Free book in Logos Bible Software this month

Expositor's GNT vol 5

This month (for the next week) Logos Bible Software is offering volume 5 of The Expositor’s Greek Testament for free. You can find it here.

From the Logos site:

The Expositor’s Greek Testament ranks among the most important commentaries on the Greek text of the New Testament from the 19th century, drawing from the scholarship of twenty contributors under the editorship of William Robertson Nicoll. In addition to the Greek text, this massive reference work contains textual, literary, and grammatical commentary on nearly every Greek word in the entire New Testament. The Expositor’s Greek Testament also includes lengthy introductions to each of the books in the New Testament, surveying the literary and interpretive history, along with an introduction to the historical context of each book and an extensive bibliography.

This particular volume covers 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, and Revelation.

The free volume actually installs as two modules–one is the Greek text for the books above, the other is a commentary on the Greek text (including full book introductions and verse-by-verse, word-by-word comments). Here’s a screen shot of what it looks like when open to 1 Peter 5:7 (click on image to enlarge):

Screen shot

Everything is hyperlinked and searchable, and ties in with the rest of one’s Logos library.

Accordance for Windows is in Beta

Accordance10

From Rick Mansfield at This Lamp, who posts a screenshot of Accordance for Windows (Beta):

What you’re seeing above is an internal beta for Accordance 10.x for Windows, running in Windows 8. Yes, Accordance, which has been exclusively on Apple platforms since it was launched in 1994, is coming to Windows. This is the second internal beta released in as many weeks. Although an exact release date (beyond simply 2013) has not yet been announced, the build I have is already starting to impress.

Read Rick’s whole post here. So far I like what I’ve seen, too.

NA28 Greek New Testament text in Accordance

NA28

The NA28 Greek New Testament is now available for purchase in Accordance Bible Software. The text itself is free here. The Accordance version includes the apparatus, marginalia, and other nice enhancements. Here’s a screencast that shows how you can use the NA28 in Accordance:

More about the Nestle-Aland edition is here. Its Accordance product page is here, with an Accordance blog post about it here.

Logos 5: Gold package, reviewed (part 2)

Logos 5

Logos 5 has been on the market for a few months now. How is it holding up?

I reviewed Logos 5 in several parts when it first came out last fall, looking especially at the Silver package. Those reviews are all compiled here.

Since then I’ve been using the Gold base package, which I began to review here. If you’re new to Logos and/or this blog, reading through the posts above all apply in review of Logos Gold. To summarize a bit, Silver and Gold base packages both have:

  • Features like Bible Facts, Passage Guide, Bible Word Study, Exegetical Guide, Sermon Starter Guide, Timeline, and more
  • Clause Search–about which I wrote more here
  • The New American Commentary set
  • The Pulpit Commentary set
  • Greek and English Apostolic Fathers
  • A new English translation of the Septuagint, The Lexham English Septuagint
  • A lot more

The Gold base package adds to Silver:

The full contents of Gold can be seen here, in comparison with the other packages.

In this concluding part of my Gold review, I want to look at some of the above features: one feature in-depth, and a couple others briefly.

Bible Sense Lexicon

Morris Proctor describes the Bible Sense Lexicon (BSL, hereafter) in this way:

The primary purpose of this feature is to present the range of possible meanings for Hebrew and Greek lemmas and then suggest precise contextual definitions for them as they appear in verses.

For example, the Bible Sense Lexicon shows that kosmos may have 12 different meanings, but in John 3:16 it refers to the world populace or people on the earth.

The BSL at the moment works just with nouns. There are several ways to access it. By right-clicking on kosmos (inflected as κόσμον) in John 3:16, the menu shows me that the “sense” is “world populace.” From there I can go directly to the BSL entry for this word, which gives its meaning (as determined by the team at Logos) in context. Here’s what the entry looks like (open in new tab or window to see larger):

BSL

The “sense” of kosmos is “world populace,” which is further defined at upper left: “people in general considered as a whole….” The number and bars underneath that show how that specific sense (not word) is distributed across books of the Bible. Mousing over it, one notes that “world populace” for kosmos occurs 22 times in John. The little bar graph is good for quick-reference, but it’s pretty small, and you can’t really click from it to any other information directly.

Proctor uses the image of “orchard with trees bearing branches” to describe the BSL. In this case, if you click on “group” in blue font (a “branch”), you are moved back to the “orchard” of “entity,” and its “tree” of “abstraction.” It is under entity | abstraction that the “branch” of group | people | world populace fits (to use Proctor’s analogy). As you move through various levels of the BSL in this way, the forward and back arrows at top right in the image above help you find your place.

In the branch system in the middle of the image, hovering over any word shows a pop-up with further information. Clicking on a filled-in blue circle expands the branch at that point.

One other way to use the Bible Sense Lexicon (which is properly called a “data set” in Logos) is to open it from the “Tools” menu in Logos. Doing that allows the user to look up any word, regardless of what passage may already be open. Typing in “g:kosmos” (“g” for “Greek”) shows the following 11 senses (as determined by Logos) in a drop-down menu:

BSL_2

One could more fully explore kosmos by going through each of the senses, one-by-one.

There’s more to the BSL than what I’ve highlighted here. Watch the video at this page (and read the rest of the page’s text) for a quick but substantive overview from Logos. There is a detailed and really helpful Logos wiki page on the BSL, too.

The Bible Sense Lexicon is comparable in some ways to Louw & Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. Context determines meaning of words, and the BSL works from that premise. There is right now no easy way to find a list of passages that use a word in the given sense you are looking at, as noted here. This and the fact that the BSL only has nouns for now are areas that need improvement. Louw & Nida, by contrast (also available in Logos), covers other parts of speech.

The Bible Sense Lexicon is available in the Gold package and up (or by using a crossgrade option).

Exegetical Summaries

Exegetical SummariesThis is a great commentary set for careful study of words, phrases, and verses. The Logos product page has this description: “The 24-volume Exegetical Summaries Series asks important exegetical and interpretive questions—phrase-by-phrase—and summarizes and organizes the content from every major Bible commentary and dozens of lexicons.”

A difficult phrase from Romans 1:17, for example, receives this treatment in the commentary (pdf), with lexical and exegetical options laid out. The pdf doesn’t show it, but in Logos the abbreviations and verses references are hyperlinked.

For sermon prep or research papers, the Exegetical Summaries Series could be a good starting point.

UBS Handbooks

UBS OTThese handbooks (OT and NT) are geared specifically toward translators, though any serious Bible student will appreciate them. The handbooks often discuss the decisions that various translations made for a given Hebrew or Greek word. A note on “Bethlehem Ephrathah” in Micah 5:2, for example, reads as follows:

Ephrathah is a term added perhaps to distinguish David’s Bethlehem from other towns or villages bearing the same name. Probably Ephrathah is a name for the district in which Bethlehem was located. It comes from the name of Ephrath, one of the clans which made up the tribe of Judah (Ruth 1:2). David’s family were members of this clan (1 Sam 17:12). It is probably best to translate Bethlehem Ephrathah as the name of the town. If this seems too long for a name in some languages, then it is all right to translate as “Bethlehem in the region (or district) of Ephrathah” (see NEB).

Whether one knows biblical languages or not, the level of detail in these verse-by-verse handbooks helps the user to more fully understand what is going on in the biblical text at any juncture.

Concluding Thoughts

My personal experience with Logos 5 (which was also true of Logos 4) is that it handles and operates more smoothly on a PC than on a Mac. More often than I’ve liked, I’ve found myself waiting for the spinning rainbow pinwheel after entering a search query or scrolling down through a resource. The speed issue is not really present on a PC, though. Having fewer tabs open on a Mac makes for fluid operation, but Logos on PC is the way to go for complex, involved operations with multiple resources open at once.

One strength Logos currently has over any other Bible software is how it syncs across computers and devices. Everything I do and save in my PC version of Logos will be right as I left it when I open it up on a Mac. Its cloud capabilities are tops.

I’ve reviewed individual resources in Logos, as well. You can find many of those by going through Words on the Word, if you are so inclined. One of Logos’s strengths is in the massive resource library it makes available. Much as I love the printed book, the convenience of accessing multiple biblical texts and commentaries from just about anywhere feels like nothing short of a 21st century luxury.

Thanks to Logos for the gratis review copy of Gold, given me with the sole expectation that I review it honestly here on my blog. Kudos are due again to MP Seminars, whose “What’s New” manual helped me more quickly apprehend the Bible Sense Lexicon.

Review of Morris Proctor’s “What’s New?” Manual for Logos 5

L5 What's NewLogos 5 does not operate in ways that are drastically different from Logos 4, but there are enough new features and modifications that a “What’s New?” guide for Logos 5 is useful.

Morris Proctor is president of MP Seminars, “the authorized trainer” for Logos Bible Software. With the release of Logos 5 in November, MP Seminars produced a “What’s New?” manual for Logos 5. It is not intended to be a stand-alone guide to Logos 5; those are here, and I’ll review them in a future post. Proctor assumes a general working knowledge of Logos 4 for this guide, though even as someone new to Logos in the last six months or so, I found it easy to follow his explanations.

The chief virtue in this manual is its attention to detail–down to offering various “keystroke” shortcuts for tasks in Logos 5. “What’s New?” covers Logos 5 for both Mac and Windows. There are screenshots throughout with clear labels and instructions. For example:

MP example

The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The consistent use of illustrations like the above make “What’s New?” a reference guide to keep near the computer. (The plastic spiral-bound construction of the book means it easily lays flat.) The screenshots are printed in black and white, but that does not detract from their clarity.

Even having spent significant time with Logos 5, I found details through this manual that I never would have thought to look for. For example, MP notes a new item in the “Information” panel called “Translated,” which displays various Bible translations of a given word in one place. The sections on the Bible Sense Lexicon (ch. 14) and Clause Searching (ch. 5) are especially good at explaining new features from the ground up, in a way that someone using Logos 5 for the first time could easily understand. MP has probably the best short explanation of the new Bible Sense Lexicon that I’ve seen–he calls it an “orchard with trees bearing branches,” a phrase he then unpacks in helpful detail.

I did find myself wanting a bit more from the section on the new “Sermon Starter Guide.” MP describes the basic headings found in that guide, but there is not a lot of information about how to work within the guide’s results. For example, it is clear from the manual how to generate the report and understand the headings it provides, but there is not mention of the fact that from a passage-based report, you can click on a theme to open an new theme-based report, or that you can click on “x” next to a heading to close that section altogether. Perhaps MP goes into this level of detail in the full Logos 5 manuals.

There is often mention of what Logos “can do for you,” or the assertion that “Logos is here to help,” and so on. This made me feel a few times like I was being sold to, which is unnecessary since anyone using this manual will already have Logos 5. This is a small distraction, through.

Here’s the Table of Contents, detailing what the 68-page manual covers:

1. Appearance and Tabs
2. Home Page
3. Library
4. Searching
5. Clause Searching
6. Documents Menu
7. Bibliography
8. Word List
9. Guides
10. Sermon Starter Guide
11. Topic Guide
12. Tools Menu
13. Bible Facts
14. Bible Sense Lexicon
15. Timeline
16. Visual Filters
17. Root Words

Even with Logos 5 under my belt for a few months, the “What’s New?” manual from MP Seminars has really deepened my understanding of the new features in that program. It’s a good guide for the transition from Logos 4 to 5.

Thanks to MP Seminars for the copy of the Logos 5 – What’s New? manual to review. You can find it available for purchase here.

How to Read and Understand the Göttingen Septuagint: A Short Primer, part 2 (Apparatus)

The one who is serious about getting at the earliest attainable text of the Hebrew Bible will eventually find herself or himself face-to-face with a page like this:

Genesis 1 in Göttingen LXX
Genesis 1 in the Göttingen Septuagint

The Göttingen Septuagint is the largest scholarly edition of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. Its full title is Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in Göttingen, 

Septuaginta.band 1

Germany publishes the series, which includes more than 20 volumes covering some 40 biblical books (counting the minor prophets as 12). Various editors are working toward the publication of additional volumes.

But if good coffee, fine wine, or well-aged cheese requires work on the part of the one taking it in, the Göttingen LXX makes its own demands of the reader who would use it. The critical apparatuses on each page have Greek, abbreviated Greek, abbreviated Latin, and other potentially unfamiliar sigla. The introductions in each volume are in German.

How to read and understand the Göttingen Septuagint, then? To begin, here is the sample page from above:

Genesis 1 in Göttingen LXX_key
Genesis 1:4-9, reprinted with publisher’s permission

There are four main parts to the page, marked in the image above by the numbers 1 through 4.

  1. The reconstructed Greek critical text (“Der kritische Text”)
  2. The Source List (“Kopfleiste”) (note: not every Göttingen volume has this)
  3. The First Critical Apparatus (“Apparat I”)
  4. The Second Critical Apparatus (“Apparat II”)

In part 1 of my primer, I covered numbers 1 and 2 above. To summarize a bit:

1. With verse references in both the margin and in the body of the text, the top portion of each page of the Göttingen Septuagint is the editorially reconstructed text of each biblical book.

2. The Kopfleiste comes just below the text and above the apparatuses. Wevers notes it as a list of all manuscripts and versions used, listed in the order that they appear in the apparatus on that page. A fragmentary textual witness is enclosed in parenthesis.

Next are the two critical apparatuses. In his introduction to Genesis (conveniently translated into English here, from which I quote), editor John William Wevers speaks of the critically reconstructed text as an “approximation of the original” and “hopefully the best which could be reconstructed.” I previously noted:

[Göttingen] editors have viewed and listed the readings of many manuscripts and versions. The critical apparatuses are where they list those readings, so the user of Göttingen can see other readings as they compare with the critically reconstructed text. (Because the Göttingen editions are critical/eclectic texts, no single manuscript will match the text of the Göttingen Septuagint.)

The International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) notes (from here):

The Göttingen Septuagint features two apparatuses (as does the Larger Cambridge Septuagint), the first for LXX/OG textual evidence proper and the second for so-called hexaplaric evidence, i.e. “rival” translations/revisions of the translated LXX/OG (such as circulated under the labels “Theodotion,” “Aquila,” and “Symmachus”), preserved largely through the influence of Origen’s Hexapla. For LXX/OG research the importance of both apparatuses is second only to the critical text itself.

The challenge, of course, is that to make sense of the apparatuses and their abbreviations.

3. The First Critical Apparatus (“Apparat I”)

The “textual evidence proper” consists of any readings that the editor deems as variant to the reconstructed text. The editors follow a consistent order in the witnesses they cite. (There is minor variation, volume to volume.) In Genesis Wevers writes:

The witnesses for a variant are always arranged in a set order: a) the uncial texts in alphabetic order; b) the papyri in numerical order; c) the witnesses of the O‘ mss [AKJ: the “hexaplaric group”]; d) the witnesses of the C‘’ mss [AKJ: the “Catena group”]; e) the remaining text families (comp Section B I above) in alphabetical order; f) the rest of the Greek evidence in the following order: N.T. witnesses, Ios [AKJ: Josephus], Phil [AKJ: Philo], followed by the rest of the Greek writers in alpha­betic order; g) La (or the sub-groups, for ex. LaI Las, etc.) [AKJ: Old Latin versions], followed by the other versions in alphabetic order; h) citations of the Latin Fathers, introduced by the sign Lat (these witnesses always stand in opposition to La or a sub-group of La); i) other witnesses or commentaries.

To look at an example of the first critical apparatus, Deuteronomy 6:5 in the Göttingen edition reads:

καὶ ἀγαπήσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς δυνάμεώς σου.

(And you shall love the Lord your God with all your mind and with all your soul and with all your strength.)

The apparatus for that verse, in part, has:

om καί  Arab Sa17 | αγαπησης 30; αγαπη σε 527 | κύριον τόν] bis scr 120* | om σου  Tht Dtap | ἐξ 1°—διανοίας] εν ολη τη καρδια Matth 22:37 |

With each unit broken up by line here, the apparatus gives this information about its manuscripts:

  • Arab and Sa17 omit (om) the first () use of καί
  • 30 has αγαπησης; 527 has αγαπη σε
  • 120* has κύριον τόν written (scr) twice (bis)
  • Tht Dtap omits (om) the first () use of σου
  • From the first use () of ἐξ through () the word διανοίας, Matthew 22:37 has rather (]) εν ολη τη καρδια

One has to go to the introduction for information about the manuscripts “Arab” (Arabic version), ” Sa17” (from the Sahidic version), “30” and “527” (minuscule manuscripts), “120*” (also a minuscule manuscript, where the asterisk * refers to “the original reading of a ms,” as opposed to a “correction”), and “Tht Dtap” (Tht=Theodoretus (“Cyrensis=Cyrrhensis”); Dt=his Quaestiones in Deuteronomium; ap refers, Wevers notes, “to readings (variants) in the apparatus of editions”).

Miles Van Pelt has produced a concise two-page summary of sigla and abbreviations. I offer appreciation and gratitude to Miles that I can link to that pdf here. That offers further instruction as to deciphering the apparatuses (both the first and second) in the Göttingen volumes. The introductions to given volumes contain the signs/symbols and abbreviations (“Zeichen und Abkürzungen”), as well.

Boromir had it right:

One Does Not Simply One Does not SimplyOne Does Not Simply

So I’ll write about the Second Critical Apparatus (“Apparat II”) in a future post. Until then….

Thanks to Brian Davidson of LXXI for his helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of this post and the part 1 that preceded it. He is not to be blamed for the inclusion of Boromir in this post.

Creating your own commentary in Accordance 10 (or just taking notes)

I’ve just this week gotten into a particular feature of Accordance Bible Software: the User Notes. As I’m doing some research and writing in the book of Romans right now, recording and storing my notes in Accordance itself is very easy–and fun.

I didn’t write about User Notes when I reviewed Accordance 10. It’s a standout feature, though, and very elegantly and smoothly produced by the developers.

In short, you can use User Notes to essentially create your own running commentary on the Bible–whether this is notes about various translations, insights into the original language, or thoughts about how a given text applies to you and the people with whom you are in community.

You can have the User Notes set up as a parallel text (i.e., in the image below, I can replace “GNT-T Notes” with my own notes) or as a tool in a different zone altogether. You can tie the tool to a text so that everything scrolls together verse-by-verse. This latter setup is how I prefer to work, as here (open image in new tab to see at full size):

User Notes Mark 1.2

Edit mode allows you to take notes on any verse. You simply go to a verse in the text, press the shortcut (command key + U), add your note, then click on update, and you’ve got a note. To edit an existing note, go to your notes that are in display mode, click and start typing. The edit window then opens.

You can automatically hyperlink any verse reference you list in a note. So in the “AKJV notes” that are in “display mode” above for Mark 1:2, I simply have to highlight Exodus 23:20, then click on “Make Link” for it to become hyperlinked. And as with other tools, it is easy to search notes by reference or content.

At present it is not possible to hyperlink to anything else in a note besides a verse. (So you can’t hyperlink to a Website, for example, though this would take you outside of the Accordance program anyway.) And live editing does not currently exist in User Notes (see here for more). But the ease with which I’ve been able to begin using and continue to make extensive use of the User Notes is commendable. I really like what Accordance has done here.

More details about User Notes can be found here in the Accordance online help files. And you can watch this video tutorial about the User Notes, too.

My full Accordance review is here.