Bible Word Study Report Part I: Overview

I’m in a home Bible study group that is studying First Thessalonians. So I was reading it the other morning, working through the second half of chapter 2. I stumbled across the following. Note the italicised phrase:

14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last! (1Th 2.14-16, ESV)

The phrase “so as to always fill up the measure of their sins” didn’t make much sense to me. I can figure out what it might mean based on contextual clues in the ESV, but it still seems weird. So I thought I’d use Logos Bible Software 3 and the The ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament to get from the English to the Greek, and then the Bible Word Study report to understand more about the contexts in which the underlying Greek appears in the New Testament. This series of posts will hopefully help in illustrating some of these features.
First we’ll look into how to run the Bible Word Study report from the Greek if our starting point is an English text.

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Day Eleven: Technical Difficulties

Day Eleven saw the Pritchett family off to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace for another attempt at some education. Despite protests beforehand, the kids paid attention and learned a bit about the presidency and American politics. And we got to see the bulletproof presidential limo.

In the evening we headed over to Faith Community Church, where we found a pretty impressive technical setup with multiple projection screens. The only problem was that my laptop couldn’t “see” the projector over the extra long video cable. It would not switch into projection mode because it did not see the projector. After a bunch of messing around with the help of Faith Community’s great tech team, we discovered that we could go into projection mode using a short cable and my backup projector and then swap the longer cable in without leaving the mode. It all worked just in time.

Tonight is my last presentation before flying home from San Diego tomorrow. Landon Norton, one of our Ministry Relations reps, will be flying in with his family to take the RV on the next leg of its journey around America.

I have really enjoyed being on the road with my family, and it has been fantastic meeting so many people at the evening events. If you are anywhere near San Juan Capistrano, California, I hope you’ll come out and join us tonight at Ocean Hills Church.

Day Nine: Cars

After ancient artifacts, I decided to do something on the kids’ list. So we went to a go-kart racetrack and arcade. It was pretty empty on a Tuesday afternoon, so they got to do all the racing and game playing they could handle.

In the evening we were at the beautiful New Life Community Church in Artesia, California. I was impressed by the large wall of windows in the sanctuary looking out onto a huge lawn. I was surprised to hear that it was designed to allow drive-in attendance, and that some people still show up for services in their car.

After the presentation a Logos user brought me his copy of Fire Someone Today to sign. Even better, he was wearing a Facilitates Serendipitous Discovery t-shirt!
Next stop: Faith Community Church in Irvine, California.

Differences in Syntax Searches and Morphology Searches

Rubén Gómez, in his Bible Software Review Weblog, gives us an example of Graphical Searches in different software applications.

He uses H. Van Dyke Parunak’s article on “Computers and Biblical Studies” in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary as a basis. The article (Vol 1 p. 1118) says:

Particularly powerful patterns are possible in a language that allows one to ask (for example) for all verbs that occur within three words of the phrase “in Christ,” without intervening verbs. A high proportion of the targets matching such a pattern will be clauses in which the prepositional phrase in fact modifies the verb.
Freedman, D. N. (1996, c2008). The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1:1118). New Haven, CT: Yale.

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (ABD) was published in 1992. At that time, Parunak’s underlying target result — clauses in which the prepositional phrase translated “in Christ” modifies the verb of the clause (or, better stated, locating references to the kinds of action done “in Christ”) — could only be approximated using morphological searching criteria: “for all verbs that occur within three words of the phrase ‘in Christ,’ without intervening verbs”.

But what Parunak’s target result really demands is a search that is sensitive to syntax, not just morphology and word proximity. What about when more than three words occur between the verb and the preposition? What if the prepositional phrase isn’t contiguous?

Syntax searches in Logos Bible Software 3 have no such limitations.
(Note: this post has been updated, see the bottom Update section and, of course, comments for further thoughts on syntax and morphology)

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I don’t take my Bible to church any more …

The ink-on-pressed-tree-pulp-wrapped-in-calfskin one, that is. Nowadays, I take my laptop with Logos Bible Software 3 instead. Sure, I raise a few eyebrows, but most everyone at church knows I work for Logos, and so they know (I hope) that I’m not surfing the internet or playing a first-person shooter game during the sermon. I do have to remember to turn the mute button on, though. The Libronix startup sound is nice enough, but not during the opening prayer.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t turn my dead-tree version fast enough to find Scripture citations when they come fast and furious from the pulpit. If the sermon jumps around a lot, I’m lost pretty quickly. I find myself singing the Bible books song to myself to remember where the books are. Even then it’s tough, because I usually work on original language versions of the Old Testament, so I get messed up by the differences between the “English” and the Hebrew ordering of the Tanakh. (Ruth isn’t after Judges, it’s after Proverbs, which is closer to the end than it is to the middle. And the last book isn’t Malachi, it’s 1 and 2 Chronicles, which are after Ezra and Nehemiah … well, you get the picture.)

But with Logos on my lap, I can keep up pretty well. I can better than just keep up, in fact.
Continue Reading…

Day Eight: Ancient Artifacts

The Road Trip RV is using Anaheim, California as home base for this week’s events. I wanted to get something a little more educational than roller coasters out of our free time during the day, so after lunch at In-N-Out Burgers we headed north to the Getty Villa for some Greek and Roman art and artifacts. The Villa staff kindly found us parking among the tour buses, and I got a new sense of appreciation for bus drivers. It isn’t easy taking a huge vehicle up those narrow driveways.

The steep, winding Malibu Canyon Road slowed us down (and frustrated sports-car drivers behind me, despite my frequent use of turnouts) but it didn’t keep us from the Evangelical Free Church of the Conejo Valley. There I met two Logos 1.0 users and got some very encouraging feedback: one user stayed late afterwards just so he could tell me in person how ‘your software changed my life and teaching.’

What a privilege it is to have a job building tools for Bible study! And to have such wonderful people as customers.

Next stop: New Life Community Church in Artesia, California.

Logos Curry 2006: Green Monster

We mentioned our Sixth Annual Logos Curry Cook-Off last week and promised recipes of the top three curries.

James Van Noord’s curry “Green Monster” was another excellent curry, garnering the third most votes. Here are James’s curry making notes:

My base recipe can be found at AllRecipes.com.

My modifications (with thanks to Vincent and Eli for pointers):

  • added lime juice
  • added kafir lime leaves
  • added bird’s eye chilies
  • added extra green curry paste
  • I didn’t use as much lemon grass as is called for. I fished out most of the lemon grass before lunch.
  • I used 14-oz cans of coconut milk

I tripled this recipe for the cook-off.

Day Four on the Road: A Great Evening!

What a great evening! After a nerve-rattling ride over some bumpy, narrow state highways (“Windy Levy Road Next 3 Miles”), and a trip over the feels-too-high-and-narrow-for-this-RV Antioch Bridge, we arrived at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pittsburg, California.

Pastor Maurice Bates and everyone at the church really put out the red carpet for us. They had prepared a big spread of food for us, and they recorded my presentation on both audio and video. Attendance was great — our largest group yet! And after I demonstrated Logos Bible Software 3 they sent me off with a big basket of snacks and drinks for the road. I felt like a celebrity!

There were some more familiar names to meet in person, and Dean Forbes (co-editor of the analyzed Hebrew text) came, too. Best of all, there were lots of people there with a real interest in Bible study. It was a fun and encouraging evening.

Next stop: Evangelical Free Church of the Conejo Valley in Newbury Park, California.

Greek Syntax: Syntactic Force Annotations

I’ve blogged a bit about the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament before. Sure, it’s syntax, and that’s important. But how can it be used?

One way is very simple: Use hover popups to show the syntactic force of any word as you read the text, or as you’re brought into the text from searches. The syntactic force annotation is a note as to the role that the word plays in the current syntactic context. It isn’t about morphological form, it is about syntactic function.

Hover on the inflected word in the Lexham SGNT running text, and see the syntactic force annotation (with definition!) pop up. How cool is that?

Pictures are always good at conveying this sort of thing; moving pictures are even better. The video uses James 1.27 as an example: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (ESV).

Syntactic Force Annotation
Video: Flash, .75 MB, approx. 1:27, no sound.

Note that all I did here was move the mouse. Also, when multiple notes of force occur on a word this displays what could be multiple possibilities in a given context or a mixture of possibilities acting together. The Expansions and Annotations resource further spells out those complex relationships.
So if your knowledge of Greek syntax is rusty (or even non-existent) you can still work through the text looking into the structure of the text and the syntactic function of words in the text — just by moving your mouse through the passage you’re studying.

Personalized Upgrade Discounts

One of the cool web features we’ve built for the roll-out of Logos Bible Software 3 is an online upgrade tool that gives personalized discounts based on your customer account. The tool reads your licenses, shows all the upgrade paths available to you, finds the discounts you are eligible for, and posts a chart showing all the new books and resources you’ll get with your upgrade.
Here’s how it works…

Visit www.logos.com/upgrade and enter your Libronix Customer ID. If you’re like most users, this is the email address you used to activate your first Libronix-based product. If you’re like me and can’t remember that far in the past, you can either guess until you get it right or click the Help link on the upgrade page for directions on how to retrieve your Customer ID.




So I just “Enter Customer ID, click Go!” (sound familiar?) and behind the scenes, the upgrader tool finds my licenses in the Libronix activation database, calculates all my upgrade options and pricing, and presents me with this fine-looking page.



Let’s go through this item by item…

  1. Validation of my Libronix Customer ID. Everyone needs some validation from time to time.
  2. This text lets me know which Logos Bible Software Series X base package is licensed to me (in my case, Pastor’s Library – RA). My upgrade options are calculated from my ownership of this collection. I’m also provided with a few details about the upgrade process. Since I have a DVD drive, I will definitely want to choose the DVD option as it makes installation more convenient (and it holds more rebuilt resources!) than the 7 CD-ROM package.
  3. The product chart shows all the upgrade options available to me and how much I’m saving. Sweet!
  4. A list of the discounts I qualify for (they have already been applied to the prices above). The additional 25% off the upgrade price is very nice. And a limited time offer, by the way.
  5. Chart showing the new books and addin modules I can add to my library by upgrading to each of the available collections. This is just the top of the chart…it goes on and on.

From here, I just decide which collection I want to upgrade to, add the DVD version to my cart, and check out. My new licenses will be sent by email within seconds; the discs required to install the new Logos Bible Software 3 engine, books, addins, and data files will come as fast as the good delivery people find my house. I can even choose UPS Next Day Air Early AM if I just can’t wait!
As you can see, we’ve tried to pull together on one page everything you need for a smooth, easy, and dare I say bargain-priced upgrade experience. Not convinced? Here’s one last very cool feature of the upgrade page…




As you hover the mouse pointer over each title in the chart (with a few exceptions) you’ll see a little preview window that shows a picture of the bookcover and a brief blurb about its contents. You’ll also see the retail price for the book or product.

This one happens to be New International Greek Testament Commentary Series which has a retail price of $660.00 but is included when you upgrade to the new Scholar’s Library: Gold!
We added these preview windows to make it easier than ever for customers to get a handle on the contents of a collection…and see just how much value is inside!

If you haven’t done so already, give the upgrade tool a whirl and see what upgrade options you qualify for and how much you save!