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Thread: Right tool(s) for OT concordance study of human "soul"/"spirit"?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    19

    Default Right tool(s) for OT concordance study of human "soul"/"spirit"?

    My goal: Quantify about how many times the OT refers to the human soul/spirit.

    Basics:

    From the command line, I can ask BibleWorks to show me all the hits in WTT for the lemma nephesh (there are 760).

    I can use a fairly literal translation, like NASB 1995, to show me all the hits in the OT for "soul*" (there are 303) or "spirit*" (there are 238).

    GSE:

    I'm not very familiar with the GSE, but I skimmed the overview of GSE in BW help and checked out example 3 in GSE help examples ("Multi-version searches").

    As I result, I opened GSE, loaded "multiver.qf," changed search versions to WTM and NAU, changed search terms and ran the query.

    Result:

    GSE showed me how many times WTM has nphsh and NASB 1995 has "soul*" (there are 242).

    I saved the query to a file, and was able to open that file in Verse List Manager. Then I was able to Export that list to the Search Window. That allowed me to see all the verses easily.

    I can run the same sort of query with other combinations.

    Next:

    1) How do I see quickly whether the NASB 1995 translates any other Hebrew noun as "soul"?

    2) How do I see quickly which Hebrew lemmas the NASB 1995 translates as "spirit"? (ruach is one, of course; in Proverbs 20:27 it seems that another is n'shama).

    3) Some instances of "spirit" will have to be eliminated ("evil spirit," "spirit of jealousy," etc.) Is there any easy way to eliminate instances in NASB 1995 where ruach refers to the Holy Spirit?

    Thanks for your help.

    Dan Witte

  2. #2
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    You have to be careful here, for there is NOT a one-to-one correspondence from WTT to another English version, such as KJV, NAU, or whatever when using the GSE.

    IOW, even though "nephesh" may show up in WTT and "soul" may show up in the English version, the English word for "soul" is not NECESSARILY the one that is translated from the WTT "nephesh"

    You must verify that manually. For example, you might have "life" and "soul" and other similar words that are translated from the word "nephesh" in WTT, and just because "nephesh" gets a hit from WTT it may not be translating the word you think it is in the English version.

    Only after you have manually verified the results would it be entirely safe to use your results as an exclusion list. From there, you would work it the opposite way, i.e., use your exclusion list to weed out all those that are NOT translated with that wod, but once again, you must manuallly verify the results, for you can NEVER assume that there is a one-to-one correspondence between versions in the GSE.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    I would like to add that it is a good idea to refine your search of words by adding some morphological info, e.g. <.נפשׁ@ncb*> in this particular case. This search gives you 757 hits. and <.נפשׁ@v*> , 3 hits.

    In this case, vowel point sensitive search gives the same results, also. Check “Search on Hebrew versions vowel point sensitive” after going through |Tools|Options|General Hebrew Options|. Then try <.נֶפֶשׁ> and <.נפשׂ>.
    Last edited by Yaku Lee; 11-09-2011 at 07:39 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Some solutions...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Witte View Post
    1) How do I see quickly whether the NASB 1995 translates any other Hebrew noun as "soul"?
    The easiest way to do this is search Strong's. (I don't know of a way to do this in BW. In fact, I can't even find the Strong's files in the BW directory anywhere to search. Anyone know?) The easiest way to search for English in Strong's is to use:
    THIS SITE - Use the box: Strong's Lexicon (FULL Search by Strong's word number [e.g. 3091 Hebrew] OR English word!) - This one is just KJV.
    or
    THIS SITE - Use the "Search OT Hebrew Lexicon" box near the top of the page (not the Strong's # search) - This oneprovides both KJV and NASB, but you'll have to do a bit more sorting. Click on the Hebrew word, however, and you'll get lots of info.

    What you really want is something like what Louw-Nida's Lexicon of Semantic Domains does for the Greek NT. (Eg. domain 26 covers all words related to "psychological faculties.") There is the online Semantic Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible, but it is rather incomplete. There is another option, but it is only available in Logos afaik: A Dictionary of Biblical Languages w/ Semantic Domains: Hebrew (OT). (Check this thread for info.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Witte View Post
    2) How do I see quickly which Hebrew lemmas the NASB 1995 translates as "spirit"? (ruach is one, of course; in Proverbs 20:27 it seems that another is n'shama).
    Basically this is the same question as #1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Witte View Post
    3) Some instances of "spirit" will have to be eliminated ("evil spirit," "spirit of jealousy," etc.) Is there any easy way to eliminate instances in NASB 1995 where ruach refers to the Holy Spirit?
    A few ways to do this, but probably the easiest is:

    • Run your search and find all those instances where you have spirit / ruach.
    • Make sure all the hits are displayed in the Search pane and that all are checked
    • Right click in the command line and choose: Checkbox Search Filter > Limit search to checked verses
    • In the command line, type '!holy spirit > the apostrophe indicates you are looking for a phrase; the ! indicates you don't want "holy" but do find spirit
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGVH View Post
    The easiest way to do this is search Strong's. (I don't know of a way to do this in BW. In fact, I can't even find the Strong's files in the BW directory anywhere to search. Anyone know?) The easiest way to search for English in Strong's is to use:
    In BibleWorks click on "Help" then choose the "Search" tab in the Help file and type in the word "Strong's." The first occurrance leads you to The Command Line - Introduction. Click on Looking Up Strong's Numbers Codes and you'll find all sorts of information about searching on Strong's numbers.
    The easiest way might be to search in NAU for "soul." Then right click on the Strong's number to right of the word "soul" in the first verse you see (the number is 05315), and click on "Search on Strong's Number" from the pop-up list.
    In this case you could search for .soul@05315. But this does not always turn up all the verses, because depending on how you have Strong's set up, you might not get verses in which a phrase is attached to the Strong's number (e.g. "the soul" or "a soul" etc.).
    So the best way to find what you want might be .*@05315. This will give you a list of all instances of NEPHESH and it will highlight the English translation of that word, which includes (in NAU) creatures, life, lifeblood, person's wish, etc.
    You can also use Strong's number in Graffic Search Engine searches. If you forget to use .@ at the start of the number, BW asks you if you intended to search for a Strong's number, and it will correct what you typed. Using GSE you could search for .*@05315 and NOT soul, to find all the verses which contain the Hebrew word NEPHESH but not the NAU word "soul." Looking through that list would be quicker in finding other ways that NAU translates NEPHESH.
    I hope this gives you a few ideas.
    Mark Eddy

  6. #6
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    Apr 2004
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    Gentlemen,

    Thanks for all the time and help. Very beneficial.

    Dan Witte

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    In BibleWorks click on "Help" then choose the "Search" tab in the Help file and type in the word "Strong's." The first occurrance leads you to The Command Line - Introduction. Click on Looking Up Strong's Numbers Codes and you'll find all sorts of information about searching on Strong's numbers.
    The easiest way might be to search in NAU for "soul." ....
    Helpful, but that doesn't really get at the OP's 'backwards' search for all English uses of a word to see their Hebrew roots. (You could plow through all the hits one at a time, but that's pretty tedious.)
    Actually...
    a better way than using Strong's is using one of the standard Hebrew lexicons like BDB or Holladay that is in BW.
    • Open up the Lexicon browser (Under Resources or on buttonbar)
    • Click on Lexicon and choose Holladay or BDB
    • Click on Edit > Search
    • When the box opens, choose English, "Down," and click on "Top of File"
    • In the "Find what" box, type your English word of choice
    • Hit Find Next and repeat as it works its way through the English meanings of the text
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

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