Why doesn't Strong's Exhaustive Concordance include your definition of pais?

James Strong, 1822-1894

James Strong, 1822-1894

Thanks for such an interesting question about the meaning of pais. Strong’s Concordance was published in 1890. His exhaustive alphabetical listing allows students to quickly cross-reference every English word in the King James Version. The listing of English words is the exhaustive part.

Strong’s Concordance also contains a brief Bible Dictionary which is not exhaustive. The Bible Dictionary lists some but not all meanings of words as Strong understood them in the 19th century. It would be impossible to list in one book, every meaning of every Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek word in the Bible.

Strong’s word definitions are a starting point, not the ending point to define the meaning of words in Hebrew and Greek. Anyone who makes Strong’s Concordance his definitive authority short-circuits his ability to understand the Bible.

When buying real estate, the most important factors are, Location, Location, Location. When studying the Bible, the most important considerations are, Context, Context, Context. Cultural, doctrinal, historical, linguistic, literary and religious context impact the meaning of words.

Strong gives bare-bones definitions not intended to be absolute or conclusive. In general, Strong’s definitions do not consider the meaning of Biblical words used as figures of speech, metaphors, idiomatic expressions, references to historical events, culturally specific phrases and possible alternative meanings.

Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek words used in Biblical times often conveyed cultural nuances which are unfamiliar to people many centuries later who do not speak, read and write the Biblical languages.

Strong’s Concordance is a very useful tool for doing quick checks on the meaning of words. But please do not end your study by checking Strong’s. Dr. Strong never intended his work as the be all-end all for defining Biblical words. There are many other helpful resources with excellent Bible study information which you can access from our eDisciples page.

To help readers understand the meaning of the Greek word, pais, I have provided examples of meaning which define the word as it was used in ancient times, here and here.

We’ve answered the pais question.
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Comments for Why doesn't Strong's Exhaustive Concordance include your definition of pais?

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Jan 13, 2011
Pastor Rick, what references do YOU use?
by: Sparrow

It'd be helpful, Pastor Rick, for those of us who want to do serious, in-depth Bible study to know YOUR favorite reference tools. Every scholar has a few trusted, dog-eared favorites they keep close-by for frequent reference. Which are on YOUR first string?

Jan 13, 2011
no easy answers
by: kevin

In-depth Bible study is hard work. There are no easy answers. Christians often look for the simplistic. The Bible is the God breathed word of an infinite being. That being true, we can assume there will be concepts and content that are hard to wrap our finite minds around. My advice to believers is to dig in and dig deep. God will bless that hard work with gems of knowledge of His infinite wisdom.

Jan 13, 2011
The Bible study helps I use
by: Rick Brentlinger

In my Bible study, I use many of the resources listed on our eDisciples page.

For Hebrew and Greek study, I often begin with BlueLetterBible and Studylight Those resources are available to anyone online and I can easily Link to them to help people study a particular Hebrew or Greek word.

I also use BDAG and other lexicons and commentaries which discuss language, including The Expositor's Bible Commentary, a good basic twelve volume set which I have in my office.

Some lexicons such as Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament were produced by unsaved men or at least, men who denied much of what constitutes Biblical Christianity.

So, what a lexicon says about the meaning of Biblical words is not always reliable. Studylight and BlueLetterBible both provide FREE online commentaries from Adam Clark, John Gill, Matthew Henry and others, which sometimes contain information about Hebrew and Greek word meanings, besides what those sites offer in their lexical helps.

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