Reverse Interlinear Bibles: Key to Better Bible Study

John Fallahee, king of Logos video tutorials, just produced a new video on reverse interlinear Bibles.

The video introduces the unique features of reverse interlinear Bibles and, through an extended example, shows how these features solve five common problems that plague the person who studies the Bible in translation:

  1. You can’t trust your search results with English only searches.
  2. You can’t see the author’s original word choice.
  3. You can’t see different words functioning differentlyin the original text.
  4. Meaning can be obscured through the English translation.
  5. Strong’s numbers can’t reveal how the word is functioning.

Check it out: Better Bible Study Through Reverse Interlinear Bibles (14:21, 21.2MB)

Rick Warren, Collector

In arecent issue of Rick Warren’s MinistryToolBox email, Rick wrote,

One of the most helpful habits you can develop as a preacher is to become a collector. I’ve been a “collector” for years, and it has made my preaching much more effective. I’m not talking about a hobby. I’m talking about constantly being on the lookout for items that can be helpful for your messages.

He went on to describe his system for collecting Bible verses, memorizing the Word, and keeping word lists related to a subject. Rick uses plastic buckets from Wal-Mart to file articles, illustrations, and other ideas he comes across that may be useful in his preaching someday.

As soon as I saw Rick Warren’s article about being a collector, I dashed off an email to let him know about the new Sermon File Addin for Logos Bible Software that was just released today. I told Rick how, instead ofaccumulating piles of paper and having no way to efficientlysearch and organize his material, he could use Sermon File Addin to conveniently store it in one place—tagged, indexed, and ready to search!

That’s right…Sermon File Addin takes the power of the Libronix Digital Library System (which represents, I don’t know, several millions of dollars of research and development) and applies it to your ownsermons and illustrations. Wanna know more? Check out the video demo…

I haven’t heard back from Rick yet (does anyone have his direct line?)…so if you want to get an edge on Rick Warren you can add the Sermon File Addin to your digital library right now and benefit from the convenience of a fully digitized archive of sermons, illustrations and other ideas collected over time.

Bringing the Bible Back to America

Logos is taking the Bible Study Bus back on the road this summer!

Right now we’re working hard to line up host churches in cities all across the country. If you’re able to open your churchor school foran event, please check the itinerary at www.BibleStudyBus.com and then fill out this brief survey with some details about your venue.

The following article should give you a flavor of what the tour will be like.

[Read more…]

Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. Long–Regent College

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke works in the marketing department at Logos.
Today Logos Bible Software will present Dr. V. Philips Long in the second event of the popular Lecture Series.

Dr. Long, who is currently a professor of Old Testament Studies at Regent College, will be addressing the question “Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?”

The Bible has been much in the news recently, not least because some are claiming that its value as a source of historical information is minimal. But is biblical history “bunk,” as Henry Ford once remarked with respect to all history? Is the Old Testament a “False Testament,” as Daniel Lazare asserted in a 2002 article in Harper’s Magazine (basing his views largely on a book entitled The Bible Unearthed, by Finkelstein and Silberman)?

Reasons for questioning the historical reliability of the Old Testament have ranged from the theological to the literary to the archaeological. But none of the reasons cited justify the dismissal of the historical value of the Old Testament. In fact, current advances in the literary study of the Bible, breakthroughs in archaeological discovery and interpretation, and greater awareness of how one’s “background beliefs” (including theological ones) influence textual interpretation, open the door to a much more favorable verdict regarding the historical reliability of the Old Testament.

As always, this event will be free to attend and open to the public. The event will begin at 7:00 PM at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

Get there early because seats will be limited.

For more information about this and other lectures visit www.Logos.com/lectures.

Logos 3 Wins Industry Achievement Award

Logos Bible Software 3was honored with the Community’s Choice Award at the WSA technology industry event Wednesday night in Seattle.

Farecast.com won Consumer Product of the Year (we were a finalist in that category), and they definitely deserve it, so congrats to them!

It was great to see Logos recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 of the industry’s finest, including people from Microsoft, Google (though I didn’t see any), the Puget Sound Business Journal, Farecast, WhitePages.com and many other Washington State businesses.

When accepting the award, Bob said that when he and Kiernon left Microsoft to start Logos, they traded down in terms of the size of the user base but traded up in terms of the passion and loyalty of users. I heartily agree.

According to the event brochure, the Community Choice Award is “perhaps the most coveted of the WSA Industry Achievement Awards.” We certainly owe it to our community of users, who are the best in the world (and no doubt coveted by some of the other companies at the event).

Thanks for your passion for Bible study and Logos Bible Software!

Logos for the Mac Update

(This progress update from Bob Pritchett was sent last week to the Logos for the Mac email list and posted here.)

Help us promote Logos for the Mac with a banner on your site!

Good news! Logos Bible Software for the Mac continues to progress. This week we saw searches running and the first reports completed.

The full search syntax and the Passage Guide are underway, and we’re expecting to see features come online at a faster pace, now that so much of the underlying infrastructure is in place.

Below is another example of the weekly progress report.

Date: Mar. 13, 2007Weekly Status Report

Executive summary of the overall progress of the project:

1. We have received feedback on the licensing area and the specified areas are changed and will be reflected in the next build. The next Build will be Milestone A1. The date for this delivery willbe determined after the onsite meeting at Logos on Mar.14, 2007.

2. The weekly meeting will be onsite at Logos at 11 am.

3. Book Display Status:

  • Status bar work is completed
  • Starburst animation is completed
  • Citation will be completed by Mar. 14, 2007
  • Final copy/paste work will begin Mar. 15, 2007

4. Reports Status:

  • Company Info is complete*
  • About This Resource is complete*
  • Passage Guide is under development
  • Company Info is under development
  • NOTE: * – right-click menu and event bridges from the C++ code does not exist in anyreport at the moment

—-Bob Pritchett – bob@logos.comLogos Bible Software – www.logos.com1313 Commercial St. – Bellingham, WA 98225-4307(360) 527-1700 – Fax (350) 527-1707

Ugaritic and Old Testament Narratives

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, academic editor at Logos.

[Note: We sent a Last Chance NewsWire email on the Ugaritic Library last week, so if you’re considering adding this collection to your digital library now is the time to pre-order before the price increases substantially.]

The last time I blogged about the usefulness of Ugaritic for Bible study and the new Ugaritic Library under development by Logos, I focused on how knowing the Ugaritic background of an Old Testament title for Yahweh helped our understanding of both Old and New Testament theology.

This time I want to focus on some individual Hebrew words—geographical proper names to be precise—to show how Ugaritic tools can make Old Testament stories come to life, and even take on theological meaning.

Click here for a video showing how you can access the Ugaritic tools through the Old Testament Reverse Interlinear to see the Old Testament in a way you haven’t before.

Please note: This video demonstration shows some resources not included in the Ugaritic Library. Reverse interlinear Bibles are available as part of Logos 3 base collections and HALOT is available as a separate purchase.


Flash, 6.7MB, 16:19

400 Posts and Some Housekeeping

Well, this is actually the 404th post since the Logos Blog was birthed way back in July 2005. Which makes last week’s Seeing Double post #400. If you’re counting.

I got inspired today to do a little housekeeping on the blog because I was trying to isolate a bunch of tutorial-style posts for a co-worker and it was more painful than it should have been.

So in order to make this trove of usefulpast posts more easily accessible to all our blog readers, I added a new category called Tutorialand two subcategories: Using Booksand Using Tools & Reports.You’ll see links to these categories in the right-hand column of the main page at https://blog.logos.com.

Thetop-level Tutorial category contains 99 posts that are substantially how-to in nature—posts with steps you can follow and a takeaway that you can use to inform your use of Logos Bible Software.

Almost half of these tutorial posts are syntax-related. Since some readers are very into syntax and others aren’tin the least,I created the two subcategories to narrow things down still further.

Using Tools & Reportscontains tips and tutorials for using features of the digital library, excluding syntax searching. Here you’ll find tips on searching, library management, time-saving shortcuts, and in-depth reviews of specific tools and reports.

The tutorials in theUsing Bookssubcategory are focused less on library features and more on the features of individual books, such as the reverse interlinear Bibles.

If you see some posts you think shouldn’t be included in the “tutorials” categories or run across others that should be but aren’t, please drop a comment on this post.

To cap this off, here are a few gems from the distant past that I rediscovered in my travels today. If you’re new to the blog (or are memory challenged) you’ll find more good stuff like this in the category archives that will help you do better, more efficient Bible study.

  • About This Resource(September 2005) – In which you’ll hear Eli Evans say, “an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange.” In this series of posts, Eli also explains what in the world a datatype is and how to use all the juicy information in the About This Resource window.
  • Mouse Gestures (August 2005) – Bob Pritchett reveals what he calls a “hidden feature” inside the app…but one that you’ll love if ever you start using it.
  • Bible Word Study Report(May 2006) -A9-part series by Rick Brannan that does show-and-tell on every feature of the super-cool Bible Word Study report.
  • Syntax Search Example: Relative Pronouns(April 2006) – A foundational syntax tutorial post in which Rick Brannan reveals the secret wisdom thatenables usto attain a higher level of syntax searching: “The structure of the query matches the structure of the hit.”
  • Words, Words Everywhere and Every One a Link! (January 2006) – A three-part series by yours truly (Daniel Foster)that shows how every word in Logos Bible Software is a link to something. Double-click words anywhere in the system and something cool happens.

Bible Speed Search Tips

A feature of Logos 3 that still draws the most oohs and aahs when I demo the software for people is also one of the simplest: Bible Speed Search. I think that’s because of how quick it is (it finds as you type) and how easy it is to figure out. In fact, many people use it much like they use Google: type one or two words and voila! there’s the thing you’re looking for.

Type the word “heaven,” for example, and Bible Speed Search instantly returns 701 hits in 661 verses in the English Standard Version Bible.


But just like Google’s advanced search features, much more is possible using Bible Speed Search. This post will cover a few of the most commonly used search refinements. A more detailed tutorial is available in the training article Exploring Libronix Searching or in the Help file on advanced searching within the software.

You’ll notice in the screenshot above that the first result is not heaven but heavens. What’s going on here? Bible Speed Search automatically looks for variations of the word you type: plural, -ed, -ing, and so on. Usually, that’s fine…but sometimes you really do want to find just the form of the word you typed. In other words, you want to turn off “stemming.”

In this case, use the “nostem” modifier to turn off stemming and find only the form you typed. In Logos, term modifiers like “nostem” are used with parentheses surrounding the search term, like this: nostem(heaven).


Now we see that heaven singular is used 491 times in the ESV. But what if I want to isolate instances of Heaven, singular and capitalized? The “exact” modifier comes to the rescue and Bible Speed Search returns only 7 hits. Using exact tells Logos to only return exact matches, no fooling around.

As you can see, only twice—once in Genesis and once in Daniel—is the word heaven capitalized in the ESV when it’s not at the beginning of a sentence. Significant? Perhaps not. But it would be interesting to know why translators gave those two instances alone the capital treatment.

What if I told you that Logos could very easily find every statement Jesus made about heaven? In a sense, it can.

When Logos data geeks (I mean, book designers) create an electronic edition of a book, they rarely throw anything away. In fact, they even save the red letters that indicate the words of Christ in many Bible versions. Cooler yet, they encode these red letters as invisible “fields” that can be specified in a search.

Field searches use a colon instead of parentheses to separate the two components of the search. The Words of Christ field is WordsOfChrist or WOC for short. So a speed search to find out what Jesus says about heaven looks like: woc:heaven. Pretty simple, huh?

(For a list of fields available within any given book, open the book and click Help | About This Resource. See the training article Exploring Logos Searching for more details.)


As I look through the search results showing all the verses where Jesus uses the word heaven, I notice that the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears rather frequently. I’ll go ahead and type kingdom of heaven in the search box.


OK, clearly this is not what I want. When I type more than one word in the search box, Logos looks for verses that contain all the words I typed. It’s as if I said, “Find verses that contain kingdom and of and heaven…in any order.”

This is called “natural language syntax” and mimics the behavior of the web search engines we use everyday. Again, much like a web search engine, if you want to search for a phrase use quotes.

Here’s what a search for “kingdom of heaven” returns:


As it turns out, the phrase “kingdom of heaven” appears only in Matthew, appears 32 times, and appears twice in one verse: Matthew 5:19.

We’ve really only touched the tip of the iceberg. To find out more about advanced searching, including lists of available modifiers and operators, see the Advanced Searching section of the Libronix DLS help file.

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 3

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

Part 1 introduced some tools and techniques for exploring your new books, while Part 2 focused on commentaries.

This post will review some of the other categories ofbooks that are part of Library Builder, introduce some individual titles, and show where to look for them in your digital library.

Illustrations

Pastors and teachers love illustrations…readers and listeners love them, too. They’re the raisins in the toast, the strawberries in the fruit salad.

Library Builder adds a new bookof illustrations: Illustrations for Biblical Preaching , with fresh material to help you enliven your teaching or your own study.

Your digital library knows that this is a book of illustrations so it will automatically show up in the Illustrations section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide, the system figures out all the topics related to your passage, then scours your books of illustrations to find illustrations on those topics. Like magic.

Music

Library Builder adds five new books on music:

  • 101 Hymn Stories
  • 101 More Hymn Stories
  • Hymns and Scripture Selection Guide
  • Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others
  • The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts

You’re probably familiar with the 101 Hymn Stories books that give the history of various hymns and their composers, but some of the others may be new to you.

Hymn and Scripture Selection Guide is great because, while it does not contain hymn texts,each hymn is tagged with numerous Bible references. That increases the odds you’ll find a song relating tothe Bible passage you’re studying or preaching!

Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others and The Psalms and Hymns of Isaac Watts open a window on the poetical voice of those who contributed greatly to the hymnody of the Christian church in bygone days. Sometimes one of these classic hymns, read as a poem, is just the thing to illustrate a biblical truth.

Again, Logos Bible Software knows that these are books dealing with music, so they show up in the Music section of Passage Guide. When you run Passage Guide on a passage of Scripture, the guide finds any hymns or songs that relate to the passage you’re studying.

What you see above are the Music results I get for a Passage Guide on Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (ESV)

Books on Prayer

Library Builder adds quite a number of books on prayer. It’s easy to locate them all in your library: just click My Library, arrange by subject, then type prayer.

You’ll notice a bunch of books by E.M. Bounds, one by Tom Elliff, one by P.T. Forsyth, and one by Oswald Chambers…all new with Library Builder.

Because prayer is such a vital discipline in the Christian’s life, Logos Bible Software also includes a feature right on the homepage that introduces you to books on prayer within your library. Your new books on prayer show up here automatically.

Just click any of the links in the list to open that book to its table of contents and begin exploring.

(Note: the Prayer section of the Logos Bible Software homepage can be turned off or on via the “Customize View” link at the top of the homepage. The Prayer section is only available if you have the Personal Bible Study Addin, included with Logos Bible Software base libraries or available as a separate purchase but not included with Library Builder.)

Devotionals

Devotionals, structured around daily readings and meditations, are a great way to get into the Word every day. The Devotions section on the Logos Bible Software homepage makes it easy to start every day with the devotional of your choice.

Here I’ve selected two of the devotionals that are new in Library Builder.

Take Heart is a very cool concept—it offers daily snippets from sermons by great preachers of the past such as C.H. Spurgeon, G.Campbell Morgan, and John Ker. As the editor writes in the preface, “These preached words are a part of our Christian heritage, and you will find the power of God in them still. I want to preserve them not because they are old but because they are true. It is our loss if we allow this part of our heritage to crumble to dust, forgotten, on out-of-the-way shelves.”

Drawing Near by John MacArthur reflects that teacher’s emphasis on in-depth Bible exposition study. As MacArthur states in the introduction: “As you use this book daily, you will learn how to approach Scripture on your own, developing the study skills you need to open up the Bible and discover its rich and marvelous truths for yourself. Such repeated exposure to God’s Word trains you to think Biblically, and that’s what ultimately makes a difference in your spiritual life.”

ChoosingDevotionals for Your Homepage

To choose the devotional that gets displayed on your homepage every day, click the Customize View link at the top right corner of the Logos homepage.

Then scroll down to the Devotions section and choose as many of the devotionals as you’d like to see on the homepage every day. Put a check in the boxes for those you choose, make sure there’s a check next to “Devotions,” then scroll back up to the top of the page and click Save Changes.

Note: the version of Take Heart that shipped on the Library Builder disc will not show up in the list of devotions; in order to make this devotional show up as an option, download an updated version of the book. Here’s how: close Libronix DLS, then click this link and choose to save the file to your resources folder (for most users, C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources). When prompted, overwrite the file that’s already there.

Looking Ahead…

In the next installment of this series, we’ll take a look at some of the books that don’t fall into any of the categories we’ve covered thus far. You’ll definitely want totake some steps to ensure you’reincorporating these “ordinary” books into your Bible study workflow.