Re: Participles and Computer searches

From: Jim Poulsen (
Date: Thu Mar 25 1999 - 10:15:42 EST

The following paragraph from Randy Leedy's review of Logos and Bibleworks
might help explain some of the differences in the statistical results. Randy
offered the full text to anyone who wanted it and I found it to be an
exceptionally well written review of great assistance in deciding between
Bibleworks and Logos. Bible software is a significant investment (in both
$$$ and future time) and this kind of thorough review is greatly
appreciated. Thanks Randy, you've helped me (and I'm sure many others)
decide which resource best meets their needs.

I know there are a number of pastors/preachers on this forum and I wonder if
anyone has references for evaluations of sermon preparation and illustration
organizing software. Any info you have would be greatly appreciated by this
"little greeker". Please reply off-forum if this type of information isn't
suitable for publication on this forum. I'd also be interested in any forums
that deal primarily with homiletics.


--- Jim Poulsen

[*] By Randy A. Leedy. This is a pre-publication version of the review,
appeared in the Fall, 1996 issue of Biblical Viewpoint, the semi-annual
journal of the School of Religion of Bob Jones University. Copyright, 1996,
Bob Jones University; all rights reserved.

... "The fact that the two programs use New Testament morphological
differing in philosophy brings about apparent discrepancies that raise
questions about accuracy. For example, LOGOS finds 1,625 imperatives in the
Greek New Testament, while BIBLEWORKS finds 1,833. The difference is due to
the fact that the Friberg system of morphology used in BIBLEWORKS includes
many words a functional parsing as well as a formal one. For example,
instances of imperatival future indicative and prohibitory aorist
are tagged with two parsings, one of which identifies the word as an
imperative.[13] LOGOS, on the other hand, uses the morphological database
prepared by the Gramcord Institute, which employs the traditional,
tagging system only. Problems with the Friberg morphology may extend beyond
philosophy, though. For example, the parsing given for EKPEIRASEIS in
4:7 is aorist imperative, but for PROSKUNHSEIS and LATREUSEIS in verse 10
tense is given as present.[14] BIBLEWORKS users who prefer the traditional
parsing scheme will, at best, be constantly irritated by unexpected search
results and having to think differently than they are accustomed to think.
Furthermore, the clutter of undesired hits in some searches will invalidate
the statistical reports."

-----Original Message-----
From: clayton stirling bartholomew <>
To: Biblical Greek <>
Date: Thursday, March 25, 1999 7:49 PM
Subject: Re: Participles and Computer searches

>Peter Head wrote:
>> Theodore "Ted" Mann asked:
>> "Can anyone tell me which NT document contains the greatest number of
>> participles?"
>> We were privileged to receive two answers. One (from Alan Hultberg) had
>> searched Accordance. The other (from Eric Cohoon) had searched
>> BibleWorks 3.5.
>> The two lists could only agree on five out of twenty-seven NT
>> documents!! The differences are up to 20%. Either this proves we should
>> pay no attention to such statistics, or that we need to think rather
>> carefully about who constructed the databases and what we are asking the
>> engines to search for.
>There are a number of issues here. I think (not sure) that BibleWorks
>uses the Friberg Tagged NT for its statistics and I know that Accordance
>uses the Gramcord Tagged NT. There are some nuances to building a tagged
>text which make statistical results different.
>Anyone who used the original tagged LXX files from U Penn. can tell you
>that tagged texts can contain errors. When I was working in
>Ecclesiastics in the LXX I found about an error per verse. Now the
>tagged NT texts used for Accordance are a whole lot better than this. I
>have not gone looking for errors in the Tagged GNT but I use the system
>a lot and have not encountered more than one or perhaps two. So I would
>suspect that the difference has to do with the tagging system.
>The search construction for finding participles in Accordance is so
>simple that there isn't much possibility of making an error in building
>your construction. It took me about 10-15 seconds to construct and do
>this search which produced exactly the results that you reported in your
>Accordance had a user's listserver at one time. If it still exists, you
>might get someone to ask their technical people to explain the details
>to you about the differences between the various tagging systems.
>Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
>Three Tree Point
>P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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