Books for Sale: Hermeneia 38 vol. CD-ROM (Logos), $149, OBO

Hermeneia

I’m looking to sell the Hermeneia CD-ROM set (38 vols., 2006). It’s compatible with Logos/Libronix. $149 (and willing to consider offers). See here and here for details on the set.

If you want to contact me about a possible purchase, feel free to use this form, and we’ll talk. I generally do things through PayPal.

2014 UPDATE: I’ve still got the 38-volume set available to sell (unopened), if you’re interested.

UPDATE 2: It’s now sold.

Review of 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides (5 vols.)

1500-quotations-for-preachers-with-slides

“A good quotation enables you to drive a point home more powerfully than you might be able to otherwise,” says Elliot Ritzema, one of the editors of Logos Bible Software’s 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides.

These 1,500 quotations come as a five-volume package, each with 300 quotations. It’s divided up chronologically: Early Church (100-600), Medieval Church (600-1500), Reformation (1500-1650), and Modern Church (1650-present). Elizabeth Vince (Modern Church) and Rebecca Brant (Medieval Church) are editors with Ritzema in the series. A fifth volume (edited by Ritzema and Vince) has quotations from the Puritans, of whom Ritzema writes:

The Puritan movement began before 1650 and continued beyond it, so dividing Puritan quotations between the Reformation and Modern volumes would not have made sense. In addition, there are so many fantastic quotations from the Reformation and Modern periods that we would have had to leave out some very good ones to stay with two volumes, so we decided to create the Puritan volume to include more of them.

What does the resource look like and what can it do? Here’s a screenshot of an entry, with the numbers detailing the various features:

1500_J.C. Ryle

1. Collapsable and expandable table of contents let you go through and see who is quoted in each volume, as well as the title that the series has given to each quote.

2. Quotation title.

3. Hyperlinked Scripture references that integrate with the rest of Logos. This way if a preacher is preaching on 1 Peter 5:8, a search of the quotations (which you can do by Bible reference–a good feature) will lead to “An Accomplice of the Devil,” shown above. Mousing over the references show popovers of those verses, without having to open a new tab.

4. “Preaching Themes.” One can keyword search these resources by preaching themes and get to the pertinent quotations, in the same way as #3 above. These themes do not seem to automatically integrate with the Sermon Starter Guide, but if you set up a “Collection” (see below), it will show up there.

5. A slide containing the quotation. You can right-click on this to send to PowerPoint or Keynote, or save as a .jpg, etc. Single-clicking on it blows it up so you can see how the quote is formatted on the slide.

6. The author’s name is hyperlinked with more detailed bibliographical information.

It’s really convenient to have the quotations made into slides already, especially if you use digital media in presenting or preaching. The slides look good. They are not editable, though. They also don’t automatically size quite right into Powerpoint. Even after resizing the slide, the ratio is such that it won’t fill up a PPT slide. But this wouldn’t necessarily matter on a black background.

It’s possible that preachers will have a specific era (or the Puritans) in mind when looking for a quotation. More likely, the sermon-prepper will want to search all 1,500 quotations at once. The resource doesn’t come with that capability as such, but there are a couple of ways to search through all five volumes at once.

One could open each of the five quotation books, and then search “All Open Resources,” as here:

Quotations Search Query

Or one can create a user collection that consists of all five quotation books, then search that collection all at once, as here:

1500 collection

I may well turn to this resource (as one among many) in sermon preparation. There’s a wealth of good material here, especially for the preacher who wants to have her or his congregation aware of the history of the church and theology.

One philosophical point to make: the product page says, “Find precisely the words you need for any occasion with 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, a five-volume set, with slides. Selecting a fitting quotation to share with your congregation—a task that can often take hours—will now take you minutes.”

I know ad copy is ad copy (and presumably the editors of the resource did not write it), but that description gives me pause. I’m not convinced there are shortcuts to good preaching or thoughtful exegesis (both of original texts and of congregations and cultures!). Even with a survey of quotations from all eras of church history, the “fitting” thing to share with a congregation may be words from the preacher’s own experience, or “quotations” from Scripture itself. So preachers ought not to over-rely on this resource or any other compendia of quotations.

One neat thing about 1,500 Quotations is that any date that appears (the birth and death dates come after the name of each historical figure being quoted) is hyperlinked to Logos 5’s Timeline (not included with this resource). So putting a person in historical context is easy; one just has to click on the flag symbol that appears next to dates.

However, I wish that church history were more widely represented here–the “Modern Church” volume, for example, has no females quoted. The “Reformation” volume has just “Teresa of Ávila,” even though there are numerous quoteworthy women from these eras.

The greatest strength of 1,500 Quotations is its integration with and ability to draw on the other tools of Logos to streamline research. (Making it into a “collection,” as described above, appears to be needed in order to have it fully integrated.) The PowerPoint/Keynote exporting feature is a nice touch, too, even if the slides still need to be re-sized. I hope any future editions or volumes in Quotations consider drawing from an even wider swath of church history.

(UPDATE 4/23/13: Be sure to read Mr. Ritzema’s comment below, that speaks to a couple points I made in the review.)

Logos asked me to review 1,500 Quotations for Preachers, with Slides, and offered me a review copy for the purposes of the review. This was done, however, with no expectation of my review other than honest impressions.

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 IVP’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (final part 3)

IVP OT Dictionary Pentateuch

I’ve been spending some time the last few weeks with InterVarsity Press’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch in Logos Bible Software. You can read part 1 of my review here and part 2 here; those help provide context for this third and final part to the review.

In this post I summarize and briefly interact with three more articles: “Warfare,” “Book of Genesis,” and “Haran.” Then I offer my concluding thoughts.

Warfare

A.C. Emery’s article explores “the conduct of warfare found in the Pentateuch, as well as instructions provided for the waging of warfare in Israel” (877). He notes, “Conflict is a common event recorded within the OT” (877), even if the student of ancient warfare tactics may not find much in the Pentateuch. To wit: “With rare exception the battle is described more for the divine intervention than for its technical conduct, which is the particular interest of this article” (878-9). God himself is described “as a warrior” (877) in the Pentateuch.

Emery looks at common Hebrew words that the Pentateuch uses to describe warfare and battles, with qārab (“draw near”) being the most common. He explores Pentateuchal “battle accounts” (879), from Abraham in Genesis 14 to Amalek in Exodus 17 and the “Canaanite king of Arad” and Og, king of Bashan, in Numbers 21-25 (879-80). There are “various instructions with regard to activities related to warfare” (880), including “the need to be… emotionally and religiously prepared for the dangers of combat” and the mechanics of negotiations and siege warfare (880). Emery’s final section examines the ethical difficulty that warfare poses.

Surprisingly, Emery does not in his ethics section mention the difficult Deuteronomy 7:2 with its “show them no mercy” command. He also has an article in the dictionary (“ḤĒREM”) that covers that passage, but his treatment of warfare ethics in “Warfare” was briefer than I would have liked. But, as with the rest of the dictionary, the few-page article still offers a decent jumping-off point for further research, even if it’s not a one-stop shop.

Book of Genesis

The entry on the book of Genesis examines the book with special reference to structure, plot, and theology (350). L.A. Turner’s key assumption is: “Genesis is a narrative book, and its theology is conveyed through features such as its structure, plot and characterization, rather than through set pieces of divine promulgation, as in legal or prophetic texts” (356).

Regarding structure, though there are varying theories, most agree that “Genesis is composed of two distinct blocks of unequal size” (350). The first runs roughly through Genesis 11 or the first few verses of Genesis 12 and is about humanity generally. Genesis 12 onward picks up the story of Abraham. The “main sections” in Genesis, according to Turner, are “the Abraham story (Gen 11:27–25:18), the Jacob story (Gen 25:19–37:1) and the story of Jacob’s family (Gen 37:2–50:26)” (350). The Hebrew word tôlĕdôt (genealogy) is a structural marker throughout Genesis.

The plot of Genesis has “progressive complexity” (352), moving from early human history to complex characters and families by the end of the book. “Divine promises and blessings” constitute “the book’s central core” (353) for Turner, and set the stage for the rest of the Bible (358). Regarding theology, he notes the tension “between divine sovereignty (as exemplified in the genealogies) and human free will (as demonstrated in the narratives)” (357).

I wanted to be sure to review a longer article in the dictionary. I was unexpectedly riveted as Turner walked through Genesis (10 pages in print). I found his contention that the book’s structure has theological import to be particularly compelling.

Haran

“Haran” in English could refer either to a place or to a person, though the spelling is different between each word in Hebrew (379). Both the place and the person are in Genesis 11:27-32, so M.W. Chavalas treats them together (379).

Haran the place is where Abraham lived after leaving Ur and before departing for Canaan (379). He also sought a wife for Isaac there, and Jacob found Rachel and Leah there, too. Similar to Ur, Haran centered on lunar worship. Haran is located in what today is southeastern Turkey. There is “only a small amount of archaeological evidence…for the city, and even less for patriarchal times” (379). It seems to have been inhabited already well before Abraham’s time, perhaps by some 20,000 people (379). Chavalas notes its likely founding “as a merchant outpost by the Sumerian city of Ur in the late third millennium B.C.” (379).

Haran the person has “very little biblical or extrabiblical information” recorded about him. He was Terah’s son, Lot’s father, and Abram’s brother. It was Haran’s death at Ur that led Lot to go to Haran with Abram. Haran also had two daughters, Iscah and Milcah.

The more I research Abraham and the Pentateuch, the more I realize how important Lot was to him. His desire to bear a family perhaps through Lot seems to be what led to his rescue of Lot in Genesis 14.  Several dictionary articles point this out nicely. Chavalas covers Haran fairly thoroughly in a short amount of space (just two or three print pages).

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I hope Logos will update the dictionary so that the sidebar Table of Contents can expand to include all the article sub-points. Another thing that would make the product better is an easier way to find out about contributors from within an article. Having their names hyperlinked with their biographical information would be nice. As it is, one has to move between the article and the separate “Contributors” section to find out more about each author. [EDIT: Author names have hyperlinks in the Accordance production of this module.]

The Logos edition of the IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch is overall a good module. Being able to have it open to both Hebrew and English biblical texts saves considerable time compared to using the print edition. The Dictionary is a solid first place to go on issues, themes, and people in the Pentateuch.

The Dictionary is on Amazon here (in print) and at Logos here. My thanks to Logos for the review copy.  Read part 1 of my review here and part 2 here.

(Part 2) Review of IVP’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch

IVP OT Dictionary Pentateuch

Sarah, Melchizedek, and the language of the Pentateuch. Last week I reviewed the articles on each of those topics in InterVarsity Press’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch in Logos Bible Software.

Here’s what the IVP page says about the dictionary in its book description:

The Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch is the first in a four-volume series covering the text of the Old Testament. Following in the tradition of the four award-winning IVP dictionaries focused on the New Testament and its background, this encyclopedic work is characterized by close attention to the text of the Old Testament and the ongoing conversation of contemporary scholarship. In exploring the major themes and issues of the Pentateuch, editors T. Desmond Alexander and David W.Baker, with an international and expert group of scholars, inform and challenge through authoritative overviews, detailed examinations and new insights from the world of the ancient Near East.

My first review contains an initial evaluation of the dictionary specifically in Logos Bible Software; you can read that here. In this post I summarize and briefly interact with three more articles: “Terah,” “Lot,” and “Ur.”

Terah

Terah was Abram’s father and Lot’s grandfather. He also fathered Nahor and Haran. M.W. Chavalas notes that Terah was “the family head,” since “all of the material in Genesis 11:27-25:11 is prefaced by the statement, ‘This is the family history of Terah’” (829). Chavalas considers Terah in three parts: the etymology of his name, his time in the city of Ur, and “Terah and Later Traditions.”

Chavalas considers several options for the meaning and linguistic source of “Terah,” but concludes, “An understanding of the etymology of the name Terah has proved to be difficult” (829). It does seem to have “associations with a place name in northern Mesopotamia” (830) and perhaps some associations with lunar worship (though perhaps not). Similarly, Ur, from which Terah comes, has been difficult to pinpoint. Chavalas places it in southern Mesopotamia. Chavalas finally considers the challenge that Acts 7:4 and Philo pose regarding chronology and location.

Chavalas manages to cover most of the essential territory on Terah in a short space. There is not much biblical material on Terah, but this article contains an overview of it all. There is little content in the “Terah and Later Traditions” section, and the article’s bibliography does not point to more resources to explore Abram’s father, for example, in rabbinical tradition. Detailed research on Terah would have to be supplemented with other resources.

Lot

Lot was Terah’s grandson and Abram’s nephew. J.I. Lawlor notes that Lot traveled with his grandfather Terah from Ur to Haran because his own father has died (556).

Lawlor primarily takes a literary and narrative approach to understanding Lot’s place in the Abram/Abraham material. He notes “two ‘paired sets’” of Lot material that “have been integrated, one set in each half of the Abraham story” (556). The author/compiler of Genesis does this, Lawlor notes, to “suggest and hold open the possibility of Lot as Abraham’s heir” (556), later dismissing the possibility as Isaac becomes heir (557).

Genesis 14:17-24 marks Abram’s encounter with Melchizedek, occasioned because Abram had gone to battle due to the Mesopotamian kings’ kidnapping of Lot. Abram rescued Lot in Gen. 14, then rescued him again, in a way, by interceding on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen. 18-19 (557-8).

Due to an incestuous drunken encounter with his daughters, Lot gave rise to two groups of people, the Moabites and Ammonites, which Lawlor briefly discusses.

Lawlor’s most helpful contribution is in his situating of Lot in the larger flow of Genesis 12-19, where Lot serves as a possible answer to the question, Who will be an heir to Abram and Sarai? His reading of the “two paired sets” of Lot material is illuminating.

Ur

Like Chavalas in the “Terah” article, Osborne locates Ur in southern Mesopotamia as one of its “oldest and most famous” cities (875). Today the two-millenia old city of Ur is “modern Tell al-Muqayyar, located on the Euphrates in southern Mesopotamia” (875). Osborne looks at the archaeology of Ur as well as its place in patriarchal times.

Based on an early 20th century exploration of the tell (hill/remains) where Ur once was, archaeologists think that Ur was “not…one of the most extensive cities of its time” (875), with a population of just under 25,000. Ur was a center of lunar worship in Mesopotamia, as was Haran, where Terah would go from Ur (875). Tomb excavations have shown a wealthy city, which “was most probably derived from its lucrative involvement in trade along the Gulf” (876). Osborne also explores the debate over the birthplace of Abraham, whether it was northern or southern Mesopotamia (he favors the latter). He notes that the Genesis text does not say why Terah and his family left Ur.

Archaeology is not my primary interest within biblical studies, but Osborne introduces the basic archaeological finds to the reader in a short space, and does a good job of it. The bibliography at the end of the article offers titles for further reading.

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My impression of the dictionary continues to be positive. At the same time it is becoming clear to me that it is not comprehensive in the subjects it treats. So researchers, exegetes, writers, and teachers will want to consider using it alongside other resources. However, its ability to summarize much detail in a succinct way is a strong point of the dictionary.

I’ll do at least one other installment in my review of Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch, and include some concluding thoughts there. See the first part of my review here.

The Dictionary is on Amazon here (in print) and at Logos here. My thanks to Logos for the review copy.

Review of IVP’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch (Logos edition)

IVP OT Dictionary Pentateuch

Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing IVP’s Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch in Logos Bible Software. I’ll look at a few dictionary articles in each post, commenting on the content of each, as well as on the dictionary’s presentation in Logos.

I’ve reviewed Logos 4 and 5, looking at several packages and additional resources. Find those reviews collected here.

The dictionary is easy to lay out in Logos with other accompanying resources. Here I have it next to the Hebrew text with English translation and a Hebrew lexicon (click to enlarge):

IVP OT Dictionary Logos

As with all of Logos’s resources, you can hover over hyperlinked words (see “Heb 7:2” above) to see the Scripture without leaving that tab.

One solid feature so far (true of Logos resources in general): being able to use the shortcut command (Mac) or control (PC) + F to quickly find words in the entries.

One thing to critique so far: the items in the Table of Contents don’t expand to all the subpoints. In the shot above, for example, you can see that “1. Prosopography” under Melchizedek has “1.1. Name” in the entry, but not in the left sidebar Table of Contents. This makes navigating through multiple layers of detail a bit more cumbersome. (By contrast, the Accordance version of this module looks like it has the triangle that continues to expand, here.)

What about content of the dictionary itself? In this installment, I summarize and review three articles: “Sarah,” “Melchizedek,” and “Language of the Pentateuch.”

Sarah

R.G. Branch notes that Sarah and other “matriarchs of God’s people” are “equally significant” compared to the “widely recognized Israelite patriarchs” (733). Chief among these is Sarah. Even if there is not the amount of biblical material about Sarah that there is about Abraham, she remains a “pivotal character” in Genesis (733).

Branch divides the “Sarah” entry into two parts: “Sarah in the Ancestral Narratives” and “Sarah in the Later Tradition.”

In the first part Branch notes that Sarah, about 10 years younger than Abraham, is “the first matriarch of the biblical text” (733). Her childlessness in Genesis 11:30 is a key characteristic. Her first mention in that passage describes her barrenness, which “sets the tone for the stories about them that follow” (733). Sarai and Sarah (her name after God changed it in Genesis 17) both mean “princess” or “chieftainess.” Genesis records several threats to the possibility of Abraham and Sarah bearing offspring, not the least of which is two stories (in Genesis 12 and 20, which Branch understands as two separate incidents) of “marital deception,” where Abraham claims Sarah as his sister (734).

“In both cases,” Branch notes, “Abram feared for his life because of his wife’s great beauty” (734). It is this beauty that is the focus of the second part of the article, “Sarah in Later Tradition.” Branch cites various Jewish sources that extol Sarah for her immense beauty. She is also said to have been “surrounded” by miracles (735).

Branch gives a good, basic summary of biblical and Jewish rabbinic material about Sarah (as well as her importance for understanding Elizabeth in the New Testament), with citations that the reader can follow up for more.

Key statement from this article is: “Many of the issues in the stories about the couple can be understood as their struggle to come to terms with God’s promises of land, offspring, greatness and blessings” (734).

Melchizedek

Scripture contains very few references to the mysterious figure of Melchizedek. S.J. Andrews recounts Abram’s encounter with Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18-20, which Psalm 110 (noted as a “royal Psalm”) cites. Andrews also does well in noting the book of Hebrews’ understanding and interpretation of Melchizedek.

In “Prosopography” Andrews notes the complications that arise in trying to understand the name malkîṣedeq. Hebrews reads it as “king of righteousness,” but Andrews notes scholarly disagreement on “whether it was originally a Northwest Semitic personal name (theophoric or descriptive) or a royal epithet” (563). Therefore, “The name could mean either ‘(my) Malk/Melek is just’ or ‘Ṣedeq is my king’” (563). Either way, Genesis calls him “king of Salem,” which could be Jerusalem, or just mean, “king of peace,” as in Hebrews 7:2.

The “Historical Account” section of the article delves more into the story of Abram’s victory of kings and subsequent exchange with Melchizedek, where the latter gives the former bread and wine and a blessing, and the former appears to tithe to the latter.

In the final section, “Messianic Application,” Andrews explores various possibilities for the appearance of Melchizedek, what it meant, possible connection to a Messiah, and so on.

Andrews says, “The Qumran text 11QMelch portrays Melchizedek as an archangelic figure like Michael” (564), but he could have perhaps gone into more depth about the Qumran understanding of Melchizedek. However, his basic overview serves as a solid starting point for understanding the Melchizedek figure in biblical tradition.

Language of the Pentateuch

R.S. Hess’s “Language of the Pentateuch” article consist of three sections: “A discussion of the history of languages in and around Palestine during the third and second millennia b.c., a consideration of the grammar and style of the Pentateuch’s language in comparison with Classical Hebrew, and a study of those linguistic elements within the Pentateuch that might relate it to the period in which the narratives and events recorded in Genesis through Deuteronomy claim to have taken place” (491).

He offers a survey of Pentateuchal chronology, marking the date of the exodus as “sometime between the fifteenth century b.c and the end of the thirteenth century b.c.” (492), part of the Late Bronze Age. The Hebrew language is part of a family of West or Northwest Semitic dialects. There are not immense differences between the language of the Pentateuch and the language of (presumably) later Old Testament texts, but Hess does point out research around some “distinctive elements found in the Pentateuch that might set it apart from the grammar of the remainder of biblical Hebrew” (493), though these are few. Hess holds to an “early date” for at least the initial writing of the Pentateuch.

This particular article was a bit dry at times, but the level of detail is still to be appreciated.

So far my overall impression of the dictionary is positive. I will write more about it later. UPDATE: Part 2 is here.

The Dictionary is on Amazon here (in print) and at Logos here. My thanks to Logos for the review copy.

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.

Göttingen in Logos is On Sale Friday

Photo by Logos
Photo by Logos

$369.95 for the Göttingen Septuagint in Logos Bible Software. It’s on sale for International Septuagint Day, all day Friday (midnight to midnight). If you click here, it adds to your cart, and you can purchase from there–whether you already have the academic discount or not. Marked down from $700.

I reviewed the Göttingen Septuagint in Logos here. Its product page is here.

The Göttingen Septuagint in Logos Bible software

Photo by Logos
Photo by Logos

Göttingen. Not just a city in Germany, but a word that instills awe and fear in the hearts of every student of the Septuagint who must eventually consult the set of Old Greek editions by that name.

Okay, that’s maybe a bit dramatic. I do suspect, however, that if one finds it challenging to learn how to read the leading critical edition of the Hebrew Bible–the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia or BHS–the Göttingen Septuagint will prove even more difficult to decipher.

Not impossible, though.

In celebration of International Septuagint Day Friday, here I review the Göttingen Septuagint in Logos Bible Software. The full name is Septuaginta: Vetus Testamentum Graecum Auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Gottingensis editum. It’s published by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in Göttingen, Germany. The Göttingen Septuagint has published over 20 volumes covering some 40 biblical books (counting the minor prophets as 12). Publication of additional volumes, while slow-going, is in progress.

The typical contents of a volume include:

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

In two previous posts I wrote a primer on how to read and understand the Göttingen Septuagint. In part 1 I wrote about the reconstructed Greek critical text and the source list (full post is here). In part 2 I explained how to understand the first critical apparatus, here. Each of those posts contains additional explication of Göttingen, so the one who is new to it may want to pause here to read more there. Having written at length about numbers 2-4 above, a future post will cover 1 (the introduction) and 5 (the second critical apparatus).

Logos is the only Bible software that has available all of the published volumes of the Göttingen Septuagint. Though Logos offers the set in 67 volumes, that corresponds to the 24 existing print volumes. This includes the 2004 Supplementum, which offers a “list of Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament,” sorted by date, region, writing material, and more, and which also cross-references various editors’ classifications of manuscripts against each other, so that differing systems can easily be compared.

There is, of course, the question of which Bible software to use in general. I’ve written about issues like layout, functionality, cost, and so on here, which includes both praises and critiques of Logos, Accordance, and BibleWorks. So what about Göttingen in Logos?

From what I’ve seen, the text of Göttingen in Logos is the most accurate digital text available. I am aware of others who have found typos in Göttingen for Logos, but based on a verse-by-verse read of Isaiah 1-11, I found just one error in Logos compared to the print text. The Accordance text of Göttingen for Isaiah, by contrast, had 14 spelling mistakes, misplaced words, or wrong inflections in that same span. This was a surprise to me, since Accordance aims to produce “research-grade” texts, a goal which sometimes means their texts take longer to complete than other software companies. (Accordance currently has some, but not all, of the Göttingen volumes that exist in print.) As of right now, as far as the actual critical text of Göttingen, Logos seems to be the best bet for consistent correspondence to the print text.

It’s easy to set up the critical text and both apparatuses in three separate areas in Logos, syncing them to scroll together. One can also easily add a tab with an English translation, Hebrew Masoretic text, and more, so as to use Göttingen in conjunction with other resources. Here’s how I use Göttingen in Logos (click for larger):

Göttingen Isaiah layout

Assuming you have other versions of the Septuagint available in Logos (Rahlfs, Swete, etc.) you can use the Text Comparison feature (top right in the shot above) to see where the critical text of Göttingen differs from another Septuagint text. I’ve found this to be a useful and time-saving feature. (One can do the same with the Compare tool in Accordance, though there’s an unresolved issue with that tool that impacts use of Göttingen. [UPDATE: It’s now resolved.] Accordance’s comparison tool is, however, a bit more versatile with its “List Text Differences” feature.)

You can use the critical text as any other text in Logos–double-click on a word to look it up in a lexicon (I have LEH open at bottom center above), right-click to do a variety of other searches, word study, etc. It doesn’t take long to see how many times the Göttingen text uses a given word.

As to the critical apparatuses, you can mouse over blue hyperlinked abbreviations to find out what they stand for. Or you can have an Information window open, as here (click to enlarge):

Abbreviations spelled out

The apparatus abbreviates Latin and German, which is what the Information tab shows. (The Göttingen introductions are in German.) Miles Van Pelt’s short chart (in English) is helpful with the Latin (pdf here). And there is an English translation of the Pentateuch introductions available here (with Exodus being the most complete one). But there is no mechanism in Logos to translate the German or to decipher the apparatus. Accordance is the same here, and neither Logos nor Accordance offer a German-English dictionary, so one couldn’t even link to that. The general academic assumption, of course, is that by the time someone is using Göttingen in their study of the Septuagint, they are already learning (or have learned) German. (Ah, but academic assumptions….) I’m not sure it’s fair to fault Logos (or Accordance) for this lack, but a German-English dictionary as a future module would help a lot of users.

Speaking of the introduction, the introductions to each volume are nicely laid out with plenty of hyperlinks for easy reference:

Introduction to Isaiah

You’ll have to know German to get very far in the introduction, but note the link above to English translations for some of the introductions. Also, though one ought not to rely too much on it, Google Translate takes the user surprisingly far if she or he simply copies from Logos and pastes here.

One thing lacking in the Logos Göttingen is the Kopfleiste (Source List). Not every print volume has it, but the five Pentateuch volumes, Ruth, Esther, and others do. Accordance, by contrast, includes this feature for the Göttingen volumes that have it. The Kopfleiste makes the most sense in a print edition (since it is a list of manuscripts cited on a given page), but someone doing serious textual research using Göttingen in Logos would still feel its lack. No word yet from Logos on if/when that will come available.

What about searching the apparatuses? Less than ideal here, though not unmanageable. If I want to see every time the First Critical Apparatus in Isaiah cites the Minuscule manuscript 301, I right click to “Search this resource,” but the results are grouped as follows (click to enlarge):

MS301

To my knowledge it is not possible to expand these results in this screen (pane) to see every use of MS 301, which is what I really want to be able to do. (If I am mistaken and find a way, I’ll post here again.) The shortcut command+F (in Mac) or control+F (in Windows) is an alternate way to search a text in Logos. The apparatuses are searchable using this keyboard shortcut; in this case all the instances of MS 301 are highlighted as you scroll through the apparatus, so you can still see all its occurrences.

Accordance, by contrast, offers multiple ways of searching an apparatus: by references, titles, manuscripts (most helpful), Hebrew, Greek, or Latin content, and more. This makes Accordance’s apparatuses really usable and easy to navigate in multiple ways.

accordance search fields

The price for the Logos Göttingen is a bargain. I mean, $700 is not cheap, but considering that the same sum would get you just a few volumes of the print edition, it’s a great deal. The academic program gives you a significant discount in this case, too.

By the way, a tip for using Göttingen efficiently in Logos: Brian Davidson of LXXI has a neat way to set up a Logos layout to include multiple Göttingen books. (They list in the Logos library all as separate volumes, not as one Septuagint.) His suggestion (here) is a good way to go.

All in all, the Logos Göttingen is a worthwhile investment, especially if you primarily want Göttingen for the critical text itself, and for the chance to compare it with other Septuagint editions. The lack of a Kopfleiste is not an immense loss, but the inability to search apparatuses by multiple search fields (and with expandable results) is a drawback. So the potential purchaser will just have to consider what his or her needs are. Accordance nails it in apparatus searching, but their critical text in Isaiah had more mistakes than one who needs an accurate text would like.

Logos has a fully digitized Göttingen Septuagint, so if you need access to everything that exists in print, know that this is the only Bible software where you can get it. Accordance continues production on their volumes and, as far as I know, will see the project through to completion. (Though see here and here, a project of Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Studies.)

In Logos it’s convenient to be able to scroll through all of the Göttingen Septuagint with additional resources open and a click away. The electronic availability (and affordability) of Göttingen is a significant step forward in text criticism and Septuagint studies.

Many thanks to Logos Bible Software for the review copy of the Göttingen Septuagint, given to me for the purposes of review, but with no expectation as to the content of my review. Accordance provided me with their Göttingen Isaiah for purposes of comparison.

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.