Archive - May, 2010

Logos 4: Locate Occurrences of an Original Word or Strong’s Number

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Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

I have received numerous e-mails asking, “Where is the Englishman’s Concordance in Logos 4?” Just to be sure you know what I’m referring to, the Englishman’s Concordance was a special search feature in Libronix 3 that located every occurrence of a Strong’s number (which represented a Hebrew or Greek word) in the Bible.

So if you have been wondering this yourself, here is the answer: the name Englishman’s Concordance does not appear in Logos 4, but the functionality does:

  • Open a Bible with the reverse interlinear option (currently ESV, NRSV, KJV, NKJKV, NASB, and NLT)
  • Right click on a word in a verse
  • From the right menu, select Lemma “your word” OR Strong’s “your number”
  • Select Search this resource

There before your eyes will be every occurrence of that word or number! When doing word studies, this is a valuable search so that you can compare Scripture with Scripture.

An Interview with John Bolt about Herman Bavinck

John Bolt

The electronic edition of Reformed Dogmatics, by Herman Bavinck is nearing completion on the Pre-Pub page, so I thought I thought I’d take this opportunity to share an email exchange I recently had with Dr. John Bolt, the editor of the new English translation. Dr. Bolt is Professor of Systematic Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and has served as a pastor for several years. He is a member of the Dutch Translation Society, which produced the new translation. Part one is below, and part two will appear on the blog next week.

Remember, you still have a little more time to get Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics, so head on over to the Pre-Pub page to place your order!

Who was Herman Bavinck?

Herman Bavinck was the son of Jan Bavinck, a preacher in the Dutch Reformed Succession Churches, a fellowship characterized by deep piety, practical Christianity, and traditional orthodox Reformed theology.

He was an extraordinarily gifted student who scandalized his own church by attending the very modern theological faculty at the University of Leiden where he earned a doctorate, writing a dissertation on the ethics of Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli. As a student he became familiar with the work of Abraham Kuyper, the church reformer, journalist, statesman, who dominated Dutch life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Both men taught theology—Kuyper at the Free University of Amsterdam, and Bavinck at the Kampen theological school of the Secession church and from 1902 on as Kuyper’s successor at the Free University. While Bavinck did public service in the First Chamber (Senate) of the Dutch Parliament, he was the “theologian’s theologian” for the Dutch neo-Calvinist movement. His major work, Reformed Dogmatics, is remarkable for its solid biblical base, its incorporation of the church’s long history of biblical interpretation and dogma formation, and its constant address to modern questions in the natural sciences and in the new field of psychology.

What is the mission and role of the Dutch Translation Society in translating the works of Bavinck and other theologians?

Truthfully, Bavinck was the only one of sufficient importance to warrant translating his entire 4-volume magnum opus. One cannot understand the developments in Dutch Reformed theology of the twentieth century (Berkouwer, Van Ruler, Hendrikus Berkhof, and others) apart from a first hand acquaintance with Bavinck.

He is still fresh and relevant because he takes seriously the intellectual and social challenges of modernity. Many of the questions of his day in Europe still haunt us today and he provides a sure guide.

Our translation society is a truly ecumenical venture that draws support from at least five different churches in the Reformed tradition. Bavinck is one of the few figures to which all of those traditions turn for guidance.

Reformed Dogmatics

The translation project took a decade to complete. Can you describe the process? What was your role in the translation and editorial process?

When we started the project, we had enough money to do a segment of Reformed Dogmatics. Though we were all enthusiastic about the translation, we really did not know if the work would sell. So we started modestly. We began with the eschatology section in volume 4 because of its size and the currency of its subject matter. The result: The Last Things: Hope for this World and the Next, first published by Baker in 1996.

The volume was well-received. We had generous benefactors, and next produced the creation section of Volume 2: In the Beginning: Foundations of Creation Theology, which Baker published in 1999.

At that point support was growing sufficiently for us to commit to doing the entire four volumes. The last one was published in 2008. John Vriend was the translator of the text. I received the typed manuscripts as he completed his work, and I went to work editing.

My editorial work consisted of bringing the scholarly apparatus up to speed to twenty-first century standards. This meant getting the full bibliographic information, checking versions and editions, and—where possible—substituting the English text (eg. Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith) where Bavinck had cited the Dutch or German.

I am deeply indebted to the list of Calvin Seminary students whose names are listed at the beginning of the bibliographies in each volume. They checked editions, found obscure periodicals, and more. My final editorial work was to provide sub-headings internal to each chapter, where they were completely absent in the original, and to prepare a précis for each chapter to help readers navigate lengthy arguments.

You write in the introduction to Bavinck’s Prolegomena in volume 1 that “the Gereformeerd Dogmatiek represents the concluding high point of some four centuries of remarkably productive Dutch Reformed theological reflection,” including “Voetius, De Moor, Vitringa, van Mastricht, Witsius, and Walaeus.” How does Bavinck both reflect and develop the theological system of his predecessors?

All you have to do is look at the footnotes in the Reformed Dogmatics to see how well Bavinck knew that tradition and used it. Nonetheless, he excels them in his desire to reach out to the universal religious impulse in all people in order to connect it with the specific Christian gospel. If you look at any of the loci you will see how he often begins with, let’s say, “sacrifice” as a general human religious reality, and moves from there to Christian revelation. It is that move which marks him as a truly modern theologian, interested in and addressing modern questions.

The remainder of the interview will appear on the blog next week. Remember, you still have a little more time to get Reformed Dogmatics while it’s on Pre-Pub. The print set normally retails for $179.95, but right now you can pre-order it for $99.95. We plan on shipping this set very soon, so you still have a little more time left to get this deal when you pre-order. Lock in your order now!

The “Network Effect”

AlexanderGrahamBellI would love to have been there when Alexander Graham Bell experienced his great “a-ha” moments. His first “a-ha” might have gone something like this, “Oh no. . . I gotta make two of these things!” Can you then picture Al showing off the first pair of telephones to friends and dignitaries who ask the questions, “Do you have to have two phones and a different set of wires for each person you speak to? Where are you going to run the wires? What do you mean, ‘switchboard’?”

Recently I was speaking with a friend who likened Logos Bible Software to the Amazon Kindle and the Sony e-Reader. His point was that we all represented similar abilities to read digital books. Our new iPhone app reinforced his analogy. I pointed out that his perspective was only true to a point. E-book readers have much in common with printed books: They are convenient, hand-held, self-contained, and portable. They are little more than a book that runs on batteries. They go beyond the printed book by serving as vending machines for additional books. But while they have some endearing features, they still only represent basic paper book utility: reading words on pages. With Logos Bible Software, reading words on pages is just the beginning.

Just as the utility of a telephone increases relative to the number of other telephones it is connected to, the value of each Logos book increases relative to the number of books and data sets it references. Logos books are worth more than 100% of the paper book utility. The quantity and quality of explicitly “tagged” links along with word, phrase, topic, and reference links and the sheer size of the Logos Bible Software formatted book count create a network effect dramatically superior to the utility of any individual or collection of stand-alone digital books. Stand-alone digital books are the raw ingredients of Logos Bible Software, not the end product.

A commentary linked to a Bible, linked to a dictionary, linked to an atlas, linked to each of the other books in the library offers a multiplier network effect to the value of every single book. Every combination of books is greater than the sum of the books. The network effect is seen clearly in telephones, radio, TV, Facebook, the human genome, and yes, Logos Bible Software.

One way of measuring this network effect is Metcalfe’s law:

Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system (n2). . . . Metcalfe’s law characterizes many of the network effects of communication technologies and networks such as the Internet, social networking, and the World Wide Web.

And I would suggest it also applies to linked books in the Logos Bible Software.

Let x equal the value of one book. Linked together in a network,

  • Two books = 4x
  • Three books = 9x
  • Four books = 16x

A thousand–volume Logos Bible Software Library has the utility of a million stand-alone resources and the convenience of your desktop, laptop, or your iPhone/iPad!

Logos 4.0c Is Now Available

It’s been six months since we shipped Logos 4, and today we’re releasing our third significant update to the Windows software. Version 4.0c, which will be available later today as a free download, brings many new features and improvements and fixes lots of little bugs. If you have automatic updating enabled (screenshot), which is the default setting, Logos 4 will notify you that updates are ready to be installed.

When you see the balloon tooltip window, right-click on the Logos icon in your system tray and choose to “Install update” (screenshot). If Logos 4 hasn’t downloaded the update by the end of the day and you just can’t wait any longer to get your hands on the latest release, type Update Now into the command bar (screenshot). This will force Logos 4 to check for any available updates (screenshot) and begin downloading them.

What’s New in 4.0c?

There are hundreds of changes in 4.0c. Here are the two biggest ones:

  1. Legacy Reverse Interlinear Display: In Logos 4 we introduced a new layout for reverse interlinears. Most of you loved it, but some preferred the previous layout where the Greek or Hebrew text was directly below the English text. So we’ve decided to add it back in as an option (screenshot). Just click on “Display” and choose which lines you’d like to appear. You can use it along with or instead of the new-style reverse interlinear display.
  2. Passage Lists: Save your Bible search results as Passage Lists, which were called Verse Lists in version 3 (screenshot). There’s also a command to import Passage Lists from version 3 into version 4. Use “Import Passage Lists” to import just the Passage Lists, or use “Import All” to import Passage Lists, Highlighting, Notes, Favorites, and Prayer Lists. One cool new feature of Passage Lists in version 4 is that you can merge lists to get the union, intersection, difference, or symmetric difference or multiple lists.

To see a complete list of the changes in 4.0c, check out the support article “What’s New in Logos 4.0c.”

Time to Upgrade to Logos 4?

If you’ve been cautiously watching from the sidelines, waiting for the right opportunity to make the switch to Logos 4, now’s your chance. Logos 4 is better than ever. It’s had more than six months of extensive testing by thousands of users, and our team of developers has been fixing bugs, listening to user feedback, and adding some really cool new features.

There’s a lot more still planned. Version 4.0d is already underway, and we’re in the process of adding these additional features, as well as many others that we can’t tell you about yet.

There’s never been a better time to upgrade to Logos 4. It’s a powerful, stable, cutting-edge piece of software that just keeps getting better and better. Best of all, these regular updates don’t cost you a penny.

What about Logos 4 for Mac?

Progress on the Mac version of Logos 4 recently has been impressive. As Alpha 19.1 shows, it’s coming along quite nicely. We’ve doubled the size of our Mac development team, and they’re really cranking out new features at a fast pace. The consensus is that Logos 4 for Mac as an alpha is better than our previous generation software. So if you haven’t tried it yet, now might be a good time. Remember, you can safely use both Logos for Mac 1.2.2 and Logos 4 for Mac side by side. If you’re ready to help us test it, you can either upgrade your base package or download the core engine and start contributing in the Logos 4 for Mac forum.

Why the Göttingen Is the Most Important LXX Ever Published

Göttingen Septuagint

The Göttingen Septuagint represents the largest Septuagint project ever undertaken. Published between 1931 and 2006, the 24-volume Göttingen Septuagint contains the most authoritative critical apparatus of the Greek Old Testament ever assembled.

Combining textual evidence from countless manuscripts and ancient sources—including Philo, Josephus, and the Greek Church Fathers—the Göttingen Septuagint is the most detailed and elaborate critical edition of the Septuagint ever published.

The Göttingen Septuagint is the fruit of seven decades of research and publication work. Alfred Rahlfs began the project in the 1920s, and published the volumes on Genesis and Psalms before his death in 1935. William Kappler worked on the Maccabeus volumes before his death in 1944, and Robert Hanhart finished the volume on II Maccabeus and completed III Maccabeus in 1960. Between 1939 and 1957, Joseph Ziegler labored on the books of the prophets, as well as Ieremias-Baruch-Threni-Epistula Ieremiae, Sapientia Salomonis, and Ecclesiasticus.

At Logos Bible Software, we’re committed to promoting Septuagint scholarship and building tools and resources for effective research and study of the Septuagint. Now, we’re thrilled to announce that the Göttingen Septuagint is ready to go into development. Even though we don’t have quite enough orders to cover costs, this resource is simply too important for Septuagint scholarship to wait any longer.

Once this goes under development the price will jump, so you still have a few more days to lock in your order at the current price.

To give you an idea of how good a deal this is, remember that a print version would set you back over $3,000.00. Other digital editions cost $400.00 for just the Pentateuch. That makes pre-ordering the entire Göttingen Septuagint for $299.95 from Logos the right choice. That’s an amazing deal on 65 resources in 24 volumes!

Remember, when this goes into development in a few days, the Pre-Pub price will jump. But if you lock in your order now at $299.95, that’s the price you’ll pay for the entire Göttingen Septuagint on the day it ships.

If you’re interested in the Septuagint, you might also want to take a peek at Biblical Languages: Reference Grammars and Introductions (19 Vols.), which contains Thackeray’s Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek, Conybeare and Stock’s Grammar of Septuagint Greek, and Swete’s Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek.

Logos 4: Open Just the Bible for A Reading Plan

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Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

In the ribbon of the Home Page you can create your own personalized Bible Reading Plan. Create a plan for Through the Bible in a Year, Through the Old Testament in 6 Months, Through Paul’s Letters in a Month on Mondays and Fridays, or whatever you desire.

Then in the same ribbon you’ll be hyperlinked to the day’s Bible reading. You may have noticed, however, when you click the link to the Bible passage you not only open the Bible, but also some Bible study tools. If you just want to open the Bible without the study aids here’s all you do:

  • Right click on the link to the Bible passage
  • From the right menu select Link “your Bible”
  • Select Open link

Now just your Bible opens to the day’s reading!

Of Catechisms and Confessions of Faith

Reformed Heritage

Q. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.

Catechisms and confessions of faith, in one form or another, are almost as old as the Christian faith. Primarily used in the religious instruction of children and converts to Christianity, they have helped provide a skeletal structure for doctrinal understanding throughout the centuries. These confessions are not an attempt to replace the need for biblical knowledge and understanding, but to provide a plumb line to measure it against. Creeds, confessions, and catechisms have been centrally important to the life of the Church.

The Christian Focus Reformed Heritage Collection (14 Vols.) includes a wonderful primer on the study of confessions with The Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book: A Study Guide for Churches by Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., pastor and President of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

There are fourteen volumes that total over 1,400 pages in The Christian Focus Reformed Heritage Collection. These volumes include a comprehensive look at John Calvin’s views on the Sabbath, the atonement, biblical languages and his teaching on the book of Job. This collection also includes an analysis of Jonathan Edwards’ theology of Hell in response to a growing interest in annihilationism, collected writings of theologian Roger Nicole, and over 50 profiles of important figures in the Puritan movement.

The Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book: A Study Guide for Churches is an amazing addition to this collection. Not only do you get a 26-lesson study of the Westminster Confession of Faith, you get a section for each lesson specifically designed for those teaching the confession.

But that’s not all!

This study guide also includes:

  • The complete Westminster Confession of Faith
  • The Belgic Confession
  • The Heidelberg Catechism
  • The Canons of Dordt

These incredibly important confessions and statements of faith are all in one place and completely tied together with the incredible searchability of Logos 4!

If you are looking for more powerful Reformed theology check out Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics (4 Vols.). It is still on Pre-Pub which promises our lowest price on the collection that J. I. Packer called, “the supreme achievement of its kind.” Reformed Dogmatics (4 Vols.) is under development so that Pre-Pub price won’t be available much longer!

Video Tutorial: Biblical Places Information

Video Tutorial

Walter McDougall, professor of international relations at the University of Pennsylvania, has said, “We all must learn geography in order to learn history.”

This is valuable advice. Geography provides the context for history, and location genuinely matters if you want to understand many of the nuances in historical developments and situations. This is true for a well rounded biblical understanding as well.

In today’s video tutorial we are going to look at the Biblical Places feature that makes it easy to find information on over one thousand places named in the Bible!

Digging for Commentary the New-Fashioned Way

How it used to be done

When I first began my seminary training in 1992, things were a little different. Doing research meant going to the library and digging through a literal card catalog (yeah, the kind with 3 x 5 cards). I learned about the “usual places” to look for exegetical help: commentaries, journals, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias and so on. For instance, I wanted to find some discussion about why Jethro is called “Moses’ father-in-law” so many times in Exodus 18 (18x compared to “Jethro” 7x). You see, I had an inquiring mind, but the kinds of questions I came up with were not often discussed in “the usual places.” So now what?

About that time, Sheffield Academic Press began producing a host of wonderful resources–both Old and New Testament–that provided focused discussion of specific passages, themes or issues in a book, ones that did not really fit in with the normal template of a commentary. They also published collections of essays that were thematically related, sometimes focused on a single book of the Bible, other times tracking one theme through a whole testament. There was “gold in them thar hills” as the saying goes, but boy, was it ever some mighty hard digging to find it. It took a lot of work to find a nugget, but wow, was it ever worth it when you found what you were looking for!

At about the same time I began to realize that commentaries are selective. Although commentators are expected to cover certain topics for each passage, sometimes writers will stop and rant about something they are passionate about, oftentimes relegated to a footnote. But these “extended dance versions” comments are hit and miss. They may not even be about the book they are commenting on, but on some other book that is quoted or alluded to! Oh how the times have changed; the search resources available today are astounding in comparison.

The tide turns . . .

So how have things changed? Well to begin with, having an electronic version of the resource opens the door for full-text searches, which is a great thing. But Logos resources go about four or five steps further down the road than your average search engine like Google Books. Every book or resource has been painstakingly analyzed by our Electronic Text Development department. This means that no matter how obscure an abbreviation scheme is used for biblical book (e.g. Ezekiel, Ezek, Ez), no matter what punctuation scheme (e.g. 1:1, 1.1, 11), you’re going to find it, thanks to the festive folks in ETD . Try that using a Kindle or with Google books!

But wait, there’s more! Logos 4 has streamlined the search process by allowing rule-based collections to be built. Collections allow you to do more focused searches or reports. I have all of my commentaries in one collection, all of my grammars in another. Why not separate them by Old/New Testament or by Greek/Hebrew? Because of the rants I mentioned above. Some great nuggets about Acts 2 can be found in commentaries on Joel because of Peter’s quotation in Acts 2:17-21, for example.

Getting the most out of your resources

But it gets even better! Remember the Sheffield resources I mentioned earlier, the ones that have great discussions about passages, but that were terribly hard to find (and that cost you two children and a small aardvark to purchase!)? Adding collections of JSOT, JSNT, or Sheffield Readers into your commentary collections will significantly expand the volume of extended discussions about key passages. The same is true of journal collections like:

There are a number of great Old Testament collections from Sheffield that are currently on Pre-Pub:

If your current focus is the New Testament, there are plenty of great collections available as well:

There is no better platform for “mining” resources like these than Logos 4, period. Whether you are looking for technical discussions for research papers, or for homiletical or devotional material for teaching, you will only find what you have. If you are looking for new resources that will expand your exegetical pool for searching, then take a serious look at these collections. There are great nuggets in them thar hills, and no better tool for finding them than Logos 4!

Why the Logos Top 10 Lists Matter To You

Logos Top 10 Lists

If you don’t already have one of our Logos 4 base packages and you’re looking for a recommendation on which collection to get, or if you’re ready to add commentary sets, collections from authors, or individual titles, then start with suggestions from what Logos users have elevated into our Logos Top 10 Lists. The Logos Top 10 Lists allow you to quickly identify important works as determined by our large user base, those who, like yourself, are interested in rightly dividing the Word of truth.

Our lists are filtered into three general categories:

  • Logos Base Packages
  • Essentials
  • Authors

While recently updating the Top 10 lists, what stood out as interesting was that of all the products in the Essentials and Authors categories are currently collections or bundles of some sort. Since the list is based on user purchases, this got me thinking. Why isn’t even one single-volume title on the list? The only reason I came up with was this: You get the best per-volume price on Logos resources when you add collections of books rather than individual titles.

Our top 10 lists attest to this fact.

Take the #1 title from the Essentials category: Tyndale Commentaries CD-ROM (49 Vols.)

At 49-volumes, this collection might at first appear to be more than you need if you are studying smaller books of the Bible like 1 & 2 Peter or even Hosea. But think long term. Do you plan on teaching or preaching through the Bible? Do you have an OT or NT survey course this coming semester? With Logos, every word is essentially a link, so every word you add to your library makes Logos 4 even more powerful. That gives you instant access to technical linguistic data, along with the tools for accurate exegesis and interpretation. So adding 49-volumes rather than one or two greatly increases your ability to study the Word. But the most convincing argument for adding multiple volume collections to you library remains pricing. With the current sale price of $224.95 for 49 volumes, you are getting the combined Tyndale Old Testament Commentary and the Tyndale New Testament Commentary at just under $4.60 per volume!

And that is an example from just #1 in the Essentials list. We could work our way down each list and find the same thing.

Since the lists are based on user purchases, it’s likely you have at least one of the products listed. If you do, leave a comment indicating which item(s) you have and how it has been useful for you. You may help another reader decide which item to choose. Then, check the Logos Top 10 Lists for new titles to add to your library.

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