How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages?
Typically when I think about Bible software and original languages, three important areas come to mind:
- The Hebrew Old Testament
- The Greek New Testament
- The Greek Old Testament, or, the Septuagint
I’ve already written about the Septuagint in Logos here. What about the Hebrew OT and Greek NT?
For Hebrew study there is the BHS Hebrew Bible with (WIVU) morphological analysis. I mentioned in my last post that the Information tab can be brought up to give lexical and morphological analysis of any word. Also, the bottom gray border area of Logos updates with morphological analysis as you move over a word. So you can instantly parse and analyze the Hebrew as you go.
My go-to Hebrew lexicon is part of this base package: Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Holladay (based on HALOT). And Landes’s ever-helpful Building Your Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary is included. There are some grammars like Futato and Gesenius. You can open all of these as stand-alone windows, or integrate them into what you’re doing in a given text. Here’s a Hebrew Bible layout I’m using at the moment (click for larger):
You can see in the top left area that I’ve got BHS open in the leftmost tab–what you’re seeing in the shot above is what happens when you seek to open a new tab. I like that it suggests resources that address the verse that’s already open. You can also mouse over a resource for a handy pop-up window with description. The above pop-up window is for the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text, which gives even more insight into the Hebrew text than just the BHS with WIVU morphological analysis.
One highlight of the Hebrew resources available in this package is the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis. See here for a good description of the “seven layers of syntax information” included. (That’s better than a seven-layer burrito!) Here’s a screenshot:
And more here from Logos:
The Analyzed Text contains morphological and lexical analysis, similar to that found in the above editions of the Hebrew Bible, but also analyzes features such as genre and semantic domains. The Phrase Marker Analysis, however, goes beyond the word level and shows how phrases and clauses function together, in essence diagramming the entire Hebrew Bible with Syntax information. There is a database that allows the user to search the Hebrew bible based on these Syntax structures, and a glossary resource that defines all the terms used in the Analyzed Text and the Phrase Marker Analysis. This package represents a new trend in computerized biblical studies – the ability to work with syntax, not just morphology, when studying the Bible.
I was a little unclear as to why the English translation (on the far right in the shot above) was so wooden in this resource–and “thou wilt” struck me as out of place. Also odd (in this verse) is the English translation “gods” (circled above) when it is in apposition to Yahweh, and the idea is clearly of one God.
But that barely takes away from the impressiveness of the Phrase Marker Analysis. It’s unique to Logos, and packs quite a punch. Grammar nerds rejoice! (As I have.)
When it comes to the Greek New Testament, all the basic stuff is there–the NA27 and UBS4 with morphology (apparatus sold separately), Westcott and Hort, the Byzantine textform of the GNT, the Louw-Nida lexicon, a concise Greek-English dictionary, both a harmony and synopsis for the Gospels (not Aland’s in this package,
and nothing in Greek, but decent nonetheless), a great vocabulary guide, and so on. UPDATE: You can, in fact, view the Gospel synopsis in Greek, just by opening the synopsis tool and changing the versions, as below (click image for larger):
But get this. The Original Languages Library comes with the digitized 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. I couldn’t believe this at first and thought surely it was the abridged version. Nope. It’s the full thing–”Big Kittel.” It’s fun to use as a digital resource, too. One saves time not having to look things up, and all the abbreviations are hyperlinked, so that if you just move your cursor over them, you see quickly what they stand for. Same thing with verse references:
This resource in print is $400 (retail is something like $700). Once I realized its inclusion, the $415.95 sticker price for the Original Languages Library made more sense. Comparable packages in other Bible software are cheaper, but none of them include TDNT. I’m amazed Logos can include it in this base package, but glad that they do.
As for English translations, the Original Languages Library includes these, among others:
- English Standard Version (ESV)
- King James Version (KJV)
- Lexham English Bible (NT)
- The NET Bible (my personal favorite at the moment)
- New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
There is also a variety of (reverse) interlinear Bibles. I personally don’t use these much, but they could be helpful to others. The Tov/Polak Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Bible, however–presented in interlinear format–is great. (More about that here.)
The Original Languages Library packs in quite a bit. With the exception of perhaps an English translation of the Septuagint, all you need for original language study is here. The Andersen-Forbes resources for the Hebrew OT, the TDNT for the Greek NT, and the Tov/Polak aligned Hebrew-Greek OT are all wonderful inclusions and fantastic resources.
How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages? It’s great.
Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I am giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. This has been part 3. See part 1 here and part 2 here.