Archive - Misc RSS Feed

Show Us Your Syntax Searches

The Logos syntax databases and resources have revolutionized advanced searching and analysis of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages. As with most powerful tools, there is a bit of a learning curve to using them effectively. One of the best ways to learn how to use them is to reproduce the searches of others. This is easiest to do by seeing a series of screenshots or watching a video.
Learn by Example
To help you learn the ropes, we continue to provide you with blog posts and videos that discuss and demonstrate syntax searching. If you haven’t been over to the video tutorial page at Logos.com recently, there are dozens of syntax videos that you can watch. I just updated it to include all of the syntax-related videos that have appeared here on the blog, so go take a look! If you have a slow internet connection, you may want to purchase the Syntax Demonstration Videos on CD-ROM.
Work Backwards
Another great way to learn how to perform syntax searches is to work backwards from one of the syntax resources.

This is the method I used to perform my first successful syntax search (i.e., the Holy Spirit communicating). I (1) found a passage of Scripture that had something I wanted to search for (Acts 13:2), (2) looked up that passage in the OpenText.org Clause Analysis resource, and (3) reproduced it in the syntax search. This method will involve some trial and error, so most users will want to watch several of the demo videos before trying this.
Show Us Your Syntax Searches
We love to see the ways you are putting the syntax tools to use. I stumbled across a blog post where one of our users creatively used the Anderson-Forbes Syntax database to locate all of the occurrences of bears in the Old Testament. His search missed one (Pr 17:12, where the gloss was “she-bear” rather than “bear”), but it was an excellent example of how syntax searching can be a very quick and simple way to access a list of data that would have taken longer to find with an English search or a combination of Hebrew and Aramaic morphology searches. Nice work, Mike!
If you blog about creative ways to use the syntax resources, send an email to blog@logos.com and let us know. We’ll add a link to your post below. If we think it’s really cool, we may even take a whole post to show off your syntax skills! Just a hint: it should probably contain screenshots or video. (Check out Jing if you don’t know how to capture video on your screen.) We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ve got!

Call Logos and Get a Human

Technology is great. Our slogan here at Logos is Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth, and we’re sponsoring BibleTech:2008, a conference that explores the intersection of biblical studies and technology. Obviously, we love technology and are convinced that it can be immensely helpful—especially for things like Bible study. But new technology does not always result in a better way of doing things. People can still do many tasks more efficiently than machines—like answering phones.
Someone shared a link at the office yesterday for a website called the gethuman 500 database. It lists phone numbers that will get you a human on the other end of the line for over 500 businesses. About 10% of the numbers will take you directly to a human. Most require you to push a series of numbers to get a human on the line. For example, to talk to a human at Ford, you would need to call 800‑392‑3673 and then “press 0; at prompt press 0; at prompt press 0; at prompt press 1; at prompt press 0″ to finally get to a human.
We’ve all had bad experiences with automated answering services. Most of them take forever, and the ones that require you to speak your information into the phone don’t work very well. It’s refreshing to get a human on the line who can quickly connect you to the right person or give you the information you want.
One of our highest priorities at Logos is to provide you with top-notch customer service. That’s why we put 800-875-6467 at the top of Logos.com. You don’t have to go to a website like the gethuman 500 database to find out how to contact us. And you don’t have to press 0 four times either. When you call Logos on Monday–Friday between 6 AM and 5 PM PST, a pleasant and knowledgeable human answers the phone and promptly directs your call to the right department—and that’s the way it should be.

Logos Is Growing

People carrying around computers and desks has been a common sight in the office recently. Our software developers and web developers, along with the Ministry Relations department and a few other individuals, have been in the process of relocating right down the street to a new office space in order to give our Electronic Text Development department the necessary room to continue growing. Training started today for a new group of book designers, and they are still looking to hire up to a dozen more. So if you live in the Bellingham area or are willing to relocate to this beautiful part of the country like I recently did, head on over to the jobs page, check out the job description, and send in your résumé.
As a result of this growth, you can expect to see tons of solid new Pre-Pubs coming down the pike in 2008. So be sure to keep your eye on the Pre-Pub page or subscribe to the Pre-Pub feed to stay up to date!

Crocodiles, Mummies, Homer’s Iliad and a Seminary Library

Those who have been Logos customers for awhile, those who follow our every move, may remember a blog post from over 2 years ago on a robotic book scanner. This is the APT Bookscan 1200; we’ve even got another web page describing it, with a video of the machine in action.
Many of the books that we put up on our Community Pricing page (to explore and see if there is enough interest in them as Logos books to pre-pub them) come from page scans that the book scanner made.

Don’t worry, we’re getting to the crocodiles. And the mummies. Actually, we’ll be getting to crocodile mummies.

Really! Just please be patient; there’s a lot of background to go through first.

But we do something else with these images. We have all of the books we’ve scanned up on a subscription service (targeted toward college/seminary use by students and faculty) called SeminaryLibrary.com. What is SeminaryLibrary.com? Here’s the about blurb:

SeminaryLibrary.com is the perfect desktop companion to your present Bible software and print library. SeminaryLibrary.com is a good place to go for the books you don’t already own in print or digital form. Think of SeminaryLibrary.com as a collection of over 6200 8000 books you would love to have access to but are not likely to purchase or keep at your finger tips. These are the books for which you would plan a trip to the library or the books you would look up on microfiche. These are the valuable, but less frequently used books. They are too valuable to take out of circulation but too costly to reprint. These are the books that cause institutions to build large buildings just to house these titles for future generations. Unless you live near a large seminary library, you are probably not even aware of most of these titles and will never have an opportunity to view them or use them, until now.

I poke around SeminaryLibrary.com with some frequency. (Here’s a recent example of other content I found in SeminaryLibrary.com)
I did some “poking around” awhile back, looking further into what kind of papyrological resources were available in the library. I just searched for where “papyri” occurred in book metadata (title, subjects, etc.). Yes, this is all “rabbit trail” stuff; but I still think it’s pretty cool, and a pretty decent example of Facilitating Serendipitous Discovery. Here’s what happened:

  1. Search SeminaryLibrary.com for “papyri”.
  2. Come across the Tebtunis Papyri volume. Cool! Read the front matter. Realize that these are papyrus fragments retrieved from cartonage of crocodile mummies! (really, see a picture of them!)
  3. Still paging through book on SeminaryLibrary.com. Wow, there’s a fragment from Homer’s Iliad (Book II) that was stuffed in crocodile mummy cartonage? Check it out:
  4. Search Google for more info on “Tebtunis”.
  5. Come across The Center for the Tebtunis Papyri at the Bancroft Library at Berkeley.
  6. View the webcast “Ancient Egypt and the Tebtunis Papyri” (look for item at 2:20 PM) and learn even more.
  7. Poke around Tebtunis Papyri site. Whoa, this stuff is catalogued in APIS! (Advanced Paprylogical Information System). That means you can search the catalogue!
  8. Search the APIS catalogue for where ‘Homer’ occurs in APIS items associated with Berkeley. There are 24 entries from Berkeley that reference ‘Homer’. Some have images. Here’s one that is pretty cool and actually has rather readable images.
  9. Even cooler: Here’s the catalogue entry for the item referred to above (P.Tebt.1.004) which aligns with the volume/numbering in Grenfell & Hunt’s volume. From here view images of the papyri themselves! (Make sure to zoom in to see the lettering)

Admittedly, this is a bit of a rabbit trail. But I thought it was interesting, and that it showed some of the usability of SeminaryLibrary.com. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the serendipity and perhaps have learned a few things to boot (Crocodile mummies? Yes!).
But all of this going-on about crocodile mummies really does have some applicability to Biblical Studies. One of the Tebtunis Papyri (P.Tebt.703) has some relevance to New Testament epistlography; particularly when considering the genre of First Timothy and Titus. I blog more about that over on PastoralEpistles.com. Had I not explored the SeminaryLibrary.com papyrological resources and dug a bit more into what the Tebtunis Papyri were all about, the references to P.Tebt.703 in several of the recent commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles (Witherington, Towner, L.T. Johnson) and introductions (Carson & Moo, plus Thielmann’s NT Theology volume) would’ve fallen on deaf (or at least somewhat hard-of-hearing) ears.
Don’t worry, I’ll return to blogging about stuff like Greek syntax shortly.

Bible Reading Plans for 2008

It’s officially a new year—at least for most countries—and that means a new opportunity to start fresh in your Bible reading. No matter what your goals are for this year, Logos Bible Software can help you read your Bible more faithfully—and give you quick and convenient access to tools that will help you understand it better and apply it more consistently.
There are at least three ways that Logos can help you plan for your Bible reading this year.
1. Use Logos to Create a Bible Reading Plan
Logos Bible Software has a built-in tool that allows you to create customized Bible reading plans. To create a new Bible reading plan, click File > New > Bible Reading Plan. Give it a name like Bible Reading Plan 2008 or My Bible Reading Plan and click OK.
Select Your Range
The first step is to choose what portion of the Bible you’d like to read. The predefined options are:

  • Bible
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Old and New Testament Each Session
  • Old and New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs Each Session
  • Old and New Testament, Psalms and Daily Proverb Each Session

We also allow you to customize your own range. Choose Special from the Presets drop down menu, and enter a range like Genesis-Deuteronomy, Matthew-Acts, or Romans-Philemon (for multiple readings each day, separate the ranges with | [e.g., Genesis-Deuteronomy | Matthew-Acts]). If you struggled last year because you felt like you were reading more than you could keep up with or digest, you might want to set a smaller goal this year. It’s better to read less with comprehension and meditation than more if it means you’ll (1) give up because you can’t keep up or (2) perhaps worse—read mindlessly just so you can check off your list.
Select Your Version
The next step is to choose a version to read. All of your unlocked versions are listed in the drop down menu. Choose the one that you’d like to read this year. It might be best to choose a version that you have never read before. I remember the first time I read through the Bible in a new version; things stood out to me that I had previously read right over because of familiarity.
Select Your Schedule
Next, decide what days you’d like to read. You can schedule your readings for every day, only weekdays, once a week, or a special frequency of your choosing. Then decide when you’d like your plan to start and end. It can be specific dates, a certain number of weeks, a certain number of sessions, or a certain number of verses per session.
Select Boundary Breaks
You can select whether the reading plan should end at the end of chapters or at the end of pericopes (i.e., paragraphs or sections). Choosing pericopes will result in more consistent reading lengths and often more logical breaking points.
Create as many reading plans as you’d like: one for each member of your family or one for your English Bible reading, another for your Greek reading, and another for Hebrew. Reading a couple verses a day or a week in the Hebrew OT and Greek NT is a great way to keep develop your language skills or keep them sharp.
All of your new reading plans will appear on your home page. If you don’t use the home page, you can view your reading plan by going to File > Open > Bible Reading Plans and selecting the appropriate plan.
For more information, watch our video on how to set up a Bible reading plan.
2. Use Addins and Resources for Bible Reading and Devotions
Lectionary
Built into all of our base collections (except Original Languages Library) is a Lectionary Viewer. You can access it from Tools > Bible Data > Lectionary Viewer. You can also choose to have the lectionary appear on your Logos home page. Open the Logos home page (Go > Home > Logos Bible Software), click Customize View, scroll down to Lectionary, and check the appropriate boxes. We include The Revised Common Lectionary and The United Methodist Revised Common Lectionary. If you are in a tradition that follows the lectionary, this will allow you to keep up with the current week’s readings.
We also have a few lectionary resources you may want to consider adding to your library:

If you know XML, you can even create your own lectionary.
For more information, watch our Lectionary Viewer video.
The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
In For the Love of God, Volumes One and Two, Dr. D. A. Carson gives the M’Cheyne chart of daily Bible readings, which covers the New Testament and Psalms twice and the rest of the Bible once. There are four readings per day: two for family reading and two for personal reading. Each day’s reading features reflective comments from Dr. Carson. Both volumes cover the same reading schedule, but the comments are different allowing you to following this program and read Dr. Carson’s reflections for two consecutive years.
Devotionals
There are more than 50 devotional books in Logos that have daily readings to help you meditate on God’s Word. To find them, open the Logos home page (Go > Home > Logos Bible Software), click Customize View, and scroll down to Devotions. This will display all of the devotional books that you currently own. Check the box next to any book that you’d like to appear on your home page each day.
3. Try the Global Bible Reader Beta 1
We just launched beta testing for a brand new tool that allows you to read the Bible along with Christians all over the world. It has a very nice look and feel, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy using it. Currently, you have the choice of two versions: the KJV and the ESV. We are looking into adding others. You can also click an icon that will open the passage up for you in Libronix allowing you to dig further into the meaning of the passage.
At present there are three reading plans available:

  • Bible in a Year
  • Gospel of John in a Month
  • New Testament in Six Months

You can participate in any or all of them. We’re considering creating others or even allowing you to create your own to use with family and friends. You can interact on the current day’s passage by leaving comments and reading the comments of others.
Remember, this is a beta product, which means it is likely to have some bugs. We do not recommend trying this unless you are comfortable testing beta software.


To find out more and download the Global Bible Reader visit http://www.logos.com/beta/gbr.
Update: Bruce asked if we had a chronological Bible reading plan. We do. You can download it here. Put the file in \My Documents\Libronix DLS\BibleReadingPlans.

The Best of 2007

As 2007 comes to a close, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most popular blog posts and products of 2007. Here are three top ten lists each ordered from highest to lowest.
Top Ten Blog Posts
(Most Viewed)

  1. The Lifework of Dr. Jim Rosscup
  2. The Secret to Beating the Postage Increase
  3. New Bible Widget for Mac
  4. Original Language Study: A Boutique Specialty
  5. Getting More from Library Builder, Part 1
  6. Smokers Drive Up Costs of Bibles
  7. The Most Important Person in the Bible
  8. Lange’s Lost Volume
  9. Christmas Deals from Logos!
  10. Getting More from Library Builder, Part 2

Top Ten New Products
(Number of Sales for Products Released in 2007)

  1. The Hermeneutical Spiral
  2. A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ
  3. Selected Works on the Life of Christ
  4. The Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (3 Editions, with Morphology)
  5. The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament (Moulton & Milligan)
  6. The Bible Speaks Today New Testament on CD-ROM (22 Volumes)
  7. Romans Unlocked
  8. The John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library
  9. Getting to Know Jesus Bible Study
  10. Idioms of the Greek New Testament, Second Edition

Top Ten New Pre-Pubs
(Number of Pre-Orders for Products Announced in 2007)

  1. Hebrew Pronunciation Addin
  2. An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible (5 volumes)
  3. John Piper Collection (24 volumes)
  4. Christian Theology, Second Edition
  5. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms
  6. A Simplified Harmony of the Gospels
  7. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey
  8. Studies in the New Testament
  9. Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology
  10. Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament

A big thanks to all of our customers for a fabulous 2007! We’re looking forward to an even better 2008. As you’ll find out in a future blog post, our Electronic Text Development department is growing, and we’re planning to produce even more great products this next year. Stay tuned!
Christmas Specials
Just a reminder not to miss out on our great Christmas specials!

Shibboleth: A Free Tool for Typing in Ancient Scripts

A few years ago Bob came up with the idea to create a small utility to facilitate typing in ancient scripts, and the first version of Shibboleth was born.

We have been using this tool internally for a couple of years, but have recently updated it to take advantage of some of the new technologies made available with Microsoft’s .NET Framework 3.0.

We’ve found Shibboleth to be such a handy tool that we wanted to share it with you. Best of all, we’ve decided to make it free for personal use!
Here are three reasons you might want to use Shibboleth.

  1. Shibboleth makes typing in a script you don’t know well very easy. It’s perfect for those who are still learning to type in Greek and Hebrew; it’s also great for those who can skillfully type in the biblical languages, but occasionally need to type in a non-biblical ancient script like Ugaritic or Coptic.
  2. Shibboleth makes typing obscure characters easy. Even if you’re proficient at typing in Greek and Hebrew, you probably don’t have characters like the Greek digamma (ϝ) or the Hebrew inverted nun (׆) memorized. With Shibboleth that’s no longer a problem. No more hunting for all those keyboard layouts in PDF files somewhere. Shibboleth provides a single location to look up all those obscure ancient script characters!
  3. Shibboleth is also an ideal tool for learning to type proficiently in an ancient script. By practicing for a while in Shibboleth, Greek and Hebrew students will become skilled at typing in no time. The transition from using Shibboleth to typing directly in Greek or Hebrew in other Windows applications like Word is easy since Shibboleth uses the same keyboard layouts as our free Windows keyboards. So once you have a feel for where all the characters are in Shibboleth, making the switch is seamless.

Shibboleth works with both Vista and XP. However, if you’re running XP, you’ll need to download the free .NET Framework 3.0 from Microsoft if you don’t already have it. (We provide the link for you on the Shibboleth page.)
A note about browsers: Shibboleth is a ClickOnce application. You will probably want to use Internet Explorer 7 to install it. To install Shibboleth from Firefox, you will need to use the FFClickOnce add-on or the IE Tab add-on.
Visit http://www.logos.com/shibboleth to find out more and install the application. Enjoy!

Logos Is Serious about Scholarship

We are excited to announce that our Academic Editor, Dr. Mike Heiser, was named 2007 SBL Pacific Northwest Regional Scholar in November at the SBL National Conference in San Diego. The details are available in our press release. In our commitment to being the most advanced and powerful Bible software on the planet, we are thrilled to have gifted people like Mike in the company.
Mike is ably leading the academic team to make advanced biblical studies easier and more powerful than ever with ground-breaking products like Hebrew and Greek Syntax databases, the Niese edition of Josephus in Greek, the Ugaritic Library, the Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations, the Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database, the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint, the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, and many more exciting products that are in the works but too top secret to mention yet!
Logos also hosts a monthly academic Lecture Series, featuring speakers like Dr. Rod Stiling, Dr. V. Philips Long, Dr. James Herrick, Dr. Mark Futato, Dr. Mark Goodacre, Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, David Sielaff, Dr. Michael Heiser, Dr. H. Wayne House, Dr. Peter Flint, Dr. Samuel Lamerson, and Dr. Steve Delamarter.
In short, Logos is serious about scholarship.
But don’t read into this strong academic tone a movement away from our commitment to lay Bible study. The very heart of our vision is to provide an incredibly powerful tool that is still very accessible. Logos is easy enough for a beginner, yet powerful enough for the most advanced scholar. No matter where you are in the spectrum, Logos offers you a vast array of powerful tools and resources perfectly suited to take you to the next level. From the simplicity of the homepage to the power of the syntax databases, Logos is the right tool for any age and any skill level—and we plan to keep it that way.

An Inside Look at Logos

At our annual Christmas party this past Saturday, we officially launched a brand new video about Logos—not a demo of the product, but an inside look at the company, the people, the vision. In our continued effort to let you get to know us, we wanted to give you a chance to be some of the first people outside of the company to watch it. You’ll learn interesting tidbits about the company, meet many of the department heads and others, find out the verdict on the proper pronunciation of Logos, and get the inside scoop on the next major release of the software. We hope you enjoy it!
(If you are viewing this in a feed reader or email and the video doesn’t appear below, visit the site to watch it.)


Update: You can also watch this video at YouTube.

Coral Ridge Ministries Partners with Logos Bible Software


We are pleased to announce that Coral Ridge Ministries, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, has joined with us in a brand new, strategic partnership to equip the church for better Bible study and ministry. Truths That Transform, the foundational work on practical Christian truths by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, serves as the centerpiece of several new Truths that Transform Bible software products.
Truths That Transform Digital Learning Series 1 combines the Truths That Transform book, which covers eighteen transformational truths, with several other resources:
  • Truths That Transform Study Guide
  • 18 Audio Sermons from Dr. Kennedy on MP3
  • King James Version of the Bible
  • New King James Version of the Bible
  • A customized home page for access to specific resources

Four other Truths That Transform collections, which come bundled with the Truths That Transform Digital Learning Series 1, are available:

  • Truths That Transform Bible Study Library
  • Truths That Transform Scholar’s Library
  • Truths That Transform Scholar’s Library: Silver
  • Truths That Transform Scholar’s Library: Gold

These collections bring together the some of the best insights from the fruitful ministry of Dr. D. James Kennedy and the power and breadth of Logos Bible Software. Take the tour to see it for yourself, and watch Brian Fisher, President and CEO of Coral Ridge Ministries, talk about these great new products.
Live on GodTube!
Finally, don’t miss the LIVE Internet-Only Broadcast on Monday, December 17, at 8 pm EST on GodTube.com. Brian Fisher will be talking with Scott Lindsey from Logos Bible Software about the exciting new ways to study the Bible using the revolutionary new Truths That Transform Digital Library System. Be sure to watch! Find out more.