Thursday, May 22, 2014

This Free App Will Change Your Life

I learn from my Bible Study leader about an amazing little app for your phone called the Blue Letter Bible App.

(If you don't have a smartphone, you can just access the website

This free app allows you to look up the Hebrew and Greek words as you read your Bible. So awesome!!! It then invites you to look up the etymology to gain such a rich understanding of keywords in scripture.

This wonderful resource then directs you to all the other places that word appears in scripture. I love this app because it means I'm not lugging around all my dictionaries and concordances whenever I want to study scripture. It's so fast and efficient! It's so easy and clear!

I've been using this app for only four days, and it's really changed how I encounter God in the Bible. For example, I thought I knew the richness and complexity of Ephesians 2:6 and that beautiful verb "seated." Well, if you take apart the original Greek roots of the word, you learn that God raised us up and "made us dwell together and conferred a kingdom upon us" (that's all in the one word: seated).

I looked up "vain idols" from Jonah, and learned that this phrase really means, "worthless speaking." I looked up all the references to "endure" in 2 Timothy (there are many), and learned that this literally means in the Greek to "stay under the weight of." I learned that the verse in Psalms that everyone quotes--"Be still and know that I am God," is actually a kind of military command. "Be still" means to hold your position, sink down, cease advancing, and rest.

I love verbs so much, and now I love them even more. I tell my students that a great verb can change your life. I feel that way today as I know I'm seated with you in Christ at a royal table, with a kingdom conferred on us all. I cease advancing, holding my position, and stay under the weight of whatever God brings into my life. And I want to write and speak worthy, not worthless words today.

1 comment:

John Roe said...

Great that this app is helpful... But I think one should beware of the idea that *all* the etymological history of a word is somehow mysteriously invoked every time Scripture uses that word. That doesn't seem to be how language works. E.g. modern English "nice" is etymologically derived from Latin "nescius", ignorant. But that doesn't mean that when a modern English speaker calls someone "nice", their "deep meaning" or "root meaning" is that the person is ignorant. (Example due to A.W.Thisleton)... Meaning is determined by context and intention more than etymology