Verbum Search through Tip of the Day #29

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Sep 29 2020 3:17 PM

Tip 29: Factbook Biblical Person: Lemma: Bible Word Study: Phrases

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The example is created using אָב as אַבְרָם produced no content in the Phrases section of the Bible Word Study.

From Verbum Help:

Phrases Section

This section appears in the Bible Word Study guide, and it shows any phrases containing the guide’s key word.

Results are displayed in different ways depending on the language of the guide’s key word.

•          For English words: Lists the matching labels for the phrase followed by their definitions and links to relevant Topic Guides.

•          For original language words: Shows the original language phrase with its preferred English label and English definition, and links to relevant Topic Guides.

Each heading is a link that launches a new Bible Search on that phrase.[1]

Full documentation is available in Venable, Peter. 2016. Biblical Phrases: Dataset Documentation. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife.

Because “word” is often inadequate to express the way “words” are actually used, terms have been created to describe the unit actually used e.g. lexical items or chunks. Wikipedia provides a list of the sort of thing under consideration:

Common types of lexical items/chunks include:[1]

  1. Words, e.g. cat, tree
  2. Parts of words, e.g. -s in trees, -er in worker, non- in nondescript, -est in loudest
  3. Phrasal verbs, e.g. put off or get out
  4. Multiword expressions, e.g. by the way, inside out
  5. Collocations, e.g. motor vehicle, absolutely convinced.
  6. Institutionalized utterances, e.g. I'll get it, We'll see, That'll do, If I were you, Would you like a cup of coffee?
  7. Idioms, e.g. break a leg, was one whale of a, a bitter pill to swallow
  8. Sayings, e.g. The early bird gets the worm, The devil is in the details
  9. Sentence frames and heads, e.g. That is not as...as you think, The problem was
  10. Text frames, e.g., In this paper we explore...; Firstly...; Secondly...; Finally ....

An associated concept is that of noun-modifier semantic relations, wherein certain word pairings have a standard interpretation. For example, the phrase cold virus is generally understood to refer to the virus that causes a cold, rather than to a virus that is cold.

The phrasal data in Verbum is the Faithlife aid for dealing with some of these situations.

  • The section header for Phrases offers no settings but does provide a help function in the form of the preview of the Verbum Help.
  • The entry for a phrase consists of the phrase in context in the original language (actual phrase highlighted in bold), an English definition, and a link to Topic Guide or Factbook. BUG: the documentation refers to an English label which I am not seeing.
  • On mouse over the phrase, a Bible search argument for the phrase is displayed. Clicking on the phrase initiates the Bible search.
  • 727 verses in 15 resources contain the phrase. Note that in the excerpt of the text on the right, the matching text is not highlighted.


[1] Verbum Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

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