Clause Search on Difficult / Ambiguous Passages

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GeoPappas | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Nov 13 2014 5:55 AM

I just learned about using clause search and started trying it out on some easy passages.  I like the tool a lot.  Then I tried the clause search on some of the more difficult / ambiguous passages to see how it would work.

For example, Exodus 4:24-26 is ambiguous:

24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD [YHWH] met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.

In verse 24, it says that the LORD [YHWH] met "him" and sought to kill "him", but the Bible doesn't definitively state who the "him" actually is.  Many people believe that it is Moses, but others believe that it is Moses firstborn, Gershom.  I am in the latter camp, since the verses immediately preceding (Exodus 4:22-23) discuss the firstborn and Gershom is Moses firstborn:

22 Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD [YHWH]: “Israel is My son, My firstborn23 So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”

Anyway, back to the question...

The text is ambiguous, yet Logos has decided that the clause search would return the "him" and "his" as Moses.

Here is a screenshot that shows a clause search on person:Moses in those passages:

Here is a screenshot that shows a clause search on person:Gershom (son of Moses) in those passages:

I was wondering if this is the best way of handling this situation (where the text is ambiguous).

Obviously, this "translation" of the text will work for some people, but not for others.

Would it be better to include both interpretations in the search results?  In other words, allow the clause search to return Exodus 4:24 when executing a clause search for person:Moses and also when executing a clause search for person:Gershom (son of Moses).

Or would it be better not to include either interpretation?  In other words, Exodus 4:24 would not be included in either clause search (person:Moses or person:Gershom (son of Moses)).

Any thoughts?

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GeoPappas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 19 2014 5:06 PM

Anybody?

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 19 2014 5:12 PM

This is an issue I am concerned with. I think that in ambiguous situations all possibilities should be tagged by Logos and results should reflect his.

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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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 21 2014 4:12 PM

GeoPappas:
In verse 24, it says that the LORD [YHWH] met "him" and sought to kill "him", but the Bible doesn't definitively state who the "him" actually is.  Many people believe that it is Moses, but others believe that it is Moses firstborn, Gershom.  I am in the latter camp, since the verses immediately preceding (Exodus 4:22-23) discuss the firstborn and Gershom is Moses firstborn:

So far only the NAC supports your view out of 20 commentaries! Which son was not circumcised is speculated but NAC states it is Gershom who was attacked.

Your logic is that of the NAC but Moses is being addressed in vv 21-23  i.e. 21. The Lord said to Moses "....." 24. ....the Lord met him. And why would the Lord "meet" Gershom? Unless there is a disputed/missing preface to v24 I have to say that Moses was attacked.

If Logos wanted to play it both ways the Person could be 'a male in Zipporah's family'Smile

Dave
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GeoPappas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 22 2014 4:13 AM

MJ. Smith:
This is an issue I am concerned with. I think that in ambiguous situations all possibilities should be tagged by Logos and results should reflect his.

M.J.:

Thanks for your reply.

Out of the two choices that I presented (including all interpretations or including none), I also prefer including all interpretations.

I have also been wondering if it would be useful if the user had the ability to tag verses in the Bible.  This way the user could add their own tags that they feel might be missing.  It might even be possible to allow the results to be shared with others.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 22 2014 6:02 PM

Logos 6 has essentially created the possibility of the user to tag their own resources (labels) and to put notes on questionable Logos tagging (multiple attachment points to notes). I still need a little time to decide on best practices and what more may be needed.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 124
GeoPappas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 23 2014 4:56 AM

Dave:

Thanks for your reply.

Dave Hooton:
So far only [one commentary] supports your view out of 20 commentaries!

While I appreciate and want to understand the majority opinion, I have found that the majority opinion can be incorrect at times.

Dave Hooton:
So far only the NAC supports your view...

Thanks for letting me know about the NAC, since I don't it.

In addition to the NAC, here are some other commentaries that support the viewpoint that it was Gershom that YHWH "sought to kill":

  • JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus
  • Notes, Critical and Practial, on the Book of Exodus (Vol 1)
  • A Study Commentary on Exodus (Vol 1)
  • The Reformation Study Bible gives both viewpoints
  • The Faithlife Study Bible also gives both viewpoints

Blessings.

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GeoPappas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 23 2014 5:00 AM

MJ. Smith:

Logos 6 has essentially created the possibility of the user to tag their own resources (labels) and to put notes on questionable Logos tagging (multiple attachment points to notes). I still need a little time to decide on best practices and what more may be needed.

MJ:

I believe that we might be talking about two separate things.

When I used the word "tag", I meant to add the ability in Logos to allow the user to create a clause "tag".  So for example, if I feel that the text is referring to Gershom as the "him" in Ex 4:24, then I could "tag" Gershom as "him".  Then when I did a clause search for Gershom, it would show Logos results, but also my new results that I "tagged".  I guess "tag" wasn't a good word to use (since it has other connotations within Logos), but it was what I thought of at the time.

My apologies for the confusion.

Blessings.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 23 2014 11:10 AM

You are describing community tagging in Logos 6 extended to clauses. Your example of referent tagging can be done. You are correct that I misunderstood you.

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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