Mmmmmmmm … Soup!

Cook-offs are just part of working at Logos — one of my favorite parts. We do a Curry Cook-off sometime in the spring (April) and a Chili cook-off around July 4. If it is September, it must be time for soup! I’m not sure if the folks at Logos have realized it yet, but my favorite cook-off is always the next cook-off. That means as of now, my favorite is the Soup Cook-off.

Speaking of which, the Soup Cook-off is scheduled for September 16, and my soup is already made! (Made it on Tuesday night). I don’t know if it’ll win, but I do know it’ll be good. Even better, we have 15 soups scheduled to appear, and we may end up with even more!

If you’re into soup, stay posted. We’ll surely blog more about the Soup Cook-off, and may even have photos of the event to share.

Bob, Eli and Daniel (all of whom have entered, I believe), beware!

Logos in the Local Press

Northwest Business Monthly Cover FeatureLogos Bible Software is the cover feature for the September 2005 issue of Northwest Business Monthly, a regional business magazine.

One of my favorite selections,

“There is a lot of great technology and ideas, but you build around the customer not the technology,” [Bob Pritchett] said. “I think that’s what happened with the whole dot-com phase – their failing point wasn’t their product, it was not having a customer.”

With the goal of becoming an essential source for people doing serious Bible study, Pritchett said that Logos’ market is fairly stable.

“The shifting tides of world religions doesn’t really affect us,” he said. “The Bible is the best-selling book of all time.”

“By focusing on the pastors, we’re focusing on a long-term investment—not the guy who decides if he’s going to church or not every week,” he added. “We want to build tools that improve the quality of their teaching. Nobody has time to sift through 250 books in preparation for a sermon each week.”

If you’re looking for more information about Logos, you’ll find it in the About area of Logos.com, which includes a Logos chronology, mission statement, and current job postings.

Tools, Options, KeyLink!

If you’ve been to one of Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos training seminars, then you’re familiar with the cry of “Tools, Options, KeyLink!”

I know I occasionally need a reminder of this, and chances are you may need a reminder too. Now is as good a time as any, especially since Eli’s recent blog entry about data types reminds me that facility with KeyLinking (how you look up stuff using data types) is something that effective users of Logos Bible Software seem to take for granted.

But knowing where to go to set your KeyLink preferences (once again, this time for Moe: “Tools, Options, KeyLink!”) is only half the battle. Understanding what happens when a KeyLink is invoked, and knowing a little more about the resources available for KeyLinking is necessary as well.

You might want to check out a few tutorials we have in the Support area of the Logos web site. These are listed in the order in which they were written. I wrote the Greek KeyLinking article to help folks understand what the different targets were and how KeyLink order affects lookup. A colleague then wrote the Hebrew KeyLinking article, and he followed that up with the English KeyLinking article. (If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a bit myopic when it comes to Greek!) All three articles have the same basic idea: understand the feature, know your resources, select your KeyLink order; but the each article applies the ideas to particular languages and available resources.

So, here are the articles:

About This Resource: Part I

Wendell Stavig* posed some great questions in his comments to one of my earlier posts, and since my computer is bogged down running a conversion script that takes about forty-five minutes to run (top-secret project!) I’ll go ahead and answer them. Out of order, of course.

[C]ould you please explain some of the data in the Help | About This Resource window?

How you use the information under datatypes?

As far as I’m concerned, datatypes and keylinking are the two most important concepts in the Libronix DLS.

A datatype is a type of data.
Seriously. A datatype is simply a way of defining all different kinds of information that are a) self-consistent in their format and b) distinct from other kinds of information. Put another way, an apple is an apple, and an orange is an orange. Apples look like other apples, and oranges look like other oranges. Furthermore, each datatype implies an associated set of features and behaviors, so the Libronix DLS can do different things with data in different datatypes. Oranges get juiced, but apples go in pies. (Mmmmmmm … pie.)

 
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Books That Last

When we marketing types at Logos talk about the benefits of electronic books over print, one benefit we include in the list is that electronic books are not easily destroyed. We like to point out that our books do not mold, mildew, fall apart, or fade over time. And when a hard drive crashes or computer is stolen, book files are easily replaced and licenses restored from our servers.

The durability of electronic books can seem like a theoretical benefit until some kind of personal catastrophe or natural disaster makes it very real.

I’m reminded of this as our support department reports they are beginning to hear from users who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina and are calling to request a set of replacement discs and a regenerated license file. Having access to one’s books is certainly a very small comfort in light of the massive losses sustained by so many, but I’m glad that we can help provide even that small step in a return to everyday life.
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Community Pricing: Adolf Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East

Since Bob has brought up the subject of Community Pricing, I figure it’s time to write about one of my favorite references that is (and has been) on the community pricing page: Deissmann’s Light from the Ancient East.

I can remember when I first started working through definitions in BAGD (the second English edition of Bauer’s lexicon, now superceded by BDAG). This was in the early to mid 1990’s. I’d just finished college, with a year of Greek under my belt, determined not to let it lapse. I’d asked my professor which books I needed, and he simply said “Get BAGD.” I went to the bookstore, and they ordered it — and told me it would be $70.00! I swallowed that pill, had them order it, and haven’t regretted it.

Because I’d spent that money, I used BAGD whenever I needed to look up a word — which was (and still is) frequently. And I soon noticed an oft-repeated abbreviation: LAE.

It only took me a few times to look that up in the abbreviation table (this was before the electronic edition was released by Logos) to associate it with Light from the Ancient East by Adolf Deissmann. It was cited frequently. I didn’t have a print copy, so I never bothered to look it up.

But I was the one missing out. Two or three years ago, I finally broke down and located a used print copy of LAE and dug in. I read it from cover to cover and soon saw that LAE contained excellent background information from papyri, inscriptions and ostraca. These materials are transcribed, translated and discussed. Photos or drawings exist for most materials, so you can actually see the item being discussed.

The discussions are the valuable part, from my perspective. Deissmann brings much to the table that can help one in examining infrequent New Testament words.

Allow me to present one example:
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Using DBL’s Semantic Domains

When you are studying a word, it’s often a good idea to look at synonyms and antonyms for that word as well. For example, if you were studying the English word run, you might also want to consider how words like sprint, jog, or even gallop overlap in meaning with run, and to what extent they are different. You may also want to consider how run and its synonyms are transformed into other parts of speech: What can the word jogger tell us about the meaning of run that runny cannot?

Finding words that are related to one another in meaning is also useful for studying the Bible, or else resources like Girdlestone’s Synonyms of the Old Testament or Trench’s Synonyms of the New Testament wouldn’t exist — not to mention Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. The Louw-Nida dictionary is particularly interesting, since it arranges all the words of the Greek New Testament by means of a hierarchical taxonomy, where each entry rests within a “domain” of meaning alongside any other words that have some degree of semantic overlap.

That’s all fine and good if you’re only studying the Greek of the New Testament. But what about the Old Testament?

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Slicing Books for Art

At a used bookstore in London I found a Bible atlas from 1900 with beautiful colored engravings. I have seen individual atlas pages in old map shops sold for more than this book cost, and it had 11 full page engravings. Few things hurt me like cutting up a book, but these clean, neat 8 x 10 inch pages simply begged to be framed and hung on the wall for everyone to appreciate.

After a quick check on the Internet to ensure that the book wasn’t too rare, we carefully cut out the pages and scanned them at high resolution before framing them. You will see them on the wall if you visit Logos in the future, and you can download this diagram of the tabernacle and the temple right now. (The file is 2.85 MB and the image is 3232 x 2464 pixels.)
The whole set of corrected images (cropped, rotated, color adjusted and scaled to 50%) are available in an 8 MB file.

Spanish Dividends

It costs so much to build English-language tools and, incrementally, so little to enable them for other languages that it seems a waste not to do so.

Our large investment in the large English-speaking market should pay dividends around the world, not just here in the US. Building a multi-lingual technology like the Libronix DLS enables that, but users still need Bibles and reference works in their own language.

We’re working on acquiring licenses to those resources, but it is a slow process made all the more complicated by multiple ownership: a Spanish reference work may be a translation, by a Spanish publisher, of an English work, but the translator only owns the print rights and the electronic rights remain with the English publisher, who doesn’t own the translation. (We are working through this, though, and getting results.)

Years ago Logos funded the development of a complete set of biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek lexicons by James Swanson. Controlling the rights as well as high-quality XML source files allowed us to have this Dictionary of Biblical Languages translated into Spanish at a reasonable cost without having to re-do all the tagging and linking. The translators started with the well-tagged English source files and only translated the English, ensuring that the original languages text and extensive links to other resources remained intact.

The Greek dictionary has been translated, and we hope the other volumes will follow soon. Look for it in an upcoming Spanish release.

English:

787 ἄρτιος (artios), ία (ia), ον (on): adj.; ≡ Str 739; TDNT 1.475—LN 75.4 qualified for a function; capable (REB), efficient (NEB), proficient (NRSV), competent (NAB), (2Ti 3:17+), note: many versions use vocabulary that emphasizes the thoroughness or completeness of the equipping; thoroughly (NIV), fully (NJB), complete (ASV, RSV, NKJV), perfect (KJV)

Spanish:

787 ἄρτιος (artios), ία (ia), ον (on): adj.; ≡ Str 739; TDNT 1.475—LN 75.4 calificado para una función, capacitado (RVA, NVI), eficiente, eficaz, preparado (RVR, DHH, TLA), equipado (LBLA) (2Ti 3:17+), nota: muchas versiones usan un vocabulario que enfatiza la meticulosidad o totalidad de la preparación; minuciosamente, completo, perfecto

More on Looking Up Citations: Pseudepigrapha

I blogged about looking up Philo citations in BDAG awhile back. But Philo (and even Josephus) aren’t the only potential targets you can work with.

There are a number of reasons to use pseudepigraphal writings (Greek or English or both) to supplement one’s study, though I think such reasons fall into two primary categores: cultural and linguistic. In this article I’ll focus a bit on the linguistic side of things (though I do venture into the cultural a bit), looking particularly at word meanings.

In my personal study, I like to look up cross-references when looking into word meanings. This is particularly handy if a word doesn’t occur often in the New Testament but does occur in other non-canonical writings. I was recently looking at 1Ti 3.8, specifically at the word ?????????????, which the ESV translates as greedy for dishonest gain.

The first thing, of course, was to look it up in BDAG. Here I found that it occurs 2 times in the NT, and both of these are in the Pastoral Epistles (1Ti 3.8 and Tt 1.7). Both contexts are the pretty much the same. But BDAG also cites instances of ????????????? in the Works of Philo (Sacr. Abel. 32) and in the pseudepigraphal Testament of Judah 16.1.
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