As you probably know, I’m an ‘information architect’ at Logos Bible Software. We recently (today!) released Logos Bible Software 5. There are lots of bug fixes and new features and stuff, but the big deal with Logos 5 are the new data sets that allow for examination of the scripture like we’ve never done before. I think it is a huge step forward, though admittedly I might be biased.
This is data we’ve been working on for a long time (some of it before we even released Logos 4 in 2009, believe it or not). The data sets I’m most excited about include:
- Biblical Referents: So, you’ve always been able to search for “Jesus” and “said” and find where Jesus says something. But that’s only where the word “Jesus” is explicitly used. What about when it is “he said”? Biblical Referents solve that problem. We’ve analyzed the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament and resolved these sorts of things. Because the data is annotated on the original languages, that means it bubbles up all over the place through our linking of the original languages to modern translations.
- Bible Sense Lexicon: This is just the start of a massive project that will allow for incredible things. If you’re familiar with WordNet, then this is like WordNet for the Bible. We are analyzing every word (nouns, adjectives, verbs, , determining sense used, and annotating them. Further, we have a cross-linguistic approach that allows us to map from Hebrew to Greek, which means that we can find when a sense occurs in the Bible, not just in the NT or the OT. Right now we have an initial annotation of nouns in both Hebrew and Greek, and are starting work on verbs. It is very cool.
- Clause Search: Clause search allows one to search for clauses and clause components. It integrates several data sets: Biblical People, Places and Things, Referents, Syntax data, morphological data, and makes it all searchable bounded to a clause. Search for “subject:Jesus verb-lemma:θεραπεύω” (the verb for “to heal”) and find everything. Even stuff like “he healed them” (Mt 4.24, ESV).
- Reported Speech: Sometimes it is handy to know who or what is speaking. We have annotated “reported speech” through the whole of the Bible. One way this is viewable is through a visual filter for “Speaker Labels” in Bibles with reverse interlinears.
- Roots in Greek NT and Hebrew Bible. Roots (both Greek and Hebrew) are integrated with original language texts and reverse interlinears. This has been a much-requested feature over the years, and we’re glad to finally make it available to users!
Here's a video from YouTube that describes many of these features.
On top of this, we have new resources. There are a few I am personally very happy to have see the light of day in that I either produced it myself or was the lead editor. Here they are.
The Lexham English Septuagint. The Lexham English Septuagint (LES) is a new translation of the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament) based on Henry Barclay Swete's edition of the Septuagint, The Old Testament in Greek According to the Septuagint. Based on the work of the popular The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint, the LES provides a literal, readable and transparent English edition of the Greek Old Testament, which was the edition of the Old Testament writings most popularly used during New Testament times and in the early church.
There was a small but stellar group that did the primary editing of the translation, including myself, Ken M. Penner, Israel Loken, Michael Aubrey and Isaiah Hoogendyk.
One of the things I really like about the LES is the approach to proper nouns. Septuagint Lexicons typically do not handle proper nouns. Septuagint translations typically transliterate all but the most important (e.g. David, Jerusalem, Moses). What this means is that the names most English readers are familiar with (from translations of the Hebrew Bible) are not used in LXX translations. So it is hard to track who does what. Read something like First Chronicles, and you’re completely lost because the majority of the names are not familiar at all.
In the LES, we were able to use, where possible, names familiar to those who have only worked with English translations of the Hebrew Bible and the apocryphal books. So Reuben is Reuben, Manasseh is Manasseh. Cities use names you’re probably expecting (e.g. Gibeah, not Gabaa). However, because the differences in spelling/representation are sometimes insightful, we’ve footnoted the transliterated form of proper nouns — where the transliteration is different from the familiar representation — so the information is not lost.
The Apostolic Fathers in English (with reverse interlinear). This is a new translation of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers in English. It is a follow-up to my Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
This translation is not meant to replace either Holmes' or Ehrman's editions in print. Instead, my goal in creating a new English translation was to create a tighter and more transparent relationship with the underlying Greek text. As this translation has its genesis with my Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear, it began with a direct relationship with every word and phrase of the underlying Greek. From here, the English translation was reviewed and edited to become more readable yet still retain its relationship with the Greek text. Finally, using tools provided by Logos Bible Software, the English text was completely re-aligned with the Greek text, word by word, phrase by phrase. When the English text is read with the reverse interlinearized Greek text displayed in Logos Bible Software, the result is an English translation that shows exactly where each word and phrase has its origin.
This level of alignment becomes more useful in reading and particularly when studing how words and structures found in the New Testament are used in contemporary literature. And this, to my mind, can help the writings of the Apostolic Fathers play a larger role in one's study of the New Testament and Septuagint, which is my larger goal.
I’m super-excited about this one too. It has been hard to not talk about as it has been complete for almost a year!
Anyway, to sum it up, I’m excited about Logos 5!