Speedier Reports with Just a Few Clicks

The Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Bible Word Study reports provide you with massive amounts of wonderful information that would take you hours to find in print books. But we realize that not every user wants to see everything available—at least not all of the time.

If you find yourself not using some of the sections in any of these reports, you might want to take the time to customize them. Speedier reports are only a few clicks away.

The first option is simply to collapse any section of the report that you want to see only some of the time. A collapsed section doesn’t take any of your system resources, so it won’t slow down your report. Once you run the report, you can decide if you want to see the information in that section and click the plus sign to run it. Logos will remember your preference from the last time you ran the report, so all you need to do is leave the appropriate sections collapsed or expanded when you close it.

If there are sections that you are fairly certainly you will never want to see, you can uncheck them in the report properties, which is located at the top of the report towards the right. Unchecked sections won’t show up at all, making for a more streamlined report with just the information that you want to see.

The time it takes to load your report will be identical whether you simply collapse a section or uncheck it in the properties. You should decide which method to use based on whether you will occasionally or never want to access the data in that section.

The time it takes me to run the full report above (an Exegetical Guide of 1 Cor 15:28) with everything expanded is about 12 seconds. If I collapse or uncheck the Word by Word section, my time is reduced to just under 7 seconds. Five seconds isn’t a lot of time, but it adds up.

You’ll really notice the difference with bigger reports. A BWS report on ἀνήρ with everything expanded takes about 4 minutes and 40 seconds to run. If I collapse the LXX, Philo, and the Apostolic Fathers, my time is cut to about 45 seconds!

Take some time to customize your reports and you’ll be saving time in no time.

How to Find That Missing Gem

Have you ever had trouble locating something that you previously read in one of your Libronix books? Perhaps it’s that perfect quote for the sermon or paper you’re working on—if only you could find it. If you don’t remember which book it was in, you can always check your history to see which books you’ve used recently. After you find the right book, you could then search or use the find bar to locate what you’re looking for—if you remember an exact word or phrase. But what if you remember only the general idea?

I’ve found that often the quickest way to find something in a situation like this is to use the Next button and select Markup.

I remember reading something in Strong’s Systematic Theology. I don’t recall exactly where it was or the precise wording, but I know I highlighted it. So I open Strong’s, switch the Next selection to Markup, click the button a few times, and I am quickly taken to the exact quote I was looking for. Of course, this works only if you are marking up your books when you read. If you’re not, I’d encourage you to do so, even if only for the benefit of using this cool feature. Keep in mind that if your book has hundreds of markups, you’ll at least need to remember the section or chapter to make this efficient. In my case, the quote I was looking for was in chapter two, so finding it was a breeze.

Another really handy use of the Next Markup feature is to get a quick survey of the parts of the book that stood out to you in your first reading. Try this with a chapter in a book, a large article entry, or a section in a commentary to get a quick recap of the most important points.

Give it a try. I think you’ll find it a convenient feature that will soon become a part of your normal use of Libronix.

Two Stories about Jesus and the Public Square

It’s already time for another Logos lecture! The March edition of the Lecture Series features Dr. Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Bock will be speaking on “Two Stories about Jesus and the Public Square.” The lecture begins at 7:00 PM on Saturday, March 1 at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington.

The talk will discuss the origins of the alternative Jesus story in our culture. Dr. Bock will also explore the term “Jesusanity” (which for many people in American culture is Christianity). The lecture will conclude with some responses to this type of Christianity and some time for Q&A.
Dr. Bock has earned international recognition as a Humboldt Scholar (Tübingen University in Germany) and for his work in Luke-Acts and in Jesus’ examination before the Jews. He was president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) for 2000–2001, and serves as corresponding editor at large for Christianity Today. His articles appear in leading journals and periodicals, including many secular publications such as the Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Morning News. He has been a New York Times best-selling author in nonfiction, and is elder emeritus at Trinity Fellowship Church in Dallas.
Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, March 1

  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Location: Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, Washington
  • Admission: FREE!

For those who haven’t attended any lectures, these events are free and open to the public. Each talk is designed to be interesting and accessible to a broad audience.

Several of Dr. Bock’s titles are available in Libronix. You’ll definitely want to check them out.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

For those faint of heart who would prefer to avoid another of my long-winded blog posts, just order this. The rest of you, read on.
When it comes to the Greek New Testament, Logos Bible Software has a great host of tools to help you see the trees. Lexical tags in the various tagged editions of the GNT (including the various interlinears and reverse interlinears) link to lexicons and help you find the range of meanings possible for a given word. Morphological tags in the same texts provide some contextual clues to help determine the meaning and use of the word in the particular instance under study. Learning grammars help students recognize the most common morphological and lexical trees for themselves.
But, while one can learn a lot of useful things by examining the trees, some of the greatest riches of studying the New Testament in Greek come when you can step back and see the forest. That is, at some point the student needs to look at things above the word level. ‘Syntax’ is the term we use for describing how words form into phrases and clauses, and how those structures are used to form sentences. Logos Bible Software has tools for working at the syntax level as well. Reference grammars tend to contain a lot of word- (tree-) level detail on areas like morphology (how words are formed) and phonology (how a language sounds), but they will frequently contain some good information on larger structures like phrases and clauses as well. But few reference grammars approach the Greek New Testament above the level of the sentence. Last year, Logos Bible Software released an edition of the OpenText.org syntax database, which graphs out sentence, clause, and phrase relationships and provides a powerful searching interface for working at the syntactic level. Other syntax databases for the Greek New Testament are also in the works.
There are, however, a growing number of scholars who are looking at much larger units of text than the sentence. The branch of linguistics dedicated to looking at larger blocks of text and analyzing how language is used to convey meaning on a much broader scale is ‘discourse analysis’. (‘Text-linguistics’ is another term sometimes applied to this field.) Recent posts on this blog by Dr. Runge have been giving you a taste of some of the data we’ve been working on to show discourse level features. But I wanted to call your attention to a new collection of books just posted on the prepub page. The Studies in New Testament Greek Collection contains a number of insightful books and essays on the topic of discourse analysis. The books provide some of the theories for how to analyze texts, and then apply the theories so you can see the results. This collection introduces other fields related to discourse analysis, such as ‘rhetorical criticism’ (an examination of how authors use various language elements to persuade or make an argument) and essays on how the cultural context of the New Testament should inform our exegesis. (For example, there are many essays on the topic of how bilingualism in 1st century Palestine should effect how we read the New Testament.)
If you skim the authors and editors of the volumes in this set, you’ll notice several by Stanley Porter (Author of Idioms of the Greek New Testament) and Jeffrey T. Reed (with Stanley Porter, one of the OpenText.org fellows) as well as D.A. Carson (author of Exegetical Fallacies), just to name a few. In addition to discourse and rhetoric, there are many essays in this collection that treat on other intersections between linguistics and biblical studies. This collection serves as an excellent introduction to the value of linguistics for interpreters of scripture.
The preorder price is only $240 for 16 volumes – I paid more than $100 for each of those Greek books in print! I’m very excited about this offer, and hope it generates enough interest to go into production quickly. Order yours today!

Transform Your Site with RefTagger!

One of the benefits of reading books in Libronix is the ease with which you can “look up” Scripture references. Oftentimes in print books they get ignored. It’s simply too much work to flip manually to every passage. But what about Scripture references on the web? There are tens of thousands of Christian blogs and websites with millions—or perhaps even billions—of Scripture references. But we usually face the same problem with Scripture references on the web as we do with print books. They’re just too time consuming to look up. What if you could provide your readers with some of the same conveniences of Libronix on your website? With RefTagger now you can—and without all the time and hard work it takes to create the links manually!

If you have a website or blog, you will definitely want to check it out. It’s a very customizable, free tool that turns all of your Scripture references into hyperlinks to an online Bible. You can even have RefTagger add an icon that is hyperlinked to the passage in Libronix. This gives your readers the opportunity to easily look up the Bible passages that you discuss.

To add RefTagger to your site, all you need to do is paste a few lines of JavaScript code to your template file(s). RefTagger will instantly be applied to all of your site’s content, adding new life to your old blog posts and web pages. When you write a new blog post or upload your latest sermon, it will also instantly have all the added functionality.

If you are a blogger and use WordPress with your own domain name (i.e., not WordPress.com), you can download and install our WordPress plugin and add RefTagger without even having to edit any of your files!

All the details are at the RefTagger page. Head on over to get the code or the plugin and start using it on your site. Once you have it set up, please be sure to let us know by sending an email to reftagger@logos.com. We will put some of the coolest examples on display at the RefTagger page.

If you want to see RefTagger in action, it’s running right here on the Logos blog. Check out these sample posts:

Still Accessing Libronix Resources from Your CDs?

I stumbled across a comment on a forum site recently where a user mentioned that he was accessing his books from his CDs and was frustrated by the speed at which they loaded when scrolling through large portions of text.

I was happy to see that someone quickly let him know that he could copy all of his resources to his hard drive and put his CDs in his closet as a backup.

If you are still accessing your Libronix books from your CDs, read on. With the size of today’s hard drives, most of you will have plenty of room for all of your resource files and should not be using your CDs after the initial installation.

There are at least three benefits to copying your books to your hard drive.

  1. Your computer will be able to access your books much more quickly from your hard drive than you can from your optical drive.
  2. You won’t have to be continually swapping CDs.
  3. You’ll have access to all of your books at once instead of being limited to only the books on a given CD.

To copy your resources to your hard drive, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your CD/DVD into your drive.
  2. Open Libronix.
  3. Click on Tools > Library Management > Location Manager.
  4. Wait until it is done discovering all of the resources that need to be copied.
  5. Click the Copy Resources button.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have copied all of your resource files to your hard drive.

For more help, check out our support article Loading Books and our training video Loading Your Books (2:10, 2.69MB).

Greek Syntax: Article Introducting Prepositional Phrase

Awhile back over on the Logos Newsgroup for Greek, someone asked a question:

Someone has commented that there are 484 occurrences of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase, such as, "τα επι τοις ουρανοις." I wonder if someone would teach me how to search my GNT (N/A27) to confirm this statement?

The example is (I believe) from Eph 1.10:

εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν, ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐν αὐτῷ. (Eph 1:10, NA27)

as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:10, ESV)

Note that the same structure is used in "things on earth" in the same verse.

Anyway, the best way to find stuff like this — where you’re really searching for a relationship between words and/or phrases even though it looks like proximity will get you close enough — is a syntax search. In this example, the relationship is between the article and the prepositional phrase. It is more than proximity (occurring close to each other or in sequence); it is functionally that the prepositional phrase in some way further modifies/qualifies/distinguishes the article (which, in cases like these, tends to function like a relative pronoun).

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament makes this relatively easy to find. Let’s look at this portion of Eph 1.10 first to see how it is analyzed:

Here the word group contains a head term; the head term contains a word (τα) and the structure that modifies it. Here the structure is a relator. A relator is basically a prepositional phrase that functions adjectivally, modifying a substantive (instead of functioning adverbially, modifying the primary verb of the clause). So all we need to do is find where a relator modifies a word that that is an article.

There are two basic cases to consider. The first is like Eph 1.10, where the word is the root word of the head term, and the relator modifies it. The second case is where the word is a modifier itself, like in Mt 5.16:

Here note that τον is a definer, and the relator (adjectival prepositional phrase) modifies the definer.

These are the two cases to consider. A syntax search that looks like the following should account for both of them:

You’ll notice I’ve used an unordered group to contain the word+modifier portion of the query. Why did I do this? Because I really want to find where a word and a modifier are siblings (occur at the same ‘level’ in the annotation) because this implies they are in relationship with each other. The containing structure(s) (here the head term or modifier at the root of the query) constrain the elements to already being in the same unit. The unordered group allows for this, letting you specify the elements you care about (here a word and a modifier), and it will run the permutations, including optional elements occurring between them, while it searches. It makes query specification a whole lot easier.

When the search is run, 298 occurrences are located. Here’s a snapshot of the results dialog:

The different colors in the results come in because of the "OR" in the query. In this way you can tell that some results come from one half of the "OR". Here the greenish color represents the top half of the "OR" (word is a direct child of head term); the brown represents the bottom half (word is a direct child of modifier).

So, to answer the question posed on the Greek newsgroup; I’d respond that according to the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, there are 298 instances of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase.

A Strategy for Building Your Library

I regularly notice comments on blogs where people mention how they really want to buy Logos, but just don’t have enough money saved up. Here’s one possible way to buy Logos and end up with more money in your pocket than when you started.

First, decide on a base package. I’d highly recommend Gold. It’s an incredible value. You pay less than $2 per title if you buy it at the full retail price.

Next, look at the contents of Gold and compare it with your print library. Look for the duplicates, and set them aside. Most students who are serious about their biblical and theological training probably have at least a few dozen books that are included in Gold. Book lovers may have a hundred or two, or even more.

Decide on the ones that you could do without in print. Maybe that’s all of them. Or perhaps you prefer to keep some books in print and go digital only for the reference works and commentaries. You may also want to throw in other books that you could do without, even if they aren’t included in Gold. That may be another dozen or two.

Now do a little math. The average academic paperback in good quality is probably worth $15. (It pays to take good care of your books—literally.) For your more popular-level paperbacks, you’re probably looking at roughly $5-10. Nice quality hardbacks are going to have an average resale price in the $20-25 range.

Assuming you have a fairly even spread of paperbacks and hardbacks, let’s guess $15 as the average price that you could get for one of your books. If you sell 100 books, you’ve more than paid for Gold at the retail price—and you’ve just grown your library by more than 600 volumes!

I realize that not everyone is going to have 100 books to sell, but certainly many will. Maybe you have only 25 or 50. At least you’ve trimmed down the amount that you need to save.

When I bought my first Logos base package, Scholar’s Library: Silver (QB), I took a slightly different route. I already had enough money saved up to buy Silver, so I went ahead and bought it. Then I sold all the titles from my print library that were duplicates, as well as some other titles that I had accumulated over the years that I no longer wanted. I made enough money to buy Silver several times over. Not only did I increase my library by hundreds of volumes, but I also ended up with quite a bit more money in my pocket!

The next step for me was more of an ongoing process. I’d look to see what books Logos offered that I already had. I’d buy the Logos version and then sell my print copy. This method provided a nice steady flow of income to spend on Logos books, and it resulted in a much larger—and much more useful—library.

I’m interested to hear how many of you have done this or something similar. What creative suggestions would you give to someone saving up for Gold or looking for ways to fund additional Logos purchases?

Logos Field Sales Reps

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. J. B. Hixson, the Houston field sales representative for Logos.

For more than eight years, Logos Bible Software has been a significant part of my life. First as a pastor, and later as a Bible College and Seminary professor, I became dependent upon Logos as an indispensable tool for both my personal study of God’s Word, as well as my ministry responsibilities. So when I learned in January of 2007 that Logos was seeking individuals to help promote this valuable tool within the body of Christ, I jumped at the opportunity.

It is my privilege to serve as part of a team of Field Sales Representatives for Logos Bible Software. In this role, I have the joy of introducing churches, pastors, students, ministry leaders and lay people alike to the most amazing Bible study tool on the planet. It thrills my heart to watch audiences respond as I show them how to use Logos Bible Software to dig deeper into God’s Word than they ever imagined. Without fail, those in attendance are in awe of the simplicity and power of Logos. In most cases, they have never seen anything like it before and they cannot wait to take it home and begin using it in their personal Bible study.

As a Field Sales Representative, it is fulfilling to know that I am introducing folks to a tool that will help facilitate their personal spiritual growth and deepen their understanding of the God we all serve. Having been in the field for a year now, I could share countless experiences with you that no doubt would warm your heart as they did mine. But allow me to share just a few short anecdotes that stand out in my memory.

On one occasion I was leading a Bible Conference at a church in a suburb of Atlanta, GA. I devoted an entire evening to presenting Logos as the best tool for Bible study. Among the many folks who purchased Logos that night was a gentleman who looked to be about seventy years old. He told me he was so impressed with how easy it is to use Logos that even though he did not own a computer and had never used one, he was going to purchase a brand new computer the next day just so he could install Logos and study God’s Word!

I spoke at a men’s retreat last summer at a large church in the Houston area, where I used a portion of my time to introduce the men to Logos. I received a call from one of the staff members from the church about a week later who ordered six additional copies of the Logos Scholar’s package to give to six of the missionaries overseas that this church supports. Having seen firsthand the power of Logos software as a study tool, this church caught the vision and wanted to be sure their missionaries had the best tool available.

At a Bible Conference in Kansas, I noticed that the pastor’s study was overflowing with books. An avid reader, his shelves were filled with commentaries, encyclopedias, dictionaries, theologies, and other Bible study resources. The conference lasted Sunday through Wednesday. On Tuesday night, I conducted a Logos demo. The pastor was so amazed, he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Scholar’s collection (over 330 books!). As it turns out, however, he did not have to buy it himself. The leader of the men’s group approached me after the service and said that the men’s fellowship would like to purchase the Scholar’s package for their pastor! The pastor was overjoyed when he contemplated how many hours a week this tool would save him in personal study and sermon prep time.

Some of you reading this blog may be pastors who already own Logos. You recognize the benefit of this incredible software. Why keep this tool to yourself? Why not introduce your congregation to it by hosting a Logos Workshop? Not only will your church members be excited, but your church body will benefit from having more members engaged in serious personal Bible study and thus growing mature in their faith!

The Field Sales Representatives of Logos exist to introduce the Body of Christ to this great tool and to promote and facilitate deeper study of God’s Word. It would be our privilege to come to your church, ministry, school or community event to conduct a Logos Bible Study Workshop. There is no cost for these events and in fact, those in attendance will receive a significant discount on their purchase of a Logos base package. Our representatives are located in Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle. If you live near any of our locations, give us a call today, and make arrangements with Pete Heiniger (360) 685-4443 or pete.heiniger@logos.com.

Check out the map below to see the various locations where we have reps. Click on a location to find out more.


View Larger Map

Hebrew, Canaanite, and Aramaic Inscriptions and the Power of Libronix

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.

In my last blog post about the new inscriptions databases, I noted that one of the challenges we face at Logos when we create research tools for studying ancient texts in their original script is how such data can be made accessible for users who do not read the ancient languages. A second challenge we have applies to scholars: showing them that the ancient language resources we produce are about more than searching and concording texts.

For many scholars, that is precisely what software is about. I know this because I was one of them when I came to Logos three years ago. At that time I would have been thrilled to have certain ancient texts in any electronic form so I could do the kinds of searching we now see as primitive, like searching through a web page or a PDF document. I had no conception of being able to simultaneously search ancient texts and other books, such as commentaries, dictionaries, and lexica—the sorts of things that Libronix users do routinely. As a scholar, I also had little appreciation for the value of having ancient texts in English transliteration. Once you’re able to read texts in original script, you sort of set aside transliteration as something remedial. In the digital world, that’s a mistake.

In place of a detailed written explanation of these points, I’ve prepared a brief Camtasia video that illustrates them. For those scholars who have never seen Libronix in action, whose electronic research has been limited to online resources, the video will demonstrate rather quickly how much more advanced the capabilities of Libronix are to web pages and PDF files. For experienced Libronix users who work in Hebrew, the use of transliteration in the video may introduce you to something you had not thought possible—being able to search for words across different text corpora (here, Hebrew inscriptions and Ugaritic) with one search.