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I notice that not a lot of work is published using Goodrick-Kohlenberger numbers (though I bought an NIV that had them instead of Strong's).

What does this numbering system represent? How does it relate the NIV to the Hebrew and Greek texts it translates, and what does it contribute to textual analysis?

And how is it different from other numbering systems? It would seem odd to devise a new system if it didn't add some value, or offer something different from existing systems.

  • See the new meta post on what to do with questions like this. – ThaddeusB Sep 22 '15 at 20:07
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From the Introduction to the NIV Exhaustive Concordance [NIVEC], with some interspersed commentary:

Advances in biblical scholarship have made it difficult, if not impossible, to use Strong's century-old system. In the first place, Strong's system indexes only the vocabulary of the original-language texts that underlie the KJV.

This means some words in the Biblia Hebraica and even more in the UBS/ Nestle-Aland Greek NT are not covered by Strong's numbers.

Second, modern analysis of the biblical languages divides many words of identical spelling into two or three or more "homographs" - words with the same spelling but different meanings.

Strong did not have separate numbers for these look-alike words.

This is especially true of biblical Hebrew. Third, Strong mixed the Hebrew and Aramaic ("Chaldee") vocabularies together into one numbering scheme, whereas all modern lexicons and grammars treat them as different languages...

Finally, unlike the editor of the NASB Concordance who retained the Strong's numbers,

rather than attempt to patch up Strong's well-worn system, the editors of the NIVEC decided to make a clean break and develop a new standard for use in up-to-date biblical language reference works.

Despite the above claim, the new numbering system having been copyrighted by Zondervan, not everyone (esp. other publishers) seem willing to concede that it is as much of an improvement. Besides, Strong's system is in the public domain (therefore royalty-free as well as tweakable) and has a century of familiarity behind it. Thus we have Zondervan themselves publishing works that make use of the G/K numbers: The NIDNTT Abridged, Mounce's Greek and English Interlinear NT, NIDOTTE. An exception is Spiros Zodhiates' NIV Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (AMG Publishers).

  • Nice answer and welcome to Stack Exchange. We are glad you are here. When you have a chance, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is not a comment on the quality of your answer, which is fine, but rather a standard welcome message. – ThaddeusB Oct 19 '15 at 17:44
  • Thanks for the info. But if the new system is more accurate and complete, why isn't it being adopted? – Steve Owens Oct 21 '15 at 12:28
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    The new numbering system being copyrighted by Zondervan, not everyone (esp. other publishers) might concede that it is as much of an improvement as it claims, since Strong's system is in the public domain (therefore royalty-free as well as tweakable) and has a century of familiarity behind it. So we have Zondervan themselves publishing works that make use of the G/K numbers: The NIDNTT Abridged, Mounce's Greek and English Interlinear NT, NIDOTTE. – Manoj Ebenezer Oct 21 '15 at 14:04
  • Ahhhhh. Thanks, Manoj. The copyright issue does make a lot of sense. – Steve Owens Oct 21 '15 at 20:42
  • Back in 2006, I co-wrote a paper on the issues with both Strongs and G/K: academia.edu/19660777/… – James Tauber Mar 29 '17 at 1:36

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