Can you see me? I can’t see you!

Dale Pritchett recently completed the final leg of the Bible Road Trip. Read previous posts and view photos from the Road Trip.

Now that we are home in Bellingham, I decided to go back and fill in some of the blanks and tell you more about our experiences on the road.

Jenni and I arrived in Detroit on a hot Friday night and next morning met John and Stephanie Fallahee, and their kids in a motel parking lot where John quickly showed us the RV ropes and handed over the Starship Enterprise. He graciously encouraged us to call him with any questions — which we did incessantly for the next four days. The first question was “What happened to the driver’s side mirror on this thirty-seven foot cargo container look-alike which already lacks a rearview mirror?”

Well, it turns out that some passing trucker used his own mirror to take out our mirror. Since “our mirror” is some fancy one-of-a-kind, made for the RV mirror, we would have to wait a week for the replacement. In the mean time we had to “make do” with a cheap vanity mirror John had cleverly duct taped to the shattered mirror mount. Every hour or so we would pull over and adjust the tape, and attempt to reduce the weathervane tendencies.

Since the vanity mirror did not include the additional convex mirror normal on an RV, we could only see our blind spot when wind forced the mirror to vibrate left and right thereby momentarily increasing our field of view. Ya’ gotta love that vibration. The blind spot on the Starship Enterprise could easily conceal a formation of six Harley riders, a state trooper and perhaps a small traveling carnival. But all this is just to see the road and what a road we had to see. The entire state of Michigan appeared to be celebrating “road reconstruction month” with special emphasis being given to single lane merges on three lane expressways and temporary single lane bridges. Such were the joys and terrors of our first full day in the RV.

Once in Grand Rapids we parked the RV and considered the option of abandoning it and taking a cab back to Bellingham. But relief came in the form of Jim and Karolyn Van Noord, parents of James Van Noord, one of our Logos programmers. Jim picked us up at the campground in a normal car. We had a wonderful, relaxing evening at a great restaurant, followed by a tour of Grand Rapids. It was just what we needed.

New Transliteration Keyboard

While transliteration (the process of using the Roman alphabet – or another modern alphabet – to represent the sounds of a different language written in a non-Roman script) is useful as a pronunciation aid in Greek and Hebrew books, it plays an even more important role in many non-Hebrew Semitic language reference works. It is not uncommon, for example, to see entire books on Akkadian or Ugaritic that are entirely transliterated, with no characters in the original scripts.

We at Logos are increasing our support for many of these Semitic languages, and we needed to create a keyboard for easy entry of common transliteration marks. We’ve created a keyboard that can safely replace the English (US) keyboard provided by Microsoft in Windows XP and Windows 2000, since it duplicates that keyboard completely, but adds support for common transliteration marks on keys that would be intuitive to people who use the Logos keyboards for Greek and Hebrew. Those who don’t use the English (US) keyboard as their default can, of course, install the Logos Transliteration Keyboard alongside their default keyboard, instead of replacing it. To download the Logos Transliteration Keyboard and its documentation, follow the new link on the Windows Keyboards for Ancient Languages page.

Syntax Search Example: Fronted Complements

Awhile back, I blogged on Sleepy Disciples. That blog post looked at the predicator (verb) προσεύχομαι and the different adjuncts that modified each of its occurrences in Matthew 26.
Looking at that passage again, I noticed the following embedded clause in the last adjunct in Mt 26.44:

In this embedded clause, the complement is the first thing in the clause. Some would say this is an instance of fronting, where there is non-standard (for narrative, anyway) component order.

It occurred to me that this sort of thing is now searchable, given a syntactic analysis of the text. So I created the below video which explains things a bit more and walks through setting up a syntax search that will locate fronted complements with a headword of λόγος — much like what occurs here in Mt 26.44.

Hebrew-English Interlinear Update

Libronix DLS 3.0a Release Candidate 4 (the latest beta version) includes a new build of the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear. This build contains many significant enhancements, including Andersen-Forbes morphology tags and homograph indicators. It is the first edition of the LHI to be hooked into the new KeyLinking tables so that navigating to Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons will be much more accurate.

This represents a major improvement over previous versions of this resource, though it is still a work-in-progress. We hope to add cantillation marks into the running text and improve the support for Qere readings, and the team of scholars which produced this work continues to polish it.

To get the latest enhancements to your Hebrew-English Interlinear you can download LDLS 3.0a RC4. Once version 3.0a ships, the rebuilt interlinear will also be available on the Logos FTP site and via update disc.

A Tool You Didn’t Know You Had

Over the past few weeks, I spent more than a few evenings doing unexpected renovation to my laundry room after finding a months-old leak in the hot water heater. There were a lot of downer moments along the way, but some of the happier moments came when I found that I needed a particular tool for some task…was sure that yet another trip to the hardware store was in my future…then discovered that I already owned the tool!

As any Logos user can attest, there’s a similar feeling when you discover just the right book in your digital library at just the moment you need it. With hundreds or even thousands of books in your library, you can have that experience quite often!

One very cool book you probably own but may not have discovered is The NET Bible. This Bible has been available in Libronix format for some time as a separate purchase…but we were able to include it in all Logos 3 base packages above Christian Home Library. (Haven’t upgraded yet? It’s not too late to get 15% off your upgrade!)

The title page to the electronic edition carries the subtitle “A New Approach to Translation, Thoroughly Documented With 60,932 Notes By The Translators and Editors.” That is certainly a lot of notes and it’s one of the things that sets the NET Bible apart and makes it exceptionally useful for in-depth study.

There are four distinct types of note, as explained in the front matter:

  • Translator’s Note—explains the rationale for the translation and gives alternative translations, interpretive options, and other technical information.

  • Study Note—includes comments about historical or cultural background, explanation of obscure phrases or brief discussions of context, discussions of the theological point made by the biblical author, cross references and references to Old Testament quotations or allusions in the New Testament, or other miscellaneous information helpful to the modern reader.

  • Text-critical Note—discusses alternate (variant) readings found in the various manuscripts and groups of manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament and Greek New Testament.

  • Map Note—gives map coordinates for site within the two map sections, “The Journeys of Paul” and “The Holy Land from the Heavens.”

As you can see in this screenshot, the text of the NET Bible is littered with notes. What might be a distraction from the biblical text in print is handled beautifully in the electronic edition by simply mousing over the note marker to reveal the contents of the note.


The abbreviation at the beginning of the note tells you which type it is: tn=translator’s note, sn=study note, tc=text-critical note, map=map. Some of the notes are interactive, as I will show in a second post.

Most notes are quite meaty, like the one you see in the screenshot. This translator’s note starts by discussing the tense of the verb but goes on to explain why it matters and how that fact might impact our understanding. This kind of detail makes even the translator and text-critical notes useful to a non-technical reader.

Or, as stated in the preface:

“The translators’ notes make the original languages far more accessible, allowing you to look over the translator’s shoulder at the very process of translation. This level of documentation is a first for a Bible translation, making transparent the textual basis and the rationale for key renderings (including major interpretive options and alternative translations). This unparalleled level of detail helps connect people to the Bible in the original languages in a way never before possible without years of study of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. It unlocks the riches of the Bible’s truth from entirely new perspectives.”

I encourage you to spend some time reading through the preface and the introduction to the NET Bible, as well as the Principles of Translation section near the end. These articles answer questions such as, “Why do we need yet another translation of the Bible?”, “What is unique and distinctive about the NET Bible?”, “What is the significance of the NET Bible’s name?”, and “How would you characterize the NET Bible as a translation?”

I’m planning a second post to explore some additional features of this great resource, such as maps and special search capabilities. Stay tuned.

In case you were wondering…one of those long-forgotten hand tools that I discovered was a Wonderbar pry bar. I found the tool on a city street years ago, cleaned it up and held onto it “just in case I ever need it.” (Yes, I have a mild case of that disease.) I must say that for demolition or pulling a bent nail out of a tight corner, this amazing tool is worth its weight in trips to the hardware store. It is a marvel of engineering that seems almost uncannily suited to the task at hand. I guess the same could be said of Logos Bible Software, but that’s fodder for another post.

Syntax Search Example: Two Words in the Same Word Group

A user commented on a recent post:

On the OpenText site, http://divinity.mcmaster.ca/OpenText/resources/articles/a8, Matthew Brook O’Donnell mentions the ability to find THEOS and AGAPE within the same word group. I have not been able to do that yet, probably because I can’t yet figure out the nesting structure I need in my search.
I wonder if you might demonstrate that or point me to one of your earlier tutorials where you have done something similar.

Since I haven’t blogged about syntax searches like this, and since there is a very cool technique using the Agreement dialogue that makes this sort of search (find two words in any order) fairly simple, I figured I’d do a screen recording video to show y’all how it works.

There are two searches detailed in the video. One answers the question with a very general search, the other searches a bit more specifically.

New and different titles on the prepub page

If the flood of new prepub titles has caused you to tune out—or you’ve just been waiting for something other than Continuum books—now is a good time to check back in.
www.logos.com/prepub
In the past week, our prepub guy Zack has added some variety to the offerings in the form of:
JPS Bible and Torah Commentary Collection (9 volumes) – This is a great complement to The Tanakh, which has been available for Libronix DLS for some time. We’ve had a lot of customer requests for these commentaries over the years and it’s great to finally beef up the library in a category where we’ve been weak.

Continuity and Discontinuity – A perennial source of debate—and a question that stands at the crux of covenant theology and dispensationalism—is “How do the Old and New Testaments relate to one another?” Or as the preface to this volume poses the question, “How are we to relate what he has said through the prophets of old to what has been revealed through his apostles?” The 13 essays in this volume shed light on the issue and deliver some of the best thinking in this area.

Seven Practices of Effective Ministry – Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. In a survey of pastors published earlier this summer by The Church Report magazine, North Point was named third among the “most influential churches in America.” Whether writing a book like this is a cause or a product of such influence, I cannot say…but it should be a worthwhile read, regardless.

The Pleasures of God (Piper) – Satisfaction is universally desired but often eludes our grasp. In this work, Piper shows how our satisfaction is dependent on God’s satisfaction.

Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures – This title was languishing on the Community Pricing Page, if you will excuse the pun, but found a number of advocates among our users. In response to their pleas, we have decided to give it another go as a prepub title and see if it will fly. With more than 13,600 pages of very dense type this is going to be rather expensive to produce…so we’ll need your help (in the form of a pre-order)!

Genre & Source Visual Filtering for the OT

Daniel Foster just came to me and said, “Hey, I didn’t know that the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text has two resource-specific visual filters!” I said, “Sure, I thought everybody knew that.”
Well, if Daniel doesn’t know … okay, I guess almost nobody knows.

Visual What?
“Visual filter” may sound like something you do to a photograph to reduce red eye, but in fact it’s a simple and flexible feature that the Libronix DLS can use to modify a book’s formatting or content on the fly — that is, right when it’s being displayed. A simple visual filter is the Page Numbers visual filter, which shows page numbers inline (for resources that have page number tagging).

[Read more…]

Progress on Copyrighted Orphans

Earlier this year I posted about the Report on Orphan Works published by the Copyright Office. Orphan works represent a wealth of material that is still of great value, particularly in Biblical studies, but which is not widely available and can’t be reprinted or digitized because the copyright status, or copyright holder, is impossible to track down.

In May, Representative Lamar Smith introduced HR 5439, the Orphan Works Act of 2006, in Congress. If passed into law, this Act would provide safe harbor for Logos and others to republish orphaned works without fear of huge legal liabilities if a previously unidentifiable copyright holder came forward. It also provides for reasonable compensation for copyright holders who are found.

This is a win-win-win. It’s good for publishers who want to digitize or reprint older works. It’s good for the works, which get new life and more use. It’s even good for the copyright holders (many of whom are heirs who don’t know they own rights, or that they have any value) who may discover new revenue sources.

And most importantly, it’s good for you. It will put valuable, but hard-to-find, hard-to-use, resources at your fingertips.

Please let your representative know you support HR 5439.

Dear Elected Representative,

Digital publishing, on CD-ROM’s and the Internet, is enabling us to make entire libraries of material available to students who previously had little or no access to valuable content. Students in distance learning programs, in rural areas, and in far-off parts of the world are using computers and the Internet to get access to content that previously could be found only in large libraries in major cities.

Projects like Google Print, and many others at universities and libraries, are putting the contents of irreplaceable, hard-to-access archives at the fingertips of students around the world.

There is a tremendous amount of information in the public domain, but many important works were published after 1923 and are now out of print. In many cases it is difficult to locate or even identify the owner. Publishers have gone out of business. Rights have reverted to heirs who have never heard of the copyrighted work. Titles were published without enough identifying information.

The Copyright Office issued a Report on Orphan Works in January of this year that recommends legislation providing for the use of orphaned works during their copyright period. (http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/)

H.R. 5439, the Orphan Works Act of 2006, addresses compensation for rights holders if they emerge, and provides safe harbor from huge infringement penalties to users who have made a diligent search to locate a copyright owner.

I encourage you to support this important legislation which advances the causes of commerce, education, and human knowledge.

Grammatical Relationships: Parallel English & Original Language

An earlier post on the Bible Word Study Grammatical Relationships feature garnered the following comment. I inserted the referenced graphic as well.

When I do what you did, I get everything except the side by side translations of the passage as you show above (where you made the notes in red). For instance, I just show the cite Matt 13:14, but not the translations with the colored keys to the study word and the subject. What am I missing?

Yes, this isn’t exactly obvious. Grammatical Relationships mirrors the preferences you have set for syntax search results. So try creating a basic syntax search — such as searching for all primary clauses with the word ἀγαπάω as the predicator (verb) in the OpenText.org database. You know, like we find in John 3.16. Here’s a short video to show you how: Flash, 9:20, 11 megs, with sound. [NB: When I recorded the video, my computer was in the midst of a massive process that took some significant processor cycles. So it’s a little slow in some areas.]

Then modify the search results. Note the “Current View” drop-down in the results menubar. This controls the columns. Also note the Bible button. This is where the English will come in. If your preferred Bible is the ESV, then toggling the button on should cause the ESV to display with proper highlighting in the search results window. Again, the video shows you how this works.

These preferences will then be mirrored in Grammatical Relationships.