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Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Updated and Expanded

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (henceforth Lexham SGNT) is an ongoing project here at Logos. When v3.0 was released, a preliminary version of the Lexham SGNT, covering Hebrews through Jude, was included in the various Scholar’s Library packages and the Original Languages Library package. (see more on packages here).
Dr. Al Lukaszewski has been steadily working through the Greek New Testament since that time. The latest beta release (v 3.0e) includes a significantly expanded version of the Lexham SGNT. If you already have access to the Lexham SGNT, the 3.0e beta will update your version. The new version includes data for Revelation, Romans and First Corinthians. Of course, it is a beta release so you should be sure to read all of the warnings and whatnot before you decide to install the beta version.
For an example of the sort of information that the Lexham SGNT provides, check out this previous blog entry which includes a video discussing “Syntactic Force Annotations”.

Yee-Haw! The Logos Chili Cook-Off 2007

This past Friday was the seventh annual Logos Chili Cook-Off. Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke manned the camera, took some pictures, and files this report. Thanks, Mark!

On Friday, June 29 twelve Logos employees entered their time-honored (or recently ‘Googled’) chili recipes in a battle royale of meat, beans and tomato sauce.

Even before the clock hit high noon, this competition was unlike any other in Logos history. You see, when National Sales Representative Ed Hale heard about the contest he knew he had to enter. There was just one small problem – he lives in Escondido, CA and the competition was taking place at Logos headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. In order for Ed enter the competition he needed to figure out a way to get his chili to the Pacific Northwest.

The story could only end one of two ways: either this would turn into a messy disaster at the post-office or Ed’s chili would win and he would enter cook-off immortality. The result? Ed won the chili cook-off, got the girl and is selling his story to 20th Century Fox for millions.

And that was just in the “Mild Chili” category. This year’s competition required contestants to declare their chili as being “mild” or “real”. The “Real Chili” gold medal went to Scott Sanders of Logos’ Electronic Text Development department. This was a great send off for Scott as it was his last day working at Logos. Scott will be taking his ‘Roasted Robot Chili’ on the road as he bikes around the northwest for the next couple weeks. All this made for an memorable event and a great time for all involved.

Check out the chili-rific pictures below!


The contestants make their final preparations before the competition begins


Unofficial winner of the “best chili name” category.


While techies around the country lined up for their iPhone our sole attention was on chili.


Let the eating begin!


Scott Sanders’ winning entry: “Roasted Robot Chili”

Bob Talks About Pre-Pubs and Community Pricing

Last week, our very own Bob Pritchett and Bill Nienhuis attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing.
Bob gave a presentation about ways Logos produces and sells books — specifically about the pre-pub program and the community pricing program. Bob blogged about it on his personal blog (along with providing a link to his conference handout).
One of the O’Reilly bloggers — Sarah Milstein — attended Bob’s talk and loved it. Read what she has to say about the ways Logos uses both the pre-pub and community pricing programs to get the books our users want at low prices that actually cover costs.
Once again, if you want books from Logos at low prices, check out the pre-pub and community pricing programs.

What people say the Bible says about…

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

You can try it out:OpenBible.info Topical Bible

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

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

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

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

What I like about it:

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

Suggestions:

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

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

What the Bible says about…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The resultlooks something like this:

FamilyLife Today (Logos on the Airwaves 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

FamilyLife Today radio shows

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

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

Radio Ads (Logos on the Airwaves)

Part 2 | Part 3

Logos doesn’t do a lot of radio advertising, but sometimes we have occasion to dabble in this area. Of course, it’s always a challenge to convey a very visual product via an aural-only medium. We’ve pretty well established the fact that when people see Logos Bible Software, they “get it” and are eager to own a copy…but when they hear about it (especially when limited to a 60-second spot) the response is not so automatic.

We don’t have a big budget to go out and hire a flashy advertising firm to create ads, sowhen we do a radio ad it’s usually written in-house. Since we’ve got a couple buildings full of smart, creative people, the Logos marketing department will solicit ideas from the whole office and run with the best idea that comes in.

The two radio spots linked below recently ran on our local Christian radio station, Praise 106.5. You can download and listen to them as MP3s. I edited out the special URL given for the radio campaign (can’t spoil our sales source tracking with a massive influx of orders from the blog!)so you may notice an abrupt ending or jump.

Radio Spots

College Roommates – concept from Brenna Sebens, executive assistant

Leatherbound Bible – concept from Mark VanDyke, marketing assistant

Biblioblogs.com Interviews Rick Brannan

Biblioblogs.com is a list ofblogs on biblical topics, maintained byJim West and Brandon Wason. Besides being a great resource to discover blogs on topics that may interest you,it alsofeatures a different biblioblogger every month and posts an interview with that person.

Why do I mention it now? BecauseJune’s Featured Blogger is none other than our very own Rick Brannan, who writes for the Logos Blog, Ricoblog and PastoralEpistles.com.

Check out Rick’s interview to learn the origins of the name Ricoblog, what Space Invaders and a TRS-80 have to do with Bible software, and how Say’s Law relates to the future of blogging. Oh, and while you’re reading about Rick, stop by Ricoblog and congratulate him on his brand new baby. She’s a cutie!

New Bible Widget for Mac

Mac users can download the new and improved Bible Widget from www.LogosBibleWidget.comor Apple.com.

Thebiggest update is that thenew widget adds the ESV Bibleso you can instantly navigate to a verse in either the English Standard Version or King James Version Bible.

Logos Bible Widget version 2 is also much more streamlined, in response to requests from users who foundthe original widgetto be a desktop space hog. It’s alsovery good-looking, if I may say so (kudos to Sean Fields, Logos design director)…

Using the widget is simple: Type a Bible reference to jump to that verse. Click the forward or back arrow to jump to the next/previous verse; click the double arrows to jump to verse 1 of the next/previous chapter. You can copy/paste text from the verse window into another application.

To switch Bible versions, just flip the widget over.

Related posts:

Top 50 People in the Bible

Earlier this month, we blogged about the process used toquantify theThe Most Important Person in the Bible by computing factors such as frequency of mentions and the dispersion of those mentions across biblical books and chapters.

As you might suppose, Jesus Christ is the most important person in the Bible.

But what I findinteresting is how the Bible characters fall into rather distinct first, second and third rate clusters when we use Sean Boisen’salgorithm. These three clusters really jump out when the data is loaded into Many Eyes,IBM’sonline visualization engine.

Click the screenshot above to see a full-size static image that I enhanced with name labels…or click here to play with the live visualization at Many Eyes (Java required).

Three Clusters

Moving from right to left (descending order of importance), the three clusters that emerge are:

  1. Jesus, David, Moses, Jacob
  2. Abraham, Aaron, Solomon, Judah, Isaac, Saul (Son of Kish), Joseph, Paul, Joshua, Peter
  3. The remaining 36 characters…starting with Levi, Benjamin, Hezekiah and ending with Jehoshaphat, Uzziah and Adam.

If you wanted to study the various people in the Bible using a top-down list, it wouldn’t hurt to begin with Jesus, David and Moses. Jacob might be a little higher up the list than I would think warranted. But the second clusterseems pretty solid, with Abraham, Joseph, Paul and Peter definitely looming large in the pages ofScripture.

A few biblical figures I didn’t expect would be buriedso far down in Cluster 3: Noah and Adam, those staples of bedtime Bible stories and flannelgraphs. Plus prophets with whole books named after them such as Jeremiah and Isaiah. Of course, these are the top 50 Bible peopleout of 2,987…so we’re not talking about obscurity for any of them.

“Where are all the ladies?” you may rightly ask. None of them made the Top 50 using this name weighting scheme…but Sean did generate a data set for the Top 50 Women of the Bible which I plan to blog about in a follow-up post…

Dot Size vs. Position

Many Eyes also helpsillustrate how Sean’s inclusion of factors such as dispersion overbooks and chaptersaffects the overall ranking. Here’s a close-up of Cluster 2:

The X-axis is the overall “importance ranking” and the dot size is the number of mentions. So Sean’s weighting is evident in those places where you see a smaller dot like Abraham promoted far above a larger dot like Saul. Ranking the Bible names strictly by number of mentions would put Saul above Abraham, so we’re clearly getting a more nuanced view here.

The upshot of all this? We’re not solving the Bible Code or anything…and not trying to. But Ifind it very cool that anaverage joe like me can play around with these data and visualizations without knowing a lick of programming. I made this visualization just by selecting a visualization style and choosing which data to put on which axes. Once the dataset iscomplete (thanks, Sean!) we’ll be able to do all kinds of additional cool things not possible today…and be able to do it using Logos Bible Software!

Related posts around the blogosphere: