Word senses - Exact science, or more of an interpretation?

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J. Erik | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, May 25 2019 3:51 AM

Hi! I am starting to appreciate the word senses in the word study tool.  Take for example the word “justified” in James 2:21(;24;25). You have the same word and the same story about Abraham in Romans, but the sense is different. In Romans it means justified in regards to Gods law, but in James it means shown to be justified in the eyes of men (my paraphrase. Sitting out in the sun with my iPad, which does not have the senses tool yet). How has these senses come to be? Is it a matter of someones interpretation, or is there a more exact grammatical indication? 

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 25 2019 8:05 AM

J. Erik:
Take for example the word “justified” in James 2:21(;24;25). You have the same word and the same story about Abraham in Romans, but the sense is different.

Jas 2:21 and Romans 4:2 have the same lemma and same <Sense = to be justified> wrt. Abraham. Jas has the additional <Sense = to be vindicated (state)>, but the Bible Sense Lexicon indicates they are equivalent.

J. Erik:
How has these senses come to be? Is it a matter of someones interpretation, or is there a more exact grammatical indication? 

See https://wiki.logos.com/Logos_5$3a_Bible_Sense_Lexicon  for some history.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 12:58 AM

J. Erik:
How has these senses come to be? Is it a matter of someones interpretation, or is there a more exact grammatical indication? 

To provide an extreme English example of a simple word:

go1

■ verb (goes, going; past went; past participle gone)
1 move from one place to another; travel.
▶ engage in a specified activity: she used to go hunting.
▶ (go to) attend or visit for a purpose.
▶ pass time in a particular way: they went for two months without talking.
▶ lie or extend in a certain direction.
2 leave; depart.
▶ (of time) pass or elapse.
▶ come to an end.
▶ disappear or be used up.
3 (be going to be/do something) used to express a future tense: I’m going to be late.
4 pass into or be in a specified state, especially an undesirable one: her mind went blank.
▶ (go to/into) enter into a specified state or course of action: she went back to sleep.
▶ make a sound of a specified kind.
▶ (go by/under) be known or called by (a specified name).
5 turn out in a specified way.
▶ be acceptable or permitted: anything goes.
6 be harmonious, complementary, or matching.
7 (of a machine or device) function.
▶ continue in operation or existence.
8 fit into or be regularly kept in a particular place.
9 informal urinate or defecate.
10 informal say.
■ noun (plural goes) informal
1 chiefly Brit. an attempt or trial.
2 Brit. a person’s turn to do or use something.
▶ a single item, action, or spell of activity: he drank a pint in one go.
3 Brit. spirit or energy.
▶ vigorous activity: it’s all go.
4 dated a state of affairs.
▶ an attack of illness.
—PHRASES
all the go Brit. informal, dated in fashion.
go figure! North American informal said to express the belief that something is amazing or incredible.
go halves (or shares) share something equally.
going!, gone! an auctioneer’s announcement that bidding is closing or closed.
going on——(Brit. also going on for——) approaching a specified time, age, or amount.
go to show (or prove) serve as evidence or proof.
have a go at chiefly Brit. attack or criticize.
have——going for one informal used to indicate how much someone has in their favour or to their advantage.
make a go of informal be successful in.
on the go informal very active or busy.
to be going on with Brit. to start with; for now.
to go North American (of food or drink from a restaurant or cafe) to be consumed off the premises.
who goes there? said by a sentry as a challenge.
—PHRASAL VERBS
go about
1 begin or carry on work at: you went about it in the wrong way.
2 Sailing change to an opposite tack.
go against oppose or resist.
▶ be contrary to or unfavourable for.
go ahead proceed or be carried out.
go along with agree to.
go at energetically attack or tackle.
go back on fail to keep (a promise).
go down
1 be defeated in a contest.
2 be recorded or remembered in a particular way.
3 elicit a specified reaction.
4 North American informal happen.
5 Brit. informal be sent to prison.
6 Brit. informal finish one’s studies and leave a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge.
go for
1 decide on.
2 attempt to gain or attain.
3 launch oneself at in attack.
4 end up having a specified negative result.
5 apply to; have relevance for.
go in for
1 Brit. enter (a competition) or take (an examination).
2 like or habitually take part in.
go into
1 investigate or enquire into.
2 (of a whole number) be capable of dividing another, typically without a remainder.
go off
1 (of a gun or bomb) explode or fire.
▶ (of an alarm) begin to sound.
2 Brit. (of food) begin to decompose.
3 Brit. informal begin to dislike.
4 go to sleep.
go on
1 continue or persevere.
▶ talk at great length.
▶ continue speaking or doing something after a pause.
▶ informal said when encouraging someone or expressing disbelief.
2 take place.
3 proceed to do.
4 [usually with negative] informal have a specified amount of care or liking for.
go out
1 (of a fire or light) be extinguished.
2 (of the tide) ebb.
3 leave home to go to a social event.
4 carry on a regular romantic relationship.
5 (in some card games) be the first to dispose of one’s cards.
go over
1 examine or check the details of.
2 change one’s allegiance or religion.
3 be received in a specified way.
go round (chiefly US also go around)
1 spin; revolve.
2 be sufficient to supply everybody present.
go through
1 undergo (a difficult period or experience).
2 search through or examine carefully.
3 be officially approved or completed.
4 informal use up or spend.
go to! archaic said to express disbelief, impatience, or admonition.
go under (of a business) become bankrupt.
go up
1 explode or suddenly burst into flames.
2 Brit. informal begin one’s studies at a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge.
go with
1 consent or agree to.
2 have a romantic or sexual relationship with.
go without suffer lack or deprivation.
—ORIGIN Old English gān, of Germanic origin; the form went was originally the past tense of WEND.
USAGE
The use of go followed by and, as in I must go and change, is regarded by some traditionalists as incorrect. For more details, see usage at AND.


go2

■ noun a Japanese board game of territorial possession and capture.
—ORIGIN 19th century: Japanese.


Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, eds., Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Some of the criteria for meaning are:

  • determining the lexical unit boundary (e.g. phrasal verbs)
  • determining the grammatical function (noun vs. verb)
  • eliminate senses that do not apply to the semantic field of the text (e.g. a meaning of aesthetics - red goes well with black - in an essay on 4th grade scatological humor)
  • knowing that etymology allows multiple words to be visually identical (e.g. the Japanese go(2) vs. the native English go(1) although the words are unrelated (homonymy & homographs)
  • eliminating meanings not in use at the time of the text's creation
  • using syntax and context to eliminate senses that would violate grammatical, semantic, coherency or argumentation rules
  • at which point if multiple senses are still in the running, it may become a judgment call.

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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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 1:58 AM

J. Erik:
in James it means shown to be justified in the eyes of men (my paraphrase.

Not sure where your paraphrase comes from...besides you. (Does that answer your own question?) Ya`:aqohbh (Jacob, not James) is following the definition of "righteousness" used by John in 1 Jn. 3:7 NASB. 'Abhraahaam did what YHWH told him to do, which is the definition of doing "righteousness". Any other definition of what it means to be righteous is deception, as John clearly states.

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J. Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 2:16 AM

Thanks for the pointers guys.

Things starts to make a bit more sense... did I say I was funy too?


It is as Dave points out, they both share the "verb. to be or become judicially vindicated as having complied with the requirements of the law(of God)" sense, but James' (Yakov, David? Stick out tongue) word has the aditional "verb. to be or become shown to be right by providing justification or proof", as Paul's in Romans does not.

That's basically where I got it from David, but it was Mr. Grudem's systematical theology podcast that got me on the trail.

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 2:51 AM

MJ. Smith:

  • eliminating meanings not in use at the time of the text's creation

This one could be the most important one on your list.  But if that use was used earlier in the life of the writer they could be reverting to the prior use of maybe 50 years prior?  Or if their group was starting to use the word in a new way that did not become popular for 50 years? 

But who exactly was their intended audience ? We just need to assume that the writer was trying to be understood by that audience.  

Thank for the example.  Thanks for the lesson on 'senses'  

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J. Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 3:00 AM

MJ. Smith:

  • at which point if multiple senses are still in the running, it may become a judgment call.

Your list is very good MJ. This point sort of answers one of my questions. 

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 3:05 AM

David Ames:
But who exactly was their intended audience ? We just need to assume that the writer was trying to be understood by that audience.

I hear this idea stated quite often, but there is quite a bit of prophetic evidence that indicates that WE are the intended audience. Also, there is evidence suggesting that historical contemporaries were NOT the intended audience. There is even evidence that the human "authors" did not fully or properly comprehend what they were transcribing.

Having said that, anachronous concepts are still a problem to be avoided, as in the fact that systematic theologies (to grab something out of the air Confused) can frequently promote theology that is utterly foreign to what was understood when the Bible was written.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 3:11 AM

J. Erik:
James' (Yakov, David? Stick out tongue)

Whether the final beiytth was pronounced as a V in Yeishuua`'s day is highly debatable...even doubtful.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 3:41 AM

J. Erik:
it was Mr. Grudem's systematical theology podcast that got me on the trail.

Yeah, that's not a trail so much as trompe-l'œil.

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 26 2019 5:23 PM

David Paul:

Thank You for your comments here and elsewhere.   [[And also thanks to Google Translate]] 

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2019 8:48 AM

J. Erik:

...

How has these senses come to be? Is it a matter of someones interpretation, or is there a more exact grammatical indication? 

See Bible Sense Lexicon: Dataset Documentation for more information about how these senses were assigned. 

Posts 103
J. Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 31 2019 8:58 AM

Thank you Sean!

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