Journal of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities
Online ISSN : 2188-7276
Quantitative Evaluation Method for a Literary Structure Hypothesis within the Bible
Hajime Murai
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2018 Volume 3 Issue 1 Pages 49-72


Although the literary structures employed in the Bible (chiasmus, concentric structures, and parallelism) are important for its interpretation, the ambiguity of these structures renders them problematic. In this paper, in order to establish an objective framework of evaluation for these structures, a quantitative analysis method is proposed. The target hypothesis of literary structures is the Parallel Literary Structure hypothesis about the hierarchical literary structure of the Bible. This hypothesis proposes that the literary structures in all books of the Bible have a parallel common system. Specifically, the validity of text divisions was evaluated based on divisions rendered in a number of extant Bible translations. Then, corresponding pericope pairs (a pericope is a small story unit in the Bible) that include various “common rare” words and phrases were counted, and the number of valid pairs was compared with the number of randomly constructed structures. From this analysis, statistical significances were extracted and the result strongly supports the hypothesis quantitatively.

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