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NT Count

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  • E Bruce Brooks
    To: Synoptic On: NT Wordcount From: Bruce I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the Greek NT, but not one for the whole NT canon. Can
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 15 9:50 PM
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      To: Synoptic
      On: NT Wordcount
      From: Bruce

      I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the Greek NT, but
      not one for the whole NT canon. Can anyone supply a figure, or a reference?

      Thanks,

      Bruce

      E Bruce Brooks
      Warring States Project
      University of Massachusetts at Amherst
      http://www.umass.edu/wsp
    • David Barrett Peabody
      Bruce, I took the entire text of the NRSV from Accordance, pasted it into a WORD file and did a word count. The results: Page 346 Words 193,798 Characters (no
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 16 7:19 AM
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        Bruce,

        I took the entire text of the NRSV from Accordance, pasted it into a
        WORD file and did a word count. The results:

        Page 346
        Words 193,798
        Characters (no space) 814,325
        Characters (with spaces) 1,009,670
        Paragraphs 8638
        Lines 15,714

        The same for the Greek New Testament, 27th ed.

        Pages 323
        Words 154,275
        Characters (no spaces) 946,551
        Characters (with spaces) 1,100,855
        Paragraphs 7941
        Lines 16,261

        This is down and dirty. To do this more accurately, one would have to
        omit all of the chapter and verse references. See also:

        Morgenthaler, Robert, 1918- Statistik des
        neutestamentlichen Wortschatzes : Beiheft zur 3.
        Auflage / von Robert Morgenthaler. Zürich :
        Gotthelf-Verlag, 1982.

        Good data for the synoptics are available

        Morgenthaler, Robert, 1918- Statistik des
        neutestamentlichen Wortschatzes : Beiheft zur 3.
        Auflage / von Robert Morgenthaler. Zürich :
        Gotthelf-Verlag, 1982.

        Quoting E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>:

        > To: Synoptic
        > On: NT Wordcount
        > From: Bruce
        >
        > I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the Greek NT, but
        > not one for the whole NT canon. Can anyone supply a figure, or a reference?
        >
        > Thanks,
        >
        > Bruce
        >
        > E Bruce Brooks
        > Warring States Project
        > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
        > http://www.umass.edu/wsp
        >
        >



        --
        David Barrett Peabody
        Professor of Religion
        Nebraska Wesleyan University
        5000 St. Paul Ave.
        Lincoln, NE 68504
        (402) 465-2302
        www.nebrwesleyan.edu/people/dbp
      • David Barrett Peabody
        Bruce, Here are some good sources for such word counts in the synoptics, if you have a good magnifying glass to read Tyson and Longstaff: Morgenthaler, Robert,
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 16 7:30 AM
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          Bruce,

          Here are some good sources for such word counts in the synoptics, if
          you have a good magnifying glass to read Tyson and Longstaff:

          Morgenthaler, Robert, 1918- Statistische Synopse. Zürich, Stuttgart,
          Gotthelf-Verlag [c1971]

          Tyson, Joseph B. Synoptic abstract / by Joseph B. Tyson and Thomas R.
          W. Longstaff, assisted by Elizabeth A. Tipper and L. Marvin Guier.
          Wooster, Ohio : Biblical Research Associates, c1978.


          Quoting E Bruce Brooks <brooks@...>:

          > To: Synoptic
          > On: NT Wordcount
          > From: Bruce
          >
          > I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the Greek NT, but
          > not one for the whole NT canon. Can anyone supply a figure, or a reference?
          >
          > Thanks,
          >
          > Bruce
          >
          > E Bruce Brooks
          > Warring States Project
          > University of Massachusetts at Amherst
          > http://www.umass.edu/wsp
          >
          >



          --
          David Barrett Peabody
          Professor of Religion
          Nebraska Wesleyan University
          5000 St. Paul Ave.
          Lincoln, NE 68504
          (402) 465-2302
          www.nebrwesleyan.edu/people/dbp
        • Ron Price
          ... Bruce, Anthony Kenny in A Stylometric Study of the New Testament (p.14), quoting as his source Friberg and Davison , gives the total number of words in
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 16 11:56 AM
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            Bruce Brooks wrote:

            > I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the Greek NT, but
            > not one for the whole NT canon. Can anyone supply a figure, or a reference?

            Bruce,

            Anthony Kenny in "A Stylometric Study of the New Testament" (p.14), quoting
            as his source 'Friberg and Davison', gives the total number of words in the
            Greek NT as 138019.

            Ron Price

            Derbyshire, UK

            Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
          • Joseph Weaks
            Of course, such a total count is only a ballpark figure. And while it is a Text Criticism subject, I think more interesting would be to hear from scholars
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 16 3:09 PM
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              Of course, such a total count is only a ballpark figure. And while it
              is a Text Criticism subject, I think more interesting would be to
              hear from scholars their "margin of error" guess. In other words, how
              confident are you that the your particular text has a tendency to
              include or exclude to what extent?

              ie. I would put the GNT between 136,500 and 139,000 words.

              A statement as such would reveal the opinion that it's likely we've
              included more words than we should than less words than would be
              accurate.
              The width of someone's range would quite telling.

              (Of course in statistics, we only really should speak of ranges with
              degrees of certainty. Here, I suppose I'm assuming a high degree of
              certainty.)

              Joe




              On Mar 16, 2007, at 1:56 PM, Ron Price wrote:

              > Bruce Brooks wrote:
              >
              >> I recall to have seen a wordcount for this or that book of the
              >> Greek NT, but
              >> not one for the whole NT canon. Can anyone supply a figure, or a
              >> reference?
              >
              > Bruce,
              >
              > Anthony Kenny in "A Stylometric Study of the New Testament" (p.14),
              > quoting
              > as his source 'Friberg and Davison', gives the total number of
              > words in the
              > Greek NT as 138019.
              >
              > Ron Price
              >
              > Derbyshire, UK


              --------------------------------
              Rev. Joseph A. Weaks
              Minister, Raytown Christian Church,
              Raytown, MO
              Ph.D. Cand., Brite Divinity School
              TCU, Ft. Worth, TX

              The Macintosh Biblioblog http://macbiblioblog.blogspot.com
              "All things Macintosh for the Bible Scholar"
            • Ron Price
              ... Joe, That s an interesting estimate of the range. In my opinion there was a very clear tendency to *add* text, and although this is already reflected to
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 17 9:33 AM
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                Joseph Weaks wrote:

                > Of course, such a total count is only a ballpark figure. And while it
                > is a Text Criticism subject, I think more interesting would be to
                > hear from scholars their "margin of error" guess. In other words, how
                > confident are you that the your particular text has a tendency to
                > include or exclude to what extent?
                >
                > ie. I would put the GNT between 136,500 and 139,000 words.

                Joe,

                That's an interesting estimate of the range. In my opinion there was a very
                clear tendency to *add* text, and although this is already reflected to some
                extent in your range, with your lower limit 1500 words below the 138000 or
                so of NA27, and your higher limit 1000 words above, I would suggest it's too
                high. Textual Critics tend to be cautious in rejecting sections of biblical
                text. Therefore I think 138000 should be taken as the absolute upper limit
                for the total word count of the originals.

                My own estimate of the total NT Greek words, excluding words in each book
                judged not to have been written by the main author of that book (which
                criterion of course goes beyond Textual Criticism), is approx. 133350 (about
                half of the discrepancy results from removing the additions of the Johannine
                Redactor). This is based on analysis carried out over several decades. Given
                the criterion proposed above, I would be fairly confident that the true
                value is between 133000 and 134000 Greek words.

                Ron Price

                Derbyshire, UK

                Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
              • Ken Olson
                Since the MSS are written in scriptura continua, won t the count vary a bit by how the editor separates the words in addtion to what readings one allows into
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 17 9:56 AM
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                  Since the MSS are written in scriptura continua, won't the count vary a bit by how the editor separates the words in addtion to what readings one allows into the text?

                  Best,

                  Ken

                  Kenneth A. Olson
                  MA, History, University of Maryland
                  PhD Student, Religion, Duke University
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: Ron Price
                  To: Synoptic-L elist
                  Sent: Saturday, March 17, 2007 12:33 PM
                  Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] NT Count


                  Joseph Weaks wrote:

                  > Of course, such a total count is only a ballpark figure. And while it
                  > is a Text Criticism subject, I think more interesting would be to
                  > hear from scholars their "margin of error" guess. In other words, how
                  > confident are you that the your particular text has a tendency to
                  > include or exclude to what extent?
                  >
                  > ie. I would put the GNT between 136,500 and 139,000 words.

                  Joe,

                  That's an interesting estimate of the range. In my opinion there was a very
                  clear tendency to *add* text, and although this is already reflected to some
                  extent in your range, with your lower limit 1500 words below the 138000 or
                  so of NA27, and your higher limit 1000 words above, I would suggest it's too
                  high. Textual Critics tend to be cautious in rejecting sections of biblical
                  text. Therefore I think 138000 should be taken as the absolute upper limit
                  for the total word count of the originals.

                  My own estimate of the total NT Greek words, excluding words in each book
                  judged not to have been written by the main author of that book (which
                  criterion of course goes beyond Textual Criticism), is approx. 133350 (about
                  half of the discrepancy results from removing the additions of the Johannine
                  Redactor). This is based on analysis carried out over several decades. Given
                  the criterion proposed above, I would be fairly confident that the true
                  value is between 133000 and 134000 Greek words.

                  Ron Price

                  Derbyshire, UK

                  Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • E Bruce Brooks
                  To: Synoptic In Response To: Many On: NT Wordcount From: Bruce Thanks to those who have kindly responded to the NT count question. There actually seem to be
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 17 10:56 AM
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                    To: Synoptic
                    In Response To: Many
                    On: NT Wordcount
                    From: Bruce

                    Thanks to those who have kindly responded to the NT count question. There
                    actually seem to be two questions here, and I should have distinguished more
                    carefully which one I was asking. I guess I would be interested in the
                    answers to both. Here are the two:

                    1. How large is the RT, the New Testament with which NT scholars have to
                    deal, perhaps in part by eventually excluding some of it (eg, John 21, the
                    Pericope Adulterae, the Bezae expansions in Acts) as scribal additions, but
                    still, how much is there to be dealt with *before* one starts dealing with
                    it?

                    2. How large is the resulting pruned NT according to the current state of
                    text critical thinking? ie, minus the above named dubious segments, the
                    Eastern Interpolations (as I should like to name them), and so on? Here
                    various states of thinking are liable to be reported, and various treatments
                    of bracketed and double-bracketed material are possible.

                    I should think that the high figure so far provided (from computer count,
                    and thus according to the current best sense of Greek word division) is good
                    for an answer to Question 1. As to Question 2, it would seem to depend on
                    who is doing the bracketing, and how many brackets are being counted by the
                    counting program. The most austere view of the text-critical questions, and
                    the counting method which excludes all brackets, will together yield the
                    lowest figure for the NT documents as they entered the scribal-copying
                    process, and thus the lowest figure so far reported.

                    Yes?

                    Bruce

                    E Bruce Brooks
                    Warring States Project
                    University of Massachusetts at Amherst
                    http://www.umass.edu/wsp
                  • Ron Price
                    ... Ken, What you say is quite true, but surely this would be a very small variation, and it would tend to cancel out over a large number of words - unless
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 18 3:54 AM
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                      Ken Olson wrote:

                      > Since the MSS are written in scriptura continua, won't the count vary a bit by
                      > how the editor separates the words in addtion to what readings one allows into
                      > the text?

                      Ken,

                      What you say is quite true, but surely this would be a very small variation,
                      and it would tend to cancel out over a large number of words - unless there
                      is a systematic bias with some editors.

                      If anyone is really interested I could provide the sums in letters, which
                      would bypass that particular problem.

                      Ron Price

                      Derbyshire, UK

                      Web site: http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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