What About Homer’s Iliad?

[[Note: Homer's Iliad has now entered into "under development" status. We hope to make it available as soon as we can! — RB, Aug 15, 2007]]
The guys over in marketing asked me about the editions of Homer’s Iliad that we have on pre-pub. Why would Logos users find that sort of stuff useful?
So I thought I’d take a quick stab. First, it’s Homer. Classic epic poetry and all that. If you’re not familiar with the basic storyline of the Iliad (and the Odyssey, for that matter) you really should be just because it will make you a more well-rounded individual.
As regards Biblical studies, I think there are two main areas where something like Homer’s Iliad can be used.
The first has to do with parallel concepts. One of these parallel concepts can be illustrated using 1Th 4.9-10a:*

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. (1Th 4.9-10a, ESV)

Now, here’s Iliad 23.304-308

304 drew his car. And his father drew nigh and gave counsel305 to him for his profit – a wise man to one that himself had knowledge.Antilochus,306 for all thou art young, yet have Zeus and307 Poseidon loved thee and taught thee all manner of horsemanship;308 wherefore to teach thee is no great need, for thou knowest309 well how to wheel about the turning-post;Homer, & Murray, A. T. (2007). The Iliad. At head of title: Homer. The Loeb classical library (Homer, Iliad 23.309). Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The parallel concept is that of deity teaching man. The Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament further explains: “Achilles had offered a prize for the best driver in a chariot race. Antilochus is encouraged by his father with words that may have been current in the Hellenistic world, echoed by Paul, and recognized by his readers — though of course communicating a different content.”*
Second, and to my mind the more useful of the two areas, is examining usage of words and concepts also found in the LXX or the New Testament. The Iliad is a large corpus, routinely dated in the seventh or eighth century BC (read: a looooonnnngggg time ago). The Greek version is fully morphologically tagged. This means that parts of speech and dictionary forms are encoded behind the actual word in the text. The Greek version also has English glosses for each word (note that the interlinear lines can be turned on or off using View | Interlinear, so you can remove the gloss line, and the morph line, and the lemma line if you see them as “crutches”). There are parallel aligned translations in English, French, Spanish and German. Lots of area to look for classical Greek usage of words and concepts, and lots of help for the person somewhat familiar with Greek but unfamiliar with Homer.

The Homeric literature (the Iliad included) gives us a glimpse into how words were used then, in the context of epic poetry. This can help us better understand the Greek of the New Testament. One quick example is that of the word ἁμαρτάνω, the verb form of “sin”. The NT uses this sense of the word, but the word did not always directly communicate the concept “to sin”. In classical literature (e.g. Homer, Iliad 5.287) ἁμαρτάνω is used in the general sense of ‘miss the mark’, particularly of thrown spears (cf. LSJ p. 77, which also cites Iliad 10.372). In specific contexts within classical literature, including Homer, this could be seen as failing or of doing wrong. BDAG notes this generally with no citations (BDAG p. 49); LSJ helps with some citations (Iliad 5.287, 10.372); a search of the Logos edition of the Iliad, however, gives the total list so the word usage can be further evaluated.
In the Logos edition of the Iliad, there are 16 instances of the lemma ἁμαρτάνω. These were located with a search for “lemma:αμαρτανω“. The “lemma:” specifies the field to search, the word after the colon is the search target. (Sort of like how some of Google’s advanced search operators work). Here are the results:

From here, you can run a lemma report. See the link to Search Analysis By Lemma? Click on that. Here’s what you’ll get:

With this information to hand, you can work through the morphologically-sorted list of instances and see what you think. The Greek text has glosses, but you can also consult the English (or French or Spanish or German, if you please) as you work through the issues to see how your term was translated.
Finally, the question everyone always asks. “Why only the Iliad? Why not the Odyssey too?” We’d love to do the Odyssey and have plans to pursue it — if the Iliad prepub succeeds, then keep your eyes open for a version of the Odyssey at some time in the future!


* Boring, M. Eugene, Klaus Berger and Carsten Colpe. Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament, (Abingdon: Nashville), 1995. pp. 493-494.

Winner Announced in the Logos-SBL Technology Paper Awards

The winner of the Logos-SBL syntax paper awardwas announced in Vienna at the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting this week. Here’sthe announcement as posted at the SBL Forum:

In September 2006, Logos Bible Software and the Society of Biblical Literature announced the establishment of a Technology Paper Awards program. The goal of the initiative is to foster creative biblical scholarship in the use of technology and to expand our understanding of the grammar and syntax of the biblical Hebrew and Greek texts.

A total of twelve awards were made possible, with the first-place awards consisting of $1,000 cash, a $1,000 Logos software credit, and a $200 SBL book credit.

Fifteen papers were received. After review of the papers by a three-member panel of SBL scholars, it was determined that a first-place student award would be given. In addition, all who submitted papers will be given a $500 Logos software credit and a $100 SBL book credit.

The criteria used to evaluate the papers were: (1) utilization of the relevant databases; (2) originality in framing a significant question for investigation; (3) creativity in using technology to address the question posed; (4) clarity of expression in presenting the study’s process and results; and (5) significance of the process and results for biblical scholarship.

The winning paper was written by Andrew David Naselli, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theological Studies with a concentration in New Testament Exegesis and Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. The paper was entitled “A Test Case for Aktionsart VS Verbal Aspect Theory in New Testament Greek: Aorist and Imperfect Indicative Verbs Joined by Kai and Sharing the Same Subject.” Congratulations to Andrew for his fine work. Logos and the SBL wish him success in his ongoing studies. Thanks to all who took the time to submit their work.

The awards will be continued in 2008 so look for the announcement!

Logos Is Listening – Tell Us What You Want

What is the one book or series that you want Logos to release? What is the one feature that doesn’t yet exist but would take your research to the next level?

We want you to tell us the answer to those questions by sending an email to Suggest@logos.com. Don’t just limit yourself to one book or feature. If your mind is overflowing with golden nuggets of inspiration, we want to hear about it. We don’t just want you to feel involved in the creative process – you actually are instrumental in what we decide to release or produce.

The way we see it, technology should not only make Bible study better; it should make dialog with our customers better as well. Suggest@logos.com is one way that this is being done.

Through Suggest@logos.com we keep track of everything you ask for and if it is possible and feasible, we look for a way to make it happen. We place all requests into one of three categories: process, functionality, and content.

  • Process refers to how we do things like customer service, technical support, how information is displayed at our website and so on.
  • Functionality has to do directly with how Libronix operates and what features and add-ins are included.
  • Content of course has to do with what resources (Bibles, books, journals, image archives) we offer.

Logos processes, functionality and contenttoday are the result of almost 16 years of suggestions from Logos users and those suggestions continue to shape how we do things. Here’s a closer look at each area.

What happens when you write to Suggest@logos.com?

Your message goes right to the inbox of the publisher relations assistant, who then forwards it to the appropriate department at Logos. Lately the assistant has received between 5 and 10 suggestions per day and, yes, she reads every one. Typo notifications go straight to Electronic Text Development; website recommendations are sent to marketing; and software functionality suggestions end up in development. If you are requesting the addition of a specific book into the Logos digital library, the publisher relations assistant adds that title to an ever-growing list. When we have an opportunity to speak with the publisher of that title we request your book along with all of the others that have been requested.

By what criteria is a suggestion judged?

When our customers make suggestions regarding Logos processes – we pay very close attention. These requests usually warrant the quickest responses in terms of the time it takes to implement a recommendation. Do you think our ‘on-hold music’ is too loud? Was there insufficient information on a product page at the Logos website? Don’t just grin and bear it, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

As far as Libronix functionality, we don’t have an unlimited budget to do anything we want so we place a relative value on each suggestion. We do this in terms of its ability to do the most good to the largest number of users and balance that with the cost. A suggestion might be very expensive, but if a high percentage of our users would be happy about it, that weighs in very heavy. If a suggestion is moderately expensive but would only cause a few to smile, that weighs in a bit less.

As mentioned above, the likelihood of whether or not we release suggested content depends mostly on the publisher’s stance toward electronic books. Many publishers have seen the proverbial light and are completely behind our efforts to digitize their content. On the other hand, some think that venturing in this direction would negatively affect sales of print books and as such have decided to avoid electronic publishing altogether (until they absolutely have to release a title in electronic format). Other publishers arewillingto do no more than just dip their toe in and license a few books at a time. But each year more and more publishers are catching on that the Libronix user base exists in its own parallel universe to the print world and that the electronic editions of their books will be used in a way that print cannot be.

So what does all that mean? It means that even if every Libronix user suggested a particular title we’ve been unable to license, there is very little Logos can do about it besides keep working to convince the publisher that it would be in their best interest to digitize their content.

That being said, you need to request your favorite books (a quick e-mail to suggest@logos.com is the most direct route) because if we don’t know about it, it may not show up on our book radar.

One great example of how a suggestion came to fruition is the Charles Simeon Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Volumes). The story of how that product was created can be found at the Logos blog. To sum up the story, it all started with a suggestion made via email from blogger Adrian Warnock. This product ended up being extremely popular, but we might never have released itwere it not forAdrian’s recommendation.

Help us improve!

We want to know what you love about Logos and what you want changed. It seems odd, but we would actually prefer to hear the latter. Your suggestion might raise an issue that we’ve never considered before.

So when you’re using Logos Bible Software always keep an open mind for how the software, the Logos website or our book selection could be tweaked. You could also tell us which features should never change because they are exactly what you need. When the inspiration hits, make sure you let us know by sending an email to suggest@logos.com.

Bible and Technology Conference

Announcing BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!

I enjoy hanging out with Bible geeks and talking technology. I enjoy it so much that every morning I tag along with a handful of Logos developers for a brisk walkabout, and learn all aboutthings like”expression trees” and “lambda methods” (or is it lambda trees and expression methods?).

Regardless of whether you know your trees from your methods, you are invited to BibleTech 2008!

It is a two-day conference where publishers, programmers, webmasters, educators, bloggers, and others who work (or dabble) at the intersection of Bible and technology will come together in one place for great networking, presentations, and discussion!

I don’t know of any other conference like this, and I hope2008 will be the first of many. Be sure to visit http://www.BibleTechConference.comand check out the details and tentative list of speakers!

Also visit the Call for Participation and propose a talk on a project you’re working on, new technology you’re excited about, where you see the industry headed, or any Bible+Technology topic you’d like to address.

What BibleTech is Not

BibleTech is not a conference about Logos Bible Software…it’s about Bible software, and online Bibles, and open source Bible databases, Bible mark-up schemes, software for Bible translation, Bible microformats, Unicode fonts for Bible display, semantic Bibles, visualization of Bible data, and I think you get the picture. Technology related to the Bible.

So mark your calendar…and we’ll look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Note to bloggers: If youblog about the BibleTech conference, consider using the “bibletech08″ tag so that posts about the conference are easy to find in Technorati and others. Thanks!

Splleing errors or just tpyos?

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke(when does he get promoted to a regular?) writes about typo reporting in Logos Bible Software.

Dr. Daniel Wallace’s lecture about preserving the Word of God was a good reminderabout the importance of textual accuracy. Just like the ancient manuscripts that are studied in Middle Eastern monasteries, Logos book files have an occasional misspelled word. That’s why Libronix has a nice little feature for reporting typographical errors and grammatical glitches. It only takes a moment but helps us out immensely!

You can report a typo by following these three simple steps.

Step One

Highlight the error.

Step Two

On the top task bar select Help | Report Typo.

Step Three

Fill out the form with the typo correction and your email address. Then click “Submit”.

Please note that if you are reporting an error with Logos’ syntax database you might need to send an email to syntax@logos.com rather than using the internal ‘Report Typo’ dialog.

When you let us know that there is a misspelled word in one of our book files, that word is put on a list so the next time we update that book file we can fix the problem. This means that the typos aren’t always fixed the next day after you tell us, but your message will definitely be read and acted upon.

As always, we love getting feedback. Even in the case where we need to change something about a book. That’s because the textual accuracy of every book we create is of the utmost importance – whether it’s the Bible itself or the Scripture Alphabet of Animals.

Thanks for helping!

Dr. Daniel B. Wallace Speaks on Greek Manuscripts

If you’ve studied biblical Greek, you’ve heard the name Daniel B. Wallace. His intermediate grammar, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, is used in more than two-thirds of the classrooms where Greek is taught nationwide. Dr. Wallace, a professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, is also senior New Testament editor of The NET Bible (an excellent resource I wrote about last fall) and coeditor of the NET-Nestle Greek-English diglot.
We’re excited to have Dr. Wallace visiting the Logos office today, in advance of his lecture this evening on the work of The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. The Center, which Dr. Wallace founded, works to preserve Scripture by taking high-resolution, digital photographs of all known Greek New Testament manuscripts. These images will be around long after the physical manuscripts (no matter how well preserved) finally crumble to dust.
The lecture will be a PowerPoint presentation with photographs of recently discovered manuscripts as well as some that were impossible to capture with microfilm (the older technology that was universally used until a few years ago). Dr. Wallace will be fresh from his third trip to the island of Patmos, and hopes to show some images of some of the more important manuscripts housed at the monastery on the island.
Additional details about the lecture is at the Logos Lecture Series page.
Welcome to Logos, Dr. Wallace!

Logos for the Mac Update

(This progress update from Bob Pritchett was sent last night to the Logos for the Mac email list and posted here.)

Work continues on Logos Bible Software for the Mac. As oflate June’sintermediate release:

Search Status:

  • Basic Search is completed
  • Topic Search is in progress
  • Bible Search is completed, this still requires bug fixing

Book Display Status:

  • Tool bar continued work is in progress
  • Resource Window Navigation Controls is completed
  • Reference/Index items in Resource Display Toolbar is completed
  • Window Linking is completed
  • Tooltip Support is in progress

Reports Status:

  • Company Info is complete
  • About This Resource is complete
  • Bibliography Report is complete
  • Passage Guide is under development
  • Passage In All Versions is complete except for some Toolbar areas
  • Parallel Bible Versions is complete except for some Toolbar areas
  • Compare Parallel Bible Versions is complete except for some Toolbar areas
  • Auto-Lookup Report is under development
  • Exegetical Guide is under development

Froot Loops & Free Bibles

We try to keep Logos Bible Software as inexpensive as possible considering all the value in the bundles, but that’s not enough for some people. For them the only right price is free.Some years back, a customer called one of our international distributors to report an epiphany in which God told him this distributor would send a free copy of the software. To which the quick-thinking distributor responded, “Fine, I’ll send it as soon as God tells me your address”.

But we’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened this past weekend. Here’s how the AP reports it:

A Bible software business was vandalized with pornography and devil-worship symbols, and a man has been arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said.

Satanic and Nazi symbols, pornography and other graffiti marred the Logos Research Systems Inc. main building and shipping department, located in separate downtown buildings last weekend, executive assistant Brenna Sebens said.

Regular light bulbs were replaced with red ones in a bathroom and there were disturbing paintings, satanic symbols and crude writing on the walls, she said.

…Police said officers were dispatched following a report of a man throwing Froot Loops cereal and pieces of paper out of an apartment window in the shipping department building Saturday morning.

According to the police report (and some of the graffiti), the man arrested believed very strongly that information should be free. The Bellingham Herald reported that he “told officers he felt the company was charging him money for Bibles when he could get them for free…”

Perhaps someone should have told him Logos doesn’t run on Linux anyway. (Just a joke!)

Some photos:

I’d like to say we were completelyshocked by this vandalism, but it’s not the first time we’ve experienced graffiti directed at the company or disturbed people walking into the office. But in the big picture, these are small frustrations. I think the email Bob Pritchett sent to the office after discovering the vandalism models what, ultimately, must be our reaction to such events:

I was pretty angry at first, but I think that’s the wrong reaction.

When a drunk driver drove through our church window, my pastor confessed to being pretty upset. But he soon realized that the (chronic) drunk driver, responsible as he remains for his actions, was in worse shape than our broken entryway. After putting up plywood he spray-painted it with large letters: “We forgive you.”

I want to exercise as much wisdom and grace.

Pray for us, that we would have the mind of Christ in all things.

Step Right This Way for the World’s Best Book Bargains

by Zack Rock

Dear readers, I set before you a challenge. I challenge you to visit your local massive retail establishment, peruse their value bin, and find something there that is – gasp! – actually valuable. I’m not talking about tainted boxes of cereal, misshapen candles that reek of patchouli, oversized wall clocks emblazoned with David Hasselhoff’s image, or any other mainstays of the discount bin. I want you to find something that will benefit you year after year – something that, dare I say, will change your life.

Now, unless you regularly experience religious epiphanies at the sight of Hasselhoff’s partially-obstructed face, I contend that you will find exactly nothing that could even come close to being described as “valuable.” Personally, I’ve only ever found one bargain item that was worth the three hard-earned Canadian dollars spent on it: Tom Hanks’ made-for-TV masterpiece Mazes and Monsters, a cautionary tale depicting the effects role-playing games have on young minds (which includes both schizophrenia and the wearing of outrageous hats). To this day, it remains the crown jewel of my VHS cassette collection.

Were you aware, then, that every day your favorite Bible-related software publisher offers bargain bin discounts on resources that you’d actually want? That’s right, folks, bona fide Bible reference books at low, low prices. How low, you ask? You tell us.

With the Community Pricing Program, you set the prices for every product on the page! If enough customers commit to purchase the product at or below the price you choose, the product gets sent into production, and, alakazam, you’ve got yourself another great resource in your Libronix library…usually for just a few dollars. For more information about how Community Pricing works, take a gander at the About Community Pricing page.

We just added two terrific titles to Community Pricing – Ellicott’s The Pastoral Epistles of St. Paul and H.B. Swete’s Patristic Study.And recent additionsAn Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament by S.R. Driver andthe classic Studies in the New Testament by A. T. Robertson have shot past 60% in record time.

Also notable is Deissmann’s Bible Studies, which has gathered more than 60% of bids needed to put it into production.

Things are a-hoppin’ on Community Pricing, so stop on by and find yourself a real deal!

Guest blogger Zack Rock craftsprepubpages and wears outrageous hats. In his spare time he draws illustrations.

A Review with Meat

Rubén Gómez at Bible Software Review recently posted a review of Logos Bible Software 3 to his site and graciously permitted us to reprint the review.

Logos has been dissected many times in various magazines, journals, and websites but I must say this is one of the meatiest, most detailed reviews to date.

Even if you already own Logos, you’re bound to learn something from Rubén’sanalysis and accompanying screenshots.

Check it out!