The Pastor/Teacher’s Toolkit – Morph Explorer

toolkit, cross-ref explorer

Morphology, in regards to linguistics, is the the study of the internal structure of words. As a pastor, teacher, or student of God’s Word, word study is an important aspect of Bible study.

What did the author mean when he wrote the words? To find out and understand a text, studying the language, context, author, and audience of the human writers of the Bible can be extremely helpful. (Keep in mind that no translation will ever be perfect, because no two languages are perfectly identical.) While it might seem overwhelming, WORDsearch can help you get started with the Morphology Explorer window.

The Morph Explorer is a powerful window that allows you to query the original Greek of the Bible. Clicking any word in the “Root” list will show you every occurrence of that word in the Bible, regardless of how the word may be conjugated and regardless of how it might be translated in English. Clicking a word in the Form list allows you to query specific grammar parsings, and you have further control using the list boxes at the bottom of the window.

Note: The Morph Explorer feature only works if you have the UBS Greek NT 4th Edition with Friberg Morphology unlocked and installed. Without this book, the feature will not be available and the icon in the main toolbar will also be grayed out.

In order to use the Morph Explorer, you need to open up a Interlinear Bible. For this example, we’ll use the UBS4 Greek Bible with Friberg morphology. First, open it to any given verse. Here, we’ll open it to John 1:1.

John 1:1

When we find a word we’re interested in, (here we’ll study the Greek word for “beginning”) right click on it, and from the menu select “Explore morphology of “αρχή.

Expand
This will open the Morph Explorer window right to the word you selected. From here, you can see all the occurrences of the Greek root.

Morph Window

Showing all occurrences.

To go into even more detail, you can see any occurrence of a specific word form, like a part of speech, gender, person, number, case, or type. For your specific word, it will grey out parts of speech that are not available, but the ones that are in black type, you can click on to see the results. Here, I’ve narrowed my results down to a few specific parts of speech and have seven different results (down from 55 when it was all occurrences above.)

Showing all occurrences of a specific word form

Showing all occurrences of a specific word form

Another quick tip? The display menu allows you to control your search results depending on if you want to see just the Bible text, the original text, or the original text + the gloss. Choose different options to see which you like best.

Do you use the Morph Explorer? Share with us what you’ve learned in the comments!

Comments

  1. When will the hebrew come to the The Morph Explorer?

  2. I’Lloyd give this a try – looks better than the BIG competitor.

  3. I’ll give this a try – looks better than the BIG competitor.

  4. Is the statement, “In order to use the Morph Explorer, you need to open up a Interlinear Bible,” true meaning any interlinear bible will work, or is there a specific list of interlinear products that work with the morphology feature?

    • Hi Eric! From my testing, it seems like it works with any interlinear that includes Greek, so mainly New Testament. Does this help?

      • It sort of does, because it apparently does not work with any of the 4 free Greek interlinear NT available in the WORDsearch catalog (or I am doing something wrong). So is the assumption that it works for any _paid_ Greek interlinear in the catalog?
        Thanks!

        • Hi Eric, I just tried with the Tischendorf (a free interlinear) and it works! You just have to make sure you open the Interlinear, and then right-click on a Greek word, then select “Explore morphology of…” to open the Morph Explorer window. Does this help?

          • I appreciate the assistance, and maybe this is something better suited for me to take up with support. But, I added the interlinear you linked to, today’s free offering, and I still do not get the menu option you show in this post. I can only assume there is some additional piece I am missing that is needed to enable this functionality. Following is a link to a screen of the dialog I get if you are interested: http://1drv.ms/1F3Yq2F.
            Thanks for the help!

          • Hi Eric, are you using WORDsearch 10?

  5. I am. I’ve checked for program and book updates, and everything is at the latest.

    • Hi Eric, I talked to tech support and they told me that the Morph Explorer feature only works if you have unlocked and installed the book “UBS Greek NT 4th Edition with Friberg Morphology.” Without that book, the feature will not be available and the icon in the main toolbar will also be grayed out. I’m really sorry about that! I will have to update this post to mention that. Thanks so much for your patience!

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