RefTagger Just Got Even Better

At the end of February, we introduced RefTagger, a free tool for your website or blog that instantly turns your Bible references into links to the version of your choice at BibleGateway.com and, if you choose, Libronix.

Scores of sites are using RefTagger. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out right here on the blog or at any of these sites:

The links that RefTagger creates are very helpful and make it easy for your readers to look up the passages that you cite, but it still takes time to open new web pages. Even careful readers will probably look up only a reference or two.

Problem solved. RefTagger now makes looking up Bible references even easier. Instead of clicking a link to navigate to another web page, now you can immediately see the text of the passage. Simply hovering over any link created by RefTagger will instantly give you a pop-up window containing the text of the passage.

For now we have the New Living Translation and the King James Version available. The NLT is used by default. To use the KJV, you need to choose it as your online Bible version. We hope to add more versions in the near future, so stay tuned.

These new pop-ups are on by default. So if you already had RefTagger on your site, there’s nothing you need to do to see them. If you’d like to disable them, you’ll need to add the line Logos.ReferenceTagging.lbsUseTooltip = false; to the code. When you customize the code at the RefTagger page, all you have to do is uncheck the box and the code will be created for you automatically.

If you’ve been holding off on adding RefTagger to your site, why not give it a try? It’s incredibly easy to add and remove. Help us continue to make RefTagger better by sending your feedback and suggestions to reftaggerlogos.com.

God or a god: A Look at NT Greek Syntax

At Exegetica Digita, one of Mike Heiser’s blogs, he looks at John 10:30-33 and what light our syntax databases shed on the proper translation of the clause at the end of verse 33, "because you, being a man, make yourself God" (in Greek: ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος ὢν ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν).

Mike explains,

The end of verse 33 is typically taken by both Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses (for different reasons) as better translated, ". . . you, being a man, make yourself a god," thereby muting this passage as a testimony to the deity of Jesus. They argue that the absence of the definite article before θεόν in verse 33 justifies the translation, "a god."

Mike goes on to show you how to set up a search that will find all the places in the NT with similar syntax to see if the claim holds up that the Greek word for God when it doesn’t have the article (θεός vs. ὁ θεός) should be translated "a god."

The references that his search turns up are Acts 5:29; Gal 4:8, 9; 1 Thes 1:9; 4:1; 2 Thes 1:8; Titus 3:8; and Heb 9:14.

Head over to Mike’s blog to see his conclusion. He even provides you with the syntax search file so you can download it and run it for yourself.

Logos in the Classroom

We just posted a new audio message and transcript from Dale Pritchett, Senior Vice President of Logos Bible Software, at the Academic page. It’s entitled "Logos in the Classroom." The audio runs 15:40 and weighs in at 14.3MB. The transcript is available as a PDF file.

In Dale’s talk you’ll learn some interesting tidbits. For example, last year Logos sold more than 5.2 million digital books. We now have more than 9,000 digital resources available, and we’re on track to produce an additional 2,000 titles every year. Listen to Dale talk about how Logos is revolutionizing the way many Bible college and seminary students and professors are building their libraries.

Understanding Data Types: Language Data Types

In the second post in this data types series, I mentioned two main categories of data types: language data types and reference data types. In this post, we’ll look at language data types and what they mean for executing keylinks (i.e., looking up words) and for searching.

If you need a refresher on data types, you may want to look back over the previous posts. See the links at the bottom of this post.

Since we tag words according to their language, English is a data type, as are Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Coptic, Syriac, Latin, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Portuguese, etc. That means that Libronix knows where to look when you execute a keylink for a given word or phrase. That also means that you can perform language-specific searches.

Let’s take keylinking first.

Keylinking

Setting Up Keylink Targets

To set up keylink targets for your various languages, go to Tools > Options > Keylink, select the appropriate data type from the Data Type drop-down box, and then promote and prioritize the resources however you’d like.

If you need some guidance setting up your keylink preferences, check out these three articles:

Executing Keylinks

Every word, though it does not appear to be hyperlinked, is a keylink, as long as there is an appropriate keylink target. To execute a keylink (i.e., look up the word), simply double click it or choose "Selected Text" > "Execute Keylink" from the right-click menu.

Notice that you can also select a specific keylink target in the half bottom of the right-click menu.

Searching

Usually you don’t need to specify which language you want to search in. But there are at least two instances where this comes in handy.

Same Spelling in More Than One Language

There are times when multiple languages can share the same word with the same spelling. Often these words have totally different meanings. For example, the Latin word bonus (meaning "good") has the same spelling as the English word, but their meanings are different. If you wanted to find only the times where "bonus" occurs in Latin or in English rather than in both, you would have to specify the language in your search. So for Latin, you’d use {la}bonus{/}, and for English you’d use {en}bonus{/}. A search for just bonus would find both English and Latin occurrences.

All Words in a Certain Language

Another time you would want to specify the language would be if you ever wanted to find the total number of words in a particular language in a book. This is what I did in my previous post on which theologian uses the most Latin. To do this, you would want to specify the language and use the regular expression /.+/. So a search for all Greek words would be {el}/.+/{/}.

One place where this could be handy is if you wanted to find the total number of words in a particular book of the Bible. A Bible Search for all Greek words in 1 John in the NA27 yields 2,143 hits, and a search in Paul’s letters yields 32,418 hits.

These numbers can be important for analyzing certain words and their usage across the New Testament.

Another useful thing you could do would be to search the Hebrew OT for all Aramaic words. Using {x-arc}/+./{/} in BHS with Westminster 4.2 Morphology you get 6,899 hits. You’ll see hits not only in Daniel and Ezra, but also in Genesis 31:47 and Jeremiah 10:11.

Search Syntax for Various Languages

Here are the tags you’ll need to search in various languages:

  • English: {en}{/}
  • Latin: {la}{/}
  • Greek: {el}{/}
  • Hebrew: {he}{/}
  • Aramaic: {x-arc}{/}
  • Transliteration: {x-tl}{/}
  • German: {de}{/}
  • French: {fr}{/}

Simply put a word, phrase, or regular expression between the two tags. To find the search syntax for other language data types, use the right-click menu and speed search a particular word in that resource. The syntax you need will be displayed at the top of the search results.

Rick Brannan informed me that we use the ISO 639-1 standard two-letter language codes, and where a two-letter code doesn’t exist we use the standard extensibility method, "x-" followed by a code that we pattern after the standard three-letter codes (e.g., Aramaic is x-arc) or make up where necessary (e.g., transliteration is x-tl). You can find this language code list at the Library of Congress website.

Other posts in this series:

New Counseling Product Guide

Doctrine is important. Very important. But having right doctrine isn’t enough. God intends to transform our lives by it. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between our theology and our behavior. The answer isn’t to scrap theology in favor of a practical Christianity that focuses exclusively on doing and being. Rather, Christians must do the hard work of connecting the dots between faith and practice, of carefully studying Scripture and doing theology with the goal of applying it to life’s issues and problems and living out its implications.

For this reason it is essential to have not only books that help you understanding what Scripture says (e.g., commentaries) and how you should synthesize its teachings (e.g., theology books), but also practical books—like Bible-saturated works on counseling and ethics—that help you apply God’s Word to how you live every day. Many commentaries and theological books will get you headed in the right direction, but they usually don’t take you far enough in the direction of application.

We’ve been creating a number of product guides to help you build certain portions of your library. We have guides on commentaries, Bible background studies, church history, Lutheran resources, Greek, Hebrew, and other ancient languages. We have just completed a product guide on some of our best resources on counseling. We think you’ll find some helpful books there that will enable you to live out the gospel and equip you to encourage others to do the same. Check it out to see what titles may be a good addition to your library.

Logos Named a Best Christian Workplace

Logos has been named a "Best Christian Workplace in the United States" for 2008 by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). BCWI awarded workplaces in six different categories based on surveying more than 7,800 employees in 67 organizations across the US. The survey consisted of 50 questions in categories like job satisfaction, Christian witness, supervisory effectiveness, teamwork, personal growth and development, etc.

Among the other Best Christian Workplaces were The Master’s College and Seminary, Harvest House Publishers, and Crown Financial Ministries. The complete list of the Best Christian Workplaces of 2008 is available at the BCWI website.

As I approach six months here at Logos, I’d have to agree that Logos is a wonderful place to work. The people, the product, and the mission of Logos make working here a joy. There aren’t any jobs listed on the jobs page currently, but check back for future openings.

Mike Heiser Starts Blogging

Our own Mike Heiser has entered the blogging world, and he’s not messing around. On May 1 he launched not 1, but 7 new blogs!

Here they are:

Mike describes Every Thought Captive as his "nerve center" blog. The Exegetica Digita blog is about "bringing research in the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament into the 21st century." The Naked Bible, which may ruffle a few feathers, proposes to show us "what biblical theology looks like in its ancient context, freed from denominational confessions and theological systems." PaleoBabble is "your antidote to cyber-twaddle and misguided research about the ancient world." Scribal Practices is devoted to "learning and discussing the languages of the Bible and the ancient Near East." Two Powers in Heaven focuses specifically on Mike’s study on the divine council and is sure to help you better understand "the ancient Israelite context for first century Judaism’s binitarian monotheism and the Christian Godhead." UFO Religions deals with how, for many people, the UFO phenomenon replaces or redefines traditional religions, especially Christianity.

I’m happy to see yet another scholar begin blogging, and I look forward to keeping tabs on Mike’s latest musings.

To learn more about RSS and see the other feeds that we have available, check out the article Logos and RSS.

Help from ‘Left Field’

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

I am currently teaching a class on the parables of Jesus at my church. We are looking at the parables that occur in more than one gospel and taking note of how they are used in each. Along the way we have come across differences in wording, begging that question: ‘So what?’

This week we looked at the ‘salt’ passages, found in Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49-50; and Luke 14:34-35. We noticed that there are some significant differences in how this parable is related to the preceding context in the different gospels. There are two new resources called the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament that provide some really helpful insight into issues like this. These resources annotate where the NT writers used various devices to get our attention, emphasize things, build suspense, etc.

Another important contribution of these resources is a description in the left column that tells you what each line of the text is doing. This analysis is informed by things like the Greek conjunction used, the morphology of the verb, and the role that it plays in the larger context. We were using the Lexham High Definition New Testament in class, and it was really easy to point out how the different gospel writers wanted to connect the salt parable to the preceding context, since it was plainly spelled out in the left column. ‘Proposition means that there are no specific instructions about how to relate what follows to what precedes.  ‘Support’ indicates that what follows in intended to strengthen or support what precedes, but does not advance the story or the argument. ‘Principle’ indicates that what follows is a summary or conclusion drawn from what precedes, often providing the big idea for the section that follows. Take a look at the highlighted descriptions in the left column.

In Matthew’s gospel, the saying follows right on the heals of the Beatitudes. In Greek there is no specific conjunction that tells the reader how to connect it; it is just the next saying.

In Mark the section just before describes how it is better to cast off a part of you that causes you to sin than to keep it and risk being thrown into hell. The saying about the salt is connected to this with the Greek conjunction γάρ (for). This instructs us to understand what follow as supporting or strengthening what precedes, rather than introducing a new point. In other words, Mark has signaled with γάρ that the saying about the salt is connected to what precedes, supporting and strengthening it.

If you look at Luke 14:34, you will see that the verse begins with a bullet. In the ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament, you can see that the bullet stands in the place of the Greek conjunction οὖν (therefore). This word signals that what follows is a principle or summary drawn from what precedes. In other words, it either summarizes what precede, or introduces a new principle that is drawn from what precedes. The preceding section in Luke describes counting the cost of discipleship, illustrated by the consideration that should be given before building a tower or going to war against a superior force. This means that Luke wanted us to read the saying about the salt as drawing from and building upon what precedes.

In each of these gospels, the saying about the salt losing its saltiness warns us about the hazard of losing the distinctive quality that makes us who we are, illustrated by salt losing its saltiness. In Matthew Jesus has just taught that when we encounter persecution for pursuing righteousness, we should rejoice and be glad. In such circumstances, one might be tempted to water down their faith, or put their light under a basket (cf. 5:15). The reference to salt adds to this same point by asking the question: ‘What good is salt if it loses its saltiness?’ If we water-down or hide our faith, then what’s the point?

In Mark, the same point is made by the reference to salt. If there is some part of us that is causing us to sin, that might destine us for hell, is it really worth hanging on to? The reference to salt presents the same issue from a different angle. The salting with fire suggests a refining process. But if this process does not produce real, salty salt, then what’s the point? The Christian life is not about hanging on to what Jesus died to free us from, but about being the salt and light that he redeemed us to be.

In Luke, Jesus has just given a summary principle in v. 33 drawn from the illustrations of building a tower and going to war: “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (ESV). The saying about the salt is building upon this point, providing a practical illustration of what happens when someone follows without renouncing all: he or she is salt that is not salty. If the salt is no longer salty, then what’s the point?

This is just a one example of the kind of help that the left column information of the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament can provide. It can really pay dividends in helping you understand the really hairy passages that use very complex grammar, unpacking it one bit at a time. Check out Romans 2:17 in the HDNT:

Paul wants to set up a very complex state of affairs, one which can get confusing in a hurry if you are just reading it in a continuous paragraph. His main point is this: Do you not teach yourself? The ‘complex’ marker tells you that the line that is only indented one place is the main idea of the complex clause. In this case, the main thought is the ‘principle’ line. The rest of the parts are indented and labeled to help you understand what role each plays, and to let you easily find the main idea.

We are nearing completion on this project, which means two things: it will be shipping soon, and the price will be going up when it is removed from Pre-Publication. Take warning; buy soon if you haven’t already!

If you missed them, be sure to check out Steve’s previous posts.

Which Theologian Uses the Most Latin: Fun with Data Types and Regular Expressions

I thought it would be fun in our series on understanding data types (see the introduction and definitions) to give you an example of how you can use language data types to perform language-specific searches.

Before we actually get into the searching, let’s see how well you know your theologians. Which of the following theologians uses the most Latin? For the purpose of setting some boundaries, I’m limiting our analysis to theologians who have written a systematic/dogmatic theology.

Here are the ones we’ll be looking at:

What’s your guess? Which one has the highest percentage of Latin?

Here’s how you can find out.

Step 1: Search for All Latin Words

To find all Latin words, there are two things you need to know. First, you need to tell Libronix to search only Latin text. To do so, use {la}{/} putting the word or phrase between the } and the { (e.g., {la}pro{/}). To find all words, you’ll need to use the regular expression /[A-Za-z]+/ or the simpler /.+/ (or /[^0-9]+/, if you want to omit numbers). For simplicity, we’ll use {la}/.+/{/}.

Here are the results in descending numerical order:

  • Barth: 66,896
  • Hodge: 38,674
  • Berkouwer: 11,603
  • Henry: 2,742
  • Strong: 2,528
  • Pannenberg: 2,050
  • Shedd: 2,001
  • Bloesch: 1,812
  • Calvin: 1,034
  • Reymond: 674
  • Chafer: 102
  • Ryrie: 84
  • Finger: 44
  • Duffield & Van Cleave: 19
  • Grudem: 9

Here’s a graph so you can visualize the data.

Click the image to see a larger version.

These results aren’t really "fair" because they don’t take into consideration the size of the work. To get more accurate numbers, we’ll divide the number of Latin words by the number of words in the entire book or set.

Step 2: Search for All Words

To find the total number of words, use the regular expression search /.+/. Notice that we are dropping the language tags because we want to find all words of all languages.

Here are the results in descending numerical order:

  • Barth: 5,327,292
  • Berkouwer: 1,567,109
  • Henry: 1,388,491
  • Chafer: 1,252,806
  • Hodge: 38,674/963,935
  • Strong: 884,930
  • Bloesch: 735,382
  • Calvin: 668,753
  • Shedd: 636,429
  • Pannenberg: 632,803
  • Grudem: 598,925
  • Reymond: 463,720
  • Duffield & Van Cleave: 276,956
  • Ryrie: 209,797
  • Finger: 196,014

Here’s another graph so you can visualize the data.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Barth’s 14-volume Church Dogmatics certainly is a massive work! (As a comparison point, Luther’s 55-volume Works has 8,210,982 words, only 50% more than Barth’s CD.)

When we divide the number of Latin words by the total number of words, we get these percentages (in descending order):

  • Hodge: 4.012% (38,674/963,935)
  • Barth: 1.256% (66,896/5,327,292)
  • Berkouwer: .740% (11,603/1,567,109)
  • Pannenberg: .324% (2,050/632,803)
  • Shedd: .314% (2,001/636,429)
  • Strong: .286% (2,528/884,930)
  • Bloesch: .246% (1,812/735,382)
  • Henry: .197% (2,742/1,388,491)
  • Calvin: .155% (1,034/668,753)
  • Reymond: .145% (674/463,720)
  • Ryrie: .040% (84/209,797)
  • Finger: .022% (44/196,014)
  • Chafer: .008% (102/1,252,806)
  • Duffield & Van Cleave: .007% (19/276,956)
  • Grudem: .002% (9/598,925)

Here’s what those data look like in a graph.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Did you guess Charles Hodge? By percentage his Systematic Theology is the most dense with Latin. If you’re going to read Hodge or many of these other theologians, then you’d better brush up on your Latin or have a good Latin dictionary handy! (Thankfully, all of the Latin in our edition of Barth’s Church Dogmatics includes English translation.)

Currently, the only Latin dictionary that is available in Libronix is Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Theological Dictionary, which comes in the Collegeville Catholic Reference Library. But that’s about to change very soon. We currently have three Latin dictionaries on Pre-Pub.

Be sure to put your pre-order in for one—or all three!

If you’re into Latin, you’ll also want to check out the Works of John Owen (17 volumes), which restores all of Owen’s Latin works left out of modern reprints.

Other posts in this series:

Try Out the Pre-Pub Program—and Get a Free Book!

Have you ever tried out our Pre-Publication program? If not, this post is especially for you.

What Is the Pre-Pub Program?

Very simply put, the Pre-Pub program is a way for you to pre-order Libronix books at discounted prices before we produce them. It’s a win-win-win situation for you, us, and the publisher. You lock in the lowest prices and get a say in which new books we release. We benefit by knowing that at minimum our costs will be covered. And the publisher can test the waters to see if sufficient interest exists in digital versions of their books.

How Does It Work?

When we put new books or collections on Pre-Pub, they appear on the Pre-Pub page. (If you prefer, you can also see the latest releases by subscribing to our Pre-Pub RSS feed.) You "vote" for a title by placing a pre-order. Your credit card is not charged until the product ships, and you can cancel your pre-order any time before it ships.

The status of a new title begins at Gathering Interest. As pre-orders are placed, the bar moves up.

Once there are enough pre-orders to cover the production cost, the status changes to Under Development and our Electronic Text Development department begins creating the digital books.

Once the end is in sight and we have a solid estimated shipping date, we’ll add it to the page below the status.

When the product is ready to ship (or download), your credit card will be charged and your CD-ROM will quickly be on its way to your mailbox. If you chose the download option, you’ll receive an email telling you how to download and unlock your new books.

That’s it. It’s really that simple!

Try It Out

If you’ve been hesitant to use the Pre-Pub program because you’re not sure how it all works, now’s your chance to give it a try without any risk. We are offering How to Write: A Handbook Based on the English Bible by Charles Sears Baldwin on Pre-Pub for the special price of $0! Since we don’t normally give away Pre-Pubs, you will need to enter your credit card information to place your pre-order. But we promise that you won’t be charged a penny.

If you are a regular Pre-Pub purchaser, please pass the word on to your friends and encourage them to give it a try.

To learn more about our Pre-Pub Program, check out these two articles: