Ellicott’s Commentaries on Pauline Epistles

The astute (including those who subscribe to our Community Pricing RSS Feed) have recently noticed that we’ve popped up a bevy of commentaries on Pauline Epistles by Charles Ellicott in our community pricing system. They are:

Why would we do such a thing? Ellicott’s commentaries were highly respected in their day for their grammatical insight and general approach. Here are excerpts from some reviews of his work back in Ellicott’s day:

To Bishop Ellicott must be assigned the first rank, if not the first place in the first rank of English biblical scholarship. The series of commentaries on the Pauline Epistles are in the highest style of critical exegesis; so high, indeed, that rightly or wrongly he has felt constrained by friendly criticisms to compromise with the humble capacity of his audience, and make a more sparing use of those expressive old technicals, which enabled him to place his results in the most compact shape. Mr. Ellicott’s genius is endowed with the most opposite qualities. His imagination and feeling are intense, yet his patience of analysis is unbounded. His exegesis is at once dry and glowing. It is microscopic; not because the critic is cold and mechanical, but because of his ardent soul the ultimate particle of sacred thought revealable by only the most perfect lens is infinitely more precious than gold. To appreciate and enjoy Cicero was with Quintillian a test of true intellectual taste; to study, enjoy, and fully appropriate Ellicott in these commentaries is the prerogative of a true biblical scholar. And yet to the popular preacher, who wishes to preach, as far as possible, from the text exactly as the apostle wrote, and from the inspired mind exactly as the apostle thought, these exegeses are a rare aid and insurance.
From: Methodist Review, April 1865, p. 310 (via Google Books)

Bishop Ellicott’s works on the shorter Pauline Epistles are so well known to students of the New Testament text that his characteristics as a commentator need not be enumerated. This volume closely resembles his earlier ones in plan and execution. It is above all things a philological commentary; that is, it aims to expound the sense by the close application of grammatical tests and principles. This fact will repel those who have too little time or patience to carefully follow the critical processes which have been necessary to the author’s purpose. But we agree with him in saying: “If the student will patiently wade through these details of grammar, he will be rewarded by a real knowledge of the mind of the original, which, so far as I know, cannot certainly be acquired any other way” (Preface, p. 7).
From: New Englander and Yale Review, 1889, page 389 (via Google Books)

But why else? The only volume of Ellicott’s that I have any experience with is his volume on the Pastorals. And I consult it not only because of his grammatical insights, but because — at least in the volume on the Pastorals — he interacts with classic and patristic Greek literature and also looks for exegetical insight from the early versions (Latin, Syriac and even Gothic!).
Here’s what Ellicott has to say in his preface to his volume on the Pastorals:

Possibly a more interesting addition will be found in the citations of authorities. I have at last been enabled to carry out, though to a very limited extent, the long cherished wish of using some of the best versions of antiquity for exegetical purposes. … …
In thus breaking ground in the Ancient Versions, I would here very earnestly invite fellow-labourers into the same field. It is not easy to imagine a greater service than might be rendered to Scriptural exegesis if scholars would devote themselves tot he hearty study of one or more of these Versions. I dwell upon the term scholars, for it would be perhaps almost worse than useless to accept illustrations from a Version, unless they were also associated with a sound and accurate knowledge of the original Greek. (Ellicott, Pastorals, pp. ix-x)

On sources and influences for his work on the Pastorals, Ellicott writes at the end of his preface:

These, [some previous commentators, particularly Coray's Συνέκδημος Ιερατικός] with the Patristic commentators, the able Romanist expositors, Justiniani, Cornelius a Lapide, and Estius, and a few other writers noticed in the preface to the Epistle to the Galatians, are the principal authorities which I have used in the present commentary.

It’s because of the sources and depth of commentary that I enjoy Ellicott on the Pastorals. I’ll be excited to see if these volumes make their way from community pricing, into pre-pub, and finally into Logos Bible Software.


NB: We’re still doing research into Charles J. Ellicott’s published writings. Do you know of other commentaries by Ellicott that we should pursue? Once we isolate all of them, we may take the next step of making a collection. So help us out and comment on this post if you have more information about Ellicott’s commentaries. Thanks!

What About Homer’s Iliad?

[[Note: Homer's Iliad has now entered into "under development" status. We hope to make it available as soon as we can! — RB, Aug 15, 2007]]
The guys over in marketing asked me about the editions of Homer’s Iliad that we have on pre-pub. Why would Logos users find that sort of stuff useful?
So I thought I’d take a quick stab. First, it’s Homer. Classic epic poetry and all that. If you’re not familiar with the basic storyline of the Iliad (and the Odyssey, for that matter) you really should be just because it will make you a more well-rounded individual.
As regards Biblical studies, I think there are two main areas where something like Homer’s Iliad can be used.
The first has to do with parallel concepts. One of these parallel concepts can be illustrated using 1Th 4.9-10a:*

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. (1Th 4.9-10a, ESV)

Now, here’s Iliad 23.304-308

304 drew his car. And his father drew nigh and gave counsel305 to him for his profit – a wise man to one that himself had knowledge.Antilochus,306 for all thou art young, yet have Zeus and307 Poseidon loved thee and taught thee all manner of horsemanship;308 wherefore to teach thee is no great need, for thou knowest309 well how to wheel about the turning-post;Homer, & Murray, A. T. (2007). The Iliad. At head of title: Homer. The Loeb classical library (Homer, Iliad 23.309). Bellingham: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The parallel concept is that of deity teaching man. The Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament further explains: “Achilles had offered a prize for the best driver in a chariot race. Antilochus is encouraged by his father with words that may have been current in the Hellenistic world, echoed by Paul, and recognized by his readers — though of course communicating a different content.”*
Second, and to my mind the more useful of the two areas, is examining usage of words and concepts also found in the LXX or the New Testament. The Iliad is a large corpus, routinely dated in the seventh or eighth century BC (read: a looooonnnngggg time ago). The Greek version is fully morphologically tagged. This means that parts of speech and dictionary forms are encoded behind the actual word in the text. The Greek version also has English glosses for each word (note that the interlinear lines can be turned on or off using View | Interlinear, so you can remove the gloss line, and the morph line, and the lemma line if you see them as “crutches”). There are parallel aligned translations in English, French, Spanish and German. Lots of area to look for classical Greek usage of words and concepts, and lots of help for the person somewhat familiar with Greek but unfamiliar with Homer.

The Homeric literature (the Iliad included) gives us a glimpse into how words were used then, in the context of epic poetry. This can help us better understand the Greek of the New Testament. One quick example is that of the word ἁμαρτάνω, the verb form of “sin”. The NT uses this sense of the word, but the word did not always directly communicate the concept “to sin”. In classical literature (e.g. Homer, Iliad 5.287) ἁμαρτάνω is used in the general sense of ‘miss the mark’, particularly of thrown spears (cf. LSJ p. 77, which also cites Iliad 10.372). In specific contexts within classical literature, including Homer, this could be seen as failing or of doing wrong. BDAG notes this generally with no citations (BDAG p. 49); LSJ helps with some citations (Iliad 5.287, 10.372); a search of the Logos edition of the Iliad, however, gives the total list so the word usage can be further evaluated.
In the Logos edition of the Iliad, there are 16 instances of the lemma ἁμαρτάνω. These were located with a search for “lemma:αμαρτανω“. The “lemma:” specifies the field to search, the word after the colon is the search target. (Sort of like how some of Google’s advanced search operators work). Here are the results:

From here, you can run a lemma report. See the link to Search Analysis By Lemma? Click on that. Here’s what you’ll get:

With this information to hand, you can work through the morphologically-sorted list of instances and see what you think. The Greek text has glosses, but you can also consult the English (or French or Spanish or German, if you please) as you work through the issues to see how your term was translated.
Finally, the question everyone always asks. “Why only the Iliad? Why not the Odyssey too?” We’d love to do the Odyssey and have plans to pursue it — if the Iliad prepub succeeds, then keep your eyes open for a version of the Odyssey at some time in the future!


* Boring, M. Eugene, Klaus Berger and Carsten Colpe. Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament, (Abingdon: Nashville), 1995. pp. 493-494.

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Updated and Expanded

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (henceforth Lexham SGNT) is an ongoing project here at Logos. When v3.0 was released, a preliminary version of the Lexham SGNT, covering Hebrews through Jude, was included in the various Scholar’s Library packages and the Original Languages Library package. (see more on packages here).
Dr. Al Lukaszewski has been steadily working through the Greek New Testament since that time. The latest beta release (v 3.0e) includes a significantly expanded version of the Lexham SGNT. If you already have access to the Lexham SGNT, the 3.0e beta will update your version. The new version includes data for Revelation, Romans and First Corinthians. Of course, it is a beta release so you should be sure to read all of the warnings and whatnot before you decide to install the beta version.
For an example of the sort of information that the Lexham SGNT provides, check out this previous blog entry which includes a video discussing “Syntactic Force Annotations”.

Yee-Haw! The Logos Chili Cook-Off 2007

This past Friday was the seventh annual Logos Chili Cook-Off. Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke manned the camera, took some pictures, and files this report. Thanks, Mark!

On Friday, June 29 twelve Logos employees entered their time-honored (or recently ‘Googled’) chili recipes in a battle royale of meat, beans and tomato sauce.

Even before the clock hit high noon, this competition was unlike any other in Logos history. You see, when National Sales Representative Ed Hale heard about the contest he knew he had to enter. There was just one small problem – he lives in Escondido, CA and the competition was taking place at Logos headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. In order for Ed enter the competition he needed to figure out a way to get his chili to the Pacific Northwest.

The story could only end one of two ways: either this would turn into a messy disaster at the post-office or Ed’s chili would win and he would enter cook-off immortality. The result? Ed won the chili cook-off, got the girl and is selling his story to 20th Century Fox for millions.

And that was just in the “Mild Chili” category. This year’s competition required contestants to declare their chili as being “mild” or “real”. The “Real Chili” gold medal went to Scott Sanders of Logos’ Electronic Text Development department. This was a great send off for Scott as it was his last day working at Logos. Scott will be taking his ‘Roasted Robot Chili’ on the road as he bikes around the northwest for the next couple weeks. All this made for an memorable event and a great time for all involved.

Check out the chili-rific pictures below!


The contestants make their final preparations before the competition begins


Unofficial winner of the “best chili name” category.


While techies around the country lined up for their iPhone our sole attention was on chili.


Let the eating begin!


Scott Sanders’ winning entry: “Roasted Robot Chili”

Completely Updated ESV NT Reverse Interlinear

We’ve completely updated, corrected and revised the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear. We’ve also made a few enhancements. You can download the updated resource from Tools | Libronix Update, straight within your Logos Bible Software.
Not sure what a Reverse Interlinear is or why you’d want to use it? Check out this description on the Logos 3 – Top 20 Features page. Reverse Interlinears are the #1 feature on this top-20 feature list, so if you’re unaware of how they work … you should probably check it out and see what the fuss is all about.
What did we do to the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear and why did we do it?
Well, first remember that the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear is available in print as well. Part of the process of creating the print edition was a complete review of the alignment, making corrections and clearing up some underlying textual issues.
This update incorporates all of these changes, clearing up a vast number of the alignment issues that have been reported since the original release. Additionally, the few places where the ESV NT deviates from the underlying NA27 Greek New Testament are also now accounted for. One example is found in 1Co 2.1:

The word translated “testimony” in the ESV assumes a Greek text that uses the word μαρτύριον. The asterisk to the left of the word indicates that the NA27 varies here. If you hover or click the asterisk, you’ll see the following:

NA27 μυστήριον for μαρτύριον

This is the same footnote you’ll see in the print edition at this point. It indicates that the NA27 text has a different word (μυστήριον, or “mystery”).
If you’re interested in locating all of the places where the text underlying the ESV New Testament and the NA27 differ, you can just click the Search button (assuming the ESV NT Rev Int is the active resource) and type in: “footnote:NA27″ (minus the quotes). This search finds all the places where the text ‘NA27′ occurs within the ‘footnote’ field. You’ll get a list of 151 occurrences in 139 verses.
So, again, what are the advantages of the update?

  • Better alignment with the Greek text
  • Notes as to where the ESV NT assumes a different underlying Greek text

So grab the update (again, just use Tools | Libronix Update from within your Logos Bible Software) and start using it today!
Update (2007-06-29): In response to some comments, I believe the update went live on June 28. If you’re unsure if you’ve already downloaded it, you can run Tools | Libronix Update again — if you need it, you’ll be able to download it. If you’d rather skip Tools | Libronix Update you can grab it via FTP. Look for the file ESVNTREVINT.lbxlls at ftp://ftp.logos.com/lbxbooks.

Bob Talks About Pre-Pubs and Community Pricing

Last week, our very own Bob Pritchett and Bill Nienhuis attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing.
Bob gave a presentation about ways Logos produces and sells books — specifically about the pre-pub program and the community pricing program. Bob blogged about it on his personal blog (along with providing a link to his conference handout).
One of the O’Reilly bloggers — Sarah Milstein — attended Bob’s talk and loved it. Read what she has to say about the ways Logos uses both the pre-pub and community pricing programs to get the books our users want at low prices that actually cover costs.
Once again, if you want books from Logos at low prices, check out the pre-pub and community pricing programs.

Syntax Search Example: Prepositions and Nouns

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that sometimes I just notice things as I’m reading through the text. This time, it was a syntactic structure used in 1Ti 6.3, shown below in the  ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

The structure that is highlighted is what we’re interested in. This is a neat little syntactic structure where the article + substantive (here a noun) combo surrounds a prepositional phrase. Here’s the syntax graph of the verse:

I thought it might be interesting and instructive to walk through constructing a search to find this and other instances (over 100 in the NT!). So I created a video.

[Note: I used WMV format because the video as captured was too big for Camtasia to save as Flash format. I'll try to keep it shorter in the future -- RB]

Reading and Using the Apostolic Fathers: Part III

This is the third post in a series of posts having to do with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English. (The first post is here, the second is here).
Today’s video focuses on different reports and resources that the Apostolic Fathers resources complement through providing text on hover, on how references to Apostolic Fathers within lexicons can be exploited, and also how Apostolic Fathers information can be used in the Bible Word Study report.

Note: The video discusses two resources that do not ship with Apostolic Fathers but can be added to your digital library: NA27 (included in “language” base packages) and the BDAG lexicon.

Want More Power?

Want more power?
Stuff like stacked window tabs, fuzzy searching, and quick navigation?

Of course you do.
Then you need Power Tools. If you don’t have ‘em, you should check out the Power Tools Addin.

Reading and Using the Apostolic Fathers: Part II

This is the second post in a series of posts (first post here) having to do with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English. Today’s video focuses on basic capability of the morphologically annotated Greek texts, including configuring the interlinear lines, keylinking and using visual filters.

In the third and final installment next week, I’ll show how to configure linking and hovering preferences related to the Apostolic Fathers and dig into the Bible Word Study report.

Note: The video discusses two items that do not ship with Apostolic Fathers but can be added to your digital library: morphological filter (part of Biblical Languages Addin, which is included in “language” base packages) and the BDAG lexicon.