BibleWorks 9 - Manuscripts Project VI

Written by Michael Hanel on July 5th, 2011

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Anyone have any idea what I just did here, specifically, what kind of search?


Well as Nick correctly identified in the comments section, this was indeed an example of searching Codex Siniaiticus for all examples of nomina sacra. For those who do not know this term, nomina sacra are the words that have the bars above the letters. Nomina sacra is Latin and means “sacred names” and it is the term given to these words which are abbreviated in the manuscripts. The exact significance of the nomina sacra still is a somewhat open question in scholarship and is still a topic treated today (see here, here or here for recent discussions).

In BibleWorks 9, Sinaiticus is morphologically tagged, but it also includes extra tagging data so that you can search on the command line for all instances of nomina sacra in one quick and easy search. Currently it’s not as straightforward to search the nomina sacra for the other manuscripts because their morphological tagging is not yet added, but from Sinaiticus you can quickly get an idea of what it will be like when it is.

And for those who read this post after BibleWorks 9 comes out and want to know how to do this search, here’s how.

  • In the command line type “m-01a-m” (no quotation marks) to active the Siniaticus morphology version as the search version
  • Then type the following search into the command line, “.*@*+sxxc” and presto!
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