Why Electronic Books are Better

EliECF.jpgMy favorite story about why electronic reference books are better than print is from AAR/SBL 1996. We had just released the Early Church Fathers on CD-ROM and a woman came up to our booth to place an order.

“I am so glad you have this in electronic form,” she said. “I already have it in print, but I am a student and have had to move the 38 volumes three times to second floor apartments. I’m selling the paper!”

With more than 5,000 titles available today, the case for saving space and weight is made. Still, the ECF remains our first, best single-title example, and we still drag the paper edition out as a prop for photographs.

During a recent shoot, as several of us hauled the set out to the lobby, I observed that I had seen someone carry the whole set. Logos blogger Eli Evans did not believe me –- but he was the one who did it. I found the photo, from 1998, though the evidence shows he could only handle 37 of the 38 volumes.

Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part II)

Earlier, I wrote an article titled Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part I) in which I described the use of a particular visual filter, the Morphology Filter in the Biblical Languages Addin.

That article got long, and I promised to follow it up later. Well … it’s later. And this is the follow-up.
The Morphology Filter is good for word-level and paragraph-level work. That is, when you are reading through the text and noticing morphological trends, the Morphology Filter helps these sorts of things jump out at you.

Upon noticing what seems to be a concentration of a particular morphological criteria in a particular paragraph or section, the next question is: Does this happen elsewhere in the book, or is this unique? In other words, with the Morphology Filter, you’re looking at the trees (or perhaps a particular grove of trees). But you need to step back and look at the whole forest now. This is what Verb Rivers help you to do.

(Holding back the urge to mix metaphors and crack a joke about going “over the river and through the woods” … )

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We Did Remember Hebrew

It would not do to have a syntactically tagged Greek NT without something similar for the Hebrew text. So we are partnering with Francis Andersen and Dean Forbes to make their three decades of work available to you for display and searching, too.

Soup Cookoff Recipe #1: Grandma Approved!

The top vote-getter in our 2005 Soup Cookoff was Jerry Godfrey’s soup, Grandma Approved!
His prize-winning recipe is below.

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Soup Cookoff Recipe #2: Pottage of Pollo Parousia

The runner-up in the 2005 Logos Soup Cookoff was Landon & Krissy Norton’s Pottage of Pollo Parousia.

Landon says: “By the way, the title of this tasty treat when translated by a team of our scholars overseas means: The Second Coming of Chicken Tortilla Soup.” His recipe is below.

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Visual Filters and Verb Rivers (Part I)

I’ve been working through 1Ti 4.11-16 in my personal study. One thing that jumps out in this passage is the amount of imperative verbs relative to 1Ti 1.1-4.10. These six verses contain 10 imperatives; nine of them are in the second person singular (thus likely addressed to the reader, Timothy).

This is an important feature of the passage (and in the larger discourse of the epistle), and it should be looked into.

But how does Logos Bible Software help you become aware of this sort of thing? There are two features (at least) that help one “see” these things. Visual Filters and Verb Rivers. These are available in the Biblical Languages Addin, which is already a part of some Logos packages (see bottom of this product page for details).

This article explores what sort of information these addins convey.
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From Morphology to Syntax

Morphologically analyzed texts have been an important feature of Bible software packages for years. Logos offers several different morphological analyses for the Greek NT and we will soon have three different analyses for the Hebrew. Recently we announced or shipped analyzed versions of the Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha, the Apostolic Fathers in Greek, and the Works of Philo. (The Works of Josephus aren’t far behind.)

But what if you want to look at syntax? There have not been a lot of tools available. Logos is partnering with OpenText.org to change that, and you soon will be able to see (and search!) a syntactically annotated Greek NT. The image below is an early view of just one of the ways you will be able to use this data.

Navigation History as a Tree

HistoryTree.pngWhen I am browsing electronic texts I tend to follow a lot of rabbit trails. One of my frustrations with web browsers and other hyperlinked systems is that my navigation history is a straight line. I can follow links from A to B to C to D, but if I back up to C and follow an alternate link to E, the system forgets that I was at D.

Real world browsing involves following lots of parallel paths, and this is especially true in Bible study, where you want to follow lots of cross references on a single theme, each of which may lead you to other ideas, without losing track of where you started.

The next release of the Libronix Digital Library System records all of your navigation and can present it as a tree, not just a list. So while Back and Forward work just as they always have, if you want to revisit one of the branches your study took earlier in your session, you can open the History Dialog and find it quickly.

(The History Dialog is already available as part of the Libronix DLS v2.2 Alpha.)

I am excited about the new History Dialog not just because it is a feature I have wanted for a long time, but because it is representative of the innovation in the Libronix Digital Library System. To the best of my knowledge, this is one of the first visual tools for navigating your browsing history in any hypertext system. (A similar feature was added to one web browser just weeks ago, and it has been suggested for others.)

We are not content to simply apply the established technologies and interfaces to Bible study tools – we want to be on the cutting edge with new and better solutions.

Soup Cookoff Recipe #3: Smakelijke Split Pea Soup

After posting this entry about our soup cookoff, some folks wrote in to request recipes.
I’ll post the top three over the next few days. We’ll start with the third-place soup, made by yours truly: Smakelijke Split Pea Soup.

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Logos Soup Cookoff 2005

The 2005 Soup Cookoff was a success! We had 16 different kinds of soup, all lined up and ready for our soup-slurping pleasure.

We have a tradition of voting on all of the soups, and giving awards to the top three vote-getters. Here they are:

Congratulations to new Logos Soup King Jerry Godfrey (in Logos Technical Support) for his awesome soup, “Grandma Approved”. I know I could taste that extra sweetness that only a Grandma can add … or was that the bacon?

Landon Norton, who works in Logos Ministry Relations, and his lovely wife Krissy turned in the second place effort, “Pottage of Pollo Parousia”. It was most delectable.

The third place slot is occupied by yours truly, the author of this post, Rick Brannan. I made a little soup I like to call “Smakelijke Split Pea Soup”. My Grandma, who was from Holland, used the word smakelijke to describe anything food-wise that was really, really tasty. Needless to say, the stuff that came out of her kitchen was always smakelijke! Apparently my soup was too.

All in all, it was a very good time. Next up: Logos Bake Off! It’s on November 4. Now I need to dust off my bakin’ skills so I can make something delectable for that one.

If you’re interested in some photos of the event, check out the extended portion of the post below.

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