Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scriptural Word Clouds

I saw many word clouds from the State of the Union address, and it reminded me of the word cloud I made recently for the Book of Mormon (link). I loved how that word analysis showed God and Lord as central to the text (in this case literally!), but I started to wonder what word clouds for the Bible (KJV) would look in comparison. In addition, I wondered how the Old and New Testaments would look side-by-side. Here is what I found (top 100 words):

The Book of Mormon
The following word cloud is for the Book of Mormon (link to text):

Of note are the words God and Lord, but also interesting is Behold! Intrinsic in this is the invitation look and understand, or to behold.

The Holy Bible
The following word cloud is for the Holy Bible (KJV, Old and New Testaments):

As expected, the Bible speaks of God and Lord, but it also has much to do with Israel and families (children, son, father). Because this is the full Bible, Jesus appears quite small (seen in the D of Lord) because the Old Testament words dominate by sheer number. Do you think this word with grow significantly when viewing only the New Testament? Let's see.

Old Testament
The following word cloud is for the Old Testament (KJV, link):

Here we see Lord and God in prominent display. Family words are large, as are major players in the Old Testament: Moses, David, Judah, and Israel (collectively). Absent is the name Jesus, but He is represented in the all-caps LORD!

New Testament
The following is the word cloud for the New Testament (KJV, link):

The names and titles of deity are large in the New Testament. As expected, Jesus is frequent, apparently replacing LORD (although Lord remains). Unexpected to me is how frequent we find things in the New Testament. Why do you think this is?

The Lord God is central to all of these books. Do these images accurately represent the messages they contain? Borrowing from my Book of Mormon post: Probably not; you can't judge a book by its wordle... and you can't know the fulness of the gospel contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon by a cursory glance.

Read the books, ponder their teachings, and ask God if they're true (see Moroni 10:3-5). I know the scriptures are true, but the great thing is that you don't have to take my word for it (or my 100 most prevalent words for it): you can find out for yourself!

*NOTE: all word clouds were made at


Bonus Features As you may be aware, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has four books in its canon: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. To complete the word analysis, here are the final two books, for your WORD NERD pleasure.

Doctrine and Covenants
The following is the word cloud for the Doctrine and Covenants (link):

This word cloud gets me excited because it shows words related to the Restoration of the Church: Joseph Smith, prophet, servant, kingdom, revelation, gospel, power. . .

Pearl of Great Price
The following is the word cloud for the Pearl of Great Price (link):

This book presents the stories of the creation, Enoch, Moses, and Abraham, with an additional listing of our Articles of Faith. These are represented in the words, along with the first appearance of Satan in one of these scriptural wordles. This is the result of this book being so short (relative to the others) as well as the reminders of God's power and Satan's attempts at persuading men to abandon faith.

5 thoughts

Rockin' Rowes said...

That is so cool!

Danielle Durand said...

Love it

Danielle Durand said...

Love it

SDS said...

I am curious. For the D&C, did you include the text from the section headers in your word cloud? Or what about chapter headers in the other books?

SDS said...

I love the idea! Just wondering if you included section headings in your D&C word cloud? (And chapter headings in the other books...) I was wondering because my word cloud turned out very differently. It made me wonder if you were including the phrase "Revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith..." which is usually included in the section header. It seems that doing so would give unintended weight to some of those words, since they are more for context, not actually part of the revelation.