Angels, Demons, and Deities Dataset questions

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Oct 18 2017 8:05 AM

First, I want to say "Thanks!" for this dataset! (I'm not sure if it was possible before, but) I was able to find occurrences of specific named gods other than the God of Israel (after gradually figuring out the appropriate combination of attributes).

Now the questions:

  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Angel" AND Evil = true}

0 results in all bibles. Not sure how an Angel type could be evil. Is the Evil attribute necessary for Angel types?

  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Demon" AND Evil = false}

20 verses in the LEB, mostly centered around the serpent in Genesis 3, and Beelzebul in the gospels, both labeled Demon, but not evil. How can a prince of Demons (or any demon) not be evil? Is the Evil attribute necessary for Demon types?

  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Deity" AND Evil = true}

0 results in all bibles. Wouldn't other nations' gods such as Chemosh or Dagon or Ashtoreth or Baal be evil?

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 18 2017 8:31 AM

A similarly strange classification is made evident from the search:

{Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Other" AND Evil = false}

Where the beast and the false prophet from the Apocalypse, which are clearly presented as evil, and even as part of an anti-Trinity, are classified as Evil = false. 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 18 2017 9:28 AM

Thanks for the reports, we'll look into these.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 18 2017 10:59 AM
  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Angel"} INTERSECTS <Person God> unexpectedly turns up Luke 1:19.

<Person God> highlighted search (bold) is "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,"

<Person Gabriel> highlighted search (bold) is "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,"

Because the phrase "stands in the presence of God" is tagged as <Person Gabriel>, the word God appears to be tagged as <Person God> and <Person Gabriel>, which then tags God as <Supernatural Being, Angel> and <Supernatural Being, Deity>.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Oct 18 2017 5:42 PM
  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Angel" AND NOT Name = <Person Angel of the Lord>} INTERSECTS <Person God>

I tried to narrow down the last search, to see if it turned up any other unusual verses where God is also tagged as an Angel supernatural being.

Another occurrence seems to be in Matt 18:10, where the phrase "of my Father who is in heaven" is tagged as <Person An Angel>, making "Father" be both Type: Deity and Type: Angel.

Incidentally, that does turn up a questionable bug in the right-click context menu's right pane, where Father's <Supernatural Being ...> label is not visible, unless you expand the <Intertext ...> label.

Since these are two different labels/datasets, and other dataset labels are shown separately, should <Supernatural Being> be collapsed in the Intertext label?

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 19 2017 11:15 AM

PetahChristian:

  • {Label Supernatural Being WHERE Type ~ "Angel"} INTERSECTS <Person God> unexpectedly turns up Luke 1:19.

<Person God> highlighted search (bold) is "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,"

<Person Gabriel> highlighted search (bold) is "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God,"

Because the phrase "stands in the presence of God" is tagged as <Person Gabriel>, the word God appears to be tagged as <Person God> and <Person Gabriel>, which then tags God as <Supernatural Being, Angel> and <Supernatural Being, Deity>.

While unexpected, this is actually an accurate result because the one who "stands in the presence of God" is a referring expression to "Gabriel". 

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 19 2017 11:25 AM

Regarding:

PetahChristian:
Incidentally, that does turn up a questionable bug in the right-click context menu's right pane, where Father's <Supernatural Being ...> label is not visible, unless you expand the <Intertext ...> label.

Actually, they use the same generic form of a data type (a label) and they have different labels (one "Intertext", one "Supernatural Being"). The code for that portion, I believe, collapses on data type (represented by that generic bubble indicator). Several of the items in that dialog are labels. I can file a suggestion to collapse labels sensitively to their label name, but am unsure of if or when this would be done.

PetahChristian:
Another occurrence seems to be in Matt 18:10, where the phrase "of my Father who is in heaven" is tagged as <Person An Angel>, making "Father" be both Type: Deity and Type: Angel.

This looks like there may be an issue with the way the referent was delimited; I'll report it.

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 19 2017 1:03 PM

PetahChristian:
Wouldn't other nations' gods such as Chemosh or Dagon or Ashtoreth or Baal be evil?

The "Evil" label is based on internal categorization of all agents in the Bible. Some are specifically described as evil; these are the ones that carry the "evil" attribute, and that is the degree of analysis the "evil" boolean flag was intending to persist.

However, in light of all of the comments, I'm beginning to think that any persisting of "evil" in this dataset, even with deities, confuses more than assists. For a future update, I've removed the "evil" attribute from angels, demons, and other, and have changed the description to note that "evil" means the text characterizes the entity as evil.

If "evil" confusion continues after that release, then we'll evaluate removing the attribute altogether.

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Rick Brannan (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Oct 19 2017 1:31 PM

Further followup:

After examining the entities that our internal data presently classifies as "evil supernatural being", it is clear these are also classified as "Demon" in this dataset. So there is no need to persist the "evil" boolean flag; this can be asserted by type if necessary.

I will rebuild a version of the dataset for release on 10/30/2017 that has the "evil" attribute removed, and insert a note in the documentation for posterity.

Rick Brannan
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