Verbum Search through Tip of the Day #4

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 3 2020 6:30 PM

Tip 4: Interesting cases of Biblical personal name Search Part 1

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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The first three tips have been heavy on new information and in deferring issues to latter. That is scarcely the “slow, methodical, and repetitive set of tips” initially promised. This tip will consider some personal names that cause problems for a Basic text Biblical personal name Search:

  1. When a person’s name is also a common word i.e. used both as a proper noun and a common word, the text search cannot accurately select the person’s name: an example, “Job” and the employment “job”.
  2. When a person’s name changes in their lifetime: an example, Abram
  3. When multiple people share a name: an example, Mary, Mother of Jesus; Mary Magdalene; Mary of Bethany; Mary, mother of John Mark . . .
  4. When a person has a compound name, each part of which is independently the name of other people: an example, John Mark.
  5. When a supernatural person was unknown when early scripture was written: an example, Holy Spirit.

The Search panel is set as it was last set:

  • Match all word forms option is on
  • Basic Search
  • All Text
  • All Passages
  • NRSV

It is “fiddled with” by changing the “All Passages” in order to limit the results so that the point of the search is visible. Other adjustments are explained in the examples.

Step 1: Click on the second parameter; it initially read “All passages”. In the input box for the autocompletion list, enter “Sirach” (1).

Step 2: Then enter “Job” as the text argument.

Step 3: Run the Search

The results are of 3 types:

  1. The first case refers to Job the writing and is not part of the Biblical text.
  2. The second case refers to employment, a false positive when looking for a personal name.
  3. The third case is the Biblical personal name “Job” in the Bible text.

On the Use of “match case” and Search field:

The second item is the easiest to improve but not actually completely resolve. The person’s name (proper noun) takes a capital letter; the employment use does not (unless it is the first word of a sentence – uncommon in English where an article (a/the) or an adjective (my/your …) would normally precede it.

Step 1. Open the Panel menu via the kebab.

Step 2. Set the “Match case” (note this is typological case not grammatical case) option to on (1). Remember that the option toggles on a click.

Step 3. Run the search.

The result of employment “job” is no longer in the results.

To delete the result from the pericope heading material, we can limit the search to “Bible text only”. This requires actual tagging by Faithlife rather than be strictly dependent only upon the text itself.

Step 1. Click on the first field – the text field option – and a dynamic selection menu will open.

Step 2. Expand the “Search Fields” option.

Step 3. Select “Bible Text” and “Search Fields”. Note that there is a search box at the topic of the menu to assist you in finding the options you need. Only options that appear in the resources being searched will show.

Step 4. Run the Search.

The results now contain only the proper noun “Job” when it occurs in the Biblical text. Now read the Search “Search Bible Text in Sirach in The New Revised Standard Version for Job”. It is easy to lose track of the fact that the Search makes sense in English once you learn to read the Search argument, the portion in the input box.

For years I have argued that the three parameters in the Panel Menu should appear with the rest of the Search on the main panel.

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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