Biblical Archaeology Review 23:6, November/December 1997

Electronic Echoes: Using Computer Concordances for Bible Study

By Alan F. Segal

(For Eugene Schwartz)

Have you tried those wonderful computerized Biblical concordance programs? They’re a modern miracle. With them, you can find lots of interesting connections to enrich sermons and personal Bible study. But are the programs useful in scholarly study? And can a layperson successfully do research with them?

I have tried many concordance programs and can tell you. Also, I made friends with a layperson who used the programs to explore some interesting scholarly hypotheses. Let me tell you how it happened.

In 1993, I met Eugene Schwartz, an advertising executive; he and his wife were knowledgeable and avid collectors of contemporary art. Among Gene’s wide-ranging interests were Biblical studies and religion in general. He wrote You Are Not Far From the Kingdom of God,1 a well-received book that used traditional printed concordances to show parallels between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Before he died of a stroke in September 1995, Gene and I did some very interesting work with computerized Bible concordances, which I would like to convey to you in his memory.

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