Monday, June 30, 2008

Suggested Resources for Basic Bible Study

Suggested Resources for Basic Bible Study
I've put together some resources pages for those looking for basic Bible study tools. I am making the following assumptions about those who would be most interested in such tools:

  • You are likely a lay person who does not know Greek or Hebrew (though you wouldn't mind at least understanding a bit of what is going on in the original Greek or Hebrew).
  • You don't really have the time or the means to accumulate a large, scholarly library of resources. What you really want is accessible, reliable, and understandable information regarding basic questions that arise as you read the Bible.
  • You may be willing to spend some money to get good resources, but FREE is good!
  • You are interested in physical (i.e., real books) AND / OR digital (i.e., software or online) resources.
With these premises in mind, this site will help you answer the following questions:
  • Where should I buy these resources?
  • What Bible should I get?
  • What other study resources should I get?
  • What about Bible software and online resources?
The site will be an ongoing work in progress intended to complement my earlier posting on Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study which was composed for my seminary students. As with that post, I'm interested in hearing what you think of this one. Please note that I am not angling for a theological fight here. You can probably guess from my list of resources and recommend Bibles that I am some flavor of moderate Protestant (ELCA Lutheran to be precise with a Missouri Synod Lutheran background). That is, I don't think that any of the primary resources I list have any theological bias, but my inclinations are probably indicated by my preference for the NRSV as the 'neutral' English translation with which I make comparisons. Okay, so I am open to suggestions, and I am also hoping for a show of charitableness.
Again, here it is: Suggested Resources for Basic Bible Study

e-Sword LIVE

I'm not sure how long e-Sword LIVE has been online, but (I just discovered it, and) Rick Meyers has done a nice job of presenting the respected e-Sword program in an online version. After you register your FREE account, be sure to click on your Profile to add more resources. There are 25 Bibles available (including ASV, CEV, ESV, GNB, KJV, NASB and a number of other non-English ones) along with 7 commentaries, 6 dictionaries, a couple topical indexes, and 3 lexicons. The resources are pretty much the typical online, public domain ones, but they can still be somewhat helpful. The online version does remember your search and passage history, but you cannont, unfortunately, annotate texts in any way.

Evernote 3.0

I've previously mentioned Microsoft's OneNote as a catchall, note-taking tool (especially in making notes on Bible readings), but if you are looking for a free alternative, consider Evernote.
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.
That is, you can capture text, images, web pages, photos from your cell phone or other camera, and then have the items analyzed for text, and then indexed, and then available on a web account. Here's there overview video:

Available for Windows XP/Vista/Mobile and Mac. There is a FREE 40Mb version, and a more robust $45/year version.
HT: Webware

Counting Scholarly, Digital Work

In the previous post, I summarized the Mills Kelly articles on "Making Digital Scholarship Count." He makes a distinction between digital work and digital scholarship. I think it is an important distinction, but as I have been considering it, I want to argue for the importance of "scholarly, digital work." I'm not doing much scholarship on this blog, but I would like to think that the work I'm doing is contributing to the advancement of the scholarship in the biblical studies field. Some further thoughts:

  • In terms of scholarship, book reviews wouldn't really qualify, but they are an important section in most scholarly journals. Online blogs like this one can be a good way to review a variety of resources. It is helpful scholarly work presented digitally.
  • In terms of scholarship, someone who edits a collection of scholarly essays doesn't really qualify either. I'm spending a lot of time organizing, comparing, and evaluating resources that are used in the biblical studies field. Again, it's not scholarship, but it is useful scholarly work presented digitally.
  • Just because a book is published physically, even a peer-reviewed one from a respected publisher, doesn't make it the final word on a topic. Usually a book only gets a single peer-reviewer before publication, and that reviewer may not be fully qualified to make a judgment or may decide to encourage a book's publication simply for the sake of bringing an argument to broader attention. As Kelly notes, in the digital realm, publishing online is just the start of the peer review process. Potentially there are many more reviewers, and the resource can be edited and updated to reflect those reviews.
I continue to think that it is important to generate scholarship to demonstrate one's competencies in a given field, but I'm also holding up the role of the popularizer in its best sense as one who sorts through scholarship and provides a more easily comprehended summary of it.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making Digital Scholarship Count

The title of this post is the title of a series of blog posts by Mills Kelly, a historian teaching at George Mason University. I have raised this issue previously, but Kelly--who has actually tried to assess the value of digital learning strategies and has some significant work on the web to support his credentials--introduces the series in the first of 3 posts (part 1, part 2, part 3) with:

Today I am inaugurating an extended series of posts on the question of how digital scholarship should “count” in the ways that things count at colleges and universities. As more and more scholars do work in the digital environment they are expecting this work to count toward tenure, promotion, and other types of formal evaluation (in the hiring process, for instance).
He makes a helpful distinction between "digital scholarship" and "digital work" of which the former is a subset of the latter. He points to his World History Sources and Women in World History sites and describes them as “applied research on student learning and technology." As for traditional scholarship, he writes:
In almost any discipline one cares to name scholarship has the following characteristics: It is the result of original research; it has an argument of some sort and that argument is situated in a preexisting conversation among scholars; it is public, it is peer reviewed; and it has an audience response. (from post 2)
Traditionally, this has meant books or articles, but Kelly argues for the value of digital publication. Note, however, that he still wants to distinguish between digital work (and he would include even the incredible Perseus Project in this category) from scholarship which employs such databases and presents an argument. [At this point, as I look at my own work on this blog, it is certainly work and not scholarship. I believe that such work can be valuable (and Kelly also recognizes the importance of digital work) and should be included in the overall assessment of one's contributions in his/her field, but it is helpful to maintain the distinction.]

In his third post, he identifies an important issue that distinguishes between traditional and digital scholarship: peer review. Traditionally, peer review is an oftentimes slow process of submission, review (usually by one person), response, editing. Kelly writes:
Why won’t this process survive in the digital world? The answer is pretty simple. It just takes too long and does not work in a medium where gatekeeping makes no sense. By it’s very nature, digital scholarship happens in a dynamic space–one where the work is often “self-published” in the sense that a scholar or a group of scholars creates historical work in the digital environment and then it is made available when it’s done (or close enough to done to show other people). Not after a lengthy process of peer review–but when it’s ready to be seen... Then, and only then, does the peer review begin.
Kelly argues that recognizing digital scholarship is critical and concludes:
I’m not proposing that we throw out a system that has worked for so long in one fell swoop. But I am suggesting that there needs to be a serious discussion in our profession of what peer review means, what its value is to the process of advancing knowledge, and how it can change to take into account the new realities of the digital world. If we don’t have this discussion–and soon–we’re in danger of losing touch with a rising generation of young scholars who will see us as nothing more than cranky old scholars who are hanging onto an old system because it serves our interests and not theirs.
I hope I have correctly summarized Kelly's argument and provided only enough quotations to encourage you to read it for yourself.

HT: Dan Cohen's Digital Humanities Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NET web site - Biblical sites information

The NET (Near East Tourist) Agency just updated their web site, and it is well worth a visit. Yes, it is a travel agency site, but it also provides an incredible wealth of information on the biblical locations in the Holy Land and Jordan one is likely to visit. (The sections on Turkey, Greece, and Italy are still under construction.) Stephen Langfur, a reliable and well-respected guide, provides most of the commentary. In addition there are lots of maps and pictures (I am happy that he was able to use a number of my pictures) and some excellent use of GoogleEarth to illustrate features of various sites.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Free Language Courses: Foreign Service Institute

The Foreign Service Institute has a fairly plain and simple web site, but it offers a wide variety of language courses for free. Both texts (PDF files) and MP3s are offered. There are, for example, 72 lessons for Greek and 40 for Hebrew. It is modern language, of course, and the texts are rather old (1967 for the typewritten Greek), but they may be useful. (Where else will you get Amharic instruction?) Here's the site description, and the list of languages offered. UPDATED LINK: FSI Language Courses
Welcome to, the home for language courses developed by the Foreign Service Institute. These courses were developed by the United States government and are in the public domain.

This site is dedicated to making these language courses freely available in an electronic format. This site is not affiliated in any way with any government entity; it is an independent, non-profit effort to foster the learning of worldwide languages. Courses here are made available through the private efforts of individuals who are donating their time and resources to provide quality materials for language learning.
HT: Theological German

Help please: Recommendations for threaded discussion boards

Here's the situation: I am working with a group that would like to do a yearly Bible reading program. Some people will be responsible for getting the discussion/comments started each week, but they anyone to be able to add comments to the discussion.

I am looking, therefore, to create something that basically looks like a blog (or wiki), is as simple and easy as a blog to create posts and allow non-technical users to join in the discussion with their own comments AND sorts the comments into a tree-type threaded discussion display. I am also hoping to find something that is free or relatively cheap (to get rid of ads). I also want it to be able to filter out spam. I have found that many less technical people are not likely to register (even if it is free), so I am thinking using captchas is probably a better option. (But has anyone else noticed how difficult the captchas are to read here on Blogger? Usually takes me at least twice to get the right read...)
Google Groups kind of does what I want, but it doesn't have the graphical appeal of a blog, and it could be a bit more simple to use.
I have also looked at MyFreeForum. It creates very nice forums, but it doesn't really do threading.
Anyone have any good suggestions or can point me to sites where this Bible reading sort of thing is working successfully? Thanks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Calaméo - Create your own interactive, multimedia publication

Calaméo provides a way to publish a variety of interactive, multimedia publications for free. (Registration required.) Very easy to use, and it accepts PDFs and most Microsoft Office and OpenOffice formats. Sounds, videos, etc. can be added to the publication. Sharing can be set for public or private.
Here is a quick example of "An Introduction to the Gospel of Mark" I created.

UPDATE: 2008.06.30 - Here is a thorough review of calameo. A question in the comments noted that it didn't seem there was any way to add multimedia. The way to get to it is, after having created your publication, click on "Links" to open the publication in a new screen and then use the icons to add music, videos, etc. If you click on "Edit," you can change the background and set sharing levels.

HT: Stephen's Web

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shelfari - Create your own bookshelf

If you want to set up your own bookshelf, I've previously listed some library management tools here, including the useful LibraryThing. Another more visually appealing option which is also a kind of social bookmarking and recommendation service is Shelfari. You will have to add your books manually, but you can click them in quickly via an Amazon search. Like LibraryThing, joining is free, but it appears that you can add as many books as you want. Once you have added books to your shelf, you can provide tags and reviews. You can also move them around the bookshelf. I'm not quite sure I'm ready to add my whole library... (I'm still trying to find my old CueCat scanner which I supposedly can use to scan in books more quickly.)

Zoomii - Visually browsing in Amazon for books

Miss that real bookstore ambiance? The random book discovery that happens when you were looking for something else? The visual appeal of the book covers?

Except for actually handling the books (no little cafe either; bring your own drink...), Zoomii recreates something of that kind of experience for Amazon. You can move around by categories, and then you can zoom in/out to check the shelves. (Use the onscreen keys or your wheel mouse.) Clicking on the book will bring you more detail, and from there you can buy it, add it to your Amazon Wish List (after signing in), or go to the Amazon page.
I've given a little screen shot of the Religion section, and you can see that it is organized alphabetically by author like in a bookstore. Rendering is a bit slow (apparently in Firefox3), but not really a problem. You can perform searches, but don't expect to find every Amazon book. (I'm not sure what filters are used to return the limited results shown.) There is still the link to perform the same search on Amazon. (E.g., searching for "bible atlas" on Zoomii gave me 8 results. Clicking through to the same search on Amazon gave me 1531.)
For more info, watch this video:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Firefox 3 - Themes

I think I will stick with the default Firefox 3 theme for now, but for the sake of completeness, I will bring your attention to a couple ways to personalize Firefox by the use of themes. Being a biblical studies kind of person, you may want to get one of the Bible Fox themes! (See the graphic above.) There is the standard in Bible Fox in brown as above or, if you prefer, Bible Fox Blue. You just know that all your friends will want to know where you got your cool Christian Bible theme!

Another, somewhat lesser known, way to personalize Firefox is with the use of "Personas." It's a single add-on with about 50 variations that show up immediately. Here's the Groovy Blue one.

There are plenty of others with sports, scenery, geometric, holidays... themes. If you install it, click on the little Persona Fox in the very bottom, left hand corner of the Firefox window.

Now, get back to work!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3 - Getting stuff organized - Search Engines

There are a ton of ready-made search engine tools you can add to Firefox that you access in the search box at the upper right of your Firefox window. (Check out the ones Iyov uses.) If you added on OpenSearchFox I mentioned in the previous post, you can actually create your own quickly and easily. (Just a right-click, and a couple other clicks needed.) The graphic above shows what my drop-down list of search engines looks like. Using the "Manage Search Engines" button at the bottom of the list, I have organized them into related groupings.
One that I have since added to this list was just mentioned in the comments on an earlier post by J. P. van de Giessen. He used a customized Google search to create one that will search across all Biblioblogs listed on the Biblioblogs site. You have to add this search plugin a bit differently, but follow the directions and download it from van de Giessen's web site.
It works great! Thanks, J.P.

Firefox 3 - Getting stuff organized - Add-ons

Iyov shared some of the ways he has customized his Firefox (and I picked up a couple good ones from his list), and since we now have Firefox 3, I thought I would do the same. In this post, I will show you how I have simplified my web work a bit by the use of Firefox addons. You can click on the graphic above to see the addons I use more clearly, but I will highlight a few of them below.

BTW, to get addons, you can use Tools > Add-ons, and it will bring up a dialogue box. Click on the "Get Add-ons" tab, and from there you can search for something specific, look at recommended add-ons, or browse them all. To see the add-ons you already have, click on the "Extensions" tab. (Yeah, that is confusing and inconsistent terminology.) Alternatively, you can download/install add-ons from the Firefox site or click on the links I provide.
  • Book Burro - Has saved me money by looking for books I'm wanting to buy on other sites
  • Download Statusbar - Helps manage downloads
  • FireFTP - A FTP client that works in Firefox
  • Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer - Keeps my bookmarks available anywhere and consistent across multiple computers
  • IE Tab - Some pages simply don't display correctly in Firefox. This one allows you to open up a page in Internet Explorer or simply change that tab to render with IE.
  • Image Zoom - A quick and easy way to enlarge graphics and pictures on web pages - Note: you may not need this in Firefox 3 with its Page Zoom feature. Use CTRL (or CMD) + or - to resize text and pictures of whole page (CTRL and mouse wheel also works)
  • OpenSearchFox - I will say more about this in the next post. There are a ton of search engine plugins for Firefox, but this one is a great way to add the search engine plugins you specifically want. Seems to have disappeared from the Mozilla site, but get it here.
  • PicLens - Fun and attractive way to view pictures on the web or on your computer
  • Resizeable Textarea - Have you tried to add a comment to a Blogger post, and the window comes up too small and can't be resized. This fixes that problem.
  • Resurrect Pages - A great way to find pages that have disappeared using a variety of archiving engines
  • Taboo - What I am now using to keep track of bunches of web pages that I open but will get around to reading later on
  • Tab Mix Plus - Really helps in tab management; the close active tab button on the right alone is essential for me (TMP was not initially ready to go w/ Firefox 3 but now is)
  • Tyndale Toolbar for Bibles - More info here. I don't always have the toolbar active, but it is handy to have.
  • Undo Closed Tabs Button - You accidentally close the wrong tab. This makes it one-click easy to get it back.
  • Vertov and Zotero - I've talked quite a bit about these.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3

Firefox 3 was released today, and they are trying to set a world record for the number of downloads in a single day. Get yours now!
To learn more about how to use it, download/check out this Field Guide to Firefox 3. (
HT to Jane's.)
I've used it for a few hours now, and here are some things you should know.

  • The Firefox server has been pretty busy, so it took me a few tries to get the download. It is less than 8Mb, and installation is quick and painless.
  • The upgrade does check all your addons, tells you which ones won't work with the new version, and will search for updated addons that will work.
  • For now, the ones I regularly use that don't work are:
    • My one click link
    • Google Browser Sync which I always had active >> UPDATE: Iyov in the comments points to a website indicating that Google Browser Sync is being abandoned and will not be updated. They recommend Foxmarks. I had used this before and will now return to it to keep my computers in sync. Actually, I can log in to Foxmarks and have my bookmarks available on any computer anywhere. Thanks, Iyov.
    • iBreadCrumbs which I described in an earlier post
    • Personas for Firefox which provides some simple themes
    • Resurrect Pages - This one I regularly use to pull up dead web pages via a variety of archiving engines >> UPDATE: This is now updated and works in version 3.
    • Themes - I'm not big on themes, so this is no big deal
    • Tab Mix Plus - Another one that I used regularly
I trust that those addons will be updated soon to function in Firefox 3.

A couple other observations:
  • The rendering of pages is noticeably faster.
  • The default theme and the new icons are clean and attractive.
  • All of your Firefox 2 preferences and customizations are retained in the upgrade (except for the addons that don't work).
  • Some of the other important addons for me (Zotero, FireFTP, ShareThis) work perfectly well.
  • So far it has been entirely stable. I say, "Go for it!"

Premier Issue: Christian Video Magazine

Somewhat off my main focus here, but the publishers of the online Christian Computing Magazine have just launched a new online project, Christian Video Magazine. Mostly deals with use of video in church settings, but there are some technical articles that relate more directly to the technological tools aspect of doing biblical studies.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is Bible Software Making Us Stupid?

The question that heads this post was posed by Jim Darlack over on his blog after reading the article on The Atlantic, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" That article worried about the changes that the Internet is causing not only in what we read but also how we read. How we read does affect the way we think, so what are we losing in this brave new world where an overabundance of information is readily at our fingertips. I will admit that I could probably be exhibit A for the prosecution. I find that I constantly skimming articles and other written pieces, and that I have become more proficient at skimming. Why? Because I now have it in my consciousness that I don't need to remember everything an online article or book says. I only need to remember the general point or some key details that get vaguely stored in my memory. If I need to recall more precisely what was said, all I need to do is Google it and then find the specific bit of information I am wanting.
The danger here is that we lose context and, more importantly, the ability to think deeply. Both The Atlantic article author and Jim Darlack take a balanced perspective on the matter, so they are not advocating tossing out technology. With respect to biblical work, Jim encourages a "hermeneutics of love" (btw, a concept he only somewhat remembered and Googled to find it again!), a love for the text that requires a commitment to engage deeply with the text.
As someone who teaches Greek to seminary students, I have pretty much given up on expecting them to read Greek and instead focus on how I can make Greek a useful and lifelong tool for them. (I have blogged it about here, for example.) I believe, however, that Bible software is not making us stupid, but it is allowing us to (making us?) think differently.
I previously provided an example using John 3.16. If you look at that exercise, you will see that a person who was only allowed to use hardcopy resources to work through it would need hours to complete the task and about 12 or so books. Now there is something to be said for that kind of diligence in working with a text, but by using Bible software, I don't think I have lost anything at all, and I have gained quite a bit of time!
Let me give another typical example that arises in my class. As we are working through Matthew 6.13, we get to the last phrase which reads, "But deliver us from του πονηρου." I ask the class what the gender of
του πονηρου is, and since I encourage them to embrace those articles as our good friends, they quickly note that it is a masculine... or a neuter! What's the difference? If masculine, then it would be indicating a personal reference: "the evil one." If neuter, then more likely the abstract: "evil." (BTW, on a total side note, here is an instance which validates why multiple morphological coding systems for the Greek NT are useful. In BibleWorks7, the BGT/BNT and the GNT both indicate that it can be masculine or neuter. Some of the other ones, such as the BYZ or the WHO only indicate it as neuter. In Logos, I only find that texts using the Swanson morphology identify that both masculine and neuter are a possibility.) How, I ask, do modern translations deal with it? Students look at their English texts (hardcopy or digital: in this instance the software simply saves us time), and note the variations and see the footnotes. (The NET Bible as usual offers the fullest, though certainly not complete, explanation.) Which way, I then ask, did Matthew intend his audience to understand it? One could look at lexicons or, more likely, check a commentary to see what others have said about this matter. Again, software mainly serves to help us answer this question more quickly. Here, however, is the point at which the Bible software allows us to ask a better question: How would one go about determining what Matthew intended? Someone in class will realize that what we really want to do is look at all the ways that the πονηρος is used in Matthew. In the old days, this would either mean reading through the whole Gospel of Matthew or pulling down Moulton & Geden. In either case, it would indeed mean too much time. With Bible software, however, I can locate the 26 hits within seconds. If I want to get more specific, I can within another few seconds find all articular uses of πονηρος in Matthew. (E.g., in BW7, I use the BNM and on the command line, enter: 'ο πονηρος =gnc.) With this info before us, we can make our own determination about how Matthew understands the term.
My point here (in case you are just skimming this article!) is that Bible software does indeed provide the means to ask different questions, and these questions can often allow us to engage more directly and deeply with the text.

Wordle Visualization

I'm gone for a couple days, and it's way too easy to get too far behind too quickly... Ah, the tyranny of blogging...

3 John in Wordle
A post by Jim Darlack on his Old in the New blog brought my attention to the Wordle web site. As the web site says:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
It is FREE, and it works quite quickly even with big chunks of text. (It can't handle Unicode, however. UPDATE: It now does seem to deal with Unicode. Try the BPreplay Bold or Lucida Sans for Greek. SBL Hebrew or Lucida Sans for Hebrew. ) The graphic above shows the NRSV text of 3 John run through Wordle. It does a nice job of visualizing key themes in the text.

Logos does have a built in visualizer and the above graphic shows what it produces for 3 John. (How does one get this graphic? Use the Passage Guide and expand the "Important Words" section.) Not as attractive as Wordle, but you can choose whether to generate the word cloud in English or Greek.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Best Resources for Bible Study and Accordance, Bibleworks7, Logos3

In a previous post, I listed what I think are the best resources for biblical study. The list includes the tools I regularly use and that I want my students to have when doing Bible study work using the original languages. The next step, then, is to see how the three major software packages -Accordance, BibleWorks7, Logos3- provide the essential resources I have identified. So, I put together a spreadsheet and tried to lay out the resources included in each.

Why am I doing this? For one, it simply will help my students and others make a better buying decision. I am also all in favor of encouraging these companies to keep on improving their products with resources that are the most useful. Perhaps it may also help them put together a specialized package with my kind of students in mind.

Before I send you to that spreadsheet, here are some important qualifications to keep in mind.
  • The list of resources reflects my decisions about what I think is needed. If you don't agree with my decisions, the chart won't be of much help. (If you want, go ahead and use the spreadsheet to set up your own comparison chart.)
  • My list does not even begin to cover all the resources available in each of the packages. This simply reflects my decision that the other resources included are either not particularly helpful, or else they may be helpful but not really essential. (To see all the resources in each package, visit the publishers' web sites and see what is important to you.)
  • You will need to check my original list to make sense of some of the abbreviations. As with that list, I have presented some resources in green to indicate that they are important but usually expensive resources.
  • Keep in mind that I am only listing texts and resources. Before buying any package, you will want to carefully consider how they are implemented: interface, ease of use, speed of program, interaction between resources within and outside the program (Internet), expandability, technical and user support, quality of resources,
    availability of free resources, etc. Also note that Accordance is a native Mac program that can run under PC emulation; BibleWorks7 and Logos are native Windows programs that can run under Mac emulation. (Logos is working on a native Mac version.) There will be some performance limitations when running any program under emulation. Let me repeat: I am NOT arguing that a person should make a buying decision simply on the basis of this list of resources I think are significant, because I am not evaluating the many other important elements that make a program good and worthwhile and worth buying.
  • Also note that Accordance and Logos (using the Libronix Digital Library System) have licensed their systems to other publishers. Sometimes better combinations of contents can be obtained by looking at packages from Zondervan (Bible Suites for Accordance) or iLumina (packages for both Accordance and Logos) or Nelson Ministry Services (eBible Editions for Logos). Also note that if you are not eligible for academic or group discounts, you can often find packages for less cost through other retailers.
So, here is the spreadsheet available in original XLS or as a PDF.

Some observations after making this chart:

  • I find the bundling and pricing of Accordance to be confusing. It's probably best to call and let their sales reps help you put together the package you need with the best discounts. BibleWorks7 way of having a single base package with addons, that really are best purchased as addons, is the simplest approach. After looking at the contents of the various Logos libraries, from my perspective, one should either get the Original Languages library (despite some odd omissions) or go all the way for the Gold library.
  • It becomes very clear that Accordance and Logos are intended to help users create and manage libraries of biblical, theological, and devotional resources. BibleWorks is much more focused on resources for biblical/textual work, especially of the original languages.
  • Logos appears to be the most aggressive in terms of acquiring new resources, but Accordance offers some important texts unavailable elsewhere. BibleWorks7 is remarkable for the number of Bibles in English and other modern languages included in its base package.

Great Scott! Perseus (full LSJ and Lewis-Short) on your computer!

In the previous post, Jeremy linked to a notice regarding the Diogenes program which reported (in October 2007; am I among the last to find this?):

Announcing the release of version 3.1 of Diogenes, a free program for reading the databases of Latin and Greek texts published on CD-Rom by the Packard Humanities Institute and the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.

The major new feature in this version is that, thanks to the generosity of the Perseus project, morphological data and dictionaries for Latin (Lewis-Short) and Greek (LSJ) and are built-in.
After checking with Jeremy and installing the program, I can confirm that you don't need the PHI / TLG CD-Rom to make this work. What it does do is put the full Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek-English Lexicon on your computer along with the Lewis & Short Latin lexicon. Not having purchased either of these, I have in the past resorted to using the wonderful Perseus website (I have created external links from within BibleWorks7 and Logos; not sure if Accordance can do that), but users of the site know that it does not always work and can be painfully slow sometimes. As the graphic below shows, Diogenes certainly doesn't provide all the linked information available on the Perseus site. If all you need are dictionary entries and parsing information, though, Diogenes is an incredible tool... and free!
Some notes and things to keep in mind:
  • The installation program is a 64Mb download, and after installation, it will take up slightly more than 500Mb on your harddrive.
  • There are versions for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.
  • Diogenes is very fast and opens in its own browser type of window.
  • If you are not using the PHI/TLG CD, you can choose one of two "Actions" (see the top graphic):
    "Look up a word in a dictionary" or
    "Parse the inflection of a Greek or Latin word."
  • Just leave the "Corpus" at "TLG Texts."
  • In the "Query," you will need to use Unicode input for the Greek. Diogenes is smart enough to know whether to search the Greek or Latin depending on your input language.
  • When your results appear, you can click on other Greek/Latin words that are linked in the lexicons, but you won't be able to click on the links to items on the TLG/PHI disk.
  • One little bug: it looks like Diogenes omits section number headings on the lexical entries.
Now, if someone can figure out how to pass parameters from the Bible software into this program...
Thanks for pointing out this resource, Jeremy. To learn about this resource is one of the reasons why I blog.

UPDATE: Check this blog post by SFJohnson for more info on Diogenes and its LSJ implementation in relation to the text and implementation in Logos.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study

I've been trying to compile a list of resources that I think my seminary students--but it would apply to anyone serious about Bible study--need most if they want to study the Bible using the original languages but whose native language is English.

My assumptions here are that people need a variety of resources to conduct Bible study for preaching, teaching, self-edification, reflection, and devotion. At the seminary where I teach (LTSG), about a year's worth of Greek is required. Hebrew is not required but is encouraged as an elective. I am assuming some facility with Greek, therefore, but I am not assuming that people will be 'fluent' in Hebrew or even Greek. I do assume that with the proper resources they will be able to make use of both. I am also assuming here that English is the primary, native language, and so the secondary resources and translations I highlight are English ones.

Interested in seeing my list? Well, I'm interested in hearing what you think of it. Please note that I am not angling for a theological fight here. You can probably guess from my list that I am some flavor of moderate Protestant (ELCA Lutheran to be precise with a Missouri Synod Lutheran background). That is, I don't think that any of the primary resources I list have any theological bias, but my inclinations are probably indicated by my preference for the NRSV as the 'neutral' English translation with which I make comparisons. Okay, so I am open to suggestions, and I am also hoping for a show of charitableness. (BTW, anyone is welcome to take my list and adapt it to their particular interests. Just give some acknowledgement.)

Here it is: Best Resources for Original Language Bible Study

Monday, June 9, 2008

Linkwad - Another site-sharing resource

I described iBreadCrumbs in the previous post, and a comment suggested Linkwad as a better alternative. Both sites are free Firefox addins, both allow a person to accumulate sites into a group and store that group online, and both allow the group of sites to be shared. Here's what a linkwad group of LXX sites looks like.

Here are the differences:

  • The linkwad toolbar is a bit smaller, and it is easy to toggle it on/off which iBreadCrumbs (iBC) could not do.
  • Linkwad requires you to save each site you want while iBC records all the sites you visit. Linkwad probably ends up being less work, though, (especially if you stray from your designated task), because you only get the sites you explicitly want while iBC requires the removal of sites you happened to visit but don't want.
  • Setting up privacy is slightly different for each, but neither apparently allows you to change privacy later.
  • iBC has the advantage of allowing notes to be added to each site. Linkwad allows people to vote for sites that are more/less helpful.
Looks like I will probably use linkwad more often...

iBreadCrumbs - A web DVR for research

I actually might use this. iBreadCrumbs is a free online service that allows you to track and 'record' your work as you research sites on the Internet. I find that I regularly accumulate a bunch of tabs with various web sites as I am accumulating resources for any given topic. When I have to stop in the middle of my work, I have a couple options.

  • I can use the "Bookmark All Tabs" (CTRL-SHFT-D) command and create a folder.
  • More often, I simply use the Google Browser Sync Firefox extension to remember what I've been doing. This is a great tool, because I can restore all my tabs immediately when I use another computer. (I.e., the work/school shift.)
iBreadCrumbs provides another way of saving my work, but it also adds the capability of annotating my web work and sharing it with others. I can add to it later, remove sites, etc. It also provides a way of exporting citations in MLA or APA format to be included in MSWord. (Though I'm using Zotero to accomplish this function.)

To use iBreadCrumbs, you need to use Firefox, and it installs a toolbar. You simply click on the "Start" button, and it will keep track of your site visits until you stop it. You then have the option of removing any sites you don't want and adding notes. You can then save your iBreadCrumb and choose whether to make it public, viewable only to invited friends, or private.

I can see using something like this with my students, and they would be able to add more sites and add their own comments.

Some quirks that show this is still a developing resource:
  • I can't see how to toggle off/on the toolbar without disabling the extension. I don't want it taking up screen space all the time.
  • To start recording, you push the Start button. To stop recording, you push the Start button. (Sounds just like Windows, doesn't it?)
  • I noted that you can choose a privacy level when first saving the iBreadCrumb, but I don't see how to change the privacy level later.
Want to see what the results look like? Here was a quick one I pulled together while working on some LXX stuff.

HT and thanks to Jane's.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Accordance, Logos, and BibleWorks7 - Contents comparison

I see that with the release of their new version 8, Accordance has updated their Scholar's Collections bundles. These are the kind of packages using original language tools that I suggest my students to consider. So, take a look at the listing of resources on this page. Consider first their Scholar's Collection 7.4 Core Bundle. Priced at $250, it is going head to head directly with BibleWorks7 ($250 is the group discount price) and with Logos Original Languages Library ($250 is the academic purchase price). I am just looking at the contents here, so my comments are not reflecting on the interface, speed, intuitiveness, and special functions (like the INFER engine noted in the previous post). Since I don't actually have the Accordance program, I may be missing something not listed. (If Accordance wants to send me the program...) I'm also thinking primarily in terms of texts that I would like our seminary students to have, including:

  • a variety of English Bible translations (ranging from a literal translation like the NASB to a balanced translation like the NRSV or T/NIV to a dynamic one like TEV or CEV or Message)
  • the NET Bible with notes
  • original language biblical texts with reliable lexicons
  • some extra features like maps and Pseudepigrapha and Apostolic Fathers and Philo/Jospehus.
So, as I look at the Accordance bundle in comparison to BW7 and Logos, I see:

  • NET Bible with notes
  • Acceptable Hebrew lexicons (BDB and TWOT)
  • Nice selection of Parallel texts resources
  • A $30 unlock credit (which will get you one more English Bible)
Cons (and remember, I'm simply considering value of contents in relation to BW7 and Logos):
  • The only English versions supplied are ASV, KJV, and NET with notes
    - Logos provides 9 including NRSV, NASB, KJV, NET with notes, and ESV
    - BW7 has 38 English versions which includes all the ones you want except any of the more 'dynamic' versions like TEV, CEV, or Message (and they also include a ton of non-English Bibles)
  • No Septuagint
    - Logos and BW7 both have morphologically tagged versions and BW7 includes the Brenton English translation
  • Best Greek lexicons are the Louw-Nida (this is good) and UBS (which basically just provides glosses)
    - Logos is okay here, and does provide Louw-Nida, TDNT, Lust's Lexicon of the LXX, and the intermediate Liddell-Scott
    - BW7 includes Louw-Nida, UBS, Lust's, intermediate Liddell-Scott, Friberg's Analytical Lexicon (very good) and The Shorter Lexicon of the GNT (based on BDAG; also quite helpful)
  • No Philo, Josephus, Pseudepigrapha, or Apostolic Fathers
    - Logos includes Josephus in English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English
    - BW7 has fully tagged Philo and Josephus in Greek plus English; Charles' OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in English; Apostolic Fathers w/ fully tagged Greek plus English
  • No maps (the Bible Atlas is an $89 add on)
    - Logos has no maps in the OL Library
    - BW7 adds a mapping module that is highly customizable
Other notable inclusions with Logos Original Languages Library are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, a number of Hebrew/Greek-English interlinears, Comfort/Barrett's The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums, Nag Hammadi Library in English, Lexham Syntactic Greek NT, Greek NT

Other notable inclusions with BW7 are multiple Greek NT morphological texts, CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text, a number of other Hebrew and Greek grammar resources, Archer-Chirichigno OT Quotations in the NT, Metzger's Textual Commentary on the NT, Syriac Peshitta NT with English, Targums
From a superficial standpoint of content, it certainly appears that you got many more rather essential texts in Logos and BW7 than you do in Accordance, and adding books in Acccordance can become costly very quickly.

Accordance does offer the whole Scholar's Collection unlocked for... $2500! You get a lot of excellent texts: NETSeptuagint; DSSBible; LXX/Philo/Josephus/Apostolic Fathers/Pseudepigrapha in Greek/English; Wallace's Grammar; L&S/Lust's/TDNT lexicons; Mishnah, Targums, DSS, Peshitta; Metzger's Commentary; and more, BUT you still don't get any extra English Bibles or maps.

This whole version could be compared to the Logos Gold Library which is $830 (academic pricing). The list of works is long... BibleWorks really doesn't offer upgraded libraries, but you can add on modules.

As the only original languages Bible software for the Mac (Logos is still only in alpha release), Accordance is really the only choice for Mac users. (A number of people are running BW7 or Logos under Windows emulation, however.) My students who use Accordance love it, and that is, of course, worth something. From the perspective of a PC guy, however, Accordance looks to be quite expensive for what you get. Still, if I haven't mentioned it before, if Accordance wants to send me the program to review, I'll be happy to accept it!

Okay, am I missing any critical contents? Is there a discount place to obtain Accordance one should know about? Let us know!

UPDATE 2008.06.07: Be sure to read the comment by David Lang. The very latest Accordance blog post talked about the new Scholar's bundles and linked to the page I referenced, so that was the basis for my making the comparison. But, duh, it does say Scholars Collection 7.4, not 8.0. I did find this page that provides a table of the Scholars8 Library, but it doesn't look too different in terms of what's included. Second, I had looked all over the Accordance site for discount information and could not find any, so I'm glad David clarified that there are discounts available. For my seminary students, I'm still mainly looking at what they can get in that $250-350 range, so I will indeed check again when Accordance has their web site completely updated with the version 8 packages. (Of course, did I mention they could send me one to review? Actually, and this is a memo to the Accordance sales department, I have had great difficulty figuring out what to recommend to my students working from their web site. I find the purchasing of individual volumes to add up quickly and the overlapping of libraries/bundles/modules to be rather confusing.)
Also in the comments, Mike is indeed correct that only Logos offers the full Kittel TDNT. It is just the "Little Kittel" in Accordance and BibleWorks. (The full Kittel is indeed an invaluable reference work, but it does have its flaws.)
Stay tuned for more updates when Accordance updates their site.

UPDATE 2008.06.09: Accordance has, as promised, updated their web site over the weekend.
Accordance offers an Introductory, Standard, and Premier level. Here is the link to the $249 (before discounts; it also includes two $30 unlocks) Scholar's 8 Standard Level. In terms of content only, I think my earlier comments are still accurate. As I look at their comparison table, I might encourage my students to buy the $149 Introductory level (before discounts; includes one $30 unlock) and then add on other needed resources.

I'm putting together a list of what I think my students should have, at least to start out, and I'll post it on this blog when it is ready.

Accordance envy - the INFER command

I had noted in an earlier post that Accordance had just released a new version 8 of their Bible software (and now an 8.0.1 bug fix is also available). I have a limited edition of Accordance that I use on my PC under emulation (Basilisk) which I got to evaluate their fine Bible Atlas program. I follow their blog postings, however, and I try to keep up with what Accordance does in order to give at least a bit of advice to my (usually just a few) students who come to seminary with Macs. So, what follows are some observations that are not necessarily derived from first hand experience. (Now if anybody at Accordance is reading this posting and wants to send me more of their software to evaluate, I will be happy to do so!)

Two recent blog posts (HERE and HERE) have really intrigued me. New in this latest version is something they are calling an "inference engine" using an INFER command. You can use it to get "INFER-mation!" Here is how they describe it:

The idea was simple enough, and was first proposed by a couple of Qumran scholars: create a way to search one text for quotations from and allusions to another text. For example, what if you could search the Dead Sea Scrolls for allusions to Genesis, or the Mishna for allusions to the Dead Sea Scrolls? Such a tool would break new ground in intertextual studies. (And lest you assume this is only useful for scholars, such searches would work just as well in English to show literary relationships between various biblical books.) [from the first blog post]

How does it do this? By building a list of multi-word phrases found in one text and then searching for those phrases in the other one. [from the second blog post]
I would be very interested to see this at work. My dissertation, Psalm 22 and the Crucifixion of Jesus, was basically a study of the history of the interpretation of this psalm from the biblical through the early Church / rabbinical writings. [BTW, I'm now in the process of editing it down for publication with T&T Clark.] A huge chunk of my work was trying to establish networks of influence between Ps 22 and other biblical, interbiblical, Qumran, NT, Church Fathers, etc. I finished my dissertation back in 1996, so it was largely done using concordances, reading a ton of texts, and doing some work using the textbase in NotaBene (DOS!). It certainly would have helped to have this type of "infer engine" available. For now, Bible software certainly allows for some sophisticated searches across a wide range of texts. In BibleWorks7, I could also use the KeyWord In Context (KWIC) tool. In Logos, I would likely use the Bible Word Study among other tools. In any case this INFER command appears to me to be a great new development. (So if Accordance wants to send me an update, I would be happy to evaluate its functionality using PC emulation...)

Logos and BibleWorks Visual Filters

I have three previous, rather lengthy entries on the visual filters and text markup tools in Logos and BibleWorks7, especially on morphological markups. (HERE for BW7 and HERE for BW7 and Logos and HERE for Logos) A few new items have shown up lately that can be added to the discussion.

BibleWorks7: On the BW7 forum, Ewan MacLeod provided a helpful color file for highlighting otherwise all-to-easy-to-miss footnotes to the Westminster BHS (the WTT and WTM texts). This is a nice implementation of what one can do with text coloring. It is great to be able to share such files (posted in the forum). Be sure to follow his directions given
in the third post. Additionally, there are a couple more color files on the unofficial BibleWorks blog including one that offers a words of Christ in red.

Logos: Phil Gons has a good blog post indicating how you can use the visual filters as a way of searching or scanning a text for certain features. He links to a number of blog entries and videos that describe other visual filters that come with Logos. One that is easily overlooked (okay, I just discovered in my Logos...) is the Eissfeldt visual filter showing his analysis of the JEDP sources for the Hexateuch. (Yes, I know this is a controversial issue, and some will argue with his choices and some will argue about its value at all, but it is an important way for scholars to look at and understand the text.) You do need to use the Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Hebrew Bible text (AFHEB10) which also includes a genre analysis that can be turned on/off. For the source coloring, J is in red, E is in light blue, P is in purple, D is in green, and editorial additions in dark blue. (Cf. the graphic below.)

There is room for lot more works like this. As mainly a NT person, the first thing that comes to my mind is the synoptic parallel coloring I do. Yes, part of the learning is in the drawing, but I'm thinking there are a lot of times when I don't have the time. As I noted in an earlier post, the biggest drawback to the implementation of the markups in Logos is that they do not work in the Parallel Passages and Harmonies. (I suppose one could have three separate windows, but they wouldn't be linked.) In BibleWorks7, one could have the markups active in their Synopsis window to make easy comparison between the Gospels. It would be a bunch of work, but I'm sure that if anyone created such a file, I'm sure that Jim and Michael would be glad to host them at the BibleWorks blog.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Annotating, bibliography, and citation

Picking up some loose ends, especially responding to some recent posts by Danny Zacharias at Deinde.

Annotating: In this post, Zacharias recommends using A.nnotate as an online collaboration tool. I checked it out. Looks good, but the free version does limit you to the number of docs and editors. Services like this are competing with GoogleDocs and the new Adobe Acrobat online and such. Τhe primary virtues of A.nnotate compared to the rest are that it can import PDF files (something even the Adobe site can't do!) and that it can handle Greek/Hebrew Unicode. I have used co-ment, and it too can deal with Greek/Hebrew, and I also like that it can be set to provide a feed for changed texts. A.nnotate can also make notes on web pages, but it basically is taking a snapshot of the page and then leaving notes. For web page annotation, I've used diigo. It's pretty quick and versatile. For more web annotation tools check HERE and HERE. Check HERE for info on using Google Reader for web page annotation.

Bibliography Tools: On this post, Zacharias recommends Biblioscape as an alternative bibliography and research manager for those who don't have NotaBene with it powerful Ibidem and Orbis programs. Biblioscape does look good, includes a number of nice extra features, works well with MSWord, etc.... but it costs $200. I think Zotero is accomplishing all I need for free.

Citation: On this post, Zacharias laments the lack of professional disregard for electronic texts, and the outdated and insufficient way we have for citing such texts. Yes! It's a post worth reading, and I support his suggestions for new footnoting and bibliography formats, especially for electronic editions. The question of appropriately citing texts regularly arises on the BibleWorks forum. Logos has its built-in footnote system which works great when copy/pasting text, but it still needs some additional tweaking to locate specific points in the electronic text. Zacharias is correct here, I think, in arguing that citation systems simply need to allow someone to find the referenced text and that there should be consistency in how texts are referenced.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Customized Vocabulary Flash Cards for Logos

Logos has a convenient way to create flash cards to aid in vocabulary memorization.

  • Create a vocabulary list (File > New > Vocabulary List)
  • Add/remove words singly or by Bible Passage or by adding/merging word lists
  • Click on the Print Cards and then you print front/back sides
This works great, but you have no control over font sizes or adding other info (like frequency) to the cards.

On the Logos newsgroup, Philip Spitzer provided a great way to create customized vocab flash cards. You will need to follow the instructions he provides, but basically you create your list, export to Excel, and then merge into Word. In Word you can do what you want with the formatting (fonts/size) and add/remove other elements. With Philip's permission, HERE is the ZIP file.
Thanks for sharing, Philip!

Even more amazing photo visualizations

I'm still fascinated by maps and photos and how these things are being developed in ways that help us better visualize the world. There have been some amazing recent developments.
First, there is Photosynth,

a new technology from Microsoft Live Labs that takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.
It only runs on Windows for now, and you have to download a plugin, so I made a quick Jing video to demonstrate:

There are only a few locations for now to view, but it is a thing of beauty. Plug it in!

Second, I've long been a fan of Panoramio, an online photo service that works as a standalone viewer but also has great ties into Google Maps and Google Earth. They have updated their interface so that you get a good sense of a photo's location and related
photos. Here, for example is the result you get for searching for Bethlehem, West Bank. (Click on the pic to go to the site directly... The Panoramio site, not Bethlehem itself! ;-) )
But Panoramio has also developed something they call a "Look Around" view that is similar to Photosynth. It's Flash-based, however, so you (probably) don't need to download anything, and it is viewable on a Mac. It is not clear how many sites have this feature enabled, but here is an example of one from the Empire State Building in NYC. (Again, clicking on the graphic will bring you to the actual web site, then click on the "Look around" label under the photo.) Third, I'm saving the best for last. This Panoramio "Look Around" feature appears to have been 'inspired' from the OpenPhotoVR site. There are a number of locations you can 'tour,' but the best part is that you can create your own such photo look around. It took me about 15 minutes to create this photo visualization of Beit Shean in Israel when I was there in January of 2007. There are only seven pics, but still, this is way cool, no?
If any of you get the urge to try your hand at this, send me the embed code and I will get it posted.
UPDATE: Played around a bit and created another one of these for Sardis in Turkey and for Mount Tabor.
For more info on these photo visualizations, check the articles here and here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This is what I'm talkin' 'bout: Dual Monitor Logos

Oh, yeah. Now I'm doing serious Bible study.
Thanks to a question on the Logos newsgroup and a response by John McComb, I have two instances of Logos running, each on a different monitor. If you crave such versatility, check out John's
Libronix Tools page. In addition to the Libronix Workspace Startup Helper that is needed to run multiple instances, he has a lot of other good stuff on his site: a number of PBB books, Scratch Pad (a simple Libronix editor window and toolbar), enhanced morphology visual filters, a number of addin toolbars (for managing windows, linking to Persesus-Tufts or CCEL, searching the dictionary), icons, and much more. Thanks for sharing, John!

Update: Dale Durnell who has used this dual monitor deal noted on the Logos newsgroup:

As you've probably noted by now -- I've only found two (very small) short comings
in using this method.

A) Alas -- you can't sync between the two monitors since they are, indeed, two distinct iterations of the application. So, literally, the left hand (screen) doesn't know what the right hand (screen) is doing. Therefore, Link A on the left screen won't connect and talk to Link A on the right screen (etc). And,

B) The only caution I've ever suggested to folks using this method is that they *NOT* open the same note file in both iterations of the application. That could cause problems when making changes to the file -- there's no "refresh" to make them both look alike and you might be tempted to make a change on one screen and a different change on the other screen. It may not be a problem -- but I'd rather not take a chance.

UPDATE 2: TCBLack commented that to avoid dealing with the note file issue and to keep all the set links together, why not simply run Logos in a non-fullscreen window, and stretch it all the way out. So, here is what that looks like. I have it set as a saved workspace for when I do my OT in the NT work. (You'll probably have to click on the graphic to see it, but you really want dual monitors to see it all!)

New Adobe Acrobat Online Beta

Adobe, best known for the Portable Document Format (PDF) file type, has just gone online with a new collaborative tool. This article gives a great summary where it says:

The free beta includes the Buzzword word processor. Its ConnectNow Web conferencing and desktop sharing tool enables chatting via text, video, and voice. The hosted services invite file storage and sharing with the capability to convert up to five documents to PDF.
This is worth a look. The word processor is fast, has most everything you would want, and is easy to share with others for editing and commenting. The ConnectNow has great features, and the online storage is nice. There are some quirks in this beta, but it is a fine alternative to GoogleDocs and other online document editors.

You can download a desktop connection, but this really doesn't do anything more than bring you to the Acrobat site. Do not confuse this online Acrobat with the Acrobat program. The article sited above describes some of the impressive new features of the Acrobat 9 program (embedding video, web sites, security, etc.), but those are going to cost you... starting at $299.

Monday, June 2, 2008

BibleWorks7: Word List Manager (4) - More Uses

This is the fourth in a series on the Word List Manager in BibleWorks7. Here are 1 and 2 and 3.
Here are some other ways you can use the Word List Manager to make comparisons between various texts and even various databases. Simply remember to use the morphological databases to generate your lemma lists.

  • Compare the vocabulary of the NT with that of the Apostolic Fathers. (Use the APM text.)
  • Authorship issues in the NT often involve arguments about vocabulary.
    • Compare the vocabulary of Mark 1.1-16.8 with that of the disputed ending, Mark 16.9-20
    • Compare the vocabulary of Luke with that of Acts
    • Compare the Gospel of John to the Johannine letters and to Revelation
    • Compare the undisputed Pauline letters with the 'deutero-Pauline'
  • The WLM works as well with Hebrew and Aramaic. Using the same approaches as described in the previous entries,
    • Use the WTM (the morphological version of the BHS) and compare the Hebrew lemmas of the OT those of the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts (QSM)
    • Another possibility is to work with the Aramaic of the various Targums included with BW7 (CGM, FTM,NFM, NMM, PJM, TAM)
    • If someone were really ambitious, they could do the whole JEDP thing for the Torah!
    • Compare material in 1-2 Kings with 1-2 Chronicles
Another nice feature of the WLM is the ability to create lexicons from selected entries. Use these steps to create a quick lexicon to memorize unfamiliar words.
  • Generate a word list from any text range you choose. You will need to use a morphological version (BGM, BNM, BLM, WTM), and you do need to check the box to "Keep Greek accents and Hebrew vowel points."
  • Click on the words you want to use.
  • In the the WLM window, click on File > "Make Lexicon from selected words (send to editor)"
  • Choose the Lexicon you want to use. Note that if you are simply wanting a 'gloss' type entry, the one you will want to use for Greek is the UBS Greek Dictionary. (More detailed is the Gingrich Greek Lexicon and a bit more is the Friberg Greek Lexicon.)
  • In the Analysis Window (the pane on the right in BW7), click on the Editor tab to see your results. You can edit/print the notes in the window or copy/paste them into another word processor.
(Note that you can obtain similar results using the "Report Generator" (under the Tools menu), but you have more control over word selection using the WLM.)

If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments. I'm looking at how to accomplish similar tasks in Logos, but it does not appear to be nearly as easy or fast.

BibleWorks7: Word List Manager (3) - Cross-Corpus Vocabulary Comparison

This is the third demonstration in a series (here are 1 and 2) on the use of the Word List Manager (WLM) in BibleWorks7.

In the previous post, I investigated the relationship between the vocabulary of the LXX and the Greek NT. It turns out that 73% of the lemmas in the GNT are also used in the LXX. But what about that remaining 27% or 1438 lemmas that are not used? Are they common Koine Greek words of the first century CE? Or are they words that have gained special currency among Christians.

This video will show you how. (Click on the graphic to open the 3.3Mb, 3'23" WMV file.)

In the next post, I will provide some more suggestions on how to use the WLM.