Handoff in Tennessee

Landon is doing the second leg of the Bible Road Trip; this is his final post from the road. Read previous posts and view photos from the Road Trip.

The last week of our 5-week leg of the Bible Road Trip started on an easterly route to Louisiana and we pulled in to Baton Rouge right in the middle of rush hour traffic. The Chapel on Campus hosted our event that night and I must admit it was pretty neat to drive the RV around Louisiana State University and right next to Tiger Stadium. I can’t imagine what that place must be like on an autumn Saturday afternoon.



Our event that night was coordinated by Bob Soule and Dee Alberty who are local Precept leaders and teachers. We enjoyed Dee’s homegrown Southern hospitality over breakfast the next morning and talked about ways to better equip Precept leaders with how to use this amazing tool in the awesome Bible studies done with Inductive Bible Study methods taught through Precept Ministries International.

I love spending time with Precept people around the country each year and since I’ve been working with Kay Arthur and Precept for two years, I’m a little bummed I won’t be in Chattanooga for our event there. Trust me, though, I was becoming a little road weary and fortunately, we had another day off Tuesday as our next stop in Little Rock was over 500 miles away.

We took our time heading up to our RV Park in Lake Village, LA halfway between the two cities and drove a little out of the way to visit the legendary Frisco Deli in Jackson, MS. This restaurant is owned by the father of our very own Phillip Malouf (in academic sales) and we were treated to the best ribs I may have ever had in my entire life! Seriously, if you ever go through Jackson (actually, Pearl) right off I-20, do NOT miss the chance to pull in and have Mitchell and the family put some on the smoker for you! From there, it was only a short little jaunt over to Vicksburg next where (since I am such a Civil War buff) we had to tour the National Battlefield of one of the most incredible Civil War battles. The USS Cairo is something everybody should see in their lifetime.

One of the greatest parts about my job in Ministry Relations is the privilege I have to work with some of the most renowned leaders and ministries in the world both introducing them to and training them how to use Logos. I already mentioned Kay above and Wednesday afforded me another highlight as I spent the afternoon at FamilyLife Ministries and met with Dennis Rainey, his wife Barbara, Bob Lepine, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss (of Revive Our Hearts Ministry).


Through the Logos ministry relations department, FamilyLife was introduced to Logos. They instantly fell in love with these tools because of their usefulness as a family tool for Christians looking to improve their Bible study and the application of God’s Word in the home. As I write, radio interviews we did at FamilyLife are promoting Logos to one of the biggest radio audiences in the nation. Still, even in my job, it’s rare to have a room or audience that has as much impact on the Body of Christ as was the case that day!

The next day after installing the upgrade on the Rainey’s home computer, I got back on the road as we headed out to Memphis, TN where we stayed next to Graceland, met Dr. David Olford and presented at Olford Ministries International. See what I mean? How often does one (even on my team!) have the privilege of serving both Dennis Rainey and David Olford at their headquarters – in one day!? Believe me, through the power of Logos Bible Software, leaders like this throughout the world are being equipped.

We ended up this final week (much to Krissy’s delight!) in Nashville last Friday night, where we had our final (of 25!) church presentations at Christ Presbyterian Church. Meeting Scott Lindsey and his family the next day (I’ve never seen kids rush a Game Cube quite that ferociously!), I was happy to hand off the keys to the next driver. Hopefully, he’ll remember to keep all the jacks up and the bedrooms in as he starts out on a month-long leg with his family of 6.

I’ve immensely enjoyed blogging about the Bible Road Trip and keeping you up-to-date with the latest happenings on the road (even through some humbling times!). It’s been quite a challenging endeavor out on the road, but I’ll cherish the memories always and am grateful for your support (both at the events and in prayer) for Krissy, Taylor, (Nicholas), and me as we’ve ministered to Bible students, Christian leaders, pastors, RV park passers-by, the occasional police officer and toll booth operator, and (hopefully) to you…showing people the amazing new Logos 3!

For His Glory,The Norton 3 (plus 1)

Syntax Search Example: What “Qualifies” another Word?

As folks who have followed these syntax search examples know, I’ve been in a home group Bible study that is going over First Thessalonians. This has served as the background for many of these syntax search examples.

In the process of doing this, I’ve noticed that I’ve begun to ask different questions of the text.

So when the study group was in 1Th 4.15, and when the word παρουσία occurs (yet again), I asked myself, “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Why did I ask that question? First, we need to define Qualifier:

Qualifier: A Qualifier is a modifier that in some way limits or constrains the scope of the word it modifies. Common examples of qualifiers are words in the genitive and dative case, and also negative particles functioning at the word group level.

Porter, S., O’Donnell, M. B., Reed, J. T., Tan, R., & OpenText.org. (2006; 2006). The OpenText.org
Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament Glossary
. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

So a Qualifier limits scope. In terms of παρουσία, which can be translated “return” or perhaps “coming”, when it occurs with a qualifier the qualifier limits the scope of the coming. Thus in phrases like “coming of the Lord”, the phrase “of the Lord” acts as the qualifier. It’s not just any “coming” or “return”, it is the return of the Lord. Just like in 1Th 4.15:

So when I ask the question “What other things qualify παρουσία?” I”m really asking “Are there any other similar sorts of ‘return’ or ‘coming’ phrases in the New Testament?” After all, to understand more how the word παρουσία is functioning here, it could help to see it operating in similar syntactic contexts — to see how παρουσία stands in relationship with other instances of words that modify it.

So I put together this video (Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound) to show how I constructed the query to find qualifiers of παρουσία.

After searching, ask yourself the question again: “What other things qualify παρουσία?” Now you have data to use when considering this question. As you evaluate the hits, you can ask further questions:

  • Are there any qualifiers that seem to repeat (hint: “his”, “of the Lord”, “of the son of man”, “of the Lord Jesus Christ”)?
  • What are the unique qualifiers (hint: 1Co 16.17; 2Co 7.6; Php 2.12, etc.)?
  • Is there anything that would allow one to say that the use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 is the same as or different from other syntactic usages?
  • If so, is 1Th 4.15 the use typical or non-typical?
  • How does the general understanding of the use of παρουσία with a qualifier in the New Testament affect how we look at the specific use of παρουσία in 1Th 4.15 (or does it)?

Here’s a link to the video: Flash, 8.5 megs, with sound

But note well: If you’d rather not go through the hoops of constructing the search as described in the video … just right-click the Greek word and run the Bible Word Study report. Check out the Grammatical Relationships section. One of the standard word relationships searched for is that of qualification. So this search is done automatically for you in the Bible Word Study report! No assembly required! And it even groups like qualifiers together, so you can see what repeats and what is unique just by looking at the result section.

Also note: A future post will show how to make this query even more generic and search for some things a little differently. So keep comin’ back!

More Thoughts on Shelf Space

Yesterday’s post about freeing up shelf space by donating books got me thinking about a newsgroup post I read some time back.

The newsgroup post was from a Logos user who wanted to calculate the number of linear feet that his electronic library would consume if it were a print library instead. The number he came up with was 220.5 linear feet to shelve the 1,544 volumes in his Libronix Digital Library System.

How did he come up with this number?

A standard calculation for building a library estimates 8 volumes per foot of shelf space. Reference books tend to be larger, so they are calculated at 5-7 volumes per foot. Since Logos Bible Software collections are a mix of reference and non-reference, this user chose a conservative 7 volumes per foot. 1,544 / 7 = 220.57

Just for fun, how many shelf feet of books are in a couple of our top-end collections?

Another way to think about the numbers: Scholar’s Library: Gold would fill the better part of six 3-foot wide shelving units with 5 shelves per unit. Placed along a wall end-to-end, those shelving units would take up more than 18 feet of wall space!

Any way you look at it, that’s a lot of books! Something for which to be grateful next time you put them all in your laptop bag to hop a plane or when you pack up to move…

And for something less frivolous, check out http://www.lovepackages.org, a non-profit organization that sends Christian books and other printed materials to countries like India and Nigeria where a significant percentage of the population reads English. Thanks to blog reader and Logos user Thomas Black for the tip!

Clearing Off Shelf Space

So you upgraded to Scholar’s Library: Gold…or just bought Scholar’s Library…and now you have a new problem: What to do with all those print books gathering dust on your shelves?

A) You could archive them all, just in case you ever need them again. (Warning: as your bookshelves begin to extend out of your study, down the hallway, and into the “spare” room, your long-suffering spouse may take issue with this policy.)B) You could sell the books to finance future purchases of electronic volumes to add to your library. Or,C) You could give them away to a deserving person who would use them in study and ministry.

If C) sounds like a good option, you might want to take advantage of an opportunity to give some of your quality books to students and professors at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS). Many personal libraries at the school were destroyed in the flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina, but an effort is underway to replace the lost books.

This week’s Preaching Now newsletter describes an effort coordinated by Jerry Barlow, the dean of graduate studies at NOBTS, to replace the print libraries of students and profs at the school.
If you have quality books in the areas of preaching, pastoral care, Old Testament or New Testament, you can box them up and ship them to:

Preaching Books Project
c/o Dr. Jerry Barlow
New Orleans Baptist Seminary
3939 Gentilly Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70126

It sounds like a great way to ensure that those old friends of yours will continue to be loved and appreciated instead of gathering dust and being neglected. It might also be fun to surprise your spouse with a box of books leaving the house for once rather than arriving!

The Find Bar

There are more than 100 new features in Logos Bible Software 3. One of the smallest is becoming a favorite of many users.

The Edit > Find Dialog has been replaced with a Find Bar. You can open it on a report or resource by selecting Edit > Find from the menus, or pressing Ctrl+F. This opens a small toolbar at the bottom of the window where you can immediately start typing. It then searches the text in that window as you type, putting a little starburst on the first occurrence.

FindBarCloseup.jpg

The Find Next button (or Enter key) moves to the next occurrence. Find Previous (or Shift+Enter) moves back to the previous occurrence.

The Find feature is not a replacement for searching, but it’s very helpful when you know you’re in the right place, but want to quickly jump to a specific word or phrase. For example, you might open a very long article on Moses in the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and want to find where in the article Moses’ sister Miriam is mentioned. The Find feature takes you right there, without launching a whole-book or whole-library search.

Syntax: Not Just For Searching

In previous blog posts, I’ve focused on how the syntax databases we offer are used when searching, when asking questions of the text. But this is not the only use. I don’t even know if it will end up being the primary use. I was reminded about this with a recent comment on one of my posts:

These blogs are extremely helpful for things like [structure searching], but make it difficult for an average joe like me to get a search result and have confidence that all the cases of what I’m looking for would be covered. . .I’d think “what kind of clause component will this show up in that I’ll miss with this search”. Certainly, I’ll get some results I’d want, but will I get them all?

Instead of focusing more on searching, I figured I’d step back and show another use that doesn’t require any searching knowledge at all. Just being able to see the structure of the text in a different way is helpful when reading through the text.

We read through the text in translations with paragraphs/etc frequently. Reading through a syntax graph in addition to reading the text in modern translation can help us slow down when we read, and take note of not simply each word but also the things going on around each word at the clause level.

Ephesians 5.18b-21 offers a good example. I’ll give you two hints: Look only at the clauses (primary and embedded) and the verbs in those clauses, and the relationship between these things. No searching necessary. Just reading slowly paying attention to the annotated syntax.

And there’s a video (Flash, 3 megs, with sound) that provides a little more information to help in seeing how this can be done.

Here’s Eph 5.18b-21 in the ESV, just plain text. Read it in this form and try to think about the underlying structure of the text:

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5.18-21, ESV)

What can we see from just looking at the syntax here? Check out the video for more explanation, but in short, you’ll see how to:

  • View only clause information in your graph, removing some of the word group annotation since we’re just looking at clause level data here
  • Find verbs in the annotation
  • Show why this is relevant when looking at the annotation for Ephesians 5.18b-21 (which is a whole primary clause)

Update: If you’re interested in using the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament to assist as you’re reading through the text, check out this post from May 2006. It’s a handy way to work through the Greek text of, say, First John and beef up your knowledge of the syntactic goings-on at the same time!

Update II: Note that I’ve blogged again about how reading the syntax graph can help when analyzing or outlining a particular passage: Organizing an Outline with Syntax Graphs.

Bible Word Study Report Part VI: Lemma Reports

This is the sixth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study (BWS) report.
This post will look into the Lemma Report sections of the BWS report.

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.

The Lemma Report sections have to do with understanding how the study word (ἀναπληρόω) is used both inside of the Greek New Testament and in other Greek literature, like the LXX (Greek Old Testament) and the Works of Philo.

Continue Reading…

Spanish Department on the Road

In May, Guillermo and Rob of the Spanish department hit the road with Logos 3. First stop was Expolit in Miami, which is the largest book fair for Spanish language Christian literature in the world. This was a great time to develop our network of international distributors, connect with individual customers and publishers and sample some of the tasty restaurants of Miami (in that order, of course). The world of Spanish Christian literature is growing at an incredible pace and it is exciting to be part of it all.

After Expolit they split up. Guillermo traveled to Lima, Perú, to participate in the “Excellence in Training” conference organized by Overseas Council International. The conference aimed at strengthening the leadership of Spanish seminaries. Attendees were presidents and deans of seminaries from 17 different countries. Logos presented the tools and resources that students and faculty have available in their language and also proposed the development of new resources for the study of the Hebrew language. Logos is excited to partner with experienced and knowledgeable experts in Latin America to facilitate this development. More to come on that in the near future. A rather interesting side trip was a visit to “El Hueco”, the piracy mall of Peru. Here the visitor can buy a pirated copy of anything, including newly released DVD movies complete with plastic case and picture insert for US $0.50! Fortunately there was no Libronix on display (and no, he didn’t buy anything, tempting as it was).
Meanwhile, Rob had already boarded a plane to Spain right after Expolit. There he hooked up with Jon Haley, a great supporter of Logos, to put on some presentations and training. Jon uses our Biblioteca de Estudio Bíblico in the distance ed school for Spaniards that he started last year. The response to our presentations was enthusiastic and it showed us that Spain is bound to be a growing market. It’s also a fun place to visit! Rob drove by too many castles to keep track of and also visited the Church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, a famous architectural marvel that has been under construction for over 80 years. The trip to Barcelona also provided an opportunity to visit our publishing partner Clie, which is the largest Christian publisher in the Spanish world.



June in Texas

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

It’s been a while since my last post, but we haven’t gone far! For the last ten days we’ve been sweltering across Texas, stopping to stun serious Bible students with this stupendous software. Seriously, it’s been a super time! As we leave today to head into other states for the last week of our 5 week leg, let’s catch you up on the stops around the “Lone Star” State.


We started in Dallas a weekend ago at St John’s Missionary Baptist Church and Denton Bible Church. It was great to see a good turnout from two churches in the same city. I’m thankful to see our prayers answered in that these events are appealing citywide (and further!).

We had a nanny come and stay for the next few days. Actually it was just my sister, Kay Vollans, who is in her last year of graduate work at Abilene Christian University, and who joined us for a few days on the “Bible Bus”. Aunt Kay and Taylor got to spend some quality time together as we headed to Austin for our stop at First Evangelical Free Church.

This proved to be a very special stop as we had some distinguished guests (at least in Logos lore) in attendance. Nicole Dossey, a former Academic Sales Manager, lives in Austin where her husband (a former Logos developer) now works. Nicole was the person who helped me get my job at Logos and it was great to have her in attendance.

Also there were Bradley and Susan Grainger; two employees at Logos who just happened to be on vacation visiting the Dosseys. Bradley is one of our software developers and it was nice to watch him soak in the great response we had from the crowd there who was amazed (like all our other groups!) with what a light-year leap we have taken with Logos 3. It must have been neat to get that type of perspective on his work helping to develop these tools (for people like you and me) to study God’s Word more effectively.


On Tuesday, we stopped in San Antonio, where we took in some hometown Texas cooking at Bill Miller’s BBQ. We enjoyed the brisket and beans, sweet tea (served in a bucket, of course!), and a slice of pecan pie (my favorite!). The day off on Wednesday afforded us a rare opportunity to relax and we spent some time at the pool at Blazing Star RV park.

Thursday and Friday night we had churches in Houston welcome the Bible Road Trip as we stopped at Impact Church of Christ and West Houston Bible Church.
Dr. Robert Dean, Jr is the pastor at West Houston. I spent most of Friday with him and members of his Logos users ministerial association, training and teaching them how to use some of the 100 new features of Logos 3. That day, the members of his church came out in droves and helped with refreshments and other things to make that night one of the most successful nights of the Road Trip with over 75 people in attendance!

So Texas, I guess it’s so long, partner! And as they say, “y’all come back now, y’ hear”?


From here, we head out to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee where we will hand off the RV to Scott Lindsey and his family after an 11-state, 17-city, and 4,800-mile leg of this awesome endeavor for His glory.

If you live in one of these states, RSVP for an event this week and bring along a friend to introduce them to this amazing tool. And if you see the RV, be sure to wave!

From the RV,

The Norton Three (plus 1)

Syntax Search Example: Preposition with Dative Object

On the Logos Newsgroups, a user asked a question about syntax searching:

I’d like to search for every instance of the construction in Heb 1:2 — ἐν υἱῷ – i.e. ἐν followed by noun without article … Also (I think) in 1 Thess 1:5 – ἐν λόγῳ — our gospel did not come to you not simply “by means of word\speech”

I could do a normal search, but is this a category of construction that I could find with a syntax search? If so, could someone perhaps suggest how to go about it?

The answer is a resounding “YES!” It was like a slow-pitch softball that I couldn’t resist swinging at. So I did. You can watch the video now (Flash, 9 megs, with sound) but be sure to read the rest of the post too.

I should note that I’m running 3.0a beta 2, and you may see some visual changes inside of the Syntax Search Dialog.

Continue Reading…