All in a Day’s Work: Making an Ugaritic Font

First, we acquired rights to the Conchillos Ugaritic databank. Then, we acquired the rights to produce several Ugaritic textbooks, grammars, and other helps as well. We put together a product.

Then we had to figure out how to support Ugaritic. [Cue scary music.]

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Why does Logos have editions of both the NA27 and UBS4?

If you’ve looked at the list of Greek New Testaments contained in Scholar’s Library (and Silver, and Gold) in any detail, you’ve likely noticed that both the UBS4 and NA27 texts are included.

I’m sure you’re asking, “Hey, aren’t those the same text? Why would you ever have them both?”
It’s true, the texts share great similarity and can even be said to be the same text. From tha NA27 Introduction:

The text of this edition reproduces that of the 26th edition unchanged. Consequently, with rare exceptions, the paragraphing and punctuation remains the same, avoiding the necessity for altering the page makeup. Thus the text of the present edition is identical as before with that of The Greek New Testament, now in its 4th revised edition. The same text underlies the concordances, the Lexikon zum Neuen Testament, and the Synopsis quattuor Evangeliorum.

Nestle, E., Nestle, E., Aland, K., Aland, B., & Universität Münster. Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung. (1993, c1979). Novum Testamentum Graece. At head of title: Nestle-Aland. (27. Aufl., rev.). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung.

But an edition is more than text. The NA27 and UBS4 editions have the same letters in the same order with the same book, chapter and verse breaks. But that’s where the similarity ends. The texts have different punctuation, different casing, different paragraph breaks, different ideas of what constitute quotes or allusions from the Old Testament, and different poetry formatting.

All of these features play in to how a text is read and understood—you know, the very thing that students of the Greek New Testament (and the Bible in general) are very interested in.

Because Logos preserves as much formatting of the printed edition of the text as possible, these differences can be seen in comparisons of the text. One good example that has exegetical implications is found in 1Ti 3.16. This is a well known verse that contains what may be an early hymn or creed that the author used to support his argument. Some commentators see 1Ti 3.14-16 as the central piece of the epistle. But NA27 and UBS4 format the poetry/creed/hymn differently. UBS4 has the six lines formatted as two triplets while NA27 formats the text as three doublets.


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The formatting has direct impact on how one reads the text. Are there two groups of three things? Or three groups of two things? What items are parallel to each other? Each edition presents different options, so both are necessary to consult to get a clear picture of the problem.

Sometimes one text will format things as poetry when another does not. An example of this is found in 1Ti 2.1-7. The UBS4 text sees this whole block as one paragraph, while the NA27 breaks out verses 5 and 6 as poetry (or perhaps an early hymn or creed or saying of some sort).


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If one considers vv 5-6 as a reference to an early creedal statement, it may play a different role in exegesis than normal supporting text in prose. There are a few options. From the NA27 text, one might conclude that Paul is either waxing poetic/creedal (very possible) or referring to a commonly known creedal statement to back up his statement in vv. 3-4 (God wants to save all people, and wants them all to come into knowledge of the truth). Or, reading from the UBS4 text, one might consider vv 5-6 to be normal prose offered in support of the previous assertion with no creedal sort of impact. Is Paul appealing to an external saying he knows his audience will see as authoritative? Or is he being creative? Or did he just come up with some nice phraseology in the context of his argument? All (and more!) are possible. Whichever you prefer, the typography of each edition conveys the editors’ thoughts and it is valuable to take into account when reading and exegeting the text.

Another difference between editions is when one text has more paragraph breaks than the other. A good example of this is found in 1Ti 5.3-16. In the UBS4 text, this is one paragraph. In the NA27 text, it is two paragraphs (vv 3-8 and vv 9-16) with a sub-paragraph break in the second paragraph (so sub-paragraphs of vv 9-13 and vv 14-16). UBS4 has no notion of sub-paragraph breaks, but the NA27 uses them routinely to break larger paragraphs. You can see another one in the screen shot before verse 21.


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A few other slight differences between versions can be seen in the above screen capture.
First, note the word Σατανᾶ in verse 15 of UBS4. The same term is σατανᾶ in the NA27. One could conclude that the UBS4 edition considers this to be a name or title, while the NA27 edition considers it a noun (“adversary”). This is not a small difference when it comes to exegesis.

Second, note the quotations and allusions from the Old Testament in vv. 17-19. They’re different typographically. UBS4 uses bold font while NA27 uses an italic font. But if you look closely, you’ll see disagreement on what is and is not a quotation from or allusion to the Old Testament. The UBS4 is much more conservative here; it generally only emboldens fairly direct quotations. The NA27, on the other hand, notes both quotations (the one matching the UBS4 edition) and allusions (the balance of italic text in vv 18-20. This as well is exegetically significant. If I think the author is reaching back to quote or allude to the Old Testament in the course of his argument, it may affect exegesis of the text.

The bottom line: While UBS4 and NA27 do share the same sequence of letters, they differ in many, many other ways. They are different editions of the same text. Some of these differences can and do affect exegesis. I’ve used examples from the same relatively short epistle (First Timothy, six chapters long) on purpose so you can see these differences can and do occur with frequency.

They are not isolated.

The good news is that your Logos Bible Software presents these texts as they appear in their printed versions. The UBS4 text even has section heads and, in the gospels, cross-references after the headings to parallel passages. You can simply scroll the text side-by-side to see if there are any differences in the passage you’re studying.

When you run across differences, ask yourself: “What impact would this difference have on exegesis of the text? What would I have missed if I wouldn’t have noticed this?” and seriously think about the options. Your exegesis will be better for it.

The times they are a-changing…

A new release this week shows just how much has changed since Logos began 14 years ago. Back then, everyone in the Bible software industry had to be content with getting content from publishers’ backlists (sometimes the deep backlist). The time between the print and electronic edition of a title was typically measured in years.

That has changed. Today, content is being published in multiple formats simultaneously…and sometimes the electronic edition precedes print!

The ESV Reverse Interlinear Bible is a joint project of Crossway, the German Bible Society, and Logos Bible Software. We included the Reverse Interlinear Bible in Logos Bible Software 3, which shipped in May, 2006.

This past Monday, the ESV Bible blog announced that the print edition of ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament has started shipping. You can pick up your copy in hardcover (1,376 pages printed on honest-to-goodness tree matter) from the Good News & Crossway store. If you have not stopped taking your Bible to church, this sounds like a great way to keep your Greek sharp and your pastor on his toes.

What’s Ugaritic Got to Do with Anything?

You may have seen the announcement of our recent Ugaritic Library prepub, thought “Ugar-huh?” and clicked on to the next thing. That’s probably what I would have done…if I hadn’t been hearing some of the smarter people around here going on about Ugaritic lately.

Do you need to know what Ugaritic is, let alone add Ugaritic texts to your digital library? Dr. Heiser, academic editor for Logos Bible Software, wrote an article to tackle these questions. In it, Dr. Heiser calls his grad school class in Ugaritic a “life-changing course” and shares an observation, drawn directly from study of Ugaritic parallels, that he says holds “profound implications for the biblical theology of both testaments.”

So give Dr. Heiser’s article a read and I guarantee you’ll at least learn something you didn’t know about this ancient culture and its religion…and you might even be persuaded to launch your own study of Ugaritic texts in the original language or in English translations. The great news is that the Ugaritic Library has everything you need to get started!

Update 10/27/2006 – Thanks to the ESV Bible Blog for linking to this post and excerpting Mike’s article.

See alsoAll in a Day’s Work: Making an Ugaritic Font

Greek Syntax: Searching for Granville Sharp

If you’ve studied NT Greek, you’ve likely heard of something called the “Granville Sharp Rule”.

If you’ve been around Bible software, you know that many folks use “finding Granville Sharp” as a sort of litmus test for the capabilities of their Bible software.

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament gives us an opportunity to examine what the Granville Sharp rule really is and to think about new ways to find instances of it.
Awhile back I wrote a paper for internal use here at Logos examining what “Granville Sharp” is and how to find it using the traditional “morphology+proximity+agreement” approach. This approach has problems because one must approximate relationships between words using morphological criteria (i.e. part-of-speech data), morphological agreement (i.e. terms ‘agree’ in their specified case), and word proximity (i.e. words are within N words of each other).

Then I examined finding Granville Sharp using the OpenText.org SAGNT. With the syntax annotation, you’re freed from approximating relationships with morphology+proximity+agreement and empowered to actually specify relationships that the syntax annotation encodes.

The 17-page PDF document linked below is that paper. It has explanation and screen shots of the queries, graphs and whatnot so it should help in thinking about how to go about isolating syntactic structures via searching the OpenText.org SAGNT. It might even help get the juices flowing for those considering the Logos/SBL Technology Paper Awards.

I’ve also included the two syntax queries discussed in the paper. I just tested them on 3.0b Beta 2, so if you have that version installed, you should be fine. I would think it would work on any flavor of 3.0, but why not upgrade if you’re not up to date?

Copy the queries to your My Documents\Libronix DLS\Syntax Queries folder and then load them as you would any other syntax search, from the Load … button in the Syntax Search dialogue.

IE7 FAQ & Libronix Update

We’ve put together a web page with information about Internet Explorer 7 and Libronix DLS at: www.logos.com/ie7

The page includes a FAQ section and links to an update page where you can download the latest version of Libronix DLS that works with the latest version of Internet Explorer 7. (Don’t you love moving targets?) If you have already updated to Libronix DLS 3.0b you’re all set.

We’re rolling this version out broadly…it’s the same update you get if you click Tools | Libronix Update from within the application. We’re encouraging all users to update, especially if you have installed or will soon install Internet Explorer 7.

Sahidic Coptic. Why?

We’ve recently pre-pubbed a collection called the Sahidic Coptic Collection. I can hear the questions already:

  • Why worry about a language like Coptic?
  • What is Coptic, anyway?
  • How could that ever be useful?

I’m sure there are other questions along those lines. The short answer to them all is that the Sahidic Coptic editions of New Testament writings are very valuable for text-critical purposes.
Yes, I can see the eyes rolling now, but please, keep up with me. For at least a little longer.

You see, the Sahidic Coptic editions of the New Testament were some of the first translations from the Greek New Testament into another language. And because Coptic has much affinity with Greek (sharing the most of the same alphabet and even sharing many Greek words) those who know a little Greek (like me) can muddle through Coptic after spending time to learn the alphabet and some basic vocabulary.

The resources in the Sahidic Coptic Collection make this a little easier for the Coptic neophyte (that’s where I am) and the folks who are big-time into Coptic.

Because the Sahidic Coptic editions we have are likely very early, they provide an early glimpse into the texts they are translations of. And because most editions are extremely (almost woodenly) literal, they can provide insight into the underlying text — helping in the quest to “establish the text” which is one of the first steps in any serious exegete’s process.

So let’s take an easy example from John 1.28 and see what we can find.

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Latest Beta Fixes Compatibility with IE7

Logos developers were able to isolate and fix the compatibility problems with Logos Bible Software and Internet Explorer 7. The “emergency release” that Bob mentioned in yesterday’s post can be downloaded here:

Update to Libronix DLS 3.0b Beta 2

Unlike most beta versions, we will provide support for Libronix DLS 3.0b Beta 2.
The download size will vary, depending on which version you currently have installed and how many resources you need/choose to update. Estimates are:

  • Libronix DLS 2.1cCore update plus all recommended resources: ~250 MB
  • Libronix DLS 3.0Core updates plus all recommended resources: ~750 MB
  • Libronix DLS 3.0aCore updates only: ~25 MB

If you scan through the list of recommended resources when updating and see items that you never use, feel free to deselect them to save yourself some download time.

Final IE 7 Breaks Logos Bible Software

Amazingly, the final release of IE 7 (released yesterday) introduced yet more changes that break Logos Bible Software.

The v3.0a update which we encouraged you to download yesterday does not work with the final release of IE 7. To fix this, we’ll be making an “emergency release” of v3.0b available later today. This will fix the worst problems with IE 7, and a more thoroughly tested release will be available in the coming weeks (which will also have the latest Vista compatibility fixes).

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience. Please check back here for the latest information.
Update 10/20: Latest Beta Fixes Compatibility with IE7

Zooming Syntax Graphs

Some syntax graphs are small. Others (e.g. Rom 1.1-6; Titus 1.1-4; Col 1.3-8) are huge.

Sometimes it’s nice to zoom in and out to get a picture of the whole structure, or the extent of the clause. And that can be hard to do using the zoom button in the toolbar.

But if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel and a control key … well, it’s pretty easy. And this video shows you how.

Now try it yourself: click here to open the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed GNT: Clause Analysis and get your zoom on.