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Thread: Comparing the words in two different NT books

  1. #1
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    Default Comparing the words in two different NT books

    I was reading yesterday that vocabularies between John's gospel and the Revelation are very similar. The author stated that there were only a dozen or so words that appeared in John that did not appear in Revelation (even though I am sceptical of his general claim, I am assuming that this does not include personal or place names).

    Is there a way to compare the words in two, different books?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    There may be more than one way to skin this cat, so to speak, but the Word List Manager should do the trick. Load John 1:1-21:25 in one list and Rev 1:1-22:21 in the other, then select words not common to both lists.
    καὶ ὑπὲρ πάντων ἀπέθανεν ἵνα οἱ ζῶντες μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς ζῶσιν, ἀλλὰ τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    There may be more than one way to skin this cat, so to speak, but the Word List Manager should do the trick. Load John 1:1-21:25 in one list and Rev 1:1-22:21 in the other, then select words not common to both lists.
    Thanks for the tip.

    If I have done things correctly, I count 580 words out of the 1017 different words that occur in John (using GNM) that are not in the Revelation.

    Nearly 300 of these, however, occur only once in John.

    Another 98 occur twice.

    59 Occur three times.

    And 509 occur 5 times or less.

    Still, this leaves 71 words that occur 6 times or more in John which do not occur in the Revelation - so I think that this author's claim of "only a dozen or so" words in John that do not occur the Revelation is clearly disproved.

    p.s. If I haven't done things correctly - please, someone let met know.


  4. #4
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    Default Did you forget something?

    Hi Jim,

    I got roughly the same results (579 instead of 580), but this is all words, including Proper Nouns (people and places).
    I'm sure it is possible to exclude them, but I'll have to think about it.

    --Jim

    later ...
    GNM doesn't seem to identify proper nouns, so I did the following with BGM.
    I was unable to get plausible results from a search for not proper nouns, so I created a list of proper nouns in John (search ".*@n???p", and then loaded that into a word list, subtracted them from the full word list for John, and compared the result to Revelation.
    Result:
    515 words in John not used in Revelation.
    56 of these words are used 6 or more times in John.

    Your conclusion is correct.
    Last edited by Jim Wert; 12-30-2011 at 12:09 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks Jim.

    I knew when I read the guy's claim that it didn't sound right. And it isn't as if he is a crackpot. He is, in fact, a well renowned scholar. Most probably he did what we all do - accept what someone else says without checking it.

    It is good to have the tools to quickly and effeciently test these claims.

  6. #6
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    Hi Jim (ofbentley),

    Could you email the source information of the quote to me? I would be interested in seeing it. My email address is gweaver at your favorite Bible software .com

    Blessings,
    Glenn
    Glenn Weaver

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Weaver View Post
    Hi Jim (ofbentley),

    Could you email the source information of the quote to me? I would be interested in seeing it. My email address is gweaver at your favorite Bible software .com
    In fact, Jim, would you mind just posting the reference? I know you don't want to embarrass the scholar in question, but if the work is in print, it's out there for public discussion -- that's how scholarship works.

    I think your instinct to doubt whether "only a dozen or so words" appear in John and not in Revelation is on target. For one thing, the claim is vague: as you say, does it include proper nouns or not? Are we talking about words used significantly in both books (hence your limiting to words that occur > 5 times), or just any old words?

    For another thing, are we talking about English or Greek? The classic case is the use of the term "lamb" as a symbol for Jesus. Both the gospel of John and Revelation do so; but they use different Greek words. In John it's ἀμνός (amnos; only on the lips of John the Baptist, and only in the expression "lamb of God"; John 1:29, 36). In Revelation it's ἀρνίον (arnion, often used alongside God [e.g., Rev. 7:10; 21:22-23] but never "lamb of God"). So to say that John and Revelation share the term "lamb" would be superficial and somewhat misleading. I don't know if the article you're looking at does so; I'm just offering this as an example of the need to go into depth in a comparison like this. (And how easy BW makes it do do so!)
    Last edited by DavidR; 12-30-2011 at 10:23 AM.
    David Rensberger
    Atlanta, Georgia

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