Monday, December 12, 2011

Searching for Greek Semantic Domains Using Louw-Nida in Accordance, BibleWorks, and Logos

In the previous post, I indicated how to go about searching for Greek roots in order to get a broader view of how a particular concept is presented by an author. While Accordance makes such a search quite simple (it's harder in Logos and would take even more work in BibleWorks), I also noted that what a person may really want is not a search based on word roots but one based on a particular concept or idea. What this means is that we really want to search on semantic domains. In my work, I want to do a domain search as often or more as I want to do a root search. For the Greek New Testament, this means that I want to use Louw-Nida's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. (This resource is standard in BibleWorks and is standard with any of the Greek NT packages in Accordance or Logos. Not too much has changed since an earlier review I did.) 

In the preface of this excellent lexicon it states its purpose:
This Greek New Testament lexicon based on semantic domains has been designed primarily for translators of the New Testament in various languages, but biblical scholars, pastors, and theological students will no doubt also find this lexicon of particular value, since it focuses on the related meanings of different words.
What Louw and Nida did was take every word in the NT and assign it to groupings of concepts (= semantic domains), so that one could compare words that are related conceptually but not lexically (i.e., by word roots). To continue the goal of the previous post where we were searching for roots related to κρινω in James, here is what a search for κρινω looks like in Accordance, BibleWorks, and Logos

Accordance: The search brings up the results (use the Show Paragraph), and the Browser can be expanded to show the organization.

BibleWorks: The search actually brings up the first instance of κρινω in the lexicon, but the middle pane on the left provides access to the other occurrences. 

Logos: The search actually just brings up the entry listings for κρινω in the lexicon, and from here you click on the entry that matches the concept you desire.

You will also see in the screenshots that I have located domain 56, "Courts and Legal Procedures," and its subdomain E, "Judge, Condemn, Acquit," which includes fifteen entries: 56.20-56.34. If it is the concept of "judging" (and not just the words whose roots are κρινω) we want to find in James, then what we want to do is search for all the words in this subdomain. 

So, those screenshots show me what group of words I'm looking for.
How do I go about conducting a search for words in a domain in the Bible software programs?

Accordance: Apparently it is not possible in Accordance to search the Greek NT by Louw-Nida domains. (Someone may have found a way...)

BibleWorks makes it quite easy to conduct Louw-Nida domain searches. First select a morphology Greek version (e.g., BGM, BNM, GNM...) and then right click in the command line. The popup offers an option of "Insert Louw-Nida Domain Code." Clicking on it opens a box with the LN domains, and it is easy to search for domains with a particular word or to browse through the domains to find the one you want.
Additionally, if you want to search multiple (sub)domains, you can use an OR search and simply type in, using angle brackets, the additional ones you want. As usual, BW is quite fast. A search for all the words in the NT in subdomains 56.20-56.34 took less than a second and returned 332 hits.

Logos isn't quite as straightforward as BW, and there are actually a couple ways of obtaining the desired results.
  • You can use a Syntax search and use the Lexham Syntactic Greek NT. When the search dialog opens and you start a new query, first add a Word. Among the options that are available, you can search for LN Domains (e.g., domain 56 on "Courts and Legal Procedures"), Subdomains (e.g., subdomain 56E on "Judge, Condemn, Acquit"), or Articles (e.g., 56.20 on "make legal decision). Unfortunately, Logos does not display any of those headings, so you need to first have consulted LN to find out which domain or subdomain or article you want. You can mix search categories using an OR command. As you can see above, a search for an article OR a subdomain in James took less than 5 seconds (a search on just subdomain 56E in James took less than a second), and Logos does return a nicely highlighted display of results in both the Greek and another version of your choice.
  • You can also use a Bible search using one of the Lexham Greek NTs and simply type in the command line in angle brackets the domain range you want (along with boolean operators for multiple ranges). As you can see below, a search for domains 56.20-34 in James took about a second. The advantage of conducting your search this was is that you have the option of displaying the results in a Grid, by Verses (with a Greek / English parallel if you wish), Aligned, or Analysis view as shown in the graphic.

A couple other related matters... 
BOTTOM LINE: BibleWorks has the most straightforward way of searching on Louw-Nida domains. Logos has more options in searching and especially in its display of results. Accordance is unable to conduct this kind of search.

Next: What about domain searches in Hebrew?

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