Introducing the Bible Sense Lexicon
The Bible Sense Lexicon is an interactive dictionary of "Word Senses." Unlike a traditional lexicon, which may provide several definitions (senses) for one word, the Bible Sense Lexicon provides all the words which convey a single sense or meaning. This method is very similar to the Louw-Nida method as seen in the Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, but the Bible Sense Lexicon database is designed for use with the entire Bible and is actively being developed to include all senses throughout the entire Bible.
Access the Lexicon Directly
It is possible to browse the entire Bible Sense Lexicon database for meanings.
- Click on the "Tools" menu.
- Choose "Bible Sense Lexicon" to browse the database.
The Bible Sense Lexicon will open. Enter a sense in the Reference box at the top, or click through the visualization graph to browse sense relationships.
Tip: Better Results
Bible Sense Lexicon is an actively growing database. Some senses may not appear. To ensure a result, type the desired sense, then select the closest match from the drop-down menu (appears while typing). When looking for actions, try prefacing with "to" (e.g. "to know").
Use the Lexicon from a Bible
Browsing may not always be the most efficient way to access the Word Sense database. We can also access sense data directly from appropriately tagged Bibles. In fact, any English Bible with a Reverse Interlinear can be used to look up Word Senses. Let's explore one:
- Open the English Standard Version (ESV).
- Navigate to Proverbs 1:2.
- Right-click on "know" or "understand".
- Select the Sense: "to know (cognitive)".
- Choose "Bible Sense Lexicon" to explore the Sense and view other Lemma instances with the same meaning.
Bible Sense Lexicon in Guides
Word Senses can also be seen in some guides. Using our Proverbs 1:2 example, if we select the "Lemma" and choose "Bible Word Study" (right), we will see the same Sense information, along with the definition and other information about the Hebrew Word, ידע (know, lexical form).
Open an Exegetical Guide (below) to Proverbs 1:2 and we'll see the sense listed with דַ֣עַת(know, manuscript form).