Sentiment analysis of the Bible

Now this is how you make an infographic:

A sentiment analysis of the Bible

Things start off well with creation, turn negative with Job and the patriarchs, improve again with Moses, dip with the period of the judges, recover with David, and have a mixed record (especially negative when Samaria is around) during the monarchy. The exilic period isn’t as negative as you might expect, nor the return period as positive. In the New Testament, things start off fine with Jesus, then quickly turn negative as opposition to his message grows. The story of the early church, especially in the epistles, is largely positive.

Applying Sentiment Analysis to the Bible – (via FlowingData)

Bible sentiment analysis, detail itself is fascinating, particularly the blog, where amongst their other experiments with data they have evaluated the reading levels of different bibles:

Caveats abound:

  1. URLs don’t have a 1:1 correspondence to passages, so some passages get counted twice while others don’t get counted at all.
  2. Google doesn’t publish its criteria for what constitutes different reading levels.
  3. These numbers are probably best thought of in relative, rather than absolute, terms.
  4. Searching translation-specific websites yields different numbers. For example, constraining the search to results in 57% Basic / 42% Intermediate results for the ESV, massively different from the 18% Basic / 80% Intermediate results above.

(via Evaluating Bible Reading Levels with Google –


2 thoughts on “Sentiment analysis of the Bible

  1. Interesting. I wonder why they chose to use a circular graphic though – it doesn’t aid legibility – although it does look pretty good and it has a fairly high degree of information packed into it.

    • Like you suggest, it does pack more information in. It would be quite a tall graphic otherwise, though perhaps that would be better.

      On their post they have the results in horizontal lines, broken down by book, which works quite well.

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