Mar 31, 2011 David Lang

More Questions About Questions

This week, I've been taking a search for all the questions in the Bible and showing how you can use various graphs to visualize important aspects of the results. In Monday's post, we used the Hits Graph to see the predominance of questions at the end of the book of Job. In Tuesday's post, we used the Table Bar Chart to see which books have the greatest frequency of questions. In this post, I want to modify the Table Bar Chart to see which books have the largest number of questions.


The Table Bar Chart we looked at Tuesday plotted Average Hits, which is based on a ratio of hits per thousand words. Looking at Average Hits shows the relative concentration of questions in each book. So Malachi, a short book, appears just below the much longer book of Job. Job may, in fact, have a far greater number of questions than does Malachi, but the ratio of hits is roughly the same.

To see which books have the greatest number of questions, simply change the pop-up menu at the bottom right corner of the Graph from Average Hits to Total Hits. Your Table Bar Chart should now look something like this:


As you can see, Malachi now appears much further down the list, while much longer books like those of the Major Prophets, the Gospels, and the Psalms now appear toward the top of the list.

Curious to know which chapters have the largest number of questions? You can find that out by choosing Set Graph Display from the Display menu and checking the Show Chapter Detail checkbox.


Once again, Job takes the top spot, but the second spot goes to a chapter about David's restoration after Absalom's rebellion. Why would a chapter like that feature so many questions?

I'll leave it to you to explore the answer to that question. The point I hope you can see is that these various graphs and charts are more than just eye-candy. They enable you to spot patterns you may not otherwise have seen—patterns which will lead you to ask further questions of the text.

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Archived Comments


April 01, 2011 9:55 PM

Generally enlightening blog- thank you!

Though, how about UPDATING-MODERNIZING ALL the charts, & visuals for that matter!, to bring it up 2011?