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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Meet the Staff: David Mitchell

David works in software development, helping create and enhance Logos Bible Software.
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Giving local businesses Room2Think

Identify the normal way of doing things, then do them one better. That’s part of the Logos way and sometimes it leads us down unexpected paths.

In this case, it led us to launch Room2Think, a creative meeting space that Bellingham-area business and non-profits will use for off-site retreats.

When we moved into our new space last November, we vacated about 2,500 square feet of office space that had been used to house the text development department.

That space—which has a very cool loft-like vibe with beautiful hardwood floors and exposed brick walls—has now been converted into a comfortable, fully-furnished, brightly decorated, creative meeting space.

The name ‘Room2Think,’ inspired by the high ceilings and airy feel of the space, suggests its intended purpose: provide groups with a place to get away from the daily grind and drab office, open up to new ideas, build teamwork, get creative, and dream for the future.

Room2Think shares this purpose with a growing list of similar “creative meeting spaces” around the country. In fact, we were inspired by this article in Inc. magazine which mentioned places like Sparkspace (Chicago) and Inspiration Point (Pittsburgh).

We thought it was such a great idea (and a step up from the usual, boring, hotel conference room) that we went ahead and created a space like this for Bellingham!

We didn’t take the “kindergarten classroom” motif quite as far as the places described in the Inc. article, but Room2Think is definitely a hipper and more fun place than my house.

Here’s why: wall-sized projection screen, Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, automated espresso maker (not quite as cool as our famous machine but it makes a good cup), wall-sized whiteboard, comfortable seating for up to 20 people, ping pong, air hockey, and all the office supplies needed to dream and plan.

Check out the photos! And see what the local paper had to say about Room2Think.

We’re excited to play a role in promoting creative thinking and planning among local businesses. And Logos will be using the space now and again, too…so I guess it’s fair to expect even more new and creative features from your Bible software.

Power Law Redux

In response to last week’s Power Law post, Jim Darlack commented:

Interesting idea. Now, apply it to citations of the Old Testament found in a book of the New Testament. This would allow someone to judge the density of quotes from a particular part of the Old Testament. This could be helpful for judging where allusions or even echoes may be found in the New Testament text.

Jim is suggesting that the same Power Law relationship that exists between a corpus of “biblical studies literature” and Bible passages could also be observed between the New Testament and the Old Testament.

In response to Jim’s response (don’t you love the blogosphere?), the folks over at the ESV Bible Blog crunched the data to explore this in detail.

They found that, “in absolute terms, the New Testament writers cited Psalms and Isaiah most often.” When controlling for book length (since longer books tend to get cited more often than short books), Malachi and Habakkuk get the prize for being most often cited by NT writers.

Head over to the ESV Bible Blog and check out their charts showing citation density and a table showing how many times each NT book cites each OT book.

Two quick thoughts…

First, the next step might be to plot density in a more granular fashion. Which chapters or pericopes in the OT are most often cited? And which chapters or pericopes in the NT do the most citing?
This could make for a cool report in Logos Bible Software, plotting parallel passages data (OT quotes in the NT) against chapter or pericope data from a version of choice.

Second, I don’t know what data the ESV team is using to generate their chart, but I would guess data produced by an editor. In other words, a really smart person (or team of smart people) analyzed the New Testament and figured out all the places the NT author was quoting the OT.

Another way to get at that information—a way that is better for some purposes, less suited for others—would be for the software to analyze and plot out similarities between the OT and NT, based on vocabulary plus syntax. This would put the Bible software user in the editor’s seat, or at least provide a way to view the data and perhaps discover additional textual similarities (in this case, between the Septuagint and Greek NT). We’re not there yet in terms of the data, but it never hurts to dream!

All this talk makes me eager to tell the world about all the new, useful ways we’re already combining and displaying data in Logos Bible Software 3 (now in Release Candidate 1). We’ve been spilling the beans about Logos 3 here on the blog; if you’re a new reader, here’s a place to start.

It’s also exciting to realize that the new reports and tools in Logos 3 are just the tip of the iceberg. With all the new data we now have, and are still producing, there’s plenty more to dream and plenty more to realize.

Update: 3/20/2006 – 3:00pm PST

Today’s post on the ESV Bible Blog provides additional charts that go beyond OT-in-NT quotations to show Power Law patterns based on some 80,000 cross references spread across the Bible. One chart plots cross references between books; another plots them between chapters. The raw data is also provided in an Excel spreadsheet so you can produce your own charts. Cool!

See also: Jim Darlack’s blog post proposing a way to chart quotation density information along 2 or 3 axes.

Logos in the Jungle

Logos business trips can be a little out of the ordinary.

Guillermo Powell, international director for Spanish products, was in Perú recently to establish agreements with national distributors. Two major distributors there will now carry and promote the Spanish and Bilingual libraries from Logos Bible Software.

Perú joins Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Spain as Spanish-speaking countries where Logos Bible Software is now available through national distributors. A number of other countries will follow.

In addition to the business side of the trip, Guillermo visited the city of Iquitos in the Amazon jungle, to preach and teach the Word among some of the poorest churches in the country.

This Bora Indian chief didn’t purchase a Logos library, but it was striking to compare lifestyles. Guillermo said, “This chief is a Christian, along with his family that greeted us along the Amazon river.” Common ground in a seemingly unlikely place.

Meet the Staff: Dave Jones

As an academic sales manager for Logos, Dave works to get Logos Bible Software into the hands of college and seminary students around the world.

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Teach yourself Greek, too!

In response to last week’s blog post about the First Hebrew Primer, astute reader ‘Jeff’ inquired:

…will Logos try something similar with Greek? I would definitely be interested in that as well, just as I would if it was latin :)

In fact, we offer just such a product for Greek—Kairos: A Beginning Greek Grammar & Workbook by Dr. Fred Long who teaches NT Greek at Bethel College in Indiana.

It introduces the student (self-taught or in a class) to biblical Greek, starting with the very basics such as how to write Greek characters.

The accompanying workbook reinforces learning and lets you use the principles and vocab taught in the grammar. Exercises include crossword puzzles, readings, fill-in-the-blank, and sentences to translate.

While Greek pronunciation is not part of the Kairos package, Logos offers an inexpensive and cleverly-implemented Addin that is great for learning to pronounce Greek. With the Greek Pronunciation Addin installed you can right-click on a Greek word in any morphologically tagged resource and hear a pronunciation of that word’s dictionary form. The Addin has two pronunciation styles—Erasmian and Modern—and also includes pronunciations for the Greek alphabet (again, in both styles).

The Greek words in Kairos are not morph-tagged but Greek Bibles such as Nestle-Aland 27th Edition Greek New Testament are. That means you can effectively drill yourself on how to pronounce the dictionary form of every word in the Greek New Testament!

So it looks like 2006 is the year you can learn both Hebrew and Greek! What are you waiting for?

Meet the Staff: Tracy Geleynse

Tracy Geleynse, a book designer in our text processing department, talks about what goes into writing a book specification and how we create electronic Bibles.

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Bible Road Trip – Hosts Wanted!

You convinced us! We have decided to do a four-month, 13,000 mile road trip to 60 cities to introduce Logos Bible Software 3.

We have developed a route and schedule, and we know which cities we’ll be in on which day.
…Oh, and we have a Bible Road Trip Bus!

The Bible Road Trip page at has the schedule and a larger picture of the Bus.

Now that we have dates and cities, we need to identify host venues that are willing and available on the specific date when we will be in the area.

If you are near one of the cities we are visiting and willing to help host, please fill out a brief survey to provide some specific details about your location. The list of cities and a link to the survey are on the Bible Road Trip homepage.

I apologize if the schedule does not include your city (or your “greater metropolitan area” — we don’t need to be within the city limits). We tried to pick the areas that would let us meet the most users in the time available. (May through August.)

We look forward to meeting you in your town!

Now You Must Learn Hebrew

Think of it…2006 could be the year that you finally get around to learning Hebrew! And I’m pretty sure we just took away your last excuse for not doing it.

On Wednesday, we finished work on The First Hebrew Primer: Textbook, Answer Book & Audio Companion, which is a complete system for learning the language of Moses, David, and the ancient prophets! This is your last chance to take advantage of the prepublication discount pricing so don’t dillly-dally. For one low, low price you’ll get the textbook, the answer key, and 9 discs worth of audio (compressed onto one CD-ROM).

I know, I know…all those squiggles and dots can seem intimidating. But The First Hebrew Primer takes you by the hand and helps you build the confidence to succeed. Starting right at the very beginning, the primer introduces the Hebrew alphabet (‘aleph-bet’), demonstrates correct pronunciation, introduces vocabulary, then builds on that vocabulary in readings and exercises. Each chapter begins with an oral review of earlier material so you’re always building on your skills.

I’ve had the privilege to correspond with the fine people at EKS Publishing, who developed and publish the print edition of The First Hebrew Primer. This is a system created by people who love biblical Hebrew and want you to love it, too.

They realize that the best way to stay motivated is to use your knowledge right away! So the first words you learn will be some of the most frequently-occurring words in the Hebrew Bible. You will be reading familiar folk tales like The Boy Who Cried Wolf (in Hebrew) by Chapter 8 and sections of the biblical book of Ruth by Chapter 10. By the end of the Primer, you will have learned most words that occur 200 or more times in the Bible.

The Logos implementation of this resource is superb. Working closely with the publisher, we embedded links from the textbook to the answer key and to the audio clips.

Click for the full size image.

As you can see, the answer key is a separate resource. This helps you avoid taking shortcuts by peeking. But when it’s time to check your work (which you’ll write out by hand on old-fashioned tree pulp), just click a ‘dagger’ symbol (†) to open up the Answer Book and see how you did.

The text developers also did something cool with the audio, which was to split the tracks into bite-sized chunks and embed them with the textual content. So instead of loading a disc into your CD player, finding the right track, and hitting fast forward/pause/play/rewind/pause…you just click an asterisk (*) to hear the audio clip for that word or that line of the reading, instantly. And click play to hear it again.

The audio is compressed in MP3 format and sounds fantastic. Check out the audio samples and additional screenshots.

Still reading? What are you waiting for…place your pre-order now and make this the year that you finally learn Hebrew!