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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006  

Getting Even More Graphic About Love

Two weeks ago, we did a search for the principal Greek words for "love," and then began graphing that search in a variety of ways. First, we did the now familiar Analysis Graph, which plots the frequency of each item being analyzed across the entire search range. Next we looked at the Analysis Bar Chart and the Analysis Pie Chart, which plot the total number of occurrences of each item analyzed. Today, I want to look at the Table Bar Chart.

For those of you who are following along, we're doing a simple OR search for the words agapao, agapé, phileo, and philia. We can do this by entering each word, then hitting shift-command-O to insert the OR command, entering the next word, and so forth. Or we can choose "Enter Lexical Forms..." from the Search menu (or use the keyboard shortcut command-L) and pick the forms we want from the list. The latter approach gets us a search argument that looks like this:

Click OK to perform this search, then click the Details button. Now select Table Bar Chart from the Graph drop-down menu. Make sure "Average Hits" is selected in the pop-up menu at the bottom right corner of the window. You should now see a graph which looks like this:

Before I explain the Table Bar Chart, perhaps I'd better review the Table, a form of statistical detail which has been around since Accordance 1.0. Go ahead and click the Table button of the details window, and you'll get a table like this:

The Table gives a book by book (or chapter by chapter) listing of the total number of hits, the average number of hits, and optionally, the total number of words and verses. The Table Bar Chart simply represents this information graphically.

If we look again at the Table Bar Chart of Average Hits, we can see immediately that 1 John speaks of love more frequently than any other book of the New Testament. But 1 John is a relatively small book, so while the average hits may be high, there may be larger books which have a higher total number of hits. We can see if that is indeed the case simply by selecting Total Hits from the pop-up menu:

Here it would appear that the bar for John is actually a bit longer than that for 1 John, indicating that John actually speaks of love more often than 1 John. Unfortunately, the actual count doesn't appear, making it hard to really see how much of a difference exists. The reason the count does not immediately appear is that the default window size is too small to show the count. If you were to click the green jelly-bean button in the top left corner to expand the window, you would see the count displayed on the left side, immediately beneath the book name. Another way to see the count is to use Command-T (the one keyboard shortcut you absolutely must learn) to open the Set Table Bar Chart Display dialog box.

There you'll see an option to display the count on the right rather than the left. (Looking back now, we should have made that the default display, since it is more likely to show up at smaller window sizes.) You'll also see an option to "Sort by count." If you're following along, go ahead and click both those options, then click OK. You should see something like this:

Here we can see immediately that John uses these words for love 57 times, while 1 John uses them 46 times. Note how the sort by count option displays each book in descending order based on the count, rather than in canonical order.

Okay, so the Gospel of John is the book which talks the most about love, but what is the chapter which speaks the most about love? We can find this out by using Command-T again, and checking the option to Show Chapter Detail:

Wow! 1 John 4 is the clear winner, speaking of love no less than 27 times. That's three times the number of occurrences found in 1 Corinthians 13, the chapter commonly referred to as the "Love Chapter." I guess the person who first came up with that label didn't have Accordance 7!

In an upcoming post, I'll talk about using the Table Bar Chart to show Total Words and Total Verses. In the meantime, be sure to impress your friends by informing them that 1 Corinthians 13 isn't really the "Love Chapter"; it's 1 John 4. :-)

The blog has really been sparse the past few weeks. I hope this means that new modules are being cleaned up and readied for release very soon!

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