It’s very useful to be able to quickly find key verses in the Bible, especially when we’re trying to determine what it teaches about various things.
A concordance is a very useful study tool because it lists every word in the Bible and where it appears. So if we want to find every reference to baptism, for example, they’re all listed together one after the other. It works very much like an index. You can see this in the picture on the left, from Strong’s Concordance.
An online concordance (or search engine) will do the same thing: you type in a word, and it will list every place where it appears. Some concordances will go further and actually tell you what the original Hebrew or Greek word is behind the English one (as Strong’s does, using its famous match-the-numbers system, above right). Then we can make our own decision about whether the word has been translated correctly, or consistently. You don’t even have to understand Hebrew or Greek to do this.
One important thing you’ll find is that a lot of things which some churches teach as Bible truth simply do not appear in the Bible. That sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? But just try this exercise:
Using this online concordance, search for the following words and phrases:
God the son
Since none of these appear in the Bible text, we should question whether they are true doctrines. Why else would the Trinity, which many Christians believe to be an essential part of their understanding of God, not be mentioned? It comes down to this – the Bible simply does not mention the Trinity anywhere. And that’s a good reason to be suspicious of it as a true teaching.
Have a look at the doctrines at the bottom of this page, which are well supported from the Bible. Use the concordance to check! Can you see the importance of having Scripture to back up our beliefs?