Tip 2.4: Tools for a Word-Level Perspective
BibleWorks contains a variety of tools for viewing and interpreting a Bible passage. In this Classroom Tip we will give an overview of some BibleWorks tools--some old and some new--for viewing the passage and gaining information for better interpretation from a word-level perspective.
This Classroom Tip introduces a variety of BibleWorks word-level perspective tools within a framework of what type of information they provide, and gives a brief explanation of their benefit to the interpretive process. In future Classroom Tips we will look at tools for a passage-level perspective and a canonical perspective.
A word-level perspective is important for understanding the meaning of words within the passage. This is the perhaps the most common type of study done using BibleWorks.
Lexicons provide a summary of general categories of word meaning. A lexicon can give generalizations of the possible interpretations of a word in a passage. A lexicon may also provide glosses for translation work and lists of references that give examples of how the word is being used for a given meaning. In some instances the lexicon may indicate unique word meanings when used in combination with other words.
Grammars provide general information about how the form of a word may be used. Grammars are especially useful if a word or word form has a unique meaning or expected meaning when it appears in a given form or in combination with other words or word forms. Sometimes grammars provide information about the use of a word in a specific passage.
Word searches are useful for seeing how a word is used in other contexts. A word search of this type can provide a general range of word meaning. It can give information for a possible, and perhaps even likely, meaning of the word in the study passage.
Traditional line diagrams show the word in relationship to the words around it. By using the Leedy New Testament Greek line diagrams, you can see how the word functions in the sentence in relationship to words around it.
KWIC (Key Word In Context) Searches
The KWIC module shows all the words that appear within a certain proximity to your search word. The KWIC search results are listed by frequency, so that you can find the words that appear most commonly in relationship to the search word. The new Browse Window context menu item to search on word, form, or lemma in the KWIC module makes the KWIC module easy to access.
Search Statistics can be useful exegetical tools. Search on the word in the passage, and then view the distribution of the search results to see where the word occurs most frequently. By using different search statistics settings, you can see if the word occurs frequently according to number of hits or according to percentage of hits. If the word is rare, has a high number of hits in the book, or has a high percentage of hits in the book compared to other Biblical books, this may indicate that the word has extra significance.
Interpreters have a history of using printed concordances, lexicons, and grammars in their interpretive process at the word-level. BibleWorks tools provide the same information as comparable print resources, but these electronic tools make the process much faster. Some BibleWorks word-level tools provide information that would be difficult or too time-consuming to obtain using print resources.