Trying to make Sense of the new Bible Sense Search

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LimJK | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Jun 24 2015 9:37 AM

Hi,

This is a followup question to this post titled: Another Search for God the Father (aka I'm a seeker)

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/106509.aspx 

I recall that one of the difference between Bible Sense vs Louw-Nida is that Bible Sense covers both OT and NT for the same Sense.

The following search based on Bible Sense resulted only in OT hits nothing in NT, though from a layman perspective it appears to be the same sense for OT and NT.

  • <Sense God father>
  • <Sense = righteousness>
  • <Sense = faithfulness>
  • <Sense = to consecrate>
  • <Sense = to covet>

Is there something that I missed, is it a tagging problem?

I must quickly add that there are some Bible Sense search that works as expected

  • <Sense = to fear (reverence)>
  • <Sense = to respect (honor)>
  • <Sense = Sabbath>

I am trying to learn how to more effectively use Bible Sense Search ... Thanks.

JK

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2015 9:55 AM

This is a shortcoming of the BSL. There is inconsistency in tagging. Two or more words may have the same sense, but the BSL assigns two or more different tags. To do an effective search one has to know all of the different senses that mean the same thing.

For example if one wanted to know where all the prayers were in a book or passage. For verbs there are the following senses:

To pray

To Pray (Petition)

To Pray (Beg)

For nouns:

Prayer (Act)

Prayer (Petition)

Prayer (Text)

Prayer (Contents)

Prayer vow

Clearly a search for only one of these senses will not render complete results. It seems to me the tagging needs to be simplified and consistent. I don't care if a prayer is considered an act or petition when I am searching for prayers. I don't care whether someone is begging or simply praying when I am searching for prayers.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2015 11:20 AM

Fredc:
Clearly a search for only one of these senses will not render complete results. It seems to me the tagging needs to be simplified and consistent.

YesYesYes

I wasn't aware of this limitation. I'm glad you explained it...it helps me understand why I wasn't getting expected results at times (I had assumed it was my own inability to use the software correctly...which may still be partly true, but isn't the primary cause).

I can see why the separate tags might be handy (searching for prayers that are petitions, for example). But I also see bigger need, as you point out, to have a simple way to search for the sense 'to pray' (for example).

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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LimJK | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 24 2015 11:39 PM

Fredc:

Clearly a search for only one of these senses will not render complete results. It seems to me the tagging needs to be simplified and consistent. I don't care if a prayer is considered an act or petition when I am searching for prayers. I don't care whether someone is begging or simply praying when I am searching for prayers.

Fred,

I think it is nice to have we can have some kind of a structure like LN so that we are able to search for all <Sense = Pray> to catch all as well as the options to look at the sub-sense <Sense = Pray (Beg)>

JK

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 12:37 AM

LimJK:
I think it is nice to have we can have some kind of a structure like LN so that we are able to search for all <Sense = Pray> to catch all as well as the options to look at the sub-sense <Sense = Pray (Beg)>

The problem is it doesn't seem to work that way - in this case - they seem to be in different parts of the tree

"To Pray" is part of "communicate / commune"

while praying as begging is part of asking / petitioning

So they are speaking about different things but it isn't clear - at least to me - how you can get a complete picture of what we might generally think of as praying.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 12:46 AM

Taking a couple of these examples:

LimJK:
<Sense God father>

It seems that in the NT, God is simply tagged as "God" - even when a Father "sense" might be appropriate

LimJK:
<Sense = faithfulness>

Faithfulness is described as "the quality of being faithful" and - as you point out - is only tagged in the OT

I would have expected the same tag to be used in Romans 3:3 but "trustworthiness" is used instead

According to the BSL this is a perceived trait based on past behaviour

This may be very reasonable but, as you point out in your original note, it does make it difficult to find unifying themes.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 12:49 AM

That is precisely the purpose of the Sense Lexicon - to tease out distinctions between words that are blurred in sloppy human thought. The sense lexicon tries to makes meaning sufficiently unambiguous as to be usable by a machine or to assist a human to break associations from one language from bleeding into another.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 12:53 AM

MJ. Smith:
The sense lexicon tries to makes meaning sufficiently unambiguous as to be usable by a machine or to assist a human to break associations from one language from bleeding into another.

I agree with this - but don't understand why this means that God isn't tagged as "Father" when it would seem appropriate in the NT.

Thoughts?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 1:26 AM

I don't know the thinking of Logos on this but if I were to try to defend it, I would wonder if they considered it anachronistic to tag it as "Father" given the span of time over which the understanding of the Trinity developed.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 1:35 AM

MJ. Smith:

I don't know the thinking of Logos on this but if I were to try to defend it, I would wonder if they considered it anachronistic to tag it as "Father" given the span of time over which the understanding of the Trinity developed.

Interesting idea - thanks MJ

Looking into this a bit further the "God - Father" tag is within the context (i.e. a subset) of God being the God of the Israelite people so it wouldn't really be appropriate to just carry that on directly into the New Testament.

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LimJK | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 3:14 AM

MJ. Smith:

I don't know the thinking of Logos on this but if I were to try to defend it, I would wonder if they considered it anachronistic to tag it as "Father" given the span of time over which the understanding of the Trinity developed.

MJ,

I am a lay person totally new to the Logos concept of Bible Sense and see the potential that I can benefit from this; helping me look up biblical passages with the same Sense across OT & NT and helping me see the range of Senses when I am studying a particular word.

Maybe if I narrow my questions in the Original Post.    

  1. Let's just look at <Sense God ⇔ father> that happened to be tagged only in the OT and not in NT.  If we look at (<Person God> ANDEQUALS father) I noticed that ALL the hits in NT does not even have a Bible Sense Tag at all, even if there is a variation from the OT <Sense God ⇔ father> ... Would this qualify as a Bug?
  2. I got your point that Sense of the word can change with passage of time. However I hope senses like "righteousness", "faithfulness", etc ... including attributes of God do not change over the passage of time Smile 
  • <Sense = righteousness>
  • <Sense = faithfulness>

PS: Always enjoy reading your posts

JK

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Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 4:07 AM

LimJK:

Fredc:

Clearly a search for only one of these senses will not render complete results. It seems to me the tagging needs to be simplified and consistent. I don't care if a prayer is considered an act or petition when I am searching for prayers. I don't care whether someone is begging or simply praying when I am searching for prayers.

Fred,

I think it is nice to have we can have some kind of a structure like LN so that we are able to search for all <Sense = Pray> to catch all as well as the options to look at the sub-sense <Sense = Pray (Beg)>

This shows that the BSL and LN even though similar are not the same. They are structured differently and can therefore be used differently. I do like the LN categories and find them very useful and still hope that the Hebrew counterpart will make it into Logos as soon as it gets published (see this thread: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/17037.aspx). But it would also require tagging the OT just like the NT has been done for LN numbers.

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LimJK | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 25 2015 8:16 PM

Schumitinu:

This shows that the BSL and LN even though similar are not the same. They are structured differently and can therefore be used differently. I do like the LN categories and find them very useful and still hope that the Hebrew counterpart will make it into Logos as soon as it gets published (see this thread: https://community.logos.com/forums/t/17037.aspx). But it would also require tagging the OT just like the NT has been done for LN numbers.

Schumitinu,

Thanks for pointing me to the 5 year long discussion thread on "Semantic Domains for the Old Testament available in English Bibles" which I was not aware off. Yes, love to have LN for OT please Smile

I must confess that some of the deeper discussions are way over my head.  As a layperson I was just trying to figure out how Logos Bible Sense can be use dependably for my studies. As a layperson, I would expect that if I want to look for some Bible Sense of a word across OT and NT, I should find them for it to be useful for me.

I hope to be able to learn more about leveraging Logos Bible Sense for my studies. I have looked at some Logos 6 Video Tutorial Demos hoping to see how others use them practically and benefit from it.

JK

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LogosEmployee

It looks like there are three issues under discussion here:

  1. The case of "Father" when it refers to God
  2. Cases of inconsistency
  3. Cases of wanting to study concepts like "pray"

I'll comment on each in turn.

1. I didn't work on the Greek New Testament, but my understanding is that "Father" was probably not annotated in the New Testament because it was being treated as a proper noun. We didn't deal with proper nouns for the BSL so as not to tread the same ground as Biblical People (now part of Factbook). For example, you can go to the entry for "God" in Factbook. There is a section entitled "REFERRED TO AS." Underneath that heading is a section for "God referred to as Father."

2. In some cases, there are genuine differences between testaments. We tried not to impose one overarching definition where we believed that to be the case. But, in other cases, we have been inconsistent. Often this is due to us working on Hebrew and Greek independently so as not to superimpose one language's concepts on another language's concepts then attempting to merge languages after the fact. So, there was a tension between trying to treat each language on its own terms and also trying to capture the overlap. I apologize for any issues that this has caused in your using the tool and will certainly add the issues mentioned in this post to a case for looking at inconsistencies.

3. MJ has rightly answered concerns about looking at concepts like "to pray." One of the goals of the BSL was to deal with the ambiguity often inherent in words ("to tease out distinctions"). A word like "pray" may not be quite so nuanced to provide a good example of that goal. This blog post deals with this in a bit more detail in the case of a word like "house": https://blog.logos.com/2014/01/find-the-right-meaning-with-the-bible-sense-lexicon/

In terms of looking at broader concepts like "pray", that is one of the goals of the Lexham Theological Wordbook. It has an entry on prayer. The "See Also" section contains lists of senses that would allow you to explore a concept further using the Bible Sense Lexicon. So, that would provide an inroads to using the Bible Sense Lexicon in this way.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 2:46 PM

Jeremy Thompson:

It looks like there are three issues under discussion here:

  1. The case of "Father" when it refers to God
  2. Cases of inconsistency
  3. Cases of wanting to study concepts like "pray"

I'll comment on each in turn.

In terms of looking at broader concepts like "pray", that is one of the goals of the Lexham Theological Wordbook. It has an entry on prayer. The "See Also" section contains lists of senses that would allow you to explore a concept further using the Bible Sense Lexicon. So, that would provide an inroads to using the Bible Sense Lexicon in this way.

Jeremy, Thanks for your reply, but I think you missed my point. The subject of prayer was just an example to illustrate what I see as a shortcoming in the BSL. There are many topics / subjects where that would also apply. My point is that if someone wanted to do a search for all the _____ (prayers was just an example) they would have to know every sense associated with ______ (again prayers are just an example) before they could perform a complete search. There should be a way to identify a broad category of the sense and then drill down if desired. In other words if I want to identify all the prayers (just and example) I can search <sense to pray> and it will return every prayer. I can drill down from there to find only those prayers that are considered begging. 

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LogosEmployee

Fred, I might not be understanding what you are asking for, but compare the results for the following two searches:

  • <Sense prayer (act)>
  • <Sense = prayer (act)>

The first one shows results for everything tagged with "prayer (act)" or any of the descendant senses ("blessing" and "petition"). The second shows only those things tagged with "prayer (act)".

So, you can search for a broad category, and you can use the BSL to "walk" up/down the tree to identify the broad/narrow category you might be specifically interested in.

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 4:56 PM

Fredc:
There should be a way to identify a broad category of the sense and then drill down if desired.

Yes!

And an exhaustive list of these categories should appear in the search box where search tips appear for some types of searches.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 4:59 PM

Right. I get that. That fine if my goal is to gather the 75 hits for this sense. This search will miss other verses however. For example Isaac prayer for Rebecca in Genesis 25:21. That is not returned in this search because that one is tagged with the sense "to pray" which falls under the broader category of communication vs prayer (act) which is an activity.

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LogosEmployee

Fredc:

Right. I get that. That fine if my goal is to gather the 75 hits for this sense. This search will miss other verses however. For example Isaac prayer for Rebecca in Genesis 25:21. That is not returned in this search because that one is tagged with the sense "to pray" which falls under the broader category of communication vs prayer (act) which is an activity.

Ah, I see. I don't really have the knowledge to speak to that, but It sounds to me that your desired hierarchical structure is different than that chosen by the people that put together the BSL. They were attempting to represent certain structures while you are desiring different ones. This is a really common problem with any kind of semantic hierarchy.

I'll back out of the conversation here. Smile

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 1 2015 5:14 PM

Andrew Batishko (Faithlife):
I'll back out of the conversation here. Smile

Understood. It would be great that, as you back away, you shove one of your colleagues who put together the BSL (politely, of course) into your spot at the rail. Big Smile

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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