ON THE USE OF STRONG’S

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

7:22 AM

The Strong’s Concordance is a helpful tool that lists every Hebrew and Greek lemma (root word) present in the King James Bible. Along with listing these, the tool also generally gives a ‘gloss’ for each word (some tools actually link Strong’s Concordance to lexicons such as Thayer’s Greek-English lexicon). The tool is popular because it is free on many Bible-related websites. With that said, I’d like to give some advice (and caution) to users who rely on this tool for original languages research in the Biblical texts. [1]

After years of study and use of Strong’s Hebrew in those studies, I have found several errors within its’ etymologies. Unfortunately, I have not documented those as I found them, and my memory fails me now as to which reference numbers were involved, but it was enough to cause me not to think of Strong’s as a know-all, be-all reference guide.

Strong’s is based on the translations as used in the King James version, and not on the original Hebrew of the ancient text. As students of Scripture, and its’ original language, we now know that the beloved KJV who many of us found our personal salvation through, is rife with translational error, so the use of it for any serious study of Scripture and the original Biblical Hebrew behind the English, is not to be recommended or considered as any kind of ‘firm foundation’. Consequently, any Strong’s definition must be checked against other proven sources, including our own solid knowledge produced through study, friendly debate and discussion among our achim, but most importantly; prayerful guidance from Him who is the original author.

Very important to this subject, is our personal knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, and the Hebrew culture at the time of its’ writing. We cannot rely solely on the work of others for guidance. This requires us to be driven ‘truth seekers’, always in the ‘search and study’ mode, always verifying what we read and hear through the original words of His Torah. Check everything against your ever-expanding knowledge base, with an open heart and mind; casting out that which does not pass the test, keeping that which does. Even then, we must be willing to re-verify our favorite beliefs when new information is presented, and be ready to change those beliefs when, and if, the new information passes all of our methods of testing.

All of this is only part of a lifetime project of study, learning, checking, and verifying all things on our spiritual journey to the perfect light of His Truth, as it is in YHWH Y’shuati. May His blessing be yours as we travel up to Y’rushalayim, and the House of YHWH Y’shuati (B’H)! Amen.

 

Sha’ul

 

[1] “The Stack Exchange” on “Biblical hermeneutics”, https://hermeneutics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/923/strongs-is-a-concordance-not-a-lexicon

 

OUR TORAH READING CYCLE AT BEIT ECHAD

For those of you who have just become followers of the agriculturally and astronomically corrected Biblical Calendar as established by Elohim, you may be wondering why we start our annual Torah reading cycle over again in Bereshis, on Simchat Torah, instead of Abib (The first day of the first month of the Biblical Year)? And the answer is, we do so only for simplicity’s sake! Yes, we follow the established ‘annual’ reading cycle, that’s utilized throughout most of Rabbinical Judaism today.

Torah she bikhatav (Written Torah) does not specify exactly what system if any we are to employ to study it, so to be on the ‘same sheet of music’ so to speak with our Rabbinical brothers, we chose to follow (as much as possible) their time-proven structure of study. Much easier than creating a separate method to achieve the same result!

“Traditionally, the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) are divided into “weekly parashot” (portions or readings) so that the entire volume can be read in the Synagogue every Sabbath over a period of one or three years.” For more information, please refer to https://www.torahresource.com/one-year-torah-reading-cycle/

Since our beginning, we have followed the annual cycle of Torah reading, simply for convenience since it seems to be the most common method in use. Following the triennial cycle would be just as acceptable, but not that many seem to be using it, and that would play into our ability at Beit Echad to study effectively with other students.

So our study cycle will begin on the first day after the 8th day of Sukkot, which is called ‘Simchat Torah’. On that day we complete the reading of D’varim (Dt.) and begin by reading the entire first chapter of Bereshis. The tradition is to read it out loud. We study Parashah Bereshis for the following Shabbat, ‘Shabbat Bereshis’. I pray that our study together will prove to be a blessing to you, and your house!

If this is all new to you, don’t worry, we’ve all been there and done that! You will pick-up on these things and more, learning a little here and there as you continue to grow in the knowledge of our Creator and Redeemer, YHVH (B’H), King of all Yisra’el!

Sha’ul

Aronic Blessing