Re: searching for Colwell

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Wed Nov 25 1998 - 10:19:30 EST

thomas j logan wrote on Wed, 18 Nov 1998 18:02:25 -0500
>To All
>I have been trying Colwell type searches (anarthrous noun copulative
>verb arthrous noun) using logos. I am getting some strange results. Has
>anyone tried this? What did you use as a search argument? Were all
>hits valid or are some invalid hits normal? Has anyone tried this
>search or Granville Sharp type searches on other software i.e.
>bibleworks or gramcord.
>in Christ


I just returned last night (late) from ETS/SBL and saw your note on the
list. I noted the string searches that BWorks users had posted to
solve the problem. Let me assure you that both Accordance (GRAMCORD
for the Mac) and GRAMCORD for Windows can do this search and do it
correctly. I can't send you any "string/boolean" or any other such
programmer-eze, since GRAMCORD has never used that type of approach
to searching...we use a simple template in which you choose multiple
elements in columns from pull down lists and check boxes. To be able
to run such a search a program must be able to do the following things
(which GRAMCORD has always been able to do): 1) Search in clauses, not
verses (grammar is usually narrower or longer than a verse boundary), 2)
be search order and position specific, ie., if you can't specify ALL of
the elements to be searched fir in a specific position and order, then
whatever you describe for a specific element will become invalidated
in a search like this one (or Granville-Sharp, where order specificity
is crucial), 3) you must be able to specify gender number case agreement
between specific (and position specific) elements (which you ignored
above), 4) you must be able to disallow a specific element at a specific
position that is in concord with other valid elements; in you example
you must be able to disallow two articles which agree in G/N/C with
the nouns. All of this GRAMCORD can do (without even breathing hard),
and lots more, and by being very specific as you can with GRAMCORD,
you won't have to search through pages of invalid hits.

BTW, as far as finding Colwell constructions, what you are asking for
is not going to find all of the possible hits, since all the construction
says is that the predicate precedes the verb, which means that the subject
may or may not. This means that you need to run two searches simultaneously
and combine the results (which you can with GRAMCORD; actually you can run
6 or more at the same time if you really need to).

If you want me to send you a list of hits, I'll be happy to...


Dale M. Wheeler, Ph.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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