Yesterday on Blogos, Sean Boisen wrote about the difficulty he had finding the verse containing the phrase “you will know them by their words”. He was looking for Matthew 7:16 and 20, and tried using “know” and “words” as search terms in Bible software.
Of course the verse says fruits, not words, and in some versions it says recognize, not know.
This is exactly what we created the Fuzzy Search for: finding things that you don’t remember exactly, or remember from a different translation.
Fuzzy Search was a feature in Logos Bible Software v1.0, back in December, 1991. It got lost along the way, disappearing from updates to the LLS and Libronix DLS, but was restored as part of the Power Tools Addin a few years ago. It lives on the Tools > Power Tools menu, but moves to the Search menu in the upcoming v3.0.
I wanted to see if Fuzzy Search could meet this real world test case. In Logos Bible Software I opened a few Bibles and chose Fuzzy Search from the Search menu. I copied the phrase “you will know them by their words” into the Search box and chose “All Open Resources” from the search target dropdown. A click on the green Go button brought back Matthew 7:20 in the NRSV as a 90% confidence hit, followed by Matthew 7:16, with 87% confidence.
(I should also point out that it found “Ye shall know them by their fruits” in the KJV, 74%, and “you will recognize them by their fruits” in the ESV, 72%.)
One of the new features that is implemented in the now-release-candidate Logos Bible Software 3.0 involves a significant enhancement to our sentence diagrammer.
I discussed this back in December 2005 and illustrated the new functionality with a short video. Check it out.
I bring it up again because first of all, blocking is cool. Secondly because I used the feature in preparation for the Sunday sermon and thought I’d share it. The pastor at the church I attend has been working through Mark’s Gospel. I like to work ahead so I’m prepared for what he might say. This weekend, before the service, I did a quick block of Mark 4.1-9 so I had a decent grasp of the text before the sermon.
Now, a few disclaimers: I have no formal training in blocking, just my own reading, thinking and practice. My blocking style (as with most folks) is a bit haphazard. I don’t have a systematic method for representing things. Indentions may be for grammatical/syntactic reasons (subordinate clauses, prepositional phrases, etc.) or because I think content is logically dependent on what precedes it. Or because I think I need to but am not quite sure why. It’s just me thinking through the text; the process is more valuable than the output. When you block Mark 4.1-9 (go ahead, try it!) you will likely come out with something completely different. My point is that thinking through the passage at this level is the important part; the output only serves to remind you of your thoughts.
Also, I used the new Logos Bible Software 3.0 Highlighting features to highlight repeated words and phrases that I noticed. So when you see the highlights, that’s where they came from. Yep, you can highlight more than books & Bibles! And I saved a PDF version of the diagram using the new PDF button on the diagrammer toolbar.
If you find this sort of thing helpful, then you’ll really like the Lexham Clausal Outlines of the Greek New Testament. So check those out as well!
Over the weekend, I wrote an entry on my personal blog that folks who read the Logos Bible Software blog might be interested in.
I’m responding to another blog that discusses paragraph breaks in Ephesians 5. My post doesn’t dispute anything in that article, it just points out other resources to consult when looking at that sort of thing. Things like:
- The paragraph formatting of the underlying Greek edition and the formatting of other editions.
- Clause boundaries and structure.
- Further general importance of looking beyond the word level when studying.
John works in our Ministry Relations department and is affectionately known as the “demo monkey.”
Actually, I made that up.
But he is the guy behind the 35 new training videos posted Monday…and you can be certain that you’ll be hearing his voice more over the coming months.
I’ve mentioned in the past that the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament will have Louw-Nida domain information available at the word level. This means that one can combine syntax with Louw-Nida semantic domains and do some interesting stuff when searching.
This is much easier to show you than to write and tell you. So I fired up the video capture software and threw together a quick search. Where, I wonder, in the Greek New Testament does something like James 2.19 occur? (“Even the demons believe — and shudder!”) This, translated into a search query relying on semantic domains instead of words, could be stated like:
Find a subject with a head term in semantic domain 12 (Supernatural Beings and Powers) preceding a predicator (verb) with semantic domain 31 (Hold a View, Believe, Trust)
(Flash Presentation, approx. 4 megs, 1024×768).
The video is a single take, no edits. Pardon some of the mouse jitters.
This isn’t searching on words, it is searching on domains. It finds clause subjects that contain a word (a “head term”, meaning is the primary word in the word group) that are also tagged as having to do with “Supernatural Beings and Powers” that have a clause predicator (verb or predicate) that contains a word (again, a “head term”) that is tagged as having to do with belief or trust.
You know, sort of like James 2.19: “Even the demons believe — and shudder!”. Only without words, so you can find instances where supernatural beings are said to trust or believe.
With a few more clicks (note the “Copy” button in the Syntax Query dialog, which can “clone” the currently selected structure) we could add an “OR” to search for where the predicator precedes the subject, just to cover all of our bases.
Note especially all of the different ways in which the search results are shown. You can view them with the OpenText.org clausal breakdown, as a syntax graph, or in a reverse interlinear (I have the ESV specified, but I could’ve specified the NRSV through preferred Bible settings). Click and view. With the English and/or Greek highlighted.
There is a whole lot more going on. Did you see the glossary popup on “Predicator” when the mouse cursor hovered? Did you see the entries from BDAG pop up on hover when hovering Greek text in the OpenText.org clause breakdown? The same thing in the syntax graph? And in the reverse interlinear? The actions captured by the video were all done with the mouse, either via point/click (specifying the query) or hover (glossary information, lexicon information).
This capability (BDAG assuming you have purchased it) should be available with the next beta release of Logos Bible Software v3.0.
We’re interested in knowing what you think of this sort of stuff, so please feel free to leave us feedback in the comments to this post. Thanks!
We just posted 35 new training videos to the Training area of Logos.com.
In the coming months we will be producing a lot more web-based video tutorials and have some refinements in mind for presenting them…but I thought you’d want to know about the first batch to come out of the oven.