Hebrew-English Interlinear Update

Libronix DLS 3.0a Release Candidate 4 (the latest beta version) includes a new build of the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear. This build contains many significant enhancements, including Andersen-Forbes morphology tags and homograph indicators. It is the first edition of the LHI to be hooked into the new KeyLinking tables so that navigating to Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons will be much more accurate.

This represents a major improvement over previous versions of this resource, though it is still a work-in-progress. We hope to add cantillation marks into the running text and improve the support for Qere readings, and the team of scholars which produced this work continues to polish it.

To get the latest enhancements to your Hebrew-English Interlinear you can download LDLS 3.0a RC4. Once version 3.0a ships, the rebuilt interlinear will also be available on the Logos FTP site and via update disc.

Classical Greek Lookup

When studying Greek words, it is sometimes fun and beneficial to see how the words are used outside of the New Testament. One of the features of Logos Bible Software, version 3 is the ability to look up Greek words in the online Perseus database, which includes a wide variety of classical Greek texts, many with morphological and lexical tags, and some with English translations.

Let’s say you wanted to see references to crucifixion outside the New Testament. In this screenshot, I’ve right-clicked on σταυρόω – the verb form of ‘to crucify’ – in my lexicon (in this case BDAG), chosen ‘Selected Text’ and ‘Perseus Greek Word Lookup’. I could also have right-clicked the word in a Greek Bible and chosen ‘Selected Text’ and the ‘(Lemma)’ form instead. Of course, I may also want to run this lookup on related words, such as σταυρός – ‘cross’.

Here Perseus has provided some analysis of the word. Note the link to ‘Configure display’. Use this link to choose between displaying texts in transliteration or Unicode or some other Greek encoding. After some initial analysis, you can see hit counts by genre – in this case 92 hits in prose and 1 hit in poetry.

Clicking on ‘Greek Word Search’ will generate a concordance of the 93 hits of this word in the database, as seen below.

You can see hits in authors such as Josephus, Xenophon, Epictetus, Thucydides, and Appian. Clicking on the first line of each hit will open the Greek text to the larger context of the hit. Clicking on individual words will provide analysis to help you translate the passage. Sometimes a link to an English translation or Latin version is available as well.

KeyLink Summary

In a recent article on Hebrew KeyLinking, I mentioned that using the arrow keys to scroll between lexicons isn’t always the best way to survey all the articles on the word you are studying, because the arrow key navigation is based on how a lexicon spells a word, not on the KeyLink look-up tables Logos Bible Software 3 supports for navigating from the Bible directly and accurately to the lexicons. I mentioned that you can more accurately get to all your lexicons using the Bible Word Study report or the Exegetical Guide, or you can use the right-click menu to select a specific lexicon as a KeyLink destination if you want to consult a resource other than your default lexicon.

I’m sticking with my story; it’s all true. But I over-looked a new feature in version 3. Sometimes I want to do a quick survey of my lexicons on a given word, but I don’t need all the other searches and features of the Bible Word Study report. Of course, I could manage my preferences and turn off most of the sections of the Bible Word Study report until I stream-lined it for the task at hand, but then I’d have to reset my preferences the next time I wanted to dig deeper. As it turns out, there is a fast way to execute all my KeyLinks on a given word while making use of the KeyLink look-up tables for increased accuracy: the KeyLink Summary report.

As an example, open one of the newer Hebrew Bibles (such as the Westminster 4.2 morphology or the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text) and go to Psalm 19:9. Let’s say we wanted to check out what our lexicons had to say about the word ‘pure’ (bar in Hebrew). We only care about the entries for bar that mean ‘pure’; we don’t want to read about when it means ‘son’ or ‘grain’ or ‘field’ or a ‘soothsayer’ or a ‘cargo ship’. Right click the word and choose ‘Selected Text’ and then select the Hebrew word with the term ‘(Lemma)’ after it. (‘Lemma’ indicates that you are working with the dictionary form of the word. Selecting this form also makes use of the KeyLink look-up tables, if they are present.) Now click on ‘KeyLink Summary’.

Your exact results will vary depending on what lexicons you own, the order of your KeyLink preferences and whether or not you’ve downloaded the new texts and lexicons that are part of version 3.0 or, even better, the beta version 3.0a. But you should see something like this:

In the screenshot, I’ve clicked the plus signs next to the top three articles in order to be able to read their articles right in the summary report. You can see that we’ve landed on the correct homograph on the expanded examples. (Some of the other lexicons don’t have look-up tables yet, so they still link on spelling alone. Most of the prestigious lexicons have completed look-up tables for version 3.0a, but other lexicons are still works in progress.) You can navigate directly to the lexicon articles themselves just by clicking on the title of the lexicon. That way you can follow any links in the lexicon, or read surrounding articles, or execute searches against the lexicon.

Clicking the word ‘More’ will expand the report to execute more KeyLinks further down your list of KeyLink preferences.

That’s it: the KeyLink Summary is a simple, one-purpose tool for quickly surveying your lexicons.

Weights and Measures Calculator

One of the features of Libronix DLS that was completely redesigned for version 3.0 was the weights and measures calculator.

Click on the thumbnail to take a look at an example. This example was taken from Revelation 14:20, where we’re given an image of a horse-high river of blood running 1,600 stadia. Ick, right? But enquiring minds want to know, just how icky are we talking about here? So I click ‘Tools | Bible Data | Weights and Measures’ and enter ‘1,600 stadia’. I could have used ‘stade’, ‘stades’, ‘stadion’, ‘stadioi’ or ‘furlong’ if I wanted. A stade is an eighth of a mile, but the length of a mile in Roman times was different than today’s standard mile. One of the really cool features of the new calculator is that it doesn’t assume it knows which stade length you want, nor does it assume you know that there are two lengths to choose from. Instead, it displays both.

Note the second line of the results: 1.00 stades (Roman) = 0.92 furlongs (modern). (A furlong is another name for an eighth of a mile, the report just happens to call the modern measurement a furlong, though as you can see, it is savvy enough to show furlongs when you ask for stades.) So right away you are informed that the measurement for a stade will be different depending on which stade you are interested in (Roman or modern), even if you didn’t know there was a choice!

Beneath the conversion formula between the related measurements, the report is split into columns, one column for each measurement that 1,600 stadioi might be referring to. From here, it is easy to look up conversions to other measurements of length, such as kilometers or miles. Again, each list shows ‘miles (Roman)’ as distinct from the modern standard ‘mile’. 1,600 Roman Stadioi equals 200 Roman miles, but only 183.93 modern standard miles.

Take a look at the next example. Here I entered 1 shekel, but a shekel can be a measurement of weight or of money. And when it is money, it might be gold or silver. (The modern Israeli shekel is not listed here, though that would have been an interesting addition to this table.) Note how two different charts of two different colors make it easy to separate out the different kinds of shekels. Again, you didn’t need to know that there are three different things a shekel could refer to in order to see the conversion charts.

Trying to fathom (pun intended) modern equivalents to ancient measurements is always a bit difficult, and exact precision often eludes us. But with Logos Bible Software, getting to reasonable estimates just got easier than ever.

A More Advanced Syntax Search

In yesterday’s post, Dr. Heiser demonstrated a simple example of using the Bible Word Study report with the syntax databases to get answers to syntax questions without ever learning how to write a syntax query manually, showing how even people who don’t know Greek or Hebrew can use these databases to make connections between verses. However, if you learn how to compose your own syntax queries, you can learn to ask a wider range of questions about the Bible. In today’s example, Michael uses the syntax databases to find hits that would take hours to sort through with the older generation of tools.

One of the Hebrew terms for God is Elohim. The ‘im’ ending is morphologically plural, but almost everywhere in the Hebrew bible, the verbs associated with Elohim are singular in number, making it clear that these are references to God, not the plural ‘gods’. Dr. Heiser has done a lot of research in the field of Israelite religion, so when he was learning about syntax databases, one of the first questions he asked was: where does Elohim appear as the subject of a plural verb? He knew that instances of this phenomenon might be theologically or exegetically significant and was quite familiar with several examples, but had never encountered a published list of every time this happens.

Knowing if ‘Elohim’ is the subject of a verb in a given sentence, rather than an object for example, is a syntax question. Without access to syntax tags, one could search for every plural verb that occurs in the same verse as the word Elohim. One would get over 3400 hits (i.e. words returned) in 1057 verses. Only a small fraction of those verses are useful, though, and wading through 1057 verses isn’t a small chore. One might be able to get really creative with filters, and start ruling out verses where certain words occur immediately before Elohim that would typically indicate that Elohim is something other than the subject of the sentence. This approach of simulating syntax using only morphological or lexical form tags is a rather blunt instrument, but I’ve used it in the past to narrow my search results. In capable hands, this blunt instrument can save time over manually checking thousands of hits, but there is now a better way.

Click here to watch the video.

Syntax Resources and Topical Sermons 2

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, our Academic Editor.

In a previous posting, I shared some thoughts on what syntax databases mean for the English-only reader, stressing that the new syntax databases in several Libronix 3.0 collections are hardly the exclusive domain of scholars. I want to offer a short illustration of the kinds of observations that can be made by the “non-scholar” who utilizes the syntactical information produced by the Bible Word Study report. With a simple right click, the user can get on the path of “doing biblical theology” and make amazing discoveries.

Click here to see a Topical Sermon Using Syntax (Flash, 10:02).

Syntax Resources and Topical Sermons

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, our Academic Editor.

In a previous posting, I shared some thoughts on what syntax databases mean for the English-only reader, stressing that the new syntax databases in several Libronix 3.0 collections are hardly the exclusive domain of scholars.

Here I want to offer a practical illustration of their value for coming up with topical sermons that are rooted in grammatical relationships (believe it or not!). Anyone interested in relationships between words (i.e., syntax) understands that just knowing that God is the subject of a certain verb that has a certain object can yield some penetrating insights for sermon material and Bible study.

The video linked below illustrates this simple, down-to-earth benefit of tapping into our revolutionary syntactical resources for those outside the scholarly fraternity.

Click here to see a Topical Sermon Using Syntax (Flash, 12:52).

Windows Keyboards for Ancient Languages

Logos Bible Software version 3 introduced new keyboards for Greek, Hebrew and Syriac that are designed for easy entry of the ancient languages on an English/Roman keyboard. We’ve also created identical duplicates of the Logos keyboards that can be installed as standard Windows keyboards for Windows 2000 and XP users. This means that you can use the same keyboards in Libronix DLS that you use in Microsoft Word or any other Unicode compliant application!
For more information and download instructions, click here.

Graphical Query Editor Tutorial

The Graphical Query Editor Tutorial has been rewritten for version 3.0. Folks who have worked through the old tutorial will notice only a few significant differences, such as the use of the new Logos keyboards, and the regular expression section has been significantly revised because the syntax changed from version 2.0. There are some minor changes to the sections on field searching and reference searching. Happy searching.

Vocabulary Lists and Flashcards

Logos Bible Software version 3.0 sports a new feature called Vocabulary Lists that can be used to create flashcards to help you learn Greek, Hebrew or almost any other language. In addition, we’ve already made vocabulary lists for many popular Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic grammars so that you don’t have to! To learn more about creating vocabulary lists or downloading the pre-made lists, check out the new web article. Cheers!