Friday, March 26, 2010

Logos Search Exercise: A Response

It's time to earn my keep as a contributor here. Life has been busy and has taken some unexpected turns.

MVGH threw down the gauntlet when he posted his article BibleWorks Search Exercise. David Lang responded for Accordance here. Logos users were also issued the challenge but I haven’t seen anyone take it up yet.

Here’s my attempt to "try to find the Greek words used to express a concept in English."

Specifically to answer these questions, What happened to Jesus after he was crucified and buried? He ______ from the dead! What words might you put in that blank? Rose? Was raised? Is risen? What Greek word(s) are behind our English wordings? How will you determine this? There are a number of possible ways to do so...
Although there are a several possible ways to do this, like David Lang I offer the simplest way in Logos 4. (Caveat: I am running the latest beta of 4.0c so your screen may not match, but the steps should work in versions post-4.0a).

0. MVGH suggested using a version tagged with Strong’s numbers. Since Logos offers several Bible versions as “Reverse Interlinears” (currently, KJV, ESV, Lexham, NASB, NKJV, NLT and NRSV) and the goal is to discover Greek words for seminary students studying Greek, I recommend using one of those “Reverse Interlinear” versions.

1. Open a Search window, select Bible search, set preferred “Reverse Interlinear” (NASB to match MGVH) to search and, since we are specifically looking for a Greek word, set search range to New Testament.



2. Since I might put any of “rose”, “was raised”, or “is risen” in the blank of “He ______ from the dead!”, I enter the following terms in the Find box (raised, risen, rose) [133 results in 125 verses]. Separating the terms with commas is the same as using an OR operator to match any terms. Enclosing the search terms in parentheses makes further refinements to the search results easier.



3. Perusing the search results reveals the power and the limitation of the “Match all word forms” option. Results include “raised”, “raise”, “raises”, and “raising” matching “raised” as well as “risen” and “rose”. What is missing are the other forms of “risen” such as, “rise”, “rises”, and “rising”. “Match all word forms” enabled is the default setting, so I assumed above that it was already set. If not, click on the large magnifying glass icon in the top left corner of the search window and ensure that there is a check mark beside the “Match all word forms” option. However smart "Match all word forms" is, it doesn't get all conjugations.

4. To expand the search results to include forms of “rise”, edit the Find box to (raised, risen, rose, rise) [164 results in 156 verses].



Substituting “rise” for “risen” won’t work though, because searching for all word forms of “rise” will not find “risen”. A wildcard could be introduced such as MGVH and David Lang did; however, searching for “ris*” also finds “risked” and “risking”. While these can be filtered by other means such as the “death” term, I would rather not deliberately include false positives only to later filter them out. For example, I found that Philippians 2:30 where “risking” matches “ris*” is not filtered out with the “death” filter.

5. To focus the search results on those instances where “rise” is used in the sense of “resurrection”, I can include “death” and “dead” in the search terms by editing the Find box to (raised, risen, rose, rise) (dead, death). [132 results in 59 verses]



6. Perusing the search results reveals a few false positives (e.g., Matt. 10:21, Mark 13:12). These could be filtered out by using a WITHIN operator such as David Lang did; however, for me the medicine is too strong. Editing the Find box to (raised, risen, rose, rise) WITHIN 5 WORDS (dead, death) excludes relevant passages such as Acts 2:24, Acts 5:30, Romans 4:24, 1 Corinthians 15:13, 42.

7. To find the Greek word(s) behind our English wordings, select the Analysis search results view. Now the search results can be played with. By dragging the Result column heading to the top, search results are grouped first by the search result. By dragging the Lemma column heading to the top, search results are grouped second by the Greek lemma. Right-clicking on one of the group headings and selecting Summary view reveals that the relevant Greek verbs are ἐγείρω, and ἀνίστημι.



G1453 and G450 for the Strong’s Number crowd!



For those interested in Louw-Nida numbers that column heading can be dragged to the top to summarize the search results in that way, revealing that the relevant L-N number is 23.94, Physiological Process and States – Live, Die.

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