This Tool Will Change Your Word Studies Forever

Tools like the Bible Word Study, the Exegetical Guide, and Morph Search make it easy to explore the biblical text, but there’s one new tool in Logos 5 that gets you even closer to word meanings—instantly.

It’s the Bible Sense Lexicon, and it’s going to change the way you think about word studies forever.

What’s a “sense lexicon”?

The Bible Sense Lexicon ties biblical words to their senses. By “sense,” we mean the idea that a word is supposed to communicate. For example, the English word for “run” has many possible senses:

  • To move swiftly by foot
  • To conduct (e.g., to “run a search”)
  • An act of running (e.g., to “go on a run”)

The same principle applies to words in the Bible.

The Bible Sense Lexicon has tied words in the biblical text to their senses, giving you a precise idea of what the biblical authors were trying to get across.

Example: what does “head” mean?

In Isaiah 7:9, we read that “the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.” It’s obvious that “head” is a metaphor—the nation of Ephraim cannot have a literal physical head the way a human body does. But what does this metaphor mean?

We can activate the Reverse Interlinear ribbon, but without the Bible Sense Lexicon data, we’ll just see a bunch of Hebrew words (along with anything else we choose to display here).

BibleSenseLexicon

That’s great—if we know Hebrew. I don’t, so we’ll right-click it and run a Bible Word Study report on the lemma. (What’s a lemma? Find out here.) We’ll get a comprehensive report on the Hebrew word, how it’s used in the Bible, and lots of possible definitions!

BibleSenseLexiconII

That’s awesome: we see loads of ways this word is used in Scripture. This tool has just accomplished hours of research in seconds. But we still don’t know precisely what sense the word for “head” is used in. Does it mean “top”? “Beginning”? “Chief”? We could open up our regular lexicons and see if any one lists a specific sense for our verse in Isaiah.

Or we could see the sense in the Reverse Interlinear!

Bible Sense Lexicon IV

We can immediately see that the same Hebrew word is used to mean both “capital” and “leader”! So the capital city of Ephraim is Samaria, and the leader of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.

The Bible Sense Lexicon data makes the Reverse Interlinear ribbon one of my favorite tools in Logos 5. It’s a revolutionary way to cut right to a word’s sense—saving us even more time on word studies.

If you’re not using the Bible Sense Lexicon in Logos 5, you’re missing out. Get Logos 5 today—the Bible Sense Lexicon is included in Gold and higher.

Already have Logos 5? Learn to use it for richer Bible study and ministry with our educational resources.

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12 Responses to “This Tool Will Change Your Word Studies Forever”

  1. Guest February 23, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    A potentially useful tool, but be very careful to keep drawing your own studied conclusions on how a word is being used based on the context and other exegetical considerations. Not everyone agrees, for example, when a word is being used metaphorically. Don’t just accept the lexicon authors’ conclusions (whoever they are). There are too many considerations that need to be made. There is a danger with how this is presented. It lends itself to being perceived as some kind of authoritative lexicon of contextual word meanings/senses. Commentaries and most other linguistic tools at least give reasoning as to why one comes to a particular conclusion, or at least one can be aware of the theological biases of the authors. However accurate this lexicon may be, it just gives a point blank senses with no insight into who or why. And if one just accepts it, they may find themselves being nudged in an inaccurate theological direction. Here are the exaggerated and problematic promotional claims: ”it’s going to change the way you think about word studies forever.” …I don’t think so, word studies will always take a certain kind and amount of thought. “The Bible Sense Lexicon has tied words in the biblical text to their senses, giving you a precise idea of what the biblical authors were trying to get across.” …really? That does save me hours of work on my word study because I just let you do it for me. Well meaning and potentially useful though it may be, when you see statements like, “it’s a revolutionary way to cut right to a word’s sense—saving us even more time on word studies.” Ask yourself, “is this really a necessary time saving tool, or am I actually allowing it to do my interpretive work?”.

    • John Goodman March 11, 2013 at 11:24 am #

      I completely agree that people should be studying for themselves but I think the way the sense lexicon is set up it will actually encourage you to think about the possible senses the word may have. As soon as you click a word you can explore the possibilities. We all (even the experts) have a lot to learn about the greek text and if anything this feature is a fairly essential accountability partner to help people avoid looking up words in the dictionary and picking their favourite meaning. Those who have a good grasp of greek will already have quality scholarly sources and commentaries, which lets be honest, are hard to access without doing a couple of years of greek.

      The best part about it is how well it ties in with the word study tool which actually encourages you to go exploring every verse with the same word. Overall I think this will go a long way toward preventing pulpit mistakes;)

      You make a good point about naming the authors!

      I’d like to see a greek lexicon in the style of the Clines Dictionary of Classical Hebrew – which to be fair Logos will be fast approaching if you connect the sense lexicon with the word study tool.

  2. Richard Nazarenus February 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    This can be a helpful tool. But for any particular text, the displayed sense is the opinion of the editor. Sometimes that opinion is debatable.

  3. Nancy Dyck February 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    You can find the Bible Sense Lexicon in two places. First, click on “Tools”, then “Bible Reference”, and it will display in a floating window. To enable it in an Interlinear, you must open a Bible, click on the interlinear icon to have the ribbon display at the bottom; then right-click on the ribbon’s left-hand margin. This will yield a pop-up menu with “Sense” unchecked; so check it and “Sense” will appear. This must be done for each Bible with an interlinear; it’s not a default.

    I bought L5 Bronze plus Minimal Crossgrade in order to get “Sense” and other newest features. Didn’t have to buy Gold or higher; saved lots of $.

    • Robert Ringland February 25, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Nancy
      This may have worked for you but it certainly will not work for me with a Logos 5 Silver. As stated it is only on Gold or higher?
      But Thanks anyway.
      Bob Ringland

      • Jennifer Darr February 26, 2013 at 7:38 am #

        Yes, the same is true for me too. I was excited about this and tried it out. I noticed that it gave me no option for the Sense. I could use the tool for other studies separately, but not with the interlinear. Oh well, I am saving up for the Gold upgrade! God willing I will be able to purchase it December.

      • Jennifer Darr February 26, 2013 at 7:53 am #

        Wait a minute, I was wrong! 1st buy the minimal cross grade. I had to even though I upgraded to Silver version 5. It was only 25 dollars for me. I still couldn’t use it in the ribbon…BUT I READ NANCY’S INSTRUCTIONS AGAIN!! I looked up Psalm 1:1. Once my ribbon for the interlinear came up, I RIGHT CLICKED ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RIBBON and it gave me the option to use sense!!! Whoo hoo!! Thanks Nancy!!!! :)

      • fgh February 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

        Adding the L5 Minimal Crossgrade SHOULD work for you, otherwise something is wrong.

    • Jennifer Darr February 26, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Thanks Nancy!! I commented twice on Robert’s post. When I read your post again, I saw I was trying to find the option for the Sense in the little grey box on the top. But right clicking on the ribbon (after the purchase of the MINIMAL CROSS GRADE) made all the difference! :)

    • Nathan Wells November 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

      Thanks Nancy,
      I have Silver, and I was also able to gain access to the “Sense” dictionary using your instructions. You don’t need Gold!

  4. robert williams March 2, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    I have L5 “Silver” but I don’t have “Sense”. I went to the “tool” menu, it is not there. Can you get “Sense” without going to “Gold” or higher?

  5. Rob March 2, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    I too bought the cross-grade plus the bronze , after finding out this was how to get all the new gadgets.