This was written in April of 2014 and doesn’t reflect any updated analysis. I’m leaving this here for a potential future update, as well as an improved table
For a Corpus Linguistics class project, I ended up looking at the usage of the names for Christ in General Conference. For my reference list, I used this article from the Ensign. I then found the frequency of the occurrence of these words in General Conference (doing what math I could to make sure that names weren’t double counted).
|Lord Jesus Christ||
|Son of God||
|Savior of the world||
|Redeemer of the world||
|Son of the Living God||
|Savior Jesus Christ||
|Lord of Hosts||
|God of Israel||
|Most High God||
|True and Living God||
|Lamb of God||
Of course, with “God,” it’s impossible to completely distinguish when it’s referring to God, the father of Christ, and when it’s referring to Christ without going through every single one of the 130 thousand plus uses.
It’s interesting what titles come up the most frequently. Christ is used more often than “Jesus Christ” and “Jesus Christ” comes up far more often than “Christ Jesus.” “Lord” is used far more often than any of those names. “Savior” is the second most frequent non-name reference, followed by “Almighty.”
The relative usage of “God” has actually gone down in usage, while the usage of other names for Christ has increased. The usage of “Savior” has increased dramatically since the 1850s, suggesting an emphasis on Christ’s role as our savior.
I also looked at the top ten collocations (within two) of the top 25 (or so) words. Collocations are words that are often used in the vicinity of a target word.
|Lord Jesus Christ||risen||resurrected|
|Son of God||begotten||literal||art||literally||firstborn||dead||beheld||immortal||resurrected||crucified|
|Savior of the world||even||redeemer||literal||role||shepherd|
|Redeemer of the world||savior||deed||creator|
|Savior Jesus Christ||Lord|
|Lord of Hosts||if||hath||thunder||consider||friend||spoken||till||ours|
|God of Israel||bless||hear||sustain||led|
|Lamb of God||behold||against||saith||seen|
It’s clear that each of the words is used specifically to refer to certain roles of the Christ. For example, “redeemer,” “mankind,” “atonement,” “resurrected,” “crucified,” and “atoning” are all words associated with the Savior and his role of ‘saving mankind’. Whereas “Almighty” is a title used with words like “pouring,” “wrath,” “decree,” and “judgments” which reflect an Old Testament view of Christ and the use of his power.
Religion and language are really interesting subjects, and when you put the two together, you end up with fascinating results.