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by Kate McKenzie August 04, 2022 3 min read

Take a deep breath, friends. This is likely going to be a new skill with a bit of a learning curve and will require patience. But God has you.

Why Do Word Studies?

Digging into the original meaning of a word in the Bible is truly like digging for treasure. It can transform not only how you see a verse or passage, but how you see the Lord Himself. This is worth the time and effort!

While you don't have to be an expert in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek to gain insight from doing word studies, we still want to be wise in how we approach this process.

In any language, a word can mean a variety of things in different contexts. "Illegitimate totality transfer" is what happens when we attempt to automatically transfer the same meaning to every instance where that word is used in the Bible. We can also wrongly approach the word with our own biases, or attempt to "cherry pick" a definition of a word that best suits us.

Below, we'll walk you through the process of wisely doing word studies.

What is a Word Study?

A word study is the process of choosing a word from a verse in the Bible and digging deeper into its meaning. We do this by looking at the original Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, as well as how and where the same word is used throughout the Bible.

If you are new to word studies, we encourage you to start by choosing one word that interests you. As you strengthen this muscle, you'll grow in confidence and ability and may begin doing more words or even all the words in a given verse. Pace yourself.

How to Do a Word Study 

One of the main tools for doing Bible word studies is a concordance. Most of us do not have concordances on our shelves, so free online tools can be a huge help.

We use Blue Letter Bible's (BLB) Interlinear Tool for our word studies. We are including a video below that walks you through how to navigate to and through this tool, but we also want to give you our own step-by-step process to help you on your way.

  1. Type the verse reference you are studying that day into BLB's search box. (Example: Deut. 6:4)
  2. From desktop: Hover over the blue "Tools" icon (left side next to verse) and select "Interlinear."
    From mobile: Click on the verse number and select "Interlinear / Concordance."
  3. Look at the breakdown of words/phrases from the verse and decide which one(s) you'd like to study further.
  4. In the smaller heading section of your Abidible study boxes, write down the word in English, the Strong's #, and the transliteration of the word. (Example: Hear, #H8085, šāmaʿ)
  5. Click on the Strong's # to open a new window.
  6. Look at the "Outline of Biblical Usage" and jot down some possible definitions of this word into the corresponding box in your Abidible study. (Remember, these are possibilities.)
  7. Digging Deeper: If you'd like, you can also scroll down to "Concordance Results Shown Using the ESV" to see how many times, and how it's used in other verses.

For more help on navigating to and through this tool, here's the video:

Want real training and practice with doing word studies? Get both in our "How to Study the Bible" course! Click the link to learn more.

Let's Abide,

Jason and Kate



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