Bringing the Bible Back to America

Logos is taking the Bible Study Bus back on the road this summer!

Right now we’re working hard to line up host churches in cities all across the country. If you’re able to open your churchor school foran event, please check the itinerary at www.BibleStudyBus.com and then fill out this brief survey with some details about your venue.

The following article should give you a flavor of what the tour will be like.

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Examining Some Ambiguities II: James 4:5-6 in the Greek

Earlier I blogged on using multiple English translations to see how a passage is translated differently. In passages (such as James 4.5-6) where there are ambiguities, many times comparing English translations can help in understanding the best way to deal with the ambiguity.
With James 4.5, as we saw, translations are fairly evenly split in handling this passage. Recall the issues:

  • Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’?
  • Is [Ss]pirit the subject or direct object of its clause?

The first point is determined largely by context and how one reads the text. This means it is important to determine whether [Ss]pirit is the subject or direct object because this may assist in determining whether it is ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’. This post digs into the second point above by digging down into the underlying Greek. Of course, this is problematic for the same reason: ambiguity.

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Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. Long–Regent College

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke works in the marketing department at Logos.
Today Logos Bible Software will present Dr. V. Philips Long in the second event of the popular Lecture Series.

Dr. Long, who is currently a professor of Old Testament Studies at Regent College, will be addressing the question “Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?”

The Bible has been much in the news recently, not least because some are claiming that its value as a source of historical information is minimal. But is biblical history “bunk,” as Henry Ford once remarked with respect to all history? Is the Old Testament a “False Testament,” as Daniel Lazare asserted in a 2002 article in Harper’s Magazine (basing his views largely on a book entitled The Bible Unearthed, by Finkelstein and Silberman)?

Reasons for questioning the historical reliability of the Old Testament have ranged from the theological to the literary to the archaeological. But none of the reasons cited justify the dismissal of the historical value of the Old Testament. In fact, current advances in the literary study of the Bible, breakthroughs in archaeological discovery and interpretation, and greater awareness of how one’s “background beliefs” (including theological ones) influence textual interpretation, open the door to a much more favorable verdict regarding the historical reliability of the Old Testament.

As always, this event will be free to attend and open to the public. The event will begin at 7:00 PM at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

Get there early because seats will be limited.

For more information about this and other lectures visit www.Logos.com/lectures.

Logos 3 Wins Industry Achievement Award

Logos Bible Software 3was honored with the Community’s Choice Award at the WSA technology industry event Wednesday night in Seattle.

Farecast.com won Consumer Product of the Year (we were a finalist in that category), and they definitely deserve it, so congrats to them!

It was great to see Logos recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 of the industry’s finest, including people from Microsoft, Google (though I didn’t see any), the Puget Sound Business Journal, Farecast, WhitePages.com and many other Washington State businesses.

When accepting the award, Bob said that when he and Kiernon left Microsoft to start Logos, they traded down in terms of the size of the user base but traded up in terms of the passion and loyalty of users. I heartily agree.

According to the event brochure, the Community Choice Award is “perhaps the most coveted of the WSA Industry Achievement Awards.” We certainly owe it to our community of users, who are the best in the world (and no doubt coveted by some of the other companies at the event).

Thanks for your passion for Bible study and Logos Bible Software!

What Kinds of Hope? NT, Apostolic Fathers, and Syntax Searching

I am a contributor at another blog called PastoralEpistles.com. That blog is one outlet where I work specifically with my favorite section of the New Testament, the Pastoral Epistles (1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus).

Over on PastoralEpistles.com, I’m working on a series of posts that combines a few of my loves: The writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Koine Greek, and the Pastoral Epistles. I’m using a book published in 1904 by Oxford titled The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (that one is actually a Community Pricing title, check it out!) that provides information on areas in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers that show affinity with areas of the New Testament. These “areas of affinity” may be outright quotes, they may be indirect citations, they may be allusions, or they may simply have topical similarity using similar language for similar topics.

I’m also able to use the shortly-to-be-released Logos Edition of the Apostolic Fathers which makes this sort of work loads easier than it was before. It’s true, after long last the work on the Apostolic Fathers is done and it should be released on time — so hurry up and get the pre-pub price while you can!.

Basically, I’m working through where writings of the Apostolic Fathers are noted to have affinity with the Pastoral Epistles. I started in the Epistle of Barnabas. Here’s an example of an entry from The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers:

This short section provides the texts in question and a short (emphasis on short) discussion. But it’s a starting point. Basically I’m reviewing the texts and considering the linkages. You can check out my discussion on the Ep.Barn. 1.3-6 || Titus 3.5-7; 1.2 affinities.

I’m not writing this post to discuss linkages between the writings of the Apostolic Fathers and the NT (as cool as that would be). Instead, I’m going to shift to syntax. In looking at the above linkages, one notices the Greek ἐλπίδι ζωῆς (hope of life) prominent in both the Barnabas and Titus passages.

This prompted me to ask a few questions. First, I wondered how prominent this “hope of life” (Titus has “life eternal”) is in the NT, and second I wondered what other sorts of “hope” there were in the NT. And these questions can be answered with syntax searches.

I made the below video that sets up the search and shows the results. If one just searches the Greek NT for ἐλπίς, 48 verses (53 instances) are located. But there are 18 instances where “hope” is qualified in some way. There are only two instances where it is qualified by “life” (ζωῆς), and both of them are in Titus (the two examples cited above in relation to Barnabas).

Why do I bring this up? Well, with the advent of the syntactically tagged databases of the Greek New Testament, I find myself asking more and more questions like this. And I’m more and more able to run a syntax query (many of which share the same basic template that this search has) to get a clearer picture of some grammatical phenomenon without having to run a blunt concordance search, and then sift through the hits. I’m able to get more relevant, more meaningful instances of what I’m interested in and sift through less chaff in the process. And this has made my study of the New Testament deeper, which can only help my understanding and application. And to my mind, that’s what it’s all about.

Now for something really cool!

As I put the finishing touches on the Ugaritic Library, I realized that this was an excellent opportunity to talk about the Logos Bible Software philosophy of data type tagging. After all, there are more than 83,000 Ugaritic data type references tagged so far as part of this project. (83,266 and counting!) Using the Ugaritic Library as a test case, I made a video showing how good data type tagging makes for powerful digital library software, and helps you get the most out of your books.

Check it out!
Flash Video – 11 MB

Note: The Ugaritic Library ships Friday – it’s not too late to take advantage of the great pre-publication sale.

Logos for the Mac Update

(This progress update from Bob Pritchett was sent last week to the Logos for the Mac email list and posted here.)

Help us promote Logos for the Mac with a banner on your site!

Good news! Logos Bible Software for the Mac continues to progress. This week we saw searches running and the first reports completed.

The full search syntax and the Passage Guide are underway, and we’re expecting to see features come online at a faster pace, now that so much of the underlying infrastructure is in place.

Below is another example of the weekly progress report.

Date: Mar. 13, 2007Weekly Status Report

Executive summary of the overall progress of the project:

1. We have received feedback on the licensing area and the specified areas are changed and will be reflected in the next build. The next Build will be Milestone A1. The date for this delivery willbe determined after the onsite meeting at Logos on Mar.14, 2007.

2. The weekly meeting will be onsite at Logos at 11 am.

3. Book Display Status:

  • Status bar work is completed
  • Starburst animation is completed
  • Citation will be completed by Mar. 14, 2007
  • Final copy/paste work will begin Mar. 15, 2007

4. Reports Status:

  • Company Info is complete*
  • About This Resource is complete*
  • Passage Guide is under development
  • Company Info is under development
  • NOTE: * – right-click menu and event bridges from the C++ code does not exist in anyreport at the moment

—-Bob Pritchett – bob@logos.comLogos Bible Software – www.logos.com1313 Commercial St. – Bellingham, WA 98225-4307(360) 527-1700 – Fax (350) 527-1707

Ugaritic and Old Testament Narratives

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, academic editor at Logos.

[Note: We sent a Last Chance NewsWire email on the Ugaritic Library last week, so if you’re considering adding this collection to your digital library now is the time to pre-order before the price increases substantially.]

The last time I blogged about the usefulness of Ugaritic for Bible study and the new Ugaritic Library under development by Logos, I focused on how knowing the Ugaritic background of an Old Testament title for Yahweh helped our understanding of both Old and New Testament theology.

This time I want to focus on some individual Hebrew words—geographical proper names to be precise—to show how Ugaritic tools can make Old Testament stories come to life, and even take on theological meaning.

Click here for a video showing how you can access the Ugaritic tools through the Old Testament Reverse Interlinear to see the Old Testament in a way you haven’t before.

Please note: This video demonstration shows some resources not included in the Ugaritic Library. Reverse interlinear Bibles are available as part of Logos 3 base collections and HALOT is available as a separate purchase.


Flash, 6.7MB, 16:19

Examining Some Ambiguities I: James 4:5-6 in English Translations

In the home group Bible study that I’m in, we’re studying the epistle of James. We’re currently in James 4. While preparing for this week’s study, I noticed some interesting things going on in James 4:5-6. There are some ambiguities in James 4.5. This seemed like a good text to examine a bit further using some of the resources and reports found in Logos Bible Software (things that are in some collections, and some things that are supplemental).

First, the text of the ESV:

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”(Jas 4:5-6, ESV)

Seems pretty straightforward, huh? It actually isn’t. When reading the Greek in preparation for the study, I noticed a few things that are ambiguous. And these things are pretty noticeable when you compare English translations. So I made a video that shows how to do this.

The basic issues discussed in the video, as a result of examining English translations, set the stage for the balance of posts in this series. At present I hope for two more posts plus a summary/conclusion post, though that may change (likely be extended) as I write further posts.

So what are the issues we’ll look at?

  • Is it ‘spirit’ or ‘Spirit’ in James 4.5? That is, is it the Holy Spirit, or is it more along the lines of Genesis 2.7, the life breathed within us?
  • What is the subject of the quotation in verse 5? Is it:
    • God (also ‘He’)
    • Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit)
    • spirit (that is, the human spirit, that of Ge 2.7)
  • Where does the quotation in v. 5 come from? (I’ve not discussed this yet, but it will come up in later posts).

Further posts will focus on using syntactic annotations, morphology, critical commentaries and syntax searching to look at this verse further.

All in all, I hope to show that there are features and resources that those who aren’t comfy with the original languages can use to think about these things and that there are other features and resources that those comfy with the original languages can use to examine these sorts of issues more fully.

400 Posts and Some Housekeeping

Well, this is actually the 404th post since the Logos Blog was birthed way back in July 2005. Which makes last week’s Seeing Double post #400. If you’re counting.

I got inspired today to do a little housekeeping on the blog because I was trying to isolate a bunch of tutorial-style posts for a co-worker and it was more painful than it should have been.

So in order to make this trove of usefulpast posts more easily accessible to all our blog readers, I added a new category called Tutorialand two subcategories: Using Booksand Using Tools & Reports.You’ll see links to these categories in the right-hand column of the main page at https://blog.logos.com.

Thetop-level Tutorial category contains 99 posts that are substantially how-to in nature—posts with steps you can follow and a takeaway that you can use to inform your use of Logos Bible Software.

Almost half of these tutorial posts are syntax-related. Since some readers are very into syntax and others aren’tin the least,I created the two subcategories to narrow things down still further.

Using Tools & Reportscontains tips and tutorials for using features of the digital library, excluding syntax searching. Here you’ll find tips on searching, library management, time-saving shortcuts, and in-depth reviews of specific tools and reports.

The tutorials in theUsing Bookssubcategory are focused less on library features and more on the features of individual books, such as the reverse interlinear Bibles.

If you see some posts you think shouldn’t be included in the “tutorials” categories or run across others that should be but aren’t, please drop a comment on this post.

To cap this off, here are a few gems from the distant past that I rediscovered in my travels today. If you’re new to the blog (or are memory challenged) you’ll find more good stuff like this in the category archives that will help you do better, more efficient Bible study.

  • About This Resource(September 2005) – In which you’ll hear Eli Evans say, “an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange.” In this series of posts, Eli also explains what in the world a datatype is and how to use all the juicy information in the About This Resource window.
  • Mouse Gestures (August 2005) – Bob Pritchett reveals what he calls a “hidden feature” inside the app…but one that you’ll love if ever you start using it.
  • Bible Word Study Report(May 2006) -A9-part series by Rick Brannan that does show-and-tell on every feature of the super-cool Bible Word Study report.
  • Syntax Search Example: Relative Pronouns(April 2006) – A foundational syntax tutorial post in which Rick Brannan reveals the secret wisdom thatenables usto attain a higher level of syntax searching: “The structure of the query matches the structure of the hit.”
  • Words, Words Everywhere and Every One a Link! (January 2006) – A three-part series by yours truly (Daniel Foster)that shows how every word in Logos Bible Software is a link to something. Double-click words anywhere in the system and something cool happens.