I have been using the Key Word Study Bible for more than 15 years. I won’t say it is my favorite Bible, but there are features that make it invaluable in certain situations. It is an important part of my reference library. This is the Bible that I carry when I go into prisons.
When I am at home studying, I have bookshelves packed full of printed material as well as access to numerous computer programs and digital references, not to mention the seemingly unlimited supply of information available on the internet. Even away from home I usually have my laptop, iPad, Kindle and/or smartphone that lets me access dozens of Bible translations, dictionaries, commentaries, notes and other resources.
Perhaps I should be careful not to become too reliant on technology. There may come a time when, for whatever reason, those things just don’t work. Or, as is the case when I minister in a prison, there are places where I cannot take electronic items or a huge stack of books. This is where the Key Word Study Bible becomes so important.
Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., Executive Editor
Available Bible Translations:
New American Standard Bible
English Standard Version
Christian Standard Bible
New International Version
New King James Version
King James Version
This Bible is a self-contained reference library. Besides the Bible text, it includes both Hebrew and Greek lexical aides and complete Strong’s dictionaries for both Hebrew and Greek. The overall size of the book is no bigger than most other study Bibles.
So when I go into a correctional facility where I am not permitted to take my cell phone or other electronic device, and where carrying a Strong’s Concordance, Hebrew Lexicon, Greek Lexicon and Vine’s Dictionary along with my Bible and study notes is not practical, this one Key Word Study Bible does the trick.
This is a Study Bible, complete with explanatory notes, cross references, and an abridged concordance appropriate to the particular translations. In addition, in one binding it has:
- A Hebrew lexicon with entries taken from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Brown-Driver-Briggs and Englishman’s Concordance
- A Greek lexicon edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., with entries taken from works by Parkhurst, Trench, Vine and others
- Keyed grammatical codes and notations for Greek words as used in the New Testament
- Strong’s Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, complete as published in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
- Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, also complete as in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
Here is a video provided by AMG publishers about the Key Word Study Bible:
I personally use the New American Standard Bible, though I have also purchased the English Standard Version as gifts for others. Most likely, when I do replace mine, I will go with the ESV. The Key Word Study Bible is available in several good Bible translations.
Here are a few things to note. First, none of the available translations are specifically Messianic Bible versions. You won’t see any Hebrew words or names in the text like you would find in the Complete Jewish Bible or Tree of Life Version (both good Bibles for the Messianic believer to read). Be prepared to see the name “Jesus,” and if you can’t get around that then this type of Study Bible probably isn’t for you anyway.
Second, this is not an interlinear Bible. The text is completely in English (unless you happen to find the Spanish RVR edition!) with the English words keyed to the appropriate Strong’s number. There are no Hebrew or Greek characters in the text, though both are shown in the dictionaries in the back. If you would like an interlinear Bible, most people use one by Jay Green. Be aware, though, that it is pretty big, the print is very tiny and you will still need a secondary language reference like a lexicon.
Finally, in these very good mainstream Bible translations you won’t find any of the Apocryphal or Deuterocanonical books. The Hebrew is, of course, based on the Masoretic texts and there are no Greek references to Old Testament (Septuagint) words. For those, the easiest way is to use software like theWord, e-Sword or MySword.
You can read a few more details on the Key Word Study Bible and find links to purchase it here.