Find Words Unique to a Book in the Bible

A fellow Logos user recently emailed me an excellent question:

Is there a way to find the words in a particular NT book (e.g. Philippians) that are unique to it?  In other words, they are not used elsewhere in the NT?

Even though at first glance the question sounds like a huge task, actually it’s quite simple through the use of Word Lists:

  • Choose Documents | Word List
  • Name it Philippians (A)

  • Click Add (B)
  • Type Philippians in the Reference box (C)
  • Press the Enter key

  • Give Logos a moment and it will list every Greek lemma in Philippians
  • Choose Documents | Word List again
  • Name it NT minus Philippians (D)
  • Click Add (E)
  • Type Mt-Eph in the Reference box (F)
  • Press the Enter key

  • Give Logos a moment (or two) and it will list every Greek lemma in Matthew through Ephesians
  • Click Add again (G)
  • Type Col-Rev in the Reference box (H)
  • Press the Enter key

  • Give Logos another few moments and it will add to the above list all of the lemmas in Colossians through Revelation which results in every Greek lemma in the NT less Philippians
  • Go back to the Philippians Word List (I)
  • Click Merge (J)
  • Select NT minus Philippians from the list (K)
  • Click Difference on the right hand side (L)

  • Wait patiently and Logos will create a new Word List of the Greek lemmas found in Philippians, but nowhere else in the NT! (M)

Obviously by manipulating the above verse ranges, you can create unique lemma Word Lists for practically any portion of Scripture you desire.

Observing words unique to a book or writings by a specific author may reveal a theme or insight in a portion of Scripture. For example, Paul used a word translated striving in Philippians 1:27 and labored in Philippians 4:3 which may refer to soldiers fighting side by side. Elsewhere in Philippians 3:20 he used a political word translated citizenship (which has a general meaning of commonwealth) reminding believers their ultimate residence is heaven.

These words make even more sense when we discover Philippi served as a military outpost for the Roman empire and this Roman colony was nicknamed “Little Rome” because of the patriotism of its citizens!

For more information about Word Lists, be sure to order your copy of the Logos Training Manuals Volumes 1-3.

Also, be sure to register for an upcoming live stream Camp Logos Inductive webinar August 13-17 or August 27-31.

And for 24/7 Logos training, check out the new website.

Remember to follow and you’ll automatically receive a FREE digital download of Dr. Grant Osborne’s commentary Ephesians Verse by Verse.

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