Feb 27, 2013 David Lang

Hey Greek Prof, How 'Bout Some Extra Credit?

Whenever I teach Accordance training seminars (I'll be doing two in Washington D.C. and Williamsburg next month), I get to show some really cool Greek and Hebrew searches. Because the seminar attendees can range from brand new users who don't know Greek and Hebrew to students taking their first class to Bible scholars who work with it every day, it can be challenging to show how some of the more esoteric searches are useful. So I sometimes will joke that the beginning students can use these searches to garner extra credit.

For example, in showing how to use the COUNT command, I'll search the tagged Greek New Testament for [COUNT 1]. (You'll find the COUNT command in the Enter Command submenu of the Search menu.) This powerful search finds every word which only appears one time in the Greek New Testament.


These rarely used words are known as hapax legomena, and in the days before Accordance, there was no easy way to find them.


Once we've done this search, I then have the seminar attendees select Analysis from the Stats & Graphs icon to get an alphabetized list of all NT hapax legomena.


All this takes no more than a few seconds.

It's then that I show the "practical" value of such a search. I tell all the beginning Greek students to approach their professor on a Friday and say, "Prof, if I spend the weekend finding all the hapax legomena in the Greek New Testament, can I get some extra credit?" Then I instruct them to go home, do the search and analysis I just showed, print out the analysis tab, and bring that in on Monday morning. If they really want to sell it, they should look particularly worn out and disheveled when they turn it in.

Now, this might have been more likely to work in the days before Bible software was capable of advanced research, but even today, it might work if your professor doesn't happen to use Accordance. If he uses something else, maybe he won't suspect that it only took you a few seconds!

Tomorrow, I'll give you Hebrew students a search you can use to garner extra credit.

Bookmark and Share

Archived Comments


February 27, 2013 4:39 PM

That's pretty good. But what would really be impressive is getting the word counts for word stems, ie # of times the stem "-agap-" is used. Is that doable?

David Lang

February 27, 2013 5:18 PM

Dave, try doing a search for +αγαπη and then open an Analysis. This will find every occurrence of every lexical form derived from the root αγαπη. The Analysis will give you the counts for each word as well as the total number of words. Is that what you're looking for?


February 27, 2013 5:38 PM

No. I want to do it just like you did in your example, only searching for word stem "counts" instead of individual words. I don't want to search for particular stems. I want accordance to list the counts based on any stem family as opposed to individual words.

David Lang

February 27, 2013 5:56 PM

Then no. There is not currently a way to have the Analysis sort the results by root.