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.

Continue Reading…

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.

Share the Excitement of Better Bible Study!

Remember your excitement and anticipation the first time you used Logos Bible Software? Running your first Passage Guide and seeing all the books that you could open with just a click. It was like someone cut the covers from all those books and set the information free.

Deep and thorough Bible study suddenly seemed that much more attainable.
Now you can help your friends, co-workers, relatives, congregation, or pastor experience that same joy. The new Refer a Friend program from Logos (previously introduced here) is the perfect way to spread the word about Logos Bible Software, while ensuring that your friend gets the best price possible on the Logos collections. And you receive a little something for your trouble.

So take a moment to think about the people you know who would benefit from a tool like Logos Bible Software, grab your digital address book, and head to: http://www.logos.com/referafriend

The people you refer get 25% off any of the seven Logos base collections…and you get a $25 gift certificate (good on any purchase at Logos.com) for each qualified referral who buys a base collection.

It’s a win-win-win.

If you love using Logos Bible Software and want your friends and family members to get the best possible discount on the world’s greatest tool for Bible study…this program is built for you!
http://www.logos.com/referafriend

Greek Syntax: Love in the Johannines

Most folks are very familiar with the first part of John 3.16, “For God so loved the world”. In the OpenText.org Clause Analysis, that phrase is a Primary Clause (PC), and the word translated “loved” (ἀγαπάω) is the Predicator (P) of the Primary Clause.

Now, if you wanted to find other situations where the underlying Greek word (ἀγαπάω) is used similarly, you could search the New Testament for all instances of ἀγαπάω. You’d find over 100 of them. Perhaps (as the below video assumes) you’re only interested in ἀγαπάω as it is used in the writings traditionally ascribed to John. You could search all of those out too; there are 72 of them (in 51 verses).

But if you did a syntax search and just looked for where a Primary Clause has ἀγαπάω as its predicator, you’d narrow your list down to 18 hits, and you’d know they’re used as the main verb in the primary clause.

Confused? That’s OK. I recorded a video showing all of this. It’s just under nine minutes long and is about 10.6 megs. Watch out, though, I’m getting over a cold so I’m a little congested.

Road Trip Rolls South…of the Equator

During the past few months, we’ve devoted a lot of words and attention to the Bible Road Trip that involved 70 events in 31 states across the United States. Which prompted users in other parts of the globe to ask, “When are you coming to my town?”

If you live in New Zealand, the time is now!


From October 24 through November 2, Dale and Jenni Pritchett will be doing 9 Bible Road Trip events, driving from one end of Aotearoa to the other. With 5 events on the North Island and 4 on the South Island, we hope that everyone who wants to attend will be able to make the drive.

So head over to the Bible Road Trip page for dates, locations and maps…and be sure to RSVP for the event nearest you!

And, Dale, we’re putting in our official request for some of those Hokey Pokey Squiggles!