Syntax: Not Just For Searching

In previous blog posts, I’ve focused on how the syntax databases we offer are used when searching, when asking questions of the text. But this is not the only use. I don’t even know if it will end up being the primary use. I was reminded about this with a recent comment on one of my posts:

These blogs are extremely helpful for things like [structure searching], but make it difficult for an average joe like me to get a search result and have confidence that all the cases of what I’m looking for would be covered. . .I’d think “what kind of clause component will this show up in that I’ll miss with this search”. Certainly, I’ll get some results I’d want, but will I get them all?

Instead of focusing more on searching, I figured I’d step back and show another use that doesn’t require any searching knowledge at all. Just being able to see the structure of the text in a different way is helpful when reading through the text.

We read through the text in translations with paragraphs/etc frequently. Reading through a syntax graph in addition to reading the text in modern translation can help us slow down when we read, and take note of not simply each word but also the things going on around each word at the clause level.

Ephesians 5.18b-21 offers a good example. I’ll give you two hints: Look only at the clauses (primary and embedded) and the verbs in those clauses, and the relationship between these things. No searching necessary. Just reading slowly paying attention to the annotated syntax.

And there’s a video (Flash, 3 megs, with sound) that provides a little more information to help in seeing how this can be done.

Here’s Eph 5.18b-21 in the ESV, just plain text. Read it in this form and try to think about the underlying structure of the text:

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph 5.18-21, ESV)

What can we see from just looking at the syntax here? Check out the video for more explanation, but in short, you’ll see how to:

  • View only clause information in your graph, removing some of the word group annotation since we’re just looking at clause level data here
  • Find verbs in the annotation
  • Show why this is relevant when looking at the annotation for Ephesians 5.18b-21 (which is a whole primary clause)

Update: If you’re interested in using the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament to assist as you’re reading through the text, check out this post from May 2006. It’s a handy way to work through the Greek text of, say, First John and beef up your knowledge of the syntactic goings-on at the same time!

Update II: Note that I’ve blogged again about how reading the syntax graph can help when analyzing or outlining a particular passage: Organizing an Outline with Syntax Graphs.

Bible Word Study Report Part VI: Lemma Reports

This is the sixth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study (BWS) report.
This post will look into the Lemma Report sections of the BWS report.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

The Lemma Report sections have to do with understanding how the study word (ἀναπληρόω) is used both inside of the Greek New Testament and in other Greek literature, like the LXX (Greek Old Testament) and the Works of Philo.

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Syntax Search Example: Preposition with Dative Object

On the Logos Newsgroups, a user asked a question about syntax searching:

I’d like to search for every instance of the construction in Heb 1:2 — ἐν υἱῷ – i.e. ἐν followed by noun without article … Also (I think) in 1 Thess 1:5 – ἐν λόγῳ — our gospel did not come to you not simply “by means of word\speech”

I could do a normal search, but is this a category of construction that I could find with a syntax search? If so, could someone perhaps suggest how to go about it?

The answer is a resounding “YES!” It was like a slow-pitch softball that I couldn’t resist swinging at. So I did. You can watch the video now (Flash, 9 megs, with sound) but be sure to read the rest of the post too.

I should note that I’m running 3.0a beta 2, and you may see some visual changes inside of the Syntax Search Dialog.

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How is that Hebrew or Greek Word Translated?

One feature request that we’ve had a lot in the past 10 years or so runs something like this:

So, I have this Greek word. I want to know all the ways it is translated in the New Testament. How do I do that?

Another similar question is frequently asked as well:

What are the different Greek words that get translated as this English word in the New Testament?

We couldn’t always answer these questions before. In some ways, we could use Strong’s numbers as a bridge, but it wasn’t one-click easy to search the text to answer these sorts of questions.
With Reverse Interlinears, answering these questions is quick, easy, and elegant.

You’re using Logos 3 and hadn’t realized this yet? That’s OK, there is a lot of new stuff in Logos 3.
I figured I’d make a video to run you through how to use Reverse Interlinears to start to answer these questions as you study the Bible.

For those of you who haven’t upgraded and added Reverse Interlinears yet … you can do that on our upgrade page.

Bible Word Study Report Part V: Translation

This is the fifth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study (BWS) report.
This post will look into the Translation section of the BWS report.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

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Logos Tips and News, Delivered Fresh Daily!

A new feature in Logos Bible Software 3 lets you read Logos-related blog posts right inside Libronix DLS!

Of course, this feature is only as cool as the content that is delivered…and we’re delivering some pretty cool content, indeed.

Every day of the week (except Sunday), you will see at least one new blog post at the bottom of your Logos Bible Software homepage. Posts are pulled from either the Logos Bible Software Blog (you’re reading that right now) or from a brand new blog that offers tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Logos software!

Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks Blog
Every Wednesday and Saturday, that new blog, called Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks, provides a new tip for maximizing your efficiency and skill in using Logos Bible Software 3.

Morris Proctor, authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software, writes all the posts for the Tips & Tricks blog. Morris runs the informative, top-notch Camp Logos seminars all around the country but found time in his schedule to author these free tips which will help you get the most out of your investment in Logos Bible Software.

If you enjoy the biweekly Tips, be sure to check out the calendar of upcoming Camp Logos training events and register to attend the one nearest you! I attended Camp Logos a few months after starting at Logos in 2002 and it was time well spent—I give it the highest possible recommendation.

How to Read Blogs in Logos Bible Software
To read the latest posts from the Tips & Tricks Blog and Logos Blog, just open Logos Bible Software 3 (What, you haven’t already upgraded?) and scroll down the homepage until you see the “Blogs” section header. Below that you will see previews of the three most recent posts from the Logos Blog and three from the Tips & Tricks blog.

If this section is not already expanded, click on the word “Blogs” or the triangle to expand it.

If you don’t see the Blogs section header at all, scroll back up to the top of the Logos Bible Software homepage, click Customize View (located just below the date), then scroll down and make sure all the checkboxes under Blogs are checked. Save Changes and you should now see the Blogs section on the homepage.

Be sure to scroll down the homepage every time you fire up the software, to read the latest tips and news from and about Logos Bible Software! And be sure to thank Morris when you see him at a Camp Logos.

Syntax Search Example: in/with/because of the Name

The other day I was listening to a song that was repeating the phrase “in the name” in the context of the name of Christ. I wondered: What sorts of things in the New Testament are done “in the name”?
To it a little more: Not just where a prepositional phrase with ὄνομα may occur, but what are the verbs connected with instances of a prepositional phrase that has ὄνομα as the prepositional object?
I’m sure, by now, you know the answer. It is a syntax search. And based on the response to my last syntax search example, I’ve provided another video (Flash, 10 megs, with sound), narrated by yours truly, along with further written description below. Be sure to check out the description, I tell you how to generate some nifty graphs from search results (this isn’t in the video!)
Also note that the approach used in this syntax search is incredibly similar to the one discussed in a previous blog article about syntax and morphology searching.

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Bible Word Study Report Part IV: Grammatical Relationships (B)

This is the second part of the fourth post in my on-going series on the Bible Word Study report.

This post will look a little further into the Grammatical Relationships section. Our previous foray into the Grammatical Relationships section is here.

To refresh our collective memories, we’re looking at 1Th 2.16. Here it is in the reverse interlinear, with the phrase in question marked up using new Visual Markup features.

We left off the last post by saying:

So ἀναπληρόω means something like “make complete” or “fulfill” or “replace”. We begin to understand the nuance of each of those senses by considering who or what is doing ἀναπληρόω, and to whom or to what ἀναπληρόω is being done. Grammatical Relationships does all of the heavy lifting for you in searching out these usages, categorizing them, and returning them to us grouped by usage context.

So let’s examine the results and see what we can learn about the word ἀναπληρόω.

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Syntax Search Example: Same Word as Subject and Verb

I was reading in 1Th 3.5 the other day and came across the phrase “for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you” (ESV). Here it is in the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

You can see the phrase highlighted using some of our new Visual Markup features. If you click and view the larger picture, you’ll see that the same lexical form (πειράζω) is repeated in the verse. Not only is it repeated, but one instance is the subject of the clause, the other is the predicator (verb) of the clause. The syntax graph from the Syntactically Annotated Greek New Testament shows this a little better:

Is this exegetically significant? Perhaps. But I also had the question — how many other times is the same word used as both subject and verb in the New Testament?

With syntax searching and Logos Bible Software 3, it is a relatively easy question to answer.

As an added bonus, I’ve even included a video of setting up the search. This video is the first in which you’ll hear my “smooth dulcet tones” (as the colleague sitting next to me describes it) narrating the action. You can try the video (Flash, 12 megs, with audio) but be sure to read the description below the fold as well.
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RevInt IV: Reverse Interlinear Bullets

(See also: RevInt I: Reverse Interlinears as Books and RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines and RevInt III: Reverse Interlinear Symbols)

Occasionally, when I assemble a piece of furniture — say for instance a “Jerker” desk from Ikea, like the one that I sit at — I am left with a few odds and ends lying on the floor. Then I scratch my head and wonder, “Do I really need that lock washer?” The real question, of course, is: Do I really want to take the whole thing apart again to figure out where it goes?

Occasionally, when you are reading along in a reverse interlinear, you will encounter some of the nuts and bolts that are left over in the process of assembling the alignment. Here and there will be a round dot (bullet point) in either the original language line or the translation line of a reverse interlinear, indicating that no reasonable equivalent for that word could be found in the other text.

For the most part, our editorial philosophy for making these reverse interlinear alignments has been optimistic. That is, we assume that if the translation committee thinks they’ve translated the original language words of a particular verse, then we assume that they are. The goal, then, is to account for the translation, not to demonstrate elementary principles of Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic grammar. As a result, we give the benefit of the doubt in making links between the words of the original text and the translation. Our editors try — sometimes quite creatively — to account for all of the words in the translation. All of which tends, we hope, to minimize the presence of bullets in the text.

But they do happen, for various reasons.

Does this mean the translation is “bad” where you see bullets? Not necessarily.

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