The Library Basement
Reading under ground

Jesus' vocabulary

A friend of mine asked if I had a list of all of Jesus' words, sorted by frequency, with common words like "the" removed. I did not have such a list at hand, but I took it as a challenge.

Thanks to software, most of the work to create a sorted listed of Jesus' vocabulary is trivial. I can easily make a frequency list of his words and remove common stopwords. The most challenging part for me was finding a source of the gospels from which it was easy to extract just Jesus' words.I asked around, and found that the World English Bible XML contains a \<wj> (i.e. "words of Jesus") tag which delimits exactly what I need. So after a bit of processing, and thanks to NLTK, I was able to provide a basic list of Jesus' most common words:

  1. one - 221
  2. father - 211
  3. tell - 210
  4. man - 196
  5. God - 163
  6. things - 163
  7. come - 158
  8. son - 149
  9. go - 123
  10. also - 113
  11. know - 111
  12. may - 111
  13. kingdom - 104
  14. see - 102
  15. lord - 97
  16. said - 96
  17. therefore - 94
  18. give - 93
  19. heaven - 86

Based on the top of the list, I'd say Jesus was primarily talking about the good news.

I've shared the code.

Categories

Tags