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Help - Peshitta OT compared to Hebrew OT total lexemes statistical comparisons

Aramaic Hebrew Old Testament statistics codex ambrosianus statistical comparisons Peshitta help

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#1 bnelso48

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 07:10 PM

If any of my brothers and sisters in Christ can help me with these statistics, I’d greatly appreciate it.

 

My two questions are

  1. What is the approximate number of individual lexemes in Codex Ambrosianus/Old Testament Peshitta? (including the deuterocanonical books)
  2. What is the approximate number of individual lexemes in Codex Ambrosianus/Old Testament Peshitta, if only the books that are in both the Codex Ambrosianus and the KJV Bible are looked at? This well be more of an “apples to apples” comparison if only the books in the KJV Hebrew bible canon are looked at.

Can you please quote your source on if you used Accordance to find these statistics yourself or if you found them via another source? 

 

I have often read/heard that Hebrew and Aramaic are very similar. I’m trying to find out just how similar these are in regards to the OT. The number I normally see for the number of individual lexemes in the Hebrew Old Testament is 8,679. I’m trying to statistically compare this with the Aramaic Old Testament. 

 

Thank you for your help,

Brian

 

P.S. I am not a scholar. I have close to a basic understanding of Aramaic. I am just starting Hebrew. So please no answers that are to technical. Although, I can look definitions up if I need to. An approximate number is fine.

 



#2 TYA

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 11:18 PM

Hi Brian.

 

I can't answer your questions exactly, but hopefully this information will be of some help, or at least send you in the right direction.

 

Using another Bible software (since I'm still less knowledgeable regarding Accordance for searches / statistics of these kinds), I found that The Michigan-Claremont text (a coding of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) has a "Wordlist" of 39,987 words, while the Leiden Peshitta critical edition reports a "Wordlist" of 37,545 for Genesis to Malachi (39 books, and excluding the 19 non-canonical books to make for an apples-to-apples comparison).

 

If you include the additional 19 deuterocanonical / pseudepigraphical works, the Leiden Peshitta's "Wordlist" comes to 46,530, but of course, this is no longer apples-to-apples with the BHS text I analyzed.

 

I'm not exactly sure what "Wordlist" means here.  I know it isn't the total number of words in the sense of strings of characters separated by whitespaces, since the BHS has over 400,000 "words" in that sense.  But I'm also not sure if the 8,769 Hebrew words you mentioned before are strictly "lexemes" or else possibly "lemmas."  Maybe you or someone else here knows.

 

I also hate to have to caution that my analysis of "Wordlists" above may not be so truly apples-to-apples, based on the program I used, because the BHS text is tagged, and the Leiden Peshitta isn't tagged.  The program may perform the analysis different depending on whether a text is tagged or not.  (I'm almost positive that Accordance would as well).

 

But if I may gander a guess, I would guess that the Leiden Peshitta would have less individual lexemes than the Hebrew Bible, only based on my experience with both the Peshitta Tanakh (as I call it - "OT"), and the Peshitta Apostolic Writings ("NT").  And, of course, the little analysis I reported for you above.

 

We know that Hebrew is a far more simplified language than Greek, for example; and Aramaic (for biblical text) may be slightly even more simplified.

 

For instance, while the Hebrew Tanakh uses a variety of "legal terms" for various precepts in the Torah of Moses (e.g. torot, mitsvot, chuqqim, mishpatim), the Peshitta seems to condense these in translation to the word puqdana.  Yes, the Peshitta has words for "Torah" (namusa), "mishpatim" (diyna), but sometimes I think the Peshitta's vocabulary / wordstock is slightly more condensed than the Hebrew Bible (and again, significantly more condensed than the Greek).

 

Also, just as a point of clarification: Codex Ambrosianus and the Leiden Peshitta Tanakh are not synonymous (since you mentioned them both).  Codex Ambrosianus was one of the manuscripts used in the Leiden critical edition, but not the only one.  I don't think Codex Ambrosianus has ever been digitized and made available to the public (though you can get it in pdf form online), but it is the Leiden critical edition of the Peshitta that Bible software companies use.

 

Also, I'm not aware that Codex Ambrosianus has ever been digitized--that is, made available publicly.


Edited by TYA, 06 June 2019 - 11:22 PM.

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#3 Helen Brown

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 01:28 PM

Actually, our PESHOT-T is based on Codex Ambrosianus.


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#4 TYA

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 02:14 PM

Actually, our PESHOT-T is based on Codex Ambrosianus.

 

Thanks, Helen.  You may have a valid correction to my previous statement; and If so, that should be included in the "About this text" section, as this information is important.

 

But I meant above that there may be some gaps between the fact that Ambrosianus is the basis for the Leiden critical edition of the Peshitta, and the notion that PESHOT-T is an exact transcription of Codex Ambrosianus.  There could be a distinction, and such would be impact Brian's highly-specific request in this post.

 

One author writes, "The basic manuscript of the edition is Milan, Ambrosian Library, B. 21. Inf. (siglum: 7a1)".  But does the word "basic" here suggest that Leiden generally used Ambrosianus, or does it imply an exact transcription?  I don't know, to be honest.  I just wrote to Dr. Jerome Lund, who helped encode the PESHOT-T, to ask him if he knows the answer to this question.


Edited by TYA, 07 June 2019 - 02:17 PM.

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#5 TYA

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 10:39 AM

One author writes, "The basic manuscript of the edition is Milan, Ambrosian Library, B. 21. Inf. (siglum: 7a1)".  But does the word "basic" here suggest that Leiden generally used Ambrosianus, or does it imply an exact transcription?  I don't know, to be honest.  I just wrote to Dr. Jerome Lund, who helped encode the PESHOT-T, to ask him if he knows the answer to this question.

 

I just heard back on this, so that we can have the most precise understanding.  Dr. Lund wrote the following to me yesterday.

 

"The Leiden edition uses 7a1 (Ambrosianus) except where it is missing text or has an obvious error. Some of the deuterocanonical books do not appear in Ambrosianus. Accordance aims at being an exact transcription of Ambrosianus with some emendations or tagging that reveals an alternate (correct) reading. Other manuscripts were not consulted as a rule."


Edited by TYA, 22 July 2019 - 10:40 AM.

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#6 bnelso48

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 03:59 PM

Thank you! My question is not necessarily super specific on codex Ambrosianus. I just put it down, because I looked at it as a standard for comparison.

 

I just want to understand how close Hebrew and Aramaic really are to each other. I've heard/read from several linguist about how similar they are/were, but a statistical analysis between the Hebrew OT and Aramaic OT would give me a more quantifiable understanding.

 

(I use the Peshitta NT for most of my NT studies, so I put value on this information.)

 

Thanks again,

Brian


Edited by bnelso48, 22 July 2019 - 04:01 PM.


#7 TYA

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 05:06 PM

I use the Peshitta NT for most of my NT studies, so I put value on this information.

 

You may also be interested in the Peshitta "NT" modules uploaded to the Accordance Exchange, which you can download and install for free. See here.


Edited by TYA, 22 July 2019 - 05:07 PM.

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