BHS, the Göttingen Septuagint, and other critical editions: a basic orientation to what they are

Image source: (click on image for more details)

Most students of the Hebrew Bible who read Hebrew know of the premier scholarly edition, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS, here on Amazon).  The BHS is now being updated by the BHQ (Q=Quinta), about which you can read more here. Both the BHS and BHQ are “diplomatic” editions of the text, which means that they reproduce a single “best” manuscript, the Leningrad Codex, in their cases. The footer in each page contains a critical apparatus, which lists variant readings from other manuscripts and versions that the editors have deemed to be of importance for getting even closer to the “original” (now often being called the “earliest attainable text”). In some cases, the editors may wish to show where another manuscript or version differs from the Leningrad Codex; the critical apparatus is where they do it.

There are two other similar projects underway for the Hebrew Bible. One is the Hebrew University Bible Project, also a diplomatic edition, but unlike BHS and BHQ, based on the Aleppo Codex. The HUB includes a more extensive critical apparatus than BHS, so that readers can see more textual variants.

The other scholarly edition of the Hebrew Bible is the Oxford Hebrew Bible Project, “a new critical edition of the Hebrew Bible featuring a critical text and extensive text-critical introduction and commentary.” Though the BHQ contains commentary, too, the OHB differs in being an “eclectic” text, meaning that, as R.S. Hendel says (quoted in Tov),

The practical goal for the OHB is to approximate in its critical text the textual “archetype,” by which I mean the earliest inferable textual state.

Though the textual apparatuses of the BHS/BHQ and HUB can theoretically aid the reader in approximating the textual “archetype,” the text of the OHB offers that approximation rather than reproducing an actual manuscript (as the diplomatic editions do). Hence, the OHB is an “eclectic” edition. (So, too, are the two major scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament, the NA27 and UBS4.)

The Septuagint–the Greek translation of these Jewish Scriptures–has various scholarly editions, too.

On its Website the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) has a great primer on the various editions of the Septuagint. Below, “OG” stands for “Old Greek.” They write:

The creation and propagation of a critical text of the LXX/OG has been a basic concern in modern scholarship. The two great text editions begun in the early 20th century are the Cambridge Septuagint and the Göttingen Septuagint, each with a “minor edition” (editio minor) and a “major edition” (editio maior). For Cambridge this means respectively H. B. Swete, The Old Testament in Greek (1909-1922) and the so-called “Larger Cambridge Septuagint” by A. E. Brooke, N. McLean, (and H. St. John Thackeray) (1906-). For Göttingen it denotes respectively Alfred Rahlfs’s Handausgabe (1935) and the “Larger Göttingen Septuagint” (1931-). Though Rahlfs (editio minor) can be called a semi-critical edition, the Göttingen Septuaginta (editio maior) presents a fully critical text, as described below.

Beginning Septuagint students are likely to own just “Rahlfs” (the Handausgabe mentioned above). But those who want to do more detailed text work with the Septuagint want more than the mini-apparatus in that edition.

Between Accordance (here) and Logos (here), nearly everything listed in the above quotation is available in electronic form. Accordance has Rahlfs’s Apparatus, parts of the larger Göttingen edition, and both the smaller (Swete) and most of what is currently available in the larger Cambridge Septuagint. Logos has all the volumes of Göttingen that have been completed to date.

There is more here about the scholarly versions of the Septuagint, including a volume-by-volume listing of both the Cambridge and Göttingen projects.

I have been fortunate to receive a review copy of BHS and BHQ Hebrew Bible editions from Accordance, as well as the existing volumes of the Göttingen Septuagint from Logos. I’ll be reviewing each in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: My review of BHS in Accordance is here. My BHQ review is here. Part 1 of a short primer on using the Göttingen Septuagint is here.

Logos 4: a quick note about a portable library

Ah, the age-old debate about how one should build a library: print or digital?

Okay, it’s not really that old of a debate. But it’s one I’ve gone back and forth on. I own the major lexicon for the Greek New Testament in digital edition. Same thing with the major lexicon for the Hebrew Bible. (They’re both huge.) But I went a bit overboard with the LEH lexicon for the Septuagint: I have it in print, in Logos, in Accordance, and in BibleWorks! (I only had to pay for the print edition, though.)

I’m taking a great class on the use of the Old Testament in the New. Most of the texts we use for the class list multiple biblical references, but don’t write out the verses. Take this example from Richard N. Longenecker’s Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period:

V. Quotations occurring in John alone, with introductory formulae:

35. John 6:45 (Isa 54:13; Jer 31:33).
36. John 7:38 (Isa 12:3; 43:19–20; 44:3; 58:11).
37. John 10:34 (Ps 82:6 [LXX = 81:6]).
38. John 13:18 (Ps 41:9 [MT = 41:10; LXX = 40:10]).
39. John 15:25 (Ps 35:19 [LXX = 34:19]; 69:4 [MT = 69:5; LXX = 68:5]).

That’s a lot to look up! Especially flipping back and forth between Hebrew, Greek, and English versions.

In the Logos 4 edition of the book, however, all those texts are hyperlinked, so that I simply have to mouse over them to have a pop-up window display the verses in my preferred version. This is a great time saver, and I much prefer to read a book like this with such an easy way to look at the verses it’s referencing. I can also set up my windows and tabs in Logos to have multiple Bibles/versions open, too, while I read through a book.

I know print is better on my eyes than a screen is, so there’s still that. But the hyperlinking system in Logos makes buying books from them a desirable option–and they have a wide selection.

I also know that my bookshelves at home are beyond full, so my wife will likely appreciate digital additions to my library rather than more books in the living room….

This is a bit of an excursus in my Logos 4 review, though I purchased the Logos edition of the book above. See part 1 of my Logos 4 review here, part 2 here, part 3 here, and part 4 here.

Using the Exegetical Guide and Passage Guide in Logos 4

Logos 4 offers an “Exegetical Guide” and a “Passage Guide” for any verse(s) a user is studying. These features’ utility lies primarily in how Logos compiles and presents the various resources in the program. A couple times in the last year or two when I was trying out Logos on a seminary library computer, I had trouble seeing the use in the Exegetical Guide and the Passage Guide. Can’t I just find that stuff all myself, I thought?

Now I’ve had a chance to use both at greater length. Here’s what I think about them.

From the home page I begin to type in Deuteronomy 6, and a nice drop-down auto-complete feature comes up (a smart search engine!). Everything you see below in the home page can be changed and customized, as I noted here.

Selecting “The Greatest Commandment (Deuteronomy 6:1-9),” this screen then comes up (along with other tabs I already had open, not shown here). Click for larger if need be.

There are multiple collapsable and expandable sections from which I can choose. Most helpful are the “cross references” that pop up. Below that are “parallel passages,” which highlighted for me a resource I didn’t even realize Logos 4 had: Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament (you know I love that!).

There’s more, too–a quick gathering of and hyperlinks to pertinent people, places, and “biblical things”; “media resources,” such as this one shown at right; a compare versions tool… and more. There are some things I won’t necessarily use, like the Graceway Media graphics (which take you to an external site, where it looks like you have to pay to download). But that’s no biggie–there’s an “x” I can click on so that won’t show in future Passage Guides. It’s all highly customizable, a consistent strength of Logos.

The Passage Guide saves me time and highlights resources and references throughout Logos 4 that users may not even be aware exist. I’m a fan and can easily envision using this in preparing messages and Bible studies.

The Exegetical Guide has a really similar layout. The categories here, however, tend to be more focused at the word, clause, sentence, and verse level, such as: textual apparatuses (if you have any in your Logos), grammars, visualizations, and word-by-word analysis. This latter feature is cool–it shows you parsing for every word, as well as its definitions in multiple dictionaries/lexica at the same time. See here:

In the image below (another part of the Exegetical Guide), the top two arrows show you the colorful word distribution results throughout the various biblical books; the bottom arrow shows you how you can click on “more” for a given word (click for larger):

The Exegetical Guide and the Passage Guide are winners. They pull a lot together in one easy-to-get-to place, and they do it quickly. Nicely done.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I am giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. This has been part 4. See part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

The Original Languages Library in Logos 4

How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages?

Typically when I think about Bible software and original languages, three important areas come to mind:

  • The Hebrew Old Testament
  • The Greek New Testament
  • The Greek Old Testament, or, the Septuagint

I’ve already written about the Septuagint in Logos here. What about the Hebrew OT and Greek NT?

For Hebrew study there is the BHS Hebrew Bible with (WIVU) morphological analysis. I mentioned in my last post that the Information tab can be brought up to give lexical and morphological analysis of any word. Also, the bottom gray border area of Logos updates with morphological analysis as you move over a word. So you can instantly parse and analyze the Hebrew as you go.

My go-to Hebrew lexicon is part of this base package: Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament by Holladay (based on HALOT). And Landes’s ever-helpful Building Your Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary is included. There are some grammars like Futato and Gesenius. You can open all of these as stand-alone windows, or integrate them into what you’re doing in a given text. Here’s a Hebrew Bible layout I’m using at the moment (click for larger):

You can see in the top left area that I’ve got BHS open in the leftmost tab–what you’re seeing in the shot above is what happens when you seek to open a new tab. I like that it suggests resources that address the verse that’s already open. You can also mouse over a resource for a handy pop-up window with description. The above pop-up window is for the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text, which gives even more insight into the Hebrew text than just the BHS with WIVU morphological analysis.

One highlight of the Hebrew resources available in this package is the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis. See here for a good description of the “seven layers of syntax information” included. (That’s better than a seven-layer burrito!) Here’s a screenshot:

And more here from Logos:

The Analyzed Text contains morphological and lexical analysis, similar to that found in the above editions of the Hebrew Bible, but also analyzes features such as genre and semantic domains. The Phrase Marker Analysis, however, goes beyond the word level and shows how phrases and clauses function together, in essence diagramming the entire Hebrew Bible with Syntax information. There is a database that allows the user to search the Hebrew bible based on these Syntax structures, and a glossary resource that defines all the terms used in the Analyzed Text and the Phrase Marker Analysis. This package represents a new trend in computerized biblical studies – the ability to work with syntax, not just morphology, when studying the Bible.

I was a little unclear as to why the English translation (on the far right in the shot above) was so wooden in this resource–and “thou wilt” struck me as out of place. Also odd (in this verse) is the English translation “gods” (circled above) when it is in apposition to Yahweh, and the idea is clearly of one God.

But that barely takes away from the impressiveness of the Phrase Marker Analysis. It’s unique to Logos, and packs quite a punch. Grammar nerds rejoice! (As I have.)

When it comes to the Greek New Testament, all the basic stuff is there–the NA27 and UBS4 with morphology (apparatus sold separately), Westcott and Hort, the Byzantine textform of the GNT, the Louw-Nida lexicon, a concise Greek-English dictionary, both a harmony and synopsis for the Gospels (not Aland’s in this package, and nothing in Greek, but decent nonetheless), a great vocabulary guide, and so on. UPDATE: You can, in fact, view the Gospel synopsis in Greek, just by opening the synopsis tool and changing the versions, as below (click image for larger):

But get this. The Original Languages Library comes with the digitized 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. I couldn’t believe this at first and thought surely it was the abridged version. Nope. It’s the full thing–“Big Kittel.” It’s fun to use as a digital resource, too. One saves time not having to look things up, and all the abbreviations are hyperlinked, so that if you just move your cursor over them, you see quickly what they stand for. Same thing with verse references:

This resource in print is $400 (retail is something like $700). Once I realized its inclusion, the $415.95 sticker price for the Original Languages Library made more sense. Comparable packages in other Bible software are cheaper, but none of them include TDNT. I’m amazed Logos can include it in this base package, but glad that they do.

As for English translations, the Original Languages Library includes these, among others:

  • English Standard Version (ESV)
  • King James Version (KJV)
  • Lexham English Bible (NT)
  • The NET Bible (my personal favorite at the moment)
  • New American Standard Bible (NASB)
  • New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

There is also a variety of (reverse) interlinear Bibles. I personally don’t use these much, but they could be helpful to others. The Tov/Polak Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Bible, however–presented in interlinear format–is great. (More about that here.)

The Original Languages Library packs in quite a bit. With the exception of perhaps an English translation of the Septuagint, all you need for original language study is here. The Andersen-Forbes resources for the Hebrew OT, the TDNT for the Greek NT, and the Tov/Polak aligned Hebrew-Greek OT are all wonderful inclusions and fantastic resources.

How is Logos 4 for study of biblical languages? It’s great.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I am giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. This has been part 3. See part 1 here and part 2 here.

Logos 4 Review: The Septuagint

I enjoy reading the Septuagint in Greek (as best I can), and I enjoy using Bible software programs to do it. In this post I offer part 2 of my Logos 4 review (part 1 is here), focusing on the Septuagint in Logos.

Here is what the Original Languages Library has by way of Septuagint resources:

  • Septuagint with Logos Morphology (Rahlfs-Hanhart)
  • A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Lust/Eynikel/Hauspie)
  • An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon (Liddell/Scott)
  • The Parallel Aligned Hebrew–Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture (Logos product page here)
  • The BHS Hebrew Bible with WIVU morphological analysis (as well as other Hebrew-related resources)

As far as texts go, the standard base is there (Rahlfs). And there’s instant morphological analysis so you can hover over a word to see its parsing right away. The LEX Septuagint lexicon is my personal go-to, and adding the Liddell-Scott abridgement is an especially nice touch. Students can do decent lexical analysis of words in their Septuagint-specific context.

The best part is the inclusion of the Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture. Here’s what Logos says:

Prof. Tov’s Parallel shows how the Hebrew and Aramaic line up against the Greek text on a word-by-word basis, but it does far more. In places where the Greek text doesn’t follow the Masoretic reading, Dr. Tov has provided a reconstruction of what the Hebrew or Aramaic text that the Greek translators were looking at might have been. In addition to these theoretical reconstructions, this database includes copious notes on the translation techniques used by the Septuagint translators, making this work a rather specialized commentary on the text. Did the Greek translators change the word order for grammatical or stylistic reasons? Did they change the voice of a verb from passive to active? Did they use a genitive absolute to translate an infinitive absolute? These types of observations are exhaustively noted in the alignment.

Dig this:

It’s a really nice feature, and presented especially well in Logos.

With all of the above in use, here’s what my Septuagint layout looks like in Logos 4 (click to enlarge):

That’s six resources open at once, each of which is plenty visible! And moving around which tabs go where, re-sizing, opening “in a floating window,” and saving the layout is easy.

The little orange A next to each resource icon/image is a “Link Set.” By clicking on the icon/image of the resource, I can assign it a letter in a Link Set, which then means each of the tabs and resources updates as any one of them moves ahead. So if I move ahead through the Greek LXX, the Hebrew MT follows, as does the NET Bible, as does the MT/LXX Parallel. Nice.

It was easy enough to figure out how to make LEH my default lexicon (“prioritize” it, in Logos parlance). Now double clicking on any Greek word opens up the corresponding entry in that lexicon.

The Information tab at the right in the screen shot above gives lexical and morphological analysis of any word. And something that’s not present in the image above: the bottom gray portion of Logos (just under the bottom left tab) also updates with morphological analysis as you move over a word. That part of the screen updates faster than the Information tab, which has just a slight delay in displaying new information.

One thing that stands out as a possible oversight is that there is no English translation of the Septuagint bundled with the Original Languages Library. In other major Bible software programs for a comparable price and package level, there is at least one English translation of the Septuagint, so Logos is unique here. (Logos does have Brenton’s English translation available, though you have to purchase it in addition to this package to use it.)

The MT-LXX Parallel, the two solid LXX-related lexica, and the customizability of the layout are standouts when it comes to using the Septuagint in Logos 4. One other thing worth mentioning is the availability of the Göttingen Septuagint and apparatus in Logos. It’s an add-on module that’s not cheap, but its price for how much it offers is hard to beat anywhere, digitally or in print. There are other Septuagint resources that Logos has digitized, too, that would be good additions to a digital library.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I will be giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review. The couple Amazon links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links.

Logos 4 Review: Install and Initial Impressions

I am a first-time user of Logos Bible software. I’ve used other Bible software programs before, on both a PC and a Mac, but here I will review Logos 4 in a series of posts. Today: the installation process and my initial impressions.

For those of you curious about specs, I’m running Logos 4 on Mac OSX (10.8.1) with a recent memory upgrade (4GB of 1067 MHz DDR3) and 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. It’s a three-plus-year-old machine, but in good condition and with decent speed.

Having downloaded Logos 4 to my machine, I signed in to read, “Preparing to download: This may take a while.” Fortunately that part didn’t take that long–under two minutes. “Downloading resources” then followed:

Five minutes later it was just at 6%. Six minutes after that, 14%. But it’s 3.53 GB. The Original Languages Library is big, and I had a few other freebies in my account already. Within 45 minutes all was downloaded. Good time, I thought. Then it went into “Preparing your library: This may take a while…”

But that only took 15 minutes. Just over an hour–start to finish–is pretty good for installing a program of this size and power. What I will want to keep an eye out for is how long it takes to start the program on a daily basis each time I want to use it.

Everything in the installation happens online. There are no DVDs to insert–just create a Logos account, sign in, and Logos knows what to download for you to get you up-to-date. The one log-in works across multiple computers. I’ve got Logos on my Mac right now, but I can just as easily put it on my PC, too. (!) As far as I’m aware, Logos 4 is the only major Bible software that works natively in both the PC and Mac platforms. (BibleWorks at one time had a Mac version under development but has since scrapped it; Mac’s Accordance is coming to Windows in 2013.)

After completing the installation process, the next morning I opened Logos 4. With just two (inactive) Web browsers open, it took about two minutes from the time I clicked the Logos icon to the time it was ready to go. This does seem a longish time (in computer time!) for a program to start. I came to this home screen:

I like being able to see what resources of mine were “updated,” and the “enter passage or topic” search bar is easy to spot right away. As much as I love John Owen, I wasn’t a huge fan of what looked and felt like ads greeting me as I opened this Bible software. This is the program default, but it’s easy to change:

Then, the second time I booted the program up, it was ready to go in less than 45 seconds. Much better.

This morning I received a notification that an update for Logos 4 was ready to be installed. This came automatically. Already I think I am noticing a real strength of this program–how automated everything is with regard to updates, library maintenance, etc.

As a someone whose church uses the lectionary, I especially appreciate being able to see the readings for this Sunday (and “Proper 18”) in the top right of the home screen.

Now for an initial search in that “enter passage or topic” box. Let’s go with Deuteronomy 6:4-9. And… wow. A wealth of information comes up (click for larger):

I can’t wait to use the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis for the Hebrew Bible. It’s exclusive to Logos. (See Logos blog from some time ago on it here and links to tutorial videos here.)

On the left I’ve got a “Passage Guide,” with some of what it pulls up displayed above, and another tab called “Exegetical Guide,” which gives me more detailed information about grammar, visualizations, word-for-word analysis, etc. There are plenty of windows and tabs open, which are easy to move around and re-arrange as I desire.

Getting Logos 4 and the Original Languages library set up was an easy install process. I’m glad for everything taking place so easily over an Internet connection, and I’m hoping that the time it takes to start the program up each time is not much. Time will tell how long the “This may take a while…” screen will actually take each time I use Logos. But with all the tools available above, and many more besides, it looks like I’ll be able to do quite a bit with Logos 4.

Thanks to Logos for the review copy of Logos 4 with the Original Languages Library included. For the review copy I will be giving my honest impressions of the program in a multi-part review.