Exegetical Guide doesn't produce good results

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Posts 665
Jim | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Mar 5 2017 4:14 PM

In "Interesting Words" display for Romans 5:12-21 one of the most frequent words shows up as "transgression" which it says occurs 7 times, yet the word "one" which occurs 13 times is in a smaller font.The word "one" is actually central to the theme of this passage and should stand out more than transgression (7x) or reign (5x), many (5x), arose (2x) but clearly receives less attention going by font size and color. "One" should stand out more than any other word. Is there a reason for this mistake?

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 2358
LogosEmployee

The size of the word is not based purely on the number of occurrences, but on how significant the word is in the selected range of text. If I recall correctly, this is using a term frequency–inverse document frequency. Essentially, words that show up more frequently than is usual are considered more important. This is a very common type of measurement used in linguistic analysis.

Posts 665
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 6 2017 9:49 AM

Andrew Batishko (Faithlife):
The size of the word is not based purely on the number of occurrences, but on how significant the word is in the selected range of text. If I recall correctly, this is using a term frequency–inverse document frequency.

Thanks for the explanation. After looking at the term frequency-inverse document frequency I can see how this algorithm is attractive because it eliminates trivial words, but I still have to say that the result is misleading and of limited use in finding the obvious theme. Repetition of words in the Bible is a very important way to identify the author's structure and ideas.

The main point of Romans 5:12-21 is the comparison between two populations based upon what the head of their group has done. The most frequently used word (in the NASB95) is "the" which is of course trivial, but the next most used words are "of" and "one" both used 13x. Reign(ed) is used 5x yet stands out in Logos' display in both Greek and English as larger than all other words, save "many" (5x). Now the idea of reign is an important second theme in this passage, perhaps on equal level with "one".

So I have to say that I would find it more helpful to also have a display of words highlighting true frequency with perhaps the facility to easily remove words of my choosing.

Two questions. What English version is being used and over what "corpus" is the inverse document frequency being evaluated? (the whole of Romans, the whole of the NT or just the passage of choice?)

Have a great day,
jmac

Posts 2358
LogosEmployee

This guide section uses your preferred Bible for the specified language.

The frequency is evaluated just over the passage of choice plus the containing pericopes.

For evaluating raw counts of words, you would probably be better served by using the Concordance feature, which is available via Logos Now or the Logos 7 Full Feature Set.

Alternatively, you could set up a search and use the analysis view to determine word counts, as suggested here: https://community.logos.com/forums/p/135780/880890.aspx#880890 The results could also be exported to a spreadsheet for analysis there. Note that this kind of searching can take a long time for larger blocks of text.

Posts 11308
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 6 2017 10:39 AM

I suppose intereting-ness describes both the diagram, and the thread. If you change the translation, the whole thing starts over. 

In all languages, there's a multiplicity of devices a speaker or writer uses to convey a message. Unusual word might be one, or word frequency. But it would be unusual, and difficult to prove. The principle can be demonstrated just looking at a pastor's sermon. He'd be just as curious as everyone else to find out what he  truly meant.

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 665
Jim | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 6 2017 11:47 AM

Denise:
He'd be just as curious as everyone else to find out what he  truly meant.

Been there. Sometimes the theme of a passage is far clearer to me right after I just finished preaching on it.

I agree with you that word frequency is only one of many devices a Biblical author uses. That said, there are portions of various Biblical writings that do stand out because of their word repetition. On the other hand some have used word repetition to find themes that don't exist because they are over-ridden by more obvious logical flow of thought.  So the only "formula" for analysis is lots and lots of experience including what other commentators have uncovered.

Have a great day,
jmac

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