Beta 2022.3: Word Studies

We’re introducing support for word studies in Relight. This feature is something that is by nature complex, so it may spend a little more time than usual in beta getting refined as people use it and provide feedback. We’re also releasing the features in beta progressively rather than all at once to make it easier to revise throughout the beta process.


  • Added a Strong’s dictionary and a Strong’s tagged Bible to the database. Each verse is connected to the root words it contains. These relationships should allow for some interesting possibilities in the future. We’re hoping building it like this will power interesting features for finding synonyms and getting more relevant search results.
  • To do a word study: go to a verse you want to study, click the lightbulb icon, then click to do a word study. You’ll see each English word/phrase together with the Greek or Hebrew root word, the pronunciation of that word in English, and the Strong’s number. At present, this is all that is supported. One thing you can do if you want to dive deeper (for now) is to simply Google Strong’s and then the number that you see.

Planned Changes

  • There are some odd issues around words added by translators and words that are ignored in the English rendering. This will be cleaned up for launch.
  • We are planning to let you tap on a word to get more information. This should make it into production before launch. This should show:
    • The Greek/Hebrew word with its English pronunciation.
    • The morphology (this should be here no matter what, it just might not be
    • The language of the word (in case it’s “all Greek to you”)
    • The Strong’s definition
    • A fancy list of ways the word is rendered in the KJV Bible. Tapping on a rendering will then show you a list of all the references where the word is rendered that way, and you can tap a verse reference to see the context.
    • Some amount of morphology, at least on the Greek new testament. For those not familiar, morphology has to do with things like tense or person in English. A root word in English might be “say” and a form of it might be “said.” Morphology describes what version of the root word you are looking at.

Please, try the beta and let us know what you think. We’re not just looking for direct feedback on what you see. We’re also wanting to know how you do word studies, what your favorite methods and interfaces are, and any general thoughts you might have about word studies.

Try the Beta

Yikes. I really should wait until the end of the day to post updates here. I just made a bunch of progress on this (though there is still lots more work to go).

Updated Changelog

  • All previous changes (duh)
  • Added info icon next to the Word Study action. Tapping this gives you some tips for doing word studies (open to adding more if you guys have ideas).
  • Tapping or clicking a word opens a small card with the following extra information:
    • Word definition
    • Word etymology
    • A list of ways the word gets rendered. Honestly, this is a bit messy. It needs a lot of clean-up and unless I can make it a lot better somewhat quickly., I might just get rid of this section for launch. If it does get cleaned up, tapping on a rendering will show you all the verses where it gets rendered that way.
    • A list of verses where this word is used. In the future, this will be significantly cleaned up—at least ordered correctly, but probably also letting you expand different books of the Bible to see all the uses in a given book.

There’s still more to do, but I think these changes should make the feature a lot more useful already.

Gotta stop the updates while I’m at Bible study :rofl:

Gotta stop using the beta site in production situations. :wink:

I like to live on the edge


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More changes!

Updated (again) Changelog

  • Removed the section that showed Other Renderings – the data here is very messy and I’d like to try to find a cleaner source before implementing it. This is unlikely to be re-added before a production launch.
  • Section labeled Occurrences is now organized by book of the Bible. Just tap on a book to see all the occurrences within that book. This makes the experience for commonly-used words much more sane.
  • Fixed Information overlays with lots of text reported by @bakoind.

Before launch, I’m planning to address the issues surrounding:

  • Multiple original-language words associated with a single English word/phrase.
  • English words with no corresponding original-language word.

The issues with these aren’t so much bugs as they are use-cases that we haven’t yet figured out how to handle gracefully. The second one should be pretty easy, honestly. The first, however, will require a somewhat robust UI, so it will take some doing. That said, I’m working on these today so you might see more changes before end of day (April 27). Be careful with your Bible study, @bakoind. :wink:

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More updates!

The Most Updated Changelog Yet

  • Handled words that have no Greek or Hebrew word connected to them.
    • I’m curious what people think about the wording here. It says, “This was added by the translators” – which is true, but I’m worried about making people with less education in the original languages and linguistics think that this means the words are basically commentary. In fact, they’re pretty much always implied by the phrasing in ways that don’t translate English without breaking a strict word-for-word policy. It’s definitely not bad to have them (in fact, it’s quite necessary)—but I’m worried that unless I’m careful with my wording, I could make it seem bad. On the other hand, it needs to be brief. :man_shrugging:
  • Handled English words/phrases that connect to multiple words in the original language. A good example of when this will happen is large numbers. We might just say “fifteen” but the Greek may be, “five and ten.” This is currently handled with a tab interface that seems relatively intuitive. Tabs are often the best way to handle showing something as active when there are only two options (an oddly difficult problem in UI design).
  • Put thin borders around each word-unit in the Word Study mode. This will hopefully make it clearer that they can be clicked/tapped (a concern raised by @sbmikucki).
  • Various tweaks to the word study feature design, mostly fussy spacing and typography stuff.

Loving the new language tools!

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Great job on the language tools. It’s very helpful. Also, I really like how you’ve shown which words were not in the original languages but were added by the translators. Again, thanks for all your hard work on this app. I really love using it!

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