Semantic Chaining: Using Louw-Nida References in the Lexham Greek NT Interlinear

The recently-released Lexham Greek-English New Testament Interlinear has, as one of its primary distinguishing features, domain-article references to the Louw-Nida Greek Lexicon (info here, here and here). That’s all well and good, but — beyond keylinking to a specific Louw-Nida article — what can we do with the references?
One thing that you can do (shown in the below-referenced video) is begin to explore using the concept of “semantic chaining” (also known as “semantic chunks” or “semantic clustering”). The idea is to explore how a section of text (a pericope or chapter or book) uses or repeats ideas found in particular domains or domain-subdomain references.
OK, I’ll speak in English this time. You know how repeated words can be important when you’re looking at a passage? Well, Louw-Nida references let you expand that notion to repeated concepts. The theoretical backgound for this concept is well-established in the literature* but as of yet has not really been available in a consumer-level Bible study product.
But you can do it with the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament if you’ve also got the Louw-Nida lexicon (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains) and are willing to learn how to reference search using the Bible Speed Search dialog.

The video shows you how. Our sample passage is 1Ti 2.1, and our sample concept is prayer.


* Some references include:

  • Reed, Jeffrey T. A Discourse Analysis of Philippians, pp. 296-331. This book will be available in the Studies in New Testament Greek and JSNTS Collection.
  • Porter, Stanley E. and O’Donnell, Matthew Brook. “Semantics and Patterns of Argumentation in Romans: Definitions, Proposals, Data and Experiments”, pp. 154-204 in Stanley E. Porter (ed.), Diglossia and Other Topics in New Testament Linguistics. This book will be available in the Studies in New Testament Greek and JSNTS Collection.
  • Guthrie, George, The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis.
  • Van Neste, Ray, Cohesion and Structure in the Pastoral Epistles. This book is available in the Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on Paul collection.
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Written by
Rick Brannan

Rick Brannan is a Data Wrangler for Faithlife. He manages a team that creates and maintains linguistic databases and other analyses of the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament, the Septuagint, and writings of the Second Temple era. He resides in Bellingham with his wife, Amy, their daughter, Ella, and their son, Lucas.

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Written by Rick Brannan
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