Resource Spotlight: Crossway Comprehensive Concordance, ESV
I’d like to know how this one flew under my radar for so long. In 2002 Crossway published The Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the Holy Bible, English Standard Version. I’ve owned an ESV nearly as long, for about 4 years. But until yesterday, I’d never seen this thing.
My wife and I were in the big Lifeway on Hurstbourne (which has been remodeled) to check out the sale items on Black Friday, and as I was browsing through the reference section, I discovered this wonderful tome. I asked Tricia if I could have it “for Christmas,” and she said yes, so we absconded with it. This is the concordance I have been waiting for.
The concordance was compiled by William D. Mounce, author of the famed Basics of Biblical Greek textbook. Mounce also served on the translation committee for the ESV and is in an excellent position to compile yet another fantastic resource for us. He also makes the concordance somewhat simpler to use by making this a comprehensive resource rather than an exhaustive one. I like Mounce more and more each year; he’s turning out to be a very resource-oriented guy!
What’s the difference? A comprehensive concordance lists the use of every word in a Bible version except for “common-use” words such as a, about, after, also, and, the, etc. An exhaustive concordance lists these common words. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance cannot rightly be called “exhaustive” for these reasons as well, since it omits some words such as “a” or “and.”
Why use something other than Strong’s? Well, for starters, Strong’s is a King James Version concordance. It may have been edited for other versions such as the NIV or the NASB, but at its root it is a KJV book. You may not necessarily find in it the words you are looking for from a more modern version such as the ESV. Thus there will always be a need for a concordance of whatever translation one is using.
This is a great resource for those who use the ESV regularly for study and ministry. It will sit right next to my copy of Strong’s. I have said that I firmly believe the ESV will become the King James Version of this generation, and it is only appropriate that it sit next to a concordance of its forefather. The ESV is a part of the tradition of great English Bibles started by the KJV and the Tyndale Bible before it. I hope that you will take advantage of this great resource!