Sentence Diagrams

Logos Bible Software has a sentence diagramming tool, but until recently I didn’t know that the “traditional line diagrams” it supports have a name: Reed-Kellogg diagrams.

Searching on the name led me to a site with some other, older diagramming systems. The photo here shows Genesis 1:1 diagrammed by the Clark method. (Do we need to add support for this?)

The next release of Logos Bible Software will support flowing columns of text with user-adjustable margins and tabs. It is hard to explain but easy to use, and it is designed to support the outlining / phrasing / aligning / arcing advocated in some recent guides to exegesis. (These diagrams still support the line drawing objects, allowing you to mix shapes and flowing text.)

We are calling these “sentence flow diagrams,” after Gordon Fee’s description in New Testament Exegesis. But if you know a better or more accurate name, let us know!


  1. It’s a great tool – its flexibility is one of its strengths, esp. in developing your own system of diagramming.

  2. James Garriss says

    Wayne McDill in “The 12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching” calls it a structural diagram, which is the term I hear most often.
    Walter Liefeld in “New Testament Exposition” calls it a paragraph outline. He also mentions another book by Merrill Tenney, who called it the analytical method.
    Thomas Schreiner in “Interpretting the Pauline Epistles” does something functionally similar, although very different in format. He calls it tracing the argument and displays the result both with an arc schema and a bracketed schema.
    Whatever you call it, I really hope you add such a capability soon. It’s an invaluable tool, especially for Pauline epistles. Personally I find it far more valuable than sentence diagramming.
    May I suggest that you look at Liefeld’s book and note the way he allows you to add one-word descriptions for each phrase/clause? This goes a long way to helping trace the thread of the argument.

  3. I have found the book Grammar & Diagramming Sentences by Nan DeVincentis-Hayes Ph.D helpful in brushing up on my diagramming ability. Lot’s of examples. ISBN-0-931993-75-X

  4. At the top of this thread, Bob Pritchett mentioned that the newest release of Logos Bible Software would have the “sentence flow diagramming” capability (I know it by the Thomas Schreiner, “Interpretting the Pauline Epistles”, flavor).
    I think Logos 3 was the next version that was shipped. I’ve looked online at the available Logos 3 descriptions for the “Sentence Diagramming” add-in as well as the “Diagrammatical Analysis” package and they don’t appear to have this capability (I may be wrong). Can anyone confirm whether or not Logos 3 can do “sentence flow diagramming” or if that is still targeted for a future release of Logos?
    I’m thrilled that this capability is nearly at hand! Thanks!