Archive by Author

For the love of an old book

You might think that we “book digitizers” have little appreciation for the aesthetics of an old book but quite the opposite is true.

Fact is, most of us will disappear for hourswhen given the chance to wander a good, used bookstore.

One of the things I love about old books is leafing through the pages in the back to see the advertisements inserted by the publisher. For example, Lange’s “Lost Volume” of commentary on the Apocrypha (published 1880)contains a list of “Popular and Standard” books published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1879.

Some of the titles and authors that I recognized:

I findthese advertisement pagestoprovide a fascinating, if unscientific, glimpse into themilieu in which the author was writing—what other books and authors were on the scene at the same time.

We don’t include these pages in Logos electronic editions simply because we never have. But I’d be interested in hearing from you…do you find value in things like the publisher’s advertisements from public domain books? Do you think it would be odd or out of place to include these “historical artifacts” in an electronic edition?

I don’t know that we would start including them, I’m just interested in hearing your thoughts!

Bible and Popular Culture

How does the “greatest story ever told”—what C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein referred to as “true myth”—get picked up and echoedin the popular storiesof Western culture?

The Bible and the Arts collection brings together four books with more than 1,300 pages of material exploring the intersection between popular culture artifacts and the Bible.This collection hasbeen gathering interest for some time and is now under development in our electronic text department.

If you’re a fan of the silver screen, a preacher who likes to illustrate or punctuate a sermon with examples from literatureor film, or simply a person who enjoys literature and art, this collection is for you.

These four books would make for a great read straight through. Do a word or phrase search to zero in on an idea. Put the booksinto a defined collection within Passage Guide toserendipitously discoverany references to your Bible passage when running the Passage Guide report.

For example, using a prototype build of Gospel Images in Fiction and Film, I ran Passage Guide on Matthew 2 and came up with 8 links to discussions in the book that touch on that passage. (click for a larger image)

Here we find some great discussion of how the visit of the Magi is treated in four different films: Pier Paulo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964); Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth (1977); William Wyler’s Ben-Hur (1959); and George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

There areinsightful analyses, comparisons between the various treatments, and reflections on how the movie makers use the Magi’s visit to foreshadow Christ’s Passion. Earlier in the chapter, the author provides a brief survey of the Visit of the Magi in art and popular imagination and offers some thoughts on T.S. Eliot’s 1927poem “Journey of the Magi.”

Here, then, is a rich abundance of ideas that would enliven your study or teaching of a well-known Nativity passage. And much more awaits those who add this collection to their digital library!

Lange’s Lost Volume

I love a good story, and this one illustrates a couple of qualitiesLogos strives for and that we have touched on in previous posts: obsessive attention to detail and listening to customers.

A couple of weeks ago, Logos user Jerry Peterson wrote to suggest@logos.com to let us know about an oversight in our description of Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (24 volumes)on the prepub page:

Dear Logos,I was elated to see that the Lange’s Commentary set has moved into the developing stage. I am one of the pre-publication purchasers of Lange’s 24-volume commentary. As I was reviewing the list of books today, I realized that the commentary on the Apocrypha is not included with this sale. I have the printed set. It contains 25 volumes with the Apocrypha as Volume XV of the Old Testament.

In the Preface, Philip Schaff wrote, “It has been deemed timely to issue, as a supplementary volume to Lange’s Bible-work (which is confined to the canonical books), a revised version of the Apocrypha, with critical and historical introductions and explanations. Homiletical hints would, of course, be superfluous for Protestant ministers and students.” The Preface was written on June 14, 1880.

Although I am a Lutheran pastor, I have appreciated having this additional commentary with my set. Please give serious consideration to adding this book to Lange’s Commentaries.

Thank you for the consideration.Jerry Peterson

Now this was news to us. A 25th volume…how could we have missed it? Clearly it was not arecent addition to the set, since it was published in 1880! This question hit particularly close to home since I wrote most of the original marketing copy for the product back when it was offered via Community Pricing.

It turns out that the publishers who reprint Lange’s commentary today have dropped the volume on the Apocrypha. I can only guess the reasons, but I suppose it was considered of little use to a largely Protestant readership and would have expanded the series beyond the tidy dozen double volumes used to contain the whole.

Once Lange’s “Lost Volume” surfaced, we had to decide what to do about it. The cost to order a copy of this rarebook and digitize the additional 680 pages was not part of our initial cost estimate.

Fortunately, the decision was not too difficult. It would be lame to publish an incomplete set, if we could possibly do the whole thing. We found a first edition copy, printed in 1880, which I’m now holding in my hands and which will soon join its 24 brethren to betyped and tagged.

The price of the collection will not be changed by the addition of this volume but we’ll feel better knowing it’s complete…and trust that you will appreciate the additional material. I know Pastor Peterson will!

Dear Daniel,

A big THANK YOU for including the 25th volume! I SO appreciate the work that Logos is doing. I NEVER expected to have a library to this extent! And I have literally run out of book space in my regular library. (And then, needless to say, the ability to have so much research at your finger tips is wonderful!)

Yes, please feel free to use my email… Glad to be of help.

Pr Jerry Peterson

Better late than never…

Logos 3 launchednearly 14 months agoon May 1, 2006, and since then not a day has gone by without someone upgrading to version 3.

We’ve talked aboutvarious books and features of version 3here on the blog, launched two road trips, and sent out some pretty postcards to those in our database who haven’t upgraded.

And yet more than a year later, some of you are still missing out on what Logos 3 has to offer.

It could be that we’ve said too much across too many venues and what’s needed is just a simple list of the most compelling features of Logos 3.

So here is that list: The Top 20 New Features of Logos 3

The Top 20 list was compiled by our ministry relations team and is the product of countless conversations with customers about what really matters to them.

These are the features that get oohs and aahs when demonstrated to a live audience and that have the greatest impact on the user’s Bible study. We’ve gone out of our way to explain the benefits of each new feature and what it means for your Bible study.

Each feature is also illustrated with a screenshot and includes a link to a tutorial video (if available). Socheck it out…perhaps this is the prompt you’ve been waiting for totake your Bible study to new heights!

RSS in Plain English

If you keep hearing theacronym “RSS” while waiting in vain for a clear explanation of RSS in non-geek terms…wait no longer.

This video from The Common Craft Show explains the concept simply and memorably.

For a detailed video tutorial on how to set up Google Reader as your RSS reader, see Getting Started with Google Reader.

Why should you care about RSS? Because it’s a convenient way to receive information on topics that interest you. Things like the latest prepubs and community pricing titles from Logos, or the latest thoughts on the mind of Bob Pritchett, for example. For a list of all the Logos-related RSS feeds you can subscribe to, see Logos and RSS.

Via: Worlds Apart

With Whom Am I Speaking?

Guest blogger Mark VanDyke, formerly a Logos support rep,works in the marketing department at Logos.

carmen

Carmen Cazares-Tovar (Spanish Support) in action.

Whenever I speak with a customer service representative over the phone I can’t help but wonder…where on earth is this person? What are their working conditions like? Have they seen the light of day in the past 48 hours?

Then it hit me. People who call Logos’ customer support linemight be wondering the same thing.

For starters, Logos has three types of customer service reps: Spanish support representatives, customer support (or CS) representatives and technical support reps. CS reps are on the front lines of the Logos support team. That’s who you’ll be talking with if you need help with basic program operations like installation or product activation. If a call requires advanced intervention it will be forwarded to a technical support rep.

There are currently 27 people working in the customer support department. While many companies’ call centers resemble Industrial Revolution sweatshops, the Logos Customer Support staff actually has some of the best offices in the entire company. In addition to the charming decor and natural light their workspace features a ping pong table and copious amounts of nerf darts (which, of course, accompany the 2 or 3 nerf guns in circulation).

If you end up contacting Logos customer support, here are just a few of the people who you might be on the other end of your call.

sarah_elizabeth_mark_adam

From Left to Right Sarah Swier (Technical Support), Elizabeth Borries (CS), Mark French (Technical Support) and Adam Borries (CS).

shake'n'bake

Mike Bryant (Technical Support) and Luc Button (CS) also known around customer support as Shake’n'Bake, respectively.

tara

Tara Everret (Customer Support) has the best view in the house.

The Logos customer support staff will tell anyone that we have the greatest customers in the world – and our customers have a lot of great things to say about them too…

“I want to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to deal with your customer service. I worked with two women who were polite, patient, kind, calm…. list goes on. (The process) was very simple because they made it that way.”–Karen from Precept Ministries

And

“I’ve had a chance to interact three times with Logos support, and they have been immediately helpful and pleasant to deal with. Anyone who has ever tried tech support for some other product knows what a big deal this is. The staff there genuinely seems to love both their product and the customers. Could it be an act? Sure…But I’m willing to believe the illusion, aren’t you?”–Brian,Dluxe’s World

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy solving software issues for 40 hours each week. Is it the chic office or the ping-pong that keep the Logos CS reps going? We asked Jerry Godfrey, Manager of Customer Support, who explains,

“When I’m being served as a customer there is no better feeling than receiving great service, and being treated with care and respect. Here at Logos we constantly work to help all of our customers as well as we possibly can. I really enjoy being a part of a team that truly enjoys making our customers happy and satisfied.”

Bible Study Bus Rollin’ Through the Bayou

Landon Nortonfiles this brief from the Bible Study Bus. View more road trip photos at Flickror readprevious posts from the trip.

Hello Logos blog readers…and greetings from the Handing off the keysBible Study Bus!!

The Bible Study Bus Road Trip: America has entered into its 3rd month and after taking the reins from Bob, the Norton Four (my wife Krissy and I together with our nearly 3-year-oldTaylor and 11-month-old Nicholas), began presenting Logos Bible Softwareat churches across Arkansas – Razorback Nation!

This year,ouraccommodations havebeen mostly KOA campgrounds, which have been really great – family friendly and fun. That’s not to say we had too much time to play. Logos on the RadioWith 5 Road Trip stops the first week and radio interviews in Little Rock, our time was filled pretty quickly.

People have no idea what to expect when they show up at the church. It’s great to see their face when these Bible study tools go into action right before their eyes. I’ve been telling radio listeners to bring two pairs of socks to the presentation – because they will have one pair blown off!

The Bus rolled through the Bayou State this past week, stopping in Lake Charles for a few days and the weekend here in Lafayette. Landon at the GrillWe had a little more time for fun this week and made the most of it. After having the RV worked on for regular maintenance (insert toll booth joke here), we hit the barbecue, the pool and a few local points of interest.

During one event here, we had more Spanish-speaking people show up than English-speaking and I had to have an interpreter repeat my entire presentation on the fly. It was really neat!

On Saturday, WSJY, the AFR station in Lafayette had their big fundraiser the day after our event – it’s called AFR car and Logos RVFreedom Fest. We pulled the Bus in and had a great time celebrating our freedom in Christ with people in the great Acadian region of Louisiana – even Bob and Larry showed up!

This week we head into Mississippi as we make our jaunt northward for a few days before going into the end-run of our month-long leg.

I hope to make some more time to write, but honestly, folks, most days I live on airplanes, shuttles and rental cars. Having my kids here to play with each night…let’s just say I love making ‘Father Time’ a major part of this awesome endeavor.

Blessings from the Bus Crew!Landon, Krissy, Taylor and Nicholas

Veggie TalesWater slide

What people say the Bible says about…

OpenBible.info just launched a new topical Bible service that is steeped in crowdsourcing-mashup-web-2.0 goodness. Since I just blogged about the “old school”What the Bible Says About… service from Logos I thought I’d give this upstart service a mini-review.

You can try it out:OpenBible.info Topical Bible

Here’s how it works: The developerscompiled a topic list using Yahoo! Related Suggestions, then searched Yahoo! for the most relevant web pages about each topic, then pulled any Bible references from those pages. So what you end up with is a list of Bible verses that are most closely associated with a particular topic across the web.

The label next to the “find” box says, “What does the Bible say about…” But I think it’s a stretchto say this service helps you find out what the Bible says about a topic. It would be more accurate to say you’re finding out what people say the Bible says about a topic. Or maybe what people say about the Bible when speaking about a topic. And by people I mean “the people.” The OpenBible.info project is truly trusting in the wisdom of crowds.

Admittedly, any topical indexto the Bible involves editorial decisions and inferences. Orville James Nave (1841-1917), who spent 14 yearsworking on his project to”…note and classify everything found in the Scriptures”, certainly did not work in a vacuum. (The New Nave’s Topical Bible used at What the Bible Says About and available inside Logos Bible Software is a revision of Orville Nave’s classic work.) But he was methodical, thoroughand consistent in his appproach to the task.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I do think there’s value to a service like the OpenBible Topical Bible.

What I like about it:

  1. It offers current topics. If you want to find out what people say the Bible says about Harry Potter…you can.
  2. It offers a constantly-growing list of topics. If you enter a topic that’s new to the database, the topic is added and you’ll get some initial results after a few moments of waiting for the server to do its work. I entered “Iraq War”, which was brand new to the database.
  3. It offers a constantly-improving data set. The Helpful/Not Helpful buttons by each Bible verse or passage allow me to help fine tune the results, while the Suggest a Verse box lets me associate a verse to my topic.

Suggestions:

  1. Allow the user to associate a new topic with an existing topic. I found later that “War” (of course) and “The War in Iraq” are both existing topics. Before adding “Iraq War” as a new entity, the service could ask, “Did you really mean ‘The War in Iraq’?” and learn from my response. In this way, I would be training the database to understand that the two terms mean the same thing.
  2. I don’t know what method the Topical Bible service uses to identify Bible verses onweb pages, but it seems to me such an undertaking is fraught with perils. Sean Boisen has raised some good questions about this in the context of counting Scripture references in blog posts. Since the web is full of unruly data (unlike the carefully tagged bookswe work on here at Logos) the only solutions seem to be a) push people to adopt something like Bible reference microformat standards or b) develop ever-smarter verse extraction routines.

All in all this is a pretty cool service and I’m sure we’ll see more like it in the days to come.

What the Bible says about…

Did you know about the free service offered by Logos that lets Internet users find out what the Bible says about a topic? And did you know you could host this free topical lookup on your own site?

The URL is http://wbsa.logos.comand here’s what it looks like:

Enter topic, click “Search!” When you click through on a result, you’ll see a list of Bible verses linked to Bible Gateway so you can read verses in the Bible version of your choice. I searched on riches, which alsowildcard-matches ostriches.

Who knew the Bible had so much to say about ostriches? Even a quick survey of these 12 verses shows some difference of opinion among translators as to whether the animal named is an owl or an ostrich. And there’s a strong association between jackals and ostriches/owls as inhabitants of desolate places.

I hinted at the beginning of the post that you could put this lookup on your own site, and you can! Just paste this code into your site:

<iframe frameborder=0 src=”http://wbsa.logos.com/module.htm” width=540 height=138></iframe>

The resultlooks something like this:

FamilyLife Today (Logos on the Airwaves 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

Just about a year ago, Scott Lindsey sat down with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine and recorded an interview that aired over two days on the FamilyLife Today national radio show. That week,a number of us got a call from mom who was excited to hear Logos on the radio!

We, too,were thrilled that they so clearly saw the value of Logos that they would devote two half-hour shows to Bible software! It’s fun to hearDennis and Bob’sexcitement as they run searches in Logos Bible Software and discuss whatthe softwarecan mean for family Bible study…and the part it’s alreadyplaying in their own families.

Midway through the first segment, Bob Lepinetells a story about his 14-year-old son asking about the word that gets translated as rubbish when Paul says he counts everything as rubbish compared to the glory of knowing Christ. His son’s teacher had hinted that the word might mean something more than rubbish, and Bob was able to answer his question thanks to Logos. As he tells it,

So we…popped up Logos, and we pulled up that verse, and we found it, and I right-clicked on my mouse, I pulled up the Strong’s Concordance – right there was a wealth of information about that word, its usage, and we were able to study the Bible together. It was wonderful, and it was something that I’m picturing, again, 15 years ago, a father and a son having that conversation, and the dad going, “I don’t have a clue, son.”

Scott Lindseyalso shares a story about ayoung man whoattended one of Scott’s presentations and asked his mom for Bible software instead of an Xbox for Christmas! It’s enough to make any parent get a lump in the throat.

Enjoy the radio shows…and if you have a friend or family member who should hear this, be sure to send them a link! (You can use this shortened URL which won’t break if you send it in an email: http://snipurl.com/Logos_FamilyLife)

FamilyLife Today radio shows

A Library at the Tip of Your Fingers(Day 1 | 25 minutes)

Now Bible College Comes to You (Day 2 | 25 minutes)

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