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Is this a bug?: Concordance Search with Key Number

searches key number search

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#1 jkdoyle

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:05 AM

I was showing a friend (who doesn't know Hebrew or Greek) how to do some basic searches from English keyed texts where he can see some elements of the original languages. In the process we did a key number search in the ESV Strongs (of "power", G1411 in 2 Tim 1:7). We were using the analytics tools, and when using the concordance function we received many results that didn't correspond to the search term ([KEY G1411]), such as "by no means" from μὴ γένοιτο in in Romans 3:4 (and many other passages). Shouldn't the concordance results only show verses and the text where G1411 (δύναμις) is found?

Here is a dropbox link to a screen captured image of the results that have many results that are erroneously including "means". 

 

Thanks

Jimmy

 


Edited by jkdoyle, 21 June 2019 - 11:19 AM.


#2 David Lang

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:19 AM

The Concordance builds a concordance of all the English words found by your search. Since G1411 is translated as "means" in 2 Cor. 8:3, the concordance shows every occurrence of the English word "means", even though the vast majority of them translate other Greek words and are therefore tagged with other Key numbers.

 

If you just want to see all the occurrences of G1411, you already have that in the Search tab itself.

 

Hope this helps.


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#3 jkdoyle

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 11:29 AM

David, thanks for the quick response!

We do have the results in the search tab, but we don't have a quick visual synopsis like the concordance function allows, which shows a more visually condensed list of the verses by searched term and also have abbreviated contents of the verse.

 

It's also not very intuitive that the concordance function would work like this, since the search term is based upon the original language key and not the English word. The rest of the analytics (fortunately) don't function this way (as they limit to the [Key ...]), so it is unclear they why the concordance would be any different.

 

I think it would be good to add an option like "limit to searched key" or something to provide a better way/option of keeping the concordance consistent with the way the other analytics tools work.


Edited by jkdoyle, 21 June 2019 - 12:02 PM.

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#4 Helen Brown

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 12:26 PM

Accordance has always prided itself that the primary view of search results includes the entire verse, and there is no need to click elsewhere to see it. However, I see your point. We could offer an excerpt view of search results, but that would require programming, as would a concordance of the search term rather than the search results. In the meantime the Research tab actually does give you excerpts, and you can set up your own group with just the texts that you want to search.


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#5 jkdoyle

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Posted 21 June 2019 - 04:10 PM

Helen,

 

I have no doubts there are workarounds for an experienced Accordance user or someone who knows the original languages well enough. However, I truly think that the concordance doesn't work properly with key-number searches, and it would be great if it can be modified.

 

The way it currently functions is neither intuitive nor does it correspond with what all the other analytics tools do correctly: build displayed results based on the specific word related to the key-number and tied to the results in the search window. What is the point of doing an analysis if it isn't tied to the term that the user is searching for or the results found?  With the way the Concordance analysis currently works in this type of search, one might as well just do an English search of the word "love", because the key-number search for "[key: G0026]" doesn't show the user how only agape is used, but every word translated "love" in a keyed version, including even Hebrew words and verses not found in the search window. From this perspective the concordance analysis with key-number searches is really problematic, confusing, and not helpful at all.

The concordance analysis should give a result that looks very similar to something like the Mounce's definitions, where the user can see the verses where the specific key-number related term is found and how it is used in a particular translation, and it should only show verses found in the search window. It really it isn't that much different from what the basic Analysis tool does, except that it adds the verse reference hits and displays abbreviated content from that verse.

Please know that I love Accordance, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to to detailed Bible study. But I think is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Jimmy


Edited by jkdoyle, 21 June 2019 - 04:15 PM.

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#6 Helen Brown

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 06:59 AM

The Concordance was intended to take a passage and concord every word in it. Its uses have expanded, and it could be improved, but it does fulfill its original purpose well.


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#7 jkdoyle

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 09:07 AM

Helen

 

The Concordance was intended to take a passage and concord every word in it. Its uses have expanded, and it could be improved, but it does fulfill its original purpose well.

 

But if I do a search in the ESV for "power" in English, the concordance doesn't give me every word in the passages if finds. It only gives me the results that have the word "power"—the term I am searching for and that's what a user would want/expect. The concordance works GREAT in that case, in both English texts and original languages. And, as someone who knows the original languages and has experience with Accordance, I can use the concordance to create what I need. However, for users who don't know the original languages and who would like a concordance result based on a key-number search, they are not going to get the results that they want/expect from the concordance tool (or, worse yet, they may assume that it is working like it typically does in straight English word searches and not realize that the results are much broader than the search term). This is especially true, as I've said, because all the other analysis tools do function as a user would want/expect regarding a search for a specific term.

Sorry to press or belabor the matter. I hope that none of my responses have seemed overbearing. I'm a huge fan of Accordance, and I think this is the first time I have run across something that I've found to be problematic. I also recognize that my point has been made, and the Accordance team is aware of the concern. No need on my part to say anything further.

Thank you, as always, for your responses to users questions and concerns. The engaged and personal nature of Accordance customer support is the best of any software company that I've seen.

Jimmy



#8 David Lang

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 10:44 AM

Jimmy, the Concordance was originally designed to help one of our academic users create a concordance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for print publication. By entering an asterisk wildcard, you could find every word in a passage and then build a concordance. That's what Helen meant by "intended to take a passage and concord every word in it." The fact that the concordance is built as the result of a search means that you can do more than just concord every word in a passage. You can create all kinds of concordances depending on your search.

 

Now, we could certainly expand the capabilities of the Concordance, but I want you to understand that the current behavior actually is consistent with the other Analytics. When you do a search, Accordance takes the list of words found and concords each of those words. When you enter a search for the English word "power," it concords that one word. When you search for a Strong's number, you get all words tagged with that Strong's number, and the Concordance concords all those words. That admittedly is confusing, because from your perspective you have only searched for one Greek word and you want that one Greek word concorded in the same way "power" is. However, the Key Number is actually a tag, and the result of that tag search is a list of English words which have that tag.

 

Compare that to a search for a grammatical tag in a Greek text. If I search for [NOUN], Accordance returns a list of lexical forms which have been tagged as nouns, and the concordance then concords every occurrence of each of those Greek lexical forms. That behavior is pretty much what one would expect. Now, if I search for something more specific like [NOUN accusative] and Accordance concords every occurrence of each noun, including occurrences which are not accusative, that is likely not what one would expect, but the behavior is consistent in that it is simply taking the list of words found and concording every occurrence of them. Perhaps we could add some kind of option to concord only hit occurrences, but I'm not sure that's the best way to deliver what you want.

 

What you really seem to be wanting is an enhancement to the Analysis that would list all the verses in which each form is found. First, note that the behavior of the Analysis is actually essentially the same as the Concordance in that it lists each word found by the search. If you search for "power" you'll get each form of power (assuming you did a Flex search), under which will be listed each Key Number. If you search for [Key G1411], you'll get each word tagged with that Key number, under which will be listed that Key number. It is still the English words which are primary. Now, we've added an option to Sort by Key Number, so that you can make the Key Number appear primary.

 

The obvious question which the Analysis does not currently answer, and which you are trying to use the Concordance to answer, is "Where (i.e.: in which verses) is each form found." I think if we added a Show verses option and the Analysis gave you a list of verses in which each form was found, that would be a simpler and more intuitive way to give you what you're looking for. I've actually pushed for that in the past, but I don't always get what I want right away either!  ;)

 

In the meantime, you can answer that question for particular forms listed in the Analysis by triple-clicking them. So, for example, if you have this Analysis of G1411:

     G1411 dunamis δύναμις = 118

              ability = 1

              meaning = 1

              means = 1

 

If you triple-click the word "means", Accordance will automatically format a search that shows you that dunamis is translated as means in 2 Corinthians 8:3.

 

I hope that helps.


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Sincerely,
David Lang
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#9 jkdoyle

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 12:37 PM

David
 
Yes, I understand your first paragraph, and what is happening "behind the scenes" in terms of the transition from a key-number search (which is actually a tagged search) to a concordance analysis of English terms (rather than the key-number term). However, from an end-user perspective, the output is not what the other analytical tools are doing as far as results displayed, and your mention of the general Analysis tool is the perfect example of this difference of output.  As I mentioned in one of my posts above, a concordance analysis that actually showed results based only on the key-number term wouldn't be that much different from what the general Analysis tool currently does, except that it would add the corresponding verses and give an excerpt of the verse content.
 
I've provided screen captures of how different the results actually are between three analytical tools: Analysis, Concordance, and Table for [Key G1411]. To say that they are "doing the same thing" would be difficult to explain in terms of their actual output. The Analysis and Table tools  show no Hebrew Bible results (as should be expected on the search of a Greek term), while the Concordance has over nine hundred results from the Hebrew Bible as well as many additional results in the NT. The totals of their results alone (118 results in 115 verses in the Analysis and Table tools compared to 1,319 in 1,184 verses in the Concordance) is enough to show how different the functions actually are for the end-user. 
 
Analysis, Concordance, and Table Analysis Differences:

Screen%20Shot%202019-06-22%20at%2011.58.
 
 
Likewise, note the difference between the Analysis Graph result of the key-number search for [Key G1411] (Analysis Graph Image 1) and what would happen (Analysis Graph Image 2) if it worked as the Concordance currently functions (finding every example of the English words used to translate δυναμις whether connected to that Greek word or not):

Analysis Graph Image 1:
Screen%20Shot%202019-06-22%20at%2012.41.
 
Analysis Graph Image 2:
Screen%20Shot%202019-06-22%20at%201.06.0
 
 
In Image 1 the Analysis Graph on the [Key g1411] search is not giving me every result of every occurrence of the word "power" in the NT (or if I expanded the range, the entire Bible). The Analysis Graph gives me a visual of only the words that are translations of the Greek δυναμις (Strong's 1411).   This is the way it works (in terms of end result for the user) for every analytical tool other than the Concordance. So, in terms of output the concordance and the other tools are functioning very differently for the end-user.
 
Again, I apologize for belaboring a point that doesn't seem to be an issue regarding functionality for the Accordance team or probably for other users. I would not even have discovered it myself it I hadn't been helping a friend see how to use Accordance for searching for original language results starting from the English. But I never use this functionality because I can work from the Hebrew and Greek. Novice Accordance users or those who don't know original languages may not be using this resource when doing key-number searches simply because it is confusing and non-intuitive in its results, and they may not be contacting Accordance with their concerns (they may not even realize it is a problem).  I do know that my friend was disappointed that it didn't give the results we thought it would.
 
All that being said, I can't tell you how great it is that your team is so engaged in service and interaction with your customers on issues. It is truly fantastic. As a note: I've had a career in software development, so I also understand what it's like to be on your side of the conversation. ;-)
 
Thanks
Jimmy

Edited by jkdoyle, 22 June 2019 - 01:35 PM.


#10 David Lang

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:08 PM

Jimmy, I feel like we're talking past each other a bit. When I say that the behavior of the Concordance is consistent with that of the Analysis, I mean that both are performing a function based on the list of words which are returned by the search. However, each is performing a quite different function, just as the Analysis Graph performs a different function than the Bar Chart or Pie Chart. The Analysis is breaking down that list of words by various sort criteria, so that you can analyze the results that were found and zero in on points of interest. That's why I suggest that the Analysis would be the best place to offer the list of occurrences you're wanting.

 

The Concordance, on the other hand, is concording each of the words that was found without regard to the search criteria that resulted in that list of words. That different function leads to different results. It's not designed to help you analyze your search result; it's designed to let you build a concordance, a fairly specialized application which most users will not find all that useful. I use the Analysis and other analytics all the time. I almost never use the Concordance.

 

Now, you've rightly voiced the confusion that results when the actual function of the Concordance does not match what the user expects, and we all agree that we should do something to avoid that confusion. Please understand that when we explain the differences between Analysis and Concordance, we're not trying to brush aside your point that in at least this case, the result is not intuitive. Perhaps we need to add an option to concord only the actual hits from a search. Perhaps we need to make that the default behavior and have the current behavior be optional. Perhaps we should simply move the Concordance to the bottom of the Analytics menu in a separate section with a clearer label. (The fact that it is grouped with 3 Analysis functions only adds to the confusion.) Whatever we do to make it more intuitive, the change is not likely to be made immediately.

 

That's why we are explaining (1) how it currently functions, and (2) how to get the information you want in another way. We're not trying to say, "You just don't understand how it works" or "Here's a workaround, so what's the big deal?" Rather, we're hoping that you will go back to your friend and (1) explain why the Concordance gave the unexpected result, (2) show that you can triple-click the Analysis to see a particular subset of occurrences, and hopefully (3) say that you raised the issue on our forums and we are considering it. You can be assured that we are.  :)


Sincerely,
David Lang
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#11 jkdoyle

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:27 PM

David

 

;-) Thanks for bearing with me.

 

Jimmy



#12 דָנִיאֶל

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Posted 22 June 2019 - 02:34 PM

 

The obvious question which the Analysis does not currently answer, and which you are trying to use the Concordance to answer, is "Where (i.e.: in which verses) is each form found." I think if we added a Show verses option and the Analysis gave you a list of verses in which each form was found, that would be a simpler and more intuitive way to give you what you're looking for. I've actually pushed for that in the past, but I don't always get what I want right away either!  ;)

 

 

This would be a nice feature to have on occasion.

 

Thx

D


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