Network Analysis of Biblical Texts


  • István Czachesz University of Tromsø



network theory, knowledge representation, word co-occurrence networks, miracle of the five thousand


This article presents examples of using Network Theory to analyse the text of the New Testament. We provide an introduction to the basic concepts of Network Theory and centrality measures in networks and suggest a simple method of creating word co-occurrence networks from passages. Special consideration is given to the psychological realism of the model in the context of the ancient Mediterranean world. Following a demonstration of the method on the first two verses of the Gospel of John, we compare multiple versions of a miracle story with the help of network analysis. The final part of the article demonstrates how the method can be extended to account for the knowledge of different readerships in the interpretation of the text.

Author Biography

István Czachesz, University of Tromsø

István Czachesz is Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Tromsø. His recent publications include Cognitive Science and the New Testament: A New Approach to Early Christian Research (2017), Hell, Scatology and Metamorphosis: The Grotesque Body in Early Christian Discourse (2012), Commission Narratives: A Comparative Study of the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts (2007) and, as co-editor, Mind, Morality and Religion: Cognitive Science Approaches in Biblical Studies (2013), The Visio Pauli and the Gnostic Apocalypse of Paul (2007).


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How to Cite

Czachesz, I. (2018). Network Analysis of Biblical Texts. Journal of Cognitive Historiography, 3(1-2), 43–67.



Digital Humanities, Cognitive Historiography and the Study of Religion