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Books, Chapters and Verses, Oh My!

The story goes around, and I want to believe this is apocryphal, that in 1551 Stephanus added verse divisions into his Greek Bible for the first time while riding a horse. You see, when we run into verse boundaries that awkwardly divide or join sentences, we are to blame the horse.
Most of us are probably aware that the original manuscripts and early copies of the books of the Bible did not have chapter and verse numbers. These were added centuries later for convenient reference. However, some might not be aware that there are actually many competing reference schemes for dividing the Bible into books, chapters and verses. Take this snapshot by way of example:
In the LXX (the Greek version of the Old Testament) Esther 5:1a is Esther 15:2-15:4 in the KJV. The use of letters here (as in 1a) indicates that this material is in the Greek, but not the Hebrew, edition of Esther, which added material the Latin translators moved to the end of the book. The English tradition of versification more closely follows the Latin in Esther, thus accounting for the radically different chapter number. But it gets more complicated than that: there are differences between the Latin numbering and the English, so Esther 15:2-15:4 in the KJV is Esther 15:5-15:7 in the Latin Vulgate. But after Vatican II there was a concerted effort to make the Vulgate follow the older Greek and Hebrew traditions more closely, so the Nova Vulgata, or New Vulgate, numbers that section as Esther 5:2a-5:2c. But to make matters worse, the LXX numbering we use today comes from the Stuttgart edition, but the numbering in the older Cambridge edition edited by Swete and several other, older editions follow a different LXX numbering. They designate Esther 5:1a as Esther D 2 – D 4, introducing the use of letters as chapter indicators for the Greek additions.

Logos Is Listening – Tell Us What You Want

What is the one book or series that you want Logos to release? What is the one feature that doesn’t yet exist but would take your research to the next level?

We want you to tell us the answer to those questions by sending an email to Suggest@logos.com. Don’t just limit yourself to one book or feature. If your mind is overflowing with golden nuggets of inspiration, we want to hear about it. We don’t just want you to feel involved in the creative process – you actually are instrumental in what we decide to release or produce.

The way we see it, technology should not only make Bible study better; it should make dialog with our customers better as well. Suggest@logos.com is one way that this is being done.

Through Suggest@logos.com we keep track of everything you ask for and if it is possible and feasible, we look for a way to make it happen. We place all requests into one of three categories: process, functionality, and content.

  • Process refers to how we do things like customer service, technical support, how information is displayed at our website and so on.
  • Functionality has to do directly with how Libronix operates and what features and add-ins are included.
  • Content of course has to do with what resources (Bibles, books, journals, image archives) we offer.

Logos processes, functionality and contenttoday are the result of almost 16 years of suggestions from Logos users and those suggestions continue to shape how we do things. Here’s a closer look at each area.

What happens when you write to Suggest@logos.com?

Your message goes right to the inbox of the publisher relations assistant, who then forwards it to the appropriate department at Logos. Lately the assistant has received between 5 and 10 suggestions per day and, yes, she reads every one. Typo notifications go straight to Electronic Text Development; website recommendations are sent to marketing; and software functionality suggestions end up in development. If you are requesting the addition of a specific book into the Logos digital library, the publisher relations assistant adds that title to an ever-growing list. When we have an opportunity to speak with the publisher of that title we request your book along with all of the others that have been requested.

By what criteria is a suggestion judged?

When our customers make suggestions regarding Logos processes – we pay very close attention. These requests usually warrant the quickest responses in terms of the time it takes to implement a recommendation. Do you think our ‘on-hold music’ is too loud? Was there insufficient information on a product page at the Logos website? Don’t just grin and bear it, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

As far as Libronix functionality, we don’t have an unlimited budget to do anything we want so we place a relative value on each suggestion. We do this in terms of its ability to do the most good to the largest number of users and balance that with the cost. A suggestion might be very expensive, but if a high percentage of our users would be happy about it, that weighs in very heavy. If a suggestion is moderately expensive but would only cause a few to smile, that weighs in a bit less.

As mentioned above, the likelihood of whether or not we release suggested content depends mostly on the publisher’s stance toward electronic books. Many publishers have seen the proverbial light and are completely behind our efforts to digitize their content. On the other hand, some think that venturing in this direction would negatively affect sales of print books and as such have decided to avoid electronic publishing altogether (until they absolutely have to release a title in electronic format). Other publishers arewillingto do no more than just dip their toe in and license a few books at a time. But each year more and more publishers are catching on that the Libronix user base exists in its own parallel universe to the print world and that the electronic editions of their books will be used in a way that print cannot be.

So what does all that mean? It means that even if every Libronix user suggested a particular title we’ve been unable to license, there is very little Logos can do about it besides keep working to convince the publisher that it would be in their best interest to digitize their content.

That being said, you need to request your favorite books (a quick e-mail to suggest@logos.com is the most direct route) because if we don’t know about it, it may not show up on our book radar.

One great example of how a suggestion came to fruition is the Charles Simeon Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Volumes). The story of how that product was created can be found at the Logos blog. To sum up the story, it all started with a suggestion made via email from blogger Adrian Warnock. This product ended up being extremely popular, but we might never have released itwere it not forAdrian’s recommendation.

Help us improve!

We want to know what you love about Logos and what you want changed. It seems odd, but we would actually prefer to hear the latter. Your suggestion might raise an issue that we’ve never considered before.

So when you’re using Logos Bible Software always keep an open mind for how the software, the Logos website or our book selection could be tweaked. You could also tell us which features should never change because they are exactly what you need. When the inspiration hits, make sure you let us know by sending an email to suggest@logos.com.

Splleing errors or just tpyos?

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke(when does he get promoted to a regular?) writes about typo reporting in Logos Bible Software.

Dr. Daniel Wallace’s lecture about preserving the Word of God was a good reminderabout the importance of textual accuracy. Just like the ancient manuscripts that are studied in Middle Eastern monasteries, Logos book files have an occasional misspelled word. That’s why Libronix has a nice little feature for reporting typographical errors and grammatical glitches. It only takes a moment but helps us out immensely!

You can report a typo by following these three simple steps.

Step One

Highlight the error.

Step Two

On the top task bar select Help | Report Typo.

Step Three

Fill out the form with the typo correction and your email address. Then click “Submit”.

Please note that if you are reporting an error with Logos’ syntax database you might need to send an email to syntax@logos.com rather than using the internal ‘Report Typo’ dialog.

When you let us know that there is a misspelled word in one of our book files, that word is put on a list so the next time we update that book file we can fix the problem. This means that the typos aren’t always fixed the next day after you tell us, but your message will definitely be read and acted upon.

As always, we love getting feedback. Even in the case where we need to change something about a book. That’s because the textual accuracy of every book we create is of the utmost importance – whether it’s the Bible itself or the Scripture Alphabet of Animals.

Thanks for helping!

Better late than never…

Logos 3 launchednearly 14 months agoon May 1, 2006, and since then not a day has gone by without someone upgrading to version 3.

We’ve talked aboutvarious books and features of version 3here on the blog, launched two road trips, and sent out some pretty postcards to those in our database who haven’t upgraded.

And yet more than a year later, some of you are still missing out on what Logos 3 has to offer.

It could be that we’ve said too much across too many venues and what’s needed is just a simple list of the most compelling features of Logos 3.

So here is that list: The Top 20 New Features of Logos 3

The Top 20 list was compiled by our ministry relations team and is the product of countless conversations with customers about what really matters to them.

These are the features that get oohs and aahs when demonstrated to a live audience and that have the greatest impact on the user’s Bible study. We’ve gone out of our way to explain the benefits of each new feature and what it means for your Bible study.

Each feature is also illustrated with a screenshot and includes a link to a tutorial video (if available). Socheck it out…perhaps this is the prompt you’ve been waiting for totake your Bible study to new heights!

RSS in Plain English

If you keep hearing theacronym “RSS” while waiting in vain for a clear explanation of RSS in non-geek terms…wait no longer.

This video from The Common Craft Show explains the concept simply and memorably.

For a detailed video tutorial on how to set up Google Reader as your RSS reader, see Getting Started with Google Reader.

Why should you care about RSS? Because it’s a convenient way to receive information on topics that interest you. Things like the latest prepubs and community pricing titles from Logos, or the latest thoughts on the mind of Bob Pritchett, for example. For a list of all the Logos-related RSS feeds you can subscribe to, see Logos and RSS.

Via: Worlds Apart

Download Free Vocabulary Lists

If you are teaching yourself Greek or Hebrew or simply trying to keep your skills sharp, you may want to check out these freevocabulary lists that can be downloaded and opened within Logos Bible Software 3:

Vocabulary Lists for Popular Grammars

We’ve built vocab lists built around 11 Greek grammars, 6 Hebrew grammars and 2 Aramaic grammars. Some of these grammars are available for Logos Bible Software; some aren’t.

I was particularly excited to see a vocabulary list for Athenaze, the grammar I used when learning classical Greek at Hope College.

As you can see, the vocabulary words are given in the same order as they appear in the grammar, following the lessons or chapters and part-of-speech divisions. You can edit the glosses and words provided, delete an entry in the list (words you already know, perhaps?), and re-sort the entries.

Tip: To manually move a vocab word up or down the list, click and drag it. To delete a word, click it once and hit the Delete key.

Another cool thing is that you can print these vocab lists to make flash cards! So whether you’re starting out on the adventure of learning a biblical language—or want to make sure your skills don’t rust over the summer—take advantage of this freebie and give your studies a boost!

See also:

How-To: Make a Vocabulary Guide with Word Frequencies

How come I don’t have the Vocabulary Lists feature? Vocabulary Lists are part of the Original Languages Addin, included in the following Logos 3 collections: Original Languages Library, Scholar’s Library, Scholar’s Library: Silver, and Scholar’s Library: Gold. If you own the Original Languages Addin as part of an older collection but have not updated to Libronix DLS v3.0 or greater, you can get Vocabulary Lists for free: open Libronix DLS and click Tools | Libronix Update. If you own a collection like Bible Study Library or don’t own a base collection, you can get the Original Languages Addin by upgrading to a Logos 3 collection that includes the addin or purchasing it individually.

Top 50 Women in the Bible

As promised, I’m back for one final post on this whole “most important people in the Bible” topic. The first two posts in the series are here and here.

Today we’ll take a quick look at a visualization of the top 50 women of the Bible, as determined by Logos information architect Sean Boisen’s calculations. This data is also available at Many Eyes for anyone to manipulate and try out new information visualizations.

Here’s the scatterplot; click the thumbnail for a full view.

This time, dot size is the final “importance” scoreusing all the weights and factors calculated. The x-axis is the total number of mentions in the Bible. Bigger dot = more important; further right = more mentions.

One of the most interesting things we see here is the name Zeruiah with a pretty big dot and fifth place in terms of mentions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall ever hearing a Bible story about Zeruiah. My girls (ages 3 and 4 1/2) and I are on our second time through the cartoon Picture Bible and we haven’t encountered any such person.

Who is this mystery woman?

With the help of the Biblical People Addintool within Logos Bible Software 3, it’s pretty easy to find out. I fired up the tool and typed “zeruiah” to generate the following graph.

Turns out Zeruiah was King David’s sister. But ifshe’s the fifth most-frequently mentionedwoman in Scripture and is closely related to a majorcharacterwithin the biblical narrative why wouldn’t I know anything about what she did or said?

The answer to this question is also provided by the Biblical People tool. I can hover over or click each of the Bible references to see every mention of Zeruiah in brief context. Or better yet, type Zeruiah’s name into Bible Speed Search and get all the verses on one screen.

Looking through the results, we find that 24 of the 25 mentions of Zeruiah consist of the phrase, “Son(s) of Zeruiah.” The exception is in 1 Samuel 17:25 where we read that David’s sister Abigail (not to be confused withDavid’s wife named Abigail) is a “sister of Zeruiah.”

So it turns out that we don’t know anything about Zeruiah except for her relation to other people. We don’t know of a single thing she did or said. Commentators speculate that her sons are frequentlyidentified by her name because of the link back to King David.Anyonewho trailed an older siblingthrough high school or has a star athlete in the family could commiserate with Zeruiah—”Wait…aren’t you Abigail’s sister?” “You’re Joab’s mom, right?”

It may be that Zeruiah points up another opportunity for improving Sean’s “importance” weighting factors. Can somebody who appears in Scripture by name only, with no speaking or acting role, benumberedamong the mostimportant? I’d ask Sean for comment but he’s presenting a case study at the Semantic Technology Conference in San Jose so I’ll just have to wait until he gets back.

In the meantime, I’ve got to quit playing around with Many Eyes and get back to work. :-)

Parallel Passages Hack

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again…Logos users are a very clever bunch.

One user, John Minter, recently posted a “wouldn’t it be nice if…” to the Logos newsgroups. Regarding Kurt Aland’s Synopsis of the Four Gospels—a data set within the Parallel Passages and Harmonies tool—he wrote:

I like being able to generate with my desired translation. What would be nice is to generate a table for the given section as a handout…

Six minutes later he posted again to answer his own question:

OK Figured it out. Select a hebrew text like the BHS and all you get is the table. Woo hoo.

I’m not sure whether this little trick should be considereda hack orfeature (no doubt my friends in development would take credit for it as the latter) but it does seem to work and strikes me as the kind of thing that could be useful so I’m sharing it with you.

Try It Yourself!

To try it out, open Logos 3 and click Tools | Bible Comparison | Parallel Passages and Harmonies. For Source, choose Synopsis of the Four Gospels (Aland) if you have it. If not, don’t worry—it works with other data sets, too. For Bible version, choose BHS or ESV OT Rev. Int (the latter is in more packages).

Now when you drill down into a section of the synopsis, you’ll get the report shown below on the left instead of the usual report, shownon the right (click the thumbnail for a full size image):

This references-only table can be printed, or pasted pretty well into a word processor. It’s a handy little hack if you want to include just the parallel references in a handout or other document…

Thanks John!

Parallel Passages – Verses Like These Verses

If you’ve spent time around Logos Bible Software, you probably already know that Bibles such as the ESV, NKJV, and NASB* include cross-reference linksright there in the text. They’re indicated by the “little letters and numbers” sprinkled throughout most passages.

Just hover the mouse over an indicator and the cross-references pop up in what we call a “tool tip” window. Click the indicator (rather than hovering) and the tool tip will remain in place when you move your mouse away, allowing you to interact with the links inside the tool tip itself. This is a great way to see the cross-references—verses related to these verses—when reading through a passage.

But did you know that Logos also includes a more powerfultool specifically built for working with parallel passages, Gospel synopses/harmonies, and tables of quotations and allusions?

So you could spend thirty bucks to buy a printed “harmonized Gospel” which would give you a harmony in oneversion (NIV, for example)…or use the tool within Logos and viewthe harmonyin any Bible version you own, in any language!

Parallel Passages & Harmonies

The Parallel Passages & Harmonies tool is included in allthe Logos 3base packages—withincreasingly larger data sets available as you move up the product line. If you have a base package you should have at least four parallel passage data sets and maybe more!

To access the tool using Logos 3, click Tools | Bible Comparison | Parallel Passages and Harmonies. Click the Source button to choose a source—”Synopsis of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Jackson),” for example. Then select a Bible version in the Bible version chooser box to the right.

You will see a table of contents that looks like the image above; click a title to open the report to that section. Here’s what it looks like when I clicked “The Calling of Disciples.”

Mark, Luke and Matthew contain an account of this event so they all show up here in an easy-to-read columnar alignment…in the Bible version I chose.

Notice the commentin the right-most column, which is supplied by Jeffrey Jackson, the editor of this data. To learn more about the source of each data set, click the first item in the table of contents, whichis a description. For this data set, the description explains the approach Jacksonused to create this synopsis and the meaning of special formatting used, such as blueor bolded text.

To get back to the table of contents at any time, just click the title of the data set (in this case “Synopsis of Matthew, Mark, etc.”).

Navigate to the next or previous section of the synopsis by clicking the down or up arrow (circled in red above). Clicking the hooked up-arrow moves you up one level—that is, it will load the entire chapter into the display.

The left and right arrows work just like the back and forward buttons in your web browser—jumping you back to the previous view or ahead (when applicable).

More is Better

The cool thing about having multiple, overlappingdata sets is that each editor follows a slightly different approach when assembling something like a Gospel harmony. All told, Logos packages include no less than six “parallel passages” data sets for the Gospels:

  • Synopsis of the Four Gospels (Aland)
  • A Harmony of the Gospels (Robertson)
  • A Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels (Burton, Goodspeed)
  • Synopsis of Matthew, Mark, and Luke
  • Eusebian Canons (Eusebius)
  • Records of the Life of Jesus (Sharman)

A quick glance at the Burton & Goodspeed harmony description shows that any project like this entails certain editorial choices that others may make differently:

“Our study of the Synoptic Problem, extending now through many years, has led us to certain very definite conclusions respecting the relation of the Synoptic Gospels to one another, and their literary sources. The purpose of this book, however, is not to demonstrate this theory; nor is its construction determined by that theory. It aims rather, as largely as possible in independence of all theories, to set the text of the several gospels in such parallelism as will make the facts themselves tell their own story with the utmost possible fullness and clearness.”

Because each data set is compiled by a different editor, each offers a unique perspective on the text. We offer as many as we can license, in hopes that your Bible study will be enriched!

* For the Logos editions of Bibles, we use the cross-reference data supplied by the publisher, which was generated by the publisher’s translation/editorial team. For some versions (e.g., NIV, NRSV) this data was not supplied by the publisher and so is not present in the electronic edition.

Syntax Search Example: Prepositions and Nouns

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that sometimes I just notice things as I’m reading through the text. This time, it was a syntactic structure used in 1Ti 6.3, shown below in the  ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

The structure that is highlighted is what we’re interested in. This is a neat little syntactic structure where the article + substantive (here a noun) combo surrounds a prepositional phrase. Here’s the syntax graph of the verse:

I thought it might be interesting and instructive to walk through constructing a search to find this and other instances (over 100 in the NT!). So I created a video.

[Note: I used WMV format because the video as captured was too big for Camtasia to save as Flash format. I'll try to keep it shorter in the future -- RB]