SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS
A cross-reference is a verse in scripture that links to the same theme, word, or subject mentioned in the verse (or passage) in the one being read.
For example, a cross-reference for:
John 17:17 YLT – “sanctify them in Thy truth, Thy word is truth.”
Is Psalm 119:160 YLT – “The sum of Thy word is truth, And to the age is every judgment of Thy righteousness!”
You’ll notice that in both verses, the word “truth” is used, and the subject is YHVH’s Word.
Cross-references can also be connected to a chapter of scripture as well, not just a singular verse.
Here’s another example: Mark 15:36 tells us that right before Jesus’ death on the cross (or, stake, if you prefer), a sponge of vinegar was put on a reed and given to him to drink.
If you go back to the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), Psalm 69:21 prophesies this very thing happening to Christ – generations in advance.
Cross-references tie together singular verses to help us better understand the bigger picture of scripture.
Each individual verse will always confirm, and never contradict the truth of the YHVH's Word.
Without them, we’d be tempted to come to our own conclusions on what Scripture says and thereby we’d be more susceptible to error, due to the bias, organizational dogma and human traditions that we have been taught from childhood.
Cross-references also help us to better understand the passage we’re reading by showing its meaning through a different light.
If there’s ever a verse that seems unclear in meaning, turn to cross-references, and see if you can gain a better understanding of what you’re reading.
You may be surprised at how much Scripture repeats itself!
It’s truly amazing how YHVH’s Word stands infallible on its own without the need of any outside interpretation, resource, or opinion of man down to every last verse.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, (also known as the TSK), first published in the 1800s is by far one of the best resources for finding cross-references in the Bible.
Another way you can locate these is by going to other websites such as www.openbible.info, www.blueletterbible.org, or even in the margins of your printed Bible’s pages.
Once you find a cross-reference, note what you observe and how it relates to the original verse you’re reading.
Then you can ask yourselves questions about the correlating verses such as who, what, when, where, and why.
Asking these questions can help us to view the verses within their proper context, while guarding us from the dangers of misinterpretation.
When finding cross-references, you may notice that some verses relate to each other better than others, but remember that cross-references point us to search for relevance in the original Hebrew and Greek language, not always in the English language.
We must let scripture interpret scripture.
If we don’t agree with this foundational truth, we can find ourselves coming up with our own extra-biblical interpretations.
We need to be careful to not come to our own conclusions and declare them as true when it hasn’t been tested against the truth of Scripture.
If we disregard cross-references, we also disregard the beautiful connections placed by YHVH to show us the reliability, power, and intricate storyline of His Word.
God’s Word stands firm under any opposition, and as Hebrews 4:12-13 says:
Hebrews 4:12-13 YLT
(12) for the reckoning of God is living, and working, and sharp above every two-edged sword, and piercing unto the dividing asunder both of soul and spirit, of joints also and marrow, and a discerner of thoughts and intents of the heart;
(13) and there is not a created thing not manifest before Him, but all things are naked and open to His eyes—with whom is our reckoning.
These promises, truths, and eternal treasures have been revealed and made accessible to us by the working of the Holy Spirit – let’s discover them!
Like the Bereans,
Acts 17:11 YLT
(11) and these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, they received the word with all readiness of mind, every day examining the Writings whether those things were so;
Cross references help us grow in the discipline of inductive study, that is, deriving the Bible teaching on a subject by looking at the total of what the Bible has to say on that subject in many places.
In the Summary Notes, many of the cross references are identified according to their pertinence to a particular word or phrase.
Notice the red circles (there are NOT in the Summary Notes, but are here for clarification only).
Beside the Book, chapter and verse is an abbreviation, YLT, of from what translation this verse is quoted.
The next circle is around a verse with symbol, in this case, an asterisk ( * ), preceding it.
There are many symbols to assist you in determining which cross references may be most important to your studies.
The next circle is around a Strong's number, G1515.
The first stop for previous generations of preachers, scholars, and readers of Scripture in their study of any word in the Bible was the Strong’s Concordance.
First published in 1890, Strong’s is a massive index of every English word in the King James Version of the Bible.
Each corresponding word in the original language is marked with a unique number, allowing the user to both identify the underlying Hebrew or Greek term and see every verse in the King James Version of the Bible using that term.
The exhaustive coverage presented in Strong’s continues to offer English speakers today a better understanding of YHVH's Word through direct access to the original languages.
The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (2010) is the latest iteration of this resource.
The last red circle is around an open bracket ( [ ), indicating a non-Scriptural explanation).
Understanding the following symbols and abbreviations used in the Cross-Referenced Scriptures are helpful to understand and receive the most benefit from these Scriptures.
An explanation of each symbol follows:
* placed before a cross reference marks a very clear reference where the connection is usually immediately obvious. You encouraged to study these cross references first. As more experience is gained, all the cross references may be studied. Another important benefit of this emphasis marking is that when time is limited, these cross references are the most helpful to consider when time will not permit studying them all.
** placed before a cross reference indicates a critically clear, very significant reference which should not be missed.
+ This symbol means “find more here” and marks where more cross references can be found at another main reference point on the same subject; also may mark where a set of references to the underlying Greek or Hebrew word is located, and for names, where the main entry for the name is to be found.
Following this symbol three layers deep in the cross references will lead to a very full study, what some call “digging deeper.”
After reading the cross-references given for a verse, "dig deeper" by following where the references marked by the + symbol lead:
1. The “first layer” involves following the references given at the starting passage marked “+” by reading the cross references given for each at those passages;
2. The second layer involves following where the cross references marked with the “+” at each of those second layer passages that the second layer + symbol leads to; and,
3. The third layer involves following all the “+” references given that the third layer verses with the + sign lead to.
After this much study you will have covered the related subjects very thoroughly.
This process of following where successive “+” symbols lead will also work to find a verse you know is “somewhere” when you cannot recall any specific words from the verse so a concordance cannot be used to find it: just find any verse in the Bible that has anything to do with the subject, and usually using the above process of following the + symbol will get you to the desired verse fairly quickly.
+* marks where still more references on this subject or topic are located.
*+ marks a clear reference which also serves as a main reference point.
+** marks either a very thorough collection of references or a set of references which are most important to read.
% marks a reference which contrasts in some way, perhaps another aspect of the subject, or a reference to the opposite subject.
= marks a type or an antitype.
A TYPE is a picture in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) which is fulfilled in some way by a person, thing, or event in the Greek Scriptures (New Testament).
An ANTITYPE is the Greek Scriptures person, thing, or event which fulfills the picture in the Hebrew Scriptures (see Joh_19:36).
=> type or antitype identified on Biblical authority (see 1Co_5:7).
> marks quotations in the Greek Scriptures from the Old Testament as well as at Hebrew Scriptures passages the fact that they are quoted in the Greek Scriptures, and sometimes where the Hebrew Scriptures or the Greek Scriptures quotes itself.
<a marks an allusion to another Hebrew or Greek Scripture passage (see 1Ti_6:7).
<rp identifies quotations from the Pentateuch in the prophets (see Isa_1:2).
$ identifies references which mark the fulfillment of prophecy.
# indicates a strict parallel passage, as in the Gospels, or the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Parallel texts in Proverbs are also marked. These have not been noted exhaustively, but only selectively.
S# marks a reference to a New Strong’s Expanded and Exhaustive Concordance (aka, Strong's) lexical entry number for Hebrew or Greek words.
YHVH = H3068
Yeshua = G2424
*S# placed before a Strong’s number (*S# H2312) indicates that all the occurrences of the original Hebrew or Greek word so marked are given here.
+S# placed before a Strong’s number (+S# G2313) indicates that all the occurrences to the Hebrew or Greek word which are relevant or parallel to the use there are given.
( ) When a cross-reference in a figure-of-speech listing is placed in parentheses, this indicates that the figure is not apparent in English versions (KJV, YLT = Young’s Literal Translation, or Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible) and so is not cross-referenced back to the explanation of the figure at the passage so listed.
( ) In a series of references to a Hebrew or Greek word identified by its Strong’s number, the English translation is given in parentheses when the word is rendered differently in a particular reference.
( ) An English word in parentheses after a verse reference lets the reader know which word in the verse translates the same underlying Hebrew or Greek word even when the Strong’s number is not given.
( ) A word placed in parentheses in connection with the figure of speech Ellipsis indicates the word is not present in the original language, but is to be supplied in accordance with the figure of speech as indicated.
[ ] Brackets enclose references to the original Greek words to separate verbal references to the original language word from the normal subject-related cross-references.
A.M. Anno Mundi, in Bible chronology, the year from the creation of Adam (see Gen_4:3).
An.Ex.Is. In Bible chronology, years since the exodus of Israel from Egypt.
B.C. In chronology, the year before Christ.
BDBG The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Gesenius Hebrew Aramaic English Lexicon.
CB Companion Bible. This scholarly resource has been used carefully with reserve because of its editor’s materialistic theology and hyper-dispensational theology.
CLV Concordant Literal Version Bible
EGT Expositor’s Greek Testament.
F/L In the book of Isaiah, sets of references to “first” (Isaiah chapters 1—39) and “last” (Isaiah chapters 40—66) portions of Isaiah are given to demonstrate the unity of the book. Words alleged by some authorities to occur in only the first portion of the book are seen to be used in the latter portion, demonstrating that the book is the work of a single author.
FS Figures of speech are identified with a reference number, such as FS148 (see the word "and" in Gen_8:22), followed by the name of the figure of speech in the main entry, or a reference to where that figure is explained, and to where all the other instances of that particular figure, or subset of that figure, can be found.
This feature is an essential aid to Bible interpretation.
The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury identifies many of the figures of speech in its margins. To learn to identify a figure when it is used, one needs to see it in many contexts until one has developed a “feel” for the figure, and can learn its characteristics well enough to be able to identify it wherever it occurs.
FS1—180 The names of the figures of speech have been alphabetized and given reference numbers from 1 to 180. Often the reference number is followed by additional letters and numbers to clearly identify the category or subcategory of the figure of speech.
F/S F/S 542 means a reference is made to page 542 of E. W. Bullinger’s Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (see at Num_11:17, keyword spirit, for FS121A3, Metonymy of the Cause). All main figure of speech entries are so keyed to Bullinger’s volume.
FWG F. W. Grant
g or h Indicates verbal references to the same Hebrew or Greek words when used after a cross-reference. After a Strong’s number, indicates whether the number refers to the Hebrew or Greek lexicon at the back of Strong’s Concordance.
ISBE International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1929, 1939, 1960)
JFB Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible.
KJV Authoritative King James Version
LNT Lavender’s New Testament, A Literal Translation of the Robinson-Pierpont Majority Text (1995), by Malcolm L. Lavender, © 2015 by R. L. Lavender. ISBN 978-0-9795014-7-0 Used by permission.
mg A reference to the marginal reading in the center column of many editions of the King James or Authorized Version of the Bible. If preceded by an Italicized or, the reading or rendering is that furnished by the KJV translators; if preceded by an unitalicized “or,” the suggested alternate reading is from another source.
MM James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament.
NAB New American Bible
NAB-A New American Bible + Aprocrypha
note Placed after a cross-reference (see Gen_2:7n) means that there is a pertinent note at that reference in this work about the subject of the reference. These notes are of great importance. Four thousand of the notes are drawn from Bagster’s Comprehensive Bible and are now also indexed alphabetically in the Notes Index, in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. This new feature employing the “n” symbol, now greatly extended, makes the many notes throughout this resource provides a unique internal cross-referencing system for the notes.
or, Italicized “or,” identifies a marginal reading supplied by the translators of the Authorized or King James Version.
or, Unitalicized “or,” identifies alternate renderings supplied by this editor from Robert Young’s Literal Translation and its accompanying Concise Critical Comments, and other sources.
S# There are selected references to the lexicon numbers of Strong’s Concordance throughout this resource, so relating information given here to other published Bible study tools keyed to Strong’s Concordance. Consult the Strong’s Number Indexes.
TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament
w ”with.” This symbol is used whenever cross-references are listed out of their normal biblical sequence in order to show important relationships between passages. These relationships would be lost if references were always cited only in their biblical order. Normally, however, references are cited in their biblical order, excepting that references are first given to the same chapter, then to the same biblical book. All other references are cited in turn in biblical order. It is a sound practice to seek first to understand the meaning of the language of an author by reference to the use of the same or similar language in the same book. The use of the abbreviation “w” has been reduced by more often spelling out “with” in full.
WKF Walter Kelly Firminger, The Epistles of St. Paul the Apostle to the Colossians and to Philemon with Introduction and Notes.
x placed after a topic number indicates the topic provides a set of proof texts used to support a false doctrine. The importance of including selected references of this category cannot be overstated. Such reference sets furnish the Bible-believing Christian with a defense against false doctrines promulgated by so-called religious organizations and deniminations. Thus, by means of these symbols you can learn the commonly cited proof texts used to support an erroneous interpretation, and by reference to the cross-references not so marked, and especially by reference to cross-references marked with a % or “contrast” symbol, one can learn the biblical answer to many of the false positions of these organizations.
x x or ? placed before or sometimes after a cross-reference indicates doubtful validity of the reference, for it is a wrong identification of the source of a quotation (see Rev_15:6), or it is a proof text underlying a mistaken doctrinal (see Gen_3:15. Gal_6:15) or prophetic interpretation (see Rev_4:1), or it is a questionable identification of a figure of speech, questionable because it is misidentified (see Gen_1:26n), or arbitrarily supports a mistaken (see Gen_24:10n) viewpoint.
YLT Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible.