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diggertoo
05-22-2006, 09:38 PM
In the copyright information for various versions of the Bible, there is a heading entitled Number of Unique Words.

(1) Does that refer to the number of different English words or original language words used in that particular version of the Bible?

(2) If one version has say 1000 more unique words than another version, is that important and why?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Michael Hanel
05-22-2006, 10:52 PM
In the copyright information for various versions of the Bible, there is a heading entitled Number of Unique Words.

(1) Does that refer to the number of different English words or original language words used in that particular version of the Bible?

(2) If one version has say 1000 more unique words than another version, is that important and why?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

As I understand it, # of unique words would refer to # of unique words in that version, thus if it were a Greek version, it would refer to Greek words, if English, English, if French, French.

I don't think there's necessarily "theological" importance to unique words. It may, however, mark a text being easier to read than another (i.e. fewer possible vocabulary words), but this assumes all other things are equal and sometimes they are not. For instance, if a version contains Apocryphal books as well as Old and NT books, that version is no doubt going to have a higher number of unique words. But a version could have a smaller number of unique words, but have more difficult (less common) words. So, in my mind, is the # of unique words significant? For my purposes it isn't, but I'm sure for someone it might be.

Mark Eddy
05-23-2006, 10:07 AM
The number of unique words seems to be an item of trivia after a database has been compiled. When you do a search on a word rather than a search on a lemma, the number of unique spellings in that version gives you the number of unique words. For example "come" "came" "coming" "comes" would all be unique "words". If English versions had lemma searches (which they don"t), all these "words" could be found in a single "lemma" search, but it would take many "word" searches to find them all. The number of lemmas is always considerably smaller than the number of unique words, because many "words" come from the same "lemma". But if you searched on just the "word" you would find only those verses where that exact spelling is used.
I hope this helps.
Mark Eddy