KeyLink Summary

In a recent article on Hebrew KeyLinking, I mentioned that using the arrow keys to scroll between lexicons isn’t always the best way to survey all the articles on the word you are studying, because the arrow key navigation is based on how a lexicon spells a word, not on the KeyLink look-up tables Logos Bible Software 3 supports for navigating from the Bible directly and accurately to the lexicons. I mentioned that you can more accurately get to all your lexicons using the Bible Word Study report or the Exegetical Guide, or you can use the right-click menu to select a specific lexicon as a KeyLink destination if you want to consult a resource other than your default lexicon.

I’m sticking with my story; it’s all true. But I over-looked a new feature in version 3. Sometimes I want to do a quick survey of my lexicons on a given word, but I don’t need all the other searches and features of the Bible Word Study report. Of course, I could manage my preferences and turn off most of the sections of the Bible Word Study report until I stream-lined it for the task at hand, but then I’d have to reset my preferences the next time I wanted to dig deeper. As it turns out, there is a fast way to execute all my KeyLinks on a given word while making use of the KeyLink look-up tables for increased accuracy: the KeyLink Summary report.

As an example, open one of the newer Hebrew Bibles (such as the Westminster 4.2 morphology or the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text) and go to Psalm 19:9. Let’s say we wanted to check out what our lexicons had to say about the word ‘pure’ (bar in Hebrew). We only care about the entries for bar that mean ‘pure’; we don’t want to read about when it means ‘son’ or ‘grain’ or ‘field’ or a ‘soothsayer’ or a ‘cargo ship’. Right click the word and choose ‘Selected Text’ and then select the Hebrew word with the term ‘(Lemma)’ after it. (‘Lemma’ indicates that you are working with the dictionary form of the word. Selecting this form also makes use of the KeyLink look-up tables, if they are present.) Now click on ‘KeyLink Summary’.

Your exact results will vary depending on what lexicons you own, the order of your KeyLink preferences and whether or not you’ve downloaded the new texts and lexicons that are part of version 3.0 or, even better, the beta version 3.0a. But you should see something like this:

In the screenshot, I’ve clicked the plus signs next to the top three articles in order to be able to read their articles right in the summary report. You can see that we’ve landed on the correct homograph on the expanded examples. (Some of the other lexicons don’t have look-up tables yet, so they still link on spelling alone. Most of the prestigious lexicons have completed look-up tables for version 3.0a, but other lexicons are still works in progress.) You can navigate directly to the lexicon articles themselves just by clicking on the title of the lexicon. That way you can follow any links in the lexicon, or read surrounding articles, or execute searches against the lexicon.

Clicking the word ‘More’ will expand the report to execute more KeyLinks further down your list of KeyLink preferences.

That’s it: the KeyLink Summary is a simple, one-purpose tool for quickly surveying your lexicons.

A More Advanced Syntax Search

In yesterday’s post, Dr. Heiser demonstrated a simple example of using the Bible Word Study report with the syntax databases to get answers to syntax questions without ever learning how to write a syntax query manually, showing how even people who don’t know Greek or Hebrew can use these databases to make connections between verses. However, if you learn how to compose your own syntax queries, you can learn to ask a wider range of questions about the Bible. In today’s example, Michael uses the syntax databases to find hits that would take hours to sort through with the older generation of tools.

One of the Hebrew terms for God is Elohim. The ‘im’ ending is morphologically plural, but almost everywhere in the Hebrew bible, the verbs associated with Elohim are singular in number, making it clear that these are references to God, not the plural ‘gods’. Dr. Heiser has done a lot of research in the field of Israelite religion, so when he was learning about syntax databases, one of the first questions he asked was: where does Elohim appear as the subject of a plural verb? He knew that instances of this phenomenon might be theologically or exegetically significant and was quite familiar with several examples, but had never encountered a published list of every time this happens.

Knowing if ‘Elohim’ is the subject of a verb in a given sentence, rather than an object for example, is a syntax question. Without access to syntax tags, one could search for every plural verb that occurs in the same verse as the word Elohim. One would get over 3400 hits (i.e. words returned) in 1057 verses. Only a small fraction of those verses are useful, though, and wading through 1057 verses isn’t a small chore. One might be able to get really creative with filters, and start ruling out verses where certain words occur immediately before Elohim that would typically indicate that Elohim is something other than the subject of the sentence. This approach of simulating syntax using only morphological or lexical form tags is a rather blunt instrument, but I’ve used it in the past to narrow my search results. In capable hands, this blunt instrument can save time over manually checking thousands of hits, but there is now a better way.

Click here to watch the video.

Syntax Resources and Topical Sermons

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, our Academic Editor.

In a previous posting, I shared some thoughts on what syntax databases mean for the English-only reader, stressing that the new syntax databases in several Libronix 3.0 collections are hardly the exclusive domain of scholars.

Here I want to offer a practical illustration of their value for coming up with topical sermons that are rooted in grammatical relationships (believe it or not!). Anyone interested in relationships between words (i.e., syntax) understands that just knowing that God is the subject of a certain verb that has a certain object can yield some penetrating insights for sermon material and Bible study.

The video linked below illustrates this simple, down-to-earth benefit of tapping into our revolutionary syntactical resources for those outside the scholarly fraternity.

Click here to see a Topical Sermon Using Syntax (Flash, 12:52).

Windows Keyboards for Ancient Languages

Logos Bible Software version 3 introduced new keyboards for Greek, Hebrew and Syriac that are designed for easy entry of the ancient languages on an English/Roman keyboard. We’ve also created identical duplicates of the Logos keyboards that can be installed as standard Windows keyboards for Windows 2000 and XP users. This means that you can use the same keyboards in Libronix DLS that you use in Microsoft Word or any other Unicode compliant application!
For more information and download instructions, click here.

Graphical Query Editor Tutorial

The Graphical Query Editor Tutorial has been rewritten for version 3.0. Folks who have worked through the old tutorial will notice only a few significant differences, such as the use of the new Logos keyboards, and the regular expression section has been significantly revised because the syntax changed from version 2.0. There are some minor changes to the sections on field searching and reference searching. Happy searching.

Syntax: Talking Animals in the Bible

Several readers have requested that we produce more examples of syntax searching. Your wish is my command — at least in this case. I made a video that shows how to make a syntax search to find all the places in the Hebrew Bible where an animal speaks, or more specifically, where a clause has a verb of speaking with a “creature” in the subject. The query uses the semantic categories present in the A-F markup to narrow the hits down to only verbs of speaking with “creature” subjects.

[Read more…]

Vocabulary Lists and Flashcards

Logos Bible Software version 3.0 sports a new feature called Vocabulary Lists that can be used to create flashcards to help you learn Greek, Hebrew or almost any other language. In addition, we’ve already made vocabulary lists for many popular Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic grammars so that you don’t have to! To learn more about creating vocabulary lists or downloading the pre-made lists, check out the new web article. Cheers!

Homograph Indicators

Logos Bible Software Version 3.0 introduced the use of homograph indicators for searching biblical texts in ancient languages. More information on homograph indicators and how to use them can be found in the new web article entitled, appropriately, Homograph Indicators.

Hebrew (and Greek) KeyLinking in 3.0 (and 3.0a)

There is a new article on the website titled “Getting to the right definitions in Hebrew lexicons“. It describes the new LDLS version 3.0a enhancements to KeyLinking. While most of the article discusses Hebrew, there is information on Greek and other languages as well. The article Hebrew KeyLinking: A Strategy has also be rewritten to reflect how to get the most out of 3.0/3.0a. Enjoy!

A Trick With Bible Speed Search

One thing I use the Bible Speed Search feature for is to do quick searches of the New Testament for a Greek word, but display my hits in English.


Yes, I type in a Greek lemma, but the results are provided in English with the proper English word highlighted. Rather than explain it all, I figured I’d put a quick video together to show you.

Note in the video that I use the F2 key to cycle between English, Hebrew and Greek keyboards (in that order) in order to type in English and Greek on the same line. I probably should’ve mentioned that, but it’s too late now.

Remember, you can do this with right-clicks too. See this previous entry for more details (with a video).