How-To: Make a Vocabulary Guide with Word Frequencies

A recent post on Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks Blog prompted the following comment from user Aaron Cantrell:

…What I would like to do is choose a book of the bible, or a section of a book (for example Gen 12-22), and have the program give me a complete list of all the words in that book, or section, and show me where they are found in that section. It would be extremely helpful if it could be limited to words that occur a specific number of times. For example, “Show me all the words that occur in Genesis 12-22, occuring 50 times or less.” Then a list comes up which shows all these words and where they are found.

That would be a very helpful concordance feature.

In the print world, this kind of thing is often called a “vocabulary guide” or “lexical aid”and a number of excellent tools are available in this category.

What our users may not know is that all Logos Bible Software 3 “language” collections* include a feature that can create a frequency-sorted vocabulary list from lemmatized Bibles inGreek, Hebrew, Syriac, or Aramaic. What’s great about doing this digitally rather than in printis that you can break down your lists by pericope, chapter, book, or however you like; you can add, subtract, or edit individual words; and you don’t have to spenda dime onanother book because the capability is built into Logos Bible Software!

Vocabulary Lists

Vocabulary lists are helpful when learning a biblical language, because you can start learning the most common words and work your way down to the least common. Or filter out the most common words you probably already know and focus on the less common words. Flash cards are great for drilling the language (through my thick skull, I could add).

TheVocabulary List feature in Logos 3 makes it easy to produce a list of words within a passage or biblical book—with word frequencies—and sort the list either by frequency or alphabetically. At that point, printing flash cards is just a few clicks away.

Due to the highly flexible nature of this tool, you could do all sorts of cool things… You could build vocabulary lists by author, combining, say, all Johannine material into one list. Or you could build a vocabulary list for a parallel passage in both the Septuagint and Greek NT. Go wild.

Vincent recently created a training article that walks you through the steps of creating a vocabulary list manually or by importing words from a passage. His article also includes links to free, pre-built vocabulary lists that go along with the most popular Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic grammars. Be sure to check it out.

DIY Vocab List

Here are the steps for making a vocabulary list for Genesis 12-22, asMr. Cantrellrequests.

  1. Click the black triangle next to the New File icon on the toolbar and choose Vocabulary List.
  2. In the Properties dialog that opens, select Hebrew for the language.
  3. Click the Add button on the Vocabulary List toolbar and select Add Bible Passage…
  4. Select the BHS Bible and enter Gen 12-22 for the reference. Click OK.

Voila! Like magic,you have a vocabulary list. (Think for a moment about what we just did and how little effort it took…and I think you’ll see why I call it magic.)

We’re close to the desired goal…now we just need to re-sort the list by frequency. Right-click on the section header and select Sort by Frequency (Descending).

Now the list is sorted by frequency and we can delete the words with a frequency over 50, if desired. Click once on the top row, then hold down Shift and click on the last row with a 50+ frequency, and hit the Delete key.

Everything highlighted in gray abovegets cutand you’re left with a list of words used 50 times or fewer in Genesis 12-22…with glosses included!

By the way, you can edit anything you see here, including the Hebrew words, frequencies (maybe you want to use that column for something idosyncratic like difficulty level, then sort by difficulty!), and glosses. And, as mentioned previously, you can print these words as flash cards and use them to master the vocabulary in this passage.

All this with just a few clicks, and available from the software you already own…no need to go out and buy a separate vocabulary guide!

* How come I don’t have the Vocabulary Lists feature? Vocabulary Lists are part of the Original Languages Addin, included in the following Logos 3 collections: Original Languages Library, Scholar’s Library, Scholar’s Library: Silver, and Scholar’s Library: Gold. If you own the Original Languages Addin as part of an older collection but have not updated to Libronix DLS v3.0 or greater, you can get Vocabulary Lists for free: open Libronix DLS and click Tools | Libronix Update. If you own a collection like Bible Study Library or don’t own a base collection, you can get the Original Languages Addin by upgrading to a Logos 3 collection that includes the addin or purchasing it individually.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Greeting Form

Read the first two posts in this series: 1 | 2.
Romans 16 has several examples of this form. Verse 3 offers a good sample:


Greeting Form in Ro 16.3

Description of Form
Mullins describes the components of the greeting form as follows:

The elements of the greeting are: 1. the greeting verb (some form of ἀσπάζεσθαι); 2. indication of the person who is to do the greeting; 3. indication of the person who is being greeted; 4. elaborating phrases. The first three are the basic elements of the greeting. The fourth is optional. These elements may be expressed differently in the three types of greeting. In the first-person and second-person type of greeting, elements one and two are accomplished at the same time by the verb.[1]

As noted in the above quotation, Mullins identifies three different types of the form, one for each grammatical person of the greeter. Thus there are first-person, second-person and third-person forms. Because component 2 can be done with either grammatical person of the verb (first and second person) or a pronoun (third person), the pronoun is essentially optional when considering a syntax-based query.

Therefore a syntactic search only need attend to two criteria:

  • The greeting verb (ἀσπάζομαι)
  • Indication of the person being greeted.

Mullins does not provide a definitive list of New Testament instances, but he does mention epistles that contain instances of the greeting form: “It appears in the letters of Paul, extensively, and in the Pastorals, Hebrews, I Peter, and II and III John.”[2]

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the greeting form involves searching for clause-initial instances of ἀσπάζομαι (as a predicator component) that also have a complement clause component. The complement denotes what completes the predication, thus direct objects are included in the sorts of things that complements encode.[3] Including the complement therefore includes an “indication of the person being greeted”.


Structure of Greeting Form

This query returns 69 instances, though the results are not perfect. Instances in Mark (15.18) and Acts (21.7, 19; 25.13) are returned in addition to hits in Paul, Pastorals, Hebrews, First Peter, Second John and Third John.[4] Romans, with an extensive greeting section in chapter 16, contains the bulk of the matches.

Bibliography

Mullins, T.Y., “Greeting as a New Testament Form”, JBL 87 (1968), pp. 418-426.

Endnotes
[1] Mullins, p. 419.
[2] Mullins, p. 424.
[3] An aside: One could limit greetings to those that list personal names in the complement by restricting the complement to containing a head term word that is also tagged as Louw-Nida domain 93, the “personal name” domain. But this would skip over other valid instances of greetings like Php 4.22, “All the saints greet you”.
[4] Based on Mullins’ article, my guess is that only the Mark and Acts references are extraneous; the rest are valid.

Syntax Searching and Epistolary Form Criticism: Disclosure Form

Read the first post in this series
An example of the disclosure form is found in 1Th 4.13:


1Th 4.13, Disclosure Form

Description of Form
Smith provides a concise summary of the structure of the disclosure form as identified by Mullins:

Mullins has isolated the disclosure form, as a distinct literary form which is used in the NT. He examined the form in terms of structure first. By doing so he observes that this form has four constituent elements: verb of wishing, infinitive of a noetic verb, person addressed and information disclosed. Next he examined the form in terms of content and observed that the verb of wishing is typically θέλω, the infinitive of a noetic verb used is typically γινώσκειν (the tense varies) or ἀγνοεῖν, the person addressed is either second person singular or plural and the content of the information disclosed is diverse and usually found within a ὅτι clause.[1]

White discusses the form briefly in his article:

This form may be delineated in terms of its three principal elements: (i) the verb of disclosure, often a two-membered unit consisting of a verb of desiring (θέλω or βούλομαι) in the first person indicative, and the verb of knowing (γινώσκω) in the infinitive form; (ii) the vocative of address (ἀδελφοί, “brothers,” in the five examples from Paul); and (iii) the subject to be disclosed introduced by ὅτι.[2]

The common points of these descriptions include:

  • verb of wishing/desiring
  • verb of knowing, in the infinitive mood
  • a ὅτι or ἵνα clause further explicating the subject to be disclosed.

Smith reports Mullins determines the following references as containing instances of the disclosure formula: Ro 1.13; 11.25; 1Co 10.1; 11.3; 12.1; 2Co 1.8; Col 2.1; 1Th 4.13.[3]
Because the third item (ὅτι or ἵνα clause) is variable as Mullins’ reported instances demonstrate, candidate instances of the disclosure formula can be located simply taking the first two items into account.

The Form in OpenText.org SAGNT
Locating the disclosure form in the OpenText.org SAGNT involves searching for clauses that contain a Predicator with θέλω and that also contain an embedded clause (infinives are typically encoded as embedded clauses) with lexical forms of either αγνοεω or οιδα.[4] Below is the query that will find Smith and Mullins’ reported instances.[5]


Structure of the Disclosure Form

Search results in Logos Bible Software are presented in both Greek and English, with respective structures highlighted in each language. In this particular search, the silver background represents the content of the clause; the orange represents each clause component.


Syntax Search Results — Disclosure Form Instances

Bibliography

Mullins, T. Y., “Disclosure: a Literary Form in the New Testament”, NovT 7 (1964), pp. 44-50.
White, J.L., “Introductory Formulae in the Body of the Pauline Letter”, JBL 90 (1971), pp. 91-97.
Smith, C.A., Timothy’s Task, Paul’s Prospect: A New Reading of 2 Timothy (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006). pp. 10,

Endnotes
[1] Smith, 10.
[2] White, 93.
[3] Smith, 11.
[4] Andrew Pitts, in a forthcoming review of Logos Bible Software 3.0 to be published in the Journal of Greco-Roman Judaism and Christianity, uses a similar search with similar results as an example of the capability of the OpenText.org SAGNT.
[5] As of November, 2006, this is not strictly true. 1Co 12.1 is erroneously tagged in the current version of the OpenText.org SAGNT. This error has been flagged for correction and should be updated in a future release of the database.

Free Sermons in Your Bible Software

We’ve devoted a lot of words on this blog to persuading you to upgrade to Logos Bible Software 3. While it’s true that many of the features we talk about most often (reverse interlinear Bibles, syntactically tagged Bibles)are only available with a paid upgrade it’s also the case that we’re giving away a ton of amazing functionality at no cost! That’s right…

FREE STUFF

One of the cool, new features in Logos 3 that you can take advantage of right now, just by downloading the free update, is the SermonCentral.com search built into Passage Guide. This is just one free feature among many, but the one I want to highlight today.

Caveat: This feature is only free if you already own a product, such as any base collection (e.g., Bible Study Library),that comes with the Logos Bible Software homepage.

What is the SermonCentral.com search?

Logos has partnered with SermonCentral, a website that offers a massive database of sermons uploaded by users of the site. In Logos 3, when you enter a passage—say 2 Corinthians 9:1-5—and click “Go!” the Passage Guide report includes not only links to commentaries, dictionaries, maps, and reports…but it also shows you links to freely available sermons at SermonCentral!

These sermons were preached by people just like you—if you’re a pastor—then uploaded to the SermonCentral database to share with others. They’re great for inspiration, to get some ideas for organizing your material, gleaning illustrations, and to see how other preachers have treated the same material you’re working through.

(We encourage responsible use of others’ sermons, including citing sources where appropriate.For an excellent and practicaldiscussion ofthese issues, see the article Plagiarism in the Pulpit from Preaching magazine.)

SermonCentral Results in Passage Guide

Let’s take a closer look at one of the SermonCentral results that shows up in Passage Guide.

On the left you see the sermon title, the Scripture passage that it covers, a brief description of the sermon, and arating that indicates how many peoplefound the sermon to be helpful.

On the right is the contributor, date the sermon was preached, intended audience type(e.g., Believer, Seeker, etc.), and intended audience age range. Obviously, most sermons are preached to the entire congregation so many results will show “General, Adults”.

Blue text indicates links; clicking the sermon title opens SermonCentral to that sermon, clicking the Bible passage opens your preferred Bible to the beginning of that range, and clicking the contributor name opens a page at SermonCentral.com giving some information about the contributor such as denominational affiliation, church name, education, family, and other biographical details.

Click here to see the page that would open at SermonCentral.com if you clicked the linkto the sermon displayed above.

So here you have a huge source of additional content, integrated right into your normal workflow within Logos Bible Software. Just a click and you’re looking at instantly relevant material that you didn’t pay a red cent to acquire!

Go Pro!

As with any useful, free service there’s a way to get even more from SermonCentral.com by upgrading to a paid account. Upgrading to SermonCentral.com PRO provides a whole slew of additional features and benefits. They even offer a free 30-day trial to the PRO version so you can check it all out before committing the funds.

For details on updating Logos for free, anda comparison chart showing all you get with a SermonCentral PRO subscription, see our special SermonCentral page at Logos.com.


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Dr. Heiser’s Syntax Video Bonanza

OK, bonanza might be a bit of an overstatement…but the good doctor has done some “hard time” in our video production studio so that you might reap the benefit.

As part of our ETS/SBL marketing materials, Dr. Heiser, academic editor for Logos, created a number of videos demonstrating the syntax tools and resources in Logos 3.

Crafting these videos can be a painstaking process and, wow, that small room can get hot…but I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the effort. We’ve posted a few ofthe syntax videosto our Video Tutorials pageand I’ve included direct links to each video below.

How do these differ from the other videos we’ve done on syntax?

Here Mike takes the gloves off and pits morphology vs. syntax to show some very specific things you can do with syntax searching that are simply not possible with morphological tagging alone.

Mike calls syntax the “new frontier” in Bible software and says, “These video presentationsshow searches that are well beyond the reach of Bible software as you’ve known it.”

Or in the words of Walt Disney, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Greek & Hebrew Syntax Videos

The Case for Syntax Searching

Syntax Search vs. Morphological Search (17:33, 17.5MB)

What syntax gives you that morphology alone cannot: better precision in your language research and refined demonstration for teaching.

Hebrew

Search Video #1:

Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible (8:10, 9MB)

Compound subject in agreement with a singular verb across verse boundaries.

Search Video #2:

Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible (5:55, 4MB)

Verb-Subject-Object (VSO) order vs. Subject-Verb-Object (SVO) order in clauses in the Pentateuch generally, and by Eissfeldt source (P, J).

Greek

Search Video #1:

OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament (15:23, 14MB)

Accusative noun or pronoun as subject of an infinitive, when the infinitive also takes an accusative object.

Search Video #1:

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (4:25, 3MB)

Finding double accusatives in the Catholic Epistles.

Update 11/10, 11:05am – If you have limited access to the Internet, you can download the syntax videos as a zip file (46MB). Save the zip file to your hard drive, CD-ROM or other media. To run the videos, unzip all contents to a single folder, then launch each HTML file in turn to view the Flash videos.

Greek Syntax: Kinds of Mystery

I’m in a small group home Bible study, and we’re studying Colossians. My Father-in-Law leads the study, but he and Mom were on a short vacation last week so that means I got to sit in the hotseat. Our text was Col 2.1-7.

So Col 2.2 was one of the verses we looked at. Here it is, in the ESV:

that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, (Col 2:2, ESV)

The text has the words “God’s mystery”. One of the first things I wondered about had to do with what other types of “mysteries” are mentioned in the New Testament. In OpenText.org-speak, what this means is that I wanted to find what sorts of things qualify the word translated “mystery” (μυστήριον).

I’ve detailed this sort of search before (see blog post Syntax Search Example: What “Qualifies” another Word?), complete with video.

That’s cool and all … but what if I didn’t want to go to the trouble of creating a syntax search? Well, I could just run the Bible Word Study (BWS) report. One of the Grammatical Relationships examined for the OpenText.org Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament involves qualifiers.

Specifically, it is the “Words and phrases used to further qualify (word)” relationship.
So I just ran the BWS by right-clicking μυστήριον and selecting the Bible Word Study option. Of course, if I was in a reverse interlinear, I could’ve just right-clicked. Here’s the list I retrieved:

Now, assuming you have Logos 3 and the syntax databases, you try it. Here’s my question for you: What kinds of “Kingdoms” are mentioned in the New Testament?

Go to Mt 13.11 in your ESV New Testament Reverse Interlinear, which mentions “the mystery of the kingdom of heaven”, right-click on “kingdom”, and run the right-click option for Bible Word Study.

When it’s done, scroll down to the Words and phrases used to further qualify βασιλεία. It should look something like this:

Watch out … now you’re using syntax in your study of the New Testament!

The Libronix Interface in Your Language

After my recent post on Chinese Bibles, I would be remiss if I failed to let readers know how they could install the Libronix DLS interface in Chinese or another language.
Libronix DLS and Localized Interfaces walks you through the process of installing and switching between the available language interfaces. The interface is available in more than 25 languages and dialects.
Since we rely on volunteers to do the localization, some languages have partial support. For those languages, you’ll see a mix of English and the target language within the Libronix interface.
As you can see from the graphic at left, the support for various languages ranges from 99.20% for Swedish (shout out to Thomas) down to 0.01% for Maori, with many languages left to do. As far as I know, nobody has attempted a Klingon interface, though there might be a couple people in the building who are capable.
Get Involved
We need help with the work of localizing the Libronix DLS interface. If you are a polyglot and could donate a few hours for interface translation, please get in touch with us. You don’t need to know a lick of computer programming: you’ll use a simple web form or Microsoft Excel to translate the English text in Column A into the blank space in Column B. Details here.
If you’re looking for a complete digital library in another language, either for yourself or a missionary you know, see www.logos.com/world. If you’d like to add individual books in other languages to your existing Logos Bible Software library, you’ll find them listed by language on our Product Categories page.

All in a Day’s Work: Making an Ugaritic Font

First, we acquired rights to the Conchillos Ugaritic databank. Then, we acquired the rights to produce several Ugaritic textbooks, grammars, and other helps as well. We put together a product.

Then we had to figure out how to support Ugaritic. [Cue scary music.]

[Read more...]

Greek Syntax: Searching for Granville Sharp

If you’ve studied NT Greek, you’ve likely heard of something called the “Granville Sharp Rule”.

If you’ve been around Bible software, you know that many folks use “finding Granville Sharp” as a sort of litmus test for the capabilities of their Bible software.

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament gives us an opportunity to examine what the Granville Sharp rule really is and to think about new ways to find instances of it.
Awhile back I wrote a paper for internal use here at Logos examining what “Granville Sharp” is and how to find it using the traditional “morphology+proximity+agreement” approach. This approach has problems because one must approximate relationships between words using morphological criteria (i.e. part-of-speech data), morphological agreement (i.e. terms ‘agree’ in their specified case), and word proximity (i.e. words are within N words of each other).

Then I examined finding Granville Sharp using the OpenText.org SAGNT. With the syntax annotation, you’re freed from approximating relationships with morphology+proximity+agreement and empowered to actually specify relationships that the syntax annotation encodes.

The 17-page PDF document linked below is that paper. It has explanation and screen shots of the queries, graphs and whatnot so it should help in thinking about how to go about isolating syntactic structures via searching the OpenText.org SAGNT. It might even help get the juices flowing for those considering the Logos/SBL Technology Paper Awards.

I’ve also included the two syntax queries discussed in the paper. I just tested them on 3.0b Beta 2, so if you have that version installed, you should be fine. I would think it would work on any flavor of 3.0, but why not upgrade if you’re not up to date?

Copy the queries to your My Documents\Libronix DLS\Syntax Queries folder and then load them as you would any other syntax search, from the Load … button in the Syntax Search dialogue.

Final IE 7 Breaks Logos Bible Software

Amazingly, the final release of IE 7 (released yesterday) introduced yet more changes that break Logos Bible Software.

The v3.0a update which we encouraged you to download yesterday does not work with the final release of IE 7. To fix this, we’ll be making an “emergency release” of v3.0b available later today. This will fix the worst problems with IE 7, and a more thoroughly tested release will be available in the coming weeks (which will also have the latest Vista compatibility fixes).

We’re very sorry for the inconvenience. Please check back here for the latest information.
Update 10/20: Latest Beta Fixes Compatibility with IE7