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Tracking Semantic Drift in the Biblical Corpus by Matthew Munson

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1 Tracking Semantic Drift in the Biblical Corpus by Matthew Munson

2 Background Hypothesis – One can understand the New Testament better by investigating how it uses and changes sections of the Old Testament – And one can do this on the level of individual words What I will present – Method and Data – Some interpretation and a little synthesis of results

3 Theoretical Basis I Daniel Boyarin – Theological – Rabbis recombined biblical passages, recontextualizing them into new narratives 1 Zellig Harris - Linguistic – the most precise way of determining a word’s meaning is by investigating the meanings of the words that occur along with that word. 2 – We can determine differences in word meaning by analyzing differences in context

4 Theoretical Basis II Later authors recontextualize and context demonstrates meaning So by tracking how later authors recontextualize the words used by earlier authors, we can track meaning change These differences could be – Theological – Cultural – Linguistic

5 Note of Caution Ultimate in historical-critical method – meaning is relational – But this makes determining “actual meaning” a very complex process the “meaning” of every word is communicated by the meaning of every other word with which it co-occurs and every word with which the co-occurrents co-occur etc.

6 Methodological Overview Count co-occurrences of word lemmata – Window of 4 left and 4 right of target word Calculate statistical significance of co- occurrence Compare the words between and within the testaments

7 Count Co-Occurrence L4L3L2L1TargetR1R2R3R4 ἐνἀρχήποιέωὁθεόςὁοὐρανόςκαίὁ ὁἄβυσσοςκαίπνεῦμαθεόςἐπιφέρωἐπάνωὁὕδωρ Counts: ὁ - 5 καί - 2 ἐν - 1 ἀρχή - 1 ποιέω - 1 οὐρανός - 1 ἄβυσσος - 1 πνεῦμα - 1 ἐπιφέρω - 1 ἐπάνω - 1 ὕδωρ - 1

8 Calculate Statistical Significance Significant co-occurrence happens when two words occur together more often than you would expect by chance – LXX: ὁ 1 every 7 words, κύριος 1 every 72 – w/ θεός: ὁ 1 every 5 words, κύριος 1 every 22 – θεός attracts κύριος more than it attracts ὁ Log-likelihood measure

9 Log Likelihood Better for sparse data More interpretable than, e.g., chi-squared “It is…a number that tells us how much more likely one hypothesis is than another” (Manning and Schutze, 1999)

10 Log Likelihood Formula Log λ = log L(H 1 ) #independence L(H 2 ) #dependence = log L(c 12, c 1, p) + log L(c 2 -c 12, N-c 1, p) - log L(c 12, c 1, p 1 ) – log L(c 2 -c 12, N-c 1, p 2 ) Where L(k,n,x) = x k (1-x) n-k c 1 = occurrences of word 1 c 2 = occurrences of word 2 c 12 = co-occurrences of word 1 with word 2 N = number of tokens in the text p = c 1 /N p 1 = c 12 /c 1 p 2 = (c 2 -c 12 )/(N-c 1 )

11 Different Ways Forward Compare LL lists manually, but… – 3,893 words common to both testaments – Over 14,000 (LXX) or 5,300 (NT) possible co- occurrants – Need to reduce the complexity Compare LL lists automatically

12 Cosine Similarity Calculates the similarity of two lists Python Code c1 = {ἐγώ: , αὐτός: …} c2 = {ἐγώ: , αὐτός: …} terms = set(c1).union(c2) dotprod = sum(c1.get(k, 0) * c2.get(k, 0) for k in terms) magA = math.sqrt(sum(c1.get(k, 0)**2 for k in terms)) magB = math.sqrt(sum(c2.get(k, 0)**2 for k in terms)) return dotprod / (magA * magB)

13 Cosine Similarity I calculated similarity between the testaments – e.g., how similar are the log-likelihood lists for θεός in the OT and θεός in the NT – This tells us which words have changed the most between the testaments And within the testaments – e.g., how similar is the log-likelihood list for θεός in the OT with that of κύριος in the OT – Tells us which words are most similar within each testament

14 And then... Investigate change in usage (log-likelihood lists) – OT Log Likelihood – NT Log Likelihood = change Investigate change in meaning (cosine similarity lists) – OT COS Similarity – NT COS Similarity = change Here‘s how...

15 1. Determine Difference in Usage WordSimilarityOccurrences OTOccurrences NT Σίμων χάρις γεννάω ἐκβάλλω προσεύχομαι ἕτερος Μωϋσῆς ἄλλος διδάσκω ἑπτά καλός νεκρός ἔτι οὐδείς ἐγείρω ἐκκλησία βλέπω ζωή προσέρχομαι πονηρός

16 1. Determine Difference in Usage WordSimilarityOccurrences OTOccurrences NT Σίμων χάρις γεννάω ἐκβάλλω προσεύχομαι ἕτερος Μωϋσῆς ἄλλος διδάσκω ἑπτά καλός νεκρός ἔτι οὐδείς ἐγείρω ἐκκλησία βλέπω ζωή προσέρχομαι πονηρός

17 2. Compare Change in Usage Σίμων - Simon CollocateLog-likelihood Diff.English Translation ἀρχιερεύς High Priest ἀδελφός Brother σύ You δέ But, and μέγας Great ἐγώ I καλέω To call τὶς Someone, Something αἴρω To lift up... θάλασσα Sea ἀποκρίνομαι To set apart πρός Towards οὖν And so λέγω To say ὁ The ἐπικαλέω Summon καί And Ἰούδας Judas χάρις – grace, favor CollocateLog-likelihood Diff.English Translation εὑρίσκω To find ἐναντίον Opposite ὁ The ἐνώπιον Facing εἰ If ἀγαθός Good δόξα Glory παρά Beside σύ You... σοφία Wisdom ἔλεος Mercy διά Through κατά Downwards κύριος Lord καί And αὐτός Himself λέγω To say θεός God

18 2. Change in Usage Analysis Σίμων OT – appears with ἀρχιερεύς and ἀδελφός (he was high priest and brother of Judas and Jonathan Maccabee) NT – appears with Ἰούδας (“Judas son of Simon”), with ἐπικαλέω and ἀποκρίνομαι (apostolic words) and with θάλασσα (the sea) χάρις OT – appears with εὑρίσκω (to find), with ἐναντίον and ἐνώπιον (facing words), and with ἀγαθός (description of gifts) NT – appears with θεός and κύριος (giver of gifts) and σοφία and ἔλεος (possible gifts)

19 3. Compare Change in Topic Σίμων Similar WordCosine Similarity Diff.English πολεμέω to fight, to make war Σαλωμών Solomon ἐξολεθρεύω to destroy utterly νέος youthful, new καταλείπω to leave behind Ονιας Onias ἰσχύς strength, might Ιωναθαν Jonathan πατάσσω strike, smite... Πέτρος Peter ἀνακαθίζω to sit up διενθυμέομαι ponder νεύω to nod Ἰάκωβος James ξενίζω to entertain, astonish φράζω to explain, interpret ἁλιεύω to fish Ἀνδρέας Andrew χάρις Similar WordCosine Similarity Diff.English κατασχίζω to cut up, to tear up παροινέω to insult, to rage against συνοδία caravan, company of travellers κόνδυ drinking vessel, cup νεφθαι naphtha ἀντρώδης cave-like καρπόω to offer (as a burnt offering) διόρυγμα digging through, breach, hole δεκαπλασίων ten-fold... οὖν and so ὅς who, which, what, that γάρ for θεός God λέγω to say δέ and, but ἵνα so that διά through μαθητής pupil, apprentice, disciple

20 3. Change in Topic Analysis Σίμων OT – shares same topic with πολεμέω, ἐξολεθρεύω, ἰσχύς, and πατάσσω (war words), and Ονιας and Ιωναθαν (two other high priests) NT – shares same topic with Ἀνδρέας, Ἰάκωβος, and Πέτρος (names of apostles), with ἁλιεύω (to fish), and with διενθυμέομαι and φράζω (interpretation words) χάρις OT – shares same topic with κατασχίζω, κόνδυ, νεφθαι, καρπόω (sacrificial words) NT – shares same topic with μαθητής, θεός, and λέγω. Words 10 and 11 are ἀγάπη and πίστις (gifts)

21 1. Determine Difference in Usage WordCSim Score OT to NTOcc OTOcc NT ἀκούω0, ἄνθρωπος0, κύριος0, ἐκ0, ὁράω0, μετά0, θεός0, γινώσκω0, εἰσέρχομαι0, ἡμέρα0, ἔρχομαι0, ποιέω0, δέ0,

22 1. Determine Difference in Usage WordCSim Score OT-NTOcc OTOcc NT ἀκούω0, ἄνθρωπος0, κύριος0, ἐκ0, ὁράω0, μετά0, θεός0, γινώσκω0, εἰσέρχομαι0, ἡμέρα0, ἔρχομαι0, ποιέω0, δέ0,

23 2. Compare Change in Usage Septuagint Co-OccurrentsNew Testament Co-Occurrents

24 2. Compare Change in Usage Septuagint VerbsNew Testament Verbs

25 2. Compare Change in Usage Septuagint NounsNew Testament Nouns

26 3. Compare Change in Topic SeptuagintNew Testament Similar WordOT SimNT SimSim DiffTranslation Σατανᾶς0,0000,419-0,419Satan Φαρισαῖος0,0000,429-0,429Pharisees μέλλω0,2560,698-0,442to be about to πιστεύω0,4410,883-0,442to believe ἑκατοντάρχης-0,1880,256-0,444centurion ὑπάγω0,0640,511-0,447to go, die τοιοῦτος0,0960,545-0,449like this πίστις0,3730,829-0,456Belief εὐαγγέλιον0,0250,490-0,465gospel Πέτρος0,0000,494-0,494Peter Πιλᾶτος0,0000,495-0,495Pilate Χριστός0,0000,520-0,520Christ οὖν0,3020,833-0,532and so χάρις0,1380,699-0,562gift ἵνα0,3390,904-0,565in order to φανερόω-0,0180,558-0,577To show ἀπόστολος0,0000,613-0,613apostle ἀγάπη-0,0080,639-0,647love Παῦλος0,0000,662-0,662Paul μαθητής0,0000,783-0,783Disciple Similar WordOT SimNT SimSim DiffTranslation Σαλωμών0,6900,0000,690Solomon ἐξολεθρεύω0,7360,0500,686destroy utterly πρόσταγμα0,6820,0000,682command παιδάριον0,6810,0040,677child πεδίον0,6740,0000,674field αἰχμαλωσία0,629-0,0330,661captivity ἐγκαταλείπω0,7130,0770,635To forsake ἀλλόφυλος0,6660,0360,630foreign κτῆνος0,615-0,0140,629cattle ἐναντίον0,7660,1370,629facing ἐκζητέω0,7730,1450,628seek out χριστός0,6120,0000,612anointed ἐλπίζω0,318-0,2940,611To hope καταλαμβάνω0,588-0,0230,611To lay hold of ἐξαίρω0,6490,0390,610to drive away Βενιαμίν0,546-0,0500,597Benjamin ἔναντι0,6380,0500,588before συντελέω0,7400,1550,585to finish κακία0,6870,1070,580wickedness πατάσσω0,7340,1550,579to strike

27 3. Change in Topic – LXX Similar Words Chi-Squared Less Than.25 ἐκζητέω0,916seek out δείκνυμι0,890to show πρότερος0,886earlier τάσσω0,882to arrange ὀχύρωμα0,877stronghold τύπτω0,873to strike πάρειμι0,873to be present ἐφοράω0,873to watch over μνημόσυνον0,873memorial, memory ἔσθω0,873eat ἐπιτάσσω0,873to command ἐξουδενόω0,873treat with contempt διάνοια0,873mind, heart μεθύσκω0,873to make drunk κατέχω0,873to hold, detain εὐδοκέω0,873to take delight ἀριθμέω0,873to count ἐκτρίβω0,873todestroy Ἰδουμαία0,873Idumea συναντάω0,873to meet, happen Chi-squared, No Limit Σαλωμών0,690Solomon ἐξολεθρεύω0,686destroy utterly πρόσταγμα0,682command παιδάριον0,677child πεδίον0,674field αἰχμαλωσία0,661captivity ἐγκαταλείπω0,635to desert ἀλλόφυλος0,630foreign κτῆνος0,629cattle ἐναντίον0,629facing ἐκζητέω0,628to search for χριστός0,612anointed ἐλπίζω0,611hope καταλαμβάνω0,611to take ἐξαίρω0,610to drive away Βενιαμίν0,597Benjamin ἔναντι0,588opposite, before συντελέω0,585to finish κακία0,580wickedness πατάσσω0,579to strike Chi-squared Less Than.10 καταλείπω0,883to forsake χώρα0,879field ἁγιάζω0,879to sanctify ἑτοιμάζω0,879to prepare συντελέω0,877to finish Αἰγύπτιος0,877Egypt δείκνυμι0,875to show πλανάω0,875to wander Αβιμελεχ0,875Abimelech ἐκζητέω0,875seek out ἅμα0,875together πλατύς0,875wide ἀναιρέω0,875to destroy ἔνδοξος0,875Honoured ῥάβδος0,875scepter μεγαλύνω0,875To magnify κατάσχεσις0,875Possession θεωρέω0,875to observe κριτής0,875a judge, ruler ἀπώλεια0,875destruction

28 3. Change in Topic – LXX Similar Words Chi-Squared Less Than.25 ἐκζητέω0,916seek out δείκνυμι0,890to show πρότερος0,886earlier τάσσω0,882to arrange ὀχύρωμα0,877stronghold τύπτω0,873to strike πάρειμι0,873to be present ἐφοράω0,873to watch over μνημόσυνον0,873memorial, memory ἔσθω0,873eat ἐπιτάσσω0,873to command ἐξουδενόω0,873treat with contempt διάνοια0,873mind, heart μεθύσκω0,873to make drunk κατέχω0,873to hold, detain εὐδοκέω0,873to take delight ἀριθμέω0,873to count ἐκτρίβω0,873to destroy Ἰδουμαία0,873Idumea συναντάω0,873to meet, happen Chi-squared, No Limit Σαλωμών0,690Solomon ἐξολεθρεύω0,686destroy utterly πρόσταγμα0,682command παιδάριον0,677child πεδίον0,674field αἰχμαλωσία0,661captivity ἐγκαταλείπω0,635to desert ἀλλόφυλος0,630foreign κτῆνος0,629cattle ἐναντίον0,629facing ἐκζητέω0,628to search for χριστός0,612anointed ἐλπίζω0,611hope καταλαμβάνω0,611to take ἐξαίρω0,610to drive away Βενιαμίν0,597Benjamin ἔναντι0,588opposite, before συντελέω0,585to finish κακία0,580wickedness πατάσσω0,579to strike Chi-squared Less Than.10 καταλείπω0,883to forsake χώρα0,879field ἁγιάζω0,879to sanctify ἑτοιμάζω0,879to prepare συντελέω0,877to finish Αἰγύπτιος0,877Egypt δείκνυμι0,875to show πλανάω0,875to wander Αβιμελεχ0,875Abimelech ἐκζητέω0,875seek out ἅμα0,875together πλατύς0,875wide ἀναιρέω0,875to destroy ἔνδοξος0,875Honoured ῥάβδος0,875scepter μεγαλύνω0,875To magnify κατάσχεσις0,875Possession θεωρέω0,875to observe κριτής0,875a judge, ruler ἀπώλεια0,875destruction

29 3. Change in Topic – NT Similar Words Chi-squared Less Than.10 ἕτερος-0,563other μαρτυρέω-0,570to witness οὖν-0,587and so, therefore ἐμός-0,590mine, of me ἵνα-0,621in order to εὐαγγέλιον-0,623good news, gospel βάλλω-0,633to drive out ὥρα-0,646time of day, hour πέμπω-0,670send μᾶλλον-0,685more χάρις-0,764grace, gift ὄχλος-0,840crowd μαθητής-0,841disciple Παῦλος-0,855Paul πίστις-0,973belief, trust ὅπου-0,973where μέλλω-0,973to be about to ἀγάπη-0,973love ἀπόστολος-0,973apostle περιπατέω-0,973to behave, live Chi-squared Less Than.25 θαυμάζω-0,671to wonder διάβολος-0,685devil λοιπός-0,691remaining πτωχός-0,692poor, needy τέλος-0,700the end μνημεῖον-0,732monument ἀγάπη-0,756love σταυρόω-0,762to crucify ἀπόστολος-0,763apostle Παῦλος-0,777Paul τοιοῦτος-0,827like this, certain μαθητής-0,832disciple μάρτυς-0,967witness διό-0,967therefore φανερόω-0,967reveal, show Σατανᾶς-0,967devil βλασφημέω-0,967to blaspheme εὐαγγελίζω-0,967to evangelize ὀφείλω-0,967to owe ὁμοίως-0,967likewise Chi-Squared, No Limit Σατανᾶς-0,419Satan Φαρισαῖος-0,429Pharisees μέλλω-0,442to be about to πιστεύω-0,442to believe ἑκατοντάρχης-0,444centurion ὑπάγω-0,447to go (away) τοιοῦτος-0,449like this πίστις-0,456trust, faith εὐαγγέλιον-0,465gospel Πέτρος-0,494Peter Πιλᾶτος-0,495Pilate Χριστός-0,520Christ οὖν-0,532and so χάρις-0,562grace, gift ἵνα-0,565in order to φανερόω-0,577reveal, show ἀπόστολος-0,613apostle ἀγάπη-0,647love Παῦλος-0,662Paul μαθητής-0,783disciple

30 3. Change in Topic – NT Similar Words Chi-squared Less Than.10 ἕτερος-0,563other μαρτυρέω-0,570to witness οὖν-0,587and so, therefore ἐμός-0,590mine, of me ἵνα-0,621in order to εὐαγγέλιον-0,623good news, gospel βάλλω-0,633to drive out ὥρα-0,646time of day, hour πέμπω-0,670send μᾶλλον-0,685more χάρις-0,764grace, gift ὄχλος-0,840crowd μαθητής-0,841disciple Παῦλος-0,855Paul πίστις-0,973belief, trust ὅπου-0,973where μέλλω-0,973to be about to ἀγάπη-0,973love ἀπόστολος-0,973apostle περιπατέω-0,973to behave, live Chi-squared Less Than.25 θαυμάζω-0,671to wonder διάβολος-0,685devil λοιπός-0,691remaining πτωχός-0,692poor, needy τέλος-0,700the end μνημεῖον-0,732monument ἀγάπη-0,756love σταυρόω-0,762to crucify ἀπόστολος-0,763apostle Παῦλος-0,777Paul τοιοῦτος-0,827like this, certain μαθητής-0,832disciple μάρτυς-0,967witness διό-0,967therefore φανερόω-0,967reveal, show Σατανᾶς-0,967devil βλασφημέω-0,967to blaspheme εὐαγγελίζω-0,967to evangelize ὀφείλω-0,967to owe ὁμοίως-0,967likewise Chi-Squared, No Limit Σατανᾶς-0,419Satan Φαρισαῖος-0,429Pharisees μέλλω-0,442to be about to πιστεύω-0,442to believe ἑκατοντάρχης-0,444centurion ὑπάγω-0,447to go (away) τοιοῦτος-0,449like this πίστις-0,456trust, faith εὐαγγέλιον-0,465gospel Πέτρος-0,494Peter Πιλᾶτος-0,495Pilate Χριστός-0,520Christ οὖν-0,532and so χάρις-0,562grace, gift ἵνα-0,565in order to φανερόω-0,577reveal, show ἀπόστολος-0,613apostle ἀγάπη-0,647love Παῦλος-0,662Paul μαθητής-0,783disciple

31 Conclusions Method produces a lot of noise But it produces classifiable, logical results – LXX – God’s is represented in many ways – NT – God’s servants and their relationship to God – NT is much more uniform than LXX (Jon Levenson) Next Steps – Compare the LL tables for the words on each end of the CSDiff lists This should give an idea of usage and meaning of the words in each testament This will, in turn, make it clear what the significance of θεος being closely related to those words is All “meaning” that would be found here is relational not absolute – Automatic classification of related words with topic modeling – Analysis with translation equivalents and comparison with co- occurrence results

32 Thank You!

33 Footnotes 1.Daniel Boyarin, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Zellig S. Harris, “How Words Carry Meaning.” Language and Information: The Bampton Lectures, Columbia University, Lecture.


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