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Giving Thanks for Another Great Year

It’s been a great year for Logos in so many ways. We’re thankful for the enthusiastic response to the Logos 3 release, safety on the Bible Road Trip and a warm reception wherever we travelled, strong sales growth,deepening relationships with key constituencies, and a great team of people to work with here in Bellingham and around the world.

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3

If you’re a regular reader of the Logos Blog, you know that we love to eat. So it’s no surprise that Logos does Thanksgiving in style. Bob hasturkey, stuffing and gravy catered in, and we all bring sides and drinks—good old church potluck style.

Here’s a little video I put together of the Thanksgiving feast we had last Wednesday: Thanksgiving2006.wmv (Windows Media Video, 1:37, 6MB).

I also snapped a few photos, trying not to get anyone with their mouth full. Though after yesterday’s photo of the SBL team asleep in the van, maybe I shouldn’t have worried about it.

Continue Reading…

National Bible Week Essay Contest

In honor of National Bible Week, which is this week, we’re sponsoring an essay contest on Logos.com. You are invited to write and submit a brief essay on Bible study. If we display the essay on the site, you’ll receive a $30 book unlock credit. The sign-up form is here.

During last year’s contest, more than 70 essays were submitted, approved, and posted, with a nice variety of themes and perspectives represented. You can read last year’s essays on the Selected Essays page.

As you reflect on how the Bible has shaped your life and give thanks for the privilege and ready accessibility of Bible study materials,I encourage you to put your thoughts into writing and share them with us!

NZ Road Trip Report

Dale and Jenni Pritchett recently returned from New Zealand, where they did nine Bible Road Trip events. Here’s their retrospective on the trip plus a few photos…

Jenni and I are just getting back to normal after spending about two and half weeks in New Zealand visiting Logos users. Hal and Nancy Mickens, long time Logos users and frequent assistants at Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos seminars accompanied us. Hal and Nancy were not only great travel companions; they were great in helping individual users with their questions.

It is hard to begin to describe our experiences. We traveled over both the North and South Islands and conducted ten two-hour presentations in churches and schools, met privately with numerous people and enjoyed hospitality in a variety of homes. It was a wonderful experience to be with so many people who love Bible study. We can’t wait to go back!

(More photos fromBible Road Trip: New Zealand...)

Free Sermons in Your Bible Software

We’ve devoted a lot of words on this blog to persuading you to upgrade to Logos Bible Software 3. While it’s true that many of the features we talk about most often (reverse interlinear Bibles, syntactically tagged Bibles)are only available with a paid upgrade it’s also the case that we’re giving away a ton of amazing functionality at no cost! That’s right…

FREE STUFF

One of the cool, new features in Logos 3 that you can take advantage of right now, just by downloading the free update, is the SermonCentral.com search built into Passage Guide. This is just one free feature among many, but the one I want to highlight today.

Caveat: This feature is only free if you already own a product, such as any base collection (e.g., Bible Study Library),that comes with the Logos Bible Software homepage.

What is the SermonCentral.com search?

Logos has partnered with SermonCentral, a website that offers a massive database of sermons uploaded by users of the site. In Logos 3, when you enter a passage—say 2 Corinthians 9:1-5—and click “Go!” the Passage Guide report includes not only links to commentaries, dictionaries, maps, and reports…but it also shows you links to freely available sermons at SermonCentral!

These sermons were preached by people just like you—if you’re a pastor—then uploaded to the SermonCentral database to share with others. They’re great for inspiration, to get some ideas for organizing your material, gleaning illustrations, and to see how other preachers have treated the same material you’re working through.

(We encourage responsible use of others’ sermons, including citing sources where appropriate.For an excellent and practicaldiscussion ofthese issues, see the article Plagiarism in the Pulpit from Preaching magazine.)

SermonCentral Results in Passage Guide

Let’s take a closer look at one of the SermonCentral results that shows up in Passage Guide.

On the left you see the sermon title, the Scripture passage that it covers, a brief description of the sermon, and arating that indicates how many peoplefound the sermon to be helpful.

On the right is the contributor, date the sermon was preached, intended audience type(e.g., Believer, Seeker, etc.), and intended audience age range. Obviously, most sermons are preached to the entire congregation so many results will show “General, Adults”.

Blue text indicates links; clicking the sermon title opens SermonCentral to that sermon, clicking the Bible passage opens your preferred Bible to the beginning of that range, and clicking the contributor name opens a page at SermonCentral.com giving some information about the contributor such as denominational affiliation, church name, education, family, and other biographical details.

Click here to see the page that would open at SermonCentral.com if you clicked the linkto the sermon displayed above.

So here you have a huge source of additional content, integrated right into your normal workflow within Logos Bible Software. Just a click and you’re looking at instantly relevant material that you didn’t pay a red cent to acquire!

Go Pro!

As with any useful, free service there’s a way to get even more from SermonCentral.com by upgrading to a paid account. Upgrading to SermonCentral.com PRO provides a whole slew of additional features and benefits. They even offer a free 30-day trial to the PRO version so you can check it all out before committing the funds.

For details on updating Logos for free, anda comparison chart showing all you get with a SermonCentral PRO subscription, see our special SermonCentral page at Logos.com.


You’re reading a post on the Logos Blog, which is updated (nearly) every weekday with news, how-to’s, and other information pertinent to Logos Bible Software. Did you know that you can “subscribe” to this blog and receive an alert every time we add new content? It’s super easy…just click one of the links below to get started or read our overview of blog technology.

Logos on the TV

Late last week, the Logos offices were invaded by acamera crew shooting footage for the Bellingham/Whatcom 2006Large Business of the Year awards ceremony.

Logos Bible Softwarehas been selected asa finalist for the award, which is sponsored every year by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

It may be some indicator of Bellingham’ssmall-town sizethat we made the Large Business category with a little over 100 employees. And it may be an indicator of how boring our work appears on camera that the crew asked us to set up staged shots instead of filming the normal yawn-fest that is abuilding fullof people sitting at computers.

Here we see a staged interaction between a “walk-in customer” (Naomi, a member of the text development department) and receptionist Andrea. We do get a few walk-in customers every year…so I guess it’s not completely unrealistic.

Bob, hard at work in his office. The camera guy says, “Just keep opening and closing stuff on the screen to make it look like there’s constant activity.” For the record, it’s rare to see Bob in a state other than constant activity.

The producer wanted something that would give the “contemplative,” “studious” look he associates with Bible study…so we recruited another text developer to play the part. Here’s Kirk doing something studious that involves a bunch of old books and a laptop.

Will viewers be left with the impression that we sit at mahogany bookcases and type in the books one by one? It’s hard to say…

This experiencecertainly does little to dispel the notion that television values style over substance. Granted, the final product of this footage is intended to be a one-minute profile of the company, not a documentaryof the book-developing process. But I’m afraid that what most visitors would see on a normal day at Logos is, at least on the surface,less interesting than the TV portrayal.

Of course Logos has a veryinteresting story to tell, and we enjoy relating highlights here on the blog. But telling the real storyrequires an investment of time, a desire to grasp the details, andmore than a minute!

Dr. Heiser’s Syntax Video Bonanza

OK, bonanza might be a bit of an overstatement…but the good doctor has done some “hard time” in our video production studio so that you might reap the benefit.

As part of our ETS/SBL marketing materials, Dr. Heiser, academic editor for Logos, created a number of videos demonstrating the syntax tools and resources in Logos 3.

Crafting these videos can be a painstaking process and, wow, that small room can get hot…but I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the effort. We’ve posted a few ofthe syntax videosto our Video Tutorials pageand I’ve included direct links to each video below.

How do these differ from the other videos we’ve done on syntax?

Here Mike takes the gloves off and pits morphology vs. syntax to show some very specific things you can do with syntax searching that are simply not possible with morphological tagging alone.

Mike calls syntax the “new frontier” in Bible software and says, “These video presentationsshow searches that are well beyond the reach of Bible software as you’ve known it.”

Or in the words of Walt Disney, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Greek & Hebrew Syntax Videos

The Case for Syntax Searching

Syntax Search vs. Morphological Search (17:33, 17.5MB)

What syntax gives you that morphology alone cannot: better precision in your language research and refined demonstration for teaching.

Hebrew

Search Video #1:

Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible (8:10, 9MB)

Compound subject in agreement with a singular verb across verse boundaries.

Search Video #2:

Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible (5:55, 4MB)

Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) order vs. Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) order in clauses in the Pentateuch generally, and by Eissfeldt source (P, J).

Greek

Search Video #1:

OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament (15:23, 14MB)

Accusative noun or pronoun as subject of an infinitive, when the infinitive also takes an accusative object.

Search Video #1:

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (4:25, 3MB)

Finding double accusatives in the Catholic Epistles.

Update 11/10, 11:05am – If you have limited access to the Internet, you can download the syntax videos as a zip file (46MB). Save the zip file to your hard drive, CD-ROM or other media. To run the videos, unzip all contents to a single folder, then launch each HTML file in turn to view the Flash videos.

Logos-Related Presentations at ETS & SBL

Some of the most exciting events we attend each year are the national meetings of Evangelical Theological Society and Society of Biblical Literature held in mid-November, this year in Washington, DC.

We’ll have a booth at each meeting where you can meet a number of Logos staff. It’s an exciting time for us to meet and hear from the academic crowd and show off new products and features that are in the works or recently shipped.

Beyond just stopping by the booth, you can also attendmore than a half-dozensessions that relate to Logos Bible Software! Some of the sessions are presented by Logos staff, and someare presented by scholars who are using our software or developing new databases for Logos.

ETS events are listed first, then SBL…

ETS Papers by Logos Staff

Thursday – November 16

10:10-10:50 am

  • Michael S. Heiser (Logos Bible Software), You’ve Seen One elohim, You’ve Seen Them All? A Critique of Mormonism’s Apologetic Use of Psalm 82

11:00-11:40 am

  • Rick Brannan (Logos Bible Software), Subjects and Predicates and Complements, Oh My! Searching the New Testament with Sensitivity to SyntaxThis paper examines different sorts of syntactic searches that can be pursued from the starting point of a word. Questions like “When is [word] used as a subject?” or “What verbs are used when [word] is a subject?” will be examined and discussed.

SBL Papers & Presentations by Logos Staff, Users, and Project Contributors


Saturday – November 18

18-107 : Syntactically-Tagged Databases of the Hebrew Bible: Overview & Training Seminar 4:00 – 6:30 PM|Room: Bulfinch – GH

  • This seminar will overview the latest quantum leap for computerized research and teaching in the Hebrew Bible: textual data bases tagged for syntactical force and structures.

Sunday – November 19

S19-60 : Computer Assisted Research1:00- 3:00 PM | Room: 103A – CC

  • Theme: The Bible and MediaMark Dubis, Union University, PresidingJens Bruun Kofoed, Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology; Learning, Liberty, and Libronix: How Multimedia Changes the Study of Ancient Israel’s History (30 min)The paper will present an outline of the theoretical arguments for using multimedia to enhance the learning process with a number of examples from the Danish Ancient Israel’s History Multimedia Project…The project takes advantage of the Libronix Personal Book Builder which allows users to create Libronix compatible books that integrate seamlessly with the Libronix Digital Library System.

S19-105 : Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics 4:00 – 6:30 PM|Room: 204C – CC

  • Matthew Brook O’Donnell, OpenText.org, Presiding Rick Brannan, Logos Bible Software. Modifiers in the Pastoral Epistles: Insight for Questions of Style? (10 min)This paper examines modifier usage inside of epistolary prescripts in epistles traditionally attributed to Paul. The goal is to show that components of epistolary prescripts use modification for different purposes. This conclusion is well known, but by reaching the conclusion using only the OpenText.org Word Group Analysis, the subsequent value of the OpenText.org annotation for the analysis of style becomes evident.

Monday – November 20

S20-86 : Ugaritic Studies and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy1:00- 3:30 PM | Room: 142 – CC

  • Michael S. Heiser, Logos Research Systems, New Implementations of Digital Resources for the Study of the Language and Literature of Ugarit (30 min)Scholars who work primarily in the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament, and other classical material have long had the capability of studying the grammar, morphology, and literature of their text corpus via commercial software programs. Efforts to move the study of Ugaritic into the electronic world to date have focused on digital reproduction of tablets and information storage and retrieval. The prodigious achievement of Laboratorio de Hermeneumatica (Instituto de Filologia) of Madrid, accomplished under the leadership of J. L. Cunchillos, J. A. Zamora and J. P. Vita, paved the way for new implementations of their data in a sophisticated, user-friendly software package. This presentation offers attendees the first look at the result of a recent licensing agreement between the Laboratorio and Logos Bible Software. The new software package not only allows searching of the Ugaritic corpus, but the results of those searches are fully integrated with digitized print works relevant to the study of Ugaritic.

20-101 : Syntactically-Tagged Databases of the Greek NT: Overview & Training Seminar 4:00 – 6:30 PM|Room: Bulfinch – GH

  • This seminar will overview the latest quantum leap for computerized research and teaching in the Greek New Testament: textual data bases tagged for syntactical force and structures.

Tuesday – November 21

S21-6 : Computer Assisted Research9:00-11:30 AM | Room: 103A – CC

  • Sheila McGinn, John Carroll University, PresidingAlbert L. Lukaszewski, St. Andrews, Scotland, Finding Discreet Sentential Structures in the New Testament (30 min)Considers how to use the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament “to find discreet structures in the syntax of New Testament Greek. The sentential structures highlighted will include the internal syntax of subordinate clauses, frames of dialogue, the use of quotations, and the intertwining of relative and participial clauses as manifest in the Catholic Epistles.”

Logos in the News

If you live in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area you might have opened up the paper last Saturday to see Logos’ own Scott Lindsey looking back at you. The paper’s religion section carried a very nice feature article on Scott’s presentation at a Worldview Weekend event in the Tampa Bay area.

One of my favorite quotes from the article illustrates a cool phenomenon—teens getting excited about using technology to study the Bible:

Lindsey said parents have been buying the software for their teenagers, who request it after they see the demos.”I stumbled upon a statistic that shocked me as a parent,” he said. “The article stated that by the time the age group that is right now between 14 and 18 graduates, more than 70 percent of what they will learn, they will learn electronically.”Today’s young people don’t view study as paper. They view study as electronic.”

Check out the story to learn a few things about Logos you might not have known.

Other Recent Press

Über-blogger and tireless reviewer Tim Challies posted a highly complimentary review of Logos Bible Software 3 on his website a couple of weeks ago. Tim’s review will also be printed in an upcoming issue of Journal of Modern Ministry, edited by Dr. Jay Adams.

The latest crop of reviews from Review of Biblical Literature included an informative look at our Works of Philo product.

The Fall 2006 issue of Kindred Spirit—a print magazine published by Dallas Theological Seminary that goes to approximately 30,000 alumni and “friends of the school”—included an excerpt from a review of Logos 3 authored by DTS prof Dr. Hall Harris and alumnus Matt Blackmon.

And, finally for now, the September-October issue of Preaching magazine featured their annual “Survey of the Year’s Best Software for Preachers.” My favorite bit from that review, authored by former Preaching managing editor and current seminary student Jon Kever:

I get asked regularly by users if it’s worth upgrading to version 3. My answer is always an emphatic “YES!” [Logos 3] does more, faster and better, and looks good doing it. It’s obvious that the developers listened to users and put the time and effort into creating a superior Bible study software library. [Logos 3] works the way you study. There’s no way I can include all that’s new and improved.

All the News That’s Fit to Print

As always, you can visit www.logos.com to read the latest reviews, news clippings, and press releases from Logos. They’re excerpted right on the homepage.

If you have a My Yahoo homepage, personalized Google homepage, or use an RSS aggregator you can receive alerts with the latest items from Logos—including these blog posts!—by subscribing to our RSS feeds. Here’s a friendly article that explains how.

The Libronix Interface in Your Language

After my recent post on Chinese Bibles, I would be remiss if I failed to let readers know how they could install the Libronix DLS interface in Chinese or another language.
Libronix DLS and Localized Interfaces walks you through the process of installing and switching between the available language interfaces. The interface is available in more than 25 languages and dialects.
Since we rely on volunteers to do the localization, some languages have partial support. For those languages, you’ll see a mix of English and the target language within the Libronix interface.
As you can see from the graphic at left, the support for various languages ranges from 99.20% for Swedish (shout out to Thomas) down to 0.01% for Maori, with many languages left to do. As far as I know, nobody has attempted a Klingon interface, though there might be a couple people in the building who are capable.
Get Involved
We need help with the work of localizing the Libronix DLS interface. If you are a polyglot and could donate a few hours for interface translation, please get in touch with us. You don’t need to know a lick of computer programming: you’ll use a simple web form or Microsoft Excel to translate the English text in Column A into the blank space in Column B. Details here.
If you’re looking for a complete digital library in another language, either for yourself or a missionary you know, see www.logos.com/world. If you’d like to add individual books in other languages to your existing Logos Bible Software library, you’ll find them listed by language on our Product Categories page.

Chinese Bibles for Libronix DLS

In response to user requests, Logos recently released two Chinese Bibles for the Libronix Digital Library System. They are both the Chinese Union Version with New Punctuation (CUVNP); one is the Shen Edition (Simplified Chinese) and the other the Shangti Edition (Traditional Chinese).

The Versions
If it seems like there are a lot of modifiers in the names of these Bibles, well, there are. The Chinese Union Version was completed in 1919 and has become the predominant version used by Chinese Protestants. More recently, the punctuation was updated to conform to modern usage.

The Shen edition and the Shangti edition derive their names from the different titles Chinese believers use for God, a debate wrapped up in the history of the Chinese church. Some groups and missionaries have used Shangdi (上帝) while others prefer Shēn (神). Rendering the name of the biblical God into any language has always been fraught with theological implications, dating back a few thousand years, so it’s no surprise that Chinese Bible publishers continue to print Bibles with both variations.

(For much more on the Shangti-Shen controversy and its theological/historical/missiological impact, see the informative SBL Forum article “God’s Asian Names: Rendering the Biblical God in Chinese“.)

So, two names for God and two different scripts: Traditional, which is used in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and by many overseas Chinese communities; and Simplified, used in the People’s Republic of China and Singapore. The Simplified script was developed to boost literacy in the 1950s and 60s and, as you might guess from the name, it is intended to be simpler to read and write. Compare the traditional characters at left with the simplified characters at right:


The Logos Editions
To quote Eli Evans’ post yesterday, “Logos was Unicode before it was even cool to be Unicode.” The early investment we made to build the Libronix DLS as a truly multilingual application back in 2001 means that we can support a complex language like Chinese without having to make radical changes to the architecture.

This also means that our Chinese Bibles are first-class citizens of the digital library right out of the gate, with support for features like highlighting and annotation.


Click thumbnail to view full-size image

Tools like Compare Parallel Bible Versions can be used to mark up the textual differences between the two versions, making comparison quite easy.


Click thumbnail to view full-size image

The Gee-Whiz Factor
When talking about the multilingual nature of the Libronix Digital Library System, we’ve often said things like, “You could read a Chinese Bible inside a German interface while running Russian Windows.” Probably not practical to 99% of our users, but it sure sounds cool. Well, I didn’t go to the additional effort to install a different Windows interface, but here’s a screenshot that shows what it looks like to use a Chinese Bible in, say, a Swedish interface:


Click thumbnail to view full-size image

It’s our vision that the Libronix DLS will continue to play a role in the development of electronic libraries for Christians in every part of the world, regardless of what script they use to represent God’s Holy Scripture.

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