New Blogs and Old

Two new Logos-related blogs were launched recently.

Bob Pritchett, Logos president and CEO, has a new blog at BobPritchett.com that joins his Fire Someone Today blog and occasional contributions right here at the Logos Blog. His new blog is subtitled “Business, technology, and Logos Bible Software.”

In his introductory post, Bob writes:

I believe in blogging, and I want to do it well. Especially the raw, open blogging that makes some organizations transparent and approachable.

So be sure to check out Bob’s new blog and subscribe.

Original Expression is a new blog started by Bill Nienhuis, director of publisher relations at Logos. Billtravels a lot to meet with publishers and negotiate licenses for new books. His blog’s byline is “Book publishing, ePublishing, and everything in between.” Recent posts have focused on his time at the London Book Fair.

Rick Brannan, an information architect in our design and editorial department, is still going strong with Ricoblog and also runs and posts regularly to the PastoralEpistles blog. Rick blogsa lot about the Greek New Testament, from text critical matters to orthography, from exegetical questions to the latest book he’s reading.

Links & RSS Info

Here are links to various “personal blogs” from Logos employees. Additionalinfo about RSS feeds (e.g., what are they and how do I use them?) and links to Logos feeds can be found at the Logos and RSS page.

Bob Pritchett, president and CEOFireSomeoneToday- Subscribe! RSSBobPritchett.comSubscribe! RSS
Rick Brannan, design and editorialRicoblog- Subscribe! RSSPastoralEpistles.com- Subscribe! RSS
Bill Nienhuis, director, publisher relations officeOriginalExpression - Subscribe! RSS

Social Experiment at Amazon

It looks like Amazon.com is doing an experiment in social tagging. UnSpun beta allows users to create lists of anything they want, associate links with each item, then open up the list to the community of Internet users to rank and comment.

One of the most popular lists at UnSpun right nowis titled Best Blogs about Biblical Studies. It lists 65 blogs that deal with biblical studies issues. It’s worth visiting as you will probably find some new blogs or sites to check out.

The way their ranking system works is that visitors can “vote” for items on the list by clicking the up or down arrows as shown below (see the “click” pointer).

If you click the Your Ranking link and sign in, you can create your own ranking of some or all of the items in the original list.

Just click the left-pointing arrow to move items to your list (as shown below). This impacts their spot in the Community Ranking even more than the simple up or down vote.

Check it out and show your support for the LogosBlog if you are so inclined.

Other UnSpun lists that may be of interest:

Muppets in Middle-Earth (Frivolity at Logos)


Last Friday, Ken Smith, general manager of electronic publishing services at Logos and author of a number of blog posts, conceived of an idea for a new Muppets movie: The Muppets inMiddle-Earth. That’s right, a muppet cast for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!

During the lunch hour, Ken sent an office wide email that began:

“I got to thinking about which Muppet characters I would cast into which LOTR roles and decided it would be a fun little diversion to share with anyone who wanted to give their opinion.”

When somebody throws down the gauntlet like that, what can you do but rise to the challenge?

A number of people did so, resultingin the following consensus cast list for The Muppets in Middle-Earth (with comments from Ken Smith). Feel free to leave your own nominations, cheers or jeers in the comments section!

Frodo: Kermit Sam: Fozzie Bear Gandalf: Big Bird Aragorn: Kermit (There was no clear second choice) Legolas: Gonzo Gimli: Tie between Rizzo the Rat and Cookie Monster Merry/Pippin: Ernie/Bert Gollum: Tie between Oscar the Grouch and Animal Galadriel: Janice Arwen: Miss Piggy Elrond: Tie between Dr. Teeth and Sam the Eagle (Sam definitely has Elrond’s permanent scowl) Saruman: Tie between Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Count von Count Eowyn: Miss Piggy (dual-role? I think she could handle it.) Wormtongue: Rizzo the Rat Orcs: Animal, Sweetums Black Riders: Count von Count, Statler & Waldorf

No consensus (see below):Bilbo, Boromir, Faramir, Theoden, Eomer

Not on the original list: Treebeard: Big Bird Cave Troll: Sweetums

Here are other nominations, with comments from those who submitted them:

Frodo: Grover, Fozzie Bear

Sam: Scooter, Elmo, Grover

Gandalf: Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Swedish ChefRowlf (with a dorky hat)John Denver (if he were still alive–maybe some CGI magic?)

Aragorn: Floyd, Big Bird, RowlfGrover (with possible appearance by Super Grover)Here I would cast a live-action actor, say, Christopher Walken

Legolas: Janice, Grover, Elmo, Floyd

Gimli: Sweetums (muh-nah-muh-nah), Fozzie Bear, Gonzo

Merry/Pippen: Gonzo/Rizzo the Rat, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew/Beaker

Gollum: Beaker

Galadriel: Miss Piggy, Camilla the Chicken

Arwen: Sam the Eagle in a wig

Elrond: Elmo, Grover, Big Bird

Bilbo: Swedish Chef, Gonzo, Cookie Monster, Telly, FloydStatler… or Waldorf (they could switch off, like Mary Kate and Ashley did)

Boromir: Statler, Cookie Monster, Zoot, Scooter, Bert

Faramir: Waldorf, Rowlf, Grover, Ernie

Saruman: Statler

Theoden: Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rowlf

Eomer: Rowlf, Elmo, Robin the frog, Gobo (Fraggle Rock)

Eowyn: Janice, Camilla the Chicken, Mokey (Fraggle Rock)

Wormtongue: Beaker, Waldorf, Oscar the Grouch, Marvin Suggs

Orcs: Oscar the Grouch, Clifford, Bobo, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the PrawnOne Million Swedish Chefs (Just picture it…)

Black Riders: Sam the Eagle, Zoot, The Fragglesthe purple siamese twin monsters from Sesame StreetGonzo (fell beasts, chickens, same difference)

Other fun comments:

Aside from the hobbits listed above, all the other hobbits would have to be those aliens from Sesame Street that just walked around saying “yip-yip-yip-yip yuuuuuup“.

I know that having the Swedish Chef as Gandalf is bizarre, but just think how funny it would be to hear him shouting out lines like “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!“

At the end, we find out that that … Sauron … is … really …

… ELMO!

NT Greek Manuscripts Follow Up

Last Thursday’s post explained how to view all the papyri fromComfort & Barrett’s Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscriptsthat contain the verse or passage you’re studying. We set up the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to scroll synchronously with Exegetical Guide (or any Bible or other canonically-organized resource or report for that matter) to make it easy to consult the papyri as you study.

Today I want to briefly offer an alternative way to view themanuscripts related to your passage and that is the Passage in All Versions report.

Passage in All Versions does not visually highlight the differences between the manuscripts but it does retain formatting such as brackets and uncertainty dots.

Here’s how to set up the report to show the papyri:

  • Click Tools | Bible Comparison | Passage in All Versions.
  • In the report window, click the Properties button.
  • Set language to Greek and check the boxes next tothe Greek texts and manuscripts you want to appear in the report (or Check All and then clear the boxes next to the items you don’t want).
  • Click OK.

Now you can enter a passage, click the Go arrow and see eclectic texts, received texts, and manuscripts for that passage. You can also use the “chain link” icon to link this report with other reports or resources so they move synchronously.

Compare Parallel Bible Versions and Passage In All Versions…two options for viewing manuscripts alongside the GNT text.

Update 4-16-07—a bug in the Passage In All Versions report causes some versions that you’ve deselected to appear in the report. Libronix DLS 3.0d (available as a beta download) fixes this bug.

Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. James A. Herrick

This month’s lecturer ismy friend and former college professor Dr. Jim Herrick.

His lecture, entitled “Exploring New Myths of Science and Science Fiction,” will be held at the Mt. Baker Theater here in Bellingham at 7:00pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Professor Herrick’s classes on rhetoric and argumentation were some of my favorite classeswhile an undergraduate at Hope College, which prompted me to declare a major in communication.

One thing I’ve always admired about Professor Herrick is the scope of hisinquiry and his ability to bring together ideas from various disciplines and historical eras. I expect that the lecture tomorrow will provide a fascinating and challenging look at how popular cultural gives expression to significant, spiritual ideas.

Herrick’s book The Making of a New Spirituality weaves together Kabbalah, Ayn Rand, Joseph Smith, Marcus Borg, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and many other influential figuresto make a case that a new spirituality is emerging that “directly calls into question each major tenet of Judeo-Christian tradition and so represents a radical alternative to it.”

His chapter on science fiction touches on aVictorian-era science fictionnovel, Spielberg’s classic movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Star Trek mythology to show how these cultural artifacts express and reinforce the notion of human evolutionary progress.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it to the lecture tomorrow night. Click here for furtherdetails.

For those who can’t make it, I give a hearty plug for Jim’s books, including the one on Scientific Mythologies to be released in 2008:

The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition(InterVarsity Press, 2003)

  • A 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist and one of Preaching magazine’s 2004 “Top Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read”

Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs (InterVarsity Press, 2008)

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists: The Discourse of Skepticism, 1680-1750(Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1997)

The History and Theory of Rhetoric, 3rd Edition (Allyn & Bacon, 2005)

Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments(Strata Publishing, 2003)

Using NT Greek Manuscripts with Logos Reports

In the course of working on a review of Ugaritic Library andLogos 3, blogger and pastor Dr. Jim West recently asked me whether Comfort & Barrett’s Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts could be made to appear in the Exegetical Guide report. Since that reportprovides exegetical helpsfor a given passage of Scripture, wouldn’t it be neat if it would automatically discover and link to any papyrithat overlap withyour passage?

I agreed that this would be grand, but since it’s not currently coded into the Exegetical Guide report I wanted to find a way to do something similar.

Rick Brannan reminded me that the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is a great way to examine and compare manuscript evidence for a given portion of Scripture (as outlined in this article).

Note: If you don’t own this addin, you can use the standard Parallel Bible Versions report (sans highlighting of textual differences) or buy it here.

Now if I could only find a way to get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to stay in synch with Exegetical Guide so that they would track together as I move from verse to verse.

Wonderful news: in Logos 3 this is possible. Just set the “chain link” icon in both reports to A.

Now the two reports track together. Whenever I move Exegetical Guide to a new passage of Scripture, the Compare Parallel Bibles report updates itself to show that passage.

Just one problem, though. How do I get the Compare Parallel Bibles report to show not one but all the papyri containing the verses I’m studying? As you may know,a given biblical verse or passage can appear in any number of manuscripts and fragments. For example, John 1:30 is attested in four different papyri:P5, P66, P75, and P106!

If you open My Library and locate Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts you’ll see that this single volume contains all the papyri from Comfort & Barrett’s book and is, in fact, laid out just like the print edition of that book. It even contains a list of manuscripts in canonical order, which is how I knew that John 1:30 appears in four different manuscripts.

Because this single resource contains all the manuscripts in one place you might think you could specify it in the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report and the report would automatically show you all the manuscripts containing your desired verse. But you’d be wrong…

Whenyou tell the report to compare NA27 and TENTGM (the all-in-one resource), the report only shows the first papyrus that matches the verse selected…in this case John 1:30 from P5.This is because the report is designed to compare Bible versions that are individual resources within the digital library…not multiple “versions” within one book.If only we could split the manuscripts up into individual resources!

Fortunately for us, the Logos book designers anticipated this need and did just that. Each manuscript appears twice in your digital library—once in the all-in-one resource (TENTGM) and once in an individual resource (e.g., TENTP30which appears in My Library as P30 from The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts).

So all we have to do is specify each papyrus (Pnumber) individually, putting them all into the Versions box. The report is smart enough to show onlymanuscripts that contain data for the specified passage.

Since there are 69 different resources, it’s a bit of a hassle to type in “P1, P4, P5, P6, etc.” But I already endured the hassle, so I’ll make it easy on you and share my workspace. Just right-click this file, choose Save Target As,and save it to My Documents\Libronix DLS\Workspaces then open it from within Libronix via File | Load Workspace.

Here’s what you’ll see, more or less (click the thumbnail for a larger view)…

Starting from the top leftand moving clockwise: Exegetical Guide, Compare Parallel Bible Versions, NA27 Apparatus (Tischendorf apparatus on tab), SESB edition of NA27 with apparatus markers (ESV NT Reverse Interlinear on tab). Of course, if you don’t own SESB or SESB for Logos Users Special Edition the apparatus and NA27 at the bottom of the workspace will show up as locked. But you can replace them with another book for your own workspace.

Now when you scroll or jump any of these four linked windows to a new verse, all the others will follow. As you can see, the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report is comparing NA27 against Scrivener’s TR and all relevant papyri from Comfort & Barrett (in this case, P5, P66, P75 and P106).

Tip: You can either use this workspace “as is” or just add the Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to your Favorites and call it up whenever you want…saving you the trouble of entering all 69 papyri in the Versions box. Once the report is saved to your Favorites, you will be able to easily come back to it later or add it to another workspace.

Caveats and Links

Eli Evans saw what I was doing here and is giving some thoughtas to how to make this all work a little smoother in the next major version of Logos. He also offered these caveats which I will pass along to you:

Beware that most (all?) of the C&B stuff has chapter-level milestones in it, so you may get a few papyri poking in where they don’t have any evidence. Try John 1:1, for example. Neither P5 nor P106 has verse 1, but they both have chapter 1, so they show up with 100% variance from the base. The report asks for “John 1:1″ and the resource says, “The closest thing I have is John 1, but it doesn’t have any content,” to which the report replies, “Close enough, I guess.” P5 starts at 1:23, and P106 at 1:29.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that where it looks like there is a significant variant, one really ought to click on the MSS title in the report and look at the resource. Things like brackets and uncertainty dots are stripped in the report, so there’s a whole level of detail that isn’t represented here. But this is good for finding the drill-down spots.

He’s right on both counts, of course. Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll notice that brackets and dots have been stripped out for this report. Also, things like hard returns get flagged as differences (see, for example,blepei in P5 and P106). Since manuscripts may have words missing along the edges these hard returns can actually hold significance but it’s always a good
idea to open up the actual manuscript for further detail.

All that to say that uncritical use of this report would be unwise but with some discernment as to what it can and cannot do, it’s a great way to quickly flag differences between the manuscripts and know where to dig in for further analysis.

Links

Reverse Interlinear Bibles: Key to Better Bible Study

John Fallahee, king of Logos video tutorials, just produced a new video on reverse interlinear Bibles.

The video introduces the unique features of reverse interlinear Bibles and, through an extended example, shows how these features solve five common problems that plague the person who studies the Bible in translation:

  1. You can’t trust your search results with English only searches.
  2. You can’t see the author’s original word choice.
  3. You can’t see different words functioning differentlyin the original text.
  4. Meaning can be obscured through the English translation.
  5. Strong’s numbers can’t reveal how the word is functioning.

Check it out: Better Bible Study Through Reverse Interlinear Bibles (14:21, 21.2MB)

Examining Some Ambiguities IV: What’s the Quotation in James 4.5?

In a previous post, we looked at how English translations delimit the quotation in James 4.5. Do other resources shed any light on this question?

Greek New Testaments
We can examine the formatting of Greek New Testaments much like we examined the formatting of English New Testaments. In Logos Bible Software, the relevant Greek NTs are the NA27 and UBS4 editions along with Westcott & Hort. If you have a product from Thomas Nelson, you may also have the Hodges/Farstad edition of the Majority Text, this is formatted as well.

In the above, you can see that Hodges/Farstad formats v. 6 as a quotation (complete with angle quotes). In v. 5, the relevant portion appears to be treated as a quotation of some sort; this is traditionally what an upper-cased letter after introduction would imply (ἡ Γραφὴ λέγει, Πρὸς φθόνον ἐπιποθεῖ). The upper-case gamma in Γραφὴ also implies the editors see this as referring to the Scriptures, and not to generic writings of some sort.

The NA27 uses italicised text for v. 6, which indicates an Old Testament quotation. But no special formatting or casing appears in v. 5. The UBS4 is similar, only they have no special formatting implying quotation or quotation source.

Westcott and Hort use bold text to indicate some sort of quotation or allusion (not always to the Old Testament). So v. 6 includes a quotation, but no special formatting on v. 5. (note also the placement of the question mark in WH vs. NA27/UBS, that could be significant when translating the verses).

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
The Lexham SGNT marks what the editor considers to be quotations from or allusions to external source with what is called a Quotative Frame.

The Lexham SGNT Glossary defines the Quotative Frame as follows:

Quotative Frame: A frame which contains an explicit quotation, or citation, from an external source. Where allusion occurs or where, as in sections of Hebrews, the text of external sources is woven inextricably into the main text, this is annotated as if it were original on the part of the author.

Lukaszewski, A. L. (2006; 2006). The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Glossary. Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Commentaries
Logos Bible Software has a wide selection of Commentaries. Commentaries focused on working through the Greek text or that are focused on interpretational difficulties will assist one in this verse. I’ve reviewed a few commentaries on this verse (NIGTC, Hermeneia, ICC, Word Biblical Commentary) and they don’t agree any more than the translators do. But the better commentaries will explore the possibilities and explain the positives and negatives of each in some degree of detail before arriving at a conclusion. Comparing these sorts of discussions across commentaries can be enlightening and helpful in sticky situations like this one.

Conclusion
Using resources like these — in ways you may not have thought of — helps in examining the questions we’ve run into in James 4.5. Hopefully this series of posts has been helpful.

My primary purpose has been to show that when one runs into ambiguities in the text, there are a lot of places one can turn. The options are knowable and explorable, utilizing both textual resources (Bibles and commentaries), databases (morphology and syntactic databases) and reports (like Passage in all Versions). So next time you run into an ambiguity … have fun digging!

Rick Warren, Collector

In arecent issue of Rick Warren’s MinistryToolBox email, Rick wrote,

One of the most helpful habits you can develop as a preacher is to become a collector. I’ve been a “collector” for years, and it has made my preaching much more effective. I’m not talking about a hobby. I’m talking about constantly being on the lookout for items that can be helpful for your messages.

He went on to describe his system for collecting Bible verses, memorizing the Word, and keeping word lists related to a subject. Rick uses plastic buckets from Wal-Mart to file articles, illustrations, and other ideas he comes across that may be useful in his preaching someday.

As soon as I saw Rick Warren’s article about being a collector, I dashed off an email to let him know about the new Sermon File Addin for Logos Bible Software that was just released today. I told Rick how, instead ofaccumulating piles of paper and having no way to efficientlysearch and organize his material, he could use Sermon File Addin to conveniently store it in one place—tagged, indexed, and ready to search!

That’s right…Sermon File Addin takes the power of the Libronix Digital Library System (which represents, I don’t know, several millions of dollars of research and development) and applies it to your ownsermons and illustrations. Wanna know more? Check out the video demo…

I haven’t heard back from Rick yet (does anyone have his direct line?)…so if you want to get an edge on Rick Warren you can add the Sermon File Addin to your digital library right now and benefit from the convenience of a fully digitized archive of sermons, illustrations and other ideas collected over time.

Comparing Your Active Bible Text

Sometimes you know parts but haven’t put together the whole. That happened to me today.
I knew that I could link reports to the active Bible text window.

I knew that I could run a Compare Parallel Bible Versions report to highlight the differences between editions.

I didn’t realize that I could link the active window to the report … so when I scroll in my Bible, the comparison scrolls along. Now that is cool. Here’s a video to show you how it works.

Did you notice how I just typed version abbreviations, separated by commas, in the compare report window? Pretty cool, huh? And if you think that’s cool … poke around other reports and see which ones have a link icon. Link up, and see what happens!