View Full Version : What are the story behind the morphological database?

05-28-2009, 05:57 AM
Hi all
I have a question about the morphological database: what is the story behind it? Where does it come from, who has made it?

Also: would it be possible to enhance it so that more than one option is provided in the cases where more exists?

Like in 1 Cor 10,22: 'parazeloumen', most would take it as a cohortative rather than an indicative - as it is possible according to Blass-debrunner 91.
There are many cases like this where an inflection is open to discussion.


05-28-2009, 09:11 AM
The Version info for the BGM reads:

The current BLM is the result of a collaborative effort between Michael Bushell (BibleWorks, LLC) and two scholars, Jean-Noel Aletti, SJ, Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and Andrzej Gieniusz, CR, Doctor in Sacra Scriptura. These two scholars contributed unselfishly in countless ways to this project and we are grateful for their participation.
I am not sure that morphological tagging should be treated like lexicon entry, with the entire range of possible interpretations of a given form listed. I think using the tagged versions is by design looking for a someone's judgment on the use of a word in the context. It is always an opinion that needs to be validated.
I tell my students that in any tool, electronic or printed, you need to check other possibilities. My fear in students using electronic resources is that they do not grow in the exegetical process by analyzing the forms for themselves. I don't know if it were possible, that having all the options included in a tag is desirable.

05-28-2009, 10:09 AM
Do keep in mind that BW does include a second morphological database that is separate from the BNM/BGM database.

The GNT/GNM is:
Used by arrangement through United Bible Societies and Drs. Timothy and Barbara Friberg (AGNT/ANLEX). The computer form for the UBS Second Edition ( 1968) was prepared by the TLG Project. The computer form for the UBS Third Edition ( 1975) was derived from the MRT (machine readable text) created by Timothy and Barbara Friberg at the University of Minnesota, Academic Computing Services and Systems.
There is also a modified BW Greek system (related to the BNM/BGM) for the STM, TIM, and SCM texts.

These different schemes all treat your example in 1 Cor 10.22 in the same way, but there interesting differences at other times of which one should be aware. E.g., the GNM distinguishes between "participle" and "participle (imperative sense)" and uses different coding when conducting searches.

Go to the command line, type GNM to switch to it, type: .*@v and then you will see that for participle you can either type in a "p" or an "r." To find all the participles in GNM, you would have to type .*@v[pr]*
I'm not sure that particular decision to separate participles is helpful, since I disagree with the imperative sense of many of them (eg, Mark 15.30). OTOH, the differences can be utilized to your advantage too. E.g., BNM breaks down all the pronouns by type at its base level. (I.e., personal, relative, demonstrative, interrogative, etc.) This can be helpful, but if you simply want to find pronouns, use the GNM which doesn't make this distinction. (Even using some wildcards, the numbers don't come out the same because of the different ways they handle relative and demonstrative pronouns.)

In general, I use the BNM (partly because I can also search the LXX using the BGM), but if I absolutely need to verify my results, I also check the GNM.

For a full discussion on the philosophy behind the morphology codings, check section 57 in the BW Help file.

05-29-2009, 04:31 AM
Thanks to both of you. This was interesting reading!