More on Looking Up Citations: Pseudepigrapha

I blogged about looking up Philo citations in BDAG awhile back. But Philo (and even Josephus) aren’t the only potential targets you can work with.

There are a number of reasons to use pseudepigraphal writings (Greek or English or both) to supplement one’s study, though I think such reasons fall into two primary categores: cultural and linguistic. In this article I’ll focus a bit on the linguistic side of things (though I do venture into the cultural a bit), looking particularly at word meanings.

In my personal study, I like to look up cross-references when looking into word meanings. This is particularly handy if a word doesn’t occur often in the New Testament but does occur in other non-canonical writings. I was recently looking at 1Ti 3.8, specifically at the word ?????????????, which the ESV translates as greedy for dishonest gain.

The first thing, of course, was to look it up in BDAG. Here I found that it occurs 2 times in the NT, and both of these are in the Pastoral Epistles (1Ti 3.8 and Tt 1.7). Both contexts are the pretty much the same. But BDAG also cites instances of ????????????? in the Works of Philo (Sacr. Abel. 32) and in the pseudepigraphal Testament of Judah 16.1.
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Liddell-Scott-Jones (LSJ) as a complement to BDAG

I was all set to start to write a post about how I use LSJ as a complement to BDAG when I’m looking into word meanings in the Greek New Testament.

Then I realized I’d already written such a beast, and it’s been on our web site for awhile now. If you’ve been wondering why a lexicon that covers a large range of classical material (like LSJ) would be useful in studying either LXX or New Testament Greek, then you may want to check out the article.

And, if you’re interested, you can read an overview of how we (Logos) came to the decision to produce LSJ as a Logos book. In the process, you’ll learn a bit about how we take stuff from print to electronic via the Pre-Publication Program.

New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC)

We’ve got a lot going on here at Logos (have you looked at our pre-pub page lately? Zowie!) but the one I’m most excited about is getting ready to ship: The New International Greek Testament Commentary, or NIGTC.

I’ve used Knight’s NIGTC volume on the Pastoral Epistles and it is consistently a great place to go when I’m confused as to what is going on in the Greek text.

One example where NIGTC helped me recently is given below.

I was looking into the creedal/hymn fragment in 1Ti 3.16, particularly the line that the ESV translates “vindicated by the Spirit”. The Greek for that line (NA27) is ????????? ?? ????????. I was wondering about the reason for assuming that ?? ???????? referred to the Holy Spirit as there was no article, which would normally be a clue. I agree with the reading that this refers to the Holy Spirit, but wanted to know the linguistic/grammatic reason.

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Bibliographies and Book Evaluation

In a recent post on the Logos Bible Software Blog, Daniel Foster writes:

Just writing this post brings it home to me that there is a definite need for more bibliographic “metabooks” (or perhaps more of us, myself included, should take advantage of the many that have been written). And it would be great to have more of these metabooks as electronic books in Libronix.

Daniel is correct, of course. Here are a few resources that may be of help when you are looking to evaluate a book; whether it is already in your Logos Bible Software library or if you’re looking at a copy in actual, bona-fide print.

  • Critical Review of Books in Religion (1988-1998). This is a set of books that is currently under production here at Logos. It is a collection of scholarly reviews of books in religion. Go read the pre-pub description and see if this type of stuff is for you.
  • Review of Biblical Literature. This is a web site that releases new reviews of books in the realm of Biblical Studies and Ancient Near East studies on a weekly basis. You can search by all sorts of criteria. You can subscribe to the weekly listing of new reviews as well (the subscription is free).
  • Getting to Know Your Library. This is a support article I wrote awhile back. It discusses some strategies you can use to get to know more about the books in your Logos Bible Software library.

Using Keylinking to Navigate Between Greek Lexicons

When I’m working through the Greek text at the word level, many times I like to get a second opinion. My primary Greek lexicon is BDAG, which is an excellent resource, but I do like to consult others. My favorite lexicons to consult for second opinion are:

This article explains just a little bit about Greek keylinking and then shows you how to keylink from lexicon to lexicon using the keylink functionality straight from the right-click menu. No funky keystrokes involved.

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Using the Works of Philo with BDAG

One thing I like to do when examining Greek word usage is to evaluate how the Greek word is used in similar context outside of the New Testament corpus.

This article will point out an easy way to use the Works of Philo (in English) in conjunction with the BDAG Lexicon. This same method can be used with other Greek corpora for which Logos Bible Software has English translations, such as the Works of Josephus (in English) or the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

The strategy discussed is really a temporary one as we’re currently working on versions of the following corpora in Greek, fully morphologically annotated:

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Using Logos to Examine NT Variants

In my morning devotional time, I’ve been reading through the Pauline Epistles in larger chunks. I tend to dwell in areas, reading the larger chunks over again, and sometimes dwelling on smaller chunks.

For the past week I’ve been in First Corinthians 12 and 13. And I’ve been dwelling on 1Co 13.1-3.

But as is my way, I’ve looked at the text in the Greek too. And I noticed some stuff from a text-critical perspective, so I thought a post on how I walk through this kind of stuff might be a good one. So, even though I’ve recently discussed some of these issues on my personal blog, in this article I’ll go into a little different detail, showing how I use Logos Bible Software in this regard.

There are two things in particular that jumped out at me when evaluating 1Co 13.1-3:

  1. The use of καὶ ἐὰν twice in v. 2, but the use of κἂν and καὶ ἐὰν in v. 3. The word κἂν is a crasis of καὶ ἐὰν. Why isn’t one or the other used consistently?
  2. The use of οὐθέν in v. 2 but οὐδὲν in v. 3. Why the different form of the word in each instance? Why isn’t one or the other used consistently?

There are a few different LDLS resources I’ll be using to examine what the textual evidence is in these situations. They are:

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World Factbook

The World Factbook is compiled by the US CIA and is just what it sounds like: A bunch of facts about every country in the world. The book also features nice, clean maps of every country and digital versions of the country’s flag. World Factbook cover

Since we published the 1996 edition in Logos-compatible format the CIA has dramatically improved the free online edition, but I still find our edition useful. It brings up interesting data on any country-oriented search, and I use it to get background when I’m preparing to talk with someone from another country. It is also easier to run full-text searches against the Logos-compatible version.

Earlier this year we updated our ebook to the 2004 edition. With all the maps and flags it is a big download, but since we just reduced the price to “free”, it is a great value. Enjoy!

Scholar’s Library Silver Reviewed in RBL

The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) sponsors a service known as the Review of Biblical Literature. This service publishes reviews of Biblical literature every week and makes the reviews available on the web for anyone to consult.

This week, one of the items they reviewed is our Scholar’s Library Silver Edition. By all means, please, check out the review.

And make sure to check out their search feature as well. If you’re looking for books in a particular area of Biblical or Ancient Near East studies, many times you’ll be able to find an in-depth scholarly review of the title you’re interested in.