In the past, we’ve explained the difference between a Strong’s concordance and a cross reference, but if you’re using a Strong’s tagged Bible, you can enhance your study by combining it with a cross reference. It’s very easy to do! Strong’s tagged Bibles are great for learning about the breadth of use of a specific Greek or Hebrew word; a cross reference is useful for finding other verses related to the topic at hand. In the Olive Tree App, we make it a breeze to combine these tools for your convenience. So let’s do it!

Let’s say you’re working with a text like Matthew 1:1. Firstly, you open your Strong’s Tagged Bible (like this NASB) and get to reading. As you go through this genealogy, you have a few options.

Matthew strong's
  • Tapping the blue words give you the Strong’s number and dictionary definition
  • The green numbers give annotations
  • The green letters give you cross references

Because the Bible was written in multiple languages, Strong’s numbers can only get you so far. But cross references get you the rest of the way, taking you back to referenced verses and similar ideas brought up in a different book or language. This way, you can move past a word study and study the Bible conceptually.

Study Conceptually

To study biblical concepts like “love” or “anger“, you need to equip yourself with both a Strong’s concordance and a cross reference tool. We suggest moving beyond the ones annotated in your Bible, to larger and more complete collections such as the Olive Tree Cross References: Expanded Set.

Let’s take a look at Exodus 34:6-7. We see that God describes Himself as “abounding in lovingkindness and truth, who keeps lovingkindness for thousands”.

strong's and cross reference

As you can see, we have the Strong’s tagged Bible on the left and cross references on the right. You can tap on “lovingkindness” here to see the Strong’s dictionary definition.

strong's number hesed cross reference

This handy window allows us to browse the Strong’s Dictionary and also look at other uses of the same Hebrew term. For a full explanation of using a Strong’s tagged Bible, read our guide here. It appears that חֶסֶד (hesed) had a general range of meaning surrounding mercy, kindness, lovingkindness, and goodness. Now that we’ve established the Hebrew usage of lovingkindness (חֶסֶד), let’s take a look at what the New Testament writers have said on the topic. In the Expanded Cross Reference Set, we will then tap a New Testament reference, Romans 2:4.

nasb strong's bible

This is where it gets interesting. We are looking at the same Strong’s tagged Bible, meaning we can then tap on “kindness” to see the Greek word.

greek kindness strong's cross reference

This strategy is a fantastic time saver, as it allows you to quickly jump through to different verses, words, and resources. However, these tools do not replace an education and can be misused, which is why it is important to reference well-established Bible scholars and theologians.

Have you use a strong’s tagged Bible with a cross reference set? Share your experience in the comments below!

Strong’s + Cross References

The name of the game is efficiency. If you combine the functionality of a Strong’s tagged Bible and a handy set of cross references, then you can spend less time getting muddled in the details and more time focusing on what the Word is saying. Looking for some good titles to get started with? Then add these to your library today:

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