Day One on the Road

The Logos Road Trip is underway!

After some hectic last minute packing, I hit the road today with my wife and two children for the first leg of the trip. We made it to Portland, OR with just enough time to grab a bite to eat before setting up at Life Christian Center.

Scott Lindsey, Logos’ Director of Ministry Relations, was visiting Portland with his wife, so he joined me and made the bulk of the presentation. Scott spends a huge amount of time on the road demonstrating Logos while I am in the office, so I really appreciated a chance to see him in action. He did a great job introducing Logos Bible Software 3 to a mix of existing and new users, one of whom drove over an hour to join us.

Thanks to everyone who joined us, and especially to Life Christian Center for hosting us. Tomorrow night: Shasta Bible College in Redding, California!

In search of the King James Version

Thoroughness is one of the hallmarks of electronic books produced for Logos Bible Software. When we produce an electronic edition of a printed book we try to include all of the content and every bit of relevant formatting. We also include detailed bibliographic information so that users can cite our electronic editions with confidence.

For this reason it always bothered me that our King James Version of the Bible – the textual patriarch of English-language Bible study – offered so little in the way of formatting, notes, and bibliographic detail. The KJV was our first electronic text, and while we have dozens of print copies, we produced our KJV from electronic sources.

In 1991, when we started working on Logos Bible Software, we purchased a disk set with the KJV text from Public Brand Software. It consisted of the text of the verses and nothing else, but it was adequate for our initial development and testing. Larry Pierce, who wrote The Online Bible, used this same text as the basis for his electronic KJV, but he hand corrected the files to match the 1769 Blayney Edition, published by Cambridge University Press, and added Strong’s numbers.

Larry’s text of the KJV was clearly the best available. Subsequent analysis has shown it to be error-free in its transcription of the Blayney Edition, and the addition of Strong’s numbers made it even more useful. With permission, we used it as the first electronic book released for Logos Bible Software.

Still, we got calls, letters, and emails from users who claimed it did not match their printed KJV. We discovered that, contrary to widely-held views, there is not one single text of the KJV. Almost no one is using (or even could use) the original 1611 text, and in the years since then there have been many intentional and unintentional typographic, editorial, and spelling changes propagated in hundreds of different editions.

Moreover, we did not even have a paper copy of the Blayney Edition we were distributing. Our electronic text was simply the Bible text, and we were missing front matter, notes, bibliographic information and more. While this isn’t a problem for Bible study, it is a problem for people comparing editions and preparing academic papers.

We went on a hunt for a definitive King James Version in print that we could reproduce completely, with all the bibliographic and supplementary material. We wanted a text with a clear pedigree and the smallest chance of errors introduced in multiple settings and printings.

After talking with publishers, Bible societies, and scholars, we concluded that the 1873 Cambridge Paragraph Bible, edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, was the best edition to use. More than a century after the Blayney Edition, Scrivener had done an incredibly comprehensive and careful revision of the KJV text. The text was paragraphed. Poetry was formatted in poetic form. Italics and cross references were thoroughly checked. Most importantly, Scrivener thoroughly documented his work. He noted errors in earlier editions and provided a “List of Passages in which this Edition follows others in departing from the Text of 1611.”

Scrivener’s edition of the text has been reprinted in later editions, but we wanted the whole thing, with all of the appendices and notes, straight from the original. So we began a year-long search for a printed copy that we could borrow long enough to photograph at high resolution using our robotic book scanner.

During our search, Cambridge University Press released A Textual History of the King James Bible, by David Norton. Norton’s book is a companion to the recently released New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, the latest and possibly most definitive KJV edition to date.

Norton’s book is an awe-inspiringly detailed look at the history of the text itself, and its preservation and corruption over the years. (I use the word corruption as a technical, not theological, term.) It reinforced for us the conclusion that identifying a definitive “real KJV” is nearly impossible. It also made it clear that nobody spent more time on the problem than Scrivener. (In explaining why no work was done on the cross references in his New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, Norton confesses to lacking Scrivener’s energy. If you read this book, you will confess to lacking the energy of either of them.)

We are trying to get permission to produce an electronic edition of the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, but we believe that there is still value in having access to Scrivener’s monumental edition, complete with formatting, italics, cross references, introductions, apocrypha, and incredibly detailed appendices. So, when we finally found an 1873 original that we could borrow, we photographed it at high resolution and had it typed at 99.995% accuracy.

(We normally have books typed at 99.95% accuracy, which requires double-keying and comparing the files. We had the Cambridge Paragraph Bible checked to 99.995% accuracy, the highest level our vendor would guarantee.)

Our edition for the Libronix DLS is the most comprehensive and best documented KJV available electronically. The integration of the marginal notes and cross references into popup footnotes makes it easy to read. The Compare Parallel Bible Versions tool lets you compare the two KJV editions, and the ability to search appendices by Bible reference makes it easy to find Scrivener’s explanations for the different readings or spellings.


The 1769 Blayney and 1873 Cambridge editions side by side. The Cambridge features poetry formatting and notes. The comparison report below shows the single word difference in Proverbs 4
.

The Libronix DLS-compatible Cambridge Paragraph Bible will be available with the release of Logos Bible Software 3. We will even have the page photographs available in the future.


The page image for Proverbs 4 in the 1873 Cambridge edition.

How did that verse go?

Yesterday on Blogos, Sean Boisen wrote about the difficulty he had finding the verse containing the phrase “you will know them by their words”. He was looking for Matthew 7:16 and 20, and tried using “know” and “words” as search terms in Bible software.

Of course the verse says fruits, not words, and in some versions it says recognize, not know.
This is exactly what we created the Fuzzy Search for: finding things that you don’t remember exactly, or remember from a different translation.

Fuzzy Search was a feature in Logos Bible Software v1.0, back in December, 1991. It got lost along the way, disappearing from updates to the LLS and Libronix DLS, but was restored as part of the Power Tools Addin a few years ago. It lives on the Tools > Power Tools menu, but moves to the Search menu in the upcoming v3.0.

I wanted to see if Fuzzy Search could meet this real world test case. In Logos Bible Software I opened a few Bibles and chose Fuzzy Search from the Search menu. I copied the phrase “you will know them by their words” into the Search box and chose “All Open Resources” from the search target dropdown. A click on the green Go button brought back Matthew 7:20 in the NRSV as a 90% confidence hit, followed by Matthew 7:16, with 87% confidence.

Pretty cool!


(I should also point out that it found “Ye shall know them by their fruits” in the KJV, 74%, and “you will recognize them by their fruits” in the ESV, 72%.)

You asked for it, you got it…

In Eli’s post on how Logos Bible Software facilitates serendipitous discovery he suggested that the phrase belonged on a t-shirt. A few readers agreed, so we went ahead and whipped one up.

We will be printing them on Hanes 100% cotton t-shirts.

To make sure we order enough in the right sizes, place your order now. (We will order the shirts at the end of this week, and ship them when we get them back.)

Update 3/13/2006: Pre-ordering for the FSD tshirt is now closed. Thanks to all who ordered!
We’ll submit the screenprinting order right away. When we get the shirts back from the print shop,
we’ll process customer orders and ship them out.

Rescuing the Copyrighted Orphans

The majority of works offered for use with Logos Bible Software are modern, copyrighted books that we have licensed from authors and publishers. Typically these date from the 1980′s or later. Logos is also able to digitize and offer many public domain works, generally from before 1923.

There is a wealth of material from the middle years, though, that is out of print and hard to find in libraries, but which is still under copyright. When the publisher has gone out of business, or the author’s heirs are impossible to identify or locate, copyrighted works can become effectively orphaned. The chance that a copyright holder emerges after an orphaned work is republished may be slim, but when the statutory damages are $200,000 per infringement few publishers are willing to take a risk.

The US Copyright Office has been studying this problem and has proposed reasonable legislation that addresses the rights of copyright holders as well as the public good of continued use of orphaned content.

Below is a version of the letter I sent my elected representatives in support of the proposed legislation. I hope you will consider supporting it as well.

Dear Elected Representative,

Digital publishing, on CD-ROM’s and the Internet, is enabling us to make entire libraries of material available to students who previously had little or no access to valuable content. Students in distance learning programs, in rural areas, and in far-off parts of the world are using computers and the Internet to get access to content that previously could be found only in large libraries in major cities.

Projects like Google Print, and many others at universities and libraries, are putting the contents of irreplaceable, hard-to-access archives at the fingertips of students around the world.

There is a tremendous amount of information in the public domain, but many important works were published after 1923 and are now out of print. In many cases it is difficult to locate or even identify the owner. Publishers have gone out of business. Rights have reverted to heirs who have never heard of the copyrighted work. Titles were published without enough identifying information.

The Copyright Office issued a Report on Orphan Works in January of this year that recommends legislation providing for the use of orphaned works during their copyright period.

(http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/) The proposed statutory language addresses compensation for rights holders if they emerge, and provides safe harbor from huge infringement penalties to users who have made a diligent search to locate a copyright owner.

I encourage you to support this important proposal which advances the causes of commerce, education, and human knowledge.

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Of the Making of Books (Part 4)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.
(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)
Galaxie Software

Back in 1999, Galaxie Software approached us about using our technology for a very interesting project. They had been electronically publishing back issues of a number of theological journals (Bibliotheca Sacra from Dallas Theological Seminary, Grace Theological Journal and several others) using a different technology platform. In May of 1999, they released Version 3 of their Theological Journal Library utilizing our technology. Version 3 contained a total of 150 years of various journals. By March of 2002, they were up to 250 years of journals in their Version 5 release.

Galaxie has continued to expand the list of included journals and now has 400 years of journals in their collections. The first 250 are still sold as a collection, now designated as Volumes 1-5. Subsequent additions have been released in 50-year collections and are sold separately as Volume 6, Volume 7 and Volume 8), which was just released in September of 2005.

The journals have proven to be one of the most appreciated additions to the Libronix DLS family. Beyond the spectacular savings in cost and space to have 400 years worth of journals at your fingertips, a large percentage of these back issues are only available in select seminary libraries, not readily accessible to most of our customers.

Galaxie has produced a number of other products using our technology, including Dan Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.

Galaxie is also a partner with the Biblical Studies Foundation in producing electronic editions of the NET Bible.

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