It’s Hard to Keep a Good Company Down

Update

On Friday, June 11, 2010, we had a robbery at our Mac satellite office in Bellevue, Washington. By breaking into the strongbox on the outer wall of the building, the thieves were able to get the fire department’s master key to let themselves in. When the cleaning crew discovered the break-in early Sunday morning, all of the computers were gone.

As inconvenient as this was to the Mac development team, it could hardly be considered a set-back. The machines had no access to corporate servers so there was no risk of data loss and—because it happened over a weekend—most of the developers had uploaded their code to the main office in Bellingham.

David Mitchell, the Mac team leader, was in the Apple store early Monday afternoon picking up new machines and we were back in business in no time!

The latest Mac release is looking really good and you can download the latest release (Alpha 22) right here.

Let Logos 4 Read the Bible to You

AudioToday’s guest post is from David Lemmons, one of the wonderful contributors on the Logos Forums.

I am a relatively new user of Logos. I have upgraded to version 4 and I have been learning more about it daily—there is still so much more to learn. I subscribe to RSS feeds of the Logos forums and learn new things about how to use the program just about every day.

One of the ways I use the software each day is in my daily Bible reading. I have a rather ambitious reading plan which leads me to read the Old Testament every 90 days and the New Testament every thirty days. This means I read the entire Bible four times each year and the New Testament an additional eight times.

My old system of getting this reading done was to open Logos to my preferred Bible and enlarge the text to the largest setting possible . In order to do my reading more quickly (and I think also to help retention), I use audio files to read as I scroll. I began with a set of MP3 audio files containing the narration of Eric Martin which I purchased for about $20. I adjusted the tempo of these 1189 individual files (one for each Bible chapter) by using the software Audacity. Adjusting the tempo did not result in the chipmunk-sound, rather, the words were easily understood, but were coming twice as fast as the pre-adjusted files. This project took quite a long time and was arduous, but I knew that once I got them prepared I would use them daily, so I did it. Reading the files at this faster pace requires one to concentrate more on the text and I think this is a useful serendipity.

A couple of weeks ago I learned that the very same thing that I had spent several hours of my precious time working on had already been provided by Logos 4.

I am using Windows Vista. All I needed to do was go to Control Panel and open up “Text to Speech.” I selected the voice that sounded best to me: “Microsoft Anna.” I set the “Voice Speed Slider Scale” to two notches slower than the very fastest setting. Then I opened up Logos4 to my Home Page. My two reading plans are on the home page. I click on the day’s reading. I hit the keys, and Anna reads to me at accelerated speed until I stop her by hitting once again . The scrolling is done automatically by Logos.

My reading for today was 1 Chronicles 23–29 and John 7–11. I read this in 26:30 minutes. With Logos 4, and its wonderfully adaptable reading plans, ability to read to me at whatever speed I choose, to scroll automatically through the Bible text, being a more disciplined daily Bible reader is so much easier and so much more fun—I love it!

Logos 4: Remove Bible Cross References in Copied Text

mp|seminars Tips

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

Quite often people will e-mail me inquiring about how to remove embedded footnotes from biblical text that is copied / pasted into a Word document. For example, if you select all of the text for Psalm 23 in the ESV and then copy / paste it into another document, you’ll also paste a lot of cross references.

Here’s one way to avoid that:

  • Choose Tools | Program Settings
  • Set Copy Footnotes to No

With this setting, Logos will still cite the source of the pasted text, it will just no longer paste all of the embedded footnotes and cross references into your document.

Taking Greek Syntax Beyond the New Testament

Cascadia

Today’s guest post is from Michael Aubrey, on the marketing team.

Here at Logos, we’re always working hard to stay on the cutting edge of biblical research. We first introduced syntax databases in 2006 with the release of Libronix 3.0 and they were rightly recognized as the “new frontier” in Bible software. Mike Heiser demonstrated the vast superiority of syntax searches over morphological proximity searches with some awesome videos. And then again, three years later in November, 2009, with the introduction of Logos Bible Software 4, we did it again.

We revamped the syntax search dialog, completely changing the layout and introducing some awesome functions like dragging and dropping and introduced a brand new database: Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament.

Personally, this was the database that, as a user, I had been awaiting for many reasons.

For one, Cascadia consistently uses accessible terminology: Noun Phrase (NP), Verb Phrase (VP), and Prepositional Phrase (PP). These are labels based transparently and helpfully on Greek parts of speech: nouns, verbs, and prepositions. There’s nothing novel; nothing obscure or obtuse. This is plain vanilla, what-you-see-is-what-you-get syntax.

But more importantly, as soon as I saw the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament and read the preface, I knew there was massive potential here—far beyond the boundaries of the New Testament. The editors, Randall Tan and Andi Wu, write:

The Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament is derived from a new dynamic Treebank project developed by the Asia Bible Society. The Greek Syntactic Treebank Project is built on the basis of a computer-readable Greek grammar, with the syntactic trees (graphs) directly generated by a parser. Manual checking and corrections are stored as data in a knowledge base to guide the parser. The syntax trees (graphs) are dynamically generated form the latest version of the grammar and knowledge base, which enables continual organic improvement and growth as the grammar and knowledge base are maintained and updated.

We humbly present this preliminary version of the syntax graphs to users of Logos Bible Software and look forward to improving and expanding it in the future.

Randall Tan
Andi Wu
November 2009

Did you catch that? The Cascadia Syntax Graphs are derived from “a computer-readable Greek grammar” (my emphasis). If what that means and why it’s significant is lost on you, let me explain.

Unlike our other syntax databases, such as Opentext.org or the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, the Cascadia database isn’t annotated and created by hand, one verse at a time. Instead, the trees are all created by the computer from grammatical rules based on the structure of Koine Greek. These generated trees are then corrected by hand. Every verse, every clause, every phrase and every word is reviewed as part of this process. While this is still quite a bit of work, it leverages text already analyzed (the Greek New Testament) to assist with the process of analyzing a new corpus (the Septuagint, and also the Apostolic Fathers). The key is that because these grammar rules are continually built upon and reviewed, they may potentially to be applied to any Koine Greek text.

That’s right: any Koine Greek text.

With that realization, we said to ourselves here at Logos, “Why not? Let’s give it a try!”

Built from the very same computer-readable grammar as the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament, these two new resources will make it possible to go beyond the New Testament in your study of the Old Testament, New Testament, Early Church, and Koine Greek. Every syntax search you create for the New Testament will also work in these databases and vice versa. For the first time, you will be able to examine syntactic structures across more than half a million words of Greek text.

Are you curious about the influence of Hebrew on the Greek of the Septuagint? Not a problem. Just pull up the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the Septuagint alongside the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis!

What’s All the Fuss about Baal in the Old Testament?

Ugaritic
Today’s guest post is from David Witte, Information Engineer on the Design and Editorial team.

When I read passages in the Old Testament I always come across the god Baal. This is usually a bad thing for the people of Israel. It seems that they could not help chasing after this deity with gusto. Many rich stories concerning the rulers and prophets of Israel include this nemesis, such as Elijah’s showdown on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 17-18) or Gideon’s nighttime vandalism (Judges 6:25-32).

So to understand Israel’s difficulty with Baal and how God worked within their lives, we need to understand how Baal was viewed at that time. The best place to gain that understanding is by looking at ancient Ugaritic literature. Ugarit was an ancient kingdom located just north of Israel where modern Syria exists today. There is extensive information in Ugaritic literature about Baal, who was known as the “king of the gods” or “the Rider on the Clouds.” Take a look at Dr. Mike Heiser’s excellent write-up “What’s Ugaritic Got to Do with Anything?”.

Understanding the theological environment of ancient Israel gives greater meaning to the stories of Israel’s great trials with, and triumphs against, false idols. God was with them through it all, but it was painful at times. That helps us address modern issues such as: Where do our true loyalties lie? What separates a true Christian from a mostly Christian? How do idols creep into our belief system unnoticed?

I love teaching the story of Elijah and the showdown at Mount Carmel. Whether re-enacting it with kids or walking through the story with adults, it never loses its magic. Understanding how big and important the adversary was, and how little and powerless Elijah was, shows us how almighty and loving our God is. I found Peter Craigie’s book Ugarit and the Old Testament to be a good introduction to the Ugarit people and beliefs. This can be found in the Introduction to the Old Testament Collection. For a more in-depth look at the Ugaritic language and texts look at to the Ugaritic Library.

Logos Co-Founder Speaks about the Best-Selling Pre-Pub of All Time

Dale Pritchett

Today’s guest post is from Dale Pritchett, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of Logos Bible Software.

In the eighteen years we’ve been in business, the single most popular, and perhaps most important, Pre-Pub title we have ever offered is Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

For many years now, schools have been downsizing Greek and Hebrew programs due to decreasing demand. Students have been opting-out of the rigorous language programs in such numbers that we now estimate that less than fifteen percent of all seminary students complete a Greek or Hebrew language course as part of their degree program. You have to believe, as a result, the exegetical skills in the pulpit have been greatly reduced. This concerns us greatly.

This is something we care about.

To change the status quo, we developed Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software. This series is targeted at the eighty-five percent who opt-out of traditional language programs, as well as those who need to re-invigorate their once-learned skills. We hoped this series would help reverse the trend and make original language studies more accessible to average students. Little did we know how huge the response would be.

Everyone should experience the Bible in the original languages.

We are reaching out this one last time to encourage you to place your Pre-Pub order right away before the price goes up. We encourage you to join literally thousands upon thousands of Logos Bible Software users across the world who are committed to taking their Bible study to the next level by digging into the original languages, perhaps for the first time ever.

You can do this.

The videos are step-by-step. Self-study at your own pace. No previous knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is required. Even English grammar is explained. No rote memorization of forms or paradigms either. You can do this, and we are here to help.

A couple of weeks ago, the two instructors sat down to talk about their experience with the project. Listen to their thoughts here:

The time is now.

Logos users have chosen to pre-order this video series more than any other product we have ever offered on Pre-Pub. In fact, we even had to delay the ship date by two days just to account for the sheer quantity of DVDs we had to order. The good news for you is that it gives you one final chance to get in on the discount.

The training you need to finally get into the original languages is ready. Read more about this incredible training series, watch the introductory videos, preview some of the videos in the series, and place your order right away before the price goes up.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Logos 4: Bookmark A Resource

mp|seminars Tips

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

Recently someone e-mailed asking how to open a Logos e-book to the same location at which it was closed.

Well here’s some good news: Logos automatically does it for you.

For example, imaging reading J.I. Packer’s book Concise Theology. You just finished the article, Transfiguration, and closed the book. The next time you open the resource it will open to that exact spot which also begins the next article, Resurrection.

You can, however, also set a bookmark for any resource by utilizing one of the nine bookmark locations:

Open a resource to a desired locationPress Ctrl + Shift+ 1-9Then press Ctrl + 1-9 to open the bookmark

A New Kind of Biblical Scholar

Let Go and Let God? A Survey and Analysis of Keswick TheologyLast week we put a new book on Pre-Pub entitled Let Go and Let God? by Andy Naselli. From one perspective, it’s just another quality Christian book that we’re offering at a discount to everyone who pre-orders it. You, the community, get to vote on whether or not you want us to publish it, just like you do with most Pre-Pubs. (In this case, you’ve clearly voted yes.)

From another perspective, there is something worth highlighting. There’s a neat story that illustrates a changing tide.

Naselli relied heavily on Logos as he worked on his MA in Bible, PhD in Theology, and PhD in New Testament Exegesis and Theology. He’s so convinced of the benefits of having a digital library in Logos that he’s been aggressively building it and avidly promoting Logos to his professors, colleagues, and students through his reviews, research, blog posts, and word of mouth. He still purchases, owns, and uses print books, but in most cases it’s just because they aren’t yet available for Logos. So Andy’s first book is in large part the fruit of his research with Logos Bible Software.

But what’s special about Let Go and Let God? is not just that it was written by someone who does the vast majority of his research using Logos, but that its author decided that instead of publishing his first solo book in print, he’d rather publish it digitally with Logos Bible Software. He’s convinced of the value of Logos Bible Software, not just for his own research, but as a platform for helping others do research. He wanted his book’s readers to experience the same benefits he experienced while he was writing it.

[Read more…]

Seminary Scholarship Winner

Rebecca.jpgCongratulations to Rebecca S., the recipient of our most recent $1,000.00 Seminary Scholarship. Rebecca is currently a part time student at Luther Seminary, enrolled in their distance education program. This coming fall, she’ll be moving to St. Paul, MN, to attend Luther Seminary full time.
As the winner of the scholarship, Rebecca received a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship and a copy of Logos Scholar’s Library.
We are currently taking new application for our next scholarship, which will be awarded on August 10th, 2010. If you are a seminary student, please head over and apply today.
What about Bible College students?
If you’re currently working on your undergraduate degree at a Christian or Bible College, then you should apply for our Bible College Scholarship. Like our seminary scholarship, three times a year we give one student a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship plus a copy of the Logos Scholar’s Library. To learn more, and apply, visit www.BibleCollegeScholarship.com.
Increase your odds of wining the scholarship!
Unlike most scholarship where you don’t want a lot of people to apply because it decreases your chances of winning, the opposite is true with our Seminary and Bible College Scholarships. After you have applied, tell all your friends to apply and to enter your name in the “How’d you hear about this scholarship” section of the application. If the scholarship winner has entered your name, you BOTH win the scholarship! So, the more people who apply and enter your name as the one who referred them, the more chances you have to win $1,000.00 for tuition and a copy of the Logos Scholar’s Library.
Seminary students, apply here:

Bible College students, apply here:

Biblical Languages and Bible Software

Today’s guest post is from Johnny Cisneros, Product Manager for Systematic Theology, and co-instructor of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

Moving from Digital Crutch to Digital Tool

Greek

When I was taking Greek and Hebrew, professors and teaching assistants continually warned us, “Don’t rely on Bible software to help you because it will become a crutch.”

They said that with good reason. The whole point of the language course was to be able to read the Greek New Testament or Hebrew Bible at sight (i.e. with little or no help from a parsing guide or lexicon).

In order to reach that goal, we spent the first year memorizing paradigms, vocabulary, grammatical terms and constructions, and doing basic translation. Weekly assignments could take anywhere from three to nine hours to complete. This went on for about twenty weeks.

I still have fond memories of sitting at a local coffee shop, filling out a custom made spreadsheet for Greek verb paradigms. I even bought a whiteboard for home so I could write out Hebrew verb paradigms first thing in the morning (crazy, I know). Each paradigm memorized was like another trophy earned.

But I learned that not every student felt the way I did. Not every student wanted to get involved in scholarship. Not every student made their own paradigm spreadsheets. At some point during the first year, they lost heart—unable to see the payoff. Faculty encouraged students to persevere with the promise that in the second year they would see that value of what they had learned.

But in first year, when the goal is identify everything word, form, and construction by sight, is software a crutch?

Yes.

So how can we call our software a tool?

Simple. We changed the goal.

Our goal in Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software is not for you to sight read the Greek NT or the Hebrew Bible without the helps. Instead, it’s to understand how to use the helps for interpreting the Bible. Do we still require you to be able to accurately identify the form of a particular word? Absolutely! But we don’t make you memorize a chart; we use our Visual Filter technology. After all, the inability to recognize liquid aorist verb at sight is not what makes a preacher “dangerous” with the biblical languages; it is being uninformed as to how the aorist tense works.

In Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software we introduce you to the grammatical concepts of a second year course, bypassing the paradigm chart and vocabulary that are supposed to be memorized in the first year. We show you how those concepts connect to English Bible translations, comparing their interpretations of the Greek and Hebrew. We open up commentaries that make use of the original languages so that you can get more value out of your library. And we demonstrate how you can apply those concepts to our original language tools and databases, the majority of which are unique to Logos Bible Software. Finally, we include principles for interpretation so that you can avoid some of the common mistakes.

Not only are these objectives more relevant for a teaching ministry, but the approach is sustainable in ministry.

So whether you are a student, pastor, or professor, there is something here for everyone. Order your copy of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software today and move from digital crutch to digital tool.