Teachers and the Personal Book Builder

We have a really cool guest post for you below, but first a very exciting announcement regarding the Personal Book Builder.
We at Logos are passionate about God’s Word. One of our main objectives is to facilitate deeper Bible study. In an effort to better accomplish this, we are dropping the Personal Book Builder annual license renewal fee for all who use the PBB in conjunction with their teaching! This includes those who are teachers by vocation, as well as those who lead Bible studies or teach their children at home. We hope this enables you to be more effective teachers of God’s Word in whatever capacity He allows you to use your gifts.
Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Benjamin B. Phillips, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at the Houston campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the 2007 fall semester, I began using the Logos Personal Book Builder (PBB) software (Standard Edition) for my systematic theology classes at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Each of my students writes a “Practical Theology Paper” where they summarize a Christian doctrine and then reflect on the practical implications of that doctrine for living the Christian life and doing Christian ministry. Each student writes on a different doctrine and I give the final versions of the files to the whole class. The result has been that each member of the class gets the equivalent of a 150-page book that they and their classmates have written.
Prior to using the PBB software, I simply collected the Microsoft Word files on CD-ROM’s and gave copies of the disk to the class at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, this meant that students wishing to use them in future research or sermon preparation would have to open and search each document one at a time. It seems unlikely that many (if any!) would undertake such a laborious process, and as a result, much of the value of the assignment was lost.
The Logos PBB software has enabled me to realize my goal of students doing theological writing to serve each other in their future ministries. By combining all the papers into one Logos electronic book, students no longer have to search through multiple files. Even more significant, however, is the fact that the Logos Libronix software allows students to incorporate their book into the Libronix Digital Library System. By making their book one of the texts that Libronix automatically searches when one studies a Bible passage or a topic, students don’t even need to remember to go look at the papers. If there is something relevant to their study, Libronix automatically includes a link to the relevant part of the book in its search results! If a student prepares a sermon or study on Numbers 23:13-30, Libronix would inform them that a verse in this text is referenced at two different places in their book of practical theology papers. Clicking on a link (here the Doctrinal Summary link) would open a window showing the relevant portion of the book. Similarly, if a student were to search their Libronix library for information on “patience” the results would include 4 occurrences of the word in 3 articles within their book of papers.
Students don’t even need to chase down the scripture passages mentioned in the papers. The PBB software automatically converts scripture references from text to hyperlinks. The result is that within the Logos book, one simply needs to scroll the cursor over the link, and the appropriate passage pops up in the student’s preferred Bible translation. Professors and instructions should note that the PBB software can accommodate a wide range of ways to cite scripture (note in the screen shot that the student used a short citation form and a long form). The functionality of the Logos book will not be lost if a student deviates in some minor way from a specific citation format.
The Logos PBB software is not difficult to use. I use Microsoft Word to combine papers into four or five files by broad topic. From there it is a simple matter of standardizing the formatting of the documents and marking the headings for the table of contents. I then save each file in HTML version. The last step involves running the PBB creator and setting the order of the files for the table of contents. The only inconvenient part has been standardizing the formatting of the papers . . . but in the future, I will have the students do that part for their own papers! With that change, the bottom line will be that I can take 20 papers and create a Logos book in under one hour.
I am incredibly grateful to Logos for their PBB software, but more importantly, so are my students! I hear often from my students about how they really like having a Logos book version of their work and how that has enhanced their appreciation for the class. From my perspective, I am impressed with the improvement in student effort on these assignments that has resulted from creating Logos books. My students know their classmates will be reading and using their papers, and so they have become far more serious and energetic about their work. I strongly encourage professors and instructors to use the PBB software to provide added value to their students.
Dr. Phillips has graciously allowed us to make the two PBB books available to you:

Put the files in C:\Program Files\Libronix DLS\Resources. To use them you must have a Libronix PBB Reading Key, which is included in all of the base packages.
Enjoy! And be sure to let us know what creative ways you come up with to use the Personal Book Builder.

“Love” in John and the ESV Reverse Interlinear NT

A user sent me a question last week, and I thought some of our blog readers might benefit from this little exercise.
Here’s what he wanted to do:

I was wondering if it would be possible to do the following: search for the occurrences of an English word and have it report the original language transliterated word for each occurrence. For example, say I’m teaching on the Gospel of John. I want to find all the occurrences of “love” and identify the part of speech and original language word. . . . Is there an easy way to do this?

There are several ways to accomplish this, but the easiest, especially for someone with minimal Greek knowledge, is to use the ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament.
Here are the steps I took:
1. In Libronix, click Search > Greek Morphological Bible Search.
2. For Bibles, select the ESV NT Rev. Int. | The ESV Greek-English Reverse Interlinear New Testament.
3. For the Range, type John.
4. Type lov* into the Search box. (The * enables you to find love, loves, loved, and loving. To exclude any potential false hits like lovely, you could type love OR loves OR loved OR loving in place of lov*. In this case, they yield identical results.)

5. Click Search. You should get 57 occurrences in 39 verses.

6. Click on the blue box next to any of the references in the search results to see that occurrence in the ESV Reverse Interlinear. You will be able to see the transliteration and part of speech for all of the words.

Make sure to turn on the appropriate interlinear levels. Click View > Interlinear and check the ones that you want to display.

Now, you could also accomplish this by searching any Greek text with morphological tagging, but for those most comfortable with the English, seeing the search results in the ESV might be the best.
Instead of searching for lov* (or love OR loves OR loved OR loving), you could also search for [φιλέω=] OR [ἀγαπάω=] OR [ἀγάπη=]. With this example, you get identical results either way.
How would you do this search?
Update: Searching for lov* is unnecessary because Logos searches on the stem of love by default. So searching for love will yield the same results as lov* or, in this case, love OR loves OR loved OR loving.

Thanks for Being Great Customers!

Today’s guest blogger is Elizabeth Sanborn, a Customer Support representative at Logos.
I’ve been working here at Logos for just over three months, and before I started—I’ll be honest—I was a little scared. Everyone has heard horror stories about customer support, so I was a little nervous about the people I would encounter on the other end of the phone.
However, my experience working here at Logos has been quite the opposite. During my time here, I have met hundreds of wonderfully kind customers, who ask me how I am doing (and care about the answer!) and display the utmost patience with me, especially when I first started working here and was still learning the ropes. I’ve had a variety of great conversations while waiting for computers to reboot, downloads to finish, etc. I’ve even had a customer help me with Christmas gift ideas for my brother. It’s quite encouraging to see Christians act Christ-like, even in the little things of life like customer service. So thanks, customers, for being so fantastic and making the jobs of Logos Customer Support reps such a great experience!

More Jobs at Logos

Last week we mentioned that Logos is growing and that there are several job openings. Since then we’ve added even more new positions to the jobs page.
Here are the ones that are currently listed:

Head on over to the jobs page to find out more, like qualifications, responsibilities, and how to apply. If you know of someone who would be a good fit, let them know we’re hiring. Thanks for helping us spread the word!

Seeing Double: How to Display Only Primary Resource Titles

A friend of mine recently emailed me the following question:

I’ve been sorting my library into collections and (several times) I’ve come across duplicate books with slightly different titles, e.g., (1) NBATLAS (New Bible Atlas) and (2) New Bible Atlas (Authors listed).
Any suggestions on how to eliminate these duplicates? I have tried the “Remove Duplicate Resources” function, but this function doesn’t seem to treat these occurrences as true duplicates.
Thanks for any help you can offer!


My friend is a very sharp guy, so I figured if he has had this question, there are probably many others who have as well.
When you see what appears to be two copies of a resource, you are probably simply seeing alternate titles for the same resource. That’s why Tools > Library Management > Remove Duplicate Resources won’t do anything. This feature is built into Libronix to make it easier to find titles in My Library, but not everyone wants to see multiple titles for their resources, so we allow you to turn this off. To set it to show only the primary title for each resource, click Tools > Options > General > Interface and check the box next to Use Only Primary Resource Titles in My Library.

Now you should see only one entry for every resource. Hope this helps!

Don’t Forget the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament

We’ve given frequent attention to the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament here on the blog. It’s a tremendous collection of resources. The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, the other set of NT syntax resources, hasn’t been in the spotlight quite as much, mostly because it is still a work in progress. At present it covers the following 11 books: Romans, 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, and Revelation. (If you don’t have access to all of them, make sure to update to 3.0d to get the latest LSGNT resources and syntax database. A revised version of the LSGNT that includes 2 Corinthians and Galatians is included in 3.0e, which is now in beta.)
But don’t let its incompleteness keep you from taking advantage of the wealth of information available here. Unlike the OpenText.org resources, the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament resources use the traditional syntactical categories that perhaps the majority of Greek students are familiar with, so it will likely prove to be the most helpful for students as they learn and teachers as they instruct.
When I was in seminary I had the opportunity to teach elementary and intermediate Greek. I was always looking for more examples to show my students so they could learn the grammatical concepts that we were covering in class. Most grammars provide several examples—Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics was especially helpful in this regard—but I was always running down additional examples to discuss in class or to use in handouts, exercises, quizzes, and tests.
How I wish that I had had access to the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament when I was teaching the genitive absolute, the purpose infinitive, the dative direct object, the nominative of appellation, or the double accusative. In about 15 seconds, I can open the Syntax Search tool and generate a list of 55 genitive absolutes, 113 purpose infinitives, 122 dative direct objects, 26 nominatives of appellation, or 78 double accusatives—plenty of fresh material for in-class examples, handouts, quizzes, and tests. It’s as simple as adding a Word to the query, checking the box next to the grammatical category for which you want to generate a list, and clicking Search.

purpose-infinitives-search.jpg

What a time saver this would have been!
But these tools aren’t just for teachers. Put them in the hands of your students and have them analyze all 68 of the attributive participles in John’s letters or the 85 subjective genitives in Romans, for example. Simple access to so many examples will surely make grasping abstract grammatical concepts much more attainable.
So don’t forget about the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament. It is included in the top four base packages (Original Languages, Scholar’s, Scholar’s Silver, and Scholar’s Gold). If you haven’t yet upgraded, visit our upgrade page to see your options.
Check out our other blog posts dealing with the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament:

Show Us Your Syntax Searches

The Logos syntax databases and resources have revolutionized advanced searching and analysis of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages. As with most powerful tools, there is a bit of a learning curve to using them effectively. One of the best ways to learn how to use them is to reproduce the searches of others. This is easiest to do by seeing a series of screenshots or watching a video.
Learn by Example
To help you learn the ropes, we continue to provide you with blog posts and videos that discuss and demonstrate syntax searching. If you haven’t been over to the video tutorial page at Logos.com recently, there are dozens of syntax videos that you can watch. I just updated it to include all of the syntax-related videos that have appeared here on the blog, so go take a look! If you have a slow internet connection, you may want to purchase the Syntax Demonstration Videos on CD-ROM.
Work Backwards
Another great way to learn how to perform syntax searches is to work backwards from one of the syntax resources.

This is the method I used to perform my first successful syntax search (i.e., the Holy Spirit communicating). I (1) found a passage of Scripture that had something I wanted to search for (Acts 13:2), (2) looked up that passage in the OpenText.org Clause Analysis resource, and (3) reproduced it in the syntax search. This method will involve some trial and error, so most users will want to watch several of the demo videos before trying this.
Show Us Your Syntax Searches
We love to see the ways you are putting the syntax tools to use. I stumbled across a blog post where one of our users creatively used the Anderson-Forbes Syntax database to locate all of the occurrences of bears in the Old Testament. His search missed one (Pr 17:12, where the gloss was “she-bear” rather than “bear”), but it was an excellent example of how syntax searching can be a very quick and simple way to access a list of data that would have taken longer to find with an English search or a combination of Hebrew and Aramaic morphology searches. Nice work, Mike!
If you blog about creative ways to use the syntax resources, send an email to blog@logos.com and let us know. We’ll add a link to your post below. If we think it’s really cool, we may even take a whole post to show off your syntax skills! Just a hint: it should probably contain screenshots or video. (Check out Jing if you don’t know how to capture video on your screen.) We’re looking forward to seeing what you’ve got!

Call Logos and Get a Human

Technology is great. Our slogan here at Logos is Advanced Technology for Eternal Truth, and we’re sponsoring BibleTech:2008, a conference that explores the intersection of biblical studies and technology. Obviously, we love technology and are convinced that it can be immensely helpful—especially for things like Bible study. But new technology does not always result in a better way of doing things. People can still do many tasks more efficiently than machines—like answering phones.
Someone shared a link at the office yesterday for a website called the gethuman 500 database. It lists phone numbers that will get you a human on the other end of the line for over 500 businesses. About 10% of the numbers will take you directly to a human. Most require you to push a series of numbers to get a human on the line. For example, to talk to a human at Ford, you would need to call 800‑392‑3673 and then “press 0; at prompt press 0; at prompt press 0; at prompt press 1; at prompt press 0” to finally get to a human.
We’ve all had bad experiences with automated answering services. Most of them take forever, and the ones that require you to speak your information into the phone don’t work very well. It’s refreshing to get a human on the line who can quickly connect you to the right person or give you the information you want.
One of our highest priorities at Logos is to provide you with top-notch customer service. That’s why we put 800-875-6467 at the top of Logos.com. You don’t have to go to a website like the gethuman 500 database to find out how to contact us. And you don’t have to press 0 four times either. When you call Logos on Monday–Friday between 6 AM and 5 PM PST, a pleasant and knowledgeable human answers the phone and promptly directs your call to the right department—and that’s the way it should be.

Logos Is Growing

People carrying around computers and desks has been a common sight in the office recently. Our software developers and web developers, along with the Ministry Relations department and a few other individuals, have been in the process of relocating right down the street to a new office space in order to give our Electronic Text Development department the necessary room to continue growing. Training started today for a new group of book designers, and they are still looking to hire up to a dozen more. So if you live in the Bellingham area or are willing to relocate to this beautiful part of the country like I recently did, head on over to the jobs page, check out the job description, and send in your résumé.
As a result of this growth, you can expect to see tons of solid new Pre-Pubs coming down the pike in 2008. So be sure to keep your eye on the Pre-Pub page or subscribe to the Pre-Pub feed to stay up to date!

Bringing You the Best Editions

The best edition of a classic work is not always the newest one. Newer editions sometimes omit valuable information contained in the original.
This is the case with Conybeare and Howson’s The Life and Epistles of St. Paul (2 Vols), which has been reprinted with abridged footnotes. However, our electronic edition is the complete and unabridged edition, which includes all of the original footnotes. On our product page, we explain,

NOTE: This work has been reprinted and distributed by Eerdmans Publishers. The edition for sale here is not the Eerdmans edition, otherwise known as the People’s Edition. The 2 volume set we feature here contains Conybeare and Howson’s original footnotes, complete with Greek and Hebrew quotations, which were abridged in later editions.

Is this a big deal? Perhaps not for most people, especially those who don’t read footnotes! But footnotes often contain some of the richest material, and the unabridged footnotes may just contain the example you’re looking for to shed light on something you’re studying. Why not have the unabridged footnotes, especially in the digital edition?
We do our best to make sure that we are providing you with the best possible edition, which we can do because we don’t have some of the restrictions that print publishers often do. Few people will stay away from a digital book because it’s too big or has too many pages. Finding obscure references in a big digital volume is a cinch, and all digital books weigh the same and take up the same amount of shelf space! Because of benefits like these, most people are more attracted to a digital volume with more content. However, size is frequently a concern with print books—both for the publisher and for the purchaser.
Another example of how we try to give you the best edition possible is the forthcoming Josephus in Greek: Niese Critical Edition with Apparatus. The product page notes,

This is the first and only edition of Josephus’ works, electronic or otherwise, to feature Niese’s prefaces in English. The translation was produced by Logos specifically for this edition.

So in this instance, our edition is even better than the print edition!
While more isn’t always better, it almost always is when you’re dealing the all of the conveniences of the Libronix Digital Library System.
Be on the lookout for other places where we make our digital books from the best print editions—and often make them even better!