Bible Speed Search Tips

A feature of Logos 3 that still draws the most oohs and aahs when I demo the software for people is also one of the simplest: Bible Speed Search. I think that’s because of how quick it is (it finds as you type) and how easy it is to figure out. In fact, many people use it much like they use Google: type one or two words and voila! there’s the thing you’re looking for.

Type the word “heaven,” for example, and Bible Speed Search instantly returns 701 hits in 661 verses in the English Standard Version Bible.


But just like Google’s advanced search features, much more is possible using Bible Speed Search. This post will cover a few of the most commonly used search refinements. A more detailed tutorial is available in the training article Exploring Libronix Searching or in the Help file on advanced searching within the software.

You’ll notice in the screenshot above that the first result is not heaven but heavens. What’s going on here? Bible Speed Search automatically looks for variations of the word you type: plural, -ed, -ing, and so on. Usually, that’s fine…but sometimes you really do want to find just the form of the word you typed. In other words, you want to turn off “stemming.”

In this case, use the “nostem” modifier to turn off stemming and find only the form you typed. In Logos, term modifiers like “nostem” are used with parentheses surrounding the search term, like this: nostem(heaven).


Now we see that heaven singular is used 491 times in the ESV. But what if I want to isolate instances of Heaven, singular and capitalized? The “exact” modifier comes to the rescue and Bible Speed Search returns only 7 hits. Using exact tells Logos to only return exact matches, no fooling around.

As you can see, only twice—once in Genesis and once in Daniel—is the word heaven capitalized in the ESV when it’s not at the beginning of a sentence. Significant? Perhaps not. But it would be interesting to know why translators gave those two instances alone the capital treatment.

What if I told you that Logos could very easily find every statement Jesus made about heaven? In a sense, it can.

When Logos data geeks (I mean, book designers) create an electronic edition of a book, they rarely throw anything away. In fact, they even save the red letters that indicate the words of Christ in many Bible versions. Cooler yet, they encode these red letters as invisible “fields” that can be specified in a search.

Field searches use a colon instead of parentheses to separate the two components of the search. The Words of Christ field is WordsOfChrist or WOC for short. So a speed search to find out what Jesus says about heaven looks like: woc:heaven. Pretty simple, huh?

(For a list of fields available within any given book, open the book and click Help | About This Resource. See the training article Exploring Logos Searching for more details.)


As I look through the search results showing all the verses where Jesus uses the word heaven, I notice that the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears rather frequently. I’ll go ahead and type kingdom of heaven in the search box.


OK, clearly this is not what I want. When I type more than one word in the search box, Logos looks for verses that contain all the words I typed. It’s as if I said, “Find verses that contain kingdom and of and heaven…in any order.”

This is called “natural language syntax” and mimics the behavior of the web search engines we use everyday. Again, much like a web search engine, if you want to search for a phrase use quotes.

Here’s what a search for “kingdom of heaven” returns:


As it turns out, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears only in Matthew, appears 32 times, and appears twice in one verse: Matthew 5:19.

We’ve really only touched the tip of the iceberg. To find out more about advanced searching, including lists of available modifiers and operators, see the Advanced Searching section of the Libronix DLS help file.

Summer Internships for Programmers

Do you know a student studying computer science or information science? A smart, hard worker who could use a paid internship this summer helping to build the next generation of Logos Bible Software?

Logos hires interns every summer (and even other times of year), and many of our full-time programmers started out as interns. This summer we are offering a particularly exciting opportunity to work with the latest software technologies (C#, .NET 3.0, WPF, WCF, XAML, etc.) and to contribute to a major development project.

Summer internships are paid, typically 12 weeks long, and are on site here in Bellingham, Washington — a great place to spend the summer. Logos covers transportation costs, helps find housing, and ensures that interns have a chance to grow their skills while contributing to real projects.

We still have a few positions open, so call your crazy-smart computer-geek kid, brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, niece, or nephew and encourage them to visit www.logos.com/jobs for more information! (And don’t forget that we still have a full-time opening for a web developer, too!)

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 3

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

Part 1 introduced some tools and techniques for exploring your new books, while Part 2 focused on commentaries.

This post will review some of the other categories ofbooks that are part of Library Builder, introduce some individual titles, and show where to look for them in your digital library.

Illustrations

Pastors and teachers love illustrations…readers and listeners love them, too. They’re the raisins in the toast, the strawberries in the fruit salad.

Library Builder adds a new bookof illustrations: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching , with fresh material to help you enliven your teaching or your own study.

Your digital library knows that this is a book of illustrations so it will automatically show up in the Illustrations section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide, the system figures out all the topics related to your passage, then scours your books of illustrations to find illustrations on those topics. Like magic.

Music

Library Builder adds five new books on music:

  • 101 Hymn Stories
  • 101 More Hymn Stories
  • Hymns and Scripture Selection Guide
  • Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others
  • The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

You’re probably familiar with the 101 Hymn Stories books that give the history of various hymns and their composers, but some of the others may be new to you.

Hymn and Scripture Selection Guide is great because, while it does not contain hymn texts,each hymn is tagged with numerous Bible references. That increases the odds you’ll find a song relating tothe Bible passage you’re studying or preaching!

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others and The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts open a window on the poetical voice of those who contributed greatly to the hymnody of the Christian church in bygone days. Sometimes one of these classic hymns, read as a poem, is just the thing to illustrate a biblical truth.

Again, Logos Bible Software knows that these are books dealing with music, so they show up in the Music section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide on a passage of Scripture, the guide finds any hymns or songs that relate to the passage you’re studying.

What you see above are the Music results I get for a Passage Guide on Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (ESV)

Books on Prayer

Library Builder adds quite a number of books on prayer. It’s easy to locate them all in your library: just click My Library, arrange by subject, then type prayer.

You’ll notice a bunch of books by E.M. Bounds, one by Tom Elliff, one by P.T. Forsyth, and one by Oswald Chambers…all new with Library Builder.

Because prayer is such a vital discipline in the Christian’s life, Logos Bible Software also includes a feature right on the homepage that introduces you to books on prayer within your library. Your new books on prayer show up here automatically.

Just click any of the links in the list to open that book to its table of contents and begin exploring.

(Note: the Prayer section of the Logos Bible Software homepage can be turned off or on via the “Customize View” link at the top of the homepage. The Prayer section is only available if you have the Personal Bible Study Addin, included with Logos Bible Software base libraries or available as a separate purchase but not included with Library Builder.)

Devotionals

Devotionals, structured around daily readings and meditations, are a great way to get into the Word every day. The Devotions section on the Logos Bible Software homepage makes it easy to start every day with the devotional of your choice.

Here I’ve selected two of the devotionals that are new in Library Builder.

Take Heart is a very cool concept—it offers daily snippets from sermons by great preachers of the past such as C.H. Spurgeon, G.Campbell Morgan, and John Ker. As the editor writes in the preface, “These preached words are a part of our Christian heritage, and you will find the power of God in them still. I want to preserve them not because they are old but because they are true. It is our loss if we allow this part of our heritage to crumble to dust, forgotten, on out-of-the-way shelves.”

Drawing Near by John MacArthur reflects that teacher’s emphasis on in-depth Bible exposition study. As MacArthur states in the introduction: “As you use this book daily, you will learn how to approach Scripture on your own, developing the study skills you need to open up the Bible and discover its rich and marvelous truths for yourself. Such repeated exposure to God’s Word trains you to think Biblically, and that’s what ultimately makes a difference in your spiritual life.”

ChoosingDevotionals for Your Homepage

To choose the devotional that gets displayed on your homepage every day, click the Customize View link at the top right corner of the Logos homepage.

Then scroll down to the Devotions section and choose as many of the devotionals as you’d like to see on the homepage every day. Put a check in the boxes for those you choose, make sure there’s a check next to “Devotions,” then scroll back up to the top of the page and click Save Changes.

Note: the version of Take Heart that shipped on the Library Builder disc will not show up in the list of devotions; in order to make this devotional show up as an option, download an updated version of the book. Here’s how: close Libronix DLS, then click this link and choose to save the file to your resources folder (for most users, C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources). When prompted, overwrite the file that’s already there.

Looking Ahead…

In the next installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some of the books that don’t fall into any of the categories we’ve covered thus far. You’ll definitely want totake some steps to ensure you’reincorporating these “ordinary” books into your Bible study workflow.

Seeing Double? Eliminate Duplicate Books in Your Library

A recent commenter here on the blog expressed frustration at having duplicate books that clutter up My Library and hog space on his hard drive. Jonathan Pratt wrote,

One problem is that every series that I install comes with its own set of reference materials – typically a few versions of the Bible and a single volume commentary or two, perhaps some other stuff. Well I have lots of copies of (say) the authorized version of the Bible. Because each has a slightly different name [e.g "Authorized version", or "Bible - AV"] they are all installed (copied to my hard drive) and show up all over the place in My Library.

Last time I checked the Libronix repository was nearly 6GB in size – I know because I tried to back it up but I can’t fit it all on a single (single layer) DVD. I don’t know for sure, but maybe I could if I could somehow choose to delete/expunge books that I know are duplicates. Libronix itself doesn’t seem to be able to do that…

Let’s address these in order. First, you can rest easy knowing that it’s extremely unlikely that you have multiple copies of the same book.

Say you buy two products that both contain the KJV Bible. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean two copies of the KJV book file will end up on your drive. During installation, Libronix DLS compares the files on your hard drive with what’s on the disc you’re installing. If a file on disc is newer, it will overwrite what’s on your hard drive. If not, Libronix skips it and moves on.

Acouple of caveats are worthy of mention, however, and one of them is to blame for making Jonathan think there are duplicate files all over his hard drive.

Eliminate Duplicate Titles in My Library

When you open My Library, you may notice that many books are listed multiple times.

Titles 2, 3, 4 and 6 in this screenshot are all the same book. Why this duplication? Many books include multiple titles to allow for different ways of finding the book (e.g., AV, authorized, king james, kjv, etc).

Admittedly, with all these duplicate and sometimes triplicate titles it can be hard to find what you are looking for…and confusing to know when items with similar titles really are different books.The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English Version really is a different version of the KJV…not the same file at all!

To help reduce this confusion, we give you the option to display only the primary title of each book in My Library. Here’s how to set your preference:

  1. Go to Tools | Options | General
  2. On the left side of the Options window, click the Interface tab.
  3. Check the option “Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library” and click OK.

Now go back to My Library and you will only see one title for each book.

Ahhh…much better. Truth is, this is one of the first preferences I set when I install Logos on a new machine. And there’s really no downside…I can still type KJV in the find box and the King James Version will appear in the list.

Eliminate Duplicate Files from Your Hard Drive(s)

Most users copy all their Libronix book files to the default location on their hard drive and so never accumulate duplicate files. But the intrepid user among us may have set up multiple book caches, perhaps on more than one hard drive, and maybe even a network drive. As a result, this user—let’s call him a “Power User”—may have built up some duplicate book files on his hard drives.

If you fall into this category and feel the need to identify and eliminate those pesky dupes, you’ll want to install the free Power Tools Addin and use the Remove Duplicate Resources report therein.

After installing the addin, read through the help filejust to make sure you understand how the tool works and what it’s doing.The process is mostly automated anddeleted book files end up in your Recycle Bin, so the damage can be undone at any rate.

Wrapping It Up

To wrap things up in a neat little bundle…Libronix is probably not junking up your hard drive with duplicate book files. But you can always run the Remove Duplicate Resources report just to be sure. And by telling My Library to show only primary book titles, you can eliminate any remaining feelings of clutter that may still disturb your tranquility.

If you shared some of Jonathan’s questions and concerns at the beginning of this post, you should now sleep a little better tonight.

Vote for Logos

As you may recall, we announced last month that Logos Bible Software 3 is nominated for Consumer Product of the Year by the Washington State technology industry association. In fact, this nomination means Logos is counted among the (cue soundtrack) HeroesofInnovation!

This year the association is doing a new thing: a Community’s Choice Award. In addition to the winners in each category there will be a kind of “people’s choice” winner as voted on by…the people.

That’s where you come in!

We’d really love to stand in front of 1,000 attendees at the awards ceremony—all of them creating greattechnology products that help people in various ways—and receive this award because you put us there. We think Logos is the most deserving technology and hope you agree.

(Don’t worry…this is all on the up and up. The awards committee asked us to get the word out to our constituents, asking you to vote.)

If you can take a moment to vote for Logos 3 (it doesn’t matter where you live), here’s how:

  1. You will have to create an account at the awards site.
  2. Next, vote for Logos Bible Software.

When the page refreshes you’ll see how we’re doing!

Thanks for being such great users…your passion for the product and for Bible study keeps us going!

46 Books Need a Nudge

A number of exciting titles on the prepub page are tantalizingly close to crossing the 100% threshold and moving into production. The five substantial collections listed below, which total 46 volumes in all,each need literally just a handful of pre-orders to push them over the line.

Just think, you could be the one toplace the final pre-order that moves one of these on to the next phase!

Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection (10 Volumes)

The Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection assembles titles dealing with Christian apocryphal literature, particularly those texts associated with the Gnostic tradition. Given their contemporary relevance, it is critical for the Christian to understand these ancient texts and evaluate their place within Christianity’s history.


Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on Paul (17 volumes)

Surveying a variety of aspects of Pauline Christianity, this collection canvasses topics as diverse as Paul’s political motivations, community-identity construction, the prevalence of non-Pauline interpolations in the Epistles, scalometry’s relevance to Paul’s writings, and many other fascinating issues. Written with the academic in mind, the progressive thought and timely analysis exhibited here will prove profitable to anyone wishing to study this complex apostle more deeply.


Understanding the Bible and Its World Collection (4 volumes)

The titles in this collection reveal the importance and place of the Septuagint, religious diversity in the Graeco-Roman world, ethics’ relation to the New Testament, and narrative art in the Bible. Written with the neophyte in mind, these titles nonetheless feature a level of astute scholarship that will interest even the most knowledgeable student of the Bible.


Near East Archaeology Collection (3 volumes)

The Near East Archaeology Collection presents the findings of several sites in the Near East. The three volumes examine Aegean sites, as well as sites in Jordon and in Israel. Topics include settlement patterns, pottery, iconography, cult, paleography, urbanism, and much more.


Ugaritic Library (12 volumes)

Ugaritic is the ancient language of one of Israel’s closest neighbors, the city state of Ras Shamra, located in what is now Syria. Ugaritic is from the same family of languages as Hebrew, Northwest Semitic. This means the Ugaritic texts are closely related to the Hebrew Bible, both linguistically and culturally.

The Ugaritic Library contains the complete corpus of Ugaritic texts together with aids and indices to better illuminate these ancient writings and the Hebrew Bible. These include grammatical and lexical books to help the reader learn and read Ugaritic, translations of many of the important documents (with commentary), and volumes designed to help the Bible student easily locate the places where Ugaritic can shed some light on the text of the Hebrew Bible.

Lecture Series Event Recap

Logos marketing assistantMark VanDyke, who has been instrumental in promoting the Lecture Series, shares this retrospective.


This past Monday, Logos presented the first Lecture Series event to a standing-room only crowd at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

More than 160 peopleturned out to hear featured lecturer Dr. Rod Stiling of Seattle Pacific University, who spoke on “Interpretations of the Genesis Flood Before and After Darwin”.
The lecture focused mostly on American geology during the scientific revolution, specifically as it related to Noah’s flood.

One of the highlights of the night was Dr. Stiling’s incorporation of art into his lecture – often referring to how painters in the late 19th century viewed the flood.

The lecture was followed by a stimulating question and answer session filled with pointed questions about the effects that science can have on one’s faith and how Christians should approach the Bible with some knowledge of empirical evidence for what they believe.

The feedback submitted after the lecture was overwhelmingly positive – which is particularly gratifying due to the diverse crowd that had gathered to hear Dr. Stiling speak.

The next three lectures in the series are already lined up, so be sure to visit the Lecture Series page for all the details!

March 26, 2007Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable? Dr. Phil Long, Regent College

April 14, 2007Exploring the New Myths of Science and Science FictionDr. James A. Herrick, Hope College

May 5, 2007The Psalms and Our Destiny: Understanding the Message of the Book of PsalmsDr. Mark Futato, Reformed Theological Seminary

Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth

Today’s post is an excerpt from a recent NewsWire mailing

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” —Isaiah 40:8 (ESV)

I still choke up when I read that verse, and I pray that I always will.

Isaiah 40:8speaks volumes. It conveys more depth and richness of content in fifteen short words than some authors getacross in their entire collected life’s works.This powerfuldeclaration remindsus why we are here at Logos. We believe in this verse with all our hearts, and want to do everything in our power to make sure that during our brief time on this earth,we doas much as we areable to advance the study of God’s Word.

You have probably heard the story behind the founding of Logos Bible Software before: A couple of young Microsoft programmers with their entire careers of high-pay and lucrative Microsoft stock options ahead of them, dropped everything to join a partner and risk it all on pursuing their dream.

They weren’t satisfied with using their skills to help businessmen have access to the latest and greatest in technology just so they could be more productive or do better in business…

They wanted more.

They wanted to use those same skills to help God’s people in every walk of life have better access to the treasures of God’s Word.

They wanted to use the latest and greatest in technology to create tools for taking people deeper into Bible study than they ever thought possible.

“Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth”

Before anything else, we have a passion for God’s Word. In order to help you get the most fromGod’s Word, we relentlessly push technology to the limits, and make sure we are always up on the latest and greatest.

It is that passion that keeps everyone at Logos pushing technology forward. It is that passion that keeps us experimenting with the latest software and tools out there wherever they come from. It is that passion that ensures that your Logos Bible Software will continue to get better and better.

We promise that we will continue to push technology to the limits to make studying the Bible deeper, easier and better in every way possible.

Really, we are serious about this!

The most obvious benefit of our passion to help you get the most out of your Bible study is the ever-improving Logos Bible Software engine (the Libronix Digital Library System).Our passionfor making sure we are up on the latest and greatest technology ensures that you have uninterrupted access to the best Bible studysoftware in the world even when Microsoft releases new operating systems like Windows Vista, and new browsers like Internet Explorer 7.The latest version of Logos Bible Software is ready for both: Get it now.

Honestly, there is no catch!

Keeping up to date with the core engine in Logos Bible Software doesn’t cost a thing. There is no reason not to download the latest versionand stay current. Take a moment and make sure you are using the latest and greatest in technology by updating your engine for free: http://www.logos.com/support/download/30update

Experience just how far our passion has taken us…

There is no catch to the download. You can make sure you have the latest core engine at no cost just like we mentioned above…

…but if you are looking to do more than just keep your software current with the latest operating systems,or you want to see just how far our passion has taken us to create extra tools and add-ins to bring you new ways to dig deeper, read on.

After you update your core engine you should check out the individually customized upgradesale that is about to expire on collection upgrades. Download the update first, then if you want to jump light years ahead in your Bible study and add more great tools, add-ins and resources for pennies on the dollar, you should really check out our custom collection upgrades that are still on sale for just a month or so more at: http://www.logos.com/upgrade

Digital Exegesis How-To & Review of Personal Book Builder

The latest issue of Christian Computing Magazine includes two articles pertinent to Logos Bible Software.

The first is a review of Personal Book Builder by writer, editor and cartoonistRob Suggs, who was the subject of a recent post here on the Logos Blog.

In the second article, a Logos user offers tips on how he uses Bible software in the task of exegesis—including the 12-step pattern he follows when preparing a sermon. As we hinted in a another recent blog post, Logos Bible Software will soon include a built-in tool to help structure your Bible study workflow using a variety of study methodologies.

Without further ado, here are leads for the two CCMag articles.

Special Feature – Bible Software’s Best Kept Secret, Libronix Book Builder

by Rob Suggs

It happened sometime in the late nineties. As a Christian magazine editor, I attended a training session for a Bible study software program called Logos. Morris Proctor, our teacher, demonstrated the many pleasures of the Word Made Electronic. The only problem was that, as a publishing firm, we had an office full of Apple equipment, and Logos for the Mac was still on the drawing board.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Doing Good Digital Exegesis

Higher Power with Kevin

by Kevin A. Purcell

In the book and paper world, biblical exegesis is a time consuming, but useful task. Without it, you cannot faithfully preach the Word of God. A computer and Bible Study software will help you do high-quality, biblical exegesis in far less time than it would using stacks of books and a legal pad. And your study will be more advanced as you utilize powerful original language tools, even if you don’t know Greek or Hebrew.

Read the entire article… (PDF )

Active Bible Reference Visual Filter

In a post awhile back, I mentioned something called the Active Bible Reference visual filter.
This is one of those things best seen. So I made a video to show how it works. Check it out.