Why Syntax?

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you may be asking yourself, “Why Syntax?” That is, why is it such a big deal in Logos Bible Software 3?

We’ve recently posted an article on our web site by Dr. Mike Heiser, who serves as Logos’ Academic Editor, that provides some answers to this question.

And he does it in an easy-to-read way. Even if your first question is “What is syntax?”, you’ll benefit from reading Dr. Heiser’s article. So check it out!

Syntax Search Example: in/with/because of the Name

The other day I was listening to a song that was repeating the phrase “in the name” in the context of the name of Christ. I wondered: What sorts of things in the New Testament are done “in the name”?
To OpenText.org-ify it a little more: Not just where a prepositional phrase with ὄνομα may occur, but what are the verbs connected with instances of a prepositional phrase that has ὄνομα as the prepositional object?
I’m sure, by now, you know the answer. It is a syntax search. And based on the response to my last syntax search example, I’ve provided another video (Flash, 10 megs, with sound), narrated by yours truly, along with further written description below. Be sure to check out the description, I tell you how to generate some nifty graphs from search results (this isn’t in the video!)
Also note that the approach used in this syntax search is incredibly similar to the one discussed in a previous blog article about syntax and morphology searching.

Continue Reading…

Kansas was great, Oklahoma wasn’t OK

Landon is doing the second leg of the Bible Road Trip; this is his third post from the road (read previous Road Trip posts).

What a wonderful end to the week we had in Kansas as we stopped in Shawnee for a night with Mill Creek Community Church and many users around the Kansas City region. A man and his children even drove all the way from Lincoln, NE to be with us!

The next night we had a wonderful time with Pastor Ross Strader and the warm folks at Calvary Bible Church in Wichita. It will be hard for anyone to beat the reception we got from these guys and gals with all the work they put in to make this one of our best events yet. Everything was going so great. I should have seen the looming storm clouds on the flat, prairie horizon.




The next day we stopped for gas and lunch at a little truck stop just inside the Oklahoma border (can you believe people still pay less than $3 for a gallon of gas!) and while we were stopped, I pushed the bedroom slide out about a half-a-foot so I could slightly open a drawer to pull out some shorts to wear instead.

Now, you’d think there’d be a warning display or an observant passer-by who would have notified me that I began driving down the road toward Tulsa (our Friday night event) with my bedroom sticking out, but the first announcement I had was the glass breaking in the back room as we pulled off from a toll-booth where I had, to my horror, caught the slide on the toll-booth roof accidentally remodeling the RV and causing a total mess on our bed.

After the cops came, we barely made our stop that night in Tulsa, pulling in just in time to get the laptop plugged in and to tell the story to the small, stunned crowd there who laughed when I joked about having to ask for a love offering to pay for the inevitable deductible (and possibly job-hunting expenses!).

Thankfully, Bob and Dale were just as understanding as I hoped (and prayed) they would be encouraging me in my efforts to repair the RV along our route in the coming days. The holiday weekend was full of nauseating grimaces, phone calls, repair shops, story-telling (it’s actually given us MORE opportunities to tell people about this Road Trip and Logos Bible Software!), glass cleanup (sometimes with a spoon) and boarding up as we began the process of fixing the glaring hole in the side of the RV.

So, as we head out to Texas in the coming days, pray with us for no rain, streamlined insurance and repair tactics and the internal reminders that cause us to slow down and take a second look at everything around us, and most importantly, that we realize everything is going to work out fine.

We are mindful that the Lord uses all things for His glory and that, as James tells us, we should be joyful in tribulation as the Lord uses it to refine us into servants more steadfast and mature.
(James 1:2-4).

And that’s the whole reason we are out here – for His glory trying to help people become better servants of our Lord.

See more photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibleroadtrip

Bible Word Study Report Part IV: Grammatical Relationships (B)

This is the second part of the fourth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study report.

This post will look a little further into the Grammatical Relationships section. Our previous foray into the Grammatical Relationships section is here.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

We left off the last post by saying:

So ἀναπληρόω means something like “make complete” or “fulfill” or “replace”. We begin to understand the nuance of each of those senses by considering who or what is doing ἀναπληρόω, and to whom or to what ἀναπληρόω is being done. Grammatical Relationships does all of the heavy lifting for you in searching out these usages, categorizing them, and returning them to us grouped by usage context.

So let’s examine the results and see what we can learn about the word ἀναπληρόω.

Continue Reading…

Syntax Search Example: Same Word as Subject and Verb

I was reading in 1Th 3.5 the other day and came across the phrase “for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you” (ESV). Here it is in the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

You can see the phrase highlighted using some of our new Visual Markup features. If you click and view the larger picture, you’ll see that the same lexical form (πειράζω) is repeated in the verse. Not only is it repeated, but one instance is the subject of the clause, the other is the predicator (verb) of the clause. The syntax graph from the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament shows this a little better:

Is this exegetically significant? Perhaps. But I also had the question — how many other times is the same word used as both subject and verb in the New Testament?

With syntax searching and Logos Bible Software 3, it is a relatively easy question to answer.

As an added bonus, I’ve even included a video of setting up the search. This video is the first in which you’ll hear my “smooth dulcet tones” (as the colleague sitting next to me describes it) narrating the action. You can try the video (Flash, 12 megs, with audio) but be sure to read the description below the fold as well.
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RevInt IV: Reverse Interlinear Bullets

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinears as Books and RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines and RevInt III: Reverse Interlinear Symbols)

Occasionally, when I assemble a piece of furniture — say for instance a “Jerker” desk from Ikea, like the one that I sit at — I am left with a few odds and ends lying on the floor. Then I scratch my head and wonder, “Do I really need that lock washer?” The real question, of course, is: Do I really want to take the whole thing apart again to figure out where it goes?

Occasionally, when you are reading along in a reverse interlinear, you will encounter some of the nuts and bolts that are left over in the process of assembling the alignment. Here and there will be a round dot (bullet point) in either the original language line or the translation line of a reverse interlinear, indicating that no reasonable equivalent for that word could be found in the other text.

For the most part, our editorial philosophy for making these reverse interlinear alignments has been optimistic. That is, we assume that if the translation committee thinks they’ve translated the original language words of a particular verse, then we assume that they are. The goal, then, is to account for the translation, not to demonstrate elementary principles of Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic grammar. As a result, we give the benefit of the doubt in making links between the words of the original text and the translation. Our editors try — sometimes quite creatively — to account for all of the words in the translation. All of which tends, we hope, to minimize the presence of bullets in the text.

But they do happen, for various reasons.

Does this mean the translation is “bad” where you see bullets? Not necessarily.

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It’s Raining Books

For a bibliophile, it felt like the floodgates of heaven had opened.

On Wednesday, a truck pulled up to our offices 1313 Commercial Street, the driver got out and started loading up his dolly with boxes. He made another trip, then another, and another. When he was finished, there were four or five stacks of boxes, each stack five feet tall…

After a company meeting, Bob invited us to open up the boxes and spread out the wealth of riches on the conference room table. Books! Lots of books. Things got a little crazy after that.

Watch the Video (Windows Media, 2.5MB, 1 minute)

The boxes contained about 450 titles, all licensed from Continuum, all headed your way soon via the Logos pre-publication program.

In fact, these books are just the first shipment…another will follow soon. The 450 titles are part of a license we signed with Continuum for some 2,000+ books—books you’ll be able to add to your digital library in the coming months (and years).
Most of the books in this first batch were originally published by T&T Clark and Sheffield Press.

There are books on theology, NT studies, OT studies, biblical languages, rhetorical studies, church history, gnostic and apocryphal writings, Dead Sea Scrolls studies, Bible introductions/guides, hermeneutics, and more. There truly is something for everyone and I, for one, can’t wait to add these books to my digital library.

Now please don’t call your favorite salesperson to ask whether your favorite book is going to be on the prepub page soon (we haven’t told them and, anyway, they’re pretty busy taking orders for Logos 3).

But please do subscribe to NewsWire if you aren’t already on the list. Then you’ll be sure to hear about the books, and get the best discount as they are put up for pre-order. The first titles and collections from the Continuum license will start appearing on the prepub page within the next week or two.

Let the books rain down!

Bible Word Study Report Part IV: Grammatical Relationships (A)

It is time for the third installment in our series about the Bible Word Study Report (BWS). Parts 1-3 involved:

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. So here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

The information inside Grammatical Relationships allows you to see the different sorts of words or larger clausal units that are commonly (or uncommonly) used with the study word (in our case, ἀναπληρόω).

Word study isn’t only about what the word means, it is also about how the word is used. The Grammatical Relationships section is the only place, apart from your own syntactic searches and study, where this information is presented to you. And it is done automatically, both in the original language and also, through the bridge of Reverse Interlinears, in English.

So let’s begin our look at the Grammatical Relationships section of the report. There is a lot of information here, so we’ll take two articles to work through it.
Continue Reading…

RevInt III: Reverse Interlinear Symbols

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinears as Books and RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines)

There are quite a lot of symbols that you need to master in order to read a reverse interlinear alignment. Each of the symbols is has a popup definition in the Libronix resource, so you won’t have to memorize what they mean, but understanding them in the first place will help you with reverse interlinear fluency.

Nearly all of these symbols are in the original language line; it was decided early on in the reverse interlinear design process that we would try to keep the translation text as uncluttered as possible. After all, it is the top line.

So, let’s take a look at those symbols, shall we?

Continue Reading…

Home, Home on the Range

Landon is doing the second leg of the Bible Road Trip; this is his second post from the road (read previous Road Trip posts).

It was quite a unique homecoming this past weekend. You see, I graduated from Rampart High School in Colorado Springs, CO, where I played in the state basketball championship in 1995 and so, I guess it was fitting that the Logos Road Trip stop in Colorado Springs at Village 7 Presbyterian Church was held in their brand new basketball gym (I’m not sure I’ve ever taught in a gym before…) nearly 11 years to the day after I received that diploma.

What a neat experience it was, then, to spend the weekend at the base of Pikes Peak on the front range of the Rocky Mountains showing my wife and daughter some of my old stomping grounds and many of the world famous sights just minutes from our base camp.

We visited my high school and the Wal-Mart where I used to work. We had dinner at my first and hometown Cracker Barrel (where I handily beat Taylor in a game of table checkers, I might add). We drove up and saw the United States Air Force Academy parked the RV in front of the Garden of the Gods and even took Taylor to the “North Pole” to visit Santa’s Workshop.

During one of our stops, we had a gentleman named Michael knock on our window in a parking lot and ask for an order form (what kind of “wings” would that be?) and comparison guide, wishing he hadn’t missed our presentation the night before.

After driving up to Denver to stay Sunday night before our presentation Monday night at Calvary South Denver, we headed up into the mountains a bit to eat at the world-famous (okay, so it’s just famous to the locals) Beau Jo’s pizza where many a skier or snowboarder has contributed his/her own napkin drawing among the many on the old wooden walls of this antique building from the good-old mining days. When they make pizza, it truly is a pie!

Today, we leave the Rocky Mountains behind and head into the plains of Kansas where presentations in Shawnee (outside Kansas City) at Mill Creek Community Church and in Wichita at Calvary Bible Church will bring pastors, teachers, Bible students, and anyone interested in better, more frequent and deeper Bible study out to see the brand-new Logos 3!

Don’t miss it! Right, Michael?