Logos on Your Blogroll

We love having a passionate group of users who talk about us and promote us on their websites and blogs. Word of mouth promotion from happy customers goes a long way in helping Logos grow. And that growth allows us to make better software and offer even more top-notch books. So a big thank you to all of our vocal users, new and old, for spreading the word about Logos Bible Software! We’re grateful to have such an enthusiastic user base.

Add the Logos Blog to Your Blogroll

One additional way that you can really help us out is by adding the Logos blog to your blogroll (and adding a link to www.logos.com in your web links, if applicable). Many of our users who blog already have us in their blogrolls, but perhaps some of you have just never thought about it. If you like the Logos blog and benefit from what you read here, please add us to your blogroll.

We’ll even do you a favor in return. Our blog post on Monday, April 28, will feature all of the bloggers who have us in their blogrolls—at least all the ones we know about. Make sure to let us know by leaving a comment on this post and sending an email to blog@logos.com with Blogroll in the subject line. (Make sure to do both in case one doesn’t make it.) What if we’re already in your blogroll? That’s okay. We’ll make sure you make the list either way.

The deadline to receive your submission is midnight (PST) on Friday, April 25. Please leave your comments and send your emails by then.

One final thing: if you can work “Bible Study” into your link text somehow, that would be great.

Let the linking begin!

Spider Webs, Video Games, and Fun at the Office

It’s no surprise to regular readers of this blog that we like to have fun. While our fun usually involves food (our 2008 Salsa Cook-Off is tomorrow, by the way), sometimes it’s just a good prank.

Vincent Setterholm, who works in our design and editorial department and contributes to the blog on occasion, has been enjoying a pretty good chunk of vacation time. (Some of us were starting to wonder if he still worked here.) David Mitchell, one of our developers, and Ben Swier, our systems administrator, decided that this was the perfect opportunity to decorate Vincent’s office for him.

A prank like this doesn’t have to be in response to anything, but in this case there was a little payback going on. Last September on the day of the launch of a well-known video game, Vincent decided he’d have a little fun with Ben. He hid Ben’s brand new copy of the game (simply moving it 4 feet from its original resting place) while Ben was out of his office. Ben had been eagerly awaiting that day and had big plans to celebrate with some friends, so he was more than disappointed when it suddenly disappeared. Vincent was kind enough to show Ben where it was later that day, but enough time passed to warrant this nice little decoration party.

Vincent returned to the office yesterday. When I asked him if he had an official response to share with you, our blog readers, he declined to comment. He did point out, though, that his poor plants didn’t get any water in his absence.

Someone even went so far as to take note of their dire situation but do nothing about it.

Logos in the Blogosphere

I’m subscribed to a number of services like Technorati and Google Alerts so I can stay up with what people are saying about Logos on the Web. It’s a lot of fun finding out about new users and reading about how people from all walks of life are using Logos.

I’ve seen a few things that I thought were worth mentioning here on the blog, since most of you probably don’t keep up with what everyone is saying about Logos like I do. :)

Tutorial Videos

First, a user named Brett has started a new blog, Logos Bible Software Lessons, which provides basic and advanced video lessons on how to use Logos better. He has four helpful videos there so far:

  1. Customize the Logos Homepage
  2. Create & save a custom workspace in Logos
  3. Viewing Inline Strong’s Numbers
  4. Creating Parallel Resources

You can even subscribe to his video podcast. Nice work, Brett. Keep it up!

Don’t forget to check out all of the videos at www.logos.com/videos as well.

Syntax

Second, Mike at his ἐν ἐφέσῳ blog is doing a series of posts on our syntax searching tools. Here are the first two posts in the series:

If you’re trying to learn more about syntax searching, you’ll want to give Mike’s posts a read.

Also, if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check out the host of syntax videos at www.logos.com/videos.

Barth’s Church Dogmatics

Finally, there’s a nice review of Barth’s Church Dogmatics over at Faith and Theology. Ben has a helpful summary of its features and several cool screenshots.

Here’s his conclusion:

In sum, this is a wonderfully rich and delightfully user-friendly resource both for general theological readers and for students of Barth. The new digital edition will certainly be a tremendous help in my own future research! With its accessible format, enhanced search capabilities and seamless integration with so many other texts, it will no doubt establish itself as an indispensable resource for the next generation of Barth scholars, and for the wider community of pastors, theologians and students.

If you haven’t ordered yours yet, there’s still time to get in at the Pre-Pub price before it ships next Monday.

Understanding Data Types: Introduction

In Friday’s blog post on the new edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til, I mentioned how you can now search the works of Van Til for a specific reference or range of references in Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. This kind of analysis is incredibly helpful for detailed study, and there’s really no other way—at least not that I’m aware of—to get this data apart from doing the tedious work of reading the entire book (or series of books) cover to cover, which is not the ideal solution when you’re dealing with something as large as the works of Van Til!

The reason you can do searches like these in Logos is because we have created data types for Calvin’s Institutes or Barth’s Church Dogmatics (and scores of other resources) and done the tedious work of tagging the references to those data types.

I’ve been spending some time lately playing with data types and have come to realize how powerful they are for advanced study, so I thought some of you might benefit from a brief series of posts on data types. I’m particularly interested in exploring what significance the information in the data type section in About This Resource has for what you can do with various resources.

In this post, let’s just get a very basic acquaintance with data types.

For starters, open My Library, right click on a few different resources, and select About This Resource (or with a resource opened and selected, click Help, About This Resource).

Then scroll down to the Data Types section. You’ll see the data types listed on the left with KeyLink Target and Searchable columns on the right. Each data type will have at least one checkmark after it. Some will have two. Here’s the Data Types section for Van Til’s The Theology of James Daane.

Here’s the Data Types section for the first volume of Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

I’ll explain what all this information means in a future post.

Next, go to Tools > Options > Keylink and select the Data Type drop-down box. Here’s where you can see a list of all of the data types that you have installed on your computer. The number of data types will vary depending on how often you run Libronix Update and what products you own.

Scroll through the list and familiarize yourself with some of the data types listed there.

That’s all for this for post. In the next post, we’ll cover the basics about what data types are and how they can help you do more powerful research.

Other posts in this series:

Paying Attention to ‘This’ and ‘That’

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

One of the many valuable life lessons I learned growing up came from Sesame Street’s esteemed blue monster, Grover. One of my favorite bits he did (besides Super Grover) was teaching about ‘near’ and ‘far’. Do you remember that? He would run up to the camera (I know, his puppeteer moved him, but indulge me here) and say ‘Near’. Then he would run way into the background and say ‘Far’, repeating it a few times to drive the point home. Believe it or not, this information can really help your Bible study, especially in John’s writings. There are some new Pre-Pubs, the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, that provide access to some great new insights that can really impact how you read and study Scripture. Today I want to introduce you to another device: the near/far distinction. Just like Grover taught about how things can be near and far in terms of distance, we also use the near and far distinction to signal what is thematically central (‘near’) to the story and what is non-central (‘far’).

If I was clothes shopping (argghh!) and my wife held up two items for me to help her chose between, she might ask, “Do you like this one or that one?” Chances are that ‘this one’ is the one that she is more interested in. I might respond “I like this one better than that one” even though both are the same distance away. This is an example of creating a near/far distinction in order to communicate that one thing is more important than another. We tend to use ‘this/these’ for things that are of central importance, and ‘that/those’ for things that are of only passing importance, not central to the story.

John creates near/far distinctions all the time in his writings to distinguish important things from those that are less important. Unfortunately, many of them are smoothed over in translation to English. He uses this distinction in order to clarify what he is primarily interested in, especially when there are other things competing for our attention that are not of central importance. Let’s take a look at some examples, and see how Grover has equipped us for better Bible study. In John 5:19, there are a whole gaggle of devices that are used to draw attention to Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees that are questioning him. Here is what it looks like in an alpha version of the HDNT:

What we are interested in today are the ‘near distinction’ symbols () and the ‘far distinction’ symbols (). In the Greek of the ‘Support’ line of v. 19, the words ‘the Father’ are not there; instead He is referred to as ‘that one’. This is not to say that the Father is not important, just that He is not central to what Jesus is saying here. What is important is the things that the Father is doing. It is these things that the Son does, not just whatever seems right in his own eyes. Jesus is stressing here how dependent his actions are on the will of the One who sent him. Here is what it looks like in the LDGNT, notice ‘that one’ and ‘these things’ in the interlinear line.

Do you see how the near/far distinction works? There are a bunch of topics here that are competing for our attention: the Father, the Son, and what the Son sees the Father doing. So which one is of central importance? If you only had the ESV text, it would be difficult to tell, you are left to make the decision on your own. In the HDNT, the near and the far distinctions are clearly marked, even though the ‘that’ has been translated as ‘the Father’. If you had the LDGNT (which includes everything from the HDNT as well), you would be able to look at both to see what is going on, just like we did above.

The same kind of near/far contrast is found again in John 5:38; take a look.

If we were to do an RLV (really literal version), it would read “ . . . for you do not believe in this one whom that one sent”. Once again, ‘that one’ refers to the Father, whereas ‘this one’ refers to Jesus. In this instance, Jesus himself is of central importance, since he is the object of belief (or unbelief in this case). The translation has obscured the near/far distinction that clearly exists in Greek, one that the writer purposefully used to make sure that his main point would be our main point. The HDNT brings back this detail that is lost in translation, drawing your attention to significant things that you might otherwise miss. The LDGNT allows you to see the underlying Greek, plus includes the English HDNT in a bundle.

Did you wonder what all of those other symbols were in John 5:19? There are other blog posts that explain them, if you are interested in reading more. Here they are:

and signal point-counterpoint sets, part 1 and part 2

signals a ‘meta-comment’

If you haven’t yet placed your order, don’t miss out while it’s still available at the discounted Pre-Pub pricing.

New Edition of the Works of Cornelius Van Til

If you run Libronix Update, you’ve probably noticed that there are often updated resource files available for you to download. These resources include typo fixes and other enhancements like additional hyperlinks to other resources available in Libronix. Sometimes these new resources are updated versions of the book like with the ESV recently, which has been updated to the 2007 text edition. The best part is that we almost always provide these improvements to you free of charge. If you don’t run Libronix Update, you should get in the habit of running it at least once a month (in Libronix, click Tools > Libronix Update). You’re probably missing out on some cool stuff!

When we released the first version of the Libronix Digital Library System in 2001, we included backwards compatibility for the older Logos Library System (LLS) resources. Today you can still run LLS resources in Libronix. But since the Libronix Digital Library System allows us to include many more advanced features in our digital books, we try to update old LLS books when we are able so they can take advantage of the improved LDLS functionality. Even though this often involves hundreds of hours of labor, we typically provide these new Libronix resources to those who already own the older LLS versions without any additional cost.

We are pleased to announce that the Works of Cornelius Van Til (40 Volumes) is now available as a new enhanced edition for the Libronix Digital Library System. Since the release of the LLS version more than a decade ago, this definitive collection of works from the renowned Cornelius Van Til has become an essential tool for apologists and students of Van Til’s thought. Now it’s even better!

What’s New?

  • All of the material from the original edition has been updated to take advantage of the advanced features of the Libronix Digital Library System.
  • The contents have been split into 40 resources making it easier to locate specific titles in My Library and navigate this massive collection.
  • The new edition also includes enhancements like additional hyperlinks to other Libronix resources. More than 6,000 links have been added to Barth’s Church Dogmatics alone.

It is now possible to do advanced searching and find all the places where Van Til discusses a certain section of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion or Barth’s Church Dogmatics. By using the Reference Browser, you can locate in an instant all the places where Van Til cites, for example, Calvin’s discussion of the Trinity (I, xiii).

Since Calvin’s Institutes is a data type and all of these references are tagged, finding them is no problem even though Van Til cites Calvin in a variety of ways (i.e., once as Institutes, Bk. 1, chap. 13, Sec. 2, another time as Ibid., 1:13:1, and another as Ibid., 1:13:21). I performed this search and had the results in seconds. Running down this data any other way would have taken hours or even days.

You can do this same type of analysis for the places where Van Til cites Barth’s Church Dogmatics. As you may know, Van Til was a strong critic of Barth. Whether you agree with Van Til or not, you now have the ability to analyze his critique of Barth in ways never before possible. Instantly find all the places where Van Til cites Barth’s certain portions of CD. By the way, Barth’s Church Dogmatics will be shipping very soon. You still have a chance to get in at the Pre-Pub price.

How Do I Get It?

For those who owned the old LLS version of the Works of Cornelius Van Til as of April 10, 2008, we are providing this new version to you free of charge. In fact, we’ve already gone to the effort to unlock the new collection in your license file. All you need to do is synchronize your licenses (in Libronix, click Tools > Library Management > Synchronize Licenses) and get the files. Due to the size, we suggest ordering the $5 media only CD.

Note: You may not give away or sell your old LLS version. You must continue to own it in order to legally use the new LDLS version.

If you don’t already own the Works of Cornelius Van Til, we are offering a special introductory price for a limited time. Visit the new Van Til product page to find out all the details and place your order for the collection, which is available on CD-ROM or as a download.

Update: Some previous owners of the LLS Van Til product might not have had the new edition unlocked yet. We are in the process of unlocking it for this group that got missed. This should be done in the next day or two. Thanks for your patience!

Update 2: We have completed the unlocking process for everyone who had the LLS version of the Works of Cornelius Van Til activated in their Libronix account. If you own the LLS version (and purchased it prior to April 10, 2008), but never moved from the old Logos Library System to the new Libronix Digital Library System, you will have to contact customer service (800-875-6467) if you’d like to move to the Libronix Digital Library System and have the new Libronix version unlocked for you.

Who Wrote That Blog Post?

I’ve heard from several of our RSS subscribers recently who wish that they knew who the authors were for each of the blog posts. Most people find it helpful to know who they’re reading. A post from Bob, for example, carries more weight than a post from anyone else in the company.

This isn’t a problem for those of you who read the blog by visiting https://blog.logos.com/. So the simple solution is to click the link to the site and look at the bottom of the post.

Keep in mind that sometimes the person who posts the entry is not the author. We often have contributions from others in the company who don’t have a blog login set up. So make sure to look at the very beginning of the post to see if you’re reading something from one of our guest bloggers.

Most people who are subscribed to our RSS feed probably aren’t going to be satisfied with the first solution of simply visiting the site. One of the reasons for RSS is not to have to visit the sites you want to keep up with. So I did a little digging as to why some of our RSS subscribers were not seeing the post author, and I think I found the answer. If you happened to be subscribed to the old feed https://blog.logos.com/index.xml, you are probably not seeing the post author.

To fix the problem, make sure you are subscribed to our FeedBurner feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LogosBibleSoftwareBlog. This way you’re sure to see the author right below the title of the post.

Even if you aren’t having this problem, please take a minute to make sure you are subscribed to our FeedBurner feed. It has additional features at the bottom of each post. It also allows us to track the types of things you find interesting and, as a result, provide you with better content.

To learn more about RSS, how to subscribe, and what other feeds we have, be sure to visit https://www.logos.com/about/rss and check out our previous blog post RSS in Plain English.

Bible Speed Search and Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament

First, a teaser. Here’s where we’re going:


Mixing syntactic force and lemmas in a Bible Speed Search?!

[Maybe you just want to cut to the chase and watch the video instead of read. That's fine, go right ahead! — RB]
The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament comes with two primary views. One is the Syntax Graph, (formal title: The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Sentence Analysis; shortname is LEXHAMSGNTGRAPH) where the text is in a column on the right, and a graph of arrows and lines shows how the text is structured. Hovering the text brings the Expansions and Annotations data for the word into a popup. If you use the Lexham SGNT, this is probably the view you’re most familiar with.
However, there’s another view, one I like to call the “running text” view. This has the text of the Greek New Testament (UBS/NA) but it has one clause on each line, with indentations to show the relationships. This view is also an interlinear. The resource is The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, shortname is LEXHAMSGNT. Here’s an example, note that I have my interlinear configured to only show the Greek text and the English gloss line (you can control this in View | Interlinear).


James 3 from the Lexham SGNT

Now, what not many people know about this edition of the Lexham SGNT is that it is tagged for Syntactic Force. This is what many people refer to as “syntax” when they talk about the Greek of the New Testament, and it is the sort of thing that many second-year programs at seminaries and colleges dig into. You can see the clause and phrase breaks and the hierarchy implied by indentation; what you can’t see is that each word carries a syntactic force annotation. So, in the above example, when I hover over ειδοτες, a popup informs me that this could be either a circumstantial participle or an adverbial participle. Definitions of these terms are given as well.


ειδοτες in James 3.1 from the Lexham SGNT

Did you know that you can search for this kind of thing using the Bible Speed Search report? It’s a little verbose, but possible: sgnt-syn = “circumstantial participle” andequals lemma:οιδα In the material covered by the Lexham SGNT, this happens 10 times (I know because I just did the search).
This is just one example; I made a video that explains things a little more. This combines a few different advanced concepts: non-Bible data type searching, the andequals operator (also note the notequals operator) and using the lemma field. But it allows you to find some pretty specific things. Like, copulative conjunctions that aren’t και.

To further facilitate this kind of searching, I’ve also compiled a list of valid syntactic force codes that you can key into the Bible Speed Search dialog. So, instead of having to type “circumstantial participle”, you’d know you could instead type “ptc-circum”. You can download this file (PDF); hopefully it’ll help in your use of the Lexham SGNT.
Lastly, I should note that the Lexham SGNT is a work in progress; at present it includes annotations of Romans-Galatians and Hebrews through Revelation. If you find annotations that you don’t agree with or would like to suggest alternate annotations, we want to know about it. Send an email to syntax@logos.com and we’ll make sure it gets to the editor.

Doing Things Faster with the Keyboard, Part 2

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about how using keyboard shortcuts can make work in Libronix faster than using just a mouse. The post was triggered by an interaction that I had with a friend who was adjusting to Logos after years as a user of another Bible software program.

One of the other things that he said he missed in Logos was a command line. This is where the Quick Navigation Bar (a.k.a. Go Box) comes in handy. The Quick Navigate Bar is a toolbar that comes with the free Power Tools Addin (read about or watch how to download it). Here’s what it looks like.


The Quick Navigate Bar

It should appear in your toolbar area, which by default is at the top of your screen. If you don’t see it and have the Power Tools Addin installed, make sure to activate it by right clicking in the toolbar area and checking the box next to Quick Navigate Bar.


Toolbar Menu

Since we’re talking about saving time with the keyboard, the first thing you’ll want to know is that to activate the Go Box and be able to start typing in it, you’ll want to use Ctrl+Shift+G. If your hands are already on the keyboard, this is quicker than reaching for the mouse and clicking the box.

So what can you actually do with this box?

Its most basic use is to jump to a passage of Scripture in your default Bible (which you can set on the home page or in Tools > Options > Keylink > Keylinking > Bible). Type in any standard Bible reference, and your preferred Bible will open instantly. References like John 3:16, Jn 3.16, Jn 3 16 will all work.

You can also use it to open up various Bible translations. By typing ESV or NIV and hitting enter, the appropriate Bible version will open. Hit tab (which activates the reference box in the newly opened resource) and type in a reference to jump to a particular location. Most of the standard abbreviations for Bible versions will work.

The Quick Navigation Bar also recognizes some of the standard commentary series abbreviations like WBC, PNTC, NIGTC, and K&D. You can type in the full titles like Preaching the Word or New American Commentary or portions of titles like Pulpit and Lange’s.

You can use it to open other essential tools like BDAG (by typing bdag), HALOT (by typing hal or halot), Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (by typing anchor), ISBE (by typing isbe), and many others.

The guaranteed identifier for each resource is the file name minus the extension. So, to open up MacArthur’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, you would type 1comntc. You can find this information by viewing About This Resource, which is available in the right-click menu in My Library or in the Help menu (with the resource opened and selected). Taking the time to look these up and memorize them will probably be worth the time investment if you frequently open certain resources. Or you might prefer, as I do, to simply create keyboard shortcuts.

While some things are faster with the mouse, others are faster with the keyboard. It’s best to get in the habit of using both for the things they do best. Give some of these tips a try and see if using the Go Box doesn’t speed up some of the common tasks you perform in Libronix.

For more on the Go Box, check out these two previous posts:

See also part 1.

Doing Things Faster with the Keyboard, Part 1

A friend of mine has been a longtime user of another Bible software program, but now he’s using Logos as well. As you might expect, he still feels more comfortable performing certain tasks in his other program. One of the things he mentioned to me that he missed in Logos was the ability to use keyboard shortcuts. He felt like having to use the mouse for everything made for slow work.

As one who is convinced of the value of keyboard shortcuts, I was happy to inform him that you can actually do quite a bit in Logos with keyboard shortcuts. I pointed him to our list of standard keyboard shortcuts (which I just updated to include a few more) and to a blog post I wrote several months ago, where I explained how to set up your own custom keyboard shortcuts for opening books you use frequently and applying visual markups like basic highlighting.

I open books and highlight with my keyboard shortcuts all the time, but there’s so much more that you can do. You can create custom keyboard shortcuts for just about any function in Libronix by using a custom toolbar, which I explain in the earlier post.

Here are some examples of the types of things you can do: view About This Resource with Alt+A, toggle the contents pane for your current resource with Alt+C, report a typo with Alt+T, open the Passage Guide with Alt+P, the Exegetical Guide with Alt+X, and the Bible Word Study with Alt+W.

Here are the things I currently have assigned in my keyboard shortcuts toolbar. (I have other keyboard shortcuts assigned in my primary custom toolbar.)

Feel free to download it and use it or modify it you’d like. Put it in \My Documents\Libronix DLS\CustomToolbars. Two suggestions for enhancing the usefulness of this toolbar: you may want to set up (1) parallel resource associations for things like Bible dictionaries, English dictionaries, English Bibles, Greek lexicons, and study Bibles, which will allow you to jump quickly to similar resources, and (2) serial resource associations for (a) any commentaries that don’t already have one (e.g., JPSTC) and (b) your original language texts, if you want your Greek NT and Hebrew OT connected.

There are two things to be aware of when creating custom keyboard shortcuts. First, your key combination might not be available. If your shortcut doesn’t seem to be working or works but does the wrong function, this is probably why. Second, your key combination might be overriding default behavior. Test your keyboard shortcut before assigning it. You might like the default behavior even better! :)

Next up, part 2 on using the Quick Navigation Bar.