Where Are the Textual Apparatuses?

Textual apparatuses (a.k.a. critical apparatuses) are essential tools for serious exegesis. They list alternate readings, the texts that contain those readings, and often the level of certainty the editors had in choosing the reading they went with.

Students of the biblical languages will notice, though, that the main editions of the Hebrew OT (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) and the Greek NT (NA27 and UBS4) that come with our upper-end base packages lack the corresponding textual apparatuses. Without the apparatuses, you still need to reference your print volumes to check for variant readings. Are you stuck using part digital and part print for your study of the Hebrew and Greek texts?

There are two standard textual critical tools included in the Original Languages Library and Scholar’s Library: Gold.

If you don’t own either of these base packages, you can either upgrade or buy the resources individually.

There are several other critical apparatuses available as add-on resources.

Apparatuses for the Hebrew Old Testament

  • BHS Apparatus Criticus
  • BHQ Apparatus Criticus (partial)

Both of these are included in SESB 2 and not available for individual sale. The BHS apparatus is also included in the Logos edition of SESB 1.

Apparatuses for the Greek New Testament

  • NA27 Apparatus Criticus
  • UBS4 Apparatus (not a separate resource)
  • Majority Text Apparatus (includes the Majority Text GNT)

The NA27 apparatus is part of SESB 2 and the Logos edition of SESB 1. The UBS4 apparatus is available only in SESB 2. The Majority Text apparatus is bundled with the GNT.

It should be clear by now that if you really want to build the critical apparatuses section of your digital library, SESB 2 is a must.

For more on apparatuses and resources relating to textual criticism see the Critical Apparatuses section of the Product Guide for Greek Bible Texts & Tools. You’ll also want to check out the article “Critical Apparatuses: What and Why.”


  1. Can you help me understand why SESB 2 is “a must” over SESB 1?

  2. The main reason I made that statement is that SESB 2 contains additional apparatuses not contained in SESB 1. If you want all the apparatuses, SESB 2 is a must. SESB 1 will suffice if you don’t care to have the UBS4 apparatus and the BHQ apparatus. Before you make your decision, you should look at the product page for SESB 2 and take note of all of the new items. That will help you decide if SESB 1 or SESB 2 is the better fit for you.

  3. It really is too bad that we can not buy the na27 apparatus apart from the SESB packages. Why doesn’t Logos sell it individually?

  4. The SESB product is controlled by the German Bible Society and the Bible Society of the Netherlands, so we don’t decide how the resources get grouped and sold.

  5. I am very disappointed that the base packages do not contain the standard apparatuses. I find the information about the products to be very misleading. If you go to the individual product pages for versions of NA27 included in, for instance, the Original Languages Library (which I just bought), there is no warning that the apparatus is missing. I assumed it was present and factored being able to sell my paper NA27 into my decision to buy the Logos package. I’m very disappointed. Tischendorf and Metzger are great, but it’s absurd to me that the original apparatuses aren’t included, especially since no resources are included to help in OT textual criticism.

  6. Thanks for your feedback, Steve. I’m sorry you’re disappointed. Unfortunately, we have not been able to license these for inclusion in our base products (neither has anyone else). The only place they are available digitally (to my knowledge) is the SESB products from the German and Dutch Bible Societies, which, by the way, integrate seamlessly with all of your other Logos resources.
    Your point is well taken about the descriptions not making it clear that the apparatuses are not included. Since no one has ever had the NA27 and UBS4 apparatuses until just a few years ago when SESB came out, most people understood that the apparatuses were not included (since no one had them). But that might be assuming too much. We’ll see about adding a note to make this clearer.
    Thanks again for your feedback.

  7. Sorry, Phil, for my last post. I know you don’t have control over whether or not the apparatuses can be included. I was just frustrated that it wasn’t more clear that they were not included. I found your post that talked about their absence and vented. I should have been “slow to speak and slow to become angry.” Thanks for all your great and helpful posts. I’m grateful for the software God has gifted me with.

  8. No problem, Steve. Thanks for the reply. It was a valid point, and we appreciate your calling it to our attention. Thanks!