Archive - March, 2006

Meet the Staff: John Fallahee

John works in our Ministry Relations department and is affectionately known as the “demo monkey.”

Actually, I made that up.

But he is the guy behind the 35 new training videos posted Monday…and you can be certain that you’ll be hearing his voice more over the coming months.

Windows Media (1.7MB) | Quicktime (2.2MB)

OpenText.org and Louw-Nida Semantic Domains

I’ve mentioned in the past that the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament will have Louw-Nida domain information available at the word level. This means that one can combine syntax with Louw-Nida semantic domains and do some interesting stuff when searching.

This is much easier to show you than to write and tell you. So I fired up the video capture software and threw together a quick search. Where, I wonder, in the Greek New Testament does something like James 2.19 occur? (“Even the demons believe — and shudder!”) This, translated into a search query relying on semantic domains instead of words, could be stated like:

Find a subject with a head term in semantic domain 12 (Supernatural Beings and Powers) preceding a predicator (verb) with semantic domain 31 (Hold a View, Believe, Trust)

(Flash Presentation, approx. 4 megs, 1024×768).

The video is a single take, no edits. Pardon some of the mouse jitters.

This isn’t searching on words, it is searching on domains. It finds clause subjects that contain a word (a “head term”, meaning is the primary word in the word group) that are also tagged as having to do with “Supernatural Beings and Powers” that have a clause predicator (verb or predicate) that contains a word (again, a “head term”) that is tagged as having to do with belief or trust.

You know, sort of like James 2.19: “Even the demons believe — and shudder!”. Only without words, so you can find instances where supernatural beings are said to trust or believe.

With a few more clicks (note the “Copy” button in the Syntax Query dialog, which can “clone” the currently selected structure) we could add an “OR” to search for where the predicator precedes the subject, just to cover all of our bases.

Note especially all of the different ways in which the search results are shown. You can view them with the OpenText.org clausal breakdown, as a syntax graph, or in a reverse interlinear (I have the ESV specified, but I could’ve specified the NRSV through preferred Bible settings). Click and view. With the English and/or Greek highlighted.

There is a whole lot more going on. Did you see the glossary popup on “Predicator” when the mouse cursor hovered? Did you see the entries from BDAG pop up on hover when hovering Greek text in the OpenText.org clause breakdown? The same thing in the syntax graph? And in the reverse interlinear? The actions captured by the video were all done with the mouse, either via point/click (specifying the query) or hover (glossary information, lexicon information).

This capability (BDAG assuming you have purchased it) should be available with the next beta release of Logos Bible Software v3.0.

We’re interested in knowing what you think of this sort of stuff, so please feel free to leave us feedback in the comments to this post. Thanks!

Tidbit from the UBS Handbook on Mark

I was reading in the UBS Handbook on Mark lately and came across a choice bit on the topic of repentance. If you own the book, you can open it to the Introduction and follow along.

…any translator who is working in a language which is outside the Indo-European family of languages will need to have help on just how the various interpretations, as may exist in the Greek, can be adequately rendered in some other language. For these problems the commentaries are relatively useless, for there is no real need and, consequently, little attempt to explore these difficulties. In English, for example, the explanation that the Greek term for “repent” means “to change the mind” offers little difficulty to the reader. In many languages, however, “to change the mind” means merely “to change one’s opinion,” which is a far cry from the radical change envisaged by the original Greek term. It is necessary, therefore, to add that the meaning of “repent” in Kekchi, a language of Guatemala, is brought out by the phrase “it pains my heart”; in Baouli, of the Ivory Coast, “it hurts so much I want to quit” is the proper equivalent; in Northern Sotho, of South Africa, one must say “it becomes untwisted,” and in Tzeltal, of Mexico, the correct expression is “my heart returns because of my sin.” The idiom “to beat the breast” needs no explanation for English readers, but translators working in many of the languages of Africa need to be warned that this idiom, when literally translated, may mean “to congratulate oneself” (the equivalent to the English “pat oneself on the back”)…

Bratcher, R. G., & Nida, E. A. (1993, c1961). A handbook on the Gospel of Mark. Originally published: A translator’s handbook on the Gospel of Mark, 1961. UBS handbook series; Helps for translators (vii-viii). New York: United Bible Societies.

The quotation illustrates not only how the Handbook Series serves the needs of translators but also how valuable it is for providing a fresh look at familiar passages and theological concepts. And isn’t that the challenge of pastors and teachers of all stripes, in all countries…to communicate the Word of God in a way that stirs hearts and changes lives?

(By the way, the footnote was automatically generated by Libronix. Just CTRL-C copy, CTRL-V paste, and there it is. Bam. I love this software.)

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