Potts Concordance

The Potts Concordance* was an invaluable resource for the study of the Heavenly Doctrine for very many years. Then along came personal computers, and as a result most students of the Doctrine use programs such as NewSearch or the Kempton Project. Such programs are also an invaluable resource.

The Potts Concordance, though, is still of great use as a study tool. For one thing, It was compiled by a mind, not a machine. Try looking up the word “and” in a search program, and you will be flooded. Go to Potts and you will find five references that speak of why the word “and” occurs so frequently in the Old Testament. Potts provides more “targeted” search results. Another thing about Potts: the entries are based on the underlying Latin words. In some English translations, particularly more recent ones, one word in Latin might be translated in a variety of ways in English. Not only will the reader often assume there is distinction being made between different terms (not knowing that too often the distinction is at the whim of the translator, often clouding the underlining meaning), but it can also be hard to track down all the occurrences of the original word in a program that searches the English text. With Potts, though, each series of entries is indexed under one unique Latin word.

Certainly search programs have their uses, but for serious research into the Heavenly Doctrine we suggest you also use Potts.

If you do not own a set of Potts, there is a scanned and searchable version available online for free at Google. Unfortunately, a search will bring up many entries, not just the particular article you wish to focus on. Go here for this online version.

Words for the New Church offers a PDF version with bookmarks added by the Rev. William H. Clifford. It is a six volume set. Open a volume and open the bookmarks on the left. You can use the bookmarks to help you navigate by first and second letters to the specific entry you wish. Access this set here.


* J. F. Potts, The Swedenborg Concordance. A Complete Work of Reference to the Theological Works of Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedenborg Society 1888).