Users on the always-active Logos newsgroups often amaze me with their ingenuity. They come up with some very inventive uses of Logos Bible Software, not to mention creating scripts and custom toolbars to tweak the application in various ways.
I was recently impressed by a very simple but useful idea that had never occurred to me: a newsgroup user* created a collection of books that he owns in print but doesn’t yet own electronically. When he wants to locate a phrase or word in one of those print books, he simply searches the collection of locked books to get the page number or section title. After that, it’s a matter of walking to the shelf, pulling down the print book, and opening it to the right place.
That’s right…Libronix DLS can provide a full-text, searchable index to some of your print books, too!
This works because 1) we let you search inside locked books and 2) we have some 5,000+ books to search. I’m sure you can think of how you might find it useful to search print books, but let’s look at an example.
Just the other day, you were reading along in one of your print books (if you’re like me, you can’t recall now which one) and happened across a great illustration of the satisfaction found in Christ. You remember that it was a quotation from Malcolm Muggeridge but that’s about it.
Libronix DLS makes it a 10-second task to run a search for “muggeridge” in the “My Print Books” collection you created, which points you to the R. Kent Hughes Preaching the Word commentary on Ephesians. Specifically, Hughes’ commentary on Ephesians 1:13.
A moment later, you have the print book in hand and are reading this quotation from Muggeridge:
I may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being, a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets — that’s fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes of the Inland Revenue — that’s success. Furnished with money and a little fame even the elderly, if they care to, may partake of trendy diversions — that’s pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said or wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time — that’s fulfillment. Yet I say to you, and I beg you to believe me, multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothing — less than nothing — a positive impediment — measured against one draught of that living water Christ offers to the spiritually thirsty — irrespective of who or what they are. What, I ask myself, does life hold, what is there in the works of time, in the past, now and to come, which could possibly be put in the balance against the refreshment of drinking that water?
Searching the full text of your print books is a great way to re-locate that half-forgotton passage or track down a place name or topic that might not appear in the printed book’s index. It’s not a substitute for owning the electronic edition, but it’s a nice added perk of the digital library system.
As a caveat, I should point out that not all locked books return equally useful search results. Depending on the structure of the book, the search results window may return chapter titles or section titles. This is especially true of older books that were not coded with page numbers.
If you’re convinced of the utility of this, you might be asking “How do I begin?”
It’s pretty simple, really. Just create a new collection (Tools | Define Collection) and when you do, uncheck the “Unlocked Resources Only” box. The titles accompanied by a yellow “padlock” icon are locked. Then it’s just a matter of adding the titles to your collection that you own in print. Of course, you can include both locked and unlocked titles.
To search your new collection, just click the Search button in the toolbar and select your collection.
* I would give credit to the newsgroup user who suggested this, but I can’t seem to recall who it was (par for the course) and couldn’t immediately locate the thread on the newsgroup.
When working through a passage, it can be important to work through pronoun usage. Sometimes pronouns have direct referents, sometimes the referents are implied.
A familiar example is found in the first three verses of First John:
1 That whicha was from the beginning, whichb we have heard, whichc we have seen with our eyes, whichd we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal lifef, whichf was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that whiche we have seen and heard we proclaimabcde also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1Jn 1.1-3, ESV)
In the above, the English words translated from relative pronouns are in bold, the pronoun referent is in bold italic text. Note use of superscript letters to align pronoun with specific referent as there are two referents in the above example.
How did I know that? Well, let’s just say that the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament and the Syntax Search dialog are my friends.
I was talking with Daniel Foster yesterday afternoon. We were talking about syntax search examples and how they’re different than other sorts of morphological searches.
One type of search that we used to rely on the Graphical Query Editor to do (and still do; we didn’t take this capability away) was to do what is generally known as “agreement searching”.
An example would be: Find where two words exist N words apart (where, say, N = 5) and the two words agree on some sort of morphological criteria (like, say, case, number or gender).
This sort of approach is commonly used to find where a noun or participle has an article, or where an adjective is associated with a noun. Things like that. In essence, we approximate an established syntactic relationship using proximity (within N words) and morphological criteria (sharing same case, number and gender).
What we really want, though, is where an article modifies a participle or noun. That is, where the article and participle have an established relationship. The number of words that separate them is incidental, they could be next to each other or they could be 15 words apart. We’re interested in the specific relationship.
The good news is: This search can be done in the New Testament with an underlying syntactic database. Since we’ll be searching the entire New Testament, we’ll use the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, which has been discussed previously on this blog.
The better news is: We can do even more — like, say, find where participles have an article that modifies, and where the “articular participle” is (for example) in the Complement (object) of a clause. Like what the below syntax search specifies.
It’s cool to see features and datasets combine in ways that weren’t originally anticipated.
Just the other day, Eli and I were talking with Dale Pritchett (VP Marketing and Bob’s father!) and Dale wondered about how to highlight an English text based on Greek or Hebrew morphology. Sort of like this:
Eli and I looked at each other quizzically. Then at about the same time we had the answer: Reverse Interlinear! And the cool part is that the feature already works in Logos Bible Software 3! It is a consequence of having data and functionality already in place, we just hadn’t quite stopped to realize the extent of the functionality. But it is a consequence of:
- Having Reverse Interlinears available that align the original language texts (Greek and Hebrew) with a modern language translation at the word level.
- Having morphological information in the original language texts underlying the English translation of the Reverse Interlinear.
- Having a Visual Filter (a method of overlaying highlighting based on specified criteria) for morphologies.
Because of the architecture of Logos Bible Software … well, it just works. Nothing extra needed.
Here’s a short video (Flash, approx. 0.7 MB, no sound) that walks through how to specify the visual filter for the reverse interlinear. It walks through setting up a visual filter that highlights where finite verbs (i.e., verbs in the indicative, imperative, subjunctive or optative moods) occur in the Aorist tense. These will be visually highlighted with the “Box” style, so you can simply see them as you scroll through the text. And you’ll see how the ESV handles translating them. After the visual filter is set, I then show how interlinear lines are customizable. In the end, you see only the English text of the ESV, but the English words that represent the aorist verbs are highlighted … and no Greek is in sight.
Pretty cool. Give it a try if you’re running the Release Candidate!
I’m excited about a lot of the features in the upcoming Logos Bible Software 3. One of them that hasn’t received much air time is the Remote Library Search.
That’s right. Remote Library Search.
Let’s face it, there are a decent amount of folks out there that are book geeks, just like me. We’re the type of people who:
- Actually read footnote references.
- Hate books that use endnotes instead of footnotes because you have to constantly refer to the back of the book.
- Actually look up citations in footnotes and endnotes.
- Feel like you need to obtain cited books if they sound interesting or appropriate based on the footnote.
Remote Library Search is for you.
Guillermo Powell heads up the Spanish department at Logos, which is responsible for creating and promoting our Spanish language products to North America and the world. Guillermo was also the subject of a recent post about his trip to Perú.
Did you know that we offer a growing number of Spanish language collections, a Spanish toll-free order line — (800) 570-5400, a Spanish website complete with product demos in Spanish, Spanish support articles and training articles? Well, now you know.