Deissmann is Downloadable!

Folks who follow the Logos Newsgroups or have read this blog for awhile know that I have a soft spot for Adolf Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East (LAE). This book went from dream, to community pricing project, to pre-pub, and it is now available for users to download and purchase!

If you don’t know much about why a book by a guy named Deissmann could be helpful for your studies of the New Testament, check out this blog post I wrote last August.

If you’re unfamiliar with our Community Pricing projects, you should acquaint yourself with them. In Deissmann we have a tangible example of how beneficial it can be to subscribe to projects in their early (and somewhat uncertain) stages.

Here’s how the pricing progressed during the early stages of this product’s lifetime:

Thanks and congratulations to those who subscribed early (and, some of you, often!). You got a great resource at a fantastic price. I trust you’ll find Deissmann’s LAE to be a beneficial secondary source to consult for more information when working with New Testament (Hellenistic) Greek.
If you are not a regular pre-pub or community pricing bidder, jump in now. There are still plenty of deals to be had!

In search of the King James Version

Thoroughness is one of the hallmarks of electronic books produced for Logos Bible Software. When we produce an electronic edition of a printed book we try to include all of the content and every bit of relevant formatting. We also include detailed bibliographic information so that users can cite our electronic editions with confidence.

For this reason it always bothered me that our King James Version of the Bible – the textual patriarch of English-language Bible study – offered so little in the way of formatting, notes, and bibliographic detail. The KJV was our first electronic text, and while we have dozens of print copies, we produced our KJV from electronic sources.

In 1991, when we started working on Logos Bible Software, we purchased a disk set with the KJV text from Public Brand Software. It consisted of the text of the verses and nothing else, but it was adequate for our initial development and testing. Larry Pierce, who wrote The Online Bible, used this same text as the basis for his electronic KJV, but he hand corrected the files to match the 1769 Blayney Edition, published by Cambridge University Press, and added Strong’s numbers.

Larry’s text of the KJV was clearly the best available. Subsequent analysis has shown it to be error-free in its transcription of the Blayney Edition, and the addition of Strong’s numbers made it even more useful. With permission, we used it as the first electronic book released for Logos Bible Software.

Still, we got calls, letters, and emails from users who claimed it did not match their printed KJV. We discovered that, contrary to widely-held views, there is not one single text of the KJV. Almost no one is using (or even could use) the original 1611 text, and in the years since then there have been many intentional and unintentional typographic, editorial, and spelling changes propagated in hundreds of different editions.

Moreover, we did not even have a paper copy of the Blayney Edition we were distributing. Our electronic text was simply the Bible text, and we were missing front matter, notes, bibliographic information and more. While this isn’t a problem for Bible study, it is a problem for people comparing editions and preparing academic papers.

We went on a hunt for a definitive King James Version in print that we could reproduce completely, with all the bibliographic and supplementary material. We wanted a text with a clear pedigree and the smallest chance of errors introduced in multiple settings and printings.

After talking with publishers, Bible societies, and scholars, we concluded that the 1873 Cambridge Paragraph Bible, edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, was the best edition to use. More than a century after the Blayney Edition, Scrivener had done an incredibly comprehensive and careful revision of the KJV text. The text was paragraphed. Poetry was formatted in poetic form. Italics and cross references were thoroughly checked. Most importantly, Scrivener thoroughly documented his work. He noted errors in earlier editions and provided a “List of Passages in which this Edition follows others in departing from the Text of 1611.”

Scrivener’s edition of the text has been reprinted in later editions, but we wanted the whole thing, with all of the appendices and notes, straight from the original. So we began a year-long search for a printed copy that we could borrow long enough to photograph at high resolution using our robotic book scanner.

During our search, Cambridge University Press released A Textual History of the King James Bible, by David Norton. Norton’s book is a companion to the recently released New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, the latest and possibly most definitive KJV edition to date.

Norton’s book is an awe-inspiringly detailed look at the history of the text itself, and its preservation and corruption over the years. (I use the word corruption as a technical, not theological, term.) It reinforced for us the conclusion that identifying a definitive “real KJV” is nearly impossible. It also made it clear that nobody spent more time on the problem than Scrivener. (In explaining why no work was done on the cross references in his New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, Norton confesses to lacking Scrivener’s energy. If you read this book, you will confess to lacking the energy of either of them.)

We are trying to get permission to produce an electronic edition of the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, but we believe that there is still value in having access to Scrivener’s monumental edition, complete with formatting, italics, cross references, introductions, apocrypha, and incredibly detailed appendices. So, when we finally found an 1873 original that we could borrow, we photographed it at high resolution and had it typed at 99.995% accuracy.

(We normally have books typed at 99.95% accuracy, which requires double-keying and comparing the files. We had the Cambridge Paragraph Bible checked to 99.995% accuracy, the highest level our vendor would guarantee.)

Our edition for the Libronix DLS is the most comprehensive and best documented KJV available electronically. The integration of the marginal notes and cross references into popup footnotes makes it easy to read. The Compare Parallel Bible Versions tool lets you compare the two KJV editions, and the ability to search appendices by Bible reference makes it easy to find Scrivener’s explanations for the different readings or spellings.


The 1769 Blayney and 1873 Cambridge editions side by side. The Cambridge features poetry formatting and notes. The comparison report below shows the single word difference in Proverbs 4
.

The Libronix DLS-compatible Cambridge Paragraph Bible will be available with the release of Logos Bible Software 3. We will even have the page photographs available in the future.


The page image for Proverbs 4 in the 1873 Cambridge edition.

Meet the Staff: David Mitchell

David works in software development, helping create and enhance Logos Bible Software.
Windows Media (1.9MB) | Quicktime (2.1MB)

How did that verse go?

Yesterday on Blogos, Sean Boisen wrote about the difficulty he had finding the verse containing the phrase “you will know them by their words”. He was looking for Matthew 7:16 and 20, and tried using “know” and “words” as search terms in Bible software.

Of course the verse says fruits, not words, and in some versions it says recognize, not know.
This is exactly what we created the Fuzzy Search for: finding things that you don’t remember exactly, or remember from a different translation.

Fuzzy Search was a feature in Logos Bible Software v1.0, back in December, 1991. It got lost along the way, disappearing from updates to the LLS and Libronix DLS, but was restored as part of the Power Tools Addin a few years ago. It lives on the Tools > Power Tools menu, but moves to the Search menu in the upcoming v3.0.

I wanted to see if Fuzzy Search could meet this real world test case. In Logos Bible Software I opened a few Bibles and chose Fuzzy Search from the Search menu. I copied the phrase “you will know them by their words” into the Search box and chose “All Open Resources” from the search target dropdown. A click on the green Go button brought back Matthew 7:20 in the NRSV as a 90% confidence hit, followed by Matthew 7:16, with 87% confidence.

Pretty cool!


(I should also point out that it found “Ye shall know them by their fruits” in the KJV, 74%, and “you will recognize them by their fruits” in the ESV, 72%.)

Giving local businesses Room2Think

Identify the normal way of doing things, then do them one better. That’s part of the Logos way and sometimes it leads us down unexpected paths.

In this case, it led us to launch Room2Think, a creative meeting space that Bellingham-area business and non-profits will use for off-site retreats.

When we moved into our new space last November, we vacated about 2,500 square feet of office space that had been used to house the text development department.

That space—which has a very cool loft-like vibe with beautiful hardwood floors and exposed brick walls—has now been converted into a comfortable, fully-furnished, brightly decorated, creative meeting space.

The name ‘Room2Think,’ inspired by the high ceilings and airy feel of the space, suggests its intended purpose: provide groups with a place to get away from the daily grind and drab office, open up to new ideas, build teamwork, get creative, and dream for the future.

Room2Think shares this purpose with a growing list of similar “creative meeting spaces” around the country. In fact, we were inspired by this article in Inc. magazine which mentioned places like Sparkspace (Chicago) and Inspiration Point (Pittsburgh).

We thought it was such a great idea (and a step up from the usual, boring, hotel conference room) that we went ahead and created a space like this for Bellingham!

We didn’t take the “kindergarten classroom” motif quite as far as the places described in the Inc. article, but Room2Think is definitely a hipper and more fun place than my house.

Here’s why: wall-sized projection screen, Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, automated espresso maker (not quite as cool as our famous machine but it makes a good cup), wall-sized whiteboard, comfortable seating for up to 20 people, ping pong, air hockey, and all the office supplies needed to dream and plan.

Check out the photos! And see what the local paper had to say about Room2Think.

We’re excited to play a role in promoting creative thinking and planning among local businesses. And Logos will be using the space now and again, too…so I guess it’s fair to expect even more new and creative features from your Bible software.

Block Diagramming (Blocking) with the Sentence Diagrammer

One of the new features that is implemented in the now-release-candidate Logos Bible Software 3.0 involves a significant enhancement to our sentence diagrammer.

I discussed this back in December 2005 and illustrated the new functionality with a short video. Check it out.

I bring it up again because first of all, blocking is cool. Secondly because I used the feature in preparation for the Sunday sermon and thought I’d share it. The pastor at the church I attend has been working through Mark’s Gospel. I like to work ahead so I’m prepared for what he might say. This weekend, before the service, I did a quick block of Mark 4.1-9 so I had a decent grasp of the text before the sermon.

Now, a few disclaimers: I have no formal training in blocking, just my own reading, thinking and practice. My blocking style (as with most folks) is a bit haphazard. I don’t have a systematic method for representing things. Indentions may be for grammatical/syntactic reasons (subordinate clauses, prepositional phrases, etc.) or because I think content is logically dependent on what precedes it. Or because I think I need to but am not quite sure why. It’s just me thinking through the text; the process is more valuable than the output. When you block Mark 4.1-9 (go ahead, try it!) you will likely come out with something completely different. My point is that thinking through the passage at this level is the important part; the output only serves to remind you of your thoughts.

Also, I used the new Logos Bible Software 3.0 Highlighting features to highlight repeated words and phrases that I noticed. So when you see the highlights, that’s where they came from. Yep, you can highlight more than books & Bibles! And I saved a PDF version of the diagram using the new PDF button on the diagrammer toolbar.

Larger Image | PDF

If you find this sort of thing helpful, then you’ll really like the Lexham Clausal Outlines of the Greek New Testament. So check those out as well!

Power Law Redux

In response to last week’s Power Law post, Jim Darlack commented:

Interesting idea. Now, apply it to citations of the Old Testament found in a book of the New Testament. This would allow someone to judge the density of quotes from a particular part of the Old Testament. This could be helpful for judging where allusions or even echoes may be found in the New Testament text.

Jim is suggesting that the same Power Law relationship that exists between a corpus of “biblical studies literature” and Bible passages could also be observed between the New Testament and the Old Testament.

In response to Jim’s response (don’t you love the blogosphere?), the folks over at the ESV Bible Blog crunched the data to explore this in detail.

They found that, “in absolute terms, the New Testament writers cited Psalms and Isaiah most often.” When controlling for book length (since longer books tend to get cited more often than short books), Malachi and Habakkuk get the prize for being most often cited by NT writers.

Head over to the ESV Bible Blog and check out their charts showing citation density and a table showing how many times each NT book cites each OT book.

Two quick thoughts…

First, the next step might be to plot density in a more granular fashion. Which chapters or pericopes in the OT are most often cited? And which chapters or pericopes in the NT do the most citing?
This could make for a cool report in Logos Bible Software, plotting parallel passages data (OT quotes in the NT) against chapter or pericope data from a version of choice.

Second, I don’t know what data the ESV team is using to generate their chart, but I would guess data produced by an editor. In other words, a really smart person (or team of smart people) analyzed the New Testament and figured out all the places the NT author was quoting the OT.

Another way to get at that information—a way that is better for some purposes, less suited for others—would be for the software to analyze and plot out similarities between the OT and NT, based on vocabulary plus syntax. This would put the Bible software user in the editor’s seat, or at least provide a way to view the data and perhaps discover additional textual similarities (in this case, between the Septuagint and Greek NT). We’re not there yet in terms of the data, but it never hurts to dream!

All this talk makes me eager to tell the world about all the new, useful ways we’re already combining and displaying data in Logos Bible Software 3 (now in Release Candidate 1). We’ve been spilling the beans about Logos 3 here on the blog; if you’re a new reader, here’s a place to start.

It’s also exciting to realize that the new reports and tools in Logos 3 are just the tip of the iceberg. With all the new data we now have, and are still producing, there’s plenty more to dream and plenty more to realize.

Update: 3/20/2006 – 3:00pm PST

Today’s post on the ESV Bible Blog provides additional charts that go beyond OT-in-NT quotations to show Power Law patterns based on some 80,000 cross references spread across the Bible. One chart plots cross references between books; another plots them between chapters. The raw data is also provided in an Excel spreadsheet so you can produce your own charts. Cool!

See also: Jim Darlack’s blog post proposing a way to chart quotation density information along 2 or 3 axes.

Logos in the Jungle

Logos business trips can be a little out of the ordinary.

Guillermo Powell, international director for Spanish products, was in Perú recently to establish agreements with national distributors. Two major distributors there will now carry and promote the Spanish and Bilingual libraries from Logos Bible Software.

Perú joins Argentina, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Spain as Spanish-speaking countries where Logos Bible Software is now available through national distributors. A number of other countries will follow.

In addition to the business side of the trip, Guillermo visited the city of Iquitos in the Amazon jungle, to preach and teach the Word among some of the poorest churches in the country.


This Bora Indian chief didn’t purchase a Logos library, but it was striking to compare lifestyles. Guillermo said, “This chief is a Christian, along with his family that greeted us along the Amazon river.” Common ground in a seemingly unlikely place.

Meet the Staff: Dave Jones

As an academic sales manager for Logos, Dave works to get Logos Bible Software into the hands of college and seminary students around the world.

Windows Media (775KB) | Quicktime (1.5MB)

“Power Law” and Bible Reference Citations

I honestly didn’t mean to immediately write another post that refers to another blog, but this one is just too cool.

Stephen C. Carlson of the blog Hypotyposeis posts about Power Law in Biblical Citations. Here is the gist; please see his entry for specific counts that he gathered via Google.

It has been long noticed that links are not uniformly distributed in many networks, and in many cases the distribution of links follows a power law in which only a few of web pages (or bloggers) get a lion share of the links (see, e.g, Clay Shirky, “Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality” [Feb. 8, 2003]).

Can the same phenomenon be observed in Biblical citations? Clearly, some verses are much more popular (e.g. John 3:16) than others, but can the power law still be seen?

This is an interesting question to ask, though the specific findings may well depend on the corpus of texts being searched. Oddly enough, some time ago we explored a feature that answers this kind of question using the resources inside Logos Bible Software. We even wrote a prototype report that does it using a “brute force” approach just to see what happened. We haven’t made it a priority to refine and speed up the report, though we may return to the concept in the future.

Stephen’s post reminded me of the prototype, so I asked Bob and he pointed me to it. Our implementation is a little different; we take three variables and then run the report. First we take a collection of resources; then we take a range of references; then we specify a pericope set.

The report searches the collection of resources for Bible references within a specified range, then “maps” the results onto pericopes. This provides results that correspond to meaningful textual units.

For the below example, I used a collection that consisted of the New Testament volumes of the International Critical Commentary (ICC). I specified a range of “Galatians” and also specified the ESV Pericope Set.

Here’s what the report comes up with. This is sorted by hit count. So, at least in the ICC NT, these are the popular citations of Galatians, grouped by pericope:

  • Galatians 1:11-24: Paul Called by God (264 hits in 199 articles)
  • Galatians 2:1-10: Paul Accepted by the Apostles (241 hits in 174 articles)
  • Galatians 3:15-29: The Law and the Promise (186 hits in 142 articles)
  • Galatians 5:1-15: Christ Has Set Us Free (168 hits in 131 articles)
  • Galatians 2:15-21: Justified by Faith (150 hits in 125 articles)
  • Galatians 5:16-26: Walk by the Spirit (146 hits in 108 articles)
  • Galatians 4:8-20: Paul’s Concern for the Galatians (144 hits in 111 articles)
  • Galatians 6:1-10: Bear One Another’s Burdens (126 hits in 98 articles)
  • Galatians 1:1-5: Greeting (113 hits in 82 articles)
  • Galatians 4:1-7: Sons and Heirs (112 hits in 84 articles)
  • Galatians 6:11-18: Final Warning and Benediction (112 hits in 88 articles)
  • Galatians 1:6-10: No Other Gospel (104 hits in 78 articles)
  • Galatians 3:1-9: By Faith, or by Works of the Law? (94 hits in 64 articles)
  • Galatians 2:11-14: Paul Opposes Peter (73 hits in 63 articles)
  • Galatians 3:10-14: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith (68 hits in 51 articles)
  • Galatians 4:21-31: Example of Hagar and Sarah (67 hits in 56 articles)

So, when looking across the 30 volumes of ICC that cover the New Testament, and restricting our focus to Galatians, we see that the most frequently-cited portion of Galatians is 1:11-24…with 2:1-10 a pretty close second. After that, the hit count drops off pretty fast.

It’s worth noting a couple of differences between what we’re doing and what Stephen did.
Stephen’s search (using Google) pulled from a corpus that consists primarily of web pages, with some Word docs and PDFs included. The web corpus will tend to reflect a broader usage pattern than that found in Logos Bible Software, which is primarily copyrighted, published material produced by professional scholars and authors. For these purposes, one is not superior to the other…but different samples could be expected to produce different results.

Another difference comes to light in the comments section of Stephen’s post. As Stephen readily acknowledges, searching Google for “Gal 2:1” is a pretty blunt instrument. It fails to consider verse ranges, alternate notation schemes, or even occurrences where the author bothers to spell out all of G-a-l-a-t-i-a-n-s.

Bible references inside Logos books, on the other hand, have been encoded in such a way that Gal 2:1, Gal 2:1-10, Galatians 2.1 and even “verse 1” (given proper context) all count as hits for Galatians 2:1.

Corpus studies have their own literature and science. Perhaps someday we’ll introduce features that allow you to run comparisons between various corpora to see how they differ. With 5,000+ books digitized, tagged and available for Logos Bible Software, this kind of thing starts to be a real possibility. But for the moment, it’s a nice diversion.