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Syntax Search Example: What “Qualifies” another Word?

As folks who have followed these syntax search examples know, I’ve been in a home group Bible study that is going over First Thessalonians. This has served as the background for many of these syntax search examples.

In the process of doing this, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun to ask different questions of the text.

So when the study group was in 1Th 4.15, and when the word παρουσία occurs (yet again), I asked myself, “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Why did I ask that question? First, we need to define Qualifier:

Qualifier: A Qualifier is a modifier that in some way limits or constrains the scope of the word it modifies. Common examples of qualifiers are words in the genitive and dative case, and also negative particles functioning at the word group level.

Porter, S., O’Donnell, M. B., Reed, J. T., Tan, R., & OpenText.org. (2006; 2006). The OpenText.org
Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament Glossary
. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

So a Qualifier limits scope. In terms of παρουσία, which can be translated “return” or perhaps “coming”, when it occurs with a qualifier the qualifier limits the scope of the coming. Thus in phrases like “coming of the Lord”, the phrase “of the Lord” acts as the qualifier. It’s not just any “coming” or “return”, it is the return of the Lord. Just like in 1Th 4.15:

So when I ask the question “What other things qualify παρουσία?” I”m really asking “Are there any other similar sorts of ‘return’ or ‘coming’ phrases in the New Testament?” After all, to understand more how the word παρουσία is functioning here, it could help to see it operating in similar syntactic contexts — to see how παρουσία stands in relationship with other instances of words that modify it.

So I put together this video (Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound) to show how I constructed the query to find qualifiers of παρουσία.

After searching, ask yourself the question again: “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Now you have data to use when considering this question. As you evaluate the hits, you can ask further questions:

  • Are there any qualifiers that seem to repeat (hint: “his”, “of the Lord”, “of the son of man”, “of the Lord Jesus Christ”)?
  • What are the unique qualifiers (hint: 1Co 16.17; 2Co 7.6; Php 2.12, etc.)?
  • Is there anything that would allow one to say that the use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 is the same as or different from other syntactic usages?
  • If so, is 1Th 4.15 the use typical or non-typical?
  • How does the general understanding of the use of παρουσία with a qualifier in the New Testament affect how we look at the specific use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 (or does it)?

Here’s a link to the video: Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound

But note well: If you’d rather not go through the hoops of constructing the search as described in the video … just right-click the Greek word and run the Bible Word Study report. Check out the Grammatical Relationships section. One of the standard word relationships searched for is that of qualification. So this search is done automatically for you in the Bible Word Study report! No assembly required! And it even groups like qualifiers together, so you can see what repeats and what is unique just by looking at the result section.

Also note: A future post will show how to make this query even more generic and search for some things a little differently. So keep comin’ back!

More Thoughts on Shelf Space

Yesterday’s post about freeing up shelf space by donating books got me thinking about a newsgroup post I read some time back.

The newsgroup post was from a Logos user who wanted to calculate the number of linear feet that his electronic library would consume if it were a print library instead. The number he came up with was 220.5 linear feet to shelve the 1,544 volumes in his Libronix Digital Library System.

How did he come up with this number?

A standard calculation for building a library estimates 8 volumes per foot of shelf space. Reference books tend to be larger, so they are calculated at 5-7 volumes per foot. Since Logos Bible Software collections are a mix of reference and non-reference, this user chose a conservative 7 volumes per foot. 1,544 / 7 = 220.57

Just for fun, how many shelf feet of books are in a couple of our top-end collections?

Another way to think about the numbers: Scholar’s Library: Gold would fill the better part of six 3-foot wide shelving units with 5 shelves per unit. Placed along a wall end-to-end, those shelving units would take up more than 18 feet of wall space!

Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of books! Something for which to be grateful next time you put them all in your laptop bag to hop a plane or when you pack up to move…

And for something less frivolous, check out http://www.lovepackages.org, a non-profit organization that sends Christian books and other printed materials to countries like India and Nigeria where a significant percentage of the population reads English. Thanks to blog reader and Logos user Thomas Black for the tip!

Clearing Off Shelf Space

So you upgraded to Scholar’s Library: Gold…or just bought Scholar’s Library…and now you have a new problem: What to do with all those print books gathering dust on your shelves?

A) You could archive them all, just in case you ever need them again. (Warning: as your bookshelves begin to extend out of your study, down the hallway, and into the “spare” room, your long-suffering spouse may take issue with this policy.)B) You could sell the books to finance future purchases of electronic volumes to add to your library. Or,C) You could give them away to a deserving person who would use them in study and ministry.

If C) sounds like a good option, you might want to take advantage of an opportunity to give some of your quality books to students and professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS). Many personal libraries at the school were destroyed in the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, but an effort is underway to replace the lost books.

This week’s Preaching Now newsletter describes an effort coordinated by Jerry Barlow, the dean of graduate studies at NOBTS, to replace the print libraries of students and profs at the school.
If you have quality books in the areas of preaching, pastoral care, Old Testament or New Testament, you can box them up and ship them to:

Preaching Books Project
c/o Dr. Jerry Barlow
New Orleans Baptist Seminary
3939 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70126

It sounds like a great way to ensure that those old friends of yours will continue to be loved and appreciated instead of gathering dust and being neglected. It might also be fun to surprise your spouse with a box of books leaving the house for once rather than arriving!

Syntax: Not Just For Searching

In previous blog posts, I’ve focused on how the syntax databases we offer are used when searching, when asking questions of the text. But this is not the only use. I don’t even know if it will end up being the primary use. I was reminded about this with a recent comment on one of my posts:

These blogs are extremely helpful for things like [structure searching], but make it difficult for an average joe like me to get a search result and have confidence that all the cases of what I’m looking for would be covered. . .I’d think “what kind of clause component will this show up in that I’ll miss with this search”. Certainly, I’ll get some results I’d want, but will I get them all?

Instead of focusing more on searching, I figured I’d step back and show another use that doesn’t require any searching knowledge at all. Just being able to see the structure of the text in a different way is helpful when reading through the text.

We read through the text in translations with paragraphs/etc frequently. Reading through a syntax graph in addition to reading the text in modern translation can help us slow down when we read, and take note of not simply each word but also the things going on around each word at the clause level.

Ephesians 5.18b-21 offers a good example. I’ll give you two hints: Look only at the clauses (primary and embedded) and the verbs in those clauses, and the relationship between these things. No searching necessary. Just reading slowly paying attention to the annotated syntax.

And there’s a video (Flash, 3 megs, with sound) that provides a little more information to help in seeing how this can be done.

Here’s Eph 5.18b-21 in the ESV, just plain text. Read it in this form and try to think about the underlying structure of the text:

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5.18-21, ESV)

What can we see from just looking at the syntax here? Check out the video for more explanation, but in short, you’ll see how to:

  • View only clause information in your graph, removing some of the word group annotation since we’re just looking at clause level data here
  • Find verbs in the annotation
  • Show why this is relevant when looking at the annotation for Ephesians 5.18b-21 (which is a whole primary clause)

Update: If you’re interested in using the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament to assist as you’re reading through the text, check out this post from May 2006. It’s a handy way to work through the Greek text of, say, First John and beef up your knowledge of the syntactic goings-on at the same time!

Update II: Note that I’ve blogged again about how reading the syntax graph can help when analyzing or outlining a particular passage: Organizing an Outline with Syntax Graphs.

Syntax Search Example: Preposition with Dative Object

On the Logos Newsgroups, a user asked a question about syntax searching:

I’d like to search for every instance of the construction in Heb 1:2 — ἐν υἱῷ – i.e. ἐν followed by noun without article … Also (I think) in 1 Thess 1:5 – ἐν λόγῳ — our gospel did not come to you not simply “by means of word\speech”

I could do a normal search, but is this a category of construction that I could find with a syntax search? If so, could someone perhaps suggest how to go about it?

The answer is a resounding “YES!” It was like a slow-pitch softball that I couldn’t resist swinging at. So I did. You can watch the video now (Flash, 9 megs, with sound) but be sure to read the rest of the post too.

I should note that I’m running 3.0a beta 2, and you may see some visual changes inside of the Syntax Search Dialog.

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Syntax Search Example: Same Word as Subject and Verb

I was reading in 1Th 3.5 the other day and came across the phrase “for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you” (ESV). Here it is in the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

You can see the phrase highlighted using some of our new Visual Markup features. If you click and view the larger picture, you’ll see that the same lexical form (πειράζω) is repeated in the verse. Not only is it repeated, but one instance is the subject of the clause, the other is the predicator (verb) of the clause. The syntax graph from the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament shows this a little better:

Is this exegetically significant? Perhaps. But I also had the question — how many other times is the same word used as both subject and verb in the New Testament?

With syntax searching and Logos Bible Software 3, it is a relatively easy question to answer.

As an added bonus, I’ve even included a video of setting up the search. This video is the first in which you’ll hear my “smooth dulcet tones” (as the colleague sitting next to me describes it) narrating the action. You can try the video (Flash, 12 megs, with audio) but be sure to read the description below the fold as well.
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It’s Raining Books

For a bibliophile, it felt like the floodgates of heaven had opened.

On Wednesday, a truck pulled up to our offices 1313 Commercial Street, the driver got out and started loading up his dolly with boxes. He made another trip, then another, and another. When he was finished, there were four or five stacks of boxes, each stack five feet tall…

After a company meeting, Bob invited us to open up the boxes and spread out the wealth of riches on the conference room table. Books! Lots of books. Things got a little crazy after that.

Watch the Video (Windows Media, 2.5MB, 1 minute)

The boxes contained about 450 titles, all licensed from Continuum, all headed your way soon via the Logos pre-publication program.

In fact, these books are just the first shipment…another will follow soon. The 450 titles are part of a license we signed with Continuum for some 2,000+ books—books you’ll be able to add to your digital library in the coming months (and years).
Most of the books in this first batch were originally published by T&T Clark and Sheffield Press.

There are books on theology, NT studies, OT studies, biblical languages, rhetorical studies, church history, gnostic and apocryphal writings, Dead Sea Scrolls studies, Bible introductions/guides, hermeneutics, and more. There truly is something for everyone and I, for one, can’t wait to add these books to my digital library.

Now please don’t call your favorite salesperson to ask whether your favorite book is going to be on the prepub page soon (we haven’t told them and, anyway, they’re pretty busy taking orders for Logos 3).

But please do subscribe to NewsWire if you aren’t already on the list. Then you’ll be sure to hear about the books, and get the best discount as they are put up for pre-order. The first titles and collections from the Continuum license will start appearing on the prepub page within the next week or two.

Let the books rain down!

Greek Syntax: Syntactic Force Annotations

I’ve blogged a bit about the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament before. Sure, it’s syntax, and that’s important. But how can it be used?

One way is very simple: Use hover popups to show the syntactic force of any word as you read the text, or as you’re brought into the text from searches. The syntactic force annotation is a note as to the role that the word plays in the current syntactic context. It isn’t about morphological form, it is about syntactic function.

Hover on the inflected word in the Lexham SGNT running text, and see the syntactic force annotation (with definition!) pop up. How cool is that?

Pictures are always good at conveying this sort of thing; moving pictures are even better. The video uses James 1.27 as an example: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (ESV).

Syntactic Force Annotation
Video: Flash, .75 MB, approx. 1:27, no sound.

Note that all I did here was move the mouse. Also, when multiple notes of force occur on a word this displays what could be multiple possibilities in a given context or a mixture of possibilities acting together. The Expansions and Annotations resource further spells out those complex relationships.
So if your knowledge of Greek syntax is rusty (or even non-existent) you can still work through the text looking into the structure of the text and the syntactic function of words in the text — just by moving your mouse through the passage you’re studying.

Who Did What? Looking at Verbs in a Reverse Interlinear

Earlier I blogged about Highlighting English based on Greek Morphology. This involved using Logos Bible Software 3 and a Reverse Interlinear of the New Testament to highlight words based on the underlying language’s morphology (word form, part-of-speech type information).

Over the past weekend I was thinking that this would be perfect to use when working through a text doing something like participant analysis. One thing that I find handy when working through a text at a paragraph/sentence level is to stop at each finite verb (verbs that aren’t participles or infinitives) and determine who is taking part in the action. I also like to see if there is someone or something that the action is being done to, or if there are other circumstances to the action.

Using Logos Bible Software 3, the Morphology Filter applied to a Reverse Interlinear makes this easy — particularly if you don’t know Greek. Here’s what you do.

  • First, check out the video on how to specify a morphology filter in a reverse interlinear.
  • Second, once your Logos Bible Software 3 is fired up, specify a morphology filter for the ESV New Testament Reverse Interlinear. Your Part of Speech should be Verb, the Verb Type should be Finite.
  • Third, specify the style of highlighting you’d like. I just specified yellow highlighting.
  • Fourth, go to your passage and stop at the highlights. Ask yourself questions like:
    • Who or what is doing this action? That is, who is the actor?
    • Who or what is the action being done to? That is, is there an object?
    • Are there additional circumstances to the action? Clarifying adverbs or prepositional phrases?
    • Is the same person/thing doing action here that was doing the action with the previous verb? Or has there been a shift?
    • [whatever other questions you think appropriate]

When examining the text at this level, you should keep track of where the same party (or parties) is doing the action, and where the actor changes. This may indicate secondary action (e.g., “Jim said, ‘When I was with Dorothy, she decided we’d have dinner at the Olive Garden’ “.) or it may indicate a larger shift at, say, a paragraph level.

Stopping at verbs and examining the flow of action in the passage is one very useful way to work through a passage at a high level. Using reverse interlinears to combine the underlying original language part-of-speech information with highlighted English makes it much easier for those with no knowledge of the original languages to start to consider these issues in their study.

Syntax Search Example: Relative Pronouns

When working through a passage, it can be important to work through pronoun usage. Sometimes pronouns have direct referents, sometimes the referents are implied.
A familiar example is found in the first three verses of First John:

1 That whicha was from the beginning, whichb we have heard, whichc we have seen with our eyes, whichd we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal lifef, whichf was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that whiche we have seen and heard we proclaimabcde also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1Jn 1.1-3, ESV)

In the above, the English words translated from relative pronouns are in bold, the pronoun referent is in bold italic text. Note use of superscript letters to align pronoun with specific referent as there are two referents in the above example.
How did I know that? Well, let’s just say that the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament and the Syntax Search dialog are my friends.

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