Meet the Staff: Kimi Sebens

I visited the shipping department on a slow day, so Kimi was able to show me around a little. As you might imagine, the shipping department puts product together and gets all the orders out to our customers worldwide.

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Of the Making of Books (Part 9)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.
(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)

AMG Publishers

You might recall that in Part 2 of this series, we described a “hybrid” partnership with InterVarsity Press (US and UK), where we license some titles and also create publisher-marketed products. Another successful partnership in this category is with AMG Publishers. If you don’t know the AMG name, you might recognize the name of their president—Spiros Zodhiates.

AMG’s first product, Bible Essentials, was released in April 2001 and updated to the Libronix Digital Library System in September 2004. This outstanding collection includes the well-known Complete Word Study Dictionary and Complete Word Study Bible (KJV), along with a dozen or so key reference titles.

We currently license several individual titles from AMG and also have two exciting collections in our pre-publication program: The Following God Workbook Series and Learning the Basics of New Testament Greek.

Next: Baker Publishing Group

Cool Post from a Logos User

A Logos user living in Siberia recently posted his solution to an interesting problem: how to locate discussions of a doctrinal concept (“Preservation of Scripture”) in his electronic library when that concept goes by many different names.

His solution was to create a search using the free Graphical Query Editor Addin which has been included in Logos base products since 2003. (If you don’t have the Addin installed, open Libronix DLS, click Tools | Libronix Update, and select it from the list.)

His query includes a word list so that the search picks up variations on the name of the doctrine, such as “preservation of the text,” “divine preservation,” etc. This is a great example of how versatile the Graphical Query tool is…it’s not just for biblical language searching!

I encourage you to check out the user’s post. If you want to run his search against your own books, it’s pretty easy to re-create from looking at his screenshot.

Or you can right-click on this link, choose to “Save Target As…”, save the file to “My Documents\Libronix DLS\GraphicalQueries,” then open and run it from within Libronix.

(Have I mentioned before that a cool benefit of the Libronix architecture is that most user-created files can be exchanged with other users via email attachments, just like any other computer file?)

I ran the search against my collection of journals and got dozens of excellent and relevant hits in 22 different articles.

We’re always on the lookout for posts like this from Logos users. Let the world know about the interesting things you’re doing with Logos Bible Software and we might blog you next!

Further reading:
Graphical Query Editor Tutorial

Logos Named a Best Christian Place to Work

The April issue of Christianity Today (p. 82) includes the results of the fourth annual Best Christian Places to Work survey, conducted by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute.

Logos Research Systems was selected as a Best Christian Place to Work for 2006!

Logos is listed alongside other organizations whose names you may recognize, such as Wycliffe Bible Translators, Dallas Theological Seminary, Crown Financial Ministries, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Somewhere north of 10,600 employees at nearly 100 organizations around the U.S. were asked to fill out the survey, which posed questions around attraction and retention, motivation and commitment, Christian values, and a few other categories.

As someone who moved across the country four years ago to come work for Logos, I can say that I work with great group of people who make this a fun and rewarding place to come every day. It’s also a great feeling to play a role in equipping pastors, teachers, chaplains, students, and churchgoers all around the world with tools for better and richer Bible study.

Further reading:

Meet the Staff: Guillermo Powell

Guillermo Powell heads up the Spanish department at Logos, which is responsible for creating and promoting our Spanish language products to North America and the world. Guillermo was also the subject of a recent post about his trip to Perú.

Did you know that we offer a growing number of Spanish language collections, a Spanish toll-free order line — (800) 570-5400, a Spanish website complete with product demos in Spanish, Spanish support articles and training articles? Well, now you know.

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Keepin’ the coffee warm

If you’ve read the Logos Bible Software Blog for awhile, you have probably heard us refer to the oh-so-cool automated espresso machine that does its part to keep Logos running smoothly.

And you’ve probably seen us refer to the Logos Clear Glass Mug. I use mine every day; it does the trick and does it well.

(pauses to sip from his double americano, no milk, no sugar)

But I don’t know that you’ve seen us extol the virtues of the Logos Insulated Travel Mug. This is a beautiful thing, it allows us to take 16 ounces of sweet java elixir from the machine out the door and on the road.

And it is the perfect conversation starter to tell your friends, neighbors, or even the person sitting next to you on the bus or train about your Bible software!

Logos Bible Software Desktop Backgrounds

Folks who plumb the depths of the Logos Bible Software website probably already know that we have a few desktop backgrounds available for download.

But if you are a newer Logos Bible Software user, or a new reader of this blog, you might not have found them yet. So check out this page that has all sorts of different resolutions of the two backgrounds we currently offer:

I’m a fan of Wallpaper #2, myself.

Deissmann is Downloadable!

Folks who follow the Logos Newsgroups or have read this blog for awhile know that I have a soft spot for Adolf Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East (LAE). This book went from dream, to community pricing project, to pre-pub, and it is now available for users to download and purchase!

If you don’t know much about why a book by a guy named Deissmann could be helpful for your studies of the New Testament, check out this blog post I wrote last August.

If you’re unfamiliar with our Community Pricing projects, you should acquaint yourself with them. In Deissmann we have a tangible example of how beneficial it can be to subscribe to projects in their early (and somewhat uncertain) stages.

Here’s how the pricing progressed during the early stages of this product’s lifetime:

Thanks and congratulations to those who subscribed early (and, some of you, often!). You got a great resource at a fantastic price. I trust you’ll find Deissmann’s LAE to be a beneficial secondary source to consult for more information when working with New Testament (Hellenistic) Greek.
If you are not a regular pre-pub or community pricing bidder, jump in now. There are still plenty of deals to be had!

In search of the King James Version

Thoroughness is one of the hallmarks of electronic books produced for Logos Bible Software. When we produce an electronic edition of a printed book we try to include all of the content and every bit of relevant formatting. We also include detailed bibliographic information so that users can cite our electronic editions with confidence.

For this reason it always bothered me that our King James Version of the Bible – the textual patriarch of English-language Bible study – offered so little in the way of formatting, notes, and bibliographic detail. The KJV was our first electronic text, and while we have dozens of print copies, we produced our KJV from electronic sources.

In 1991, when we started working on Logos Bible Software, we purchased a disk set with the KJV text from Public Brand Software. It consisted of the text of the verses and nothing else, but it was adequate for our initial development and testing. Larry Pierce, who wrote The Online Bible, used this same text as the basis for his electronic KJV, but he hand corrected the files to match the 1769 Blayney Edition, published by Cambridge University Press, and added Strong’s numbers.

Larry’s text of the KJV was clearly the best available. Subsequent analysis has shown it to be error-free in its transcription of the Blayney Edition, and the addition of Strong’s numbers made it even more useful. With permission, we used it as the first electronic book released for Logos Bible Software.

Still, we got calls, letters, and emails from users who claimed it did not match their printed KJV. We discovered that, contrary to widely-held views, there is not one single text of the KJV. Almost no one is using (or even could use) the original 1611 text, and in the years since then there have been many intentional and unintentional typographic, editorial, and spelling changes propagated in hundreds of different editions.

Moreover, we did not even have a paper copy of the Blayney Edition we were distributing. Our electronic text was simply the Bible text, and we were missing front matter, notes, bibliographic information and more. While this isn’t a problem for Bible study, it is a problem for people comparing editions and preparing academic papers.

We went on a hunt for a definitive King James Version in print that we could reproduce completely, with all the bibliographic and supplementary material. We wanted a text with a clear pedigree and the smallest chance of errors introduced in multiple settings and printings.

After talking with publishers, Bible societies, and scholars, we concluded that the 1873 Cambridge Paragraph Bible, edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, was the best edition to use. More than a century after the Blayney Edition, Scrivener had done an incredibly comprehensive and careful revision of the KJV text. The text was paragraphed. Poetry was formatted in poetic form. Italics and cross references were thoroughly checked. Most importantly, Scrivener thoroughly documented his work. He noted errors in earlier editions and provided a “List of Passages in which this Edition follows others in departing from the Text of 1611.”

Scrivener’s edition of the text has been reprinted in later editions, but we wanted the whole thing, with all of the appendices and notes, straight from the original. So we began a year-long search for a printed copy that we could borrow long enough to photograph at high resolution using our robotic book scanner.

During our search, Cambridge University Press released A Textual History of the King James Bible, by David Norton. Norton’s book is a companion to the recently released New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, the latest and possibly most definitive KJV edition to date.

Norton’s book is an awe-inspiringly detailed look at the history of the text itself, and its preservation and corruption over the years. (I use the word corruption as a technical, not theological, term.) It reinforced for us the conclusion that identifying a definitive “real KJV” is nearly impossible. It also made it clear that nobody spent more time on the problem than Scrivener. (In explaining why no work was done on the cross references in his New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, Norton confesses to lacking Scrivener’s energy. If you read this book, you will confess to lacking the energy of either of them.)

We are trying to get permission to produce an electronic edition of the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, but we believe that there is still value in having access to Scrivener’s monumental edition, complete with formatting, italics, cross references, introductions, apocrypha, and incredibly detailed appendices. So, when we finally found an 1873 original that we could borrow, we photographed it at high resolution and had it typed at 99.995% accuracy.

(We normally have books typed at 99.95% accuracy, which requires double-keying and comparing the files. We had the Cambridge Paragraph Bible checked to 99.995% accuracy, the highest level our vendor would guarantee.)

Our edition for the Libronix DLS is the most comprehensive and best documented KJV available electronically. The integration of the marginal notes and cross references into popup footnotes makes it easy to read. The Compare Parallel Bible Versions tool lets you compare the two KJV editions, and the ability to search appendices by Bible reference makes it easy to find Scrivener’s explanations for the different readings or spellings.


The 1769 Blayney and 1873 Cambridge editions side by side. The Cambridge features poetry formatting and notes. The comparison report below shows the single word difference in Proverbs 4
.

The Libronix DLS-compatible Cambridge Paragraph Bible will be available with the release of Logos Bible Software 3. We will even have the page photographs available in the future.


The page image for Proverbs 4 in the 1873 Cambridge edition.

Meet the Staff: David Mitchell

David works in software development, helping create and enhance Logos Bible Software.
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