Alex / Ali alexali at
Sun Oct 21 06:12:56 EDT 2001

Steven responded to my note about computer counting and PISTEUW EIS by

>It all comes down to how precise you want
>to be. As it turns out, in many cases, the more precise you want to be, the
>broader your search parameters will be, which will require more "weeding
>out" of irrelevant hits.

Steven, you've put well a point I was trying to make.  I wasn't "having a
shot" at anyone;  I did think others might be interested in the actual
figures and then just to a moment to think about the use of computer tools
in the study that brings us together on B-Greek. I wasn't "having a shot" at
computer analysis, either; I don't have GRAMCORD (wish I did) or SIL's new
BART database and program mentioned by Wayne Leman and Iver the other day
(wish I did - is it generally available?). I do use the search facilities
that come with the (somewhat old) BibleWorks version I use, and do other
database work in Access and the VB program I use for keeping Greek notes. My
point here was simply that sometimes reading text reminds us of complexities
that may be worth bearing in mind when setting up the computer searches (eg
reminding one of the possibility of inverted word order when searching for
PISTEUW EIS, or of omitted words to be understood), and the approaches are
complementary, not exclusive; and, as you say, the broader the search
parameters, the more weeding but the more accurate, so there's no instant
way of getting the data.

Steven then wrote,

>As for your point about giving greater facility in reading and
God's word, I'm not sure what you mean. If someone is *only* engaged in
running searches, that is not the same as becoming familiar with the text.
Speaking for myself, I read through the text and perform searches as I am
prompted by questions that arise in my mind from the text. I don't do one to
the exclusion of the other. It all comes down to being well-rounded and not
leaning too much on a good thing. One may become just as over-dependent on
printed materials as on computer resources.

Again, there's no disagreement here at all, Steven.  I was trying to convey
that, even if the grammatical data *could* be generated instantly, it's only
reading amounts of text in quantity the provides the background to
understand the data and develops a facility with the actual language. When I
do specifically language work reading through the text I don't consider that
my Bible study, but when I do do my Bible study, having read through text
for language purposes gives me a greater facility in the language than I
would derive from computer searches (even if they could give me
instantaneous results) or, for that matter, from trying to understand
grammar just from the grammars.  As you say, "It all comes down to being
well-rounded and not leaning too much on a good thing".

Best wishes,

Alex Hopkins
Melbourne, Australia

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