J. David Pleins, Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, and Jonathan Homrighausen, an MA student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, have attempted a mammoth task—categorizing the nouns in the OT into conceptual categories. The format is straightforward and logical, dividing the words into four broad categories with 204 word-groups included within those categories. The four main categories are: (1) The Created Order; (2) The Human Order; (3) The Social Order; and (4) The Constructed Order. Overall, these categories function fairly well, except that the first category overlaps significantly with the second; perhaps a better descriptor for the first category would be “The Physical World Order.” Then under these broad categories appear smaller word-groups; for example, the smaller word-groups under “The Social Order” include “Immediate Family,” “Worship/Cultic,” “Ark of the Covenant,” and “Menorah/Lampstand.”

It can be challenging to create categories that people typically associate with particular...

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