Leningrad Codex in BibleWorks 10

"Leningrad Codex Carpet page e" by Shmuel ben Ya'akov - [2]. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Leningrad Codex Carpet page e” by Shmuel ben Ya’akov. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
The Leningrad Codex is the basis for the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS), the critical edition of the Hebrew Bible. Leningrad is the earliest complete Masoretic manuscript still available to us, dating from the 11th century. BHS is what’s called a diplomatic edition–it uses Leningrad as the best available text with a critical apparatus at bottom.

Images of Codex Leningradensis, as it is also known, are available freely online. (See here, for example.) But users of Bible software still have hoped for something more integrated and easier to use than a .pdf.

BibleWorks 10 offers Leningrad images, fully integrated with the rest of the software’s texts. There are even verse markers so you know where you are in the manuscript. You can toggle verse markers off if you want to read through with no help.

Here’s what it looks like:

 

Click image or open in new tab to enlarge
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

You can see in the image above that I can view the Leningrad Codex (with verse markers) in tandem with BibleWorks’s Search Window (far left), Browse Window (second from left and showing multiple versions of my choosing), and Analysis Window (second from right, here featuring lexical data that automatically appears as I hover over words in the Browse window).

It’s possible to zoom in and out of the image at far right to get a closer look at the manuscript detail if you desire. Or you can open it in its own window, like so:

 

Leningrad Images
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

Now you can navigate the Leningrad Codex using the sidebar at left.

One other really cool feature–by hovering over the verse reference in the codex, you bring up a pop-up window showing you multiple versions:

 

Click image or open in new tab to enlarge
Click image or open in new tab to enlarge

 

Very impressive. Note, too, the nifty blue and yellow color scheme in the image above.

My only critique of this new, flagship feature (which is executed really well) is that there’s not a keyboard shortcut to zoom in and out of the codex images. You have to right-click, then navigate through the contextual menu for the zoom percentage you want, then select it. Somewhat making up for this, however, is the ability to simply click-hold and drag your way through the images.

Check out a short video of the codex in BW10 here:

 

 

BibleWorks 9 took a huge leap forward in offerings of Greek manuscripts:

 

Alexandrinus longer ending

 

Now BibleWorks 10 starts to bring the program’s Hebrew offerings to parity with the Greek. There is still much more by way of Greek MSS in BW10 (might we hope for the Aleppo Codex in BW11?). But BibleWorks is the first software to offer the images of Leningrad to its users. A big step forward to readers and students of Hebrew.

See more of what’s new in BibleWorks 10 here.

 


 

I received a free upgrade to BibleWorks 10 for the purposes of offering an unbiased review. See my other BibleWorks posts here. You can order the full program here or upgrade here. It’s on Amazon, too.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works for <$100 in Olive Tree

Bonhoeffer in Olive Tree

 

Right now you can find the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, English Edition (DBWE, 16 volumes) for just $99.99 in Olive Tree Bible software. A few more Bonhoeffer items are also listed at their sale here.

Olive Tree’s iOS and desktop apps are free, so if you like Bonhoeffer and have the cash, this is probably the best price for his complete works in English that one will ever find. (It does not yet include the just-released-in-print Volume 17.)

Bonhoeffer died 70 years ago today.

When Bible Software Marketing Crosses a Theological Line

Logos 6 is Here

 

Logos, I appreciate you. I use your products. I was impressed with Logos 6. I even recently signed on as an affiliate to receive commissions for Logos purchases generated through a unique Words on the Word-based url. You’ve been kind to offer me a lot of great stuff to review.

You invest a lot of time and effort (and, I assume, money) in marketing.

I ignore most of it.

But you recently emailed me a link to an awkwardly titled blog post: 6 Reasons That Shouldn’t Stop You from Getting Logos 6.

This post has gone too far in trying to convince people to override their objections to spend more:

2. I already have enough books.

Even if you think you’ll never read through everything in your library, adding more books will make it more powerful and increase the value of the books you already own.

In other words, “If you buy more books to search, you’ll have more books to search.”

Dear friends at Logos, do we not already succumb enough to an insufficiency mentality in the world? I don’t have enough. I need to have more. My Bible study and teaching prep is good, but if I just had that one more commentary series, life would be awesome!

I’m as guilty of this mentality as anyone (probably more so)–and I want to fight it. Bible software marketing copy that taps into the culturally-rooted materialism that Christians are supposed to stand against? Not okay.

One other “reason” gave me pause:

4. I can’t afford a new base package.

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have a couple of options.

You can take advantage of interest-free payment plans and spread out the cost over up to 24 months. That means you only pay a fraction up front, pay for the rest over time, and start using your new software right away.

Let me help with the rewrite:

If a base package isn’t in your budget right now, you have one option: don’t buy one right now.

“Our mission is to serve the church,” you say. How does enabling and even encouraging churchgoers and pastors to take on new debt serve the church?

I think it’s time for some serious evaluation of the sort of marketing mantras that (however unintentionally) undermine Kingdom values of sufficiency and wise financial stewardship and promote instead the harmful values of incessant accumulation and overspending.

Saying, “What I have is enough,” and curbing credit-card-style overspending are actually two excellent reasons not to upgrade to Logos 6.

 

UPDATE: The “6 Reasons” email I received from Logos had no author’s name on it. I didn’t see an author’s name on the blog version of the post, either, until just before this post was about to go live. I direct my critique, though, to Logos as a whole, since the individual post is emblematic of Logos’s marketing approach in general.

A Bundle of Septuagint Resources in Olive Tree, Under $50

Rahlfs LXXWant to read the Old Testament in Greek on all your devices? This is the cheapest way I’ve seen to get started: until midnight PST tomorrow (1/6/15) night, you can get this Septuagint bundle for less than $50. It includes

  • The Rahlfs-Hanhart Septuagint text
  • Its critical apparatus
  • The Kraft-Wheeler-Taylor parsings of each word in the text
  • The LEH Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (Lust, Eynikel, and Hauspie)

This is really an incredible deal, given that the Rahlfs-Hanhart text in print is about $50 (and doesn’t include running parsings). The LEH Lexicon in print runs anywhere from $40 to $80.

What can Olive Tree do, you ask? See my gathered posts here, including my recent review of a five-volume dictionary set that is still on sale.

The advantage to having the above combo in Olive Tree is that you can tap any word in the Rahlfs-Hanhart Greek text and get instant parsing information.

 

Parsing

 

You can instantly access that word’s lexical entry in the LEH lexicon. I especially appreciate LEH’s inclusion of word frequency counts, according to sections of the LXX:

 

LEH Entry

 

Using the split window setup, here’s what the Rahlfs text with apparatus looks like:

 

Rahlfs with Apparatus

 

Though Rahlfs never intended his apparatus in this volume to be fully critical, it does help you at least compare LXX readings as found in Vaticanus (B), Alexandrinus (A), and Sinaiticus (S).

And because Olive Tree is fully cross-platform, you can sync any notes you take or highlights you make and they appear on any device on which you have Olive Tree.

Find the whole bundle here, on sale for just a little while longer.

New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, $99 in Olive Tree

NIDB Olive TreeAn underrated but really good Bible dictionary is the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (NIDB). Published by Abingdon, the five-volume set is edited by Katharine Doob Sakenfeld and includes contributions of nearly 1,000 scholars.

For a short time the dictionary set is $99.99 in Olive Tree Bible software. Below I offer–from my perspective as a preaching pastor and Bible reader–my take on the set, with a focus on Olive Tree’s iOS Bible Study App.

 

What The NIDB Is and How It Has Helped Me

 

There are more than 7,000 articles in NIDB. The contributing scholars are diverse in terms of gender, ethnicity, and denominational background–a refreshing mix of voices. The dictionary balances reverence for the biblical text with rigorous scholarship–though the dictionary is rarely arcane.

The NIDB has been eminently useful to me in my weekly sermon preparation. Last fall, for example, when preaching through Genesis, I knew I’d have to make sense somehow of the “subdue” command that God gives the first humans regarding their relationship to the earth. The dictionary’s “Image of God” entry helpfully clarifies:

While the verb may involve coercive activities in interhuman relationships (see Num. 32:22, 29), no enemies are in view here–and this is the only context in which the verb applies to nonhuman creatures.

The same article puts nicely the implications of humanity’s creation in God’s image: the “image of God entails a democratization of human beings–all human hierarchies are set aside.”

This sort of blend between technical detail and pastoral application is present throughout the dictionary.

I’ve also found useful background for my Greek reading. This year, for example, I’m reading through the Psalms in Greek with a group of folks (see here). In the “Septuagint” entry in NIDB I find this:

The 4th-cent. CE “Codex Vaticanus” contains all of the books of the Hebrew Scripture or Protestant OT, and the following material that is today classified as deuterocanonical: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Ps 151, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus or Ben Sirach, the additions to Esther (several of which were originally composed in a Semitic language; others of which are original Greek compositions), Judith, Tobit, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, and the additions to Daniel (Azariah and the Three Jews, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon).

The entry goes on to describe other Septuagint manuscripts, with hyperlinks in Olive Tree to related entries.

 

iOS Features in Olive Tree

 

Olive Tree logo

 

Olive Tree is as cross-platform as a Bible study app gets: it runs on iOS (iPhone and iPad), Mac, Windows, and Android. The app itself is free, and you can get some good texts free, too, so you can preview the app before you buy any resources in it.

I’ve got the Olive Tree app on Mac, iPhone, and iPad Mini. It’s one of the best-executed iOS Bible study apps I’ve seen. It is visually appealing, highly customizable (especially with gestures and swipes), and easy to learn.

When reading the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (or anything else), here are a few features that have impressed me:

You can navigate with “flick scrolling” (how iBooks is set up) or “page scrolling” (like Kindle). This will make just about any user feel at home in the app. Flick scrolling (how you’d navigate a Web page) feels more natural to me, so I use that.

Dictionary entries are easy to get to. You can simply tap on “Go To” and type in the entry you’re looking for. The auto-complete feature saves having to type very much on the iPhone’s small keyboard:

 

NIDB Go To

 

You can search the entire contents of NIDB by word. If I wanted to see not just the entry for “Septuagint,” but every time the NIDB mentions the Septuagint, I would simply type that word in to the search entry bar:

 

NIDB Search

 

Then I can select a result and read the given entry.

The full-color photos are zoomable. The NIDB contains full-color photographs that help visualize various entries. You can select the photograph and pinch-zoom for more detail.

 

NIDB iPad

 

I’ve noted this before–there is a great deal of customizable “Gestures/Shortcuts” preferences in the “Advanced Settings” menu. Olive Tree is the most versatile Bible study app in this sense. For example:

  • Two-finger swipe left and right takes you through your history within the app. I can swipe between NIDB, and the last NIV Old Testament passage I was reading, and a commentary, and…. No need to go through menus.
  • Two-finger tap gets you from any screen to your library; right away you can get at your other resources.

 

Concluding Assessment and How to Buy

 

One of my favorite features of Olive Tree’s apps is that you can view two resources at once that aren’t tied together by Bible verse. It’s like having split windows on an iPad. So you can have the NIDB open in the top half of your screen, and a Bible text or other resource open in the bottom half–even to unrelated topics if you want.

The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible is about as good a Bible dictionary as you’ll find. If you can use it to complement the Anchor Bible Dictionary (also available in OT), you’d be very well set with Bible dictionaries.

Olive Tree has done a great job, especially with its iOS apps. As much as I loved my print copy of NIDB, I unloaded it not long ago since I can essentially carry it around with me now. And getting at its contents is even easier with the enhancements Olive Tree provides.

 

Thanks to Olive Tree for the NIDB for the purposes of this review, offered without any expectations as to the content of the review. You can find the product here, where it is currently on sale for $99.99.

15% Off All Logos 6 Base Packages

Logos 6 is Here

 

Now you can get 15% off any base package in Logos 6 through Words on the Word. If you order a base package through this Logos landing page, Logos feeds a percentage back to me, which I’d use for resources supporting the work of Words on the Word. (Current project I’m excited about: Greek Psalms in a Year.)

Check it out here, or just use the promo code ABRAMKJ6 when you checkout with a base package in your Logos cart. My review of Logos 6 is here.

Get Logos 6? Making (Some) Sense of the Upgrade Process

Logos 6 Gold

 

Logos 6 looks good and offers some innovative, interactive tools for Bible study.

There are a lot of upgrade options. The upgrade process has not been as clear as it could be. But I think I’ve figured it out–and I was a beta tester! So if it hasn’t been clear to me, my hunch is that’s true for others, too.

In case it’s helpful to anyone else, here’s a short post on how to get Logos 6.

 

1. Free, Bare Bones, Later

 

On February 3, 2015, Faithlife (umbrella company for Logos) will make its Logos 6 engine free. It won’t have the datasets (mentioned below), nor the Interactives (see here), but I believe it will have basic improvements like the Search Everything and notes upgrades.

 

2. Crossgrade: Keep Your Current Library, Get Some (or All) of the New Features

 

Check out Logos 6’s new features here. I mentioned in my review of Logos 6 that the Interactives are, I think, the best part.

There are three crossgrade levels, and they’re pricier than you’d expect. They’re all noted and compared here. Crossgrades don’t give you new books, but they get you the Logos 6 engine (i.e., software), as well as its new features, interactive resources, media, and datasets. (I’m especially impressed at the moment by the Propositional Flow Outline.) As one of Logos’s pages puts it: “The crossgrade packages allow you to power your existing library with the new Logos 6 features.”

 

3. Base Package: Buy a Bigger Library, Get Some (or All) of the New Features

 

This is where it gets confusing. You can buy a Base Package–and previous purchases count toward your customized dynamic pricing–that gives you new texts, books, etc. and that gives you some or all (depending on the Base Package level) of the datasets, media, and interactive resources.

So if you bought Logos 5 Gold, Logos 6 Gold will cost you money, but not nearly as much as if you’re buying for the first time. Logos 6 Gold supplies you with all the new datasets and features, as well as some new books and commentaries.

For Base Packages you can choose from Starter, Bronze, Silver, Gold, all the way up through the Collector’s Edition. If you buy Bronze, for example, you get new books and some of the new datasets and interactive resources in Logos 6, but not all.

Making your decision more potentially difficult is that Logos offers denomination-based base packages at various levels.

All the Base Packages are detailed here. Especially useful is this interactive Base Package comparison chart.

UPDATE: Get 15% off base packages here, or use the promo code ABRAMKJ6 when you checkout with a base package in your Logos cart.

 

Logos 5 had what was acknowledged by the company to be an unclear rollout and upgrade process. The Logos 6 rollout has been better, but still could have been clearer (and should be simpler, perhaps with less options?).

The best single, succinct summary Logos has published on upgrading can be found here.

See more at the home page for Logos 6.