Concordances Sermon Illustrations

Concordances Sermon Illustrations

The first Latin Bible Concordance was that of Cardinal Hugo in 1244, and the first printed Concordance in Latin was offered for sale in 1470. The first Hebrew Concordance of the Bible was completed by Rabbi Mordecai in 1523, and a year later the first German Concordance of the New Testament was produced. Nearly two centuries elapsed before the publication of the first Greek Concordance in two volumes in 1718.

When Thomas Matthews' Bible in the English language came out in print, John Warbeck of London had a desire to own one. Being far too poor to purchase such a book, he decided to borrow one from a friend and to copy it by hand. After proceeding with great care through the Pentateuch, he was turning his attention to Joshua when one day his task was interrupted by a visit from a friend named Turner.

`Tush!' quote he, 'thou goest about a vain, tedious labor. But this were a profitable work for thee, to set out a Concordance in English.'

`A Concordance!' exclaimed Marbeck, 'what is that?'

'A book to find out any word in the whole Bible by the letter, and there is such a one in Latin already,' was Turner's reply.

`But I have no learning to go about such a thing,' objected Marbeck.

`Enough for that matter,' said his friend, 'for it requireth not so much learning as diligence. And seeing thou art so painstaking a man, and one that cannot be unoccupied, it were a good exercise for thee.'

In 1550—after a great struggle—appeared a folio volume, faulty and defective, but the first Concordance to the whole English Bible, John Marbeck's work.

Several Bible Concordances were published in the Eighteenth and the Nineneeth centuries—the first edition of Cruden's in 1737, a two-volume Concordance in German in 1750, Mark Wilk's Concordance to the French Bible in 1840, Young's Analytical in 1879, Walker's in 1894, and Strong's also in 1894. Prior to Young's and Walker's Concordances Wigram had published his Concordance of the Bible in the original languages, Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek, in three volumes, adapted to the use of English-speaking students. The scholarly work of W. E. Vine, published first in 1939—an Expository Dictionary of New Testament words—combines concordance, dictionary and careful exposition in one work.

(1 Cor. 2. 13)

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