Re: Participles and Computer searches

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Thu Mar 25 1999 - 14:46:04 EST

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

--- B-Greek home page: You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [] To unsubscribe, forward this message to To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:21 EDT