Examining Some Ambiguities I: James 4:5-6 in English Translations

In the home group Bible study that I’m in, we’re studying the epistle of James. We’re currently in James 4. While preparing for this week’s study, I noticed some interesting things going on in James 4:5-6. There are some ambiguities in James 4.5. This seemed like a good text to examine a bit further using some of the resources and reports found in Logos Bible Software (things that are in some collections, and some things that are supplemental).

First, the text of the ESV:

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(Jas 4:5-6, ESV)

Seems pretty straightforward, huh? It actually isn’t. When reading the Greek in preparation for the study, I noticed a few things that are ambiguous. And these things are pretty noticeable when you compare English translations. So I made a video that shows how to do this.

The basic issues discussed in the video, as a result of examining English translations, set the stage for the balance of posts in this series. At present I hope for two more posts plus a summary/conclusion post, though that may change (likely be extended) as I write further posts.

So what are the issues we’ll look at?

  • Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’ in James 4.5? That is, is it the Holy Spirit, or is it more along the lines of Genesis 2.7, the life breathed within us?
  • What is the subject of the quotation in verse 5? Is it:
    • God (also ‘He’)
    • Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit)
    • spirit (that is, the human spirit, that of Ge 2.7)
  • Where does the quotation in v. 5 come from? (I’ve not discussed this yet, but it will come up in later posts).

Further posts will focus on using syntactic annotations, morphology, critical commentaries and syntax searching to look at this verse further.

All in all, I hope to show that there are features and resources that those who aren’t comfy with the original languages can use to think about these things and that there are other features and resources that those comfy with the original languages can use to examine these sorts of issues more fully.

400 Posts and Some Housekeeping

Well, this is actually the 404th post since the Logos Blog was birthed way back in July 2005. Which makes last week’s Seeing Double post #400. If you’re counting.

I got inspired today to do a little housekeeping on the blog because I was trying to isolate a bunch of tutorial-style posts for a co-worker and it was more painful than it should have been.

So in order to make this trove of usefulpast posts more easily accessible to all our blog readers, I added a new category called Tutorialand two subcategories: Using Booksand Using Tools & Reports.You’ll see links to these categories in the right-hand column of the main page at http://blog.logos.com.

Thetop-level Tutorial category contains 99 posts that are substantially how-to in nature—posts with steps you can follow and a takeaway that you can use to inform your use of Logos Bible Software.

Almost half of these tutorial posts are syntax-related. Since some readers are very into syntax and others aren’tin the least,I created the two subcategories to narrow things down still further.

Using Tools & Reportscontains tips and tutorials for using features of the digital library, excluding syntax searching. Here you’ll find tips on searching, library management, time-saving shortcuts, and in-depth reviews of specific tools and reports.

The tutorials in theUsing Bookssubcategory are focused less on library features and more on the features of individual books, such as the reverse interlinear Bibles.

If you see some posts you think shouldn’t be included in the “tutorials” categories or run across others that should be but aren’t, please drop a comment on this post.

To cap this off, here are a few gems from the distant past that I rediscovered in my travels today. If you’re new to the blog (or are memory challenged) you’ll find more good stuff like this in the category archives that will help you do better, more efficient Bible study.

  • About This Resource(September 2005) – In which you’ll hear Eli Evans say, “an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange.” In this series of posts, Eli also explains what in the world a datatype is and how to use all the juicy information in the About This Resource window.
  • Mouse Gestures (August 2005) – Bob Pritchett reveals what he calls a “hidden feature” inside the app…but one that you’ll love if ever you start using it.
  • Bible Word Study Report(May 2006) -A9-part series by Rick Brannan that does show-and-tell on every feature of the super-cool Bible Word Study report.
  • Syntax Search Example: Relative Pronouns(April 2006) – A foundational syntax tutorial post in which Rick Brannan reveals the secret wisdom thatenables usto attain a higher level of syntax searching: “The structure of the query matches the structure of the hit.”
  • Words, Words Everywhere and Every One a Link! (January 2006) – A three-part series by yours truly (Daniel Foster)that shows how every word in Logos Bible Software is a link to something. Double-click words anywhere in the system and something cool happens.

Bible Speed Search Tips

A feature of Logos 3 that still draws the most oohs and aahs when I demo the software for people is also one of the simplest: Bible Speed Search. I think that’s because of how quick it is (it finds as you type) and how easy it is to figure out. In fact, many people use it much like they use Google: type one or two words and voila! there’s the thing you’re looking for.

Type the word “heaven,” for example, and Bible Speed Search instantly returns 701 hits in 661 verses in the English Standard Version Bible.


But just like Google’s advanced search features, much more is possible using Bible Speed Search. This post will cover a few of the most commonly used search refinements. A more detailed tutorial is available in the training article Exploring Libronix Searching or in the Help file on advanced searching within the software.

You’ll notice in the screenshot above that the first result is not heaven but heavens. What’s going on here? Bible Speed Search automatically looks for variations of the word you type: plural, -ed, -ing, and so on. Usually, that’s fine…but sometimes you really do want to find just the form of the word you typed. In other words, you want to turn off “stemming.”

In this case, use the “nostem” modifier to turn off stemming and find only the form you typed. In Logos, term modifiers like “nostem” are used with parentheses surrounding the search term, like this: nostem(heaven).


Now we see that heaven singular is used 491 times in the ESV. But what if I want to isolate instances of Heaven, singular and capitalized? The “exact” modifier comes to the rescue and Bible Speed Search returns only 7 hits. Using exact tells Logos to only return exact matches, no fooling around.

As you can see, only twice—once in Genesis and once in Daniel—is the word heaven capitalized in the ESV when it’s not at the beginning of a sentence. Significant? Perhaps not. But it would be interesting to know why translators gave those two instances alone the capital treatment.

What if I told you that Logos could very easily find every statement Jesus made about heaven? In a sense, it can.

When Logos data geeks (I mean, book designers) create an electronic edition of a book, they rarely throw anything away. In fact, they even save the red letters that indicate the words of Christ in many Bible versions. Cooler yet, they encode these red letters as invisible “fields” that can be specified in a search.

Field searches use a colon instead of parentheses to separate the two components of the search. The Words of Christ field is WordsOfChrist or WOC for short. So a speed search to find out what Jesus says about heaven looks like: woc:heaven. Pretty simple, huh?

(For a list of fields available within any given book, open the book and click Help | About This Resource. See the training article Exploring Logos Searching for more details.)


As I look through the search results showing all the verses where Jesus uses the word heaven, I notice that the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears rather frequently. I’ll go ahead and type kingdom of heaven in the search box.


OK, clearly this is not what I want. When I type more than one word in the search box, Logos looks for verses that contain all the words I typed. It’s as if I said, “Find verses that contain kingdom and of and heaven…in any order.”

This is called “natural language syntax” and mimics the behavior of the web search engines we use everyday. Again, much like a web search engine, if you want to search for a phrase use quotes.

Here’s what a search for “kingdom of heaven” returns:


As it turns out, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears only in Matthew, appears 32 times, and appears twice in one verse: Matthew 5:19.

We’ve really only touched the tip of the iceberg. To find out more about advanced searching, including lists of available modifiers and operators, see the Advanced Searching section of the Libronix DLS help file.

Summer Internships for Programmers

Do you know a student studying computer science or information science? A smart, hard worker who could use a paid internship this summer helping to build the next generation of Logos Bible Software?

Logos hires interns every summer (and even other times of year), and many of our full-time programmers started out as interns. This summer we are offering a particularly exciting opportunity to work with the latest software technologies (C#, .NET 3.0, WPF, WCF, XAML, etc.) and to contribute to a major development project.

Summer internships are paid, typically 12 weeks long, and are on site here in Bellingham, Washington — a great place to spend the summer. Logos covers transportation costs, helps find housing, and ensures that interns have a chance to grow their skills while contributing to real projects.

We still have a few positions open, so call your crazy-smart computer-geek kid, brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, niece, or nephew and encourage them to visit www.logos.com/jobs for more information! (And don’t forget that we still have a full-time opening for a web developer, too!)

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 3

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

Part 1 introduced some tools and techniques for exploring your new books, while Part 2 focused on commentaries.

This post will review some of the other categories ofbooks that are part of Library Builder, introduce some individual titles, and show where to look for them in your digital library.

Illustrations

Pastors and teachers love illustrations…readers and listeners love them, too. They’re the raisins in the toast, the strawberries in the fruit salad.

Library Builder adds a new bookof illustrations: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching , with fresh material to help you enliven your teaching or your own study.

Your digital library knows that this is a book of illustrations so it will automatically show up in the Illustrations section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide, the system figures out all the topics related to your passage, then scours your books of illustrations to find illustrations on those topics. Like magic.

Music

Library Builder adds five new books on music:

  • 101 Hymn Stories
  • 101 More Hymn Stories
  • Hymns and Scripture Selection Guide
  • Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others
  • The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

You’re probably familiar with the 101 Hymn Stories books that give the history of various hymns and their composers, but some of the others may be new to you.

Hymn and Scripture Selection Guide is great because, while it does not contain hymn texts,each hymn is tagged with numerous Bible references. That increases the odds you’ll find a song relating tothe Bible passage you’re studying or preaching!

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others and The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts open a window on the poetical voice of those who contributed greatly to the hymnody of the Christian church in bygone days. Sometimes one of these classic hymns, read as a poem, is just the thing to illustrate a biblical truth.

Again, Logos Bible Software knows that these are books dealing with music, so they show up in the Music section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide on a passage of Scripture, the guide finds any hymns or songs that relate to the passage you’re studying.

What you see above are the Music results I get for a Passage Guide on Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (ESV)

Books on Prayer

Library Builder adds quite a number of books on prayer. It’s easy to locate them all in your library: just click My Library, arrange by subject, then type prayer.

You’ll notice a bunch of books by E.M. Bounds, one by Tom Elliff, one by P.T. Forsyth, and one by Oswald Chambers…all new with Library Builder.

Because prayer is such a vital discipline in the Christian’s life, Logos Bible Software also includes a feature right on the homepage that introduces you to books on prayer within your library. Your new books on prayer show up here automatically.

Just click any of the links in the list to open that book to its table of contents and begin exploring.

(Note: the Prayer section of the Logos Bible Software homepage can be turned off or on via the “Customize View” link at the top of the homepage. The Prayer section is only available if you have the Personal Bible Study Addin, included with Logos Bible Software base libraries or available as a separate purchase but not included with Library Builder.)

Devotionals

Devotionals, structured around daily readings and meditations, are a great way to get into the Word every day. The Devotions section on the Logos Bible Software homepage makes it easy to start every day with the devotional of your choice.

Here I’ve selected two of the devotionals that are new in Library Builder.

Take Heart is a very cool concept—it offers daily snippets from sermons by great preachers of the past such as C.H. Spurgeon, G.Campbell Morgan, and John Ker. As the editor writes in the preface, “These preached words are a part of our Christian heritage, and you will find the power of God in them still. I want to preserve them not because they are old but because they are true. It is our loss if we allow this part of our heritage to crumble to dust, forgotten, on out-of-the-way shelves.”

Drawing Near by John MacArthur reflects that teacher’s emphasis on in-depth Bible exposition study. As MacArthur states in the introduction: “As you use this book daily, you will learn how to approach Scripture on your own, developing the study skills you need to open up the Bible and discover its rich and marvelous truths for yourself. Such repeated exposure to God’s Word trains you to think Biblically, and that’s what ultimately makes a difference in your spiritual life.”

ChoosingDevotionals for Your Homepage

To choose the devotional that gets displayed on your homepage every day, click the Customize View link at the top right corner of the Logos homepage.

Then scroll down to the Devotions section and choose as many of the devotionals as you’d like to see on the homepage every day. Put a check in the boxes for those you choose, make sure there’s a check next to “Devotions,” then scroll back up to the top of the page and click Save Changes.

Note: the version of Take Heart that shipped on the Library Builder disc will not show up in the list of devotions; in order to make this devotional show up as an option, download an updated version of the book. Here’s how: close Libronix DLS, then click this link and choose to save the file to your resources folder (for most users, C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources). When prompted, overwrite the file that’s already there.

Looking Ahead…

In the next installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some of the books that don’t fall into any of the categories we’ve covered thus far. You’ll definitely want totake some steps to ensure you’reincorporating these “ordinary” books into your Bible study workflow.

Seeing Double? Eliminate Duplicate Books in Your Library

A recent commenter here on the blog expressed frustration at having duplicate books that clutter up My Library and hog space on his hard drive. Jonathan Pratt wrote,

One problem is that every series that I install comes with its own set of reference materials – typically a few versions of the Bible and a single volume commentary or two, perhaps some other stuff. Well I have lots of copies of (say) the authorized version of the Bible. Because each has a slightly different name [e.g "Authorized version", or "Bible - AV"] they are all installed (copied to my hard drive) and show up all over the place in My Library.

Last time I checked the Libronix repository was nearly 6GB in size – I know because I tried to back it up but I can’t fit it all on a single (single layer) DVD. I don’t know for sure, but maybe I could if I could somehow choose to delete/expunge books that I know are duplicates. Libronix itself doesn’t seem to be able to do that…

Let’s address these in order. First, you can rest easy knowing that it’s extremely unlikely that you have multiple copies of the same book.

Say you buy two products that both contain the KJV Bible. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean two copies of the KJV book file will end up on your drive. During installation, Libronix DLS compares the files on your hard drive with what’s on the disc you’re installing. If a file on disc is newer, it will overwrite what’s on your hard drive. If not, Libronix skips it and moves on.

Acouple of caveats are worthy of mention, however, and one of them is to blame for making Jonathan think there are duplicate files all over his hard drive.

Eliminate Duplicate Titles in My Library

When you open My Library, you may notice that many books are listed multiple times.

Titles 2, 3, 4 and 6 in this screenshot are all the same book. Why this duplication? Many books include multiple titles to allow for different ways of finding the book (e.g., AV, authorized, king james, kjv, etc).

Admittedly, with all these duplicate and sometimes triplicate titles it can be hard to find what you are looking for…and confusing to know when items with similar titles really are different books.The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English Version really is a different version of the KJV…not the same file at all!

To help reduce this confusion, we give you the option to display only the primary title of each book in My Library. Here’s how to set your preference:

  1. Go to Tools | Options | General
  2. On the left side of the Options window, click the Interface tab.
  3. Check the option “Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” and click OK.

Now go back to My Library and you will only see one title for each book.

Ahhh…much better. Truth is, this is one of the first preferences I set when I install Logos on a new machine. And there’s really no downside…I can still type KJV in the find box and the King James Version will appear in the list.

Eliminate Duplicate Files from Your Hard Drive(s)

Most users copy all their Libronix book files to the default location on their hard drive and so never accumulate duplicate files. But the intrepid user among us may have set up multiple book caches, perhaps on more than one hard drive, and maybe even a network drive. As a result, this user—let’s call him a “Power User”—may have built up some duplicate book files on his hard drives.

If you fall into this category and feel the need to identify and eliminate those pesky dupes, you’ll want to install the free Power Tools Addin and use the Remove Duplicate Resources report therein.

After installing the addin, read through the help filejust to make sure you understand how the tool works and what it’s doing.The process is mostly automated anddeleted book files end up in your Recycle Bin, so the damage can be undone at any rate.

Wrapping It Up

To wrap things up in a neat little bundle…Libronix is probably not junking up your hard drive with duplicate book files. But you can always run the Remove Duplicate Resources report just to be sure. And by telling My Library to show only primary book titles, you can eliminate any remaining feelings of clutter that may still disturb your tranquility.

If you shared some of Jonathan’s questions and concerns at the beginning of this post, you should now sleep a little better tonight.

Vote for Logos

As you may recall, we announced last month that Logos Bible Software 3 is nominated for Consumer Product of the Year by the Washington State technology industry association. In fact, this nomination means Logos is counted among the (cue soundtrack) HeroesofInnovation!

This year the association is doing a new thing: a Community’s Choice Award. In addition to the winners in each category there will be a kind of “people’s choice” winner as voted on by…the people.

That’s where you come in!

We’d really love to stand in front of 1,000 attendees at the awards ceremony—all of them creating greattechnology products that help people in various ways—and receive this award because you put us there. We think Logos is the most deserving technology and hope you agree.

(Don’t worry…this is all on the up and up. The awards committee asked us to get the word out to our constituents, asking you to vote.)

If you can take a moment to vote for Logos 3 (it doesn’t matter where you live), here’s how:

  1. You will have to create an account at the awards site.
  2. Next, vote for Logos Bible Software.

When the page refreshes you’ll see how we’re doing!

Thanks for being such great users…your passion for the product and for Bible study keeps us going!

46 Books Need a Nudge

A number of exciting titles on the prepub page are tantalizingly close to crossing the 100% threshold and moving into production. The five substantial collections listed below, which total 46 volumes in all,each need literally just a handful of pre-orders to push them over the line.

Just think, you could be the one toplace the final pre-order that moves one of these on to the next phase!

Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection (10 Volumes)

The Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection assembles titles dealing with Christian apocryphal literature, particularly those texts associated with the Gnostic tradition. Given their contemporary relevance, it is critical for the Christian to understand these ancient texts and evaluate their place within Christianity’s history.


Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on Paul (17 volumes)

Surveying a variety of aspects of Pauline Christianity, this collection canvasses topics as diverse as Paul’s political motivations, community-identity construction, the prevalence of non-Pauline interpolations in the Epistles, scalometry’s relevance to Paul’s writings, and many other fascinating issues. Written with the academic in mind, the progressive thought and timely analysis exhibited here will prove profitable to anyone wishing to study this complex apostle more deeply.


Understanding the Bible and Its World Collection (4 volumes)

The titles in this collection reveal the importance and place of the Septuagint, religious diversity in the Graeco-Roman world, ethics’ relation to the New Testament, and narrative art in the Bible. Written with the neophyte in mind, these titles nonetheless feature a level of astute scholarship that will interest even the most knowledgeable student of the Bible.


Near East Archaeology Collection (3 volumes)

The Near East Archaeology Collection presents the findings of several sites in the Near East. The three volumes examine Aegean sites, as well as sites in Jordon and in Israel. Topics include settlement patterns, pottery, iconography, cult, paleography, urbanism, and much more.


Ugaritic Library (12 volumes)

Ugaritic is the ancient language of one of Israel’s closest neighbors, the city state of Ras Shamra, located in what is now Syria. Ugaritic is from the same family of languages as Hebrew, Northwest Semitic. This means the Ugaritic texts are closely related to the Hebrew Bible, both linguistically and culturally.

The Ugaritic Library contains the complete corpus of Ugaritic texts together with aids and indices to better illuminate these ancient writings and the Hebrew Bible. These include grammatical and lexical books to help the reader learn and read Ugaritic, translations of many of the important documents (with commentary), and volumes designed to help the Bible student easily locate the places where Ugaritic can shed some light on the text of the Hebrew Bible.

Lecture Series Event Recap

Logos marketing assistantMark VanDyke, who has been instrumental in promoting the Lecture Series, shares this retrospective.


This past Monday, Logos presented the first Lecture Series event to a standing-room only crowd at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

More than 160 peopleturned out to hear featured lecturer Dr. Rod Stiling of Seattle Pacific University, who spoke on “Interpretations of the Genesis Flood Before and After Darwin”.
The lecture focused mostly on American geology during the scientific revolution, specifically as it related to Noah’s flood.

One of the highlights of the night was Dr. Stiling’s incorporation of art into his lecture – often referring to how painters in the late 19th century viewed the flood.

The lecture was followed by a stimulating question and answer session filled with pointed questions about the effects that science can have on one’s faith and how Christians should approach the Bible with some knowledge of empirical evidence for what they believe.

The feedback submitted after the lecture was overwhelmingly positive – which is particularly gratifying due to the diverse crowd that had gathered to hear Dr. Stiling speak.

The next three lectures in the series are already lined up, so be sure to visit the Lecture Series page for all the details!

March 26, 2007Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable? Dr. Phil Long, Regent College

April 14, 2007Exploring the New Myths of Science and Science FictionDr. James A. Herrick, Hope College

May 5, 2007The Psalms and Our Destiny: Understanding the Message of the Book of PsalmsDr. Mark Futato, Reformed Theological Seminary