Verbum 9 Tip 9ag: Guide section: Interesting Words

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Interesting Words

An illustration from the First Sunday of Advent, Year A in United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America. Second Typical Edition. Vol. I–IV. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1998–2002.

First reading

P13-1 Advent YA W1 Sunday FR

Responsorial psalm

P13-2 Advent YA W1 Sunday RP

Second reading

P13-3 Advent YA W1 Sunday SR


P13-4 Advent YA W1 Sunday G

Effect of all readings

P13-5 Advent YA W1 Sunday Readings

What do these tell you? They tell you what the congregation heard when the readings were proclaimed – what was repeated often and is sure to remain in their minds; what was heard rarely and is dependent upon the lector’s proclamation to be memorable. [Yes, I did not use Verbum to create these as I needed to be able to use multiple, non-consecutive texts. Furthermore, I wanted the lectionary text rather than the Bible text.]

From Verbum Help:

Interesting Words Section

This section takes the words in the guide’s key passage and compares their frequency with those of the same words in the surrounding sections. The results are computed at run time, and are not pulling from a curated list. As such, the results may not line up with a notion of "importance" within the passage. Rather, this section alerts you to the relative statistical frequency of certain words compared to the surrounding text, that is, how much they "stand out" from their surroundings.

Extracted words are presented as a "word cloud," where the sizes of the words corresponds to the relative statistical frequency of the word: the larger the word appears, the less frequently it appears and the more it stands out. Click a word in the cloud to list its occurrences within the key passage.

The statistical analysis can be performed against the translation language (for example, English) or against the original language of the passage (for example, Greek or Hebrew). When a language with a built-in stemming algorithm is chosen (for example, English), words are stemmed before they are collated, so that words like "run" and "runner" are counted as the same word. When run against an original language, surface forms are used.[1]


Prerequisite reading: Tag cloud - Wikipedia

Resources included: Bibles

Section heading bar

There are no settings but the Section heading bar menu does include the option to save as a Passage List.


This guide provides a choice between English, Greek, or Hebrew using the appropriate highest priority Bible. It opens with just the word cloud (wordle) but clicking on a word exposes additional detail information.

In English (or other modern language)

P13-6 English

In Greek (or other original language)

P13-7 Greek

The content includes:

  • A word cloud/wordle in which the size of the font reflects the frequency of its use. Note that both examples shown are for languages that are stemmed to allow different forms of the word to be grouped together.
  • For a word selected from the word cloud/wordle
    • Form of the word with number of occurrences
    • Bible reference
    • Bible reference text with the relevant word highlighted in orange

Interactions on data

Visual cue

Data element




Word within word cloud


Opens a detail display under the word cloud contain word form with counts, Bible references and highlighted text.


Opens the short-form Context Menu

Blue text

Language option


Toggle between languages with active language having an orange underline.

Bible reference

Mouse over

Opens a standard popup preview text of the Bible reference in the user’s preferred Bible.


Opens the user’s preferred Bible to the given Bible verse. 

Right click

Opens a Context Menu

Drag and drop

Opens the user’s preferred Bible to the given Bible verse in a location of the user’s choice.

Orange text

Occurrence of lemma in Bible text

Mouse over

Opens a preview of the Bible text beginning at the selected lemma.


Opens the Bible to the reference with the text beginning at the selected lemma.

Right click

Open Context Menu

Drag and drop

Opens the Bible to the reference with the text beginning at the selected lemma at a location of the user’s choice.



A search on a particular lemma should replicate the Bible reference and highlighting portion of the results. However, there is no search that covers the entire passage as the Interesting words guide does. The Concordance tool, however, is a more appropriate fit.

P13-8 Search

Supplemental materials

The Concordance tool can be used to show the data used to generate the word cloud.

P13-9 Concordance

[1] Verbum Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

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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