Logos Lecture Series Video

In the famous words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want.” At Logos we take every chance we can get to disprove the wrinkly rocker. That’s why we have heeded your requests to make available the most recent installment in the Logos Lecture Series.

Click here to watch Dr. Michael Heiser’s presentation, “The Concept of a Godhead in the Old Testament.”Podcast (24.4 MB)Audio Only (29.7 MB MP3)

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to check the Lecture Series web page regularly for updates on future lectures.

Sign up now for BibleTech 2008!

Now is the time! Registration is live for BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!
We’ve got a variety of speakers addressing all kinds of topics at the intersection of the Bible and technology. We’ll be looking at digital Bible maps, online education, open source projects, web-based language tools, and Bible-reference micro-formats for marking up HTML.
Pastor, programmer, or professor, there’s something for you at BibleTech!
More importantly, we’ve got a great group of people showing up. As interesting as many of the sessions sound, I am even more excited about spending two days meeting and talking with people who share my interest in the Bible and technology. I hope you’ll come and be part of it.
We have tried to make BibleTech 2008 as easy to attend as possible. We’re holding it literally across the street from the SeaTac airport, so you don’t need a car or taxi; you can walk. We’re also pricing the tickets at a “covers costs” level. (Your ticket includes three conference meals, coffee breaks, etc.)
Tickets for BibleTech 2008 are being sold through the Logos Pre-Pub system, so that we can get a head-count in advance. You can pre-order your ticket now without being charged until December.
And please don’t forget to blog about BibleTech 2008. Sadly, not everyone reads the Logos Blog, and we need your help to get the word out!
(Note to bloggers: If youblog about the BibleTech conference, consider using the “bibletech08” tag so that posts about the conference are easy to find in Technorati and others. Thanks!)

The Concept of the Godhead in the Old Testament

Tonight’s edition of the Logos Lecture Series features Dr. Michael Hesier, academic editor at Logos. Dr. Heiser will discuss “The Concept of the Godhead in the Old Testament” at 7:00 PM at Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA.

Dr. Heiser provided this summary of his lecture:

As both extrabiblical historical sources and the New Testament book of Acts informs us, Christianity arose from Judaism. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. The apostles and first followers of Jesus were Jews. How is it then, that on one hand, God-fearing Jews, whose holy Scriptures affirmed that there was only one God, could worship both the God of the Bible and Jesus as God? How could any Jew reconcile worship of Jesus with monotheism? And how is it that Jewish Christians were simultaneously willing to suffer death at the hands of the Roman Empire rather than deny monotheism? Rather than consider first century Jews as religiously confused or closet polytheists, as many scholars today would contend, the answers to these questions are found in the Old Testament, which reveals the ancient faith of Israel contained the idea of a godhead long before its expression in the New Testament.

This same topic was the subject of Dr. Heiser’s Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will approach the subject with an advanced understanding of the original languages of the Bible, which will help uncover some fascinating intricacies in the Old Testament.

New video of Logos for the Mac

Logos Bible Software for the Mac is getting closer all the time! Yesterday we were able to record our first video showing the software in action.

Click on the image below to view the high-res version of that video. The video may take a few minutes to load. If you really can’t wait, you can view the low res version by clicking the link below the image.

Please note that the video has no sound.

High Resolution (33 MB)Low Resolution (18 MB)

The software is showing books, running searches, comparing versions, creating a Passage Guide, and more. (Today we even inserted a shipping DVD and discovered, copied, and viewed existing electronic books without modification.)

There are bugs to fix, help files to write, features to hook up, and some polishing we need to do on the user interface. It shouldn’t be too long before we’re able to release an Alpha for external testing.

Just a reminder: There is no beta list. When we’re ready for Alpha or Beta testing, we will announce it to this email list and at www.logos.com/mac. So please do email us your encouragement and feedback, but please don’t email us asking to be on the top-secret, VIP-only, private early beta list. Because there isn’t one. :-)

Logos in Guatemala

Guillermo Powell, Logos’ International Director for Spanish Products,recently returned from Guatemala, where he spent an entire week presenting Logos in several seminaries, including radio and TV interviews. Latin American countries are quickly catching up with technology, and as economies improve, even pastors and some students can afford our libraries. Logos’ Spanish Department has been working hard to spread the word about our ground-breaking new products – created specifically for the Spanish speaking Bible student.

In February of this year Logos introduced three brand new versions of the program. This releasemore than quadrupled the number of Spanish books available in Libronix format. The Biblioteca Pastoral represents a huge step for the Spanish world. The number of resources included in the collection has recently jumped from 40 to 143. This is pretty amazing when you consider that NO other Bible software company has more than a few Spanish books. Just take one look at the impressive resource list and you don’t have to speak Spanish to realize that this collection was just given a major overhaul.

Of the 110 new books in the Biblioteca Pastoral, the standout resource is undoubtedly the new Spanish-Greek and Spanish-Hebrew Reverse Interlinears. Spanish speakers can now do the same type of research into the original languages that English pastors have been able to do since the release of Logos Bible Software 3.

One of the other newly revised collections is the Biblioteca Académica Bilingüe, which was expanded from 70 to more than210 books. The exciting aspect of this library is that, for the first time, many Spanish pastors can afford a digital library that is larger than their current print library.

The third of these new Spanish collections is completely dedicated to missions. La Biblioteca Digital de la Misión has 40 titles that focus on missions (both foreign and local), church planting, and support for missionaries. All this is done from a uniquely Latin American perspective.

English speaking readers might be thinking, “This is all exciting stuff, but how doesit affect me?” Guillermoencourages, “American churches that support missionaries in Spanish speaking countries should consider giving their missionaries these unique libraries. Just the savings in shipping books, pays forthe Bilingual library!”

The Lost Tomb of King David

What have archaeologists and biblical scholars recently learned about the location of King David’s tomb? What are some misconceptions about the tomb’s whereabouts? What implications would a discovery of such magnitude have on the Christian faith?

David Sielaff will be driving up to Bellingham from Portland, Oregon to address those questions in tonight’s lecture The Lost Tomb of King David. David Sielaff has been the Director of the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge since 2002. The mission of ASK is to strengthen the faith of Bible believers through education and improved understanding of biblical themes. Much like Logos, ASK places special emphasis on studying original documents and primary sources.

Tonight’s event will be the seventh lecture in Logos’ continuing Lecture Series. The lecture will begin at 7:00 PM at Mount Baker Theatre. As with each previous event, The Lost Tomb of King David is free to attend and open to the public.

For those who are not able to attend the lecture, an extended version of it can be found in MP3 format at the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge website. In addition to this lecture, the ASK website has dozens more audio presentations, articles and commentaries. This is one website that should definitely be bookmarked by every pastor and student of the Bible.

For those who live within driving distance of Bellingham, we hope to see you there!

Happy Trails, Daniel Foster

A key member of the Logos Blog team has packed up his keyboard and headed east, to live near family. Daniel Foster was a regular contributor to this blog and his wide variety of posts displayed extraordinary versatility and knowledge of biblical studies and technology.

Two years ago Daniel introduced himself to the blogosphere and since then he has contributed an amazing 241 posts. For those who wonder what he’ll be doing with his newfound spare time after his retirement from blogging, much of it will be filled taking care of his soon-to-be-born third daughter (also known as Foster 3.0 around the office).

Daniel was always a stickler for quality and grammatical correctness, but here are a few of his more memorable posts:

If you are interested in filling Daniel’s shoes check out www.logos.com/jobs and fill out the ‘application’.

Also, feel free to comment on this blog article to show your appreciation for Daniel’s hard work on the Logos Blog.

Taking One for the Team

This past Saturday, August 4, eight stalwart Logos employees journeyed to Lynden, Washington (25 minutes north of our offices in Bellingham) to participate in the 2007 Mushball tournament. The tournament was a fundraiser for the Lynden Firefighters Association. Mushball is essentially volleyball, but instead of playing on a court or a sunny beach we trudged around in a slurry of soft mud and water for three hours. Sound gross? We thought so too but boy was it ever fun!

Becoming one with the mush

Yours truly getting a faceful of mushPhoto courtesy of Sarah Richardson

“Go time” for Team Logos

Eliminated!

Team Logos dominated its first game thanks to some hot serving from Mark French (Technical Support) and Heidie Godfrey (Accounting). However, we didn’t last long in the winner’s bracket – losing our next two games and being quickly ousted from the tourney. Despite a few bruised knees and a lingering feeling of griminess we all had a great time and were able to help the firefighters raise thousands of dollars for some upcoming projects.

Fourteen Years and Counting

Today, August 8, 2007, marks my 14-year anniversary as an employee of Logos.
It was back in the summer of 1993, after I graduated from college, that I pestered my way into a job at a small Bible software company that had just moved to my hometown of Oak Harbor, WA. I would never have dreamed that I would grow and the company would grow in the ways we have.
I started in the sales department, answering calls from magazine ads to our 800 number. I can remember devouring the old Logos 1.6 product (on DOS 6.2/Windows 3.1, no less). This was before we even had company email at Logos; before we even had a web page at Logos.com. Hey, some of you long-time Logos users may have even purchased your software from me.
After two and a half years in sales, I moved over to the technical side of the operation, writing short programs to turn files supplied from publishers into Logos books. We worked on pioneering the pre-publication process with projects like Kittel’s 10-volume TDNT and the Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek lexicon.
This has continued to change and evolve as both Logos and I have developed; now I get to play around with the annotation of Greek corpora on multiple levels, (that’s “syntax”, which I’ve blogged about a few times :)) and think about ways to represent that information and make it more accessible and profitable for exegesis of the Holy Scriptures.
Along the way, I met and married a wonderful woman and began a family. What an awesome blessing!
I can’t underscore enough what a great place Logos is to work; and what great friends the people I work with have become. Bob and Dale Pritchett, along with my colleagues Eli Evans, Vincent Setterholm, Michael Heiser, Steve Runge and Sean Boisen (and their respective families) are less like colleagues and more like family to me. They challenge me, they encourage me, and they keep me honest. Working here is fun and rewarding. And the cook-offs!
As year 15 begins, I’m more excited than ever. We have some really cool stuff we’re working on. Have you followed Sean Boisen’s Bible Knowledgebase posts? And have you heard about BibleTech 2008? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’m anxious to see where it all leads, and I’m privileged to play a part, however small, in making it happen.
Of course, you might be able to come and join us. We have a bunch of jobs posted online. Don’t let the old dates on some of the descriptions fool you; these are typically standing openings—if you’re the right person, we want to talk with you. So if any of this stuff sounds like it is up your alley, then check out the jobs page and come join the fun. Maybe you’ll be writing your own “Fourteen Years and Counting” blog post on the Logos blog in years to come!

Atoms and Molecules; or, Morphology and Syntax

Anyone who has taken a science class has likely had an introduction to the basic concept of an atom (the smallest particle still holding the properties of an element). This person also likely has an understanding that molecules are built up of atoms.
This is all loosely speaking, of course—serious scientists would differ with my imprecise descriptions and use of these terms. This is why we have a periodic table of the elements. The table visually represents the basic ingredients of what I will loosely call “stuff”.

Thus atoms of hydrogen (H) are different from atoms of oxygen (O). This is well and good; these basic elements that make up “stuff” need to be kept separate and properly defined.
However, life is not so neat. Outside of a science lab, welding shop or hospital, we rarely concern ourselves with pure elements. We concern ourselves with molecules, like the ever-popular H20; two atoms of hydrogen combined with one atom of oxygen—better known as “water”.


H2O, better known as “water”
(courtesy http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/encyclopedia/Water/)

This same sort of relationship exists in grammar. Consider words and information about words (known as “morphology”) are the atoms. And this sort of information—definition, part of speech, etc.—is very helpful.


First Timothy 1:1-2

Here each word (or “atom”) has information associated with it such as a dictionary form (thus a meaning), morphological information (like part of speech) and an English-language literal translation (or a “gloss”).
This information allows one to attempt to deduce further information about groups of words, but relationships are only implied and not expressly denoted. That is, while one may know that the και at the end of line one above functions to join things together (based on morphology as a conjunction that is a “logical connective”), and while reading the text one can intuit what is connected (“God our Saviour” and “Christ Jesus our hope”, based on common noun cases joined by the conjunction), these things are not explicitly marked. They are free-floating atoms that happen to have proximity, their underlying relationship has not been quantified. These relationships (molecules) can be guessed at using atom-level data and proximity, but they cannot be specifically known.
A syntactic annotation makes molecules (word groups, phrases, clauses) of the atoms that are words. The graph below shows that “God our Saviour” and “Jesus Christ our hope” are the items connected by και.


The structure of 1Ti 1.1-2

This is why we think syntax (more specifically, syntactic annotations) is so important. Not because it’s cool (though it is), but because it puts together the individual words (atoms) into more meaningful structures (molecules). It lets us talk about “water” instead of talking about “an atom of hydrogen, followed by an atom of oxygen, followed by an atom of hydrogen”.
Syntax also allows for the combination of molecules, as seen in the above syntax graph. There are relationships between words. So Παυλος (“Paul”) is a “head term word” that is modified (here “defined”) by the whole phrase αποστολος Χριστου Ιησου κατ’ επιταγην θεου σωτηρος ημων και Χριστου Ιησου της ελπιδος ημων (“an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the will of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope”). The relationship between the word and the phrase is one of “definition”. In this case, a new “molecule” is created by adding an “atom” (Παυλος) to an existing molecule (the “definer”) and the relationship that creates the new molecule is specified.
That “definer” consists of two parts, or molecules: the “qualifier” Χριστου Ιησου (“of Christ Jesus”) and the “relator” κατ’ επιταγην θεου σωτηρος ημων και Χριστου Ιησου της ελπιδος ημων (“according to the will of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope”). Both of these molecules further modify αποστολος (“apostle”), telling who Paul serves and by what authority he serves. And this whole structure, the definer, clarifies Paul’s apostleship.
Additionally, because these “molecular” relationships have been specified across the whole of the text, these relationships may now be searched. To use the present example of Παυλος modified by a definer, we can search for where words that are “Names of Persons or Places” (Louw-Nida domain 93, one piece of information assigned at the “atom” level) are modified by definers.
To do this, a search dialog that allows one to visually represent syntactic structure is used to create a query.


A query based on word structure (a.k.a. “syntax”)

This query specifies that a head term must contain a word (or “atom”) that specifies it is within Louw-Nida domain 93, it must also contain a modifier (or “molecule”) that is a definer. This search, when run, locates 473 instances of the syntactic structure in the New Testament. An example search hit is Mt 27.37, which has Ιησους ο βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων (“Jesus, the King of the Jews”) where Ιησους is the head term word (or atom) and ο βασιλευς των Ιουδαιων is the definer (or molecule).
Summary
Much like molecules are groups of atoms that allow us to talk about “water”, “sugar” and “gasoline” without needing to specify the molecular make-up, a syntactic annotation allows one to talk about “subjects”, “predicators” and “complements” without needing to approximate contents.
The syntactic annotations do the analysis, building up higher-level structures from the “atomic” level of word data (word, morphology, lemma, etc.). These structures are useful by themselves in that they document how a particular syntactic approach or philosophy has analyzed the structure of the text. They are further useful in that they provide for higher-level combinations of things to be queried. Rather than approximating all of the ways that words (atoms) may potentially combine to form the molecule “subject”, one simply specifies “subject” to bound one’s search to such structures.
In this way, the text can be read, queried and analyzed at a higher level (clauses, phrases, etc.) without sacrificing the necessary and useful information at the foundational word level.