Distant Reading of the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John: Reflection of Methodological Aspects of the Use of Digital Technologies in the Research of Biblical Texts

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of this study is to demonstrate the applicability of selected methods of the so-called distant reading from the area of digital humanities for the interpretation of early Christian texts, specifically for approaching similarities and differences between the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John. We use the term "distant reading"for the methods that allow us to explore, analyze, and visualize digitized textual data while using the tools from the area of data mining, natural language processing, or corpus linguistics. We want to explore whether methods from the field of digital humanities can allow for a sophisticated, quantifiable, and replicable comparison of the corpora of early Christian movements and thereby help to uncover the basic features of their theology and thus be a suitable complement to traditional exegesis and interpretation achieved by close reading.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Theology
Pages (from-to)423-439
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • digital humanities, distant reading, document distances, frequency distribution, Gospel of John, Gospel of Thomas, quantitative text analysis, word co-occurrences

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 195876416