Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. James A. Herrick

This month’s lecturer ismy friend and former college professor Dr. Jim Herrick.

His lecture, entitled “Exploring New Myths of Science and Science Fiction,” will be held at the Mt. Baker Theater here in Bellingham at 7:00pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Professor Herrick’s classes on rhetoric and argumentation were some of my favorite classeswhile an undergraduate at Hope College, which prompted me to declare a major in communication.

One thing I’ve always admired about Professor Herrick is the scope of hisinquiry and his ability to bring together ideas from various disciplines and historical eras. I expect that the lecture tomorrow will provide a fascinating and challenging look at how popular cultural gives expression to significant, spiritual ideas.

Herrick’s book The Making of a New Spirituality weaves together Kabbalah, Ayn Rand, Joseph Smith, Marcus Borg, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and many other influential figuresto make a case that a new spirituality is emerging that “directly calls into question each major tenet of Judeo-Christian tradition and so represents a radical alternative to it.”

His chapter on science fiction touches on aVictorian-era science fictionnovel, Spielberg’s classic movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Star Trek mythology to show how these cultural artifacts express and reinforce the notion of human evolutionary progress.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it to the lecture tomorrow night. Click here for furtherdetails.

For those who can’t make it, I give a hearty plug for Jim’s books, including the one on Scientific Mythologies to be released in 2008:

The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition(InterVarsity Press, 2003)

  • A 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist and one of Preaching magazine’s 2004 “Top Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read”

Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs (InterVarsity Press, 2008)

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists: The Discourse of Skepticism, 1680-1750(Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1997)

The History and Theory of Rhetoric, 3rd Edition (Allyn & Bacon, 2005)

Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments(Strata Publishing, 2003)

Using NT Greek Manuscripts with Logos Reports

In the course of working on a review of Ugaritic Library andLogos 3, blogger and pastor Dr. Jim West recently asked me whether Comfort & Barrett’s Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts could be made to appear in the Exegetical Guide report. Since that reportprovides exegetical helpsfor a given passage of Scripture, wouldn’t it be neat if it would automatically discover and link to any papyrithat overlap withyour passage?

I agreed that this would be grand, but since it’s not currently coded into the Exegetical Guide report I wanted to find a way to do something similar.

Rick Brannan reminded me that the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is a great way to examine and compare manuscript evidence for a given portion of Scripture (as outlined in this article).

Note: If you don’t own this addin, you can use the standard Parallel Bible Versions report (sans highlighting of textual differences) or buy it here.

Now if I could only find a way to get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to stay in synch with Exegetical Guide so that they would track together as I move from verse to verse.

Wonderful news: in Logos 3 this is possible. Just set the “chain link” icon in both reports to A.

Now the two reports track together. Whenever I move Exegetical Guide to a new passage of Scripture, the Compare Parallel Bibles report updates itself to show that passage.

Just one problem, though. How do I get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to show not one but all the papyri containing the verses I’m studying? As you may know,a given biblical verse or passage can appear in any number of manuscripts and fragments. For example, John 1:30 is attested in four different papyri:P5, P66, P75, and P106!

If you open My Library and locate Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts you’ll see that this single volume contains all the papyri from Comfort & Barrett’s book and is, in fact, laid out just like the print edition of that book. It even contains a list of manuscripts in canonical order, which is how I knew that John 1:30 appears in four different manuscripts.

Because this single resource contains all the manuscripts in one place you might think you could specify it in the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report and the report would automatically show you all the manuscripts containing your desired verse. But you’d be wrong…

Whenyou tell the report to compare NA27 and TENTGM (the all-in-one resource), the report only shows the first papyrus that matches the verse selected…in this case John 1:30 from P5.This is because the report is designed to compare Bible versions that are individual resources within the digital library…not multiple “versions” within one book.If only we could split the manuscripts up into individual resources!

Fortunately for us, the Logos book designers anticipated this need and did just that. Each manuscript appears twice in your digital library—once in the all-in-one resource (TENTGM) and once in an individual resource (e.g., TENTP30which appears in My Library as P30 from The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts).

So all we have to do is specify each papyrus (Pnumber) individually, putting them all into the Versions box. The report is smart enough to show onlymanuscripts that contain data for the specified passage.

Since there are 69 different resources, it’s a bit of a hassle to type in “P1, P4, P5, P6, etc.” But I already endured the hassle, so I’ll make it easy on you and share my workspace. Just right-click this file, choose Save Target As,and save it to My Documents\Libronix DLS\Workspaces then open it from within Libronix via File | Load Workspace.

Here’s what you’ll see, more or less (click the thumbnail for a larger view)…

Starting from the top leftand moving clockwise: Exegetical Guide, Compare Parallel Bible Versions, NA27 Apparatus (Tischendorf apparatus on tab), SESB edition of NA27 with apparatus markers (ESV NT Reverse Interlinear on tab). Of course, if you don’t own SESB or SESB for Logos Users Special Edition the apparatus and NA27 at the bottom of the workspace will show up as locked. But you can replace them with another book for your own workspace.

Now when you scroll or jump any of these four linked windows to a new verse, all the others will follow. As you can see, the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is comparing NA27 against Scrivener’s TR and all relevant papyri from Comfort & Barrett (in this case, P5, P66, P75 and P106).

Tip: You can either use this workspace “as is” or just add the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to your Favorites and call it up whenever you want…saving you the trouble of entering all 69 papyri in the Versions box. Once the report is saved to your Favorites, you will be able to easily come back to it later or add it to another workspace.

Caveats and Links

Eli Evans saw what I was doing here and is giving some thoughtas to how to make this all work a little smoother in the next major version of Logos. He also offered these caveats which I will pass along to you:

Beware that most (all?) of the C&B stuff has chapter-level milestones in it, so you may get a few papyri poking in where they don’t have any evidence. Try John 1:1, for example. Neither P5 nor P106 has verse 1, but they both have chapter 1, so they show up with 100% variance from the base. The report asks for “John 1:1″ and the resource says, “The closest thing I have is John 1, but it doesn’t have any content,” to which the report replies, “Close enough, I guess.” P5 starts at 1:23, and P106 at 1:29.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that where it looks like there is a significant variant, one really ought to click on the MSS title in the report and look at the resource. Things like brackets and uncertainty dots are stripped in the report, so there’s a whole level of detail that isn’t represented here. But this is good for finding the drill-down spots.

He’s right on both counts, of course. Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll notice that brackets and dots have been stripped out for this report. Also, things like hard returns get flagged as differences (see, for example,blepei in P5 and P106). Since manuscripts may have words missing along the edges these hard returns can actually hold significance but it’s always a good
idea to open up the actual manuscript for further detail.

All that to say that uncritical use of this report would be unwise but with some discernment as to what it can and cannot do, it’s a great way to quickly flag differences between the manuscripts and know where to dig in for further analysis.

Links

Reverse Interlinear Bibles: Key to Better Bible Study

John Fallahee, king of Logos video tutorials, just produced a new video on reverse interlinear Bibles.

The video introduces the unique features of reverse interlinear Bibles and, through an extended example, shows how these features solve five common problems that plague the person who studies the Bible in translation:

  1. You can’t trust your search results with English only searches.
  2. You can’t see the author’s original word choice.
  3. You can’t see different words functioning differentlyin the original text.
  4. Meaning can be obscured through the English translation.
  5. Strong’s numbers can’t reveal how the word is functioning.

Check it out: Better Bible Study Through Reverse Interlinear Bibles (14:21, 21.2MB)

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…