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Strong's is a reference to the linguistic work done on the Bible by James Strong, and particularly his Concordance.

Some researchers cite Strong's as though it were the Gospel truth, but in fact he had occasional weaknesses and biases in his work which can be improved upon today.

Examples of weakness or bias by Strong's include:

  • Strong's omits the double meaning of "homosexual" for the Hebrew word "כֶּלֶב", thereby concealing multiple biblical condemnations of homosexuality.[1] See, e.g., Deuteronomy 23:18.
  • Strong's translation of χερσὶν (chersin) as only "hands" is in clear error, as it also means "wrists". This error has caused the mistranslation of Acts 12:7 (the chains did not fall off Peter's "hands", but his "wrists"), and of John 20:27 (the nails were through Jesus's "wrists", not his "hands").
  • a preference for monarchical spin in translating non-monarchical Greek terms, such as Μεγαλωσύνης, which means "greatness" based on its root but Strong's translates it as "majesty"
  • a literary rather than scientific or mathematical focus, thereby tending to avoid more scientific or mathematical terms such as efficiency, energy, perfection (in the sense of flawlessness), set, and infinity
  • a lack of the full understanding of the Greek that we have today, as in the meaning of "ἐπιτιμάω". Strong's sets forth its meaning as "rebuke, chide, admonish, warn.";[2] its real meaning is "to lay a value upon" or "to lay a penalty on a person."[3]
  • an overreliance on attaching the same meaning to a word based on how it was used in other contexts, even when the other contexts are dissimilar; if a foreigner translated "get" on such a basis he would make many mistakes because its meaning depends entirely on its context, as in "Get the baseball" and "I get it!" and "get real."
  • a pro-alcohol bias, as in mistranslating unfermented grape juice ("gleukosas") as "new wine" and thereby concealing the positive references to grape juice rather than wine.[4] See Acts 2:13

Epistle to the Hebrews

James Strong was incorrect in insisting on Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews,[5] which modern linguistic analysis proves was not written by Paul.

Criticism of Strong's Approach

Some have criticized Strong's word-based approach as causing fundamental misunderstandings of Bible verses. For example, one Bible scholar observes that:

Strong’s Concordance’s Dictionary to translate Greek words – this is not only a fundamental error, but can lead to devastating conclusions regarding the misunderstanding of many Greek words.[6]


  2. Strong's Concordance 2008. ἐπιτιμάω epitimaó: to honor, to mete out due measure, hence to censure.
  3. ἐπιτιμάω - Wiktionary

External links

The Pitfalls in Using Strong's Numbers (