Does "Bible Sense Lexicon" track with Louw-Nida Semantic Domains ?

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 18 2015 10:26 AM

I don't have the Louw-Nida "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains".  I'm considering getting it, but am wondering if the Logos "Bible Sense Lexicon" provides basically the same type of information as Louw-Nida.  If so, I'm curious as to whether it's typically in agreement with Louw-Nida.  And finally... if it does track well with Louw-Nida, I'm wondering if there are still significant reasons to have Louw-Nida?

If you have experience with both and would be willing to share, I'd appreciate your insights.  

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Jeremy Thompson (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:09 AM

Hi Rick:

I was one of the Hebrew curators of the Bible Sense Lexicon data. The Bible Sense Lexicon (BSL) and Louw-Nida (LN) are similar in that the lexicons are arranged by meaning rather than alphabetically. I would say that the BSL information should track well broadly with currently existing Greek and Hebrew lexicons.

That said, there are important differences between the BSL and LN. For example, the BSL covers content words in the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament, whereas LN only covers the New Testament. LN also covers grammatical function words in the New Testament (things like definite articles, prepositions, connectives, etc.), whereas the BSL does not. We considered that those are more appropriately dealt with in refrence grammars. The domain structures are little different: the BSL is more strictly a taxonomy, whereas LN includes different kinds of semantic domains.

So, I think there is good reason to have both. Otherwise, it might be a trade-off of whether having coverage of the Hebrew Bible is more important or coverage of grammatical function words in the New Testament.

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John Kight | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:27 AM

Jeremy Thompson:
I think there is good reason to have both.

Agreed.Yes

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:33 AM

Jeremy Thompson:

Hi Rick:

I was one of the Hebrew curators of the Bible Sense Lexicon data. The Bible Sense Lexicon (BSL) and Louw-Nida (LN) are similar in that the lexicons are arranged by meaning rather than alphabetically. I would say that the BSL information should track well broadly with currently existing Greek and Hebrew lexicons.

That said, there are important differences between the BSL and LN. For example, the BSL covers content words in the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament, whereas LN only covers the New Testament. LN also covers grammatical function words in the New Testament (things like definite articles, prepositions, connectives, etc.), whereas the BSL does not. We considered that those are more appropriately dealt with in refrence grammars. The domain structures are little different: the BSL is more strictly a taxonomy, whereas LN includes different kinds of semantic domains.

So, I think there is good reason to have both. Otherwise, it might be a trade-off of whether having coverage of the Hebrew Bible is more important or coverage of grammatical function words in the New Testament.

Jeremy, thank you very much!

I'd like to attempt a layman's paraphrase via bullet points.  Please let me know if I'm on track--or at least facing in the right direction.  Smile

  • BSL covers both OT and NT whereas Louw-NIDA (here-after referred as LN) does not.
  • BSL is limited to nouns whereas LN covers all (or at least additional) parts of speech.
  • BSL does not address functional/grammatical relationships within the text whereas LN does.
  • BSL attempts to address the meaning/sense of a specific word in a specific context whereas in addition to that, LN attempts to group various words with similar meanings/senses based on the semantic domains the authors devised. 

Did I completely butcher it?  Sad

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Jeremy Thompson (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:36 AM

Pretty close Smile. The main correction would be that the BSL covers nouns, verbs, adjectives, and some adverbs, just not things like prepositions, articles, etc.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:39 AM

Jeremy Thompson:

Pretty close Smile. The main correction would be that the BSL covers nouns, verbs, adjectives, and some adverbs, just not things like prepositions, articles, etc.

Thanks for that clarification.  Also please note that I added one bullet point to my previous post.  Hopefully that doesn't muck it up.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:45 AM

Jeremy Thompson:

Pretty close Smile. The main correction would be that the BSL covers nouns, verbs, adjectives, and some adverbs, just not things like prepositions, articles, etc.

One last clarification.  Do I understand correctly, that the sense/meaning BSL applies to the nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. that it does cover, would generally line-up fairly close with LN?

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Jeremy Thompson (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 11:53 AM

As to the last added bullet, the BSL does have what you could call a domain structure also. Only, the domain structure is a little different than that found in LN. Both the BSL and LN have what you might call ontological domains (things like "Animals," "People," etc.). But, LN also includes cultural kinds of relationships - "Religious Activities," "Maritime Activities," "Military Activities."

And yes, the BSL should track with the meanings found LN or BDAG or any of the other number of Greek lexicons currently available. The BSL didn't really seek to propose "new" meanings for words, but to present the meanings of words in new and interesting ways that would enhance search capabilities and allow users to explore meaning more easily.

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 12:34 PM

Of course, we mustn't forget the 'other' semantic product from Logos: Swanson.

I'm probably still going to get in hotwater with MJ, but I still think Swanson (or LN for the NT) is the easier choice.  Maybe in the long run, BSL will improve.

I've taken a comparable below.  Presume you're trying to get your exegetical arms around 'shame' which can come from many angles (clan, before a deity, gender and so forth).  Personally, the two Swanson volumes let you scan around, plus see the linkage into LN as well. Both Swanson and LN provide TOC's to quickly see how structured. And both Swanson and more-so LN have discussion.  The cutsie BSL display is pretty much unusuble without a large screen and it's not obvious how it's structured between the menu choices on 'shame-xxx'.

..

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

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 1:30 PM

Jeremy Thompson:

As to the last added bullet, the BSL does have what you could call a domain structure also. Only, the domain structure is a little different than that found in LN. Both the BSL and LN have what you might call ontological domains (things like "Animals," "People," etc.). But, LN also includes cultural kinds of relationships - "Religious Activities," "Maritime Activities," "Military Activities."

And yes, the BSL should track with the meanings found LN or BDAG or any of the other number of Greek lexicons currently available. The BSL didn't really seek to propose "new" meanings for words, but to present the meanings of words in new and interesting ways that would enhance search capabilities and allow users to explore meaning more easily.

Thanks again, Jeremy.  I appreciate it of course because it's helpful,  but I'm extra grateful as I'm pretty sure you have more than enough on your plate to fill your days (and evenings?) without adding forum help to your agenda.

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Not a problem. Forum help where it relates to the Bible Sense Lexicon and the case-frame data in Logos is squarely within my agenda, at least on the data side of things. If you have any questions about either of those, please don't hesitate to put my name in the subject line of your forum post to make sure either I see it or someone else directs it to me.

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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 1:51 PM

Denise:

Of course, we mustn't forget the 'other' semantic product from Logos: Swanson.

I'm probably still going to get in hotwater with MJ, but I still think Swanson (or LN for the NT) is the easier choice.  Maybe in the long run, BSL will improve.

Hi, Denise!  Thanks for jumping in.  Yes, I have those volumes and have seen how they can work well alongside LN.  Thanks for mentioning that.

Based on the feedback from you and Jeremy, I expect I will add LN to my library and would like to check it out sooner rather than later, but have pretty much tapped out my Logos piggy-bank.  I do however find it easier to justify a little extra spending on some types of resources (like LN) that are referenced by numerous other resources, than on resources that I would consider more specific to a single topic or book of the Bible.

Now... regarding your concern about MJ and hot water, I can only assume there's a little history there that I'm not aware of.  Hope that works out OK.  Wink

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 2:05 PM

I'm one who asked for a word-net like product in Logos and pushed the potential of the BSL when it was knew and few understood it ... sort of like my position with case-frames at the moment.

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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Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 2:34 PM

That would explain it.  Smile

My exposure to it is pretty limited at this point (mostly when in an interlinear), but it's nice to have.  I was just a little fuzzy as to if (and how) it was different from LN.  I know it's not possible to actually "compare" without a LN in hand, but the answers provided have helped remove some of the fuzz, and given me a better idea of how they differ.

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 18 2015 3:58 PM

I'm probably going to meet Bri'ar Rabbit's fate, but the word 'word-net' is the critical piece.

Now, I'm not even remotely in MJ's world/knowledgability. My penchant for being critical of BSL isn't because I think it's late-1800s level (that might be a little below the belt).  

It's because the promise of BSL hasn't (yet) been met.  Just in the OT (and remember, I'm no expert), you have multiple dimensions.  Within a single language, you have time (centuries worth), distance (Palestine?, Babylon?, Alexandria?), writer/group, and audience.  All colliding within 'meaning'. Normal meaning? Religious meaning? Hidden meaning (they did operate under an iron hand most of the time)?

Then add a second language (of significance to Logosians) which is heavily argued as to how it was manipulated (greek).  Large swaths of humanity dumped Christianity on the argument 'greek culture!!'. And lastly introduce 'english' and its loosy-goosy connections (ask anyone learning english).  

That means a 'word-net'.  Many-to-many. And with a level of professionalism that admits to possibly-this but maybe-that. With references (by the way).  

I hope I haven't misread MJ, but todays BSL is indeed a bit more than LN. But not much more.  I'd say royalty-free.

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

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