A few weeks ago we talked about how to do a word study. In that tip I listed some resources you would need to get the most out of you word studies. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible from AMG Publishers was one of the resources mentioned. Today I want to talk more about this Bible because I think it is a fantastic resource for those who are learning to do word studies.
The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible has been in print since the mid-1980’s, but I was first introduced to it about a decade ago while an employee at WORDsearch Bible Software. Since I used Bible software for my word studies, I didn’t need it for my own library. So, I didn’t pay it much mind at the time. But, I never forgot the Bible’s unique qualities.
Fast forward to a month or so ago and now my friends are talking about it on social media. Why? Because there’s now a CSB edition of this study Bible. This time I take notice; not because I needed it, but because I was in the middle of working on my word study tip.
As I was putting the finishing touches on that Bible study tip, I happened to stop at my local Christian bookstore. They had this new edition of the Key Word Study Bible on sale, so I stopped in my tracks. Looking over the packaging, I was immediately taken aback by the endorsement from Robby Gallaty, pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN. Over the past few months I’ve devoured everything he’s written on discipleship, so an endorsement from him made me all the more interested in this Bible. Fully persuaded by both the endorsement & sale price, I purchased the Bible and brought it home.
That said, let’s dive in and see if this study Bible is worth adding to your study library.
What is the Key Word Study Bible?
The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is the brainchild of Dr. Spiros Zodhiates. His desire was to create a resource that would make it easy for Christians to dig into the original languages from which their English Bibles are derived. The first edition was published in 1984 using the King James Version. Since then, this study Bible has been incorporated into several other translations including the NKJV, NASB, and NIV to name a few. With over 1.5 million copies sold, the Key Word Study Bible has become one of the easiest ways for students of the Bible to access the original languages.
When it comes to doing word studies, think about everything you need to accomplish the task. For a simple word study you need: a Bible (preferably with Strong’s tagging), a Strong’s dictionary, an exhaustive concordance, and possibly a Greek & Hebrew lexicon for additional information. These tools would easily cost over a hundred dollars, if not a couple hundred dollars. Yet, the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible gives you all of the above for only a fraction of the cost.
Here’s some of what you get with this study Bible:
- Introductions for every book of the Bible
- Textual footnotes & center-column cross-references
- Key words in the Bible coded with Strong’s numbers
- Strong’s definitions for every Hebrew & Greek word
- Expanded word study information for key words using AMG’s dictionaries
- Explanatory notes on the biblical text
- Grammatical Tools
Yes, you get all that bound into a single Bible that’s no bigger than any other study Bible on the market today. It’s truly an all-in-one word study resource! If you want a deeper understanding of God’s Word without breaking the bank, look no further than the Key Word Study Bible.
How to Use the Key Word Study Bible
Next, let’s talk about how to use the Key Word Study Bible. If you read the Bible study tip on how to do a word study, you’re well ahead of the game. The process is no more involved than that tip, but with one major difference. You can do everything with this one Bible, whereas it would take several resources to accomplish it otherwise.
To illustrate, we will walk through a simple word study. For our text, we’ll use 1 Timothy 1:15 which reads as follows in the CSB, “This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I am the worst of them.”
Step 1: Find a Word
Now, as we look at this verse, let’s say we want to know more about the word “trustworthy.” Looking at our study Bible, we immediately notice it is underlined and tagged with Strong’s number 4103. So, we flip to the back and look up our Strong’s number in the Greek dictionary.
Step 2: Study the Word
In the dictionary portion of the study Bible we see we’re working with the Greek word “pistos,” which is an adjective derived from the Greek word “peithō” (3982). Reading further, we find that the word has multiple senses. It can mean “trustworthy, true, believable” in its first sense, “faithful in duty” in its second, and “confiding, trusting, believing” in an active and final sense. Our usage in 1 Timothy 1:15 falls under the first use, so we would pay attention to that portion of the definition and read all the related passages where “pistos” is used in that manner.
If we wanted to dig further we could look up each derivative word in the dictionary. We would then read their accompanying verses to get a more well rounded understanding of this word family.
That’s it! That’s how easy it is to do a word study with this study Bible. And the beauty is that it only required flipping back & forth in a single book, instead of needing a large desk with several books open to accomplish the same task.
Why Buy It?
So, why would you want to purchase the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible? Who would get the most out of it? I think there are two reasons to add this study Bible to your library.
First, this is the perfect tool for those who are new to or intimidated by word studies. The Key Word Study Bible gives you everything you need to do a solid word study without spending a lot of money on multiple resources. You have the Strong’s numbers, important grammatical information, a dictionary, and concordance. It’s everything you need & nothing you don’t. For what you would spend buying one or two of the tools you need to do a word study, you have a complete package in the Key Word Study Bible. It’s the best bang for your buck!
Second, you may not always know the most relevant words to study in a given passage. The Key Word Study Bible eliminates the guess work and tells you exactly which words are “key” words. It even goes so far as to show you which words simply have Strong’s definitions versus those with additional information.
Even if you’re a pro at word studies, this is still a great all-in-one resource for studying the original languages. It’s perfect for personal study, small groups, and discipleship. Even pastors and teachers can save time with this Bible by quickly identifying words for deeper study. Having this study Bible in your library is an opportunity to save time in your studies, even if you own all the other resources needed for basic & advanced word studies. It’s truly a resource for everyone.
For all the benefits the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible offers, there are still downsides & potential concerns.
The most glaring problem with this Bible is it only highlights “key words” for study. If you want to do a word study on a word that they don’t consider key, you’re out of luck. If they don’t give you the Strong’s number in the text, you will still need to go out and purchase additional resources to complete your study. So, keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive resource for word studies. For a more complete solution, you may want to consider AMG’s Complete Word Study Bible Old & New Testament. That resource does what this study Bible does, but for every word in the KJV. The only problem with that resource is it’s not nearly as portable and easy to carry around as the Key Word Study Bible.
Second, if you’re hoping for all the bells & whistles like you find in a traditional study Bible, you will be disappointed. The study notes are sparse and relate to the key words you would consider studying. You won’t find verse-by-verse (or sectional) commentary here. Nor will you find outlines, charts and the like. This study Bible’s focus is the text and doing word studies, and not much else. If you need study notes, this is not the study Bible for you.
Now, neither of these issues is a dealbreaker. Instead, they are merely issues to be aware of when considering this study Bible. I want you to be able to make an informed decision. For what it is designed to be, the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is great.
Enhance Your Word Study Tools
I believe the Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is the perfect tool for Bible study, for both beginners & experienced word studiers alike. If it’s something that world renowned pastors & teachers can get behind and use in their own studies, then it’s something every Christian should pay attention to.
If word studies are your thing, you would do well to add this resource to your repertoire of Bible study tools. You won’t be disappointed.
Weekly Study Prompts
This week, meditate and journal on the following passages:
- Monday – Proverbs 1-2
- Tuesday – Proverbs 3-4
- Wednesday – Proverbs 16-18
- Thursday – Proverbs 31
- Friday – 1 Kings 11-12
- Memory Verses: Proverbs 1:7; 3:5-6
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