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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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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.

Meet the Staff: Roberto Haskell

In this video, Rob explains some of the programs he worked on for the Spanish department of Logos, including the Spanish affiliate program.

Windows Media (1.7MB) | Quicktime (2.2MB)

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.

Meet the Staff: Seth Thomas

In this video clip I turn the camera on Seth, who recently joined the marketing team at Logos and happens to be my office mate. For the record, we get along great.

Windows Media (1.6MB) | Quicktime (2.1MB)

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