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46 Books Need a Nudge

A number of exciting titles on the prepub page are tantalizingly close to crossing the 100% threshold and moving into production. The five substantial collections listed below, which total 46 volumes in all,each need literally just a handful of pre-orders to push them over the line.

Just think, you could be the one toplace the final pre-order that moves one of these on to the next phase!

Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection (10 Volumes)

The Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection assembles titles dealing with Christian apocryphal literature, particularly those texts associated with the Gnostic tradition. Given their contemporary relevance, it is critical for the Christian to understand these ancient texts and evaluate their place within Christianity’s history.


Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on Paul (17 volumes)

Surveying a variety of aspects of Pauline Christianity, this collection canvasses topics as diverse as Paul’s political motivations, community-identity construction, the prevalence of non-Pauline interpolations in the Epistles, scalometry’s relevance to Paul’s writings, and many other fascinating issues. Written with the academic in mind, the progressive thought and timely analysis exhibited here will prove profitable to anyone wishing to study this complex apostle more deeply.


Understanding the Bible and Its World Collection (4 volumes)

The titles in this collection reveal the importance and place of the Septuagint, religious diversity in the Graeco-Roman world, ethics’ relation to the New Testament, and narrative art in the Bible. Written with the neophyte in mind, these titles nonetheless feature a level of astute scholarship that will interest even the most knowledgeable student of the Bible.


Near East Archaeology Collection (3 volumes)

The Near East Archaeology Collection presents the findings of several sites in the Near East. The three volumes examine Aegean sites, as well as sites in Jordon and in Israel. Topics include settlement patterns, pottery, iconography, cult, paleography, urbanism, and much more.


Ugaritic Library (12 volumes)

Ugaritic is the ancient language of one of Israel’s closest neighbors, the city state of Ras Shamra, located in what is now Syria. Ugaritic is from the same family of languages as Hebrew, Northwest Semitic. This means the Ugaritic texts are closely related to the Hebrew Bible, both linguistically and culturally.

The Ugaritic Library contains the complete corpus of Ugaritic texts together with aids and indices to better illuminate these ancient writings and the Hebrew Bible. These include grammatical and lexical books to help the reader learn and read Ugaritic, translations of many of the important documents (with commentary), and volumes designed to help the Bible student easily locate the places where Ugaritic can shed some light on the text of the Hebrew Bible.

Charles Simeon Around the World…Wide Web

We’ve been amazed at the response generated by the prepublication announcement of Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae 21-volume commentary series.

Based on the number of people who have blogged about this announcement, there’s clearly a strongfollowing for the writings of this Anglican clergyman. No doubt John Piper’s recent endorsement has also been instrumental in reviving interest in Simeon’s works.

Here’s a sampling of the buzz surrounding the Simeon prepub:

  • Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds drew attention to Simeon’s three-pronged test which he applied to every sermon: (1) Does it humble the sinner? (2) Does it exalt the Saviour? (3) Does it promote holiness?
  • Phil Johnson at TeamPyropoints out that C.H. Spurgeon read and quoted Charles Simeon. Phil also recommends pre-ordering Simeon’s commentary over spending money on Pyro swag, which is high praise, indeed.
  • In a post from 2006, Mark Lauterbach of GospelDrivenLifesuggests that a particular conversation betweenCharles Simeon (a moderate Calvinist) and John Wesley (a moderate Arminian) could teach today’s Christian bloggers a thing or two about how to conduct doctrinal discussions. This story is also recounted at the Pyromaniacs blog.
  • Adrian Warnock, blogger extraordinaire,gave us the original tipabout the eBay auction of Simeon’s commentary set and encouraged us to offer it as a prepublication. Read the post the started it all, Adrian’s further reflections on Simeon, and his reprint of the Logos NewsWire email that introduced Simeon to many Logos customers for the first time.

If you haven’t already done so…check out the description of this commentary set, sample some page scans, and place your pre-order to take advantage of the hefty prepublication discount!

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 2

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

In Part 1, I encouraged you to begin exploring the new books added to your library and pointed you to a few tools that assist in said exploration. We also paused to think about some of the helpful things you didn’t have to do…because the digital library did them for you!

Now I want tofocus on a few different categories of book that arrived in your library via Library Builder, and consider how you will encounter individual books within those categories in the course of your study.

VIP Books

Some categories of book enjoy a “privileged” status within the Libronix DLS. They are privileged because we have built specialfeatures or tools that help you get the most value from them. A few examples are commentaries, sermonillustrations, music, maps, and devotionals.

Today I’ll focus on commentaries. The Logos Bible Software homepage has a feature that enables you to open a favorite commentary and Bible directly to your desired passage. And Passage Guide is programmed to find all the commentaries that address your passage. We’ll look at how these features work, a few tweaks to optimize things for your owen preferences, and pause to discuss a few individual books along the way…

Commentaries on the Homepage

Remember the list of Library Builder contents on the wikimentioned inPart 1? A quick glance at the list shows that Library Builder included three single-volume commentaries:

  • Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
  • Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible
  • The 365 Day Devotional Commentary

I like to specify a single-volume commentary as my preferred commentary on the homepage. To change your preferred commentary to one of the new commentaries in Library Builder, just click “Customize View” on the homepage, then select from the list. Walter Elwell’sEvangelical Commentary on the Bible would be a fine option.

If you also check the box next to “Show Study Options” you will now have a “Bible and Commentary”option on the homepage, in the Study Passage section.

Now when you select Bible and Commentary, enter a passage, and click “Go!”, your favorite Bible versionand Evangelical Commentary on the Bible will open straight to your passage. Simple. Quick. Smooth.

Commentaries in Passage Guide

Commentaries also show up at the top of the Passage Guide report. Library Builder included one OT commentary series (Wiersbe) and four NT series: College Press NIV Commentary Series, IVP New Testament Commentary Series, Crossway Classic Commentary Series, and Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament.

You would expect these commentaries to automatically appear when you run Passage Guide, and they do. But you may notice some pleasant surprises as well…

The pastor of the church I attend is currently preaching through Revelation, a book that could be described in terms borrowed from Winston Churchill: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

When I run a Passage Guide report on Revelation 2:13,in addition to all the expected commentaries that appear, two in-depth studies on the book of Revelation show up: Back to the Future – A Study of the Book of Revelation by Ralph Bass and Revelation Explained by Lerry W. Fogle. I’m grateful that my digital library summoned these books in response to my passage search, because I might never have thought to look for them.

Passage Guide was smart enough to find two other books that are not traditional commentaries but rather brief surveys, organized by passage, and intended to provide “helps” to the ordinary reader or the pastor who needs information fast.

The People’sNew Testament , written in 1891,provides a sentence or two for each verse…like a margin note to provide background on people and places, or help interpret easily misunderstood phrases.

The Bible Guide , published in 2001 by Augsburg, is a fantastic resource for concise comments on a given passage of Scripture. Its commentary on the letter to church in Pergamum in Revelation 2 begins with a description of the city that makes it seem like an actual, living place:

Pergamum is an important city — not for trade or beauty, but as a seat of government (2:12–17). It has been the capital of Asia for nearly 400 years — ever since the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, when it became the centre of the Seleucid kingdom.

Pergamum has a famous library of parchment scrolls, and parchment gets its name from the ‘Pergamene sheet’. The culture and religion is strongly Greek, with an emphasis on the worship of Asklepios, a god of healing. His temples are something like hospitals. For many people Asklepios is the saviour. Also at Pergamum is a huge temple dedicated to Zeus. It is built on three sides of a square, to make a giant chair or throne.

Andrew Knowles, The Bible Guide, Includes index., 1st Augsburg books ed., 697 (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001).

You can be sure that I’ll be returning toThe Bible Guide as my small group works through Revelation.

Bonus Tip #1: Show More Commentaries

In Logos 3, Passage Guidelists only 15 commentaries when the report is first run. To see more commentaries, click the “More >>” link.

Bonus Tip #2:Cream the Commentary Crop

Sometimes you want to see fewer commentaries in the Passage Guide report ratherthan more. Or more precisely…you want to see more of the commentaries you use most and fewer of the ones you use least.

Logos 3 has a nifty feature that keeps track of how many times you use each commentary and promotes the most used commentaries to the top of the list. Notice in the screenshot below the space between A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory… and The Apocalypse of St. John. The Passage Guide report has grown smarter over time and now reserves the top 5 slots for my most-used commentaries.
Honestly, how cool is that?

If you prefer your own smarts over the built-in smarts, you can always create a defined collection of your favorite commentaries (learn how!)and then limit Passage Guide to searching those commentaries. Once the collection is created, simply click the Properties button in the Passage Guide report, and select your collection from the list.


Looking Ahead

Today we focused on your new commentaries to see where they show up in the library,get some pointers on how to promote the ones you like best, and introduce a few of the new titles on a first-name basis.The nextpost in the series will look at books in other categories such as illustrations, music and devotionals. In the meantime…happy exploring!

Windows Vista Keyboards for Ancient Languages

The Logos Greek, Hebrew, Syriac and Transliteration Keyboards have been updated to run on Windows Vista. Follow the link for more information and installation instructions.

General information on compatibility between Logos Bible Software and Windows Vista is at this link.

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 1

If you woke up on Christmas morning to findLibrary Builder volumes 1-3 in your stocking (even if you had to put it there)…this article is for you.

Like a lot of users, you may have started out December owning only the Logos 3 version of Scholar’s Library. Adding the Library Builder Christmas special literally doubled the number of books on your digital bookshelf. Wow. Start off by congratulating yourselfon not having to clear out furniture to make space for more shelving!

Now we want to help you maximize the value of those additional books.This is the first ina short series of blog posts that will help acquaint you with what, specifically, you’ve added to your library (knowledge is power) and then provide some tips for deriving ultimate benefit from those new books.

The Things You Don’t Have to Do

Not only did you not have to build shelving to accommodate doubling the number of books in your library…there are lots ofother things you didn’t have to do!

Indeed, the developers of Logos Bible Software have taken great pains to ensure that new books merge seamlessly, painlessly,and optimally into your digital library. That means you’re probably already enjoying many of the benefits of a larger library without having to do a thing. Let’s hear it for not having to do a thing!

  • My Library automatically discovered and categorized your new books by title, author and subject.
  • The bibliography report (Tools | Library Management | Bibliography) was updated to include your new titles.
  • Passage Guide has identified your new commentaries, illustrations, devotionals and books on music and will include them in searches whenever there’s relevant data inside.
  • Your new books are indexed, topically tagged, and ready to be instantly and thoroughly searched.

Whew, I’m going to step out for a glass of iced tea and be back in a moment.

Hello Books

The next step is to get to know some of your books on first name basis. The more you know about an individual title or series the better you can evaluate how much you plan to use it, in what contexts you’re likely to use it, and whether you’ll want to add it to any special collections or otherwise promote its status in your library.

So how do you identify all your new books? The Library Builder product didn’t ship in a fancy box with a contents liston the back, and since it was a limited special the webpagehas been removed from Logos.com.

But I’ve posted to the Logos wiki a list, by category,of all the books that are in the Library Builder product. You may want to bookmark the link and keep it handy as you spend time with your new books. And you may fairly ask, “What’s the Logos wiki?“.

For now, start by taking a look at the list and identifying the books you’re most interested in based on title. Then spend a few minutes with My Library, opening and browsing those books to become familiar with their structure and contents.

A couple of articles may be helpful in this area:

Next up: Part 2

Syntax Search Example: Hands, Heads and Feet as Subjects in the New Testament

Here’s a fun syntax search. For some reason I thought of searching the New Testament for places where body parts — hands, feet, heads, etc. — served as the subject of a clause.
You know, things like Mt 17.2:

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.(Mt 17:2, ESV)

As seems to be my habit, I constructed the search and made a video of the process so I could share it with y’all. Enjoy!

Know Thy Books

Owning a large digital library is great when you can consult precisely the book you need at the moment you need it. Buta vast digital holdingcan present challenges when deciding whether to buy a new collection, such as the 2006 Christmas Special, Library Builder: Volumes 1-3 (available through December 31).

At present, there is no magical tool that can analyze your licenses, compare them against the product you’re thinking of buying, then spit out a report showing you duplicated books, new books, books you’d like, books you’ll never use,and books you think you’ll never use until late on a certain desperate Saturday night in February 2008.

But a couple of featuresin the Libronix DLS can come in handy when evaluating a purchase, or simply getting to know your books.

(I apologize if this seems obvious to our seasoned users but I recently came across two users in one day who were not aware of this information and realized that I take it for granted.)

Calling Marian…the Librarian

Everyone probably knows about My Library since there’s a big button for it right in the main toolbar. So I’ll just do a quick refresher…

My Library is the card catalog of Libronix—the library-ish way to see what digital books you own. It’s built on library standards and the “metadata” about each book—stuff like subject classifications—come from the Library of Congress. Yeah, the whole “library” thing is more than a metaphor with us.

In My Library, you can type in the title of a book to find specific volume, or see what you have from a particular author like A.W. Pink or Oswald Chambers.Viewing your books by subject can help you get a handle on the depth of your libraryin a subject like creeds, for example.

Just the List, Ma’am

If list-making,rather than browsing, is whatyou’re after…the Bibliography report is the tool to use. ClickTools | Library Management | Bibliography, then customize the report to show the contents of various collections you may have built or all the resources you own. You can also customize the displayto suit thetask at hand.

“Catalog style with covers” generates the colorful display shown below, which is great for getting to know your books. If you’re making a standard bibliography, you may choose something more utilitarian like “APA Style (4th ed.)”.

For this screenshot, I chose to run the bibliography report on the “Biblical Counseling Library” collection: a user-defined collection I created earlier. User-defined means the list of books in this collection can be completely arbitrary. Themetadata shown in the report comes from the Library of Congress, except for the brief descriptions which our book designers edit together from thebook jacket or preface.

Follow the Money Trail

When you want to view the Libronix-basedproducts you’ve purchased and activated, My Libraryis no help and Bibliography is only helpful if you’ve manually created collections. What you need is the Account Summary, a new tool in Logos Bible Software 3.

(OK, you really must at least download the free update if you haven’t already!)

Account Summary gives you a handle on the product collections in your digital library, as opposed to the individual books.

To open Account Summary, click Tools | Library Management | Account Summary and you’ll see something like this, but with fewer 0s.

Here is a record of the licenses for all the products or collections unlocked on this system. A product like Scholar’s Library will be in this list. At the bottom of the report is a list of the books and resources you have unlocked individually, such as Scripture Alphabet of Animals.

Tip: If you suspect that something you own is missing from this list…click Tools | Library Management | Synchronize Licenses (available only in Logos 3) to make sure you’re utterly up to date.

So What Have We Learned Today?

Account Summary can be the most useful tool when trying todecide whether to purchase a product such as The Complete Theological Journal Library Bundle, for example. You may recall having purchased a couple of journals discs in the past, but can’t remember which ones exactly.

After reading this post you now know that resources like journals don’t show up as productcollectionsin My Library; they show up as individual journals. But you also know that Account Summary is the place to turn for a list of the products you’ve activated, which makes comparison easier.

On the other hand, My Library is the ideal tool for locating an individual resource or browing books by subject. And the Bibliography tool can generate either a standard bibliography or a more detail-rich list with bookcovers and descriptions.

Perhaps a corollary of the dictum “Know Thy Books” is “Know Thy Book-Knowing Tools.”

(Note: Before anyone writes in to ask…if you see an item in your account summary that simply reads “Theological Journal Library” that corresponds to what we now call “Theological Journal Library Volumes 1-5” to distinguish it from the journal collectionsthat came after.)

For further reading see “Getting to Know Your Books,” a web article written by Rick Brannan that offers some additional suggestions for familiarizing yourself with the contents of your digital library.

Greek Syntax: Components and Head Terms

I received an email from one of y’all with some further questions about word groups, head terms, clausal hierarchy and syntax searching.

Rather than writing something, it was easier to make a video to point out some of the different ways one can structure a syntax search — particularly if you’ve wondered what “Must be an immediate child of parent” does.

I’ll warn you that I rambled a bit, the video is almost 13 minutes. Hopefully the information therein is usable.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Charge Form

Read the first five posts in this series: Intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4.
2Ti 4.1 offers an example of the Charge Form.


Charge Form in 2Ti 4.1

The discussion of this form is very much preliminary because Smith’s recent book, Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect is the first to propose this form. If Smith is right, it could affect how one interprets the whole book of Second Timothy. One should at least weigh this when working through the book of Second Timothy.

Description of Form
Smith defines the form as follows:

My research has identified four basic elements which comprise the charge: the Charge Verb, Person/s Charged, Authority Phrase, and Content of the Charge. A fifth element sometimes present in a charge is the Implications of the Charge, though this is not a necessary component.[1]

Smith provides more explanation of each of these elements:

  • The Charge Verb: Could be διαμαρτύρομαι, παραγγέλλω, μαρτύρομαι, ἐνορκίζω, εχορκίζω, ὁρκίζω, κελεύω, παρακαλέω, ἐντέλλομαι.[2] Smith notes these are to be active apart from deponents, which will occur in the middle.[3]
  • The Person Charged: A second person singular or plural, though third person singular or plural are possible. The case of the noun is either accusative or dative. This item is not always a part of the charge, sometimes it may be implied from context.[4]
  • The Authority Phrase: Typically following the verb, it may or may not use a preposition. When no preposition is present, the phrase uses the accusative case.[5]
  • The Content of the Charge: Typically in a ἵνα clause and a verb second or third person subjunctive, though it may be an infinitival clause or perhaps even a series of imperatives.

Because the charge verb and authority phrase are always present, those will be used as the basis of the query.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Smith reports the following instances of the charge form: Mt 26.63; Mk 5.7; Ac 16.18; Ro 12.1-2; 15.30-32; 1Co 1.10; Eph 4.17; 1Th 4.1; 5.27; 2Th 3.6; 2Th 3.12; 1Ti 5.21; 1Ti 6.13-14; 2Ti 4.1-8.[6] The query follows:


Charge Form

  • A primary clause with a first-person indicative charge verb as predicator. A second clause component, either an adjunct or a complement contains:
    • “supernatural being or power” (Louw-Nida domain 12) as head term, or
    • οικτιρμος, οικτιρμων or ονομα as the head term

This query, when run, returns 29 instances. Some are duplications based on the “OR” criteria in the word group of the second clause component.

  • Instances from Smith located by the query: Mt 26.63; Mk 5.7; Ac 16.18; 15.30-32; 1Co 1.10; Eph 4.17; 1Th 4.1; 5.27; 2Th 3.6; 2Th 3.12; 1Ti 5.21; 1Ti 6.13-14; 2Ti 4.1-8
  • Extras located by the query: Jn 14.16; 16.26; Ac 19.13.
  • Instances from Smith missed by the query: Ro 12.1-2. This is due to a discrepancy in the annotation of Ro 12.1, where the prepositional phrase that functions as the authority phrase is annotated as modifying the following infinitive verb instead of the preceding indicative verb (the charge verb).

Bibliography

Smith, Craig A. Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: The Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006).

Notes
[1] Smith, p. 27.
[2] Smith, p. 27, 29.
[3] Smith, p. 29.
[4] Smith, p. 30.
[5] Smith, p. 30
[6] Smith, p. 231-233

Hebrew Regular Expression Searching

Logos Bible Software supports many advanced search features, like Regular Expression pattern matching and field searching. I’ve just finished a new tutorial on the website that shows some real-world examples of how you can use these advanced search features with your morphologically tagged Hebrew Bibles. Enjoy!