How to Search the Scriptures
for Revelation, Understanding, and Clarity
It’s simple and you don’t have to be a Greek scholar!
The following is adapted from the book, Rescuing God from the Rubble of Religion, by Dr. Tom Taylor and Barbara Brown, MSE.
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Five questions every student of the Scriptures should ask:
1. When was the passage written (What is the historical context)?
2. To whom, for whom, or about whom was it written?
3. What appears immediately before and after (What is the CONTEXT)?
5. What do the words mean from the original language, and how are they put together?
6. What can we learn from this? What principles, patterns, or precedents are here?
You’ll need these Essential Resources:
Be sure to have the printed Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT), or, at the very least, the downloadable PDF version.
The online version is helpful, but some of the Greek figures of speech can only be viewed in the printed version of the CLNT, and it can make a big difference in “correctly cutting” the Scriptures for complete understanding.
The Keyword Concordance in the printed CLNT is an essential study tool for understanding the precise meaning of specific words. You may find yourself profoundly surprised at what you find!
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The printed Concordant Literal Version of the Old Testament (CLV) is viewable and downloadable as a PDF that includes a hyperlinked Table of Contents, and the text contains all the relevant grammar marks and references.
Click the image below to order your copy or to download the PDF with hyperlinks.
Open the tabs below in your internet browser:
(Click any image below to enlarge)
BlueLetterBible.org to look up specific words in Thayer’s online lexicon (for Greek), or Gesenius’ lexicon (for Hebrew).
Ready? Let’s begin . . .
Look at the following passage: John 6:40
1. Go to the Concordant Version tab in your browser. You’ll find all the books of the New Testament listed on the web page.
2. Click on “John’s Account.”
3. Go to the 6th chapter, 40th verse.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who is beholding the Son and believing in Him may have life eonian, and I shall be raising him in the last day.” (John 6:40)
(Pasted at left from the online text)
4. Now, open the Bible Gateway browser tab, and click on the “Passage Lookup” option in the “BIBLE” tab dropdown menu.
a. Type “John 6:40” in the passage field. I like to start with the English Standard Version, but you can select as many as 5 versions to view at one time.
b. From there you can compare the differences between the CLNT and other versions.
c. In our example, every version but one, Young’s Literal Translation, reads “eternal” or “everlasting” life. Young’s reads “age-during,” while the CLNT reads “eonian.”
What does “EONIAN” mean?
5. Look in the CLNT Keyword Concordance for “eon” (page 90-91). There you’ll find its Greek equivalent spelling in English (“aion,” or “aionion,” in John 6:40); the literal translation of the word; its meaning (“the longest segment of time known in Scriptures”); and all of the references in the CLNT where the word may be found.
6. In the second browser tab for BlueLetterBible, click the “Search” tab at the top of your screen.
a. Find the “BLB Searches” area and type “EONIAN” or “EON” in the “LexiConc” box (just for fun), and click the blue arrow.
No results, right? Right!
b. Now try typing “everlasting” into the LexiConc box, which is the word in the King James Version of John 6:40, found on the first BLB tab.
c. Click the blue arrow button and five results show up this time; three in the Hebrew Old Testament and two in the Greek New Testament.
d. In the BLB Greek results, look for the same spelling as was found in the CLNT. “Aionios” is the closest we find.
e. Notice how this word is used to mean “eternal, everlasting, the world began, since the world began, for ever.”
f. Click on the “Strong’s #” to the left of the word (“G166”) on the BLB page.
g. In “Thayer’s Lexicon” section, find “Show All.” Scanning the extensive list of references, commentary and definitions, it is apparent that much controversy and conflict surrounds the incorrect use of a simple word. It’s even worse when you type the word “eternal” into the “Word Search” box!
Not every search reveals a controversy. Some words are found in agreement and the search is simple and affirming. The case above is deliberately presented to show how one word has been mistranslated and pervasively misinterpreted, and how the concept casts confusion over God’s ability to fulfill His purpose to save all mankind. Who is served by such confusion?
For example: How can Christ’s kingdom be “everlasting” or “forever” when Paul wrote about “the consummation” (1 Corinthians 15:24)?
The apostles and other authors of both Old and New Testaments had none of the confusion that followed on the heels of the first century. They were clear about what the scriptures meant. The Concordant Literal New Testament serves as a consistent guide to the language of God’s word in the New Testament.
The Concordant Literal Version of the Old Testament is also excellent, as are the Concordant commentaries and other publications. You may order directly from www.Concordant.org/order.
May God bless your pursuit of Him and His truth for all mankind.
New to reading the BIBLE?
(Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
Start with The Daily Bible in Chronological Order by F. LaGard Smith. You’ll read through the entire BIBLE in a year with short, daily installments.
Learn what the Bible really says in Light Up the Scriptures and meet a God as hugable as your favorite Grandpa.
Read the Scriptures for maximum accuracy and understanding: Concordant.org.
It’s time you heard the Apostle Paul’s most important revelation! Discover that and more in the video series, Can We Be Friends Now?
Add the daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers. Insights to enrich your day.