As you work through your Discovery Journal this summer, you will be asked to use several different websites and external sources to find certain information. One of those sources is the Blue Letter Bible website, used mainly to study Hebrew and/or Greek words, and to find definitions of certain keywords from the study. However, in addition to these features, there is a wealth of other information on Blue Letter Bible that can assist you as you study, and help you deepen and broaden your understanding of Scripture. Let’s dive in!
Original Language Word Studies
First, let’s look at how to complete the Hebrew/Greek word studies you will find in your Discovery Journal. For example, on page 4 of the 2022 Junior Discovery Journal, you will see a purple text box, similar to the one below.
To find the keyword (marked in yellow), go to Blue Letter Bible, and go to the book and chapter where the keyword is found (circled in red). *Hint: the “QuickNav” feature is great for this!
Next, click on the “TOOLS” button beside the specific verse the keyword occurs in. Select “INTERLINEAR”. You will see something like this:
Find the word you are studying and click on the Strong’s number (consisting of H or a G to denote whether it is Hebrew or Greek, and up to 4 digits to help identify the word) beside it. On this page, you can find all kinds of fascinating information about the word, how it is translated, how it is used, which verses it occurs in, and more. For the sake of your Discovery Journal however, you only need the Strong’s number (marked in green above), the transliteration of the Hebrew/Greek word (marked in blue), and the Strong’s definition (marked in purple). For the Strong’s definition, you do not need to copy anything after the colon (:), because it simply shows the different English words the original word is translated into. It should look like this once you fill it out:
Another wonderful tool Blue Letter Bible offers is multiple Bible dictionaries, including Easton’s Bible Dictionary, and Hitchcock’s Bible Names, which you will be asked to reference. You’ll see a blue text box like the one below:
To access Bible dictionaries through Blue Letter Bible, go to the “Study” tab at the top of the homepage. On the dropdown menu you’ll see several headings. Under the “Bible Reference” section, click on “Encyclopedias/Dictionaries”. From there, it functions like a dictionary; click on the first letter of the word you’re looking for, and then narrow it down to the first two letters of the word (in this case, El-). Scroll till you find the word you’re searching for and click on it. You’ll see entries from several Bible dictionaries, so find the one from the specific dictionary you’re supposed to reference and copy the definition in the textbox.
Other Great Study Tools
Besides Bible dictionaries and the Strong’s concordance, which you will use most in your Discovery Journal, Blue Letter Bible also offers several other useful tools that can be helpful in your personal Bible studies or in studying for the National Bible Bee Competition. Here are a few to check out:
Search bar: a very obvious feature, but extremely helpful. You can search using verse references, single words, multiple words, or whole phrases. Do you remember a phrase, but you don’t know which verse it’s from? Do you remember a verse number, but you don’t know what it says? That’s where the search bar comes in handy! Also beside the search bar is a dropbox to set the results to your preferred Bible version. Find them at the top of the homepage.
Cross-references: cross-references are verses that have similar information, similar keywords, or a similar topic to another verse. They are one of the best ways to understand Scripture and see how it fits together as a whole and tells the same story. When you let Scripture explain itself, it is much easier to understand individual passages, and much harder to completely misinterpret a verse. To find cross-references through Blue Letter Bible’s Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, click on the “TOOLS” button beside the verse you want to cross-reference, then select “CROSS-REFS”.
Side-by-side comparison of different Bible translations: reading different Bible translations can help you comprehend the main idea of a passage better, especially if your translation uses words you’re not familiar with. Besides, it’s a great way to familiarize yourself with different wordings, which can make it easier to understand questions on the Qualifying Test. To compare translations, click on “TOOLS” beside the verse, then on “BIBLES”.
Maps/Images: in your Discovery Journal you will see several maps and images like the ones available on Blue Letter Bible. Maps and charts are a great way to learn more about the place Biblical events took place, and they can help you visualize what you’re studying. A few other fun resources under this section include: illustrations from Bibles, word clouds for each book of the Bible, and several reference charts. To locate them, click on the “STUDY” tab at the top of the page, then “Maps/Images” under the “Bible Reference” section.
Commentaries: commentaries can be thought-provoking and insightful, if they are read with caution, judging them through the lens of Scripture. Find commentaries under “TOOLS” -> “COMMENTARIES”, or go to “STUDY” -> “Bible Commentaries”.
There are hundreds of different Bible study tools and materials available, and the sheer amount can be overwhelming. Blue Letter Bible is a great place to start, because they combine many great resources in one platform so you can find everything you need to broaden and deepen your Bible study. Learning how to use Blue Letter Bible’s study tools will help teach you the skills you need to study the Bible for yourself – skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life!
Written by NBB Alumna: Janese Hurst