Posted by: clevsea | November 13, 2007

Greek Word Studies and the “Right” books


The most important kind to have is what I call a “sandwich” consisting of three parts. The Greek, the English transliteration and the Strong’s Numerical Code, all three present for the entirety of the New Testament.

What to buy in order of importance for the NT:

“Interlinear Greek-English New Testament: Numerically coded to Strong’s Exhaustive Condordance” Published by Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Authored by George Ricker Berry in one sense but really the author is Jay P Green Sr. and it’s been edited by Donald R White. This is out of print but can be found through used book sources. This is the very best one because it has, #1 The “sandwiched” interlinear, #2 Greek Dictionary of the NT (in the book itself) #3 Greek-English NT Lexicon in alphabetical by Greek order written by Berry and included in the same book. This is THE one to look for because it has the dictionary and the lexicon contained in the book.

The ISBN is 0-8010-5036-7 that is the 4th printing from 1989. The original copyright date is 1981.

Here is a paperback 3rd edition ISBN 0-8010-2138-3 by, Jay P Green, Sr. Note: this edition probably does not contain the lexicon and dictionary in the back. In fact, you may only be able to buy this most important Interlinear without the lexicon and dictionary but you ought to buy it anyway and then you’ll need to buy a Strong’s Dictionary of the Greek New Testament and keep them together.

The above book is a hard back, rather ugly book, but very useful. My second choice is a beautiful edition of the same thing, less the dictionary and lexicon.

That ISBN is 1-878442-75-9 copyright 1985, 1993, 2000 by Jay P Green, Sr. This edition looks exactly like a Bible with black leather composite cover and gold edged pages. The only drawback is that it is the size of a normal Bible but does not contain an OldTestament. It’s still great to pack for Bible study if you’re in the NT and not going to refer to the Old Testament during the meeting.

There are some other ISBN’s listed on the copyright page of this Bible. I will include them even though I don’t own them is case they are useful.

ISBN 1-878442-007 “Complete Four Volume Bible

ISBN 1-878442-01-5 “Three Volume Interlinear Old Testament

ISBN 1-878442-80-5 “Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

All by Jay P Green, Sr.

For Old Testament & New Testament I own these 4 volumes:

“The Interlinear Bible Hebrew-English Coded with Strong’s Concordance Numbers”

Hendrickson Publishers, by Jay P. Green, Sr. Also known by “The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament”

This 4 volume set is great and has the Strong’s numbers above each word which makes the sandwich. There is no dictionary included, that you would have to buy separately.

ISBN 0913-573-42-6—this is for the entire 4 volumes including the New Testament.

On the copyright page 2 additional ISBN’s are mentioned that I don’t own and can’t vouch for but again, they may prove helpful:

ISBN 0913-573-29-9 “The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament” by Green and offered as a single so that you don’t have to buy the other 3 volumes. It does not say whether the Strong’s numbers are included. No doubt this is published by Hendrickson as well.

Also on the copyright page is this:

ISNB 0913-573-29-9 “A Literal Translation of the Bible” Copyright 1985 by Jay P. Green, Sr. That sounds like Green wrote his own translation and I would be interested in buying that if anybody finds a copy let me know.

The Green transliterations are the most important thing to buy. Next would be to get a copy of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, available almost anywhere. If you want a 2nd concordance (like me) then go on and buy Young’s Analytical Concordance of the Bible as well. Young’s is good but he never numbered the Hebrew and Greek like Strong did so it’s not as universally useful. I still like it though.

The next thing to buy is this:

ISBN 0-89957-651-6 “The Complete Word Study New Testament” published by AMG, Chattanooga,TN, by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. The “ONLY” work of Zodhiates I recommend. I do avoid his other books and commentaries.

The above is for the more advanced because it supplies the verb tenses and declares the “parts of speech” for the New Testament. You can read any NT passage, quickly note the abbreviations above the word in question and flip to the back of book and you instantly know if the word is an adverb, an articular infinitive, an aorist infinitve passive or active, and aorist indicative middle, passive, an aorist imperative middle, a future participle passive, and infinitive with genitive article, and interrogative pronoun, a possessive pronoun, a present subjunctive middle/passive, just to name less than ¼ of the options. This is important because the “state of being verbs” and the word endings can change a word’s meaning.

Only using the Strong’s number will not do that for any student.

An example from English would be. “I am attractive.” Compare that with “I am attracted.” Using a Strong’s number will take the student to the root word for “attract” but leave you hanging concerning the ending. If you think “ive” and “ed” do not change the meaning you are mistaken. If I tell my husband I am attractive to the man working on our roof, that would be one thing. If I tell my husband that I am attracted to the man, then that is quit
e another.

One more thing to buy:

ISBN 0-8054-1388-X “The Englishman’s Greek Concordance; Numerically Coded to the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance” published by Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee. By George V. Wigram & copyrighted 1979

Why this is important is because it is the correct way to be certain that you have found every single time a Greek word is used in the NT. You can make incorrect assertions using the Strong’s and here is how. Let’s say that we looked up the word “sick” in a normal concordance whether it’s a Strong’s or another’s work. We would be given every instance when the English word “sick” occurred in the NT. We may make the mistake of telling all our friends that we know and have looked up every use of the word “sick.” We would be mistaken because sometimes the Greek word for “sick” is translated, “weak” “impotent” “more feeble” “weakness” & “weaker.” I Peter 3:7 speaks of women as the “weaker” vessel. In Greek that is the word for “sick” The passage in Peter could have called us the “sicker” vessel. Now, that is not my point, my point is that with this book we can know quickly & exactly how many times each Greek word is used in the NT.

So if you can only afford one book by the Greek Transliteration and make certain that it is coded to the Strong’s. But do remember that you only have a portion of the word meaning. You don’t know for certain how it is translated in other parts of the NT and you do not know the grammar of the word. It’s okay to share with others what you’ve learned from a transliteration but be kind and avoid sounding argumentative over the meaning of any word unless you have gone to the other two steps. And even then don’t argue. That is not the Christian way. I Timothy 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” The key point of that passage is this, “…obsessed with disputes and arguments over words…”

Now we will move on to “what NOT to buy.”

Don’t buy,

ISBN 0-310-28680-8 “The New International Version Interlinear Greek-English New Testament” by Rev. Alfred Marshall & published by Zondervan/Regency Reference Library

Why? Because you would have to be VERY advanced in Greek in order for you to benefit. And I say that if you are that literate in Greek you ought to just read the Greek New Testament and you would not even need the English on a “word by word” basis.

It’s just not useful to only have the Greek and English. That is a sandwich without the top piece of bread. The top slice of bread gets us the Strong’s number and that is the key for the English speaking student. I even read numerically. For example I have used these tools for so long that I have a lot of the numbers memorized. I don’t need to stop and do a word study on easy words like “wife, woman” which is gune. The Strong’s number for gune is 1135. I don’t even have to look it up, I have it memorized. When I’m reading my transliteration I can read the numbers very quickly while I am reading, I quite often know the Greek word. Not to mention that many of the Greek words themselves become memorized and you will be able to “read” them if the are repeated often. The more rare words are the ones that you will have to stop and look up in the dictionary, whether your book contains the dictionary or if you’ll use the dictionary in a separate book.

The above ISBN represents MANY transliterations. I only bought one and learned my lesson right away. You can work with a transliteration without the Strong’s but it will take more reference books and far more time to accomplish the same word study done with a proper transliteration.

If you go to a Bible store you’ll be able to see with your eyes whether the transliteration in your hand is numbered or not. I think there may be transliteration that have English and the numbers but lack the Greek. That would not be as beneficial and that is the whole reason I call the good ones a sandwich.

I’m happy to pass on these titles and have done it often in real life. Now that I’ve taken the time to write this I can quickly post it to Christian groups and probably will be doing that in the future.

If anyone wants to forward this please go ahead but respect the fact that I did write this so it is copyrighted material by law. Just credit me as Clevsea, that will be sufficient.

Always keep the I Corinthains 13 chapter in your mind and never allow yourself to become puffed up with knowledge. Always yield to the Holy Spirit, Our Father God and humbly abide in Jesus Christ. I love the humility verses and I recommend them heartily to all who involve themselves in word studies.

And this is the verse that keeps me in study:

They received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so. Acts 17:11

With Love,


Allow me to add this edit:

Let me point out one big difference between Greek and Hebrew word studies.

Greek = very precise language, even more precise than English ever thought of being. Easy to translate and difficult to argue about.

Hebrew = one of the OLDEST languages on Earth. Often when a word is looked up 1 or 2 paragraphs will be there in the dictionary and often the H
UGE lists of definitions don’t even seem to corespond to one another. Not a good language to argue about because words change meaning in any language. This ancient language has been used for 1000’s of years and the meanings of words have changed in some occasions. That means that some people like to debate the meaning of a Hebrew word and it is said that some Rabbis will debate a word meaning for an entire day because they like to spend their time doing that. I would not like to “take a stand” on a Hebrew word and insist on being correct.



  1. Hi, Clev. I know I haven’t been around for ages, but I think of you often in my computerless life and wonder how you are doing. For the first time in a long time I have had time here at the inlaws to catch up on your blog and post on my own. Sounds like you are keeping on keeping on. That’s good. I want you to know I am still covering, though not full-time, most of the time and always for prayer. I just cannot explain away the passage though our practice is so unpopular for western christians now. I don’t understand. It is so simple.

  2. Clev, I see you are not set up for accepting messages and I understand, and I don’t know when or how, but I lost your email address from my contacts. There are so many times I wish I could get to a computer or write you snail mail. Please message me and give me your email if you are willing (personal emails only. I do NOT send fwds). I will email when I can. I wish i could write you hard copy since I do like writing letters though I do not have computer access at home, but I COMPLETELY understand if that is off limits for you. Rules are essential when using the internet and eveery person should only do what they are comfortable with. I do miss communicating with you. I hope you are all well! -Meg

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