Greek Syntax: Lexham SGNT Running Text

Awhile back, I posted about the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (Lexham SGNT). At that time, I mentioned I’d blog about the makeup of that project.

It’s been nearly two weeks since that post. But now it is time to make good and describe the pieces of the Lexham SGNT in a little more detail.

The Lexham SGNT consists of three primary resources. These are:
  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Sentence Analysis
  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Expansions and Annotations
This post details the first item in the above list, the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (aka the “running text” of the Lexham SGNT).

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
This portion is what we usually refer to as the “running text”. It has the text (that is, the words, casing and punctuation) of the NA27 Greek New Testament. However, the display is broken out to show the basic clausal hierarchy specified by the Lexham SGNT. A screen capture helps one understand this. In this display (click image for full-size) the indentation from the left of the window implies heirarchy. The further the indent, the deeper the structure. A bold heading implies a new clausal unit, an italicised heading implies a continued clausal unit. A horizontal border notes a sentence boundary.

The running text is also an interlinear. Each word has the following associated information:

  • Manuscript:

    This is the form of the word found in the NA27 text.

  • Greek Lemma:

    This is the dictionary form of the word that you’d look up in a Greek lexicon. It is the form used for keylinking (and for running the Exegetical Guide, the Lemma Report, or the new Bible Word Study Report in the upcoming v3.0)

  • Morphology:

    This is a string of codes representing the morphological form of the word; including part of speech information, case/number/gender for substantives; tense/voice/mood/etc. for verbs; and the like. In other words, the standard morpho-syntactic information that most morphological databases include.

  • Literal Translation:

    This is a literal translation of the inflected form of the word. It is taken from the McReynolds Greek-English interlinear.

Each of the Greek words (the Manuscript forms) are aligned at the word level with other resources. We’re beginning to align word-based resources (such as lexicons) as targets for word references. This allows direct linking from a specific word in the running text to a specific entry in a lexicon. For the Lexham SGNT, this means that one can right-click on a word and keylink into a target word-based resource — a lexicon or perhaps the Lexham SGNT Expansions and Annotations (which will be discussed in a future post). Like the below screen capture shows.

In the above screen capture, you may notice a reference for “predicate nominative”. The Syntactic Force Annotations for each word are also encoded as references on the manuscript form of the word. This means that right-click functions (such as speed search) could be invoked on these references. Because the word link is established, we could set our preferences up such that the preferred word reference target information displays on hover of the word. Actually, this is the default setting so one gets information hovered (in this case, from the Lexham SGNT Expansions and Annotations) already:

Encoding the syntactic force annotations also means that the Reference Browser can be used to do rudimentary searching for syntactic force annotations. In the Reference Browser, I’ve selected Lexham SGNT as the resource, the Syntax Notes (that is, the Syntactic Force Annoation; these titles will be aligned in a future beta release) as the reference type. Then I simply typed “predicate nominative” in the Find box. Hit enter, and I have a list of locations where this occurs. Clicking on any one will jump to the instance of the reference. For the Lexham SGNT, this means it will jump to the word that the reference is attached to. When click on Hebrews Chapter 2 [Hebrews 2:14], I jump directly to the word ????????.

We could also use the reference browser to browse clause or phrase types. For example, I could switch the reference type to “Sentence Analysis” (again, in the current beta; this naming will likely change in a future beta release) and then type in “relative clause”. When I hit enter, a list of instances of the relative clause are displayed. And when I click on one, I’m brought to the start of the relative clause I’ve selected.

One of the goals of the running text of the Lexham SGNT is to present the text of the NA27 in a manner that makes the syntactic encoding visible and accessible. The data is multilayered and complex, but the basic information it communicates — sentence boundaries, clausal structure, word relations and syntactic force — are accessible from the text through existing and familiar Libronix DLS functionality.

In the next installment, I’ll provide some further details regarding the Lexham SGNT Expansions and Annotations.


  1. Rick,
    Thanks for these continuing education articles. I especially appreciation the tip regarding the reference browser.
    I have a question concerning the appositves. In Heb 12.2, Heb 4.6 and (others that I can now locate with the Ref Browser) the appositional clause is one word. How do we interpret where the modified/modifying nouns are with only one word in the clause? It is probably a stupid question, but this is one area I am working on understanding better.