NT Greek Manuscripts Follow Up

Last Thursday’s post explained how to view all the papyri fromComfort & Barrett’s Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscriptsthat contain the verse or passage you’re studying. We set up the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to scroll synchronously with Exegetical Guide (or any Bible or other canonically-organized resource or report for that matter) to make it easy to consult the papyri as you study.

Today I want to briefly offer an alternative way to view themanuscripts related to your passage and that is the Passage in All Versions report.

Passage in All Versions does not visually highlight the differences between the manuscripts but it does retain formatting such as brackets and uncertainty dots.

Here’s how to set up the report to show the papyri:

  • Click Tools | Bible Comparison | Passage in All Versions.
  • In the report window, click the Properties button.
  • Set language to Greek and check the boxes next tothe Greek texts and manuscripts you want to appear in the report (or Check All and then clear the boxes next to the items you don’t want).
  • Click OK.

Now you can enter a passage, click the Go arrow and see eclectic texts, received texts, and manuscripts for that passage. You can also use the “chain link” icon to link this report with other reports or resources so they move synchronously.

Compare Parallel Bible Versions and Passage In All Versions…two options for viewing manuscripts alongside the GNT text.

Update 4-16-07—a bug in the Passage In All Versions report causes some versions that you’ve deselected to appear in the report. Libronix DLS 3.0d (available as a beta download) fixes this bug.

Using NT Greek Manuscripts with Logos Reports

In the course of working on a review of Ugaritic Library andLogos 3, blogger and pastor Dr. Jim West recently asked me whether Comfort & Barrett’s Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts could be made to appear in the Exegetical Guide report. Since that reportprovides exegetical helpsfor a given passage of Scripture, wouldn’t it be neat if it would automatically discover and link to any papyrithat overlap withyour passage?

I agreed that this would be grand, but since it’s not currently coded into the Exegetical Guide report I wanted to find a way to do something similar.

Rick Brannan reminded me that the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is a great way to examine and compare manuscript evidence for a given portion of Scripture (as outlined in this article).

Note: If you don’t own this addin, you can use the standard Parallel Bible Versions report (sans highlighting of textual differences) or buy it here.

Now if I could only find a way to get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to stay in synch with Exegetical Guide so that they would track together as I move from verse to verse.

Wonderful news: in Logos 3 this is possible. Just set the “chain link” icon in both reports to A.

Now the two reports track together. Whenever I move Exegetical Guide to a new passage of Scripture, the Compare Parallel Bibles report updates itself to show that passage.

Just one problem, though. How do I get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to show not one but all the papyri containing the verses I’m studying? As you may know,a given biblical verse or passage can appear in any number of manuscripts and fragments. For example, John 1:30 is attested in four different papyri:P5, P66, P75, and P106!

If you open My Library and locate Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts you’ll see that this single volume contains all the papyri from Comfort & Barrett’s book and is, in fact, laid out just like the print edition of that book. It even contains a list of manuscripts in canonical order, which is how I knew that John 1:30 appears in four different manuscripts.

Because this single resource contains all the manuscripts in one place you might think you could specify it in the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report and the report would automatically show you all the manuscripts containing your desired verse. But you’d be wrong…

Whenyou tell the report to compare NA27 and TENTGM (the all-in-one resource), the report only shows the first papyrus that matches the verse selected…in this case John 1:30 from P5.This is because the report is designed to compare Bible versions that are individual resources within the digital library…not multiple “versions” within one book.If only we could split the manuscripts up into individual resources!

Fortunately for us, the Logos book designers anticipated this need and did just that. Each manuscript appears twice in your digital library—once in the all-in-one resource (TENTGM) and once in an individual resource (e.g., TENTP30which appears in My Library as P30 from The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts).

So all we have to do is specify each papyrus (Pnumber) individually, putting them all into the Versions box. The report is smart enough to show onlymanuscripts that contain data for the specified passage.

Since there are 69 different resources, it’s a bit of a hassle to type in “P1, P4, P5, P6, etc.” But I already endured the hassle, so I’ll make it easy on you and share my workspace. Just right-click this file, choose Save Target As,and save it to My Documents\Libronix DLS\Workspaces then open it from within Libronix via File | Load Workspace.

Here’s what you’ll see, more or less (click the thumbnail for a larger view)…

Starting from the top leftand moving clockwise: Exegetical Guide, Compare Parallel Bible Versions, NA27 Apparatus (Tischendorf apparatus on tab), SESB edition of NA27 with apparatus markers (ESV NT Reverse Interlinear on tab). Of course, if you don’t own SESB or SESB for Logos Users Special Edition the apparatus and NA27 at the bottom of the workspace will show up as locked. But you can replace them with another book for your own workspace.

Now when you scroll or jump any of these four linked windows to a new verse, all the others will follow. As you can see, the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is comparing NA27 against Scrivener’s TR and all relevant papyri from Comfort & Barrett (in this case, P5, P66, P75 and P106).

Tip: You can either use this workspace “as is” or just add the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to your Favorites and call it up whenever you want…saving you the trouble of entering all 69 papyri in the Versions box. Once the report is saved to your Favorites, you will be able to easily come back to it later or add it to another workspace.

Caveats and Links

Eli Evans saw what I was doing here and is giving some thoughtas to how to make this all work a little smoother in the next major version of Logos. He also offered these caveats which I will pass along to you:

Beware that most (all?) of the C&B stuff has chapter-level milestones in it, so you may get a few papyri poking in where they don’t have any evidence. Try John 1:1, for example. Neither P5 nor P106 has verse 1, but they both have chapter 1, so they show up with 100% variance from the base. The report asks for “John 1:1” and the resource says, “The closest thing I have is John 1, but it doesn’t have any content,” to which the report replies, “Close enough, I guess.” P5 starts at 1:23, and P106 at 1:29.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that where it looks like there is a significant variant, one really ought to click on the MSS title in the report and look at the resource. Things like brackets and uncertainty dots are stripped in the report, so there’s a whole level of detail that isn’t represented here. But this is good for finding the drill-down spots.

He’s right on both counts, of course. Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll notice that brackets and dots have been stripped out for this report. Also, things like hard returns get flagged as differences (see, for example,blepei in P5 and P106). Since manuscripts may have words missing along the edges these hard returns can actually hold significance but it’s always a good
idea to open up the actual manuscript for further detail.

All that to say that uncritical use of this report would be unwise but with some discernment as to what it can and cannot do, it’s a great way to quickly flag differences between the manuscripts and know where to dig in for further analysis.


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)

Historical and Cultural Background of the Bible

We’ve just created a new Product Guide to help our customers find books that elucidate the historical and cultural background of the Bible. Previous Product Guides include one for Greek Bible Texts and Tools, another for Hebrew Bible Texts and Tools, and a third on Multi-Volume Commentaries. You can check out these and other product guides here.

Examining Some Ambiguities III: What’s the Quotation in James 4.5?

I’ve been blogging about James 4.5-6. In the series I blogged about examining the text using English translations. Then I blogged about the underlying Greek. There are still more questions with James 4.5-6, however. In this post we’ll consider the quotation from Scripture mentioned in James 4.5 and how it is represented in the English texts. Is it a quotation, or is it a summary of Scripture? Here’s the text:

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?(Jas 4:5, ESV)

Instead of writing ad nauseum about this, I’ve recorded a video that that compares the quotes in English translations. Examining the way that the major English translations handle this gives us an idea of the options and might even give us help in deciding which option is preferred in this case.

Examining Some Ambiguities II: James 4:5-6 in the Greek

Earlier I blogged on using multiple English translations to see how a passage is translated differently. In passages (such as James 4.5-6) where there are ambiguities, many times comparing English translations can help in understanding the best way to deal with the ambiguity.
With James 4.5, as we saw, translations are fairly evenly split in handling this passage. Recall the issues:

  • Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’?
  • Is [Ss]pirit the subject or direct object of its clause?

The first point is determined largely by context and how one reads the text. This means it is important to determine whether [Ss]pirit is the subject or direct object because this may assist in determining whether it is ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’. This post digs into the second point above by digging down into the underlying Greek. Of course, this is problematic for the same reason: ambiguity.

[Read more…]

What Kinds of Hope? NT, Apostolic Fathers, and Syntax Searching

I am a contributor at another blog called PastoralEpistles.com. That blog is one outlet where I work specifically with my favorite section of the New Testament, the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus).

Over on PastoralEpistles.com, I’m working on a series of posts that combines a few of my loves: The writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Koine Greek, and the Pastoral Epistles. I’m using a book published in 1904 by Oxford titled The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (that one is actually a Community Pricing title, check it out!) that provides information on areas in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers that show affinity with areas of the New Testament. These “areas of affinity” may be outright quotes, they may be indirect citations, they may be allusions, or they may simply have topical similarity using similar language for similar topics.

I’m also able to use the shortly-to-be-released Logos Edition of the Apostolic Fathers which makes this sort of work loads easier than it was before. It’s true, after long last the work on the Apostolic Fathers is done and it should be released on time — so hurry up and get the pre-pub price while you can!.

Basically, I’m working through where writings of the Apostolic Fathers are noted to have affinity with the Pastoral Epistles. I started in the Epistle of Barnabas. Here’s an example of an entry from The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers:

This short section provides the texts in question and a short (emphasis on short) discussion. But it’s a starting point. Basically I’m reviewing the texts and considering the linkages. You can check out my discussion on the Ep.Barn. 1.3-6 || Titus 3.5-7; 1.2 affinities.

I’m not writing this post to discuss linkages between the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and the NT (as cool as that would be). Instead, I’m going to shift to syntax. In looking at the above linkages, one notices the Greek ἐλπίδι ζωῆς (hope of life) prominent in both the Barnabas and Titus passages.

This prompted me to ask a few questions. First, I wondered how prominent this “hope of life” (Titus has “life eternal”) is in the NT, and second I wondered what other sorts of “hope” there were in the NT. And these questions can be answered with syntax searches.

I made the below video that sets up the search and shows the results. If one just searches the Greek NT for ἐλπίς, 48 verses (53 instances) are located. But there are 18 instances where “hope” is qualified in some way. There are only two instances where it is qualified by “life” (ζωῆς), and both of them are in Titus (the two examples cited above in relation to Barnabas).

Why do I bring this up? Well, with the advent of the syntactically tagged databases of the Greek New Testament, I find myself asking more and more questions like this. And I’m more and more able to run a syntax query (many of which share the same basic template that this search has) to get a clearer picture of some grammatical phenomenon without having to run a blunt concordance search, and then sift through the hits. I’m able to get more relevant, more meaningful instances of what I’m interested in and sift through less chaff in the process. And this has made my study of the New Testament deeper, which can only help my understanding and application. And to my mind, that’s what it’s all about.

Now for something really cool!

As I put the finishing touches on the Ugaritic Library, I realized that this was an excellent opportunity to talk about the Logos Bible Software philosophy of data type tagging. After all, there are more than 83,000 Ugaritic data type references tagged so far as part of this project. (83,266 and counting!) Using the Ugaritic Library as a test case, I made a video showing how good data type tagging makes for powerful digital library software, and helps you get the most out of your books.

Check it out!
Flash Video – 11 MB

Note: The Ugaritic Library ships Friday – it’s not too late to take advantage of the great pre-publication sale.

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

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.


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.


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, 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.