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2:20 AM
@JackDouglas I've seen bishops give impromptu sermons on iconography in the church before - it'a amazing
It shows how deeply spiritual and knowledgeable the iconographer was as well
1 hour later…
3:33 AM
@MonicaCellio it dawned on me from reading a bunch of Tanakh questions on here that most Christians (especially Protestants) probably have no idea that verse and chapter divisions are a distinctly Christian textual feature
Few are probably even aware that Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Bible references do not line up, let alone Jewish Hebrew Bibles
It's not an issue of having different books, it's an issue of totally having different arrangements of those books, different literary divisions altogether (who do have an impact on translation like it or not as these are perceived as 'logical breaks' in the text - but logical to whom?)
The Tanakh (, or ; also Tenakh, Tenak, Tanach) is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah ("Teaching", also known as the Five Books of Moses), Nevi'im ("Prophets") and Ketuvim ("Writings")—hence TaNaKh. The name "Miqra" (מקרא), meaning "that which is read", is an alternative Hebrew term for the Tanakh. The books of the Tanakh were relayed with an accompanying oral tradition pas...
That portion of the article may be good for many here to read
We need to use references specific to neither the Jewish nor Christian tradition
Ideally those used by criticals texts such as BHS (which do not line up with Protestant English Bible translations), or specific manuscripts where relevant
3:59 AM
@Dan yeah, the chapter/verse designations are Christian in origin (and, as the article says, reflect Christian interpretations, e.g. the division between gen 1 & 2 is totally wacky to us), but we record them 'cause we have to interact with Christians who won't understand "parshat Shoftem, second aliya" and the like.
I've also noticed that sometimes verses are shifted by one among different editions (I think sometimes Christian translations disagree with each other there). I don't know what that's about.
@MonicaCellio I think we should use divisions in critical texts like the BHS (unless referencing a specific manuscript such as the LXX, in case the numbering will be different from both the BHS and English Protestant translations)
We tend to take the view that since a reference system is needed for talking about verses we'll use that one, but absolutely nothing should be read into the boundaries. For that, look at the actual Hebrew and see where the breaks are.
@MonicaCellio the Orthodox Study Bible has a handy chart that lines up the JPS Tanakh, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Bibles
helps me if I go to a Protestant Bible study :)
but usually I just grab a Protestant Bible
@Dan I haven't worked with BHS but that sounds like a reasonable approach to me (pending actually looking at it, which won't be tonight -- dropping off momentarily). Is the text (in original languages and English) readily available online?
Catch you tomorrow -- time zone tov. :-)
@MonicaCellio nope
@MonicaCellio it's a scholarly critical text, so like most, it costs money
1 hour later…
5:35 AM
An attempt that will hopefully become a community wiki (if initially received well):
A: What texts are open for examination?

DanPrimary texts open for direct examination include the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha (as defined below), and the New Testament. Secondary texts open for indirect examination include the Targum (Targumim), manuscript features such as the Masorah (defined in the narrow sense of textual features used ...

5:46 AM
If we don't even agree on the meaning of "Bible," can we really have much meaningful discussion on the other site issues and direction?
1 hour later…
6:53 AM
@Dan Dan if you can remove the bit about verse numbers "The divisions used in critical texts or specific primary manuscripts should be preferred" I'll upvote in a flash: that should really be another meta post entirely (and I deeply unsure if it is practical or desirable: eg all my quotes include a link to the ESV, and we encourage folk to quote from the translation of their choice)
perhaps it is best addressed as a subset of your proposal for pluralism?
6 hours later…
1:04 PM
@Dan well-done. As for Jack's comment about verse numbers, while I see why he objects, I think it needs to be really clear that the text, not artificial divisions, is what we study here, so I think something about that needs to remain. Besides, the goal is for this to become the go-to place for what texts are on topic, linked from about/help/etc, so discussing that part elsewhere doesn't help that.
2 hours later…
2:46 PM
@JackDouglas @MonicaCellio for the sake of at least having a central location for what 'bible' means, I'll gladly remove that section for now
@JackDouglas @MonicaCellio please review what I've put there in lieu of the former statement - I believe this is sufficient
And I added what I had previously written in its entirety to my post on site viability
@Dan that works. Thanks.
@MonicaCellio I figure this way we can at least establish a definition for "Bible" and "Apocrypha"
3:01 PM
@Dan and the primary/secondary/tertiary distinction is really important.
@MonicaCellio I thought about how to express that long and hard
@Dan you did a good job.
My concern was that primary/secondary/tertiary text would be confused with primary/secondary/tertiary source - as they are not the same thing
primary/secondary/tertiary text is a unique set of categories for this site that I basically just invented
@Dan yup, not the same thing at all.
2 hours later…
5:07 PM
Shameless solicitation for votes following (but not for my answer):
I think from the discussion this answer is likely the best approach to the Hebrew Bible tags
A: Why are we fragmenting between 'tanakh' and 'old testament'?

SoldarnalSee my other answer for my personal opinion, but here is a second opinion I could live with, which I post separately so that it can be voted separately. I propose making the main tag be hebrew-bible and making both tanakh and old-testament synonyms. This is the terminology I see adopted by most ...

I think @Soldernal's recommendation to make and synonyms of is excellent.
And we can just leave as it is
I just think there is a lot of junk to sort through on that post so I linked directly to that answer here for all to see
@Dan I think I will delete my obsolete answer. It screws up the voting, if nothing else.
@JonEricson ok, I normally don't like to see stuff go but in this case I think that would be helpful, thanks
@JonEricson it would be nice if I could reverse my upvote on this question also, as it doesn't specify which should be primary (I suspect I voted a long time ago before being aware of the issues)
@JonEricson but I can see no good reason to edit it :P
@Dan I'd suggest deleting that one too
(because it doesn't specify direction)
@JackDouglas I'd be fine with that
I just want to make sure @PeterTaylor understands why. Perhaps leave a comment he could see to explain why?
i.e. this isn't personal, your post simply isn't helpful as it doesn't specify a direction and we are trying to resolve this issue and getting more than 3 votes on meta is like winning the lotto on BH.SE :P
And I don't have enough rep in either category to make them synonyms
So anyone want to do that?
@Dan it's probably a little premature to action this yet, can we leave it a few days?
5:18 PM
@JackDouglas absolutely
wise choice - I tend to be impatient :P
Soldarnal's second choice has got my vote too now :)
@JackDouglas I've been in meta mode the past few days, sorry for pushing so hard :P
But as I've said, I'm making an intentional shift from being a user to being a community member
shifting from only participating selfishly to investing in the success of the site :P
@Dan I really appreciate that. It does involve some sausage-making, but we need dedicated, clueful people to help shape the site, and I've been looking forward to this day. :-)
@Dan well, to be fair, this constellation of issues has been brewing, and eroding the site, for months, so while we don't have to resolve it today, we need to do something soon. It's not wrong to push on the things you're bringing up.
5:33 PM
@MonicaCellio the more votes it gets, the less time we need to wait in my view
at +5 its rapidly moving to 'whenever you are ready' territory
if you can do it without a mod, I've no problem with that, otherwise I'll be happy to sort it out very soon
@Dan This is awesome news for the rest of us :)
5:55 PM
@JackDouglas agreed. Our meta doesn't get a lot of traffic on its own, hence the need to bring things up here -- which might feel like pushing, but it's more about drawing attention IMO.
@JackDouglas I detagged some tanakh/ot questions yesterday that, were they asked today, wouldn't have those tags. There were some where the system wouldn't let me (merged questions), and I skipped anything controversial. That's all tangential, but just mentioning it. I guess the way to implement this change is to tag something hebrew-bible and then create the synonyms and everything will work?
Synonyms need either 5 (I think) high-rep-user votes or mod action, so you might need to do those. (I forget what the rep threshold is for voting on synonyms.)
Can we muster delete votes for the accepted answer (which is not what we are going to do)? If Lance hadn't accepted it I wouldn't care, but it would help if we could clearly indicate the actual resolution.
@MonicaCellio as it stands it is a huge signpost for what we don't want. I think we should delete all the comments on it to bring the 'community-accepted' answer up a bit.
I actually think folk will be less inclined to vote for it by leaving it 'accepted'
If you and @Dan are happy for me to delete the comments I will
I've removed my face from it…
@JackDouglas I would rather you not delete my first comment unless you address it in the post. One way to address it would be to add something to the effect that this answer was rejected by the community so ignore that check mark. An alternative would be to strip it down to the first sentence (the actual proposal).
The second is probably better -- it shortens the post and removes the need for the comments, so the real answer moves up.
@MonicaCellio I just assume folk understand the significance of the check-mark (I'd want them to ignore it anyway!), but how about I delete all the comments except the first?
I don't want to edit the answer in fairness to Lance
@JackDouglas how do people usually handle answers where they later discover they were wrong about something? (I hope you can now see that what you said about offense not being a concern isn't correct?) But if you want to leave the post and delete all comments but the first, that's ok.
6:10 PM
@MonicaCellio I didn't write the post as my own 'answer' just because I thought the option (that I never wanted) needed to be on the table
I just retagged this from tanakh + old-testament to hebrew-bible, to create the tag. I then looked at the tag-synonym interface and, um, it wasn't designed for this use case. (It requires people with rep in the target tag to propose, so we'd have to retag existing questions -- which we could do, at the cost of bumping, but you might want to use the mod tools.)
@MonicaCellio thanks, and sure!
@JackDouglas in that kind of case I figure if somebody wants the option, he can write the post. :-)
I know, but sometimes I feel that mods need to be seen to be fair even if that means going the extra mile
I presented the best case I could think of for the synonym
@JackDouglas see, I don't think there's anything unfair about not doing all the work. Lance could have written an answer, after all. But I understand where you're coming from and I can see that point too.
6:13 PM
thanks. it's great to see (almost) everyone coming together on this one
Who wants to write the tag wiki? :-)
7:00 PM
@JackDouglas no problems from me
@MonicaCellio I'll gladly oblige
@Dan yay!
@MonicaCellio @JackDouglas @JonEricson @Caleb re: the newly created tag, does this seem about right:
Questions about specific texts should only be tagged with the name of the text. This tag is reserved for questions asking about the complete collection of texts rather than individual works within this collection.
This seems to be the tagging direction I'm gathering from chat, or do we want all posts that refer to texts within this collection to also be tagged with the tag for the collection itself as well?
7:17 PM
@Dan yes -- though "complete collection" raises the issue of what to do about a question that's about some major chunk (like the minor prophets, collectively) but not the whole Hebrew bible. We have a torah tag; maybe that means we would create a minor-prophets one? Or should we broaden this to something about "more than just a couple books" (not those words)?
@MonicaCellio I like that idea, good call
@Dan no, that would be chaos -- this tag (and new-testament and gospels) should be rare, not super-common.
And perhaps should also become a synonym for ?
@MonicaCellio 10-4
@Dan torah != tanakh/hebrew bible. torah = pentateuch.
(I haven't checked to see where torah is used or whether it makes sense to have it.)
Err, pentEteuch, probably. I'm lousy with my Greek roots. :-)
7:20 PM
@Dan ok, then my answer to your question is no, torah shouldn't be a synonym. If it's being misapplied to tanakh questions we should fix that; if there are legit questions that are just about those 5 books we should keep it. Haven't looked.
@MonicaCellio sounds good
@Dan nice!
Whoa, what happened to Jon's icon? (I can only see that it's white with some light-blue... something. Need a bigger copy I guess. :-) )
@MonicaCellio looks like him with sunglasses and headphones
@Dan oh ok. Thanks.
7:41 PM
@MonicaCellio And in whatever weird gamma setting my laptop camera is set too.
It's a temporary change for my own amusement.
7:53 PM
@JonEricson it looks "artistic". :-) (That's not a complaint -- I just had a "wait, what?" moment there.)
@MonicaCellio I admit I spent several minutes trying to open my mouth in a way that it would look like a smile. ;-)
@JonEricson nice
@Dan You ninja-commented on that John != beloved answer. ;-) It has a lot of problems.
8:18 PM
@JonEricson ninja-commented?
@MonicaCellio I was writing a comment and when I submitted, I saw that Dan had already written a similar comment. (He was in an out without me noticing. Like a ninja. ;)
@JonEricson haha
@JonEricson yeah I debated how many things I wanted to harp on, I opted to say nothing about the signature, tone, etc.
@Dan I fixed the signature and added a few links, which might get the ball rolling on more. Basically the formatting made reading the answer nearly impossible.
@JonEricson ah. I saw that answer in the review queue (perhaps the two of you did too), sighed a little, and skipped it in hopes that someone else would fix the wall of text so I could read the answer. :-)
8:34 PM
@MonicaCellio It's my question and I had a hard time getting motivated to read the answer. (There is a halfway decent argument buried there, but as @Dan mentioned, you have to ignore some tonal problems.)
@JonEricson hence why I want to codify some sort of meta reference for tone
But I felt that being able to agree on the meaning of 'Bible' and 'Apocrypha' were more important to address first
@Dan hola
I will probably need to explain actual features of language as those for whom English is a second language will possibly have difficulty (ever read a German's scholarly work written in English? Polite tone is not inherently understood)
@swasheck hola
@Dan stumpded
@swasheck yeah?
8:37 PM
@Dan Have I linked to this Theory of Moderation yet?
My favourite bit is:
> Broken people cannot be fixed by rules. If you make the rules loose, they will find weak spots and exploit them. If you make the rules tight and specific, they will rules-lawyer you to the brink of insanity. They will haggle over the specifics of the rules, and they will insist everyone be held to precisely the same standards. If you let someone else slide, the nut will condemn you as a hypocrite or accuse you of injustice.
1/count(distinct word) vs. count(occurrences of this word) / count(occurrences of all words) ... either of these a more meaningful stat? are they both meaningful (i'm not looking for a particular application, just wondering if they are, in fact, useful)
@JonEricson no
@JonEricson I love it, I'm a pendant myself at times so I know this is true :P
{{Probability distribution| name =Zipf's law| type =mass| pdf_image =Zipf PMF for N = 10 on a log–log scale. The horizontal axis is the index k . (Note that the function is only defined at integer values of k. The connecting lines do not indicate continuity.)| cdf_image =Zipf CDF for N = 10. The horizontal axis is the index k . (Note that the function is only defined at integer values of k. The connecting lines do not indicate continuity.)| parameters =s>0\, (real)N \in \{1,2,3\ldots\} (integer)| support =k \in \{1,2,\ldots,N\}| pdf =\frac{1/k...
Is that what you are looking for?
@swasheck depends on what you are trying to show, Stats can say anything you want them to ;)
8:41 PM
@Dan sure. and for right now i'm not trying to show anything. i'm trying to provide meaningful data
@Dan I'm just saying that tone is inherently subjective and the people who violate community standards are usually tone-deaf.
@JonEricson i wish i knew what this meant
@JonEricson haha
@swasheck it basically means that there is a linear relationship between word frequency and rank (by frequency)
@swasheck Words follow a power law. Common words are substantially more common (in a sample text) than uncommon ones. (Which is an obvious statement, I guess.)
@swasheck to apply this to a subject you are very familiar with, it's the reason vocabulary words in Greek class are learned by frequency
8:45 PM
@Dan (On a log scale.)
Why learn a word that only occurs twice in the entire NT in Greek 1?
@JonEricson yes, important
@swasheck the law predicts that hapax legomena will be common in corpora
@swasheck you can save massive processing time when doing NLP-related calculations by ignoring hapax legomena
@Dan This is one of the reasons for not allowing singleton tags, by the way.
@JonEricson makes perfect sense!
(reading theory of moderation)
@JonEricson @Dan ok ... sooooo i'm going to say that i am ignorant when it comes to this sort of thing. what i'd like to know is what are some meaningful calculations that i can roll into this thing?
9:00 PM
@swasheck Depends on what you are trying to do. One useful implication is that if you find a word is rare in one corpus, you can calculate how likely it is to turn up in a text just by knowing the length of the text.
@Dan oh yeah
i read that about 6 months ago
forgot all about it, though
@swasheck haha - most corpora are lucky if they give much info at all
@Dan i guess i was just curious
@swasheck they just give you basic word frequency distribution and moreso focus on how to use it
i.e. any specific tagging unique to this corpus, format (xml/csv/etc)
what, if any, significant value would be derived from something like
9:03 PM
@swasheck for instance, my (crappy) corpus: cybersecurity.cit.purduecal.edu/content/tmcorpus.html
Matthew's use of γεννάω ... 1 distinct lemma over his use of 1684 other distinct lemmata
45 occurrences of γεννάω over 18329 total lemamta
5.938242280285036e-4 vs. 0.0024551257569971
but i'm probably missing something very obvious due to my lack of depth
@swasheck these are interesting (and could even be publications), you just need to develop a theory for why you think that is
@Dan like i said ... at this point i'm not thinking about that sort of thing ... i'm just trying to generate interesting numbers for consumption by the masses who know what they're doing :)
for instance, group similar lemmata together, compare which Matthew gravitates towards vs. John. Is John consistent between his corpora?
Might this suggest that one wished to make a certain emphasis?
i think that the betrayal of my ignorance is that i dont know the significance each of those calculations
i'm just trying to provide data
not analyze it
9:12 PM
Or, are there various lemmata used by authors who have a Semitic language background that differ from those who write more eloquent Greek
but maybe one day when i'm given permission
gotcha ;)
I approach statistical analysis of language differently. I begin with questions then generate stats
that doesn't mean the opposite approach is wrong
generating frequencies and whatnot can be very interesting for others who do not have the technical knowledge to do so themselves
this might enable someone to develop conclusions without having to learn NLP techniques
@Dan that ... and the fact that it seems like many of the other things are based on frequencies
but you almost have to anticipate some of their questions in order to generate meaningful data
fair enough
9:15 PM
Word count frequencies are already done by most COTS tools
So some of the stuff you are mentioning above is not - thus it is very interesting
For instance, of n amount of times John uses the lemma x, what is the frequency of each usage
well ... i took this aspect theory class last year
It is used in the present tense how many times? aorist?
what person?
1st, 2nd, sing, plur
and that really emphasized the concept of language as a series of choices
@swasheck yes
@Dan right ... so i'm hoping to get there
9:17 PM
especially uses of koine that were falling into disuse
but i dont know what a good, foundational calculation is
@Dan right
so it seemed to me
for instance, when someone uses the optative, they probably really meant to since its meaning was being absorbed by the subjunctive
I can see an awesome paper titled "Opting for the Optative"
@Dan mmmhmmm
that's right up there with "The Blazing Truth Behind the Chicago Fire" :P
@Dan ouch
9:19 PM
@swasheck :P corniness factor = 5000
@Dan i believe you mean *= 5000
@swasheck :P
at any rate
i'm going to eventually get this thing up and running well
@swasheck I say, do what you want
but i'd love to generate some meaningful stats out of it
@Dan right ... but doing what i want and knowing what i'm doing while i want to do it are very different beasts :)
9:21 PM
@swasheck stats are meaningless until we give them meaning :P
and i dont know how to name these things even if i did :)
i think that's the big thing
i'll calc everything i want
but i dont know how to name them :)
9:39 PM
@Dan I'm about to reach beyond my actual knowledge here (this was a long time ago), but term frequencies in general versue inverse frequencies in a particular document are significant. This might be helpful. (If not, sorry to butt in. I worked at a company where another project was doing automated clustering, in the 90s, so I heard some talks but never really internalized this stuff. But I remember the term IDF-TF.)
Whoops, I meant to address that ^^^ to @swasheck.
@MonicaCellio haha, thanks
my downfall is that i am too lazy to sit down and try to figure out what stuff like this means
i'm sure i could
@swasheck yeah, I'll admit my eyes glazed over during parts of those talks. And it was more than 15 years ago by now, so... memory? What's that?
10:09 PM
OK @swasheck - what are some fun exegetical devotions I could do with a Greek 1 class to motivate them / inspire
@Dan we did John 1:1 at some point
which has been discussed on this site
I am already using john 1:1, romans 3:26
john 18 and ego eimi
romans 7
and the repetition
@swasheck i.e. 'by no means'?
the johannine comma :) ... 1 john 1 and the cascade of addressees
@Dan 14-25
10:13 PM
μὴ γένοιτο ?
@swasheck ahh yes
@Dan hail naw!!!

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