New Transliteration Keyboard

While transliteration (the process of using the Roman alphabet – or another modern alphabet – to represent the sounds of a different language written in a non-Roman script) is useful as a pronunciation aid in Greek and Hebrew books, it plays an even more important role in many non-Hebrew Semitic language reference works. It is not uncommon, for example, to see entire books on Akkadian or Ugaritic that are entirely transliterated, with no characters in the original scripts.

We at Logos are increasing our support for many of these Semitic languages, and we needed to create a keyboard for easy entry of common transliteration marks. We’ve created a keyboard that can safely replace the English (US) keyboard provided by Microsoft in Windows XP and Windows 2000, since it duplicates that keyboard completely, but adds support for common transliteration marks on keys that would be intuitive to people who use the Logos keyboards for Greek and Hebrew. Those who don’t use the English (US) keyboard as their default can, of course, install the Logos Transliteration Keyboard alongside their default keyboard, instead of replacing it. To download the Logos Transliteration Keyboard and its documentation, follow the new link on the Windows Keyboards for Ancient Languages page.

Syntax Search Example: Fronted Complements

Awhile back, I blogged on Sleepy Disciples. That blog post looked at the predicator (verb) προσεύχομαι and the different adjuncts that modified each of its occurrences in Matthew 26.
Looking at that passage again, I noticed the following embedded clause in the last adjunct in Mt 26.44:

In this embedded clause, the complement is the first thing in the clause. Some would say this is an instance of fronting, where there is non-standard (for narrative, anyway) component order.

It occurred to me that this sort of thing is now searchable, given a syntactic analysis of the text. So I created the below video which explains things a bit more and walks through setting up a syntax search that will locate fronted complements with a headword of λόγος — much like what occurs here in Mt 26.44.

Syntax Search Example: Two Words in the Same Word Group

A user commented on a recent post:

On the OpenText site,, Matthew Brook O’Donnell mentions the ability to find THEOS and AGAPE within the same word group. I have not been able to do that yet, probably because I can’t yet figure out the nesting structure I need in my search.
I wonder if you might demonstrate that or point me to one of your earlier tutorials where you have done something similar.

Since I haven’t blogged about syntax searches like this, and since there is a very cool technique using the Agreement dialogue that makes this sort of search (find two words in any order) fairly simple, I figured I’d do a screen recording video to show y’all how it works.

There are two searches detailed in the video. One answers the question with a very general search, the other searches a bit more specifically.

Genre & Source Visual Filtering for the OT

Daniel Foster just came to me and said, “Hey, I didn’t know that the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text has two resource-specific visual filters!” I said, “Sure, I thought everybody knew that.”
Well, if Daniel doesn’t know … okay, I guess almost nobody knows.

Visual What?
“Visual filter” may sound like something you do to a photograph to reduce red eye, but in fact it’s a simple and flexible feature that the Libronix DLS can use to modify a book’s formatting or content on the fly — that is, right when it’s being displayed. A simple visual filter is the Page Numbers visual filter, which shows page numbers inline (for resources that have page number tagging).

[Read more...]

Grammatical Relationships: Parallel English & Original Language

An earlier post on the Bible Word Study Grammatical Relationships feature garnered the following comment. I inserted the referenced graphic as well.

When I do what you did, I get everything except the side by side translations of the passage as you show above (where you made the notes in red). For instance, I just show the cite Matt 13:14, but not the translations with the colored keys to the study word and the subject. What am I missing?

Yes, this isn’t exactly obvious. Grammatical Relationships mirrors the preferences you have set for syntax search results. So try creating a basic syntax search — such as searching for all primary clauses with the word ἀγαπάω as the predicator (verb) in the database. You know, like we find in John 3.16. Here’s a short video to show you how: Flash, 9:20, 11 megs, with sound. [NB: When I recorded the video, my computer was in the midst of a massive process that took some significant processor cycles. So it's a little slow in some areas.]

Then modify the search results. Note the “Current View” drop-down in the results menubar. This controls the columns. Also note the Bible button. This is where the English will come in. If your preferred Bible is the ESV, then toggling the button on should cause the ESV to display with proper highlighting in the search results window. Again,

href="">the video shows you how this works.

These preferences will then be mirrored in Grammatical Relationships.

Greek Syntax: Sleepy Disciples

Hi folks, I’m back after an extended holiday. And for an upcoming home group study, I’m starting to work through the epistle to the Colossians. So I’ve been reading it recently. In reading, I came across Colossians 1.9, which has the phrase “we have not ceased to pray for you”. In looking at the word “pray”, I noticed this is a predicator (“pray”, in an embedded clause) with an adjunct (“for you”). At least, that’s how the ESV translates it. So I wondered what other sorts of adjuncts modify the word used here for “pray” (προσεύχομαι).

This was the beginning of a rabbit trail, but a fun one. I won’t detail the syntax search (I’ve done similar searches before, check the syntax archives) but I would like to poke around a bit in one area where some interesting hits were grouped together.

In searching for adjuncts that modify προσεύχομαι, I happened across Matthew 26.36-46. In those 10 verses, there are three instances of προσεύχομαι. The first (v. 36) has two adjuncts, the second (v. 42) has three adjuncts, and the third (v. 44) has four adjuncts.

This concentration seemed interesting, so I poked through the text further. I spent all of 15 minutes or so thinking about this before I recorded the one-take video below, but it is an example of the kinds of thoughts that slowing down and examining the clause structure through the syntax graph can generate.

Serendipitous discovery facilitated.

Classical Greek Lookup

When studying Greek words, it is sometimes fun and beneficial to see how the words are used outside of the New Testament. One of the features of Logos Bible Software, version 3 is the ability to look up Greek words in the online Perseus database, which includes a wide variety of classical Greek texts, many with morphological and lexical tags, and some with English translations.

Let’s say you wanted to see references to crucifixion outside the New Testament. In this screenshot, I’ve right-clicked on σταυρόω – the verb form of ‘to crucify’ – in my lexicon (in this case BDAG), chosen ‘Selected Text’ and ‘Perseus Greek Word Lookup’. I could also have right-clicked the word in a Greek Bible and chosen ‘Selected Text’ and the ‘(Lemma)’ form instead. Of course, I may also want to run this lookup on related words, such as σταυρός – ‘cross’.

Here Perseus has provided some analysis of the word. Note the link to ‘Configure display’. Use this link to choose between displaying texts in transliteration or Unicode or some other Greek encoding. After some initial analysis, you can see hit counts by genre – in this case 92 hits in prose and 1 hit in poetry.

Clicking on ‘Greek Word Search’ will generate a concordance of the 93 hits of this word in the database, as seen below.

You can see hits in authors such as Josephus, Xenophon, Epictetus, Thucydides, and Appian. Clicking on the first line of each hit will open the Greek text to the larger context of the hit. Clicking on individual words will provide analysis to help you translate the passage. Sometimes a link to an English translation or Latin version is available as well.

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.

Weights and Measures Calculator

One of the features of Libronix DLS that was completely redesigned for version 3.0 was the weights and measures calculator.

Click on the thumbnail to take a look at an example. This example was taken from Revelation 14:20, where we’re given an image of a horse-high river of blood running 1,600 stadia. Ick, right? But enquiring minds want to know, just how icky are we talking about here? So I click ‘Tools | Bible Data | Weights and Measures’ and enter ‘1,600 stadia’. I could have used ‘stade’, ‘stades’, ‘stadion’, ‘stadioi’ or ‘furlong’ if I wanted. A stade is an eighth of a mile, but the length of a mile in Roman times was different than today’s standard mile. One of the really cool features of the new calculator is that it doesn’t assume it knows which stade length you want, nor does it assume you know that there are two lengths to choose from. Instead, it displays both.

Note the second line of the results: 1.00 stades (Roman) = 0.92 furlongs (modern). (A furlong is another name for an eighth of a mile, the report just happens to call the modern measurement a furlong, though as you can see, it is savvy enough to show furlongs when you ask for stades.) So right away you are informed that the measurement for a stade will be different depending on which stade you are interested in (Roman or modern), even if you didn’t know there was a choice!

Beneath the conversion formula between the related measurements, the report is split into columns, one column for each measurement that 1,600 stadioi might be referring to. From here, it is easy to look up conversions to other measurements of length, such as kilometers or miles. Again, each list shows ‘miles (Roman)’ as distinct from the modern standard ‘mile’. 1,600 Roman Stadioi equals 200 Roman miles, but only 183.93 modern standard miles.

Take a look at the next example. Here I entered 1 shekel, but a shekel can be a measurement of weight or of money. And when it is money, it might be gold or silver. (The modern Israeli shekel is not listed here, though that would have been an interesting addition to this table.) Note how two different charts of two different colors make it easy to separate out the different kinds of shekels. Again, you didn’t need to know that there are three different things a shekel could refer to in order to see the conversion charts.

Trying to fathom (pun intended) modern equivalents to ancient measurements is always a bit difficult, and exact precision often eludes us. But with Logos Bible Software, getting to reasonable estimates just got easier than ever.

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.