Keepin’ the coffee warm

If you’ve read the Logos Bible Software Blog for awhile, you have probably heard us refer to the oh-so-cool automated espresso machine that does its part to keep Logos running smoothly.

And you’ve probably seen us refer to the Logos Clear Glass Mug. I use mine every day; it does the trick and does it well.

(pauses to sip from his double americano, no milk, no sugar)

But I don’t know that you’ve seen us extol the virtues of the Logos Insulated Travel Mug. This is a beautiful thing, it allows us to take 16 ounces of sweet java elixir from the machine out the door and on the road.

And it is the perfect conversation starter to tell your friends, neighbors, or even the person sitting next to you on the bus or train about your Bible software!

Logos Bible Software Desktop Backgrounds

Folks who plumb the depths of the Logos Bible Software website probably already know that we have a few desktop backgrounds available for download.

But if you are a newer Logos Bible Software user, or a new reader of this blog, you might not have found them yet. So check out this page that has all sorts of different resolutions of the two backgrounds we currently offer:

I’m a fan of Wallpaper #2, myself.

Giving local businesses Room2Think

Identify the normal way of doing things, then do them one better. That’s part of the Logos way and sometimes it leads us down unexpected paths.

In this case, it led us to launch Room2Think, a creative meeting space that Bellingham-area business and non-profits will use for off-site retreats.

When we moved into our new space last November, we vacated about 2,500 square feet of office space that had been used to house the text development department.

That space—which has a very cool loft-like vibe with beautiful hardwood floors and exposed brick walls—has now been converted into a comfortable, fully-furnished, brightly decorated, creative meeting space.

The name ‘Room2Think,’ inspired by the high ceilings and airy feel of the space, suggests its intended purpose: provide groups with a place to get away from the daily grind and drab office, open up to new ideas, build teamwork, get creative, and dream for the future.

Room2Think shares this purpose with a growing list of similar “creative meeting spaces” around the country. In fact, we were inspired by this article in Inc. magazine which mentioned places like Sparkspace (Chicago) and Inspiration Point (Pittsburgh).

We thought it was such a great idea (and a step up from the usual, boring, hotel conference room) that we went ahead and created a space like this for Bellingham!

We didn’t take the “kindergarten classroom” motif quite as far as the places described in the Inc. article, but Room2Think is definitely a hipper and more fun place than my house.

Here’s why: wall-sized projection screen, Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, automated espresso maker (not quite as cool as our famous machine but it makes a good cup), wall-sized whiteboard, comfortable seating for up to 20 people, ping pong, air hockey, and all the office supplies needed to dream and plan.

Check out the photos! And see what the local paper had to say about Room2Think.

We’re excited to play a role in promoting creative thinking and planning among local businesses. And Logos will be using the space now and again, too…so I guess it’s fair to expect even more new and creative features from your Bible software.

Power Law Redux

In response to last week’s Power Law post, Jim Darlack commented:

Interesting idea. Now, apply it to citations of the Old Testament found in a book of the New Testament. This would allow someone to judge the density of quotes from a particular part of the Old Testament. This could be helpful for judging where allusions or even echoes may be found in the New Testament text.

Jim is suggesting that the same Power Law relationship that exists between a corpus of “biblical studies literature” and Bible passages could also be observed between the New Testament and the Old Testament.

In response to Jim’s response (don’t you love the blogosphere?), the folks over at the ESV Bible Blog crunched the data to explore this in detail.

They found that, “in absolute terms, the New Testament writers cited Psalms and Isaiah most often.” When controlling for book length (since longer books tend to get cited more often than short books), Malachi and Habakkuk get the prize for being most often cited by NT writers.

Head over to the ESV Bible Blog and check out their charts showing citation density and a table showing how many times each NT book cites each OT book.

Two quick thoughts…

First, the next step might be to plot density in a more granular fashion. Which chapters or pericopes in the OT are most often cited? And which chapters or pericopes in the NT do the most citing?
This could make for a cool report in Logos Bible Software, plotting parallel passages data (OT quotes in the NT) against chapter or pericope data from a version of choice.

Second, I don’t know what data the ESV team is using to generate their chart, but I would guess data produced by an editor. In other words, a really smart person (or team of smart people) analyzed the New Testament and figured out all the places the NT author was quoting the OT.

Another way to get at that information—a way that is better for some purposes, less suited for others—would be for the software to analyze and plot out similarities between the OT and NT, based on vocabulary plus syntax. This would put the Bible software user in the editor’s seat, or at least provide a way to view the data and perhaps discover additional textual similarities (in this case, between the Septuagint and Greek NT). We’re not there yet in terms of the data, but it never hurts to dream!

All this talk makes me eager to tell the world about all the new, useful ways we’re already combining and displaying data in Logos Bible Software 3 (now in Release Candidate 1). We’ve been spilling the beans about Logos 3 here on the blog; if you’re a new reader, here’s a place to start.

It’s also exciting to realize that the new reports and tools in Logos 3 are just the tip of the iceberg. With all the new data we now have, and are still producing, there’s plenty more to dream and plenty more to realize.

Update: 3/20/2006 – 3:00pm PST

Today’s post on the ESV Bible Blog provides additional charts that go beyond OT-in-NT quotations to show Power Law patterns based on some 80,000 cross references spread across the Bible. One chart plots cross references between books; another plots them between chapters. The raw data is also provided in an Excel spreadsheet so you can produce your own charts. Cool!

See also: Jim Darlack’s blog post proposing a way to chart quotation density information along 2 or 3 axes.

Logos in the Jungle

Logos business trips can be a little out of the ordinary.

Guillermo Powell, international director for Spanish products, was in Perú recently to establish agreements with national distributors. Two major distributors there will now carry and promote the Spanish and Bilingual libraries from Logos Bible Software.

Perú joins Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Spain as Spanish-speaking countries where Logos Bible Software is now available through national distributors. A number of other countries will follow.

In addition to the business side of the trip, Guillermo visited the city of Iquitos in the Amazon jungle, to preach and teach the Word among some of the poorest churches in the country.


This Bora Indian chief didn’t purchase a Logos library, but it was striking to compare lifestyles. Guillermo said, “This chief is a Christian, along with his family that greeted us along the Amazon river.” Common ground in a seemingly unlikely place.

“Power Law” and Bible Reference Citations

I honestly didn’t mean to immediately write another post that refers to another blog, but this one is just too cool.

Stephen C. Carlson of the blog Hypotyposeis posts about Power Law in Biblical Citations. Here is the gist; please see his entry for specific counts that he gathered via Google.

It has been long noticed that links are not uniformly distributed in many networks, and in many cases the distribution of links follows a power law in which only a few of web pages (or bloggers) get a lion share of the links (see, e.g, Clay Shirky, “Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality” [Feb. 8, 2003]).

Can the same phenomenon be observed in Biblical citations? Clearly, some verses are much more popular (e.g. John 3:16) than others, but can the power law still be seen?

This is an interesting question to ask, though the specific findings may well depend on the corpus of texts being searched. Oddly enough, some time ago we explored a feature that answers this kind of question using the resources inside Logos Bible Software. We even wrote a prototype report that does it using a “brute force” approach just to see what happened. We haven’t made it a priority to refine and speed up the report, though we may return to the concept in the future.

Stephen’s post reminded me of the prototype, so I asked Bob and he pointed me to it. Our implementation is a little different; we take three variables and then run the report. First we take a collection of resources; then we take a range of references; then we specify a pericope set.

The report searches the collection of resources for Bible references within a specified range, then “maps” the results onto pericopes. This provides results that correspond to meaningful textual units.

For the below example, I used a collection that consisted of the New Testament volumes of the International Critical Commentary (ICC). I specified a range of “Galatians” and also specified the ESV Pericope Set.

Here’s what the report comes up with. This is sorted by hit count. So, at least in the ICC NT, these are the popular citations of Galatians, grouped by pericope:

  • Galatians 1:11-24: Paul Called by God (264 hits in 199 articles)
  • Galatians 2:1-10: Paul Accepted by the Apostles (241 hits in 174 articles)
  • Galatians 3:15-29: The Law and the Promise (186 hits in 142 articles)
  • Galatians 5:1-15: Christ Has Set Us Free (168 hits in 131 articles)
  • Galatians 2:15-21: Justified by Faith (150 hits in 125 articles)
  • Galatians 5:16-26: Walk by the Spirit (146 hits in 108 articles)
  • Galatians 4:8-20: Paul’s Concern for the Galatians (144 hits in 111 articles)
  • Galatians 6:1-10: Bear One Another’s Burdens (126 hits in 98 articles)
  • Galatians 1:1-5: Greeting (113 hits in 82 articles)
  • Galatians 4:1-7: Sons and Heirs (112 hits in 84 articles)
  • Galatians 6:11-18: Final Warning and Benediction (112 hits in 88 articles)
  • Galatians 1:6-10: No Other Gospel (104 hits in 78 articles)
  • Galatians 3:1-9: By Faith, or by Works of the Law? (94 hits in 64 articles)
  • Galatians 2:11-14: Paul Opposes Peter (73 hits in 63 articles)
  • Galatians 3:10-14: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith (68 hits in 51 articles)
  • Galatians 4:21-31: Example of Hagar and Sarah (67 hits in 56 articles)

So, when looking across the 30 volumes of ICC that cover the New Testament, and restricting our focus to Galatians, we see that the most frequently-cited portion of Galatians is 1:11-24…with 2:1-10 a pretty close second. After that, the hit count drops off pretty fast.

It’s worth noting a couple of differences between what we’re doing and what Stephen did.
Stephen’s search (using Google) pulled from a corpus that consists primarily of web pages, with some Word docs and PDFs included. The web corpus will tend to reflect a broader usage pattern than that found in Logos Bible Software, which is primarily copyrighted, published material produced by professional scholars and authors. For these purposes, one is not superior to the other…but different samples could be expected to produce different results.

Another difference comes to light in the comments section of Stephen’s post. As Stephen readily acknowledges, searching Google for “Gal 2:1″ is a pretty blunt instrument. It fails to consider verse ranges, alternate notation schemes, or even occurrences where the author bothers to spell out all of G-a-l-a-t-i-a-n-s.

Bible references inside Logos books, on the other hand, have been encoded in such a way that Gal 2:1, Gal 2:1-10, Galatians 2.1 and even “verse 1″ (given proper context) all count as hits for Galatians 2:1.

Corpus studies have their own literature and science. Perhaps someday we’ll introduce features that allow you to run comparisons between various corpora to see how they differ. With 5,000+ books digitized, tagged and available for Logos Bible Software, this kind of thing starts to be a real possibility. But for the moment, it’s a nice diversion.

You asked for it, you got it…

In Eli’s post on how Logos Bible Software facilitates serendipitous discovery he suggested that the phrase belonged on a t-shirt. A few readers agreed, so we went ahead and whipped one up.

We will be printing them on Hanes 100% cotton t-shirts.

To make sure we order enough in the right sizes, place your order now. (We will order the shirts at the end of this week, and ship them when we get them back.)

Update 3/13/2006: Pre-ordering for the FSD tshirt is now closed. Thanks to all who ordered!
We’ll submit the screenprinting order right away. When we get the shirts back from the print shop,
we’ll process customer orders and ship them out.

Of the Making of Books (Part 8)

El Departamento de productos en español de Logos se complace en presentar este artículo y los productos de Caribe-Betania para nuestros lectores de habla hispana, para leer el artículo haga clic acá.


Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.
(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)

Caribe-Betania Editores
Since early 2000, we have worked with Caribe-Betania Editores, the Spanish language division of Thomas Nelson, to create CD-ROM products to serve their market.

BECA2

In April of 2000, they released their first product, titled Biblioteca electrónica Caribe or BECA, which was updated in July of 2003 to the Libronix Digital Library System. Some of the key titles in this collection are Spanish translations of: Nelson’s New Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, Life Application Bible notes, and the Spirit-Filled Life™ Bible notes.

In 2003, Caribe released two author-focused BECA collections: an “Inspirational Edition“, featuring books by Max Lucado, and a “Leadership Edition“, featuring the works of John C. Maxwell.

BECAMax BECAJM

In November of 2004, Caribe released their largest collection to date, known as the BECA “Professional Edition“. Additional titles in this collection include Spanish versions of Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Facts, and the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

BECAPro

Next: AMG



El hacer de libros (parte 8)
Nuestro escritor invitado hoy es nuevamente Ken Smith, Gerente del Departamento de Servicios de publicación electrónica de Logos.

(Esta es la siguiente en una serie de artículos acerca de las casi 60 editoriales que promueven sus productos electrónicos por medio de nuestra tecnología.)

Caribe-Betania Editores
Desde el año 2000, que estamos trabajando con Caribe-Betania Editores, la división hispana de Thomas Nelson, creando productos en CD-ROM para satisfacer las necesidades de su mercado.

BECA2

Su primer producto, titulado Biblioteca electrónica Caribe o BECA, salió al mercado en abril del año 2000, luego fue actualizado en julio del 2003 al sistema de Biblioteca Digital Libronix. Algunos de los títulos mas importantes en esta colección son: Nuevo Diccionario Ilustrado de la Biblia, Diccionario Expositivo de palabras del Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento de Vine, Biblia del Diario Vivir con notas, y la Biblia Plenitud con notas.

En el año 2003, Caribe produjo dos nuevas colecciones de autores reconocidos: la Biblioteca electrónica Caribe edición inspiradora, destacando los libros de de Max Lucado, y la Biblioteca electrónica Caribe edición de liderazgo, destacando los libros de John C. Maxwell.

BECAMax BECAJM

En noviembre del 2004, Caribe trajo al mercado su mayor colección a la fecha, conocida como Biblioteca electrónica Caribe edición profesional. Algunos de los títulos adicionales incluyen Nuevo Comentario Ilustrado de la Biblia, Enciclopedia Ilustrada de Realidades de la Biblia, y la Nueva Concordancia Strong Exhaustiva.

BECAPro

Próximo: AMG

Greek Syntax: What’s in a Name?

One of my favorite features in the upcoming Logos Bible Software 3.0 has to be the Bible Word Study report. And my favorite aspect of the Bible Word Study report has to be the Grammatical Relationships section of the report.

The Bible Word Study report is intended to help explore how a particular word is used in the Bible. English, Hebrew or Greek, just type it in and the Bible Word Study report goes to work. Even better: right-click on a word in an English text or a morphologically tagged Greek or Hebrew text, and it goes to work.

Because the report is intended to gather all sorts of information about word usage, and because we have these oh-so-groovy syntax databases we’ve been working on, it seemed natural to do something to explore word usage by syntax inside of the Bible Word Study report. So that’s what we’ve done. And wow, is it cool!

[Read more...]

Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery

The other day I was in a feature design meeting for one of the new reports in the upcoming 3.0 release of Logos Bible Software, the Bible Word Study report. In attendance were a couple of Logos software developers, a few book designers and information architects, and Bob Pritchett, the president and co-founder of the company. We were going through the Grammatical Relationships section of that report line by line and commenting on the display, the information, the what-have-you.

At one point, I asked a dumb question (as I often do). “Bob,” I asked, “what is this report supposed to do? In a general sense, I mean.” I was getting at the Big Picture issues: Are we trying to find the Single Right Answer to every exegetical question? Are we just listing a bunch of unconnected information? Is this report teaching grammar? Should it?

Bob leaned back and said, “This report is supposed to do what all of our reports do: Facilitate serendipitous discovery.”

[Read more...]