Trying to understand how Cultural Concept tagging is applied

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jun 26 2020 11:23 PM

I was trying to study the concept of "justice" and didn't understand how cultural concept tagging was applied 

I started in Deut 10:18 and found the tag of justice which seemed reasonable

But this tag is only found in the book of Deuteronomy

1 Kings 3 uses the concept of Blessing when the text seems to be speaking about justice

while Job 8:3 doesn't use any tag at all

How is this tagging to be understood / used?

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Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 27 2020 5:09 AM

Yes, Graham

Something strange is going on here. Using the ESV as my base text, I also confirm this strange absence of consistency. In fact 1Kgs3.11 the NIV translates mishpat as justice whereas the ESV translates as right, but the interlinear leaves this untranslated. Right is not associated with any Hebrew word although mishpat appears it indicates that it is untranslated, strange indeed. I also confirm that the Cultural Theme Justice is absent from 1Kgs3.11 and Jb8.3. Although, mishpat is consistently given the Sense justice and also the Preaching Theme Justice. Perhaps Cultural Concept Justice is reserved for the instances where it's meant to convey a legal meaning.Hmm

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 27 2020 3:41 PM

"Cultural concepts were originally selected from the Yale Outline of Cultural Materials, a cultural ontology created to be used by anthropologists the world over. The Yale OCM contains broader cultural categories that are thought to be universal to human behavior and culture. Cultural practices and concepts that were not relevant to the biblical texts were eliminated and other concepts unique to the biblical texts were added. Our primary focus was on cultural practices and concepts that were especially relevant to the biblical text and not necessarily all ancient Near Eastern culture. During the process of annotation more concepts were added to the ontology if encountered in the text. Concepts were defined broadly in order to allow for more annotations and to prevent unnecessary complications within the ontology."

Witthoff, David, Jessica Parks, and Sean Boisen. Lexham Cultural Ontology Dataset Documentation. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2015.

I sometimes go back to this source to seek out the logic of some of the divisions.https://hraf.yale.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/OCM-Cultures-Traditions-Combo_201404051.pdf Sometimes I save myself time and just shake my head.

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 3 2020 2:37 PM

Graham Criddle:

I was trying to study the concept of "justice" and didn't understand how cultural concept tagging was applied 

</snip>

How is this tagging to be understood / used?

Two key points:

  • We annotated passages of Scripture based on their overall content, not individual words: in addition to your search example, you can find those references on the corresponding Factbook page (illustrated below for "justice"). Note in some cases it's a range of several verses. 

  • We annotated passages of Scripture that exemplified a concept: therefore, the annotation is not comprehensive, and many biblical passages mentioning or even discussing justice might not be included. And a passage that mentions "justice" may have a different cultural concept annotation, as with your Job example. From the documentation:

"Every verse does not need an annotation.

Generally speaking, a cultural concept was tagged in a text if it was described in some detail.

In some cases, a cultural practice might not be described but will still be tagged if the larger context of the passage provides insight into that practice.

If a concept was merely mentioned and is not critical to the understanding or theme of a passage, it was likely not annotated."

This also means that key passages on the topic of "justice" (e.g., Mic 6:8) aren't included: they don't tell us about the cultural concept.

(I'll admit it seems a little odd to only have passages from Deut: the annotator who did this work is no longer with the company, so i can't easily ask him. But my guess is that's where he found the primary texts addressing justice as a cultural concept.)

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Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 3 2020 4:33 PM

Sean,

Thanks for the info.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 3 2020 11:57 PM

HI Sean

Sean Boisen:

Two key points:

  • We annotated passages of Scripture based on their overall content, not individual words: in addition to your search example, you can find those references on the corresponding Factbook page (illustrated below for "justice"). Note in some cases it's a range of several verses. 

Thanks for your response.

So I see how using Factbook to explore the Concept of Justice would work - I get a range of biblical verses and references to other resources that describe this concept. And I could search a Bible to find these passages as well.

But if I want to get a wider sense of where the concept of justice was referred to then I should probably use another mechanism - such as searching for that Sense.

Is that a reasonable understanding?

Thanks, Graham 

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Sean Boisen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2020 6:28 PM

Graham Criddle:

<snip/>

So I see how using Factbook to explore the Concept of Justice would work - I get a range of biblical verses and references to other resources that describe this concept. And I could search a Bible to find these passages as well.

But if I want to get a wider sense of where the concept of justice was referred to then I should probably use another mechanism - such as searching for that Sense.

Is that a reasonable understanding?

Thanks, Graham 

Yes, that sense and related ones. There's also a pretty good article in the Lexham Theological Wordbook, which also has a list of related concepts and senses at the end. 

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Steve Maling | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jul 14 2020 7:04 PM

I think Volume 9 of the DCH (Dictionary of Classical Hebrewmight be useful in this endeavor. https://www.logos.com/product/188507/dictionary-of-classical-hebrew-dch

"In volumes 1-8 of the Dictionary of Classical Hebrew | DCH, each resource has its own English–Hebrew Index. However, this collection also includes the Index volume (vol. 9), a much improved gathering together of all those indexes. The Index contains every word used as a translation (gloss) in the Dictionary, that is, all the words printed in bold. In addition—a feature not seen before in Hebrew dictionaries—beneath each listed word are noted all the Hebrew words it translates, together with the volume and page reference of the relevant article."

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