Examining Some Ambiguities IV: What’s the Quotation in James 4.5?

In a previous post, we looked at how English translations delimit the quotation in James 4.5. Do other resources shed any light on this question?

Greek New Testaments
We can examine the formatting of Greek New Testaments much like we examined the formatting of English New Testaments. In Logos Bible Software, the relevant Greek NTs are the NA27 and UBS4 editions along with Westcott & Hort. If you have a product from Thomas Nelson, you may also have the Hodges/Farstad edition of the Majority Text, this is formatted as well.

In the above, you can see that Hodges/Farstad formats v. 6 as a quotation (complete with angle quotes). In v. 5, the relevant portion appears to be treated as a quotation of some sort; this is traditionally what an upper-cased letter after introduction would imply (ἡ Γραφὴ λέγει, Πρὸς φθόνον ἐπιποθεῖ). The upper-case gamma in Γραφὴ also implies the editors see this as referring to the Scriptures, and not to generic writings of some sort.

The NA27 uses italicised text for v. 6, which indicates an Old Testament quotation. But no special formatting or casing appears in v. 5. The UBS4 is similar, only they have no special formatting implying quotation or quotation source.

Westcott and Hort use bold text to indicate some sort of quotation or allusion (not always to the Old Testament). So v. 6 includes a quotation, but no special formatting on v. 5. (note also the placement of the question mark in WH vs. NA27/UBS, that could be significant when translating the verses).

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
The Lexham SGNT marks what the editor considers to be quotations from or allusions to external source with what is called a Quotative Frame.

The Lexham SGNT Glossary defines the Quotative Frame as follows:

Quotative Frame: A frame which contains an explicit quotation, or citation, from an external source. Where allusion occurs or where, as in sections of Hebrews, the text of external sources is woven inextricably into the main text, this is annotated as if it were original on the part of the author.

Lukaszewski, A. L. (2006; 2006). The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Glossary. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Commentaries
Logos Bible Software has a wide selection of Commentaries. Commentaries focused on working through the Greek text or that are focused on interpretational difficulties will assist one in this verse. I’ve reviewed a few commentaries on this verse (NIGTC, Hermeneia, ICC, Word Biblical Commentary) and they don’t agree any more than the translators do. But the better commentaries will explore the possibilities and explain the positives and negatives of each in some degree of detail before arriving at a conclusion. Comparing these sorts of discussions across commentaries can be enlightening and helpful in sticky situations like this one.

Conclusion
Using resources like these — in ways you may not have thought of — helps in examining the questions we’ve run into in James 4.5. Hopefully this series of posts has been helpful.

My primary purpose has been to show that when one runs into ambiguities in the text, there are a lot of places one can turn. The options are knowable and explorable, utilizing both textual resources (Bibles and commentaries), databases (morphology and syntactic databases) and reports (like Passage in all Versions). So next time you run into an ambiguity … have fun digging!

Rick Warren, Collector

In arecent issue of Rick Warren’s MinistryToolBox email, Rick wrote,

One of the most helpful habits you can develop as a preacher is to become a collector. I’ve been a “collector” for years, and it has made my preaching much more effective. I’m not talking about a hobby. I’m talking about constantly being on the lookout for items that can be helpful for your messages.

He went on to describe his system for collecting Bible verses, memorizing the Word, and keeping word lists related to a subject. Rick uses plastic buckets from Wal-Mart to file articles, illustrations, and other ideas he comes across that may be useful in his preaching someday.

As soon as I saw Rick Warren’s article about being a collector, I dashed off an email to let him know about the new Sermon File Addin for Logos Bible Software that was just released today. I told Rick how, instead ofaccumulating piles of paper and having no way to efficientlysearch and organize his material, he could use Sermon File Addin to conveniently store it in one place—tagged, indexed, and ready to search!

That’s right…Sermon File Addin takes the power of the Libronix Digital Library System (which represents, I don’t know, several millions of dollars of research and development) and applies it to your ownsermons and illustrations. Wanna know more? Check out the video demo…

I haven’t heard back from Rick yet (does anyone have his direct line?)…so if you want to get an edge on Rick Warren you can add the Sermon File Addin to your digital library right now and benefit from the convenience of a fully digitized archive of sermons, illustrations and other ideas collected over time.

Comparing Your Active Bible Text

Sometimes you know parts but haven’t put together the whole. That happened to me today.
I knew that I could link reports to the active Bible text window.

I knew that I could run a Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to highlight the differences between editions.

I didn’t realize that I could link the active window to the report … so when I scroll in my Bible, the comparison scrolls along. Now that is cool. Here’s a video to show you how it works.

Did you notice how I just typed version abbreviations, separated by commas, in the compare report window? Pretty cool, huh? And if you think that’s cool … poke around other reports and see which ones have a link icon. Link up, and see what happens!

Historical and Cultural Background of the Bible

We’ve just created a new Product Guide to help our customers find books that elucidate the historical and cultural background of the Bible. Previous Product Guides include one for Greek Bible Texts and Tools, another for Hebrew Bible Texts and Tools, and a third on Multi-Volume Commentaries. You can check out these and other product guides here.

Examining Some Ambiguities III: What’s the Quotation in James 4.5?

I’ve been blogging about James 4.5-6. In the series I blogged about examining the text using English translations. Then I blogged about the underlying Greek. There are still more questions with James 4.5-6, however. In this post we’ll consider the quotation from Scripture mentioned in James 4.5 and how it is represented in the English texts. Is it a quotation, or is it a summary of Scripture? Here’s the text:

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?(Jas 4:5, ESV)

Instead of writing ad nauseum about this, I’ve recorded a video that that compares the quotes in English translations. Examining the way that the major English translations handle this gives us an idea of the options and might even give us help in deciding which option is preferred in this case.

Bringing the Bible Back to America

Logos is taking the Bible Study Bus back on the road this summer!

Right now we’re working hard to line up host churches in cities all across the country. If you’re able to open your churchor school foran event, please check the itinerary at www.BibleStudyBus.com and then fill out this brief survey with some details about your venue.

The following article should give you a flavor of what the tour will be like.

Continue Reading…

Examining Some Ambiguities II: James 4:5-6 in the Greek

Earlier I blogged on using multiple English translations to see how a passage is translated differently. In passages (such as James 4.5-6) where there are ambiguities, many times comparing English translations can help in understanding the best way to deal with the ambiguity.
With James 4.5, as we saw, translations are fairly evenly split in handling this passage. Recall the issues:

  • Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’?
  • Is [Ss]pirit the subject or direct object of its clause?

The first point is determined largely by context and how one reads the text. This means it is important to determine whether [Ss]pirit is the subject or direct object because this may assist in determining whether it is ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’. This post digs into the second point above by digging down into the underlying Greek. Of course, this is problematic for the same reason: ambiguity.

Continue Reading…

Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. Long–Regent College

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke works in the marketing department at Logos.
Today Logos Bible Software will present Dr. V. Philips Long in the second event of the popular Lecture Series.

Dr. Long, who is currently a professor of Old Testament Studies at Regent College, will be addressing the question “Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?”

The Bible has been much in the news recently, not least because some are claiming that its value as a source of historical information is minimal. But is biblical history “bunk,” as Henry Ford once remarked with respect to all history? Is the Old Testament a “False Testament,” as Daniel Lazare asserted in a 2002 article in Harper’s Magazine (basing his views largely on a book entitled The Bible Unearthed, by Finkelstein and Silberman)?

Reasons for questioning the historical reliability of the Old Testament have ranged from the theological to the literary to the archaeological. But none of the reasons cited justify the dismissal of the historical value of the Old Testament. In fact, current advances in the literary study of the Bible, breakthroughs in archaeological discovery and interpretation, and greater awareness of how one’s “background beliefs” (including theological ones) influence textual interpretation, open the door to a much more favorable verdict regarding the historical reliability of the Old Testament.

As always, this event will be free to attend and open to the public. The event will begin at 7:00 PM at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

Get there early because seats will be limited.

For more information about this and other lectures visit www.Logos.com/lectures.

Logos 3 Wins Industry Achievement Award

Logos Bible Software 3was honored with the Community’s Choice Award at the WSA technology industry event Wednesday night in Seattle.

Farecast.com won Consumer Product of the Year (we were a finalist in that category), and they definitely deserve it, so congrats to them!

It was great to see Logos recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 of the industry’s finest, including people from Microsoft, Google (though I didn’t see any), the Puget Sound Business Journal, Farecast, WhitePages.com and many other Washington State businesses.

When accepting the award, Bob said that when he and Kiernon left Microsoft to start Logos, they traded down in terms of the size of the user base but traded up in terms of the passion and loyalty of users. I heartily agree.

According to the event brochure, the Community Choice Award is “perhaps the most coveted of the WSA Industry Achievement Awards.” We certainly owe it to our community of users, who are the best in the world (and no doubt coveted by some of the other companies at the event).

Thanks for your passion for Bible study and Logos Bible Software!

What Kinds of Hope? NT, Apostolic Fathers, and Syntax Searching

I am a contributor at another blog called PastoralEpistles.com. That blog is one outlet where I work specifically with my favorite section of the New Testament, the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus).

Over on PastoralEpistles.com, I’m working on a series of posts that combines a few of my loves: The writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Koine Greek, and the Pastoral Epistles. I’m using a book published in 1904 by Oxford titled The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (that one is actually a Community Pricing title, check it out!) that provides information on areas in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers that show affinity with areas of the New Testament. These “areas of affinity” may be outright quotes, they may be indirect citations, they may be allusions, or they may simply have topical similarity using similar language for similar topics.

I’m also able to use the shortly-to-be-released Logos Edition of the Apostolic Fathers which makes this sort of work loads easier than it was before. It’s true, after long last the work on the Apostolic Fathers is done and it should be released on time — so hurry up and get the pre-pub price while you can!.

Basically, I’m working through where writings of the Apostolic Fathers are noted to have affinity with the Pastoral Epistles. I started in the Epistle of Barnabas. Here’s an example of an entry from The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers:

This short section provides the texts in question and a short (emphasis on short) discussion. But it’s a starting point. Basically I’m reviewing the texts and considering the linkages. You can check out my discussion on the Ep.Barn. 1.3-6 || Titus 3.5-7; 1.2 affinities.

I’m not writing this post to discuss linkages between the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and the NT (as cool as that would be). Instead, I’m going to shift to syntax. In looking at the above linkages, one notices the Greek ἐλπίδι ζωῆς (hope of life) prominent in both the Barnabas and Titus passages.

This prompted me to ask a few questions. First, I wondered how prominent this “hope of life” (Titus has “life eternal”) is in the NT, and second I wondered what other sorts of “hope” there were in the NT. And these questions can be answered with syntax searches.

I made the below video that sets up the search and shows the results. If one just searches the Greek NT for ἐλπίς, 48 verses (53 instances) are located. But there are 18 instances where “hope” is qualified in some way. There are only two instances where it is qualified by “life” (ζωῆς), and both of them are in Titus (the two examples cited above in relation to Barnabas).

Why do I bring this up? Well, with the advent of the syntactically tagged databases of the Greek New Testament, I find myself asking more and more questions like this. And I’m more and more able to run a syntax query (many of which share the same basic template that this search has) to get a clearer picture of some grammatical phenomenon without having to run a blunt concordance search, and then sift through the hits. I’m able to get more relevant, more meaningful instances of what I’m interested in and sift through less chaff in the process. And this has made my study of the New Testament deeper, which can only help my understanding and application. And to my mind, that’s what it’s all about.