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Re: [Synoptic-L] NT Count

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Mar 16, 2007
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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 2 of 9 , Mar 16, 2007
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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 3 of 9 , Mar 16, 2007
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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 4 of 9 , Mar 16, 2007
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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 5 of 9 , Mar 17, 2007
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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 6 of 9 , Mar 17, 2007
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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 7 of 9 , Mar 17, 2007
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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 8 of 9 , Mar 18, 2007
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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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