Sipping from a Firehose

I love being a dad and one of my favorite moments every day is when I get home after work and my daughters, aged 2 and 4, run to the door with hugs and squeals of delight. Makes a guy feel like a hero.

It can also be a bit overwhelming, as the girls often try to outdo one another in relating the news of the day. There’s just so much to tell and all of it is highly important.

As we attempt to convey all the stuff that’s happening at Logos I sometimes feel like my daughters. We have so much to communicate and everything is important, at least to some slice of our constituents. Though we do try to keep the squealing to a minimum.

There’s certainly a risk ofinflicting information overload.But even with the blog, NewsWire, newsgroups, and alerts within Libronixwe often have to leave things unsaid.

A classic example: with the massive influx of new prepublication titles it’s easyto lose track ofwhat’s been added to the prepublication page. That means eager customers who pre-order a title may wait longer for the title to gain enough support to move into production. Many of these titles would go straight into production if we could just deliver the message to allthe interested people (without swamping everyone else).

Announcing…Special Interest Lists

The NewsWire email service will always remain the best way to stay current on the latest sales, specials, and new products from Logos. It’s for everyone and if you pay attention to nothing else from us, you should be sure to open NewsWire when it hits your inbox.

But now you canreceive additional announcements in areas of special interest. The four newemail lists described below will ensure that you’re hearing about the titles that are most important to you.

We also hope that opening up this new communication channel will prevent some of the more “niche” titles from getting lost in the shuffle, giving them an extra boost and moving them into production more directly.

The four new lists you can subscribe to are:

  • Greek Interest – News, product announcements, and updates for those who work with the Greek language.
  • Hebrew Interest – Ditto, but for Hebrew.
  • Other Ancient Languages Interest – Ditto, but for “other ancient languages” such as Aramaic, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Ugaritic, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, Ethiopic, Old Church Slavonic.
  • Academic Interest – This list is not related to the academic purchase program. It’s for people who have a strong interest in scholarly books that tend to interact heavily with the literature of biblical studies.For example, theLibrary of NT Studies: JSNTS on Paulor Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

We haven’t sent the first mailing to any of these lists yet, but you can sign up now and get in from the beginning. If you don’t find it to be useful, you can always unsubscribe later.

Hint: Be sure to follow all the steps below, as these are double opt-in lists.

Sign Up Now!

  1. Visit your My Subscriptions page at Logos.com to view and subscribe to available email lists. (You can always get there again later from My Account, linked at the top-right corner of the website.)
  2. Check the box next to each subscription you want to receive.
  3. Click the “Update Subscriptions” button at the bottom. Your computer will think for a few seconds as the server subscribes/unsubscribes you appropriately.
  4. Important:at this point, a Confirm button appears. You’re not subscribed until you click Confirm!(Note: The Macintosh Interest list requires separate confirmation.)
  5. Once you’ve confirmed your subscription(s), the My Subscriptions page will show a checkmark by each mailing you’ll receive. The list manager will send you another email letting you know you’re subscribed and confirmed.

Logos Expands Again

The last week of December saw another shuffle at our Bellingham offices. Hopefully it was all transparent to you, the customer, but about half of us moved our desks to a different location. The growing Design & Editorial department moved across the building, salespeople were all shuffled,and the entire support team moved from 1313 Commercial to a building two doors down the block (the space briefly occupied by Room2Think).

Why all the moves and why should you care? One word: growth.

Recent hiring and planned expansion for 2007 put us at max capacity. To continue to expand our operation, take on new data projects, launch new sales and marketing programs…we had to open up new space to put people.

If you’re a Logos customer, growth is good news.It means more new books, ground-breaking databases, innovative products, and continued excellence in service and support. 2006 was a record year and we look forward to what 2007 holds!

Keep in mind…if you or someone you know is bright, talented, passionate about the Bible, and looking for work…be sure tokeep an eye on our jobs page. Logos is a great place to work and Bellingham is a great place to live!

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More photos at the LogosBibleOffice Flickr page…

Introducing…The Logos Lecture Series

Today’s guest blogger is Mark VanDyke, who works in marketing at Logos.
Do you ever miss your college or seminary days, when you went from class to class hearing lectures on a seemingly endless array of topics?

Now we are sharing access to some of North America’s top scholars through a new community event called the Logos Bible Software Lecture Series.

These presentations will all be free and open to the public, and are designed to be interesting and accessible to a broad audience.

The inaugural Lecture Series event will feature widely acclaimed speaker, Dr. Peter Flint of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University. Dr. Flint’s lecture will focus on how the scrolls have affected modern biblical translation. The event will be held at Bellingham’s iconic Mount Baker Theatre at

7:00 PM on Wednesday, January 10.
We expect to host a lecture every couple of months and prospective topics range from ancient text analyses to cutting-edge technologies that can be applied to biblical studies.

One of the reasons we’re excited about the event is that we always look forward to meeting our customers. It gives us a chance to learn about our users’ interests and events like this also demonstrate our dedication at Logos for helping people understand the Bible in new and exciting ways.

We Love Your Suggestions

Developer David Mitchell examines screenshotsof Logos workspaces submitted by users.

Logos customers make lots of great suggestions. Suggestions for books to digitize, features to add or tweak, website enhancements, you name it.

Most suggestions come via email (suggest@logos.com) and a newsgroup devoted to user suggestions. But we also collect feedback when we’re on the road, from published reviews, beta testers, and blog readers.

Not all suggestions receive a response and sometimes a suggestion is implemented months or years after it was first submitted. But we appreciate every one.

And sometimes we’re able to implement them right away, as you can see from the comments on this post at the Morris Proctor Tips & Tricks blog. A user named David Brokaw suggested a small feature he’d like to see addedto the Bibliography report. He explained,

I keep all my reference books open in the right side and save my work space as I am working on a long paper. What I need is the Bibliography option to have a “All Open Resources” option that will automaticly collect the info open at the time. Great idea???

I agreed that it was a great idea. Mr. Brokaw’s suggestion was routed to our development team, and a few days later the feature was added to the Libronix DLS 3.0c release candidate.

Now you can create a bibliography report from the resources you have open. Sure it’s a small feature, and we can’t always implement good suggestions this quickly. But please know that we valueyour input…andkeep those suggestions coming!

The Case for an E-Library

The forthcoming issue of Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal includes an extensive (3,400+ word!) review of Scholar’s Library: Gold – Logos Bible Software 3. We received permission to post the review at Logos.com in advance of publication, so you can read the whole thing and even download the PDF.

Every reviewer puts a unique spin on his analysis. This reviewer, Andrew Naselli—who is at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School working on his second Ph.D.—does a great job of answering tough questions that a prospective buyer might ask before deciding to build an electronic library. These are questions Naselli struggled with before deciding to invest in Logos, so his responses are thoughtful and genuine.

  • Should I Buy E-Books From Only One or Multiple Software Companies?
  • Will New Technology Make Current E-Books Obsolete?
  • What if the Software Company Goes Out of Business?
  • Are E-Books Riskier Than Print Books?
  • How Is an E-Library Superior to a Print Library?
  • How does Scholar’s Library: Gold Compare to Other Products?

I’ll conclude with one of my favorite quotations from the review just to pique your interest. To the question of whether owning electronic books is “risky,” Naselli responds:

Some think that print books are safer investments than e-books. However, building any kind of library— whether print or electronic—involves some degree of risk. Print books are arguably a more risky investment than some e-books since print books are in danger of theft, natural disasters, and wear and tear from usage. A few years ago one pastor loaded up all of his earthly possessions, including his print library, into a moving truck, which was stolen the very next day. If that pastor had an e-library of Logos Bible Software, he would have received his entire e-library back for free.

Related posts:

Syntax Search Example: Hands, Heads and Feet as Subjects in the New Testament

Here’s a fun syntax search. For some reason I thought of searching the New Testament for places where body parts — hands, feet, heads, etc. — served as the subject of a clause.
You know, things like Mt 17.2:

And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.(Mt 17:2, ESV)

As seems to be my habit, I constructed the search and made a video of the process so I could share it with y’all. Enjoy!

Logos Bible Software as a “Dialogical Study Bible”

One of theSBL sessions in November was entitled “Biblical Studies and Study Bibles” and looked at the issues surrounding study Bibles. You know, the printed Bibles that include study notes next to the biblical text and are often marketed to a particular audience, e.g., men, women, students, skaters, etc.

One of the professors involved in the session—Carol Newsom from the Candler School of Theology—wrote an article about study Bibles for the SBL Forum in advance of the society’s annual conference.

Newsom, who haswritten for and edited study Bibles,believes there’s a place for them:

The biblical text is not self interpreting, and there are all kinds of things that readers need help with. Who or what is “Hepzibah?” or “Mene, mene, tekel, u-parsin”?

But she worries about the trend toward niche marketing and the lack of varying perspectives in a highly targeted study Bible. Her solution?

If I were to envision the “best practices” that might evolve from the phenomenon of diverse study bibles, it would be something that our new internet technologies might make possible-a kind of high tech, inter-religious “miqra’ot gedalot.” I would love to assemble for my students a biblical text surrounded by (at least) four kinds of commentary — mainline protestant, evangelical protestant, Catholic, and Jewish. Or one could construct a similar dialogical volume constructed around North American, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, African, and Asian Christian perspectives. A Jewish seminary might construct a quite different assemblage of traditional and contemporary Jewish annotations. As one can imagine, the possibilities are truly endless.

I read this and thought to myself, “She’s describing the Libronix DLS!”A few minutes later, I’d slapped together a workspace all set up to study the “Mene, mene, tekel, u-parsin” passage in Daniel 5.

If you click the thumbnail image above, you’ll see a “dialogical studydesk” that I’ve created using only books that are available today. Starting at the top left…the Bible version is Tanakh (it’s the one Newsom has her students use), with the NRSV on a tab as an alternate. Surrounding that are commentaries in the categories Newsom suggests: mainline protestant (Hermeneia), evangelical protestant (New American), and Catholic (Collegeville). Our “JPS Bible and Torah Commentary Collection” is still under development but I’d expect it to be released sometime in 2007.

At the far right side of the screen, I’ve got open a few select referencevolumes:the IVP Bible Background Commentary and Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, with A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature and Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament on tabs.

Various other titles could be substituted for the ones I chose here. (See, for example,our commentary guideand list of Bible dictionaries.)

And, of course, a workspace like this includes all the little conveniences you’ve come to expect from Logos Bible Software: resources that scroll together, dynamic linking to instantly and effortlessly look up an unfamiliarword in any language, Bible reference expansion upon hover, automatic footnoting, and so on.

But I think you get the point…

“Professor Newsom, the futureis now!”

Building Our Team

It is always interesting to read about how other people are applying information technology to Bible study.

SemanticBible.org is the home of a variety of interesting projects, and earlier this year it occurred to me that whoever was behind it must be the kind of person who is interested in many of the same things we are.

And he is.

I am very happy that Sean Boisen has accepted our invitation to join Logos Bible Software as a Senior Information Architect, and I am looking forward to working with him on increasingly powerful (and interesting!) ways of using technology to facilitate Bible study.

You may find Sean’s blog post interesting, and poking around SemanticBible.org is always thought-provoking.

Know Thy Books

Owning a large digital library is great when you can consult precisely the book you need at the moment you need it. Buta vast digital holdingcan present challenges when deciding whether to buy a new collection, such as the 2006 Christmas Special, Library Builder: Volumes 1-3 (available through December 31).

At present, there is no magical tool that can analyze your licenses, compare them against the product you’re thinking of buying, then spit out a report showing you duplicated books, new books, books you’d like, books you’ll never use,and books you think you’ll never use until late on a certain desperate Saturday night in February 2008.

But a couple of featuresin the Libronix DLS can come in handy when evaluating a purchase, or simply getting to know your books.

(I apologize if this seems obvious to our seasoned users but I recently came across two users in one day who were not aware of this information and realized that I take it for granted.)

Calling Marian…the Librarian

Everyone probably knows about My Library since there’s a big button for it right in the main toolbar. So I’ll just do a quick refresher…

My Library is the card catalog of Libronix—the library-ish way to see what digital books you own. It’s built on library standards and the “metadata” about each book—stuff like subject classifications—come from the Library of Congress. Yeah, the whole “library” thing is more than a metaphor with us.

In My Library, you can type in the title of a book to find specific volume, or see what you have from a particular author like A.W. Pink or Oswald Chambers.Viewing your books by subject can help you get a handle on the depth of your libraryin a subject like creeds, for example.

Just the List, Ma’am

If list-making,rather than browsing, is whatyou’re after…the Bibliography report is the tool to use. ClickTools | Library Management | Bibliography, then customize the report to show the contents of various collections you may have built or all the resources you own. You can also customize the displayto suit thetask at hand.

“Catalog style with covers” generates the colorful display shown below, which is great for getting to know your books. If you’re making a standard bibliography, you may choose something more utilitarian like “APA Style (4th ed.)”.

For this screenshot, I chose to run the bibliography report on the “Biblical Counseling Library” collection: a user-defined collection I created earlier. User-defined means the list of books in this collection can be completely arbitrary. Themetadata shown in the report comes from the Library of Congress, except for the brief descriptions which our book designers edit together from thebook jacket or preface.

Follow the Money Trail

When you want to view the Libronix-basedproducts you’ve purchased and activated, My Libraryis no help and Bibliography is only helpful if you’ve manually created collections. What you need is the Account Summary, a new tool in Logos Bible Software 3.

(OK, you really must at least download the free update if you haven’t already!)

Account Summary gives you a handle on the product collections in your digital library, as opposed to the individual books.

To open Account Summary, click Tools | Library Management | Account Summary and you’ll see something like this, but with fewer 0s.

Here is a record of the licenses for all the products or collections unlocked on this system. A product like Scholar’s Library will be in this list. At the bottom of the report is a list of the books and resources you have unlocked individually, such as Scripture Alphabet of Animals.

Tip: If you suspect that something you own is missing from this list…click Tools | Library Management | Synchronize Licenses (available only in Logos 3) to make sure you’re utterly up to date.

So What Have We Learned Today?

Account Summary can be the most useful tool when trying todecide whether to purchase a product such as The Complete Theological Journal Library Bundle, for example. You may recall having purchased a couple of journals discs in the past, but can’t remember which ones exactly.

After reading this post you now know that resources like journals don’t show up as productcollectionsin My Library; they show up as individual journals. But you also know that Account Summary is the place to turn for a list of the products you’ve activated, which makes comparison easier.

On the other hand, My Library is the ideal tool for locating an individual resource or browing books by subject. And the Bibliography tool can generate either a standard bibliography or a more detail-rich list with bookcovers and descriptions.

Perhaps a corollary of the dictum “Know Thy Books” is “Know Thy Book-Knowing Tools.”

(Note: Before anyone writes in to ask…if you see an item in your account summary that simply reads “Theological Journal Library” that corresponds to what we now call “Theological Journal Library Volumes 1-5” to distinguish it from the journal collectionsthat came after.)

For further reading see “Getting to Know Your Books,” a web article written by Rick Brannan that offers some additional suggestions for familiarizing yourself with the contents of your digital library.

Greek Syntax: Components and Head Terms

I received an email from one of y’all with some further questions about word groups, head terms, clausal hierarchy and syntax searching.

Rather than writing something, it was easier to make a video to point out some of the different ways one can structure a syntax search — particularly if you’ve wondered what “Must be an immediate child of parent” does.

I’ll warn you that I rambled a bit, the video is almost 13 minutes. Hopefully the information therein is usable.