Tuesday, February 12, 2008

BibleWorks7 Graphical Search Engine

On the BibleWorks forum a search matter was raised that could probably be best handled using the Graphical Search Engine (GSE). Coincidentally, the latest BibleWorks7 Classroom Tip focuses on the GSE and details a neat way of finding locations of postpositive particles. One powerful feature of the GSE that is mentioned in the BW7 Help but is not really well demonstrated is how to search using Louw-Nida domains. If you recall, the Louw-Nida Lexicon organizes words into related groups of meanings. In the video example I provide here, I am looking for all the instances of "want, will, wish, desire..." in Philippians. (For a full size version that you can actually see, click here.)
While the use of Louw-Nida domains is quite inclusive--note that it includes nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. in its word groups--it does not necessarily include everything for which you may be looking. In Philippians, e.g., this search does not return 1.22 where Paul, reflecting on whether he ends up living or dying concludes by saying, "I do not know which I prefer." You would think that "prefer" would be included in that domain #25A of "desire, wish, will...," but in 1.22 the verb used is αιρεω, and in this situation, it has been grouped in domain #30F of "choose, select, prefer."

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