Two New Lexicons on Pre-Pub

Digging into the original languages is a very important part of advanced Bible study, and we are continually striving to find ways to make it more accessible and more powerful. Tools like the reverse interlinears and the Bible Word Study report make rich data—formerly available only to those with a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek—easily accessible to those with little or no original language training. For those who are comfortable working with the original languages, our syntax tools make a whole new level of study possible.

While there’s a huge range of tasks involved in Bible study, one of the most fundamental is gaining a proper understanding of the various nuances of meaning that individual words are capable of communicating. Having a number of different lexical tools to consult is crucial. We already have quite a nice offering of Greek lexicons and Hebrew lexicons, but there’s always room for more. And, of course, there’s really no better way to access lexical works than in the Libronix Digital Library System, where lookups are only a click away.

Now on Pre-Pub are these two first-rate works:

Both would make great additions to the library of every serious Bible student. If you don’t know much about them and don’t want to take my word for it, there’s lots of good information on the product pages. In less then 24 hours, both sets reached nearly 50% of the pre-orders needed to send them into production. Your pre-orders will help take them to 100%.

Discerning God’s Intervention in Tragedy and in Triumph

Dr. Craig Broyles of Trinity Western University will be this month’s lecturer in the ongoing Lecture Series. On Monday, April 28 Dr. Broyles will be presenting a lecture titled “Discerning God’s Intervention in Tragedy and in Triumph: The Case of Sennacherib’s Invasion of Judah in the Bible and Archaeology.” As usual, the event will be held at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington.


How can we identify God’s activity amidst the events that befall us? If things go in our favor, do they indicate God’s favor? If life brings us hardships, do they indicate his judgment or discipline? Or, should we trace these circumstances to human choices? God’s revelation in the Bible, being mostly narrative and poetry, does not give us pat answers. Instead, this canonical anthology reflects a complexity of perspectives on divine intervention, from which we begin to appreciate God’s panoramic perspective.

The invasion of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, into Hezekiah’s Judah in 701 BCE serves as a wonderful illustration of this web of perspectives. This crisis is one of the best documented events in the Bible and in archaeology. We can hear from Sennacherib himself and see his wall reliefs of the invasion (the lecture is illustrated). The archaeology of Jerusalem and Lachish, a fortified city of Judah, tell a story. The Greek historian, Herodotus, presents us with a third-party account from Egyptian sources. The writer of 2 Kings 18-20 provides his own spin on the events, as do Isaiah, whose city of Jerusalem is delivered, and Micah, whose hometown in the countryside is not. The stories surrounding Hezekiah’s rebellion against the Assyrian Empire and Sennacherib’s invasion testify powerfully to the consequences of ignoring Yahweh’s prophetic word, on the one hand, and to Yahweh’s faithfulness at the eleventh hour, on the other.

Event Details


  • Discerning God’s Intervention in Tragedy and in Triumph: The Case of Sennacherib’s Invasion of Judah in the Bible and Archaeology
  • Dr. Craig Broyles
  • April 28, 2008
  • 7:00 PM
  • Mount Baker Theatre
  • Free and open to the public

Understanding Data Types: Definitions

Last week I started a series on data types. If you haven’t yet read the first post, Understanding Data Types: Introduction, take a minute to look it over. It’ll give you some very basic starting points that will help you with this post and the following posts.

According to Eli Evans, one of our information architects, “datatypes and keylinking are the two most important concepts in the Libronix DLS.” If you’re like I was prior to digging into this recently, you’re probably missing out on some of the power of Libronix by not fully understanding these key concepts. Eli’s discussion of data types is hard to improve upon, so I’ll just borrow from it and put some of the ideas in my own words. I encourage you to read his post as well.

What Is a Data Type?

A data type is a grouping or association of similar data. There are several different categories of data types. Two of the most common ones, which we’ll discuss in future posts, are language data types (e.g., a Greek word in an English article) and reference data types (e.g., a Bible reference or a Josephus reference).

A data type is not resource specific. Some of the links in Libronix resources will take you to a specific location in a specific resource. There’s only one place the link can go, and if you don’t have the resource, it won’t go anywhere. These are not data type links. There’s a second type of link that doesn’t point to a specific place in a specific resource but rather to a data type that often has several suitable destinations. A great example of this is Bible reference links. Clicking on most Bible references doesn’t take you to a specific Bible like the KJV, but to your preferred Bible, which you can set in Tools > Options > Keylink by selecting Bible from the Data Type drop down and promoting your favorite Bible from the list of resources at the bottom. (You can also select your preferred Bible by clicking “Customize View” on the Logos home page.)

This is one of the benefits to data types: you can choose your keylink targets and prioritize them according to your liking.

What Is a Keylink?

It might be helpful to think of keylink and keylinking as just a fancy way of referring to looking stuff up—things like words (or other bits of text like abbreviations) or references. Reference keylinks look like hyperlinks on web pages (but without the underlining). Clicking them will execute them and open the keylink target based on what resources you have and how you have prioritized them. But just about every word, even if it is not hyperlinked, can be a keylink, as long as there is an appropriate keylink target. (BTW, you execute a keylink that doesn’t look like a hyperlink by double clicking it or by choosing “Selected Text” > “Execute Keylink” from the right-click menu.)

What Is a Keylink Target?

A keylink target is a resource that contains relevant data for a certain data type. So any version of the Bible would be a keylink target for John 1:1. Any English dictionary (as well as any Bible dictionary or encyclopedia) would be a keylink target for an English word. Any Greek lexicon would be a keylink target for a Greek word. And any edition of the Apostolic Fathers would be a keylink target for an Apostolic Fathers reference.

There are two ways to find out if a certain resource can be a keylink target for a given data type. The first is to look in About This Resource, which you can access from the right-click menu in My Library

or, with a resource opened and selected, by clicking Help > About This Resource.

Look for checkmarks in the column titled Keylink Target.

The second way is to look at the data type in Tools > Options > Keylink. Select the data type from the drop-down box (e.g., Greek), and look at the resources listed under “Default Order of Resources and Actions.” These are the resources that Libronix will use to look up that data type. You can promote and prioritize them however you want for each of the data types.

What Does It Mean that a Data Type Is Searchable?

In About This Resource under the Data Types section, there is also a column titled Searchable.

This has to do with reference data types, like Bible references, Calvin’s Institutes references, etc. A checkmark is telling you that you can use the Reference Browser to search for all the places where a given reference or range of references is cited in that particular book or series of books. This is possible for two reasons: (1) our team of book designers and book developers has meticulously tagged these references, and (2) these references are data types. There are most likely other links not listed here because they are not data type links but links to specific locations in specific resources (for the difference, see above under “What Is a Data Type?”). I pointed out one example of this kind of searching in the blog post on the Works of Cornelius Van Til. In a future post, I’ll show some other scenarios where this can be incredibly useful.

Here are some related posts you might find helpful.

Other posts in this series:

Free Greek Book!

Awhile back I blogged my excitement over the Studies in New Testament Greek Collection being offered as a prepublication special. It is chock full of books that can help exegetes and Bible students benefit from advances in modern linguistics. But as I looked at the collection, there was one volume I was sad to see missing. So we did some digging and found that we had a license from the publisher for the title, but it hadn’t made it into the collection because the publisher wasn’t able to provide us with a physical copy of the book. Well, that’s no problem, since I have a copy. So I brought my book in and we got permission from the Powers That Be to add this valuable book into the collection at no additional cost to you!

The book in question is Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics: Open Questions in Current Research, edited by Stanley E. Porter and D. A. Carson. Half the book is dedicated to 5 essays on verbal aspect. One of the great debates in the study of biblical Greek has to do with whether or not verbal ‘tenses’, such as aorist and imperfect, actually communicate a temporal reference (indicating that the action of the verb taking place in the past, present or future) or whether they might not communicate something else entirely (aspect). Or do tenses sometimes convey time, sometimes aspect and/or sometimes both? In New Testament studies, the two most prominent voices in the early verbal aspect debate were Stanley Porter (also the author of Idioms of the Greek New Testament and the soon-to-be-released Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period) and Buist Fanning. In this volume, there are essays from both Porter and Fanning introducing their approaches to verbal aspect and commenting on each other’s theories as well. These excellent essays are preceded by an introduction to the debate by D. A. Carson (author of Exegetical Fallacies), and followed by two more independent reviews of Porter and Fanning, one by Daryl D. Schmidt (author of Hellenistic Greek Grammar and Noam Chomsky) and the other by Moises Silva (author of the Philippians volume of the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament).

After the section on verbal aspect, the other half of the book is a potpourri of articles on other applications of modern linguistics to the Greek Bible, including essays from Jeffrey T. Reed (who wrote A Discourse Analysis of Philippians: Method and Rhetoric in the Debate over Literary Integrity, and co-edited Discourse Analysis and the New Testament: Approaches and Results, both books that are also in this incredible collection), Paul Danove (who wrote Linguistics and Exegesis in the Gospel of Mark: Applications of a Case Frame Analysis and Lexicon, which is also in the SGNT collection), Michael W. Palmer (author of Levels of Constituent Structure in New Testament Greek), and Mark S. Krause (co-author of the College Press NIV Commentary on John).

Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics is a great addition to this already brilliant collection of books. We’ve sweetened the deal, so if you were sitting on the fence before, it’s time to order so we can get this collection into production ASAP!

Yo Quiero Salsa!

Whether they integrated pineapple, mango, shrimp or good ol’ cilantro the entries at the 2008 Logos Salsa Cook-Off did not disappoint. Sixteen Logos employees entered their best recipes in today’s cook-off – some were time-honored family secrets and others were spur-of-the-moment culinary experiments.

Today’s winner was long time Logos employee Tom Fay from the Dealer Sales department and his salsa titled “Clasico Domingo Salsa.” There are always some creative names in this competetion but (in my humble opinion) winner of this year’s “Best Name Award” goes to Miles Custis of ETD with “The Michael Scott Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Rabies Awareness Salsa.”

In all it was another great cook-off. The chips were salty. The salsas were spicy. And a great time was had by all.

Click on any of the images below to view a larger version.




Logos on Your Blogroll

We love having a passionate group of users who talk about us and promote us on their websites and blogs. Word of mouth promotion from happy customers goes a long way in helping Logos grow. And that growth allows us to make better software and offer even more top-notch books. So a big thank you to all of our vocal users, new and old, for spreading the word about Logos Bible Software! We’re grateful to have such an enthusiastic user base.

Add the Logos Blog to Your Blogroll

One additional way that you can really help us out is by adding the Logos blog to your blogroll (and adding a link to www.logos.com in your web links, if applicable). Many of our users who blog already have us in their blogrolls, but perhaps some of you have just never thought about it. If you like the Logos blog and benefit from what you read here, please add us to your blogroll.

We’ll even do you a favor in return. Our blog post on Monday, April 28, will feature all of the bloggers who have us in their blogrolls—at least all the ones we know about. Make sure to let us know by leaving a comment on this post and sending an email to blog@logos.com with Blogroll in the subject line. (Make sure to do both in case one doesn’t make it.) What if we’re already in your blogroll? That’s okay. We’ll make sure you make the list either way.

The deadline to receive your submission is midnight (PST) on Friday, April 25. Please leave your comments and send your emails by then.

One final thing: if you can work “Bible Study” into your link text somehow, that would be great.

Let the linking begin!

Spider Webs, Video Games, and Fun at the Office

It’s no surprise to regular readers of this blog that we like to have fun. While our fun usually involves food (our 2008 Salsa Cook-Off is tomorrow, by the way), sometimes it’s just a good prank.

Vincent Setterholm, who works in our design and editorial department and contributes to the blog on occasion, has been enjoying a pretty good chunk of vacation time. (Some of us were starting to wonder if he still worked here.) David Mitchell, one of our developers, and Ben Swier, our systems administrator, decided that this was the perfect opportunity to decorate Vincent’s office for him.

A prank like this doesn’t have to be in response to anything, but in this case there was a little payback going on. Last September on the day of the launch of a well-known video game, Vincent decided he’d have a little fun with Ben. He hid Ben’s brand new copy of the game (simply moving it 4 feet from its original resting place) while Ben was out of his office. Ben had been eagerly awaiting that day and had big plans to celebrate with some friends, so he was more than disappointed when it suddenly disappeared. Vincent was kind enough to show Ben where it was later that day, but enough time passed to warrant this nice little decoration party.

Vincent returned to the office yesterday. When I asked him if he had an official response to share with you, our blog readers, he declined to comment. He did point out, though, that his poor plants didn’t get any water in his absence.

Someone even went so far as to take note of their dire situation but do nothing about it.

Logos in the Blogosphere

I’m subscribed to a number of services like Technorati and Google Alerts so I can stay up with what people are saying about Logos on the Web. It’s a lot of fun finding out about new users and reading about how people from all walks of life are using Logos.

I’ve seen a few things that I thought were worth mentioning here on the blog, since most of you probably don’t keep up with what everyone is saying about Logos like I do. :)

Tutorial Videos

First, a user named Brett has started a new blog, Logos Bible Software Lessons, which provides basic and advanced video lessons on how to use Logos better. He has four helpful videos there so far:

  1. Customize the Logos Homepage
  2. Create & save a custom workspace in Logos
  3. Viewing Inline Strong’s Numbers
  4. Creating Parallel Resources

You can even subscribe to his video podcast. Nice work, Brett. Keep it up!

Don’t forget to check out all of the videos at www.logos.com/videos as well.

Syntax

Second, Mike at his ἐν ἐφέσῳ blog is doing a series of posts on our syntax searching tools. Here are the first two posts in the series:

If you’re trying to learn more about syntax searching, you’ll want to give Mike’s posts a read.

Also, if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out the host of syntax videos at www.logos.com/videos.

Barth’s Church Dogmatics

Finally, there’s a nice review of Barth’s Church Dogmatics over at Faith and Theology. Ben has a helpful summary of its features and several cool screenshots.

Here’s his conclusion:

In sum, this is a wonderfully rich and delightfully user-friendly resource both for general theological readers and for students of Barth. The new digital edition will certainly be a tremendous help in my own future research! With its accessible format, enhanced search capabilities and seamless integration with so many other texts, it will no doubt establish itself as an indispensable resource for the next generation of Barth scholars, and for the wider community of pastors, theologians and students.

If you haven’t ordered yours yet, there’s still time to get in at the Pre-Pub price before it ships next Monday.

Understanding Data Types: Introduction

In Friday’s blog post on the new edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til, I mentioned how you can now search the works of Van Til for a specific reference or range of references in Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. This kind of analysis is incredibly helpful for detailed study, and there’s really no other way—at least not that I’m aware of—to get this data apart from doing the tedious work of reading the entire book (or series of books) cover to cover, which is not the ideal solution when you’re dealing with something as large as the works of Van Til!

The reason you can do searches like these in Logos is because we have created data types for Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics (and scores of other resources) and done the tedious work of tagging the references to those data types.

I’ve been spending some time lately playing with data types and have come to realize how powerful they are for advanced study, so I thought some of you might benefit from a brief series of posts on data types. I’m particularly interested in exploring what significance the information in the data type section in About This Resource has for what you can do with various resources.

In this post, let’s just get a very basic acquaintance with data types.

For starters, open My Library, right click on a few different resources, and select About This Resource (or with a resource opened and selected, click Help, About This Resource).

Then scroll down to the Data Types section. You’ll see the data types listed on the left with KeyLink Target and Searchable columns on the right. Each data type will have at least one checkmark after it. Some will have two. Here’s the Data Types section for Van Til’s The Theology of James Daane.

Here’s the Data Types section for the first volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

I’ll explain what all this information means in a future post.

Next, go to Tools > Options > Keylink and select the Data Type drop-down box. Here’s where you can see a list of all of the data types that you have installed on your computer. The number of data types will vary depending on how often you run Libronix Update and what products you own.

Scroll through the list and familiarize yourself with some of the data types listed there.

That’s all for this for post. In the next post, we’ll cover the basics about what data types are and how they can help you do more powerful research.

Other posts in this series:

Paying Attention to ‘This’ and ‘That’

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.

One of the many valuable life lessons I learned growing up came from Sesame Street’s esteemed blue monster, Grover. One of my favorite bits he did (besides Super Grover) was teaching about ‘near’ and ‘far’. Do you remember that? He would run up to the camera (I know, his puppeteer moved him, but indulge me here) and say ‘Near’. Then he would run way into the background and say ‘Far’, repeating it a few times to drive the point home. Believe it or not, this information can really help your Bible study, especially in John’s writings. There are some new Pre-Pubs, the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, that provide access to some great new insights that can really impact how you read and study Scripture. Today I want to introduce you to another device: the near/far distinction. Just like Grover taught about how things can be near and far in terms of distance, we also use the near and far distinction to signal what is thematically central (‘near’) to the story and what is non-central (‘far’).

If I was clothes shopping (argghh!) and my wife held up two items for me to help her chose between, she might ask, “Do you like this one or that one?” Chances are that ‘this one’ is the one that she is more interested in. I might respond “I like this one better than that one” even though both are the same distance away. This is an example of creating a near/far distinction in order to communicate that one thing is more important than another. We tend to use ‘this/these’ for things that are of central importance, and ‘that/those’ for things that are of only passing importance, not central to the story.

John creates near/far distinctions all the time in his writings to distinguish important things from those that are less important. Unfortunately, many of them are smoothed over in translation to English. He uses this distinction in order to clarify what he is primarily interested in, especially when there are other things competing for our attention that are not of central importance. Let’s take a look at some examples, and see how Grover has equipped us for better Bible study. In John 5:19, there are a whole gaggle of devices that are used to draw attention to Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees that are questioning him. Here is what it looks like in an alpha version of the HDNT:

What we are interested in today are the ‘near distinction’ symbols () and the ‘far distinction’ symbols (). In the Greek of the ‘Support’ line of v. 19, the words ‘the Father’ are not there; instead He is referred to as ‘that one’. This is not to say that the Father is not important, just that He is not central to what Jesus is saying here. What is important is the things that the Father is doing. It is these things that the Son does, not just whatever seems right in his own eyes. Jesus is stressing here how dependent his actions are on the will of the One who sent him. Here is what it looks like in the LDGNT, notice ‘that one’ and ‘these things’ in the interlinear line.

Do you see how the near/far distinction works? There are a bunch of topics here that are competing for our attention: the Father, the Son, and what the Son sees the Father doing. So which one is of central importance? If you only had the ESV text, it would be difficult to tell, you are left to make the decision on your own. In the HDNT, the near and the far distinctions are clearly marked, even though the ‘that’ has been translated as ‘the Father’. If you had the LDGNT (which includes everything from the HDNT as well), you would be able to look at both to see what is going on, just like we did above.

The same kind of near/far contrast is found again in John 5:38; take a look.

If we were to do an RLV (really literal version), it would read “ . . . for you do not believe in this one whom that one sent”. Once again, ‘that one’ refers to the Father, whereas ‘this one’ refers to Jesus. In this instance, Jesus himself is of central importance, since he is the object of belief (or unbelief in this case). The translation has obscured the near/far distinction that clearly exists in Greek, one that the writer purposefully used to make sure that his main point would be our main point. The HDNT brings back this detail that is lost in translation, drawing your attention to significant things that you might otherwise miss. The LDGNT allows you to see the underlying Greek, plus includes the English HDNT in a bundle.

Did you wonder what all of those other symbols were in John 5:19? There are other blog posts that explain them, if you are interested in reading more. Here they are:

and signal point-counterpoint sets, part 1 and part 2

signals a ‘meta-comment’

If you haven’t yet placed your order, don’t miss out while it’s still available at the discounted Pre-Pub pricing.