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Using BDAG as You’ve Never Used It Before

My friend and colleague Johnny recently came up with some pretty cool tricks for using BDAG to help when reading the Apostolic Fathers in Greek.
The trick is pretty simple, but is involved to explain. So I made a video.

Think about other applications of this same technique:

  • Maybe you’re interested in where BDAG has cited a particular section of BDF? You could use this same trick. As an example, BDF §260 has to do with how the article is used with personal names. Want to know where BDAG cites or points to this section? Search BDAG for “bdf in 260″.
  • Maybe you want to see where BDF has referenced Ignatius to Polycarp. You can do the same search the video demonstrates, only do it in BDF: “af in ipol”.
  • You get the gist. I’m sure you can think of others.

How cool is that?

Using Exegetical Guide When Reading Greek NT or Hebrew Bible

I was hanging out with some Logos users at Camp Logos II, held here in Bellingham on August 27-28, when my friend and colleague Johnny asked me about ways to emulate a “Reader’s Greek New Testament” inside of Logos. Johnny is always working on his Greek (and Hebrew) skills as he’s pursuing a Masters degree up at Regent College. He wanted to read the Greek NT but only have glosses available for words (lemmas) that occur less than, say, 20 times in the Greek NT.
There is a way to do this, but you might not think of it. It involves paring down your Exegetical Guide preferences and also using the chain link to link your Exegetical Guide with the Greek New Testament.
Don’t worry, I recorded a video to explain how you can do this too. Check it out.

Syntax Search Example: Modifiers in 1Ti 6.10

I was working my way through the first portion of 1Ti 6.10 the other day. This is the well-known clause, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils” (1Ti 6.10a, ESV).

I was specifically looking at “… of all kinds of evils”, and had some ideas on how to use syntax searching to help me examine that portion of the verse. It was too much to write down; at almost 15 minutes it was nearly too long for a video (I ramble a bit at the end, though).

More on Verse Mapping

Vincent’s post about mapping outand harmonizing all the variousbook-chapter-verse schemes for the Bible has sparked some great discussion among other bloggers. Here are a few selections; click through on the links to read the complete posts at each site…

ESV Bible Blog – “They plan to use the data in the next version of their software to allow for a ‘higher degree of precision when it comes to Bible navigation, comparing Bible versions and viewing them in parallel, and Bible reference tagging.’ The amount of effort put into this project boggles the mind.”

The folks at Crossway also point to a series of posts by blogger Ben C. Smith, who is working his way through a detailed description of thevarious canonical lists assembled by the early church. Interesting stuff which has a bearing on the Bible we read today.

Randy McRobertsofThe Upward Way Presswrites,

“Most people know that the chapter and verse divisions of the Bible aren’t part of the original text. Many people may not know that the versification of all Bibles is not the same. For example, if you look up a psalm in the Septuagint, it might have a different number than it does in the English Bibles. It is a very complicated situation. Particularly if your Bibles are digital.”

I’m sure Vincent would concur with this assessment. He’s been looking a little wrung out lately, and could probably use a care package. :-)

In a post entitled “Here’s Why I Believe in Logos Bible Software” (we appreciate the vote of confidence but would direct such praise to the One who truly deserves it), Benjamin Janssen writes,

“There are many good reasons why any serious Bible student should invest in, learn, and use Logos Bible Software. But here’s the best reason I can think of: the company is dedicated to getting it right. This is a Bible study software that I am confident will always be on the cutting edge of research and analysis without compromising quality, even down to chapter and verse divisions.”

We do work hard to stay at the cutting edge of Bible technology,and are taking steps topromote a healthy “give and take” with others in the industry.The BibleTech 2008 conferencein January will be a great opportunity for all those who work at the intersection of Bible and technology to share best practices and spur one another on to even greater levels of excellence.

If things like XML versification maps get you excited, you definitely need to be at the conference!

An author speaks out

Sometimes we take for granted the goodness of electronic publishing. But some people still wonder why an author or a publisher would choose to put out an electronic edition of their work.

Dr. Robert Lowery, seminary professor, dean, and author of Revelation’s Rhapsody, was recently asked why he chose to publish his first book both electronically (with Logos)and in print (with College Press).

Dr. Lowery shared his answer to this question on his blog…which he has generously allowedus to reprint as a case study on Logos.com.

My favorite quotes:

Simply put, Logos is the world’s biggest developer of Bible software, and if I believe that my book will behelpful to people, I want to reach as many as possible.

And:

How many of the readers of my book will actually look up all of the Scripture references? If they choose not to do so, my book will not be as helpful as I desire. How many will actually turn to the back of the book and read the footnotes, notes that I believe are as helpful as the text itself?! In the electronic edition, notes and Scripture referencesare quickly available, just a mouse hover away.

I find it interesting to read an author’s perspective on electronic publishing and see how his priorities align with ours: get the book into the most hands possible and help readers get more out of the book.

But it only makes sense: labor-intensive details such as footnotes and Scripture references represent hours of wastedeffort…unless readers actually use them! And making these features easy to use is one of the great strengths of Logos Bible Software.

Read more from Dr. Lowery...

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