NA, UBS, numbers and lemmata

Wieland Willker willker at
Wed Jan 9 12:45:14 EST 2002

Rick Hubbard asked:
> Can anyone provide a "definitive" count of the number of lemmas (dictionary
> word forms) in NA26/UBS 3?

There can never be a "definitive number". I think not two Bible scholars in the world
would agree on ALL lemmata. There are slightly more than 5400. E.g. the Bibleworks
database BNM has 5401, Fribergs GNM has 5421 (but he has some extra like EIPON, EIDON
etc.). So, 5400 - 5410 is about right.

> What is the total number of words (i.e., all inflected/conjugated word
> forms) in NA26?

Again these numbers too are only academic: What about the short ending of Mk? What with
the long? And the PA, Jo 5:3-4 ...? Would you count these or not?
Simply taking the numbers from Bibleworks 5 (which I consider as the most accurate
database atm) we will get:

NA   has 138.020 words (all bracketed things included)
UBS  has 138.019 words

NA   has 18.567 different wordforms.
UBS has 18.571 different wordforms.

without accents this would be:
NA   has 17.326 different wordforms.
UBS has  17.328 different wordforms.

These numbers are from Bibleworks 5. There are still one or two inconsistencies in the
morphologies, so the last digit is not secure.
It really all depends on what and how you count. :-)  There are many different
possibilities. E.g.  what to do with words with Iota adscriptum? e.g. Jo 18:2 HIDEI? Count
them as an extra word?

So roughly:
138.000 words in the NT
 18.000  wordforms
  5.400   lemmata

Best wishes
Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
mailto:willker at

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