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RevInt IV: Reverse Interlinear Bullets

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinears as Books and RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines and RevInt III: Reverse Interlinear Symbols)

Occasionally, when I assemble a piece of furniture — say for instance a “Jerker” desk from Ikea, like the one that I sit at — I am left with a few odds and ends lying on the floor. Then I scratch my head and wonder, “Do I really need that lock washer?” The real question, of course, is: Do I really want to take the whole thing apart again to figure out where it goes?

Occasionally, when you are reading along in a reverse interlinear, you will encounter some of the nuts and bolts that are left over in the process of assembling the alignment. Here and there will be a round dot (bullet point) in either the original language line or the translation line of a reverse interlinear, indicating that no reasonable equivalent for that word could be found in the other text.

For the most part, our editorial philosophy for making these reverse interlinear alignments has been optimistic. That is, we assume that if the translation committee thinks they’ve translated the original language words of a particular verse, then we assume that they are. The goal, then, is to account for the translation, not to demonstrate elementary principles of Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic grammar. As a result, we give the benefit of the doubt in making links between the words of the original text and the translation. Our editors try — sometimes quite creatively — to account for all of the words in the translation. All of which tends, we hope, to minimize the presence of bullets in the text.

But they do happen, for various reasons.

Does this mean the translation is “bad” where you see bullets? Not necessarily.

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Bible Word Study Report Part IV: Grammatical Relationships (A)

It is time for the third installment in our series about the Bible Word Study Report (BWS). Parts 1-3 involved:

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. So here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

The information inside Grammatical Relationships allows you to see the different sorts of words or larger clausal units that are commonly (or uncommonly) used with the study word (in our case, ἀναπληρόω).

Word study isn’t only about what the word means, it is also about how the word is used. The Grammatical Relationships section is the only place, apart from your own syntactic searches and study, where this information is presented to you. And it is done automatically, both in the original language and also, through the bridge of Reverse Interlinears, in English.

So let’s begin our look at the Grammatical Relationships section of the report. There is a lot of information here, so we’ll take two articles to work through it.
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RevInt III: Reverse Interlinear Symbols

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinears as Books and RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines)

There are quite a lot of symbols that you need to master in order to read a reverse interlinear alignment. Each of the symbols is has a popup definition in the Libronix resource, so you won’t have to memorize what they mean, but understanding them in the first place will help you with reverse interlinear fluency.

Nearly all of these symbols are in the original language line; it was decided early on in the reverse interlinear design process that we would try to keep the translation text as uncluttered as possible. After all, it is the top line.

So, let’s take a look at those symbols, shall we?

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Bible Word Study Report Part III: KeyLinks

We’ve talked about how to start up the report with a Greek word from the ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear, and we’ve talked about the report header. Today we talk about the KeyLink section of the Bible Word Study report.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. So here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

So let’s look at KeyLinks.
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RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinear Resources)

You can profitably use a reverse interlinear by just reading it. I’ll look into some of the ways that Reverse Interlinears can be used in later posts, but first let’s just look at all the lines of information that are available in the two ESV reverse interlinears.

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Bible Word Study Report Part II: Report Header

A few days back, I blogged about the Bible Word Study report. There I talked about how to run the Bible Word Study report on the underlying Greek word from an English text. In that post, we started the process of running a Bible Word Study on the word translated “to fill up the measure of” in the ESV, ἀναπληρόω. For a refresher, here’s the text of 1Th 2.16 in the ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament:

The next posts in this series will walk through each of the major sections of the Bible Word Study report. Today we start with the Report header section. I know I said last time that we’d dig into KeyLinks, but there’s so much happening in just the report header that it merits its own discussion.

This is more than just an attractive header, it conveys a lot of information and leads to more information that you might not necessarily think to examine. Check out the image below to see the different parts of the header.

(Yes, we’ll get into the Properties and the other icons on the toolbar in later posts)

In the above image you can see five primary pieces that form the header. Some of this content is static, other content is dynamic. Portions of the header include:

  • Lexical Form
  • Pronunciation (optional, not installed on the machine I’m using for this post)
  • Gloss from Preferred KeyLink
  • Horizontal Ellipsis () indicating further glosses are available
  • Gloss Source
  • Lemma Density Chart, also known as a sparkline

I’ll discuss each of these in turn.

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RevInt I: Reverse Interlinear Resources

Some of my favorite new Logos Bible Software 3 (LBS3) resources are the new reverse interlinear Bibles (after Hebrew Syntax, of course) — and not just because I worked on them.

A reverse interlinear in LBS3 is many things: It’s a Bible version that shows the original language words behind the translation; it’s a Bible with stronger-than-Strong’s tagging; but most importantly, it’s a bridge from here to there, from a translation back to the original language text that lies beneath. Furthermore, it’s a bridge that anyone can cross.

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Bible Word Study Report Part I: Overview

I’m in a home Bible study group that is studying First Thessalonians. So I was reading it the other morning, working through the second half of chapter 2. I stumbled across the following. Note the italicised phrase:

14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last! (1Th 2.14-16, ESV)

The phrase “so as to always fill up the measure of their sins” didn’t make much sense to me. I can figure out what it might mean based on contextual clues in the ESV, but it still seems weird. So I thought I’d use Logos Bible Software 3 and the The ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament to get from the English to the Greek, and then the Bible Word Study report to understand more about the contexts in which the underlying Greek appears in the New Testament. This series of posts will hopefully help in illustrating some of these features.
First we’ll look into how to run the Bible Word Study report from the Greek if our starting point is an English text.

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Differences in Syntax Searches and Morphology Searches

Rubén Gómez, in his Bible Software Review Weblog, gives us an example of Graphical Searches in different software applications.

He uses H. Van Dyke Parunak’s article on “Computers and Biblical Studies” in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary as a basis. The article (Vol 1 p. 1118) says:

Particularly powerful patterns are possible in a language that allows one to ask (for example) for all verbs that occur within three words of the phrase “in Christ,” without intervening verbs. A high proportion of the targets matching such a pattern will be clauses in which the prepositional phrase in fact modifies the verb.
Freedman, D. N. (1996, c2008). The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1:1118). New Haven, CT: Yale.

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (ABD) was published in 1992. At that time, Parunak’s underlying target result — clauses in which the prepositional phrase translated “in Christ” modifies the verb of the clause (or, better stated, locating references to the kinds of action done “in Christ”) — could only be approximated using morphological searching criteria: “for all verbs that occur within three words of the phrase ‘in Christ,’ without intervening verbs”.

But what Parunak’s target result really demands is a search that is sensitive to syntax, not just morphology and word proximity. What about when more than three words occur between the verb and the preposition? What if the prepositional phrase isn’t contiguous?

Syntax searches in Logos Bible Software 3 have no such limitations.
(Note: this post has been updated, see the bottom Update section and, of course, comments for further thoughts on syntax and morphology)

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I don’t take my Bible to church any more …

The ink-on-pressed-tree-pulp-wrapped-in-calfskin one, that is. Nowadays, I take my laptop with Logos Bible Software 3 instead. Sure, I raise a few eyebrows, but most everyone at church knows I work for Logos, and so they know (I hope) that I’m not surfing the internet or playing a first-person shooter game during the sermon. I do have to remember to turn the mute button on, though. The Libronix startup sound is nice enough, but not during the opening prayer.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t turn my dead-tree version fast enough to find Scripture citations when they come fast and furious from the pulpit. If the sermon jumps around a lot, I’m lost pretty quickly. I find myself singing the Bible books song to myself to remember where the books are. Even then it’s tough, because I usually work on original language versions of the Old Testament, so I get messed up by the differences between the “English” and the Hebrew ordering of the Tanakh. (Ruth isn’t after Judges, it’s after Proverbs, which is closer to the end than it is to the middle. And the last book isn’t Malachi, it’s 1 and 2 Chronicles, which are after Ezra and Nehemiah … well, you get the picture.)

But with Logos on my lap, I can keep up pretty well. I can better than just keep up, in fact.
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