Two of my favorite gospel study tools are the Websters 1828 Dictionary and a Strong’s Concordance. Back before I had a smartphone I used to use website versions of these tools that you can still access under the tools menu here at oneClimbs.
For quite a while now I’ve been using app versions of these tools as they are much more convenient and efficient. I have an iPhone but I believe there are Droid versions of similar apps if you look hard enough. The first app is called simply “Strongs KJV” and it’s very simple, free and gets the job done. I used the free one for a while but got tired of the ad at the beginning and just paid the $4.99 for the full app which I felt was worth it.
If you aren’t familiar with a Strong’s Bible, it’s basically a King James Bible that has most of the words linked to their Hebrew and Greek equivalents. So you can search for a word or just read along and then click on a word to find out what that word means in Hebrew or Greek. Useful? Incredibly.
I find it helpful when reading the Book of Mormon and coming across curious words. Since I know that original language of the Book of Mormon was Hebrew (It was Hebrew written in modified Egyptian characters), I’ll look for the same word in the Old Testament and explore it’s meaning. The basic app is free and I enjoyed it like that just fine for quite a while.
The Websters 1828 Dictionary
I’m a huge fan of this dictionary on many levels. It was the first American dictionary and published just before the Church was organized. I believe one of the key benefits of this dictionary is that it preserves the English language as understood around Joseph Smith’s time.
I think this is important in really understanding the English of the Book of Mormon which was published right around the same time period. It is staggering to see how many of the words we use today have changed since the 1800’s. So having an 1828 dictionary on hand gives you quite the advantage when exploring the meaning of words as used in the Book of Mormon.
I also enjoy the fact that the definitions are closely associated with the Bible and there are many definitions that, to me, are flat out amazing. I particularly enjoy his definition for “will”
WILL: That faculty of the mind by which we determine either to do or forbear an action; the faculty which is exercised in deciding, among two or more objects, which we shall embrace or pursue. The will is directed or influenced by the judgment. The understanding or reason compares different objects, which operate as motives; the judgment determines which is preferable, and the will decides which to pursue. In other words, we reason with respect to the value or importance of things; we then judge which is to be preferred; and we will to take the most valuable. These are but different operations of the mind, soul, or intellectual part of man. Great disputes have existed respecting the freedom of the will. Will is often quite a different thing from desire.
A modern dictionary reads:
WILL: used to express desire, choice, willingness, consent, or in negative constructions refusal
Which do you like better? Just for fun, here’s another one. Look at the definition for “selfishly” in the 1828 Dictionary:
SELFISHLY: The exclusive of a person to his own interest or happiness; or that supreme self-love or self-preference, which leads a person in his actions to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power or happiness, without regarding the interest of others. Selfishness, in its worst or unqualified sense, is the very essence of human depravity, and it stands in direct opposition to benevolence, which is the essence of the divine character. As God is love, so man, in his natural state, is selfishness.
Noah Webster’s definitions seem to look at the word from a doctrinal or gospel sense in many cases, which to me is kind of refreshing. A lot of his ‘doctrine’ is amazingly right on in so many instances.
So there’s my recommendation for two apps that will add a ton to your gospel study.
What do you think?
- Do you use a Strong’s KJV or 1828 Dictionary for gospel study?
- How do you use either of these tools now?
- What ways have you found that these tools enhance your study experiences?