Books I have for sale

Having seen a blogging friend sell some used books through his blog, I thought I’d try the same.

So here are some books and reference works (including a little bit of Bible software) that I’m offering for sale at a discounted rate. I have them listed online elsewhere, but the lowest rate I offer is here. It’s also generally the lowest rate online for a used copy. All prices include free shipping to U.S. addresses. Interested in anything? Contact me using this form, and we’ll talk.


Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BDAG)
for BibleWorks Software
Compatible with BibleWorks 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. I’ve been in touch with BibleWorks to confirm that on completion of sale, one user license transfers to the buyer with no fee, so that you can use BDAG in your BibleWorks. (Must have purchased and own BibleWorks to be able to use this.)
Significant discount from buying new (where it’s $150).
$119 (SOLD)

Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia

BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia), compact edition
Very Good condition
ISBN: 978-1598561630
No markings inside. Binding is a bit loose from front cover, but barely noticeable, and book is still in great shape.
$34 (SOLD)

UBS Handbook

A Handbook on the Books of Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah
(UBS Handbook)
Like New condition
ISBN: 978-0826701329
Barely used at all. Pulled off shelf just a couple of times.
$29 (SOLD)


The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament,
2 volume set (HALOT)
Very Good condition
ISBN: 978-9004124455
In great shape. Just some wear and tear. No internal markings. 2 volume study edition (same full contents as 5 vol. edition).
$179 (SOLD)
Note: I also have HALOT in BibleWorks (see BDAG note above). Would possibly consider an offer.

IVP Dictionary

IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books
Very Good condition (2 available 1 available)
ISBN: 978-0830817825
No marking inside. Barely used. One has rubbing on page edges.
$33 (SOLD)

Readers Hebrew English Lexicon

A Reader’s Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament
Very Good condition
ISBN: 978-0310369806
Former owner’s name on inside, no other markings. Small rip on top left corner of dustjacket, which has some other wear. Small crease on back cover of book, but does not affect integrity of book. Book itself in great shape. 720 pages.
All words that occur less than 50x in OT are listed in canonical order, verse-by-verse.
$39 (SOLD)

luke by bock

Luke (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
(2 Volumes)
, by Bock
Very Good condition
ISBN: 978-0801010514
Hardly used. Only flaws: name inscribed on inside of one book, tiniest of rips on part of dust cover, small smudge mark on outside of pages. Inside clean.
$60 (SOLD)

1 Peter by Jobes

1 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the NT), by Jobes
Very Good condition
Barely used: remainder mark, small dings on spine and corners of cover.
$22 (SOLD)

Free shipping on all orders. If you’re interested in buying–or just have questions–you can reach me using this form, and we’ll go from there.

Review of Beale’s Handbook at The Blog of the Twelve

I’ve just recently learned about The Blog of the Twelve. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s recommended reading, especially for folks with an interest in the Minor Prophets.

There is a good book review from that blog of G.K. Beale’s Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. (That book was a text for one of my classes this semester.) An excerpt:

The usefulness of this book can hardly be stated for those seeking to rightly handle the Scripture, whether student, pastor, or laity. Beale’s clear writing style, in addition to the uncharacteristic conciseness of the book, makes the method accessible to a wide audience. Furthermore, Beale, while emphasizing the indispensable value of learning the biblical languages, formats the book in such a way that those not familiar with Hebrew and Greek are able to profit just as well from the work.

Read the whole thing here.

Keep ’em coming back with the December Biblical Studies Carnival

We're here; we blog about the bible; get used to us.
We’re here; we blog about the Bible; get used to it.

Charles Spurgeon is reported to have said, “If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back.”

And so we who blog in the fields of academic biblical studies and theology keep giving carnivals.

So let Words on the Word be among the first to wish you and yours a Happy New Year! Let’s welcome the year ahead with a recap of what went on in the so-called biblioblogosphere in December 2012.

Newtown, Connecticut, December 14

On December 14 there was the horrible news of a shooter who killed 26 other people at an elementary school in Newtown, CT, 20 of them young children. Peter Enns shared some thoughts from an unsettled state. Jim West wrote about it quite a bit and excoriated the NRA.

Shannon Hicks/Newtown Bee, via Associated Press

Nick Norelli rightly called the tragedy senseless. Robert Cargill weighed in on “The guns Adam Lanza used….” James Pate wondered whether the shooter had been loved in his life. Julie Clawson of onehandclapping mourns in the darkness on Advent 3. And Brian LePort–after posting his own reflections–provided a roundup of posts on the shooting. Lord, have mercy.

Year-End Lists, Learnings and New Year’s Resolutions

2012 to 2013Scot McKnight lists the “Jesus Creed Books of the Year” here. Near Emmaus has the “Top Ten Books I Read This Year (2012).” Joel “1.21 JiggaWatts of Mark but not Q” Watts offered his books of the year. Nathan Smoyer shared 24 lessons learned in 2012. And here is Phil Long of Reading Acts with the 10 books in biblical studies he found most useful this past year. T.M. Law gives us “Tops for Twelve in Jewish and Christian History,” after “tops” lists on Bible and the HB/OT/LXX. Here is Robert Cornwall’s book list for 2012. Here is Nick Norelli’s book review list spanning this last year. Mark Roberts offers a Psalm and a prayer for the new year. Cliff at Theological Musings posts about books to read in 2013.

Joel lists the top five events in biblioblogging in 2012, while Rod at Political Jesus adds to the list.

While these next two weren’t year-end lists, per se, The Jesus Blog offers recommendations for five books to read on the historical Jesus, while Nijay Gupta suggests “five new interesting books on Jesus and the Gospels.”

NA28 Reviews


The reviews of the new Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament started rolling in. First note: it’s online for free. No apparatus, but the text is all here.

Reviewers in December included: Dan Wallace, Jim West (some nice pictures here, review here), Rick Brannan (here and here). Here is Chris Keith on Jude 5. And BLT (Bible * Literature * Translation) analyzes The Rhetoric of NA28©. Consider BLT’s post a meta-review of sorts.

Hebrew Bible/OT and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Brian Davidson at LXXI uses BibleWorks 9 to do a complex morphological search on a word in Genesis 10:19. A new blog, This Does What Now?, started in December, with a first entry on information structure in Jonah 1. John Cook discusses valency and verb theory in Biblical Hebrew.

The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library puts the DSS “finally at your fingertips.” As here:

8Hev DSS

A note in the about section of the site reads:

With the generous lead support of the Leon Levy Foundation and additional generous support of the Arcadia Fund, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Google joined forces to develop the most advanced imaging and web technologies to bring to the web hundreds of Dead Sea Scrolls images as well as specially developed supporting resources in a user-friendly platform intended for the public, students and scholars alike.

A number of bloggers wrote about this, not a few of whom Jim McGrath links to.

That wasn’t all that went online in December. Evangelical Textual Criticism notes quite a few other manuscripts that are now online. (As proven by the fact that every word of that last phrase is its own hyperlink.) Charles Halton of highlights the availability of A. Leo Oppenheim’s Ancient Mesopotamia as a free pdf. Readers of this carnival may also like to take some time with ASOR’s weekly archaeology roundups in December, here, here, and here.


December saw a plethora of posts about παρθένος/עלמה in Isaiah 7:14, and Matthew’s use of that verse. Here is T.M. Law, saying that Greek Isaiah’s use of παρθένος for עלמה is not without precedent in the LXX (“The Greek translator of Isaiah used a perfectly acceptable rendering for עלמה.”). Here’s the Jesus Creed on the virgin birth. Krista Dalton notes, “[T]he author of Matthew is not saying that Isaiah was envisioning the birth of Jesus.” Kevin Brown of Diglotting posts here about it. And, looking at hermeneutics more generally, Brian LePort suggested three paradigms to use in studying the virgin birth.

IsaiahSpeaking of Greek Isaiah… more than 150 of us are reading through Greek Isaiah in a Year. And writing about it, too. Suzanne at BLT covered appetite and desire, synonymous phrases (particularly at issue when comparing Isaiah 2 and Micah 4), and μητροπολις πιστη σιων as “the mother city of Zion.” Bob MacDonald posted on Isaiah 3 and 6. Brian LePort posted notes from Isaiah 1:1-25, 1:26-2:21, 2:22-3:21, and 3:22-5:16.

J.K. Gayle at The WOMBman’s Bible (“An Outsider’s Perspective on the Hebrew Males’ Hellene Book”) posted reflections from Greek Isaiah not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, but 7 times in December. Set aside some time and read them all.

Codex Sinaiticus dropped in price to just under $200 at CBD this month–a facsimile edition, that is. Theophrastus of BLT notes it here. He will later lament (which I, too, lament) that Oxford University Press no longer prints their wonderful Comparative Psalter. And while we’re on those Ψαλμοὶ, did their Greek translator(s) have Aristotle and Greek rhetoric in mind?

Read the Fathers posted a nice introduction to the Septuagint. (Go here for more info about taking part in that reading group.)

New Testament and Greek

Greek spelling: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG
Greek spelling: YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

Rod Decker wrote about understanding Greek and how to teach it. (Hint, via Decker: you can’t skip first year Greek.) Daniel Street suggested a Greek Students’ Liberation Movement when it comes to pedagogy.

Anthony Le Donne is taking on the Wikipedia entry on “Historical Jesus” (best biblioblog comment of the month: here). James Tabor asked how December 25 got to be the day we observe Jesus’ birthday (with more thoughts here). Mark Goodacre produced a Christmas NT Pod in which he “explores the differences between the Birth Narratives in Matt. 1-2 and Luke 1-2 and asks how this can be the case if Luke is familiar with Matthew.” The Sacred Page produced a podcast on “the first Christmas.” For a fresh translation of Luke 1:34-38 (with the Greek reproduced beneath the English), see “She spoke yet-Miriam did.” Daniel Street even gave us some Christmas songs in Greek!

Brian Davidson connects the salt verse of Matthew 5:13 to the rest of the beatitudes.

Theological Musings reviewed Charts on the Book of Hebrews, as well as Donald Hagner’s New Testament introduction.

James Tabor points out a common question readers of Paul come to: “Who is a Jew?” (However one answers the question, “Who Said Jews Aren’t Interested in Biblical Theology?” asks Joseph Kelly. And James G. Crossley notes some cautions here.) Readers of Paul also ask (and argue) about the “faith of Christ.” Kait Dugan relates pistis Christou to discipleship. Steven E. Runge’s NT Discourse blog featured an extended note on “exceptional exceptive clauses,” with Galatians 2:16 in view.


rublev icon

Anglican minister Rach Marszalek calls for nuance in discussions on the Trinity, as well as an appreciation of “the perichoretic beauty” of the Same. Read her “Eternal functional subordination and ontological equality?” here. While we’re on Anglicans, Brian LePort asks whether he needs a Bishop?

Gaudete Theology offers a feminist reading of “the bride of Christ” language. (“The image of the Bride of Christ needn’t be viewed only through the patriarchal perception of woman’s nature as inherently passive, docile, compliant, and receptive.”) Alice C. Linsley at Just Genesis would, I think, agree that the image and office of priest should also not be viewed through a patriarchal lens. She says, “Luther Was Wrong About the Priesthood.”

Rod at Political Jesus reviewed The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. Larry Hurtado looks at Andrew Chester’s assessment of high Christology scholarship of late.

James Pate encourages inter-religious dialogue even for conservative Christians. He also writes about what Jonathan Edwards has to do with the historical-critical method (engaging this method may have felt inter-religious to Edwards). Jim McGrath engages the question (regarding a book with this title): Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Remnant of Giants suggests that it’s “time to put away the decaffeinated biblical criticism.”

December brought news of the Queen James Bible. Jim McGrath looks to get beyond it. BLT invites dialogue as to whether or not that Bible’s editors have achieved their aims.

And, finally, may I offer thanks to Amanda at Cheesewearing Theology for this excellent December 2012 theology roundup? She covers yet more territory in theology than I have already covered here. If you’re disappointed that this carnival is about over, spend time reading the posts she collects.

Ευχαριστω/תודה/Thank you

carnival 2

Thanks for coming, and keep coming back! I blog regularly, so feel free to follow/subscribe by going back up to the right sidebar of the blog.

Phil Long at Reading Acts is looking for volunteers for future carnivals. Let’s “keep giving carnivals”! Please check out his post and see what you think.

I don’t necessarily agree with the content of all these posts I’ve linked to, but I do find them worth a click and read. Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

Biblical Studies Carnival: please send me links


I am hosting the next Biblical Studies Carnival. (See here for the last one, by Bob MacDonald.)

The carnival is basically a long list of links, and anthology of analyses, a précis of posts, etc., etc., on all things biblical and theological in the blogosphere.

If you know of good links I should include (anything that has been or will be posted in December), please let me know.

And, since I have you here, don’t forget about the book giveaway going on now of Devotions on the Greek New Testament.

Biblical Studies Carnival (November)


Bob MacDonald hosts this month’s Biblical Studies Carnival here. What, you thought blogs were so 2008? Well, they were. But they’re pretty 2012, too. Bob compiles a long list of blog posts in the field of Biblical Studies from the month of November.

I’m hosting the carnival next month, so if you know of good links I should include (anything that will be posted in December), please feel free to let me know.

Which Bible software program should I buy? Comparison of BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos


Which Bible software program should I buy? It’s an important question for the student of the Bible, especially if she or he is on a limited budget. Having now reviewed BibleWorks 9 (here), Accordance 10 (here) and Logos 4 (here) and now 5 (here), I want to compare the three programs and offer some suggestions for moving forward with Bible software.

There are some free programs available for download (E-Sword, for example), but my sense has been that if you want to have something in-depth, you’ll probably want to consider BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos.

If you’re in the market to buy Bible software, then, here’s how I recommend proceeding.


1. Think through why you want the Bible software.


I don’t mean in an existential sense; I mean: for what do you want to use Bible software? Personal Bible study? As a means to access electronic commentaries for sermon preparation? To do in-depth word studies in the original languages? To compare the Greek and the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament? For complex syntactical searches? To help generate graphics and handouts for a Sunday School class you teach? Some or all of the above?

Similarly, are there things you know you don’t need? Are you interested only in studying the Bible in English (or Spanish, or French…) but not necessarily in Greek and Hebrew? Are maps and graphics something you can easily access elsewhere? Is having a large library of electronic commentaries not a value?

I highlight these considerations because the answer to the question, “Which Bible software program should I buy?” is: It depends. It depends on why and for what you want Bible software. More on that below.


2. Explore BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos on their own merits.


Get a sense of what each can do by visiting their respective Websites (BibleWorks here, Accordance here, and Logos here). Look through those sites for videos which will let you see the programs in action. You can also look through the full reviews I’ve done of BibleWorks here, Accordance here, and Logos here (v.4) and here (just-released v. 5). In these reviews I look at multiple features and resources in each program.

BibleWorks is a PC program. You can run it on a Mac, though. This either requires a separate Windows license (= more $$), where it runs nicely in Parallels, etc., or you can use a “native” Mac version of it. The former option is costly and requires a lot of your Mac machine (though you get a fully-functinoing BibleWorks on a Mac that way). I can’t yet recommend the latter option, where it is in “Public Preview,” since the “native” Mac version looks only native to about two Mac operating systems ago… I expect BibleWorks will make improvements here, but I haven’t found BibleWorks on my Mac to be as functional as I’d like. It’s excellent on a PC, though.

Accordance is a Mac program. They have announced that they’ll introduce Accordance for Windows in 2013, and they have said that they are previewing that at SBL/AAR this week. (I understand that you can run Accordance on Windows now via an emulator, per the above link, but that it’s not 100% functional in the same way Accordance on Mac is.) Accordance is silky smooth–if I may call a Bible software program that. It is very Mac-like, which is a goal and priority of Accordance. Using it is truly enjoyable. Accordance also has an iOS app, which I haven’t used, as I do not own an iPhone, iPad, iOverbrain, etc. It looks like a stripped-down version of Accordance, but it’s free. If I had an iPhone, that would definitely be on there.

Logos works on PC and Macs. It’s also cloud-based, so that you can sync your work in Logos across computers, platforms, mobile devices, on the Internet using Biblia, and so on. Logos for the Mac feels fairly Mac-like, but not to the extent that Accordance does. However, being able to switch between a PC and a Mac in Logos and have everything sync via the cloud is a great feature. I noted in a Logos review recently how I was working in Logos 5 on a PC, then the next day opened Logos on my Mac to the exact same window I had just closed on a PC the day before.


3. Think about what your budget is.


You should actually probably do this before you check out the individual programs a whole lot–just to make sure you don’t end up spending money you don’t really have! Sometimes you’ll see a price tag associated with how much a base package would cost you if you bought all the resources in print. But this really doesn’t matter if you wouldn’t buy many of those resources in the first place (per point #1 above).

BibleWorks does not have packages, per se–it’s just the program and all its contents for $359. You can also purchase add-on modules in BibleWorks. Accordance has various collections (beginning with the basic Starter Collection at $49.99), which you can compare here. They sell various other products, as well. These base packages had been a little difficult to wade through and make sense of in Accordance 9, but the August release of Accordance 10 greatly simplified things. Logos also sells various base packages, starting at $294.95 retail price for their Starter package, and many other products. Note also that Accordance and Logos both offer discounts to academicians, ministers, etc.


4. Compare.


Keep firmly in mind the purposes for which you want Bible software as you read the below. But I will offer some general insights.


BibleWorks (PC) and Accordance (Mac) take the cake here. I wrote here about the sluggishness of Logos 4 for searching. That’s improved somewhat in Logos 5. Where BibleWorks stands out is in its Use tab, new in BibleWorks 9. Via the Use tab, you can instantaneously see all the uses of a given word in an open version just by hovering over that word. I’m not aware of anything comparable in Accordance or Logos, and it’s a mind-blowing feature. Accordance, however, returns search results as quickly as BibleWorks, and starts up faster. I continue to be impressed with the speed of both BibleWorks and Accordance. I’m glad for the improvements in Logos, but hope they’ll continue to improve search speed.

Package for the Price

Had I written this post six months ago, the no-brainer answer would be that BibleWorks is best. For $359 you get everything listed here.

Comparable in Accordance is the Original Languages Collection for $299 (full contents compared here). This collection six months ago was not really comparable to BibleWorks, but with the release of Accordance 10, Accordance significantly improved on and expanded what’s available in its Original Languages Collection. Someone wanting Bible software for detailed original languages work could get a lot of what they need in Accordance for under $300. However, it remains true that you get more in BibleWorks that you have to pay extra for in Accordance (like the Center for NT Textual Studies apparatus and images, Philo, Josephus, Church Fathers, the Tov-Polak MT-LXX Parallel, etc.). That’s true compared with Logos, too.

Logos 5 is a little more difficult for me to size up here. In Logos 4 there was an Original Languages Library for $400 or so that was at least comparable to BibleWorks and Accordance (and included the 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament). Based just on package for the price, I still would have picked BibleWorks over Logos, but the release of Logos 5 has seen a restructuring of base packages that seems less than ideal for something like original language study. They do now have the Theological Lexicon of the OT and of the NT in the “Bronze” package, but the nearly $300 Logos Starter package doesn’t include the necessary and basic lexica for studying the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, and the Greek New Testament.

This is where what you want out of a Bible software program should dictate which way you go. Are you a seminarian with a primary interest in original language exegesis, with a preference for commentaries in print? If so, I recommend Accordance on Mac or BibleWorks on PC. Accordance also has good commentaries as add-ons (not much here for BibleWorks), but Logos has a large amount of digitized books, and tends on the balance (though not always) to run cheaper than Accordance for the same modules. (The cheapest BDAG/HALOT lexicon bundle is in BibleWorks.) But the larger library in Logos is perhaps at the expense of program speed, so you’ll want to weigh options here. If you preach weekly and don’t make much reference to Greek and Hebrew, wanting extensive commentaries instead, Logos could be the way to go for you.

Customizability and Usability

Here I favor Accordance of the three. BibleWorks is probably the least configurable. There are four columns in BibleWorks 9, but you can’t move things around much, whereas in Accordance and Logos you can put tabs/zones/resources more or less where you want them. Logos is plenty customizable, but the Workspaces feature in Accordance sets it apart from Logos. In Accordance you can save distinct Workspaces and have multiple ones open at a time. You can save “Layouts” in Logos, but from all I can see, you can only have one layout open at once. This has often slowed my study. You can detach tabs into separate windows with Logos, but for working on multiple projects at once (e.g., an NT use of the OT Workspace, an LXX Workspace, a Hebrew OT Workspace, an English Bible Study workspace, etc.), Accordance is tops.

For the record, both for my graduate studies and message preparation, Accordance is the first program I have open. Part of this is due to the fact that I prefer to use a Mac. (Within the last year I bought a cheap PC laptop just so I could keep using BibleWorks, which is still excellent.) But the multiple Workspaces option makes Accordance great for easy day-to-day use across multiple kinds of tasks. It’s been interesting to watch myself mouse over to the Accordance icon in my dock on my Mac before either Logos or BibleWorks.


This is probably a toss-up. I’ve had positive interactions with everyone I’ve contacted in BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos. All have active and helpful user forums. All offer help files and how-to videos. (BibleWorks has the most extensive set of videos.) I was surprised to see how many how-to videos and manuals you could buy from Logos, but many of these have been produced by approved third-parties. I don’t think you should have to pay more money to learn how to use a program you already paid for.


One thing I haven’t extensively reviewed is the note-taking features, which are available in BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos. I particularly appreciate being able to highlight passages (which then stay highlighted every time I open that resource) in resources in both Accordance and Logos. Logos has an easier one-keystroke shortcut to highlight selected text, but there’s a delay in doing so; Accordance is faster here. But back when I was using only BibleWorks, I was concerned about saving notes in a file format that wouldn’t be accessible across computers and platforms, so all my notes were always just in Word or TextEdit (.rtf). I’ve continued this practice as I’ve begun using Accordance and Logos, so that any writing I generate is not confined within a given program.


In sum…


So, which Bible software program should you buy? It depends on why you want Bible software and the uses you’ll have for it. If you’re looking to build and access a large digital library, no one denies that Logos is the leader in that regard. It is also only Logos that connects to the cloud to sync across multiple devices. If you’re looking to really delve into the original languages, though, and do complex and fast searches, Accordance for Mac and BibleWorks for PC are preferable. (Logos 5 has offered significant improvement from Logos 4 in working closely with original language texts, but the search speed still needs to be improved.) BibleWorks gets you the most bang for your buck by including as many resources, versions, lexica, grammars, etc. as it does, but the interface and customizability of Accordance makes the latter more enjoyable and a little easier to use.

When it comes to the BibleWorks vs. Accordance vs. Logos question, I think at bottom each is a solid software program and good decision. You can’t go badly wrong with any of them. In fact, I now use all three on an almost daily basis. (Thanks again to each software company for the review copies.) But insofar as potential users may not want to have to purchase or learn how to use all three programs, I hope the above reflections are of use.


Next time…


I will post one more time in the near future along these same lines. In particular I plan to compare Septuagint study across BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos. I’ve covered this in each of my individual reviews already, but I’ll look at the Tov-Polak MT-LXX Parallel database in particular in each of the three, so you can see in more detail how each software program handles the same basic resource. In that post I will also write about more complex search features in BibleWorks, Accordance, and Logos, assessing how they compare.

(2015 UPDATE: That would-be blog post ended up as a published article in a journal of Septuagint studies. See more here.)

If you’ve made it this far (more than 2,000 words later), congratulations! Please feel free to leave me a comment or contact me if you are seriously considering Bible software and want to ask any questions about anything I’ve reviewed… or haven’t covered in my reviews.

January 2014 UPDATE: I have begun reviewing the Bible Study app from Olive Tree. You can see those reviews gathered here.

Review of T. Muraoka’s Hebrew/Aramaic Index to the Septuagint

In studying the Septuagint, I’m regularly curious about how often the LXX translators used the same Greek word to translate a given Hebrew word. How often, for example, does καρδία translate the Hebrew לבב? And what other Greek words are used to translate it? Similarly, I wonder, for occurences in the Greek text of καρδία, what other Hebrew words might it be translating?

Takamitsu Muraoka has made such questions an emphasis of his scholarly writing and publishing throughout his career. His Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint is one of the standard lexicons in the field, and his Greek-Hebrew/Aramaic Two-way Index to the Septuagint is the best thing I’ve seen in print for Hebrew-Greek lexical studies in the Septuagint.

Preceding that latter work was Muraoka’s Hebrew/Aramaic Index to the Septuagint: Keyed to the Hatch-Redpath Concordance. I’ve had a chance to use the work in Logos Bible software; this post contains my review.

Muraoka notes the impetus for the work in the Introduction. The Hatch-Redpath Concordance (hereafter HR), published around the turn of the 20th century, listed all Greek words used in the Septuagint with the Hebrew they were thought to have translated. At the back of the concordance was a list that basically noted the reverse, showing Hebrew words alphabetically with the Greek words used to translate them… or, rather, a key to the Greek words in question. As Muraoka notes, you would have this entry in HR:

אָמַר qal 37 c, 74 a, 109 c, 113 c, 120 a, 133 a, 222 a, 267 a, 299 b, 306 b, 313 a, 329 c, 339 b, 365 a, 384 a, 460 c, 477 a, 503 c, 505 c, 520 b, 534 c, 537 b, 538 b, 553 b, 628 b, 757 b, 841 c, 863 c, 881 c, 991 b, 1056 b, 1060 a, 1061 a, 1139 a, 1213 b, 1220 c, 1231 b, c, 1310 b, 1318 b, 1423 c, 1425 b, 69 b, 72 b, 173 a, 183 b, c, 200 a (2), 207 c, 211 b.

Whereas the Greek to Hebrew portion of HR lists the Hebrew words underlying the Greek of the LXX, the Hebrew to Greek portion at the back just has page and column reference numbers, as above. So the user of HR would have to turn to page 37, column c, page 74, column a, etc., etc., in order to see what Greek words were in those locations. Only in that tedious way could the user of HR see all the Greek words used to translate the Hebrew אָמַר.

Muraoka’s wife (who is a true co-author of this work) tediously wrote out (yes, by hand) each Hebrew to Greek entry so that instead of page and column numbers, it contained actual Greek words. The above, then, would look more like this:

אָמַר qal αἰτεῖν (37c), ἀναγγέλλειν (74a)…

…and so on. The HR page and column numbers are retained, but now the user doesn’t have to flip back and forth, since the Greek words are all in one place.

T. Muraoka then took his wife’s data and critically examined HR’s assessments in as many places as he could, drawing on advances in the past century in textual criticism, manuscript availability (like the Dead Sea Scrolls), and adding in analysis of “apocryphal” books, which HR had not fully included. The resulting revision updates both HR’s work and his wife’s manual collation.

What results, then, is an eminently helpful work where one can look up any Hebrew word and see all the Greek words used to translate it across the Septuagint. To be able to do this is valuable, and Muraoka makes it easy.

There are two things that lack here, though neither one of them is really the goal of the work, so I don’t actually criticize it for these omissions. First, there are not frequency numbers. It could be especially helpful to know not only what Greek words translate a given Hebrew word, but how many times each does, so that the user can get a sense of the distribution of each. Muraoka doesn’t have this. Second, he doesn’t have glosses or translation equivalents for words, so there is no English in this index.

But this is an index, and marked as one, so neither of those is a flaw in Muraoka’s book. In fact, here is where using Muraoka in Logos is especially helpful: you can tie tabs together so that a simple click from Greek or Hebrew in his index takes you to a corresponding Greek or Hebrew lexicon in Logos, where you can see that word’s meaning. Logos in this way really enhances Muraoka’s tool. And, of course, frequency statistics are easy to come by in Logos.

This is a good resource, and worth owning for students and professors of the Septuagint. A question remains: with all that Logos can already do, is it superfluous to purchase Muraoka’s index? Using the Bible Word Study feature in Logos, for example, I can see all of the Hebrew words that a given Greek word is used to translate, as well as all of the Greek words used to translate a given Hebrew word, as here (click to enlarge):

This may be sufficient for what many people need, especially since you can also search for a Hebrew lemma from within the Greek Septuagint text in Logos and receive results in Greek, so that you have before you all the verses with all the various Greek words that translate that Hebrew lemma. (I just learned this today from the user forums-very cool.)

But if you’ve got the money (especially if you qualify for an academic discount), and are sitting on the fence about Muraoka’s resource, I recommend it. It’s nice to have easily at hand a listing of all Greek words used to translate a Hebrew word in the Septuagint, even if there are other ways to get that information in Logos. Here it’s consolidated.

One other nice feature is that all the abbreviations throughout the index are hyperlinked to what they stand for, which you can bring up just by mousing over them:

You can see there are no verse references given, which are useful for in-depth study of Greek translations. Muraoka’s more thorough Greek-Hebrew/Aramaic Two-way Index to the Septuagint offers more depth in this regard than this 1998 Hebrew/Aramaic (one-way) index. No Bible software currently offers the two-way index, but it would be great if Logos were able to make it available in the future.

All in all Muraoka’s Hebrew/Aramaic Index to the Septuagint is a solid resource. And its digitization in Logos has been well done, too. Logos can already accomplish much of what’s in this index, but the one serious about the Septuagint may want to have any and all tools at her or his disposal. In that case, this is a worthy addition to one’s library.

Thanks to Logos for the free review copy of this work, offered without any expectation as to the positive or critical nature of my review. Muraoka’s Hebrew/Aramaic Index to the Septuagint is available in Logos here.

Logos 5 Review: Further Impressions

Last week I posted some initial impressions of the just-released Logos 5. Having had a little more time with it now, here are some further impressions I have.

The Data Sets guide the user through resources nicely and can do some unique things.

The Logos 5 Data Sets are what most stand out to me on further use. Two in particular to note:

Bible Facts (People): this allows me to search by a referent and not just by the actual wording in the text. For example, by going to “Tools” from the home screen, then “Bible Facts,” I can type in “Jesus” to see not just where that word occurs in the text, but also where the text is referring to Jesus, whether by “he,” as “Christ,” “Son,” and so on. It’s a lovely and very impressive feature. Take a look, and click on the image to see larger:

Clause Search: Another you-have-to-use-it-to-believe-it feature. Here I can find (in less than a second) every time Paul is the subject of a clause, whether “Paul” occurs in the text or not. This means I can search on Paul in Acts, but also on the things Paul says about himself (using just “I” in the text) in his epistles. Or, I can search at the clause level for times when Jesus is the subject and his disciples are the object. As here:

Note that the first result is Matthew 5:2-3, where the words “Jesus” and “disciples” don’t even appear in the text (!) but the “he” refers to “Jesus” and “them” to his disciples. Of course, there is some interpretation at play here in the results. The disciples are the closest referent to “them” in the text, but Matthew 5:1 also mentions the crowds, who could also be what “them” refers back to. But the fact that the Clause Search can, in under a second, return these kinds of results is astounding. It’s searches like this that are why Logos markets itself as “powerful.”

The search speed of the program has improved (though is still not the fastest on the market).

Logos 5 is an overall faster program than Logos 4. (I use Logos primarily on a Mac.) The clause searches I’ve done, for example, have been lightning fast. But Logos is still not quite as fast at returning results for original language word searches as BibleWorks or Accordance. I wondered with Logos 4 whether this might be because Logos has a large library of resources. Whatever the reason, the multi-second waits for search results to come up are less common in 5 than in 4. Most of my searches have been showing results in a second or less, even the clause searches that I’d expect to take longer. Accordance and BibleWorks, however, give near instantaneous search results. Logos, with v. 5, is at last in the same ballpark with regard to speed.

The contents of the base packages have changed significantly. 

This does not affect previous Logos users necessarily, in that you always keep your Logos resources with you (for life). So if you upgrade to Logos 5 via a new base package, anything you had bought previously stays with you, even if it’s not in the new base package. For someone like me who primarily uses Bible software to study biblical languages, the Original Languages Library in Logos 4 was great (except, perhaps, for its lack of an English translation of the Septuagint). Even with its retail price under $500, that package still included the full 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (TDNT), making it a good deal, and a great deal with the academic discount.

Now to have TDNT in a base package (if you don’t already own it), you have to buy the “Gold” package at a retail price of just over $1,500. The Silver package in Logos 5, that I received to review, includes the entire New American Commentary set, the full Pulpit Commentary set, the Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint (and the same to the Greek NT), several Greek and English Apostolic Fathers texts, the Theological Lexicon of the OT (and that of the NT), as well as many more resources for a retail price of about $1,000. I was particularly excited to see a new English translation of the Septuagint, coming from the Lexham suite by Logos. Users will simply have to weigh whether the included resources in a package justify its cost. The Silver package seems to be worth the price. (Though note that the fairly standard Rahlfs Septuagint text is not included in Silver; Swete’s text is.)

This video from Logos gives a good overview of what’s new in Logos 5, with special focus on the Data Sets:

See also my initial impressions of Logos 5 in an earlier review.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 5 with the Silver package, provided to me simply with the expectation that I offer my honest impressions of the program.