Table of Contents:
- How can I view the Biblical text?
- How do I search for something in an English
- How can I do a search in the original
Greek or Hebrew without knowing either?
How can I view the Biblical text?
Let us begin with a passage from Matthew. From the File menu at
the top of the screen, Open the NRSV (New Revised Standard
Version). Easier still, simply select the NRSV icon from the "open
text" toolbar--the row of buttons in grey along the top. Scroll
through the list until you come to Matthew, choose "OK" to begin
reading at the start of the book, or "Open at" to go directly to a
particular reference. In this case, type 4, use Tab to move to the
next field, type 16, and hit "OK".
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How do I search for something in an English translation?
Here, however, we find Matthew quoting from another passage. Where
does this come from? If we have not read the previous verses, which
give a pretty good clue, we may choose "Search" from the menu bar
at the top of the page, then Word Search, then NRSV Bible, and
finally, "Search All". At this point, enter "darkness great light".
Change the "Interval between Words" box to 5 to allows a maximum of
5 intervening words in the search. Hit OK.
[Note: Bible Windows
assumes an "and" between the words being searched, unless you
specifically use the boolean "|" [OR] or "!" [NOT]. Arrow keys may
also be used to limit a word, as in >lock<, which would bring
up "lock" while excluding "flocks". Such a search may be conducted
in the English translations, the Vulgate (latin), the Septuagint
(the Greek Old Testament), the Masoretic (Hebrew), and the Greek
[Another note: one
may move the results of the search into a word processor by (a)
pressing the right mouse button and (b) choosing "Extended Copy".
After choosing how many verses you wish to copy, this will slip
your search list into the clipboard, which may then be pasted into
a document. One may also highlight text with the left cursor and
choose the clipboard icon on the toolbar to move only selected
And . . . Two verses have come up, and these will be the subjects
of our consideration. (Granted, things do not always follow so
smoothly: try, for example, searching simply for "great light".
Isaiah 9:2 still stands out clearly next to Matthew 4:16, but the
list has gotten longer. As with any search, the key is patience and
a wise choice of search parameters.)
Double click on the first reference, and the section of
scripture, starting with your chosen verse appears. (If you
maximize the window, at the bottom you might notice a verse
beginning "For a child has been born for us." Scrolling down, we
find that the immediate context for our passage (9:2) does indeed
include this famous description of the Messiah, which Handel wove
into his masterpiece. [Are you taking notes? Is this not important
stuff!?]) At this point, you may want to compare the two texts
simultaneously. Get rid of any superfluous windows (either by
minimizing them or double-clicking on the windows' upper left), and
under Windows in the "Bible Windows" window, choose "Horizontal
Tile" so that the passages will appear side by side.
By the comparison, some questions might well be raised. Why has
Matthew portrayed these people "sitting" as opposed to "walking" or
"living" as in Isaiah? Why does he refer to a "region and shadow of
death" instead of "the land of deep darkness"? On the one hand, one
might simply say that Matthew was quoting from memory, didn't get
it exactly right, and go on from there. However, to be sure, you
might decide to go back to the original.
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How can I do a search in the original Greek or Hebrew without
"But I don't know any Greek or Hebrew!"
Ixnay on the hyperventilating. Bible Windows provides all the
dictionaries and translations you need, and they can be accessed
quickly and painlessly. First, pull up Matthew 4:16 in the Greek
New Testament: click on the AGNT (Analytical Greek New Testament)
button in the "open text" toolbar, and follow the same steps you
used to select a passage in the NRSV. (You might want to minimize
the Isaiah window and use "Horizontal Tile" to place it next to the
Click on the "Show Interlinear" button in the toolbar above the
text to bring up grammatical information and a basic word-for-word
translation of the text. Next, using the BHS button on the "Open
Text" toolbar, bring up Isaiah 9:1 in the Hebrew. (Note that the
references are one verse off, having been marked differently in the
respective translations; this is, however, something you could have
quickly figured out through the following steps.) Do the
"Interlinear" thing again. This time, however, we discover the
distressing fact that instead of a translation, there remains only
obscure grammatical "gook". Not to fear. Assuming that the Hebrew
word order is roughly equivalent to the English (the people
sat), select the second word (remember, Hebrew reads from
right to left) of the verse by highlighting it with the left mouse
button. (The words are nicely divided for you in the third row of
each "line".) Hit the right mouse button, and select "Show
Dictionary". Two options are given: , a prefix (ignore it), and , which is what you're
interested in. Click on it, hit "Ok," and we see that this is
indeed a verb which means "go" or "walk." Our translation of Isaiah
reflects this; the passage in Matthew does not. On the other hand,
repeating this process with (again, guestimating its position by word order), we
find that the word can mean either "sit" or "dwell, live."
Were Matthew translating straight from the Hebrew, then, this
ambiguity might have had explained his choice of words: "those who
sat" as opposed to "those who lived."
to viewing two texts (or more) simultaneously, you can have them
scroll simultaneously as well. Simply click on thepadlocks in left
corner of the toolbars of the texts you wish to scroll together.
When you move around
in one, the other will
follow suit. (To remove a text from those which are linked
together, click on the "locked" padlock button while working with
that text.) However, this process will only enable you to compare
different editions of the same set of verses--e.g., Matthew 4:16-17
in the NRSV and Matthew 4:16-17 in Greek. If, on the other hand,
Matthew 4:16 and Isaiah 9:2 are compared, instead of scrolling from
those points, one will jump to the chapter and verse of the
But here's another thing. While the NRSV renders this word in
Matthew as "sit," could not the original language have been closer
to that of Isaiah? Minimize the Hebrew window to get it out of the
way, and click on the Greek text of Matthew to bring it to the
fore. Highlight "be sitting" () with the left mouse button, and
choose "Show Dictionary" with the right. We find that in Greek the
word does have the force of "live" or "stay" as well as "sit." To
be even more thorough, close this window and choose "Dictionary"
from the top of the screen. Choose "Louw-Nida Lexicon", and the
cursor will jump to this word in the dictionary. Double-click on
the green reference beside the second
definition, "reside" [85.63], and a full
entry will appear. In each case, Matthew's language seems to
correspond much more carefully to his source than our translation
Close this screen, and we're off to our last question: how does
Matthew's "region and shadow of death" come from "land of deep
darkness?" We could go through the lexical process again to analyze
the various meanings of these words, but there may be an easier
option. Since the third-century Greek translation of the
Scriptures--the Septuagint--had come to be the Bible of Jesus' day,
it seems reasonable to look here for a clue to Matthew's quotation.
Using the LXX button on the "Search Text" toolbar, bring up Isaiah
9:1 (you'll need to scroll down a bit to find it--the book order
here differs from the others). Minimize the NRSV window, use
"Horizontal Tile" so that both can be seen, and choose "Show
Interlinear". In both we find ""--the region and
shadow of death. Thus it seems clear that Matthew's quotation draws
specifically from this text.
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Last Updated: 30 March 2001
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