Proximity Searching

Today’s guest post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

If you enjoy small groups meeting in homes, you may like to find the places where Paul refers to a church in a house. To do so, execute a proximity search. Launch the Bible Speed Search or choose Search > Bible Search. Type this in the Search box: church within 7 words house. This search locates all the places where church and house occur within 7 words of each other. In the ESV, it turns up 5 results: Acts 8:3; Rom 16:5; 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15; and Philem 2. The proximity search is very helpful if you don’t know an exact phrase to look for. Give it a try.

For more tips like this, be sure to visit Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks blog or subscribe to the RSS feed.

20 Free Copies of Vintage Church, and More!

The March-April issue of http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/images/driscoll/vintagechurchbg.jpgBible Study Magazine has a cover story about Mark Driscoll, and we’re giving away 20 copies of his Vintage Church, which he coauthored with Western Seminary’s Gerry Breshears.

We’re also giving away five subscriptions to Bible Study Magazine and one copy of Bible Study Library.

There are four different ways to enter the giveaway, and you can increase your chance of winning by doing all of them.

Complete any or all of the following by March 31, 2009 to enter:

  1. Simply fill out the entry form and click “Submit.”
  2. Post a link in any of your social spheres (blog, forum, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.) to www.biblestudymagazine.com/driscoll letting people know about the giveaway. In April, we’ll search through all the backlinks to the site and select winners at random.
  3. Since Bible Study Magazine is published by Logos Bible Software, if you mention the giveaway and post a link to www.logos.com, we’ll search through those backlinks as well and select winners at random.
  4. Subscribe to Bible Study Magazine between now and March 31, 2009, and we’ll give you two more entries.

Head over to the giveaway page at BibleStudyMagazine.com for all of the details.

Counting the Ten Commandments

Counting the Ten Commandments -- at BibleStudyMagazine.comThe January-February issue of Bible Study Magazine had a very helpful article by Dr. Michael Heiser on the Ten Commandments (pages 21-23). In it he discusses the various ways different religious groups have divided the commandments. While everyone agrees that there were only 10, there is disagreement surrounding which verses go together and whether some portions constitute one commandment or two separate commandments. A helpful chart lays out these differences that exist among Judaism, most of Protestantism and the Orthodox church, and Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to Bible Study Magazine, it’s not too late to get a copy of the January-February issue—but the deadline is today (Thursday, February 5). So you need to subscribe very soon! All orders placed tomorrow will start with the March-April issue.

Want a sneak peek of what’s inside? The full text and the chart of Mike’s article, “Counting the Ten Commandments,” is now available at BibleStudyMagazine.com.

Interested in doing more reading and studying on the Ten Commandments? Here are a few books that you might find helpful:

New Pre-Pubs from Wesleyan Publishing House

Wesleyan Bible Commentary Series (18 Vols.)Last week we put 43 new titles on Pre-Pub from Wesleyan Publishing House. In addition to their 18-volume commentary series covering the entire NT and three OT books, there are resources on holiness, the church, worship, devotions, and a number of other personal and ministry topics.

Have a look at these five new collections:

For other titles by Wesleyan, Methodist, or Arminian authors, check out these titles:

We’d love to hear from our Wesleyan, Methodist, and Arminian readers. What other titles would you like to see be made available? Leave a comment or send an email to suggest@logos.com to let us know.

Wallace, Runge, Decker, and Conrad Talk Greek

If you enjoy Greek grammar and linguistics, you’ll definitely want to read the fascinating discussion that’s been taking place over on Steve Runge’s blog, NT Discourse.

Steve’s post Markedness, Part 2 is what got things going. Rod Decker, Daniel Wallace, and Steve had a profitable three-way exchange in the comments.

Steve followed up with a second post What does ‘syntactic force’ mean? The back and forth continued in the comments with Carl Conrad (of the B-Greek list), Daniel Wallace, and Steve.

While Steve’s perspective is on the surface quite a bit different from the way Greek is taught in most Bible colleges and seminaries, there is actually significant agreement between well-respected Greek grammarians like Wallace, Conrad, and Decker and Steve.

Wallace, whose Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics has been used by tens of thousands of Greek students, sums it up well when he says, “It shows that we [grammarians and linguists] can cooperate in these projects and learn from each other. I believe that both sides have much to offer.”

If you’re interested in Greek studies and where they are going, be sure to read the dialog.

To learn more about Steve’s important work, check out his three products from Logos Bible Software:

Don’t Pay for Something You Can Get for Free.

Last week I read some advice that a seminary student was giving to potential Logos users. It went something like this: when trying to decide whether to invest in Logos, calculate the print value of the books that you think you’d actually use and, if that amount exceeds the cost of the package from Logos, buy it. But in your calculations make sure to exclude any books that are available for free elsewhere (e.g., from Google Books or Amazon’s Online Reader).

I think the first part of the advice is generally* sound, but the second part has problems. While it’s often a good idea not to spend money for something you can get for free, this is not always the case. The advice above leaves out two important factors: quality and convenience.

Quality

First, the advice above is not really comparing apples with apples. The quality of Logos digital books exceeds the quality of books available at Amazon’s Online Reader, Google Books, and other places on the internet.

So it may very well be worth paying money for books that are available for free online, if you want the ability to perform incredibly powerful searches, copy and paste text into papers or sermons with automatic citations, get instant access to Bible passages with a hover or a click, jump to cited books and articles, and all the other things that make Logos digital books so valuable.

So the advice would have been better if it had said, “Exclude any books that are of equal quality and available for free elsewhere.” But that still doesn’t quite do.

Convenience

Second, even if we were comparing apples with apples, that is, books of equal quality—or let’s assume you are the rare person who doesn’t need any of the benefits I mentioned above—there is value in the convenience of an integrated digital library. When your digital library is spread across multiple platforms and websites (e.g., Google Books, PDFs and Word docs on your computer, Amazon, and other places), it takes time (1) to remember where you have access to x, y, and z books and then (2) to perform multiple searches on multiple websites and desktop applications. That extra time spent can be quantified in terms of value, so it may be worth the money for the added convenience and time-saving benefit.

Let’s say you use iTunes for your music library. Numerous legal sources allow you to listen to music for free online, but you have to be connected to the internet and go to the website to listen to it. You can’t download it and integrate it into your digital music library in iTunes—or listen to it on your iPod. Perhaps for many songs that would be fine, but the benefit of convenience may make it worth it to purchase some music that is available for free elsewhere.

So I think we could further improve the advice by saying, “Exclude any books that are of equal quality and available for free elsewhere in a medium that offers equal convenience.”

Everyone has different needs and different financial abilities, and there are definitely times when it is financially wise to be content to use good secondary tools like Google Books and Amazon’s Online Reader. But if quality and convenience are important to you, it may very well be worth paying for something you can get for free elsewhere.


* However, I think you could make a case for why it might be wise to buy Logos even if the digital cost exceeded the print cost, but that is perhaps for another day and another blog post.

New Product Suggestions at Logos.com

One of the benefits of shopping online is the ability to get help from other customers when you’re making purchasing decisions. Amazon.com illustrates this well with their product reviews and product recommendations based on the purchasing habits of other Amazon.com shoppers.

For a while we’ve given you some purchasing guidance with our Top 10 Lists and Product Guides. We’re excited to add another source of information that will help you decide what to buy next.

Now at the bottom of every product page, you’ll find a list of products that other customers who bought the item you’re looking at also bought. We show you the top three, but you can see the top 10 by simply clicking more ».

In case you forget (or don’t want) to scroll to the bottom of the page, we’ve added a link at the top of each page that says, “Browse similar products.” Clicking it will jump you right to the bottom where you can explore and find all sorts of additional titles to add to your library.

For now we’ve put this new functionality in place only for currently shipping products, but you may eventually see it on Pre-Pub product pages as well.

Well, go give it a try, and let us know what you think. As always, we love to hear your feedback.

External Linking without the Warning Message

One of my favorite features of the Libronix Digital Library System is the ability to link from emails, Word documents, PDFs, blog posts, PowerPoint presentations, etc. to just about anything in Libronix. I’ve blogged about this feature before, so I won’t go into the details here. If external linking is new to you, be sure to give the post a read.

The one downside to linking to Libronix from Microsoft Office applications like Word and PowerPoint is that you get that pesky security warning every time you click a Libronix link.

Since there is no security threat at all, there’s nothing to worry about. You can just click “Yes” every time it pops up. But if you use external linking often, you may want to permanently disable it. It’s not incredibly difficult to do, but it’s not for the novice either. If you feel comfortable editing your registry, check out the appropriate support article for the details:

After a few short steps, the warning messages will be gone for good. Ah, much better.

Bible.Logos.com Gets Sermons Integration

There’s a new feature at Bible.Logos.com that you may want to check out. In the right-hand sidebar, we’ve added integration with Sermons.Logos.com, so you can reference additional material that deals with the passage you’re reading.

As you navigate through the Bible, we dynamically pull relevant content—both sermons and illustrations—from our Sermons site and display the top three hits with a link to all of the other contributions that deal with the passage of Scripture you’re in.

The coolest part is that no matter where you are in the Bible, the list is automatically updated so there are always related sermons and illustrations just a click away.

This is just a little taste of our vision to have a family of sites tightly integrated together. There’s much more to come.

By the way, you can help us continue to build the content at Sermons.Logos.com by uploading your own sermons for free. If you use Logos for Windows, our Sermon File Addin makes the process even easier.

Use coupon code SERMONS to take 75% off the Sermon File Addin. This offer is good through the end of the month.

Updates to the LDGNT and HDNT

Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Bundle (6 Vols.)Last week we released our first round of updates to the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and the High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition.

Since we shipped these two products last summer, Steve has been working on writing the Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction to Discourse Features for Teaching and Exegesis. Like the LDGNT and HDNT, the Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament is another first of its kind and promises to be a great supplement to Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.

Writing this grammar has given Steve the perfect opportunity to make another careful pass over the annotations in the LDGNT and HDNT and make improvements to them.

Best of all, if you already own the LDGNT or the HDNT, you can get the updated files for free. If you use Libronix on Windows, simply run the resource auto-update script. Libronix Update will automatically copy the new files to your resources folder and overwrite the old ones.

If you’re using Logos for Mac, just download the two files (below) and copy them into your resources folder (i.e., Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/Libronix DLS/Resources on the startup volume), overwriting the existing ones.

Right-click on the above two files and select “Save Link As…” (Firefox) or “Download Linked File As…” (Safari).