Senses in Bible Word Study

A question I’ve answered several times recently goes something like this:

A Senses ring appears in the Guide, Bible Word Study. What are the numbers to the right of the senses underneath the ring?

First we need to generate a Bible Word Study report:

  • Open a Bible with the interlinear option such as NASB to 1 Peter 5:2 (A)
  • Right click on the word shepherd (B)
  • Select from the left side of the menu the lemma (the one with the ring icon) (C)
  • Select from the right side of the menu Bible Word Study (D)
  • Expand the Senses section in Bible Word Study (E)

The Senses ring shows the lemma under study in the center (F) and the various senses/meanings/uses of the word on the outside of the ring. (G) These various meanings have been suggested by a team of scholars at Faithlife. Underneath the ring you also see the suggested uses of the word. (H)

Let’s focus on the sense to shepherd: (I)

  • Notice to the right of to shepherd, 3 of 11 which means the lemma under study has been assigned a sense 11 times in the New Testament and 3 of those 11 times have the sense to shepherd (J)
  • Notice to the far right 3/14 which means the sense to shepherd appears 14 times in the Bible and 3 of those 14 times are the lemma under study (K)
  • Click the arrow to the left of to shepherd (L) to reveal a Hebrew word that also shares the sense to shepherd (M)

Keep in mind the Senses section is coming from the Bible Sense Lexicon found on the Tools menu. This “lexicon” does not contain an alphabetical listing of articles about lemmas the way traditional lexicons do. The Bible Sense Lexicon is organized around meanings. That’s why multiple Hebrew and Greek lemmas may appear with the same sense because they all share a similar meaning!

Please note the Biblical Word Senses Dataset appears in the Bronze and above base packages.

For more detailed training about the Bible Sense Lexicon please check out 24/7 video training at

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