I continue to see English speakers using Strong’s as an end-all tool for Biblical investigation. If you know me, I’m constantly urging the inquisitive to go back to the original language in order to discern the full meaning.
Strong’s is not a word-for-word transliteration; but rather, a pronunciation key. Below, Dr. Michael Heiser explains these issues in an article for WND.
Using Strong’s Concordance and its dictionary, familiar tools for many readers, the speaker asserts that Jesus would have uttered the words of Luke 10:18 “in Hebrew” and then goes on to focus on the words for “lightning” and “heights”/”heavens.” The word for “lightning” in Hebrew, we are told, is “barawk,” sounding suspiciously like the president’s name, Barack. Here’s where knowledge of the alphabet and what Strong’s English letter spelling is for would have kept the speaker from embarrassment. The English spelling of Barack Obama’s first name ends with “ck.” This is the way English letters account for the foreign Semitic letter “k” (kaph in Hebrew; kaf in Arabic). This means that the consonants in “Barack” are b-r-k. Unfortunately, the word for “lightning” in Hebrew isn’t spelled with the consonants b-r-k (Hebrew originally had no vowels, so it’s the consonants that matter here). Rather, it is spelled b-r-q. In Hebrew (and Arabic) “k” and “q” are two entirely different letters, thought they sort of sound the same, just as in English. The root consonants b-r-k mean “blessing” as a noun, “blessed” as an adjective, and “to bless” when a verb form is in view. “Barack” in Arabic (or Hebrew) means “blessing,” not “lightning.” This alone severs the connection the speaker in the video seeks to make.
Mike Heiser holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and works with a dozen ancient languages. He is well known to the online community through his popular supernatural thriller, “The Façade“; numerous radio appearances on Coast to Coast AM to discuss bizarre Bible interpretations by occultists, UFO and alien astronaut theorists, and “The DaVinci Code”; and his blogs PaleoBabble and The Naked Bible.