View Full Version : text comparison

05-12-2014, 08:27 PM
Is it possible in BW9 to get a count of the number of differences between two texts, such as WHT and BNT? Not the number of verses that have differences, I'm wanting the actually number of differences whether additions, omissions, substitutions, or transpositions.

I tried using the Text Comparison Settings. I see the number of verses with differences. And for some reason, I get different counts than I should for the number of verses. And some verses show up (Matt 1:1, 9, for example) as having differences when they actually don't.

Also, what is the difference between "word occurrence" and "LCS Method." I understand what LCS stands for, but I don't understand the difference in how each method calculates.

Glenn Weaver
05-13-2014, 04:52 PM
I'm sorry, but BibleWorks only gives the number of verses that have differences. It is difficult to identify with accuracy the number of differences since there is no definitive way to count the differences.

For example, does a phrase that is missing in one text count as one difference, or does each word count as a difference? And does a phrase that switches word order and inserts one additional word between the two words count as one, two, three, or more differences?

It seems to be more important to identify the differences so that they can be analyzed, and it is in this task that BibleWorks focuses its efforts.

The Help File states that "The LCS method is the most commonly used, and you should probably use it unless
you have reasons to do otherwise. LCS stands for "Least Common Substring." LCS
finds the set of common words with the least total length. The other method, the
"Word Occurrence" method, finds words that occur in only one of the verses being


05-14-2014, 12:04 PM
I haven't used this feature, so it's interesting to see how it works. I think the differences between BNT and WHT in Matt. 1:1, 9 have to do with the spelling of proper names (such as Δαυεὶδ with an epsilon in WHT). But where do you find the number of verses that have differences? (I know there's a d'oh in my future on this one!)

EDIT: OK, I watched the tutorial video (d'oh!) and realized I could export the list of verses with differences and then import that list into the Verse List Manager, which shows a count. Oops, d'oh! And there's the figure at the bottom of the search window verse list in the first place. Sorry. (Thanks for your quick reply, Glenn, which came while I was editing this post.)

But onward. I used this to do a comparison between BGT (which is NA27) and NA28, and found that the vast majority of the differences between the two seem to involve ἀλλὰ, where BGT prefers that form and NA28 prefers ἀλλ᾽ before a vowel. Interesting. I imported those 165 verses into the VLM, then searched BGT for all verses with ἀλλὰ, and copied that list of 414 verses into the VLM's secondary list. Highlighting and deleting the verses in common between the two lists left me with a list of 35 verses in which NA28 differs from BGT/NA27 in some way other than the spelling ἀλλ᾽. But of course that's not really the whole list, since I did see several verses in which there was that difference plus one other (2 John 5 and 12, for instance). Here it would be good to have tabiblia's wished-for listing of individual differences, not just verses; but Glenn's explanation of why this isn't, and perhaps can't, be done makes sense.

Glenn Weaver
05-14-2014, 12:49 PM
Hi David,

To count the number of verses, click the Export button. This exports to the Search Window the list of verses containing a difference. You can then see the number of verses in the Stats (in the status bar, or in the Stats Tab).