Who Has the Logos Blog on Their Blogroll?

In the blog post on Friday, April 18, we invited you to add us to your blogroll and to let us know by leaving a comment on that post and sending an email to blog@logos.com. I thoroughly enjoyed checking out your blogs. I was already aware of a good number of them, but many were new to me.

Here’s the list of everyone who responded, in chronological order:

Nick Norelli: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Eric Morgan: Eric G. Morgan

Reid Ferguson: ResponsiveReiding

Charles Savelle: BibleX

Jonathan Swales: The Theological Ramblings of an Anglican Ordinand

“Roger Mugs”: Theologer

Jason Siemens: Pastor Jason

Chuck Cherry: Scribblings

Richard Wilson: Bibbia Blog

Shawn Anthony: Lo-Fi Tribe

Randy McRoberts: The Upward Way Press

Andrew Tatusko Notes from Off-Center

Rob Kuefner: Why Would Anyone Read This?

Jay Crisostomo: Mu-pàd-da

Mark Ward: MarkLWardJr

Kevin Purcell: KevinPurcell.org

Nathan Stitt: Discipulus Scripturae

Justin Langley: Woe to Me If I Do Not Preach the Gospel

Wendy Morgan WendyHMorgan

Mark Hoffman: Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

Garrett Ho: Seminarian

Terry Lange: From the Unknown

Adam Couturier: Thoughts from a Young, Slightly Cantankerous, Aspiring Theologian

Mike Aubrey: ἐν ἐφέσῳ: Thoughts and Meditations

Stephen Jones: The Desert Chronicle

Mike Johnson: The Siberian Grinder

Howard Diehl: Sans Contexte

John Fidel: Bible Software Newsletter and Comments

Andy Naselli: Thoughts on Exegetical, Biblical, Historical, Systematic, and Practical Theology

Robert Austell: Lighthouse/Searchlight Church

Brian Henderson: TheGatherings!

Wilson Tan: The Inklings’ Cafe

Michael Wilson: Living Free Today

Alan Gielczyk: The Truth IN Context

Samuel Powell: Nerd Heaven

Thomas C. Black: Truth Is Still Truth

John Norman: Truth Is Still Truth

Jacob Hantla: Hantla.com

Vitali Zagorodnov: Three Ways to Live

Pastor Wit: I Do You To Wit

Steven Baxley: Pleonast.com

Sean Boisen: Βλογος

Jeremiah Gumm: The Shepherd’s Study

Steve Allen: A Sermon a Day...

Christopher Gallagher: Preacher’s Pen

Jeff Brown: By Grace Alone

Brandon Schmidt: Shore Youth Ministry

Matt Flummer: Said at New Orleans Seminary

David Wells: Reformed Cruiser

Go give them a visit and find out how others are putting Logos to use.

If you have Logos in your blogroll but missed out, leave a note in the comments with a link to your blog.

Two New Lexicons on Pre-Pub

Digging into the original languages is a very important part of advanced Bible study, and we are continually striving to find ways to make it more accessible and more powerful. Tools like the reverse interlinears and the Bible Word Study report make rich data—formerly available only to those with a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek—easily accessible to those with little or no original language training. For those who are comfortable working with the original languages, our syntax tools make a whole new level of study possible.

While there’s a huge range of tasks involved in Bible study, one of the most fundamental is gaining a proper understanding of the various nuances of meaning that individual words are capable of communicating. Having a number of different lexical tools to consult is crucial. We already have quite a nice offering of Greek lexicons and Hebrew lexicons, but there’s always room for more. And, of course, there’s really no better way to access lexical works than in the Libronix Digital Library System, where lookups are only a click away.

Now on Pre-Pub are these two first-rate works:

Both would make great additions to the library of every serious Bible student. If you don’t know much about them and don’t want to take my word for it, there’s lots of good information on the product pages. In less then 24 hours, both sets reached nearly 50% of the pre-orders needed to send them into production. Your pre-orders will help take them to 100%.

Understanding Data Types: Definitions

Last week I started a series on data types. If you haven’t yet read the first post, Understanding Data Types: Introduction, take a minute to look it over. It’ll give you some very basic starting points that will help you with this post and the following posts.

According to Eli Evans, one of our information architects, “datatypes and keylinking are the two most important concepts in the Libronix DLS.” If you’re like I was prior to digging into this recently, you’re probably missing out on some of the power of Libronix by not fully understanding these key concepts. Eli’s discussion of data types is hard to improve upon, so I’ll just borrow from it and put some of the ideas in my own words. I encourage you to read his post as well.

What Is a Data Type?

A data type is a grouping or association of similar data. There are several different categories of data types. Two of the most common ones, which we’ll discuss in future posts, are language data types (e.g., a Greek word in an English article) and reference data types (e.g., a Bible reference or a Josephus reference).

A data type is not resource specific. Some of the links in Libronix resources will take you to a specific location in a specific resource. There’s only one place the link can go, and if you don’t have the resource, it won’t go anywhere. These are not data type links. There’s a second type of link that doesn’t point to a specific place in a specific resource but rather to a data type that often has several suitable destinations. A great example of this is Bible reference links. Clicking on most Bible references doesn’t take you to a specific Bible like the KJV, but to your preferred Bible, which you can set in Tools > Options > Keylink by selecting Bible from the Data Type drop down and promoting your favorite Bible from the list of resources at the bottom. (You can also select your preferred Bible by clicking “Customize View” on the Logos home page.)

This is one of the benefits to data types: you can choose your keylink targets and prioritize them according to your liking.

What Is a Keylink?

It might be helpful to think of keylink and keylinking as just a fancy way of referring to looking stuff up—things like words (or other bits of text like abbreviations) or references. Reference keylinks look like hyperlinks on web pages (but without the underlining). Clicking them will execute them and open the keylink target based on what resources you have and how you have prioritized them. But just about every word, even if it is not hyperlinked, can be a keylink, as long as there is an appropriate keylink target. (BTW, you execute a keylink that doesn’t look like a hyperlink by double clicking it or by choosing “Selected Text” > “Execute Keylink” from the right-click menu.)

What Is a Keylink Target?

A keylink target is a resource that contains relevant data for a certain data type. So any version of the Bible would be a keylink target for John 1:1. Any English dictionary (as well as any Bible dictionary or encyclopedia) would be a keylink target for an English word. Any Greek lexicon would be a keylink target for a Greek word. And any edition of the Apostolic Fathers would be a keylink target for an Apostolic Fathers reference.

There are two ways to find out if a certain resource can be a keylink target for a given data type. The first is to look in About This Resource, which you can access from the right-click menu in My Library

or, with a resource opened and selected, by clicking Help > About This Resource.

Look for checkmarks in the column titled Keylink Target.

The second way is to look at the data type in Tools > Options > Keylink. Select the data type from the drop-down box (e.g., Greek), and look at the resources listed under “Default Order of Resources and Actions.” These are the resources that Libronix will use to look up that data type. You can promote and prioritize them however you want for each of the data types.

What Does It Mean that a Data Type Is Searchable?

In About This Resource under the Data Types section, there is also a column titled Searchable.

This has to do with reference data types, like Bible references, Calvin’s Institutes references, etc. A checkmark is telling you that you can use the Reference Browser to search for all the places where a given reference or range of references is cited in that particular book or series of books. This is possible for two reasons: (1) our team of book designers and book developers has meticulously tagged these references, and (2) these references are data types. There are most likely other links not listed here because they are not data type links but links to specific locations in specific resources (for the difference, see above under “What Is a Data Type?”). I pointed out one example of this kind of searching in the blog post on the Works of Cornelius Van Til. In a future post, I’ll show some other scenarios where this can be incredibly useful.

Here are some related posts you might find helpful.

Other posts in this series:

Logos on Your Blogroll

We love having a passionate group of users who talk about us and promote us on their websites and blogs. Word of mouth promotion from happy customers goes a long way in helping Logos grow. And that growth allows us to make better software and offer even more top-notch books. So a big thank you to all of our vocal users, new and old, for spreading the word about Logos Bible Software! We’re grateful to have such an enthusiastic user base.

Add the Logos Blog to Your Blogroll

One additional way that you can really help us out is by adding the Logos blog to your blogroll (and adding a link to www.logos.com in your web links, if applicable). Many of our users who blog already have us in their blogrolls, but perhaps some of you have just never thought about it. If you like the Logos blog and benefit from what you read here, please add us to your blogroll.

We’ll even do you a favor in return. Our blog post on Monday, April 28, will feature all of the bloggers who have us in their blogrolls—at least all the ones we know about. Make sure to let us know by leaving a comment on this post and sending an email to blog@logos.com with Blogroll in the subject line. (Make sure to do both in case one doesn’t make it.) What if we’re already in your blogroll? That’s okay. We’ll make sure you make the list either way.

The deadline to receive your submission is midnight (PST) on Friday, April 25. Please leave your comments and send your emails by then.

One final thing: if you can work “Bible Study” into your link text somehow, that would be great.

Let the linking begin!

Spider Webs, Video Games, and Fun at the Office

It’s no surprise to regular readers of this blog that we like to have fun. While our fun usually involves food (our 2008 Salsa Cook-Off is tomorrow, by the way), sometimes it’s just a good prank.

Vincent Setterholm, who works in our design and editorial department and contributes to the blog on occasion, has been enjoying a pretty good chunk of vacation time. (Some of us were starting to wonder if he still worked here.) David Mitchell, one of our developers, and Ben Swier, our systems administrator, decided that this was the perfect opportunity to decorate Vincent’s office for him.

A prank like this doesn’t have to be in response to anything, but in this case there was a little payback going on. Last September on the day of the launch of a well-known video game, Vincent decided he’d have a little fun with Ben. He hid Ben’s brand new copy of the game (simply moving it 4 feet from its original resting place) while Ben was out of his office. Ben had been eagerly awaiting that day and had big plans to celebrate with some friends, so he was more than disappointed when it suddenly disappeared. Vincent was kind enough to show Ben where it was later that day, but enough time passed to warrant this nice little decoration party.

Vincent returned to the office yesterday. When I asked him if he had an official response to share with you, our blog readers, he declined to comment. He did point out, though, that his poor plants didn’t get any water in his absence.

Someone even went so far as to take note of their dire situation but do nothing about it.

Logos in the Blogosphere

I’m subscribed to a number of services like Technorati and Google Alerts so I can stay up with what people are saying about Logos on the Web. It’s a lot of fun finding out about new users and reading about how people from all walks of life are using Logos.

I’ve seen a few things that I thought were worth mentioning here on the blog, since most of you probably don’t keep up with what everyone is saying about Logos like I do. :)

Tutorial Videos

First, a user named Brett has started a new blog, Logos Bible Software Lessons, which provides basic and advanced video lessons on how to use Logos better. He has four helpful videos there so far:

  1. Customize the Logos Homepage
  2. Create & save a custom workspace in Logos
  3. Viewing Inline Strong’s Numbers
  4. Creating Parallel Resources

You can even subscribe to his video podcast. Nice work, Brett. Keep it up!

Don’t forget to check out all of the videos at www.logos.com/videos as well.

Syntax

Second, Mike at his ἐν ἐφέσῳ blog is doing a series of posts on our syntax searching tools. Here are the first two posts in the series:

If you’re trying to learn more about syntax searching, you’ll want to give Mike’s posts a read.

Also, if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out the host of syntax videos at www.logos.com/videos.

Barth’s Church Dogmatics

Finally, there’s a nice review of Barth’s Church Dogmatics over at Faith and Theology. Ben has a helpful summary of its features and several cool screenshots.

Here’s his conclusion:

In sum, this is a wonderfully rich and delightfully user-friendly resource both for general theological readers and for students of Barth. The new digital edition will certainly be a tremendous help in my own future research! With its accessible format, enhanced search capabilities and seamless integration with so many other texts, it will no doubt establish itself as an indispensable resource for the next generation of Barth scholars, and for the wider community of pastors, theologians and students.

If you haven’t ordered yours yet, there’s still time to get in at the Pre-Pub price before it ships next Monday.

Understanding Data Types: Introduction

In Friday’s blog post on the new edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til, I mentioned how you can now search the works of Van Til for a specific reference or range of references in Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. This kind of analysis is incredibly helpful for detailed study, and there’s really no other way—at least not that I’m aware of—to get this data apart from doing the tedious work of reading the entire book (or series of books) cover to cover, which is not the ideal solution when you’re dealing with something as large as the works of Van Til!

The reason you can do searches like these in Logos is because we have created data types for Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics (and scores of other resources) and done the tedious work of tagging the references to those data types.

I’ve been spending some time lately playing with data types and have come to realize how powerful they are for advanced study, so I thought some of you might benefit from a brief series of posts on data types. I’m particularly interested in exploring what significance the information in the data type section in About This Resource has for what you can do with various resources.

In this post, let’s just get a very basic acquaintance with data types.

For starters, open My Library, right click on a few different resources, and select About This Resource (or with a resource opened and selected, click Help, About This Resource).

Then scroll down to the Data Types section. You’ll see the data types listed on the left with KeyLink Target and Searchable columns on the right. Each data type will have at least one checkmark after it. Some will have two. Here’s the Data Types section for Van Til’s The Theology of James Daane.

Here’s the Data Types section for the first volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

I’ll explain what all this information means in a future post.

Next, go to Tools > Options > Keylink and select the Data Type drop-down box. Here’s where you can see a list of all of the data types that you have installed on your computer. The number of data types will vary depending on how often you run Libronix Update and what products you own.

Scroll through the list and familiarize yourself with some of the data types listed there.

That’s all for this for post. In the next post, we’ll cover the basics about what data types are and how they can help you do more powerful research.

Other posts in this series:

Paying Attention to ‘This’ and ‘That’

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.

One of the many valuable life lessons I learned growing up came from Sesame Street’s esteemed blue monster, Grover. One of my favorite bits he did (besides Super Grover) was teaching about ‘near’ and ‘far’. Do you remember that? He would run up to the camera (I know, his puppeteer moved him, but indulge me here) and say ‘Near’. Then he would run way into the background and say ‘Far’, repeating it a few times to drive the point home. Believe it or not, this information can really help your Bible study, especially in John’s writings. There are some new Pre-Pubs, the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, that provide access to some great new insights that can really impact how you read and study Scripture. Today I want to introduce you to another device: the near/far distinction. Just like Grover taught about how things can be near and far in terms of distance, we also use the near and far distinction to signal what is thematically central (‘near’) to the story and what is non-central (‘far’).

If I was clothes shopping (argghh!) and my wife held up two items for me to help her chose between, she might ask, “Do you like this one or that one?” Chances are that ‘this one’ is the one that she is more interested in. I might respond “I like this one better than that one” even though both are the same distance away. This is an example of creating a near/far distinction in order to communicate that one thing is more important than another. We tend to use ‘this/these’ for things that are of central importance, and ‘that/those’ for things that are of only passing importance, not central to the story.

John creates near/far distinctions all the time in his writings to distinguish important things from those that are less important. Unfortunately, many of them are smoothed over in translation to English. He uses this distinction in order to clarify what he is primarily interested in, especially when there are other things competing for our attention that are not of central importance. Let’s take a look at some examples, and see how Grover has equipped us for better Bible study. In John 5:19, there are a whole gaggle of devices that are used to draw attention to Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees that are questioning him. Here is what it looks like in an alpha version of the HDNT:

What we are interested in today are the ‘near distinction’ symbols () and the ‘far distinction’ symbols (). In the Greek of the ‘Support’ line of v. 19, the words ‘the Father’ are not there; instead He is referred to as ‘that one’. This is not to say that the Father is not important, just that He is not central to what Jesus is saying here. What is important is the things that the Father is doing. It is these things that the Son does, not just whatever seems right in his own eyes. Jesus is stressing here how dependent his actions are on the will of the One who sent him. Here is what it looks like in the LDGNT, notice ‘that one’ and ‘these things’ in the interlinear line.

Do you see how the near/far distinction works? There are a bunch of topics here that are competing for our attention: the Father, the Son, and what the Son sees the Father doing. So which one is of central importance? If you only had the ESV text, it would be difficult to tell, you are left to make the decision on your own. In the HDNT, the near and the far distinctions are clearly marked, even though the ‘that’ has been translated as ‘the Father’. If you had the LDGNT (which includes everything from the HDNT as well), you would be able to look at both to see what is going on, just like we did above.

The same kind of near/far contrast is found again in John 5:38; take a look.

If we were to do an RLV (really literal version), it would read “ . . . for you do not believe in this one whom that one sent”. Once again, ‘that one’ refers to the Father, whereas ‘this one’ refers to Jesus. In this instance, Jesus himself is of central importance, since he is the object of belief (or unbelief in this case). The translation has obscured the near/far distinction that clearly exists in Greek, one that the writer purposefully used to make sure that his main point would be our main point. The HDNT brings back this detail that is lost in translation, drawing your attention to significant things that you might otherwise miss. The LDGNT allows you to see the underlying Greek, plus includes the English HDNT in a bundle.

Did you wonder what all of those other symbols were in John 5:19? There are other blog posts that explain them, if you are interested in reading more. Here they are:

and signal point-counterpoint sets, part 1 and part 2

signals a ‘meta-comment’

If you haven’t yet placed your order, don’t miss out while it’s still available at the discounted Pre-Pub pricing.

New Edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til

If you run Libronix Update, you’ve probably noticed that there are often updated resource files available for you to download. These resources include typo fixes and other enhancements like additional hyperlinks to other resources available in Libronix. Sometimes these new resources are updated versions of the book like with the ESV recently, which has been updated to the 2007 text edition. The best part is that we almost always provide these improvements to you free of charge. If you don’t run Libronix Update, you should get in the habit of running it at least once a month (in Libronix, click Tools > Libronix Update). You’re probably missing out on some cool stuff!

When we released the first version of the Libronix Digital Library System in 2001, we included backwards compatibility for the older Logos Library System (LLS) resources. Today you can still run LLS resources in Libronix. But since the Libronix Digital Library System allows us to include many more advanced features in our digital books, we try to update old LLS books when we are able so they can take advantage of the improved LDLS functionality. Even though this often involves hundreds of hours of labor, we typically provide these new Libronix resources to those who already own the older LLS versions without any additional cost.

We are pleased to announce that the Works of Cornelius Van Til (40 Volumes) is now available as a new enhanced edition for the Libronix Digital Library System. Since the release of the LLS version more than a decade ago, this definitive collection of works from the renowned Cornelius Van Til has become an essential tool for apologists and students of Van Til’s thought. Now it’s even better!

What’s New?

  • All of the material from the original edition has been updated to take advantage of the advanced features of the Libronix Digital Library System.
  • The contents have been split into 40 resources making it easier to locate specific titles in My Library and navigate this massive collection.
  • The new edition also includes enhancements like additional hyperlinks to other Libronix resources. More than 6,000 links have been added to Barth’s Church Dogmatics alone.

It is now possible to do advanced searching and find all the places where Van Til discusses a certain section of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. By using the Reference Browser, you can locate in an instant all the places where Van Til cites, for example, Calvin’s discussion of the Trinity (I, xiii).

Since Calvin’s Institutes is a data type and all of these references are tagged, finding them is no problem even though Van Til cites Calvin in a variety of ways (i.e., once as Institutes, Bk. 1, chap. 13, Sec. 2, another time as Ibid., 1:13:1, and another as Ibid., 1:13:21). I performed this search and had the results in seconds. Running down this data any other way would have taken hours or even days.

You can do this same type of analysis for the places where Van Til cites Barth’s Church Dogmatics. As you may know, Van Til was a strong critic of Barth. Whether you agree with Van Til or not, you now have the ability to analyze his critique of Barth in ways never before possible. Instantly find all the places where Van Til cites Barth’s certain portions of CD. By the way, Barth’s Church Dogmatics will be shipping very soon. You still have a chance to get in at the Pre-Pub price.

How Do I Get It?

For those who owned the old LLS version of the Works of Cornelius Van Til as of April 10, 2008, we are providing this new version to you free of charge. In fact, we’ve already gone to the effort to unlock the new collection in your license file. All you need to do is synchronize your licenses (in Libronix, click Tools > Library Management > Synchronize Licenses) and get the files. Due to the size, we suggest ordering the $5 media only CD.

Note: You may not give away or sell your old LLS version. You must continue to own it in order to legally use the new LDLS version.

If you don’t already own the Works of Cornelius Van Til, we are offering a special introductory price for a limited time. Visit the new Van Til product page to find out all the details and place your order for the collection, which is available on CD-ROM or as a download.

Update: Some previous owners of the LLS Van Til product might not have had the new edition unlocked yet. We are in the process of unlocking it for this group that got missed. This should be done in the next day or two. Thanks for your patience!

Update 2: We have completed the unlocking process for everyone who had the LLS version of the Works of Cornelius Van Til activated in their Libronix account. If you own the LLS version (and purchased it prior to April 10, 2008), but never moved from the old Logos Library System to the new Libronix Digital Library System, you will have to contact customer service (800-875-6467) if you’d like to move to the Libronix Digital Library System and have the new Libronix version unlocked for you.

Who Wrote That Blog Post?

I’ve heard from several of our RSS subscribers recently who wish that they knew who the authors were for each of the blog posts. Most people find it helpful to know who they’re reading. A post from Bob, for example, carries more weight than a post from anyone else in the company.

This isn’t a problem for those of you who read the blog by visiting http://blog.logos.com/. So the simple solution is to click the link to the site and look at the bottom of the post.

Keep in mind that sometimes the person who posts the entry is not the author. We often have contributions from others in the company who don’t have a blog login set up. So make sure to look at the very beginning of the post to see if you’re reading something from one of our guest bloggers.

Most people who are subscribed to our RSS feed probably aren’t going to be satisfied with the first solution of simply visiting the site. One of the reasons for RSS is not to have to visit the sites you want to keep up with. So I did a little digging as to why some of our RSS subscribers were not seeing the post author, and I think I found the answer. If you happened to be subscribed to the old feed http://blog.logos.com/index.xml, you are probably not seeing the post author.

To fix the problem, make sure you are subscribed to our FeedBurner feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LogosBibleSoftwareBlog. This way you’re sure to see the author right below the title of the post.

Even if you aren’t having this problem, please take a minute to make sure you are subscribed to our FeedBurner feed. It has additional features at the bottom of each post. It also allows us to track the types of things you find interesting and, as a result, provide you with better content.

To learn more about RSS, how to subscribe, and what other feeds we have, be sure to visit http://www.logos.com/about/rss and check out our previous blog post RSS in Plain English.