Vol. 2 - No. 5

May, 1983

How To Use Young's Analytical Concordance To The Bible

by R. L. (Bob) Craig

 The first books placed in my religious library were the two volume New Testament With Notes by B. W. Johnson. These were given me by an aged sister in Christ with the admonition (which I have always tried to follow): "Robert, if these commentaries, or any others, get a little confusing, you always have the Bible to explain them." I have profited greatly by that sage advice. If I remember correctly (that was about 38 years ago) the next book, and the first I bought for myself, was Young's Analytical Concordance.

Since that time I have purchased several volumes, used them a little, sold them or gave them away, and bought others. But this Young's Concordance was the best buy I ever made. (I be­lieve it cost $3.95 at the time.) Most people think of a concordance as just a book used to find passages, but Young's is more than just that. It has a great deal of easily found and usable information if we will learn to use it. Especially is it good for that person who knows little or no Greek or Hebrew, like unto me.

I believe that a person can learn what to do to be saved, how to work and worship, how to conduct his life and how to go home to heaven and never know a word of Greek or Hebrew. But, in this controversial world of religious confusion, it sometimes becomes necessary, in meeting argu­ments, to have access to something pertaining to original language. Also, it opens new doors of understanding to certain difficult passages and unlocks a storehouse of new worlds to explore as you pursue your Bible study.

Here's what I mean: take Galatians 1:6-7: "I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that hath called you into the grace of Christ, unto anther gospel; which is not another, but there be some who trouble you and would pervert the gos­pel of Christ." (I wrote an article on this verse just a few months ago. For a more complete exegesis of these verses, look at that article.) In the passage we have the word another used twice. Paul says another which is not another. Sounds confusing. So look at Young's. We find the first another separated into a category of similar anothers, the Greek characters for that word, the English equivalent of those characters, and the definition of that usage as being simply "the other," "heteros." Then we look at the second use of "another" and find an entirely different Greek word, "allos," and the definition for it being "other, not the same." So we have the apostle say­ing: "unto another (the other) gospel, which is not another (not the same) gospel" and that makes it more understandable, doesn't it?

One more illustration: the little word "for." We don't have much trouble understanding this little word when we use it in our everyday language. We know exactly how we are using it and just what we mean and, generally, so do the ones with whom we are communicating. But, when it was used in Greek, there were about twenty different words the translators brought forth with the word "for." This makes things a little confusing sometime even though, usually, we can get the meaning from the context or the setting in which the word is used or, at least, by a complete study of the subject under consideration. But there are many times when a knowledge of the original word will bring a better and quicker understanding.

Here's what I mean: there has been much controversy on Acts 2:38 -- "for the remission of sins." Some say that our word here means "because," hence, "baptized because our sins have been remitted." All right, there are numerous places in the New Testament where "for" does mean "because." Luke 9:12:   send the mul­titude away, that they may go into the villages and country round about, and lodge, and get provisions, for (because-hoti) we are here in a desert place." This is only one of perhaps one hundred or more places where this word "for" comes from the Greek word meaning "because." In the passage quoted, it obviously means "because" and we can readily understand that. But, does it mean "because" in Acts 2:38? The only way we can be absolutely sure, i.e., argumentatively sure, is to know what the Greek word is.

Easy enough. We get our Young's and turn to the word "for" and he has this word segregated into divisions under each Greek word. We imme­diately know that theirs is a false argument and that the word actually is "eis" and always looks to the future: "with a view to."

We would also be able to understand more about "imputed righteousness." Where the state­ment "it (his faith) was imputed to him for right­eousness," we would immediately know that this word "for" does not mean "instead of," nor "in place of," nor even "in behalf of," like it does in many places, but comes from this same little Greek word "eis" that means "with a view to." So, you see, by using your Young's, the passage would translate, "it (his faith) was imputed to him for (with a view to) righteousness," and not "it was im­puted to him for (in place of) righteousness."

There are multitudes of examples we could use, but these few are enough. On the surface it might seem that the book is a little expensive "just" to find a verse of scripture, but it is more than just a concordance; it is a storehouse of knowledge and information that the most casual Bible student can readily use with profit.

In harmony with the article, brother McDonald is offering a slight discount to assist you in owning the book.