyperlinks are clearly displayed in tabular form, so that we can conveniently take the course of study we prefer.
Clicking on a Strong’s number opens a new window with the usual information found in Strong’s dictionary.
But it goes one step further by adding Thayer’s Lexicon entry and a KJV English Concordance listing all the verses that contain that number.
A blue down-facing arrow indicates that the English translation contains two or more words, and that the next one is further below. Conversely, a blue up-facing arrow indicates that the English translation contains two or more words, and that the previous one is found above.
By clicking on Tense we can access the full Tense/Stem information of a verb, whereas clicking on PHR. automatically performs a phrase search. Searching is pretty basic but effective. AND and OR searches are easy to run, and an asterisk (*) can be used as a wild card suffix if need be. It is also possible to search for Strong’s numbers. An explanation of the different word and phrase search options can be found here.
Finally, all online Scripture references in a website can be linked back to the Blue Letter Bible. Thus, if you click on John 1:1, you’ll be taken to that particular verse in the KJV.
All in all an excellent resource, although you really need a broadband connection to make the most out of it.
UPDATE (June 17): In his blog, Brandon Wason, one of the programmers for the Blue Letter Bible, points out one feature that I missed. The LexiConc is a wonderful little tool that lets you type any English word and finds the related Hebrew and Greek terms. I tried it with the word “love” (yes, I know, not very original…), and it immediately returned the results shown below:
All I can say is that this one feature greatly adds to the usefulness of BLB, and that I missed it because it is probably a little bit too buried under the Search main menu option. It surely deserves to have a more prominent place, if I may say so. Anyway, thanks for the heads up!