RevInt I: Reverse Interlinear Resources

Some of my favorite new Logos Bible Software 3 (LBS3) resources are the new reverse interlinear Bibles (after Hebrew Syntax, of course) — and not just because I worked on them.

A reverse interlinear in LBS3 is many things: It’s a Bible version that shows the original language words behind the translation; it’s a Bible with stronger-than-Strong’s tagging; but most importantly, it’s a bridge from here to there, from a translation back to the original language text that lies beneath. Furthermore, it’s a bridge that anyone can cross.

Reverse interlinears first and foremost are resources. They work like any other interlinear resource within the Libronix DLS platform. You open them from My Library, and you navigate them just like you would any other Bible. The LBS3 Scholar’s, Silver, Gold and Original Langugages products all ship with a complete reverse interlinear Bible based on the English Standard Version. (I’ll wait while you visit the 3.0 upgrade page. Back? Good.)

The ESV reverse interlinear comes as two resources: The ESV English-Hebrew Reverse Interlinear Old Testament, and The ESV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament.

They’re just books, which means you already know how to use them. You can simply read through a passage and see, in real time, the translation and the original language “behind” the translation.

A reverse interlinear is “reverse” precisely because the translation is the top line, and it is the original language text that follows along with it. I wrote about this briefly in a previous post, but a picture is worth a thousand words (or thereabouts):

Now, don’t misunderstand: If I extol the virtues of reverse interlinears, that is not to say that I am denigrating traditional interlinears. Each resource has its own special purpose, its own pros and cons.

Traditional Interlinear Reverse Interlinear
FOCUS: original language translation language
TRANSLATION: more literal, less readable less literal, more readable
EXPOSES: words and grammar of the original relationship of the translation to the original

As a result, traditional interlinears are a little bit more “technical” than reverse interlinears. The intent of a traditional interlinear is to expose the language and syntax of the original text to the non-Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic reader, whereas the intent of a reverse interlinear is to expose the “words behind” a particular translation.

How do they do that? That’s in the next installment: RevInt II: Reverse Interlinear Lines.

Written by
Eli Evans

Eli Evans is a Software Interaction Designer for Logos Bible Software. He is responsible for designing user experiences for many Faithlife/Logos products. Eli occasionally writes the “Bible as Art” column for Bible Study Magazine. He resides in Bellingham with his wife, Olga, and their five children. He is a “Sunday composer” (Soundcloud) and has published an 11-movement suite for orchestra and choir based on Genesis 1, Creation.

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Written by Eli Evans