Perhaps you are wondering about our references to the Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, generally known as Strong's Concordance. ?In 1890, Professor James Strong, a Methodist theologian, published an exhaustive (or complete) concordance for every single word in the King James Bible. A person may look up a word in an English scripture and find its original Hebrew or Greek word used in the ancient manuscripts. Then the concordance defines the word and lists every verse where that Hebrew or Greek word is used in the Bible. 

For example, let’s say you are reading Genesis 2:7 (KJV), “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” And you wonder about the word “soul.” So, you look up soul and find it in Genesis 2:7. Soul is Strong’s Hebrew word H5315, nephesh. Strong’s briefly defines it as  “properly, a breathing creature.” 

Nephesh is used 753 times in the Old Testament. We learn it appears in Genesis 1:21, “And God created great whales, and every living creature (nephesh) that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly,…” Thus, sea creatures are nephesh. The Bible teaches that land animals are also nephesh. Genesis 1:24, “And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature (nephesh) after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.”

Thus, from looking up the word nephesh in Strong’s Concordance, we learn that creatures with life or breath – sea animals, land animals, and man – are all souls! No where was it written that animals were given souls, but that they are souls. And when the breath of life (Genesis 2:7) leaves animals and man, the living being or soul (nephesh) dies. It ceases to exist. Ecclesiastes 3:19 (NKJV), “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.”

Today, you can find a free Strong's Concordance online. 


We offer a free popular booklet that gives principles helpful for Bible study, with an explanation of how to use Strong’s concordance. Other Bible study techniques are illustrated and examples are given. You will be given a short overview of God’s purpose in creating mankind and His ultimate desire to perfect all the willing and obedient of the human family.

Download PDF: "How to Study the Bible"