National Bible Week Essay Contest (cont’d)

This year’s National Bible Week Essay contest has been a resounding success!

Nearly 200 essays have been submitted and dozens of Logos users have opened their email inboxes to find they have won. Take a look at some of the winning essays to get some fresh inspiration for your own Bible study.

Although all of the essays are centered around the general theme of “Bible study” the diversity of content has been remarkable. Who knows? Maybe there will be an essay that jump starts your own Bible study or reveals an approach to Bible study that has never occurred to you:

Do you often feel you need to make more time for Bible study? Here is an excellent solution!

Do you want to take your Bible study to the next level, but don’t know any Original Languages? Find some encouragement here!

Are you looking for an interesting book of the Bible on which to focus your Bible study? Try Deuteronomy!

Or read an honest (and inspirational) reflection on how Bible study has helped this reverend mature in his faith.

Each selected essay has earned its author $30 of unlock credit to be used towards purchases from Logos.

In total, we have doled out almost $1,000 in unlock credits and more essays are being selected every day.

If you have not submitted one yet, your window of opportunity is shrinking as essays will only be accepted through Friday, December 1. To submit an essay go to www.logos.com/nationalbibleweek (and don’t forget to read the official rules before you send your entry).

Giving Thanks for Another Great Year

It’s been a great year for Logos in so many ways. We’re thankful for the enthusiastic response to the Logos 3 release, safety on the Bible Road Trip and a warm reception wherever we travelled, strong sales growth,deepening relationships with key constituencies, and a great team of people to work with here in Bellingham and around the world.

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3

If you’re a regular reader of the Logos Blog, you know that we love to eat. So it’s no surprise that Logos does Thanksgiving in style. Bob hasturkey, stuffing and gravy catered in, and we all bring sides and drinks—good old church potluck style.

Here’s a little video I put together of the Thanksgiving feast we had last Wednesday: Thanksgiving2006.wmv (Windows Media Video, 1:37, 6MB).

I also snapped a few photos, trying not to get anyone with their mouth full. Though after yesterday’s photo of the SBL team asleep in the van, maybe I shouldn’t have worried about it.

Continue Reading…

Quick Impressions of ETS and AAR/SBL 2006

The ETS and AAR/SBL conferences were awesome. We were able to meet all sorts of folks at both conferences and talk with them about Bible study software and especially about syntax.

But it was a long week. Time in the booth, catching sessions, giving papers, catching up with old friends and making new friends have a way of wearing a guy out. As a matter of fact, on the way to the airport for the flight home, Eli (in the back), Mike (on the right) and Rick (on the left) crashed in the minivan while John was playing the role of chauffeur. Vincent apparently obliged in snapping the picture.

We may have other pictures later, and I hope to post the papers I presented later as well.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Greeting Form

Read the first two posts in this series: 1 | 2.
Romans 16 has several examples of this form. Verse 3 offers a good sample:


Greeting Form in Ro 16.3

Description of Form
Mullins describes the components of the greeting form as follows:

The elements of the greeting are: 1. the greeting verb (some form of ἀσπάζεσθαι); 2. indication of the person who is to do the greeting; 3. indication of the person who is being greeted; 4. elaborating phrases. The first three are the basic elements of the greeting. The fourth is optional. These elements may be expressed differently in the three types of greeting. In the first-person and second-person type of greeting, elements one and two are accomplished at the same time by the verb.[1]

As noted in the above quotation, Mullins identifies three different types of the form, one for each grammatical person of the greeter. Thus there are first-person, second-person and third-person forms. Because component 2 can be done with either grammatical person of the verb (first and second person) or a pronoun (third person), the pronoun is essentially optional when considering a syntax-based query.

Therefore a syntactic search only need attend to two criteria:

  • The greeting verb (ἀσπάζομαι)
  • Indication of the person being greeted.

Mullins does not provide a definitive list of New Testament instances, but he does mention epistles that contain instances of the greeting form: “It appears in the letters of Paul, extensively, and in the Pastorals, Hebrews, I Peter, and II and III John.”[2]

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the greeting form involves searching for clause-initial instances of ἀσπάζομαι (as a predicator component) that also have a complement clause component. The complement denotes what completes the predication, thus direct objects are included in the sorts of things that complements encode.[3] Including the complement therefore includes an “indication of the person being greeted”.


Structure of Greeting Form

This query returns 69 instances, though the results are not perfect. Instances in Mark (15.18) and Acts (21.7, 19; 25.13) are returned in addition to hits in Paul, Pastorals, Hebrews, First Peter, Second John and Third John.[4] Romans, with an extensive greeting section in chapter 16, contains the bulk of the matches.

Bibliography

Mullins, T.Y., “Greeting as a New Testament Form”, JBL 87 (1968), pp. 418-426.

Endnotes
[1] Mullins, p. 419.
[2] Mullins, p. 424.
[3] An aside: One could limit greetings to those that list personal names in the complement by restricting the complement to containing a head term word that is also tagged as Louw-Nida domain 93, the “personal name” domain. But this would skip over other valid instances of greetings like Php 4.22, “All the saints greet you”.
[4] Based on Mullins’ article, my guess is that only the Mark and Acts references are extraneous; the rest are valid.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Disclosure Form

Read the first post in this series
An example of the disclosure form is found in 1Th 4.13:


1Th 4.13, Disclosure Form

Description of Form
Smith provides a concise summary of the structure of the disclosure form as identified by Mullins:

Mullins has isolated the disclosure form, as a distinct literary form which is used in the NT. He examined the form in terms of structure first. By doing so he observes that this form has four constituent elements: verb of wishing, infinitive of a noetic verb, person addressed and information disclosed. Next he examined the form in terms of content and observed that the verb of wishing is typically θέλω, the infinitive of a noetic verb used is typically γινώσκειν (the tense varies) or ἀγνοεῖν, the person addressed is either second person singular or plural and the content of the information disclosed is diverse and usually found within a ὅτι clause.[1]

White discusses the form briefly in his article:

This form may be delineated in terms of its three principal elements: (i) the verb of disclosure, often a two-membered unit consisting of a verb of desiring (θέλω or βούλομαι) in the first person indicative, and the verb of knowing (γινώσκω) in the infinitive form; (ii) the vocative of address (ἀδελφοί, “brothers,” in the five examples from Paul); and (iii) the subject to be disclosed introduced by ὅτι.[2]

The common points of these descriptions include:

  • verb of wishing/desiring
  • verb of knowing, in the infinitive mood
  • a ὅτι or ἵνα clause further explicating the subject to be disclosed.

Smith reports Mullins determines the following references as containing instances of the disclosure formula: Ro 1.13; 11.25; 1Co 10.1; 11.3; 12.1; 2Co 1.8; Col 2.1; 1Th 4.13.[3]
Because the third item (ὅτι or ἵνα clause) is variable as Mullins’ reported instances demonstrate, candidate instances of the disclosure formula can be located simply taking the first two items into account.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the disclosure form in the OpenText.org SAGNT involves searching for clauses that contain a Predicator with θέλω and that also contain an embedded clause (infinives are typically encoded as embedded clauses) with lexical forms of either αγνοεω or οιδα.[4] Below is the query that will find Smith and Mullins’ reported instances.[5]


Structure of the Disclosure Form

Search results in Logos Bible Software are presented in both Greek and English, with respective structures highlighted in each language. In this particular search, the silver background represents the content of the clause; the orange represents each clause component.


Syntax Search Results — Disclosure Form Instances

Bibliography

Mullins, T. Y., “Disclosure: a Literary Form in the New Testament”, NovT 7 (1964), pp. 44-50.
White, J.L., “Introductory Formulae in the Body of the Pauline Letter”, JBL 90 (1971), pp. 91-97.
Smith, C.A., Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006). pp. 10,

Endnotes
[1] Smith, 10.
[2] White, 93.
[3] Smith, 11.
[4] Andrew Pitts, in a forthcoming review of Logos Bible Software 3.0 to be published in the Journal of Greco-Roman Judaism and Christianity, uses a similar search with similar results as an example of the capability of the OpenText.org SAGNT.
[5] As of November, 2006, this is not strictly true. 1Co 12.1 is erroneously tagged in the current version of the OpenText.org SAGNT. This error has been flagged for correction and should be updated in a future release of the database.

National Bible Week Essay Contest

In honor of National Bible Week, which is this week, we’re sponsoring an essay contest on Logos.com. You are invited to write and submit a brief essay on Bible study. If we display the essay on the site, you’ll receive a $30 book unlock credit. The sign-up form is here.

During last year’s contest, more than 70 essays were submitted, approved, and posted, with a nice variety of themes and perspectives represented. You can read last year’s essays on the Selected Essays page.

As you reflect on how the Bible has shaped your life and give thanks for the privilege and ready accessibility of Bible study materials,I encourage you to put your thoughts into writing and share them with us!

NZ Road Trip Report

Dale and Jenni Pritchett recently returned from New Zealand, where they did nine Bible Road Trip events. Here’s their retrospective on the trip plus a few photos…

Jenni and I are just getting back to normal after spending about two and half weeks in New Zealand visiting Logos users. Hal and Nancy Mickens, long time Logos users and frequent assistants at Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos seminars accompanied us. Hal and Nancy were not only great travel companions; they were great in helping individual users with their questions.

It is hard to begin to describe our experiences. We traveled over both the North and South Islands and conducted ten two-hour presentations in churches and schools, met privately with numerous people and enjoyed hospitality in a variety of homes. It was a wonderful experience to be with so many people who love Bible study. We can’t wait to go back!

(More photos fromBible Road Trip: New Zealand...)

Free Sermons in Your Bible Software

We’ve devoted a lot of words on this blog to persuading you to upgrade to Logos Bible Software 3. While it’s true that many of the features we talk about most often (reverse interlinear Bibles, syntactically tagged Bibles)are only available with a paid upgrade it’s also the case that we’re giving away a ton of amazing functionality at no cost! That’s right…

FREE STUFF

One of the cool, new features in Logos 3 that you can take advantage of right now, just by downloading the free update, is the SermonCentral.com search built into Passage Guide. This is just one free feature among many, but the one I want to highlight today.

Caveat: This feature is only free if you already own a product, such as any base collection (e.g., Bible Study Library),that comes with the Logos Bible Software homepage.

What is the SermonCentral.com search?

Logos has partnered with SermonCentral, a website that offers a massive database of sermons uploaded by users of the site. In Logos 3, when you enter a passage—say 2 Corinthians 9:1-5—and click “Go!” the Passage Guide report includes not only links to commentaries, dictionaries, maps, and reports…but it also shows you links to freely available sermons at SermonCentral!

These sermons were preached by people just like you—if you’re a pastor—then uploaded to the SermonCentral database to share with others. They’re great for inspiration, to get some ideas for organizing your material, gleaning illustrations, and to see how other preachers have treated the same material you’re working through.

(We encourage responsible use of others’ sermons, including citing sources where appropriate.For an excellent and practicaldiscussion ofthese issues, see the article Plagiarism in the Pulpit from Preaching magazine.)

SermonCentral Results in Passage Guide

Let’s take a closer look at one of the SermonCentral results that shows up in Passage Guide.

On the left you see the sermon title, the Scripture passage that it covers, a brief description of the sermon, and arating that indicates how many peoplefound the sermon to be helpful.

On the right is the contributor, date the sermon was preached, intended audience type(e.g., Believer, Seeker, etc.), and intended audience age range. Obviously, most sermons are preached to the entire congregation so many results will show “General, Adults”.

Blue text indicates links; clicking the sermon title opens SermonCentral to that sermon, clicking the Bible passage opens your preferred Bible to the beginning of that range, and clicking the contributor name opens a page at SermonCentral.com giving some information about the contributor such as denominational affiliation, church name, education, family, and other biographical details.

Click here to see the page that would open at SermonCentral.com if you clicked the linkto the sermon displayed above.

So here you have a huge source of additional content, integrated right into your normal workflow within Logos Bible Software. Just a click and you’re looking at instantly relevant material that you didn’t pay a red cent to acquire!

Go Pro!

As with any useful, free service there’s a way to get even more from SermonCentral.com by upgrading to a paid account. Upgrading to SermonCentral.com PRO provides a whole slew of additional features and benefits. They even offer a free 30-day trial to the PRO version so you can check it all out before committing the funds.

For details on updating Logos for free, anda comparison chart showing all you get with a SermonCentral PRO subscription, see our special SermonCentral page at Logos.com.


You’re reading a post on the Logos Blog, which is updated (nearly) every weekday with news, how-to’s, and other information pertinent to Logos Bible Software. Did you know that you can “subscribe” to this blog and receive an alert every time we add new content? It’s super easy…just click one of the links below to get started or read our overview of blog technology.

Logos on the TV

Late last week, the Logos offices were invaded by acamera crew shooting footage for the Bellingham/Whatcom 2006Large Business of the Year awards ceremony.

Logos Bible Softwarehas been selected asa finalist for the award, which is sponsored every year by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

It may be some indicator of Bellingham’ssmall-town sizethat we made the Large Business category with a little over 100 employees. And it may be an indicator of how boring our work appears on camera that the crew asked us to set up staged shots instead of filming the normal yawn-fest that is abuilding fullof people sitting at computers.

Here we see a staged interaction between a “walk-in customer” (Naomi, a member of the text development department) and receptionist Andrea. We do get a few walk-in customers every year…so I guess it’s not completely unrealistic.

Bob, hard at work in his office. The camera guy says, “Just keep opening and closing stuff on the screen to make it look like there’s constant activity.” For the record, it’s rare to see Bob in a state other than constant activity.

The producer wanted something that would give the “contemplative,” “studious” look he associates with Bible study…so we recruited another text developer to play the part. Here’s Kirk doing something studious that involves a bunch of old books and a laptop.

Will viewers be left with the impression that we sit at mahogany bookcases and type in the books one by one? It’s hard to say…

This experiencecertainly does little to dispel the notion that television values style over substance. Granted, the final product of this footage is intended to be a one-minute profile of the company, not a documentaryof the book-developing process. But I’m afraid that what most visitors would see on a normal day at Logos is, at least on the surface,less interesting than the TV portrayal.

Of course Logos has a veryinteresting story to tell, and we enjoy relating highlights here on the blog. But telling the real storyrequires an investment of time, a desire to grasp the details, andmore than a minute!

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Introduction

During the SBL national meeting in Washington DC, we’ll be doing a session on Syntactically Annotated editions of the Greek New Testament. Here’s the info:

Session: 20-101 — Syntactically-Tagged Databases of the Greek NT: Overview & Training Seminar Date: Monday — November 20 Time: 4:00 – 6:30 PM Room: Bulfinch – GH Description: Exegesis in the Greek New Testament concerns far more than semantics and parsing. Take the quantum leap with software that allows you to search for grammatical/syntactical structures and usage in the Greek New Testament.

During that session, I hope to run through a few examples of things I’ve been working on with syntax searching in the area of epistolary form criticism. That sounds a bit high-falutin’, I know, but it has direct import on exegesis of New Testament epistles.

Think about it. Even today, we have certain “forms” that we use in particular types of communication. When we write a letter, we have a “Dear ______” salutation, we have a signature (e.g., “Sincerely, Rick” or something like that). Those are what could be called “forms”. If you write a memo in your office, chances are you do it a particular way.

The same thing happens with ancient letters. There are particular “forms” for opening a letter. There are also forms closing a letter. And there are, some think, forms for other things in between.
If you’re working through an epistle, wouldn’t it be important to know if there are potential examples of these “forms”, and to also be able to find where other instances of them are in the epistles? Might that not have an effect on exegesis?

This post introduces the idea in a little more detail. Subsequent posts in the series (I believe there will be five, though some may be broken up depending on size of post) will work through the structure of some proposed forms (see bibliography below) and examples of syntax searches designed to locate those forms. I hope to post once a week, but I may get off that schedule since we’ll be in the holidays.

Continue Reading…