Bible Question:

How can I learn Greek and Hebrew words? Please tell me what bible version you find best? Also, I am interested in learning more about the important Greek and Hebrew words. Your teaching makes clear how important it is to know the meaning and context of what we are studying. Please tell me what is the best approach to word study for one as myself who is doing this on my own, not a formal classroom setting.

Bible Answer:

You have two questions. The first concerns the best Bible translation and the second one deals with how to learn Greek and Hebrew so that you understand the words.

Best Bible Translation. First, The best Bible translation that is currently available is the English Standard Version (ESV). I would encourage you to spend the extra money and buy a study Bible such as the MacArthur Study Bible, for example. There are some other great study Bibles, but this Bible has more information than most.

Greek and Hebrew Words.
It is wonderful that you desire to learn the language in which the Bible was originally translated. It is important to understand the basic sense of a Greek word has breadth to meaning (semantic domain) and you will need several lexicons or dictionaries to understand the full meaning of the word. There are lexicons which provide simple explanations and there are lexicons which provide a much fuller explanation. The nuance of the meaning of Greek words changes with the context. One needs several lexicons to get a good grasp of the meaning of the Greek word. It is also important to know that the Bible was written in Koine Greek and not Classical Greek. Since the New Testament was written in Koine Greek, you will want a Bible software application that uses the Koine Greek. Good sources for such an application are the Logos Bible Software, BibleWorks, Accordance Bible Software and Olive Tree Bible Software. Make sure that the software application includes at least the Louw and Nida Greek lexicon. When you look up the meaning of a Greek word check out the meaning from several lexicons.

There are many good Bible software packages that will provide some guidance to understanding Greek and Hebrew words. However, I would encourage you to take a formal class in the Greek and Hebrew languages. I have found too many men who think they are Greek experts because they have Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance or a Bible software application that provides the meaning of Greek and Hebrew words. These men do not understand that there is much more to the Greek language than just using Strong’s. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is a great place to start but one must not stop there. One must understand the Greek and Hebrew syntax, tenses and special rules, for example. Master’s Seminary has begun to provide free online seminary level classes. The URL for these classes is If you elect to start studying Greek, I would encourage you to either wait for the seminary make the Greek course available or spend the money to obtain a course in Koine Greek. At the time this response was written the Hebrew language course was already available.


It is also important to learn the principles of Bible interpretation. We recommend several books that will find listed below. May God bless you as seek to know Him.


Suggested Links:

Searching For God
How To Study The Bible?