Review of Computer Concordance Software -- By: Kenneth Alan Daughters

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 02:1 (Summer 1993)
Article: Review of Computer Concordance Software
Author: Kenneth Alan Daughters


Review of Computer Concordance Software

Kenneth Alan Daughters1

The Value of Concordance Software

Do you need concordance software for your computer? If you own an IBM compatible or Macintosh computer and you study your Bible seriously, you ought to invest in computer concordance software. It will greatly enhance your ability to study God’s Word.

I teach the class on Bible Study Methods here at the college and I find that most of my freshman students only use a Bible concordance when they are trying to find a verse, the reference of which they have forgotten. That is one use for a concordance, but certainly not the most noble. Just as the most common use for a microwave oven is to heat water for coffee (a mundane use that hardly taps the purpose for its invention), so too few Christians know how to use a concordance for serious Bible study. The most noble purpose of a concordance is to compare the usage of a particular word in different contexts to discover nuances of meaning that will enhance your understanding of what the word likely means in the context at hand. For example, if you wanted to know what “be submissive” means in 1 Peter 3:1, it would be helpful to discover all the possible nuances of its meaning throughout the New Testament. So many people have a warped idea of what the word ought to mean that it is enlightening to discover how the same word is used of the Son’s subjection to the Father (1 Cor. 15:28). Until recently using a book concordance has been the only way to perform searches of usage. In paper concordances searches must be limited to one word at a time, and complicated searches involving multiple words or even entire phrases have been mind-boggling or even impossible. Enter the era of the

computer. Now with the technology available to us, far more complicated searches than you imagined are possible. When I first began using my computer for Bible study, it opened up a whole new vista to my understanding of God’s revelation.

Possible Kinds of Searches

A Verse

What kind of searches can you perform using computer concordance software? You still can find a forgotten verse reference by searching for a particular phrase. If all you can remember is that the verse had to do with the “appearance of evil,” you can search using that phrase and find 1 Thessalonains 5:22. That is much faster than looking up a single word such as “evil” and reading across all the references. It is also nice to find it instantly, because a computer s...

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