Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.

Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Stephen Hughes » April 25th, 2013, 9:01 am

Hi everyone,
Has anyone seen or come up with a list of Strong's numbers which are subdivided according the various meanings that each word can have. It seems to me that most projects just accept Strong's numbers as they are. An obvious limitation of the system is that he was merely referring readers to a word in a dictionary, rather than too a meaning of a word.
In my opinion, for a reasonably sober-minded intermediate student that is okay, but for a beginning student that allows a large margin for inexperienced "creativity". Also, now that we are in the age of reproducing information with ease, assigning a whole dictionary entry for one of Strong's numbers is burdensome - because a person using the program/site has to look at a full dictionary listing each time.
I do admire Strong's decision to not make a judgement on behalf of the reader as to which meaning a particular word should have in any given passage, and by extension saying that a words doesn't necessarily have only one meaning, but can mean slightly (or substantially) different things for different people in different ages and at different times, but for a reader who is looking to be guided as to which meaning to choose, it would be good to have the option to direct a reader to a particular meaning.
Another side issue is that in some cases, the wider the coverage of the dictionary, the wider the range of meanings and in other cases, the meaning in the dictionary is (to a reasonable degree) interpretative to fit the context of the text. The smoothing of a meaning into a text, is of course one of the lexicographer's arts. And there are other examples where a single meaning / explanation for everything fits rather roughly, so it is up to the user of the lexicon to use their best instincts. That all being said, it is probably possible to assign one meaning to a particular passage, or a choice of two or three meanings according to various preferred interpretations, rather than just assigning the whole of the set of the meanings that a Strong's number.
Despite all the uncertainties and different possibilities, it is probably somethings worth having as possibility to use.
What I want to ask is that has anyone or any group listed Strong's numbers with sub-divisions? Thanks
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Jonathan Robie » April 25th, 2013, 10:28 am

I wonder if you are looking for something like the Louw & Nida Lexicon?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Jonathan Robie » April 25th, 2013, 4:56 pm

Stephen Hughes wrote:It seems to me that most projects just accept Strong's numbers as they are.


Few people on B-Greek would accept Strong's as a Greek dictionary, and it has limitations even as a way to identify Greek words - it does not include all the words you need for all manuscripts of the GNT, let alone the Septuagint.
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Stephen Hughes » April 26th, 2013, 6:00 am

Thanks for the reference to the dictionary based on semantic domains. I gave my copy of that book to a library before I moved.
Of course, I understand that Strong's numbers are a reference system not a dictionary. I mean that all the web-based projects that I have found on the web that supply hyper-links to Strong's numbers all reference to the whole of the dictionary entry (Usually Thayer's).
What I am looking for is something like a standard for describing the range of meanings in a word - broken up logically a. I understand that for each part of speech there would be a different way of breaking things up. (for example adverbs could be ADV could be ADV-M or ADV-T..., and for numbers there is "collection of 6 (for example) things meanings" meaning ("There are 4 apples on the table"), the use of the cardinal for the ordinal (dates in the papyri), the number "6" (for example) written down meaning ("there was a "3" written on the wall"), the point of a sequence that has been reached ("at 25 he owned a house")).
I mean that a number has the significance of either of those meanings, and that they could be marked like 1083a, 1083b, 1083c, 1083d for each of the meanings.
Has someone written a standard for how to break up and define meanings for the Greek we use?
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Barry Hofstetter » April 26th, 2013, 6:28 am

Jonathan Robie wrote:
Stephen Hughes wrote:It seems to me that most projects just accept Strong's numbers as they are.


Few people on B-Greek would accept Strong's as a Greek dictionary, and it has limitations even as a way to identify Greek words - it does not include all the words you need for all manuscripts of the GNT, let alone the Septuagint.


Such a project would, in my opinion, be nearly a complete waste of time. Strongs is seriously outdated, methodologically flawed, and occasionally idiosyncratic. I would strongly suggest investing in BDAG and reacquiring L&N.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Stephen Hughes » April 26th, 2013, 7:02 am

I understand some of the limitations that Strong's has. Is there a numbering system that someone has come up with to refer to entries in BDAG for use as an electronic standard? Does it go deeper than one entry - one reference?
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Jonathan Robie » April 26th, 2013, 8:03 am

Louw and Nida has a numbering system for senses - not arranged by word, but arranged by semantic domain. Any reason not to use those numbers? Why do you want this to be based on Strong's numbers?
ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Stephen Hughes » April 26th, 2013, 9:05 am

Great thanks.
I am glad that there is a better reference system.
Stephen Hughes
"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
(Attributed to Albert Einstein)
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » April 26th, 2013, 9:52 am

There does exist Goodrick-Kohlenberger system, similar to Strong's but updated. See for example http://www.amazon.com/Strongest-NIV-Exh ... 0310266599. "Unique numbering system developed by Goodrick and Kohlenberger (G/K) eliminates the inherent gaps, flaws, and inaccuracies of the old Strong's numbering system." However, the system is copyrighted AFAIK and can't be used freely.

The idea of such numbering system isn't of course to work as a lexicon but as a concordance system. I have also thought that an interlinear bible with semantic references would be great. For each word of the text it would have a reference to BDAG and L/N. But each lexicon or dictionary has divided the meanings differently and there can't be any one supreme reference system. The best one could do would be to give a concordance number (like Strong's) and then the category or possible categories for each lexicon (e.g. "BDAG 1.a; LN 88.1; Dank 1.a"). But then the idea of a reference system with numbers would be bad because one should be able to read Greek letters anyways to find a word in BDAG etc. One could use page numbers, but IMO any numbering system for Greek/Hebrew is a bad idea, because people can learn to use foreign alphabets in couple of days if they are really serious about their studies.
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Re: Sub-divided strongs numbers???

Postby Stephen Carlson » April 26th, 2013, 10:07 am

Yes, I agree with Eeli. Different lexicons will slice and dice the meanings differently. There is no one standard.

And he's right that learning the Greek alphabet is the least of one's problems if they are serious about Greek. It occurs to me that. in the days of eight-bit computing (e.g., the 1980s). having integers for all the Greek words made computer implementations easier (e.g., no need for a Greek keyboard if the user can just type numbers), but these days we have the computing resources to handle Greek properly.
Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D. (Duke, New Testament)
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