Bible word counts by computers

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Logos1560, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Logos1560

    Logos1560
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    Are the word counts of how many words are in a certain Bible translation fair or accurate? Is this a fair method of checking to see whether a translation supposedly adds or omits words?

    Would even the 1611 edition and today's KJV edition have the exact same number of words?
    There were some words combined into one word in the 1611 that are separated in present KJV's.
    There were also some words separated in the 1611
    that are combined as one word in today's KJV.

    There are several words in some editions of today's KJV that would count as two or three words that may only count as one word in another edition of the KJV or in another English translation.
     
  2. Ransom

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    Are the word counts of how many words are in a certain Bible translation fair or accurate? Is this a fair method of checking to see whether a translation supposedly adds or omits words?

    Merely counting the words doesn't tell you WHY Bible Version A has fewer words than Bible Version B. Has something actually been deliberately removed? Or is it just better word economy?

    For example, simply eliminating the passive voice in prose can reduce its length by about 10% while retaining 100% of the content.
     
  3. manchester

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    The adding or omitting of words is interesting. Do the KJVos really believe that a proper English translation cannot have a fewer or greater number of words than the original Hebrew and Greek? That's silly.
     
  4. Logos1560

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    There are some often-used words in many present KJV editions that would count as two words that
    count as one in other translations.

    Some examples are:

    to day instead of today
    to morrow instead of tomorrow
    for ever instead of forever
    for evermore instead of forevermore

    Such words may give the impression that the KJV has more words than other translations and that its average word length is shorter.

    Other examples include:

    high ways (Lev. 26:22) highways
    sea shore (Heb. 11:12) seashore
    double minded (James 1:8) double-minded
    mean time (Luke 12:1) meantime
    way side (Matt. 13:4) wayside
    half tribe (Num. 34:15) half-tribe
    good will (Phil. 1:15) goodwill
    strong hold (2 Sam. 5:7) stronghold
    strong holds (1 Sam. 23:19) strongholds
    cart wheel (Isa. 28:27) cartwheel
    hail stones (Ps. 18:13) hailstones

    father in law (three words)father-in-law
    son in law son-in-law
    daughter in law daughter-in-law
    mother in law mother-in-law

    Some editions of the KJV such as the present-day edition published by the American Bible Society may combine some of these words.

    There are also some words in the KJV that were combined that are divided into two words in other translations. Such examples would indicate why computer word counts of translations could be misleading.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Wonder if any TWO editions/revisions of the KJV are exact in word count? I would doubt it.

    Bigger question: WHO CARES? [​IMG]
     
  6. Johnv

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    No, no, and no. Word count comparisons between translations is frivilous, divisive, meaningless, and a complete waste, not to mention, not scripturally edifying.

    For example, in several places the KJV1611 has the phrase "God forbid". So, if one compares that to a later translation that says "Let it not be so", one could come to the incorrect conclusion that the later translation has "omitted" with word "God" in several places.

    Also, several editions of the KJV between 1611 and 1850 vary in the occurrences of words such as "the", "a", etc. So one could incorrectly conclude that a later edition of the KJV has more or fewer words than previous editions, depending on which words you include in your count.
     

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