Searching As a Kind of Visual Filter

The visual filters in Logos are very helpful. If you haven’t used them much, take a couple of minutes to check them out by going to View > Visual Filters. Notice that you can select to see the visual filters available for All Resources or a particular resource chosen from the drop-down box.

My favorite visual filters are the Morphology Filter (cf. here and here) and the Active Bible Reference (cf. here). Other filters include Page Numbers and Bible Reading Plans. The Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible has special genre and source visual filters that are pretty cool.

The morphology filter allows you to markup certain words based on criteria that you define. For example, in the Greek NT you can mark up all indicative verbs or plural nouns. It works the same way in the Hebrew OT. You can create as many of these filters as you’d like, save them, and toggle them off and on as appropriate.

One of the benefits of the morphology filter is that it calls your attention to certain words as you work your way through the text. This is great for resources that contain morphological tagging, but what if you want certain English words to stand out as you read or skim through a portion of Scripture, a chapter in a book, or a journal article? While you can use the morphology filter to mark up up English words in the reverse interlinears, there isn’t a visual filter for marking up certain words or phrases in your average English books. You could do this manually with the visual markup tools, but this might not always be the most efficient way to accomplish what you want.

What I like to do when I want my eyes to catch certain words as I work through a text is to use searching as a sort of visual filter.

Let’s say I’m studying the doctrine of the Trinity and working through portions of Gunton’s The Promise of Trinitarian Theology. I want to note especially where Gunton mentions language of subordination. I’m not so much just looking for all the occurrences of the term as I am reading a chapter and wanting certain terms to stand out. So I run a search on subordin* and get an instant visual filter applied as I work through the text.

If I want several terms to stand out, I would simply run multiple searches or add all the search terms in the same search (e.g., subordin* OR trinit*). Logos conveniently highlights each search term with a different color.

Perhaps you’ll find this helpful in your own reading and research.

“When I’m stumped . . . I go to Henry Alford.”

A couple of months ago, Dan Phillips emailed me about Henry Alford’s The Greek Testament and asked if we would consider making it available in Libronix. I was familiar with Alford’s work, but had never used it. I did some digging and concluded that it would be a perfect fit for Libronix. So I sent it along to our electronic text development department for a cost estimate, and now it’s up on Pre-Pub for a fraction of the cost of the hard-to-find print volumes.

If you don’t know much about Alford’s Greek Testament, you can learn a good deal by the subtitle: "With a Critically Revised Text; a Digest of Various Readings; Marginal References to Verbal and Idiomatic Usage; Prolegomena; and a Critical and Exegetical Commentary." Alford’s detailed analysis, which spans nearly 3,500 pages in print, covers the entire New Testament.

In his original email, Dan mentioned to me that John Piper often uses Alford’s Greek Testament and speaks very highly of it. He couldn’t remember where he heard Piper talk about it though. So he asked his blog readers for help, and we were able to track down the quote. It comes from the Q&A time at the end of Piper’s biographical lecture on Owen. Piper is answering a question about commentaries that he finds helpful. Here’s what he says:

When I’m stumped with a . . . grammatical or syntactical or logical flow [question] in Paul, I go to Henry Alford. Henry Alford . . . comes closer more consistently than any other human commentator to asking my kinds of questions. (John Piper, “John Owen: The Chief Design of My Life—Mortification and Universal Holiness,” 1:30:11–1:30:31)

My ears perk up when I hear a scholar like Piper talk about the tools that he finds most helpful. I’m excited to see Alford’s work digitized and look forward to consulting it in my own study.

In just the few days that it has been up, Alford’s Greek Testament has already crossed the 50% mark. Go check it out and see if you think it would be a good addition to your Libronix library.

To learn more about Henry Alford, see Dan Phillips’ very informative post "Great News for Greekers: Alford Gets Logosized."

“Will I Become a Rungeianite?”

On the subject of Steve and discourse grammar, there was a helpful exchange in the comments of Steve’s last blog post, which I thought it would be worth calling your attention to.

A commenter asked,

My main quandary when considering the LDGNT has to do with objectivity vs. subjectivity in conducting discourse analysis. I am inexperienced and basically ignorant of the concept of discourse analysis. I read some of Bill Mounce on the topic. What I would like to know is given that a particular scholar, in this case Dr. Runge conducts the analysis of the entire GNT, would another scholar arrive at the same kinds of results or would there be numerous differences with results? More or less, I am asking about “bias”. Would I become a Rungeianite? And I say that in all well intended humor. :)

Perhaps you’ve had the same question. Some components of grammar are more objective than others. Many—though certainly not all—aspects of morphology tend to be fairly objective and agreed upon by scholars. Syntax, on the other hand, involves a bit more subjectivity. What about discourse? How objective or subjective is the work that Dr. Runge has done?

Here’s Steve’s helpful response:

You ask a great question. Most of what I have analyzed is fairly objective in nature, and could be replicated by others using a comparable interpretive framework (i.e. a functional, cognitive approach to discourse typology). What I am doing is better characterized as *discourse grammar* as opposed to *discourse analysis*, with the latter focused on trying to find the overall structure and message of a book. My analysis would give you the building blocks for doing such an analysis, but is more focused on documenting grammatical features and describing their discourse function. Each blog post has focused on one grammatical phenomenon and then described the task that it accomplishes in the discourse. I have striven to annotate only well documented, well attested discourse features. Most of what I have annotated relies upon the research of translators and other linguists. Other parts are original research which has either been peer-reviewed or presented at conferences for feedback.

There are indeed aspects that involve subjectivity, as is the case with some of the decisions regarding the block outline. Let’s say there is a main clause with a subordinate clause, followed by a coordinate clause (linked by και ‘and’). Which clause does the coordinate clause link to: the main clause or the subordinate clause? Grammar alone cannot answer this question. In most cases the decision is fairly objective, but there are times when a good case could be made either way. This project is intended to function as a commentary, something that you interact with in order to ensure you engage all of the relevant issues related to the passage. In the same way that you might disagree with a commentator, I expect that some will disagree with judgments I have made.

I have posted conference papers presented at SBL and ETS at www.logos.com/academic/bio/runge. I also chair a new section at ETS called ‘Discourse Grammar and Biblical Exegesis’, focused on making discourse-related research more accessible to biblical scholars. These papers document the research underlying the HDNT analysis, and include footnotes and bibliographies for readers.

For more information about what Steve has been working on here at Logos, see the following:

Discourse Grammar in Mark and Luke

For those who want to learn more about discourse grammar, Steve’s area of expertise, I’d strongly encourage you to read Steve’s two recent publications:

The first was published in April in the Review of Biblical Literature (RBL). The second appeared in the inaugural issue of the Journal of the Linguistics Institute of Ancient and Biblical Greek (JLIABG).

Steve also recently posted his CV. Check it out to see a complete list of his publications and conference papers, many of which are available as PDFs on his bio page.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Steve’s series of blog posts, give them a look to learn more about what Steve has been working on here at Logos.

B. B. Warfield Is Coming to Libronix

Yesterday afternoon a long-awaited B. B. Warfield Collection appeared on Pre-Pub. If you haven’t noticed yet, we’ve been systematically looking at some of the gaps in what we offer from some of the most important figures in church history and doing our best to fill them. The ever important Works of John Owen and Works of Jonathan Edwards were put on Pre-Pub in March, and both are now under development. (If you missed them, it’s not too late to pre-order them at the reduced Pre-Pub price.) With enough pre-orders the B. B. Warfield Collection will soon join them.

Our collection includes the standard 10-volume Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, along with 10 other titles. Here’s the complete list:

The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield

  • Vol. 1: Revelation and Inspiration
  • Vol. 2: Biblical Doctrines
  • Vol. 3: Christology
  • Vol. 4: Studies in Tertullian and Augustine
  • Vol. 5: Calvin and Calvinism
  • Vol. 6: The Westminster Assembly at Work
  • Vol. 7: Perfectionism, Part 1
  • Vol. 8: Perfectionism, Part 2
  • Vol. 9: Studies in Theology
  • Vol. 10: Critical Reviews

Other Titles

  • Are They Few that Be Saved?
  • The Canon of the New Testament: How and When Formed
  • Counterfeit Miracles
  • Faith and Life
  • An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament
  • The Lord of Glory
  • The Plan of Salvation
  • The Power of God unto Salvation
  • The Right of Systematic Theology
  • The Saviour of the World

That’s more than 7,100 pages of Warfield’s most significant writings. And, of course, Bible references and many other important citations of additional resources in Libronix will be linked, making the study of Warfield more advanced than ever before.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said of Warfield, "His mind was so clear and his literary style so chaste and lucid that it is a real joy to read his works and one derives pleasure and profit at the same time."

To learn more about Warfield and his writings and to place your order, visit the product page.

Using the Topic Search in the Theological Journals

In Monday’s blog post we looked at some ways you can use the author field to find articles written by a particular person in the Theological Journals. As helpful as that is, you likely don’t always go hunting for articles with a particular author in mind. More often you’re probably interested in finding articles that relate to a specific topic you’re studying. This is where the topic search is very helpful.

Every article’s title, subtitle, and main headings have been tagged as topics, so topic searches in the Theological Journals function much like a field search would (i.e., searching only certain portions of text within a larger unit). So a search for topic(justification) limits the search to just the articles’ titles, subtitles, and headings and turns up 65 articles. This kind of searching enables you to easily generate a list of very relevant search results rather than having to work through every article that simply mentions the word justification.

But what if you want to be even more specific in your topic searching? Topic searching in the Theological Journals does not support multiple word topics, so you couldn’t do topic("justification by faith"), even though there are articles with that exact phrase in their titles and headings. Do you have to wade through all 65 hits you got from the topic(justification) search? Fortunately, there is another way to be more precise in the your topic searching.

To find articles containing both "justification" and "faith," you would simply use the search topic(justification) topic(faith).

Instead of 65 articles, we get 22.

You can use as many topics in a single search as you want, enabling you to be as precise as you want. For example, topic(justification) topic(faith) topic(works) would really narrow your results down, turning up a single article ("’A Right Strawy Epistle’: Reformation Perspectives on James" by Timothy George) that contains these three words in one of its headings: "For James ‘Justification by Works’ Refers to the Demonstration of Faith in Deeds of Love." So you can easily be as broad or as narrow as you want as you search the Theological Journals.

Using the topic search like this can also be a quick way to look up a particular article when you don’t know the precise title or location. Let’s say you’re looking for a particular article by Douglas Moo, and you know it has "works" and "law" in the title, but you can’t remember the exact wording or where it’s located. You could do author:moo, which gives you 8 articles in under 10 seconds, or you could do topic(works) topic(law) and get 6 articles in under 5 seconds. Either way you have what you’re looking for very quickly.

Attention-Getters

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

I want to introduce one of the remaining concepts that is annotated in the new Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. You have probably heard at some point that sometimes the biblical writers will repeat key words because of their importance. This is not the only kind of repetition found in the New Testament. Bible translators studying both Scripture and other languages from around the world have found that sometimes the repetition of ideas or sentences has a different effect than highlighting the repeated word. Instead, the restatement of already known information is used to intentionally slow the pace of the story just before something surprising or important happens.

One of the ways the New Testament writers will slow things down before a significant speech is by saying ‘and answering he said to . . .’ even though no question was asked. Before significant event, they sometimes restate the action from the preceding sentence as backgrounded information in the sentence that follows (e.g. “They went to town. As they were going to town . . .). This repetition is often left untranslated, or is obscured in translation.

Repetition and other tools are used by writers to point ahead to significant conversations or events that follow, creating something like a speed bump with the unnecessary repetition. Here are some examples of what is called ‘tail-head’ repetition, where the end of one sentence (the ‘tail’) is repeated at the beginning of the sentence that follows (the ‘head’). We use this device in English to build suspense.

I heard a noise upstairs, so I decided to go up and check it out. As I was walking up the stairs, all of a sudden . . .

You can fill in the blank of what you think happens next, but it would likely be something surprising or unexpected, right? The same kind of repetition is found in the NT.

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit (Matt 1:20).

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” (Matt 2:13)

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (Luke 24:36)

In each of these verses, the bolded content was already mentioned in the previous verse. Note that just after the bolded content, big things happen. The italicized word ‘behold’ is an attention-getter, another forward-pointing device.

Another kind of repetition that frequently is used in the NT involves using extra speaking verbs to introduce speeches. This device is found in contexts where one speaker takes the conversation in a brand new direction, or where the speaker and hearer are both trying to take it different directions. In conversational English, we might report such a speech by saying, “So she says to him . . . then he says to her . . . .” Notice that even though the conversation that is being reported is a past event, it is acceptable to report it using present tense verbs (‘says’ instead of ‘said’). In English, the ‘historical’ present and the emphasis on the bolded words would attach significance to each turn in the conversation. The same kind of effect is achieved in the NT using repetition. Take a look at how Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus is reported. The bolding identifies the repeated elements. The repeated words omitted in the ESV translation are in brackets.

Jesus answered [and said] him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

Nicodemus [answered and] said to him, “How can these things be?” (John 3:9)

Jesus answered [and said to] him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? (John 3:10)

In v. 2, Nicodemus describes Jesus as a teacher sent from God. Jesus ‘answers’ even though Nicodemus has not asked a question. Jesus’ declaration that one must be born again takes the conversation in a whole new direction. Both Nicodemus’ reply and Jesus redirection are encoded using repetition. In v. 9, the Greek verb ‘answered’ is left untranslated, represented by a bullet in the ESV text.

As I have stated in earlier posts, the same basic content could have been just as easily communicated without the repetition (like what you often find in English translations), but would not have carried nearly the same zing as using the repetition. The use of these discourse devices represents the writer’s choice to attract extra attention to something, ostensibly because of its importance to the context.

If you are interested in devices like these, check out the description on the Pre-Pub pages of the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Links to previous blog posts describing other discourse devices can be found there.

Camp Logos Is Coming to Bellingham

In just a couple of weeks, Morris Proctor, authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software, will be coming to Bellingham, Washington for the 2008 National Camp Logos. It is scheduled for June 12-13 and will be held at Bellingham Covenant Church. (Get directions.)

It looks like it is going to be an extra special event. Morris lists seven reasons you might want to consider coming, even if you’re not from around Bellingham.

  1. More training. We expand the training hours from 9 to 4:30 each day so we can give you as much instruction as the body and brain can endure.
  2. Q and A times with the Logos leadership. We’ll have key Logos leaders available each day to answer your questions and tell you about exciting new happenings at Logos.
  3. More food. Your registration includes a huge continental breakfast and a tasty lunch for each day.
  4. Interaction with other Logos users. You have ample opportunity to meet other Logos users like yourself and learn how they’re using the software.
  5. A tour of the Logos headquarters. A highlight each year is when we visit the offices of Logos Bible Software to see where these electronic resources are developed.
  6. Vacation time in the northwest. Plan an extra couple of days to enjoy the beautiful country of Washington state.
  7. Also, this year we will have a special training session for the new HDNT. That’s right, you’ll be one of the first to learn to use this exciting new resource that uncovers the subtle meanings of the Greek language that are many times lost in the English translation.

The cost is $230, and the price covers

  • two days of training
  • a Camp Logos Syllabus
  • breakfast and lunch both days
  • a tour of Logos headquarters
  • a special HDNT Training Session

If you’re wondering if Camp Logos is a worthy investment, read what past attendees have had to say. The subject of Camp Logos comes up in the newsgroups frequently, and the remarks from attendees are incredibly positive. Here are a few snippets:

I just completed two days of Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos . . . . I had hesitated before because of the . . . cost of the two days, but I discovered that Morris is a superb teacher. He gives clear, helpful insight into and practice with the program. I highly recommend it. It think the 74 others who attended would agree.

I strongly recommend the Camp Logos seminars to anyone who regularly uses Libronix. LDLS has so many features and so much power that I find that often many of us only ‘scratch the surface’ of what it can do for us.

If you gain even 1/10th of what Morris presents in the seminar you have received good value from your cost of attendance. Anything beyond that is bonus!

Morris’ camps are great. And compared to what we have invested in Logos, [the cost is] nothing. I never understood people who pay big bucks to get the software and then won’t pay a few more bucks to learn to use what they got.

I’ve been to several MP camps and they have all been great.

Find out more.

It’s not too late to register if you’d like to make your plans to attend.

Also, you might also want to check out the recap from the 2006 National Camp Logos.

Field Searching: Searching by Author in the Theological Journals

So far in our field searching series we’ve covered searching OT quotes in the Greek NT, the words of Christ, and footnotes and surface text. Today I’d like to look at the author field in the Theological Journal Library.

The Theological Journal Library is a massive collection of 500 journals, each containing numerous articles. I was curious exactly how many articles, so I did some calculations. I came up with 8,421 articles containing an author field, which should be most of the articles. But this number doesn’t include book reviews and a few other things. Imagine trying to sort through 8,421 articles in 500 print journals to find a specific article by a specific author! Thanks to Libronix, that’s an easy task. Thanks to the author field, it’s even easier.

When you know who the author of the article is and perhaps not much else, you can easily locate all of the articles by that author and find the exact one you’re looking for in no time. Simple use author: followed by the name of the author.

Let’s say you’re looking for all of the articles written by Dan Wallace, author of the popular Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. It’s often sufficient to use just the author’s last name. So you could search for author:Wallace to find all the articles with the word Wallace in the author field. That search yields 23 hits. In this case, though, last name isn’t enough to give you only articles written by Daniel B. Wallace. You’ll also get some hits for articles written by Paul W. Wallace, Peter J. Wallace, and Wallace Benn.

You could try author:"Daniel B. Wallace", but that wouldn’t return any hits for "Daniel Wallace" without the middle initial or "Dan Wallace." In this case, it’s not an issue, since his name appears the same way in every article, but that’s not the case with many authors. Walt Russell is a perfect example of this. Sometimes his name appears "Walt Russell," sometimes "Walter B. Russell," sometimes "Walter B. Russell III," and still other times "Walter Bo Russell, III."

To get the best results, you will usually not want to do a quote search. I’d recommend using the individual’s last name and the shortest form of his first name followed by an asterisk. So I’d search for all Walter Russell articles with author:russell author:walt* in the same search. A search for all Daniel Wallace articles (author:wallace author:dan*) would look like this:

Not only is this a handy way to find a specific article you’re looking for when you don’t have a precise title, but it’s also a great way to explore the writings and theology of a particular individual or build a bibliography for a biographical paper you’re writing.

For more on field searching, see these previous posts:

Community Pricing Is Back in Action

Things have been pretty quiet at the Community Pricing page for the last 10 months. While Pre-Pubs have been coming out at a very rapid rate, Community Pricing titles have been few and far between. Only two new titles were put up between August and May. In September we added James Bannerman’s two volume The Church of Christ. Then in February Gustav Oehler’s Theology of the Old Testament appeared.

But things are about to start picking back up. We have plans to add a new Community Pricing title at the beginning of every week for at least the next couple of months, and if the response is good, we’ll try to continue at that pace. Last week we added Herman Bavinck’s The Philosophy of Revelation, this week J. Armitage Robinson’s classic commentary St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians.

Here are the other titles you’ll find there:

Keep your eye on the Community Pricing page for the latest releases. If you’re into the whole RSS thing, you may want to subscribe to our Community Pricing feed.

What Are the Benefits?

Community Pricing is a wonderful way for you to add solid, hard-to-obtain public domain titles to your library at incredibly low prices. Many of the books that appear on Community Pricing are out of print, and often finding used copies at reasonable prices is close to impossible. The goal of Community Pricing is to make these classics available again in a much more useful format and offer you substantial savings off the print prices.

The best part about Community Pricing is that you get to set the price. If the majority of people think that a given title should go for $5 and enough people bid on it at that price, that’s what the price will be! There have been some phenomenal deals in the past—like the 15 volume R. A. Torrey Collection, which went for the outrageously low $15—and there are many more deals waiting to be had.

How Does It Work?

It’s pretty simple. We estimate the cost of production for an individual book or collection (e.g., $2500), and a graph is generated with a range of prices (e.g., $2-$20). You place a bid (i.e., pre-order) at the highest price you are willing to pay by clicking on the dollar amount. (You need to be logged in with your credit card information saved in My Account.) Once there are enough pre-orders to cover the production costs at a certain price, the title will remain on Community Pricing for up to another week (until noon PST the next Friday), giving you the opportunity to drive the price down even further, which is often what happens.

Ellicott’s The Pastoral Epistles of St. Paul will probably be a great example of this. On Wednesday it crossed the 100% line at $7. If enough people jump on board before noon today, it could go even lower and cross at $6. If you haven’t already, go place your bid and see if you can make it hit the $6 mark.

After a title closes on Community Pricing, it will then move over to the Pre-Pub page at a higher price, and production will begin. Once production is complete and it is ready to ship, you will be charged the very low Community Pricing price and be notified that your title is ready to be downloaded. (Don’t worry. You’ll also be notified about a week or two prior to this so you can prepare for the charge.)

How Can You Help?

The more people who use Community Pricing, the lower the prices will go. If a collection costs us $10,000 to produce, those costs can be covered with 100 $100 bids, 1000 $10 bids, or 10,000 $1 bids. We get our costs covered one way or the other, but obviously the last option is in your best interest. It’s possible that eventually books could go for as low as $1 or $2. There are three simple things you can do to help make that happen:

  1. Place pre-orders for all the titles you want.
  2. Spread the word to others and encourage them to use the Community Pricing program.
  3. Send your public domain suggestions to suggestlogos.com, and we’ll do our best to add them.

Head on over and check out the deals.

To read more about Community Pricing, check out these previous blog posts:

Update: As of 8:23 AM PST it has crossed the 100% line at the $6 mark!