SYSTEMIC DATA BUG - inconsistent/inaccurate tags for searching

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Aug 12 2018 8:05 PM

The treatment of groups of people has some oddities that limit the ability to run accurate searches as does the use of a Bible reference as an identifying feature for an individual..

Example 1:

In 1 Chr 2:49 some sources take Machbenah and Gibea to be individuals fathered by Sheva; others take them to be locations inhabited by the descendants of Sheva. I have not researched the issue far enough to have an informed opinion. However, I am quite sure that humans do not father a geographic place - they father the inhabitants of a geographic place. I also prefer consistency in treatment - not Machbenah is a place but Gibea is a person.

Example 2: 

45 The gatekeepers: the descendants of Shallum, of Ater, of Talmon, of Akkub, of Hatita, of Shobai, one hundred thirty-eight

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989), Ne 7:45.

  • Descendants is given the group tag "descendants".
  • Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai are given individual tags - all but Shallum having language that implies "head of a family"

However, the actual persons referred to in the verse are:

  • descendants of Shallum
  • descendants of Ater
  • descendants of Talmon
  • descendants of Akkub
  • descendants of Shobai

In other words, the person coding which supports the searches has not coded the people actually referred to in the passage. So while I can search for Korahites, which the LBD describes as:

KORAHITES (קָּרְחִי, qorchiy). The Levitical group descended from Korah. Associated with a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Responsible for gatekeeping functions in the second temple. Mentioned in the titles of several psalms.

David Willgren, “Korahites,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

I cannot search for the second temple descendants preforming this role. I have no objection to it being a separate search; I do object to there being no "descendents of Shallum" tag to search on.

Example 3:

Records are identified by reference which is not stable. In this case the person identified as 1 Chr 8:15 applies to 1 Chr 8:17 in the NRSV and 1 Chr 8:18 in the JPS. To make things more confusing, 1 Chr 8:15 NRSV does have a reference but to Zebadiah (descendant of Beriah). This makes it difficult to build a search any way other than using the Context Menu from an occurrence in a Bible ... you've got to know the answer to find the search is only a slight exaggeration.

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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