Syntax Search Example: What “Qualifies” another Word?

As folks who have followed these syntax search examples know, I’ve been in a home group Bible study that is going over First Thessalonians. This has served as the background for many of these syntax search examples.

In the process of doing this, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun to ask different questions of the text.

So when the study group was in 1Th 4.15, and when the word παρουσία occurs (yet again), I asked myself, “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Why did I ask that question? First, we need to define Qualifier:

Qualifier: A Qualifier is a modifier that in some way limits or constrains the scope of the word it modifies. Common examples of qualifiers are words in the genitive and dative case, and also negative particles functioning at the word group level.

Porter, S., O’Donnell, M. B., Reed, J. T., Tan, R., & OpenText.org. (2006; 2006). The OpenText.org
Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament Glossary
. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

So a Qualifier limits scope. In terms of παρουσία, which can be translated “return” or perhaps “coming”, when it occurs with a qualifier the qualifier limits the scope of the coming. Thus in phrases like “coming of the Lord”, the phrase “of the Lord” acts as the qualifier. It’s not just any “coming” or “return”, it is the return of the Lord. Just like in 1Th 4.15:

So when I ask the question “What other things qualify παρουσία?” I”m really asking “Are there any other similar sorts of ‘return’ or ‘coming’ phrases in the New Testament?” After all, to understand more how the word παρουσία is functioning here, it could help to see it operating in similar syntactic contexts — to see how παρουσία stands in relationship with other instances of words that modify it.

So I put together this video (Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound) to show how I constructed the query to find qualifiers of παρουσία.

After searching, ask yourself the question again: “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Now you have data to use when considering this question. As you evaluate the hits, you can ask further questions:

  • Are there any qualifiers that seem to repeat (hint: “his”, “of the Lord”, “of the son of man”, “of the Lord Jesus Christ”)?
  • What are the unique qualifiers (hint: 1Co 16.17; 2Co 7.6; Php 2.12, etc.)?
  • Is there anything that would allow one to say that the use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 is the same as or different from other syntactic usages?
  • If so, is 1Th 4.15 the use typical or non-typical?
  • How does the general understanding of the use of παρουσία with a qualifier in the New Testament affect how we look at the specific use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 (or does it)?

Here’s a link to the video: Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound

But note well: If you’d rather not go through the hoops of constructing the search as described in the video … just right-click the Greek word and run the Bible Word Study report. Check out the Grammatical Relationships section. One of the standard word relationships searched for is that of qualification. So this search is done automatically for you in the Bible Word Study report! No assembly required! And it even groups like qualifiers together, so you can see what repeats and what is unique just by looking at the result section.

Also note: A future post will show how to make this query even more generic and search for some things a little differently. So keep comin’ back!

Syntax: Not Just For Searching

In previous blog posts, I’ve focused on how the syntax databases we offer are used when searching, when asking questions of the text. But this is not the only use. I don’t even know if it will end up being the primary use. I was reminded about this with a recent comment on one of my posts:

These blogs are extremely helpful for things like [structure searching], but make it difficult for an average joe like me to get a search result and have confidence that all the cases of what I’m looking for would be covered. . .I’d think “what kind of clause component will this show up in that I’ll miss with this search”. Certainly, I’ll get some results I’d want, but will I get them all?

Instead of focusing more on searching, I figured I’d step back and show another use that doesn’t require any searching knowledge at all. Just being able to see the structure of the text in a different way is helpful when reading through the text.

We read through the text in translations with paragraphs/etc frequently. Reading through a syntax graph in addition to reading the text in modern translation can help us slow down when we read, and take note of not simply each word but also the things going on around each word at the clause level.

Ephesians 5.18b-21 offers a good example. I’ll give you two hints: Look only at the clauses (primary and embedded) and the verbs in those clauses, and the relationship between these things. No searching necessary. Just reading slowly paying attention to the annotated syntax.

And there’s a video (Flash, 3 megs, with sound) that provides a little more information to help in seeing how this can be done.

Here’s Eph 5.18b-21 in the ESV, just plain text. Read it in this form and try to think about the underlying structure of the text:

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5.18-21, ESV)

What can we see from just looking at the syntax here? Check out the video for more explanation, but in short, you’ll see how to:

  • View only clause information in your graph, removing some of the word group annotation since we’re just looking at clause level data here
  • Find verbs in the annotation
  • Show why this is relevant when looking at the annotation for Ephesians 5.18b-21 (which is a whole primary clause)

Update: If you’re interested in using the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament to assist as you’re reading through the text, check out this post from May 2006. It’s a handy way to work through the Greek text of, say, First John and beef up your knowledge of the syntactic goings-on at the same time!

Update II: Note that I’ve blogged again about how reading the syntax graph can help when analyzing or outlining a particular passage: Organizing an Outline with Syntax Graphs.

Bible Word Study Report Part VI: Lemma Reports

This is the sixth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study (BWS) report.
This post will look into the Lemma Report sections of the BWS report.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

The Lemma Report sections have to do with understanding how the study word (ἀναπληρόω) is used both inside of the Greek New Testament and in other Greek literature, like the LXX (Greek Old Testament) and the Works of Philo.

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Syntax Search Example: Preposition with Dative Object

On the Logos Newsgroups, a user asked a question about syntax searching:

I’d like to search for every instance of the construction in Heb 1:2 — ἐν υἱῷ – i.e. ἐν followed by noun without article … Also (I think) in 1 Thess 1:5 – ἐν λόγῳ — our gospel did not come to you not simply “by means of word\speech”

I could do a normal search, but is this a category of construction that I could find with a syntax search? If so, could someone perhaps suggest how to go about it?

The answer is a resounding “YES!” It was like a slow-pitch softball that I couldn’t resist swinging at. So I did. You can watch the video now (Flash, 9 megs, with sound) but be sure to read the rest of the post too.

I should note that I’m running 3.0a beta 2, and you may see some visual changes inside of the Syntax Search Dialog.

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How is that Hebrew or Greek Word Translated?

One feature request that we’ve had a lot in the past 10 years or so runs something like this:

So, I have this Greek word. I want to know all the ways it is translated in the New Testament. How do I do that?

Another similar question is frequently asked as well:

What are the different Greek words that get translated as this English word in the New Testament?

We couldn’t always answer these questions before. In some ways, we could use Strong’s numbers as a bridge, but it wasn’t one-click easy to search the text to answer these sorts of questions.
With Reverse Interlinears, answering these questions is quick, easy, and elegant.

You’re using Logos 3 and hadn’t realized this yet? That’s OK, there is a lot of new stuff in Logos 3.
I figured I’d make a video to run you through how to use Reverse Interlinears to start to answer these questions as you study the Bible.

For those of you who haven’t upgraded and added Reverse Interlinears yet … you can do that on our upgrade page.

Bible Word Study Report Part V: Translation

This is the fifth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study (BWS) report.
This post will look into the Translation section of the BWS report.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

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Why Syntax?

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you may be asking yourself, “Why Syntax?” That is, why is it such a big deal in Logos Bible Software 3?

We’ve recently posted an article on our web site by Dr. Mike Heiser, who serves as Logos’ Academic Editor, that provides some answers to this question.

And he does it in an easy-to-read way. Even if your first question is “What is syntax?”, you’ll benefit from reading Dr. Heiser’s article. So check it out!

Syntax Search Example: in/with/because of the Name

The other day I was listening to a song that was repeating the phrase “in the name” in the context of the name of Christ. I wondered: What sorts of things in the New Testament are done “in the name”?
To OpenText.org-ify it a little more: Not just where a prepositional phrase with ὄνομα may occur, but what are the verbs connected with instances of a prepositional phrase that has ὄνομα as the prepositional object?
I’m sure, by now, you know the answer. It is a syntax search. And based on the response to my last syntax search example, I’ve provided another video (Flash, 10 megs, with sound), narrated by yours truly, along with further written description below. Be sure to check out the description, I tell you how to generate some nifty graphs from search results (this isn’t in the video!)
Also note that the approach used in this syntax search is incredibly similar to the one discussed in a previous blog article about syntax and morphology searching.

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Bible Word Study Report Part IV: Grammatical Relationships (B)

This is the second part of the fourth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study report.

This post will look a little further into the Grammatical Relationships section. Our previous foray into the Grammatical Relationships section is here.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

We left off the last post by saying:

So ἀναπληρόω means something like “make complete” or “fulfill” or “replace”. We begin to understand the nuance of each of those senses by considering who or what is doing ἀναπληρόω, and to whom or to what ἀναπληρόω is being done. Grammatical Relationships does all of the heavy lifting for you in searching out these usages, categorizing them, and returning them to us grouped by usage context.

So let’s examine the results and see what we can learn about the word ἀναπληρόω.

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Syntax Search Example: Same Word as Subject and Verb

I was reading in 1Th 3.5 the other day and came across the phrase “for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you” (ESV). Here it is in the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

You can see the phrase highlighted using some of our new Visual Markup features. If you click and view the larger picture, you’ll see that the same lexical form (πειράζω) is repeated in the verse. Not only is it repeated, but one instance is the subject of the clause, the other is the predicator (verb) of the clause. The syntax graph from the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament shows this a little better:

Is this exegetically significant? Perhaps. But I also had the question — how many other times is the same word used as both subject and verb in the New Testament?

With syntax searching and Logos Bible Software 3, it is a relatively easy question to answer.

As an added bonus, I’ve even included a video of setting up the search. This video is the first in which you’ll hear my “smooth dulcet tones” (as the colleague sitting next to me describes it) narrating the action. You can try the video (Flash, 12 megs, with audio) but be sure to read the description below the fold as well.
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