Accessing the “Power” of Original Languages Using Strong’s-numbered Texts in Accordance
Working with the underlying original languages behind English Bible translations seems a daunting task for the non-seminarians among us, but Accordance’s Strong’s-numbered texts extend the benefits of original language texts and tools to users who cannot speak or type a word of Greek or Hebrew.
For my example, I’ll use a question posed to me during a recent meeting of the Bible study that takes place in my home. We were studying Ephesians together and one of the attendees asked about the word “power” in Eph. 1:21 and what the Greek word for “power” there was. Here are the steps I took within Accordance to answer his question and expand our knowledge of how “power” is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
First, I opened Accordance to a Strong’s-numbered text. My church regularly uses the English Standard Version, so I opened the ESVS text. I then used “tab” to select the Go To box and typed “Eph. 1:21.” This took me to the passage in my ESV Bible.
Moving my mouse over the word “power” revealed the Strong’s number information in the Instant Details box. I learned that the Greek word “dunamis” corresponds to the English “power.”
Keeping my mouse there, I held down the Command (Apple) key and information from a Greek dictionary appeared in the Instant Details box, giving me even more information about how “dunamis” is used in Greek, and some different ways it can be translated in English.
I then opened a tagged Greek New Testament (GNT-T) in parallel, selecting it from the list of texts I own. As I moused over “power” again, Accordance’s key number highlighting showed me which word “dunamis” was.
I moused over the Greek word that I saw highlighted and got parsing information. Just to make sure I knew how to pronounce the form of “dunamis” that appeared there, I selected it by double-clicking and clicked on the Speech icon in the Toolbar.
Feeling a little smarter (“doo-nah-may-ows”, I mouthed to myself), I then decided to get more information on this word using one of my favorite Greek resources, Zondervan’s New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (NIDNTT). Holding down the option key, I amplified to NIDNTT by selecting it from the menu of Greek Tools in my Library. NIDNTT opened to “dunamis” in Greek without me having to type a single word of Greek! I was able to survey its use in Classical Greek, Septuagint Greek, and the Koine used in the New Testament.
Now I decided to see what other words are translated as “power” in the ESV translation of Paul’s letters. Selecting “Words” instead of “Verses,” to do a word search I entered “power” into the search entry box. Then I selected the “Pauline Epistles” range I had created in my search window to limit my search, and clicked on the search button.
Opening an analysis graph gave me a visual showing me all of the different Greek words that corresponded to a Strong’s number. There were five different words listed, including “dunamis” but only one of the others was found in Ephesians. Double-clicking on the bar that corresponded to “exousia” took me to the verse in which it appeared, Eph. 2:2.
With a few well-directed mouse clicks, I was able to gather a wealth of information about the Greek word “dunamis” and even look further into words translated as “power” in the ESV. With the help of Accordance, I was not only able to answer the question I was asked, but discovered new questions to be researched, all without typing a single letter of Greek.