# Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jim West's Person in the Pew Commentary Series is available on pre-pub from Logos Bible Software.

Jim has been steadily working on his Person in the Pew Commentary series for awhile. And I have huge respect for him for doing it. Jim's task is a bit thankless. He's not writing a sexy groundbreaking commentary digging into scads of nearly-never-read articles by academics to serve up the myriad details of an intensely deep look at the text to folks working on graduate degrees. No, he's writing for the person who has had little or no professional training, who has a desire to learn more, and is probably going to take the leap from study Bible notes into an actual, bona-fide commentary.

Actually, that's a good way to look at Jim's work. It is like a study Bible on steroids, helping the reader walk through the challenging parts and cruise through the relatively straightforward parts without bogging them down with too many details.

Now, a few disclaimers: Jim is a friend. I work for Logos. And I have not read a full volume of Jim's commentary. But I have spent some time examining a number of the sample pages available for view on the Logos prepub page, and I get exactly what he's doing. And I stand by my earlier statement that it is a largely thankless task, but is of immense value for most folks in the church. He's flying over the Biblical terrain at 30,000 feet, giving a very high overview of how it all works together. This isn't a sexy commentary, but it is hugely useful for the person who is used to just using a study Bible to answer questions in a Bible study with the proverbial, "my notes say …". Jim's work starts where that reader is, and helps them into the text, to begin to understand more about it. It sensitively walks them through it all, not skipping the hard parts, with the detail necessary to provide a good understanding of what it all might mean.

So I commend Jim's work. And I respect him for it. He is working through and struggling with the whole text (and the apocrypha/deuterocanon!). He doesn't get to skip a few chapters of genealogy in 1 & 2 Chronicles because nobody will notice. He doesn't get to skip those hard parts in 1 Cor 14 and 1 Tim 2 where myriad authors have spilled ink in haste, hate, and insensitivity. He's working through the whole thing. I'm sure he gets tremendous value from it, and that his understanding of the Word of God has grown as a result. So hop on board with Jim and give it a shot.

Thanks, Jim, for this work.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 7:50:36 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, January 30, 2014

Things are hopping at Logos Bible Software. The other day I announced on the Twitter and on Facebook that I’m looking for a few interns this summer to help with analysis of Greek texts:

Then this morning Steve Runge blogged that he’s looking for summer interns as well, to help him with some Greek Discourse Grammar projects.

We have a lot of higher-than-word-level analysis to do on Greek texts, and need some help. My projects will focus on the Greek of the Septuagint, starting with the deuterocanonical/apocryphal texts. Seriously — how much fun is this? And you could get paid for it? And a great item to list on your CV?

I’m still working on getting something official on the Logos jobs page about the summer internships on my team. Until then, here is some more information on them. If this sounds at all interesting to you, and you’re willing to spend the summer in Bellingham, then …

  1. Email me (rick at logos dot com) a CV and tell me about yourself and your experience with Greek
  2. Do it by March 15, 2014. The earlier the better.

If it all sounds interesting, but you’re still not sure, then read the bottom of Steve’s blog post again, the paragraph after “Application Process.”

Greek Data Curation Intern

Logos Bible Software is looking for people who know their Greek and want to use it in an environment focused on creating data-oriented products for professors, teachers, students, and laypeople. As a Greek Data Curation Intern, you will work with the Logos Content Innovation team to provide the linguistic foundation for the next generation of tools to help people infuse the Greek of the Bible in their everyday studies and research.

For more information on the kind of stuff we work on, see this recent overview of Greek Linguistic Databases that have been developed and implemented by Logos Bible Software.


  • Analysis of Greek text at multiple levels (syntactic, referential, morphological, etc.)


  • Summer relocation to Bellingham
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to make quick, informed decisions about analysis
  • Two Years of Greek or demonstrated ability and aptitude
  • Desire to stretch your Greek muscles to the limit, and get paid for it

The ideal candidate

  • Is familiar with Logos Bible Software and existing Greek linguistic databases
  • Has some familiarity with Greek outside of the New Testament
  • Unknowingly chunks Greek into clauses and clause components while reading and studying
Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:15:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, November 01, 2012

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.

LELXXThe 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.

TheApostolicFathersThe 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!

Post Author: rico
Thursday, November 01, 2012 6:21:28 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You may or may not have heard of a project that Logos (disclaimer: Logos Bible Software is my employer) has been working on for awhile. It is called the Faithlife Study Bible (FSB). But it is so much more than a study Bible.

Faithlife Study Bible Logo

[Note: I have details on how you can get a free copy of the Faithlife Study Bible using a coupon code available only to readers of this blog. It is at the bottom. Skip down there if that’s what you’re really interested in.]

Logos Bible Software is a library. It grows with you, at your pace, for your needs. Historically, however, folks who use Logos tend to be pastors, people studying to be pastors, people who teach studies in church groups, and people pursuing academic biblical studies.

We wanted to create something for the majority of folks who are not pastors or studying to be pastors, who attend groups as participants instead of teachers. We wanted it to work well on tablets and other mobile devices, so it is easy to take with you wherever you go. And we wanted a community to be able to work together. This is who the Faithlife Study Bible is for, and what the Faithlife Study Bible is. It is the study Bible that starts where you are and grows with you.

Cool stuff about Faithlife Study Bible:iPad 1

  • If word count is your measure, it is big.  1.4 million words big.
  • The study Bible is new and fresh. It is not recycled content. And it will not be static. It is designed from the start as a digital resource, and new media and content will be updated and expanded as time marches on.
  • Over 400 photos, videos, and infographics. Logos actually sent a team to Israel to take photos and shoot video footage for this. It is all brand new stuff.
  • It includes the Lexham Bible Dictionary. That’s gotta be good, because I wrote a few articles for it. It has 2700 articles and 1.5 million words, and over 200 different contributors.
  • Three layers of study notes. The basic notes form the core, but there are also indicators you can click on that lead to deeper content, more discussion, and links into other discussion in other books available for Logos Bible Software.
  • It is designed for groups to use. So set up your Bible study group, and you can all share your notes via Faithlife and also in Logos Bible Software.

Really cool stuff about the Faithlife Study Bible:iPad 3

One of the really cool things is that the Faithlife Study Bible works with seven different translations. What does that mean? Well, print study Bibles are usually version-specific. In their notes, they reproduce phrases from the translation they are printed with. So they are limited to one translation (NIV, NASB, ESV, NKJV, whatever). With the Faithlife Study Bible, if you switch your preferred translation, the notes switch with you. Using the NIV? Great. Switch to ESV? the study Bible notes switch with you. The phrasing that quotes the Bible actually changes translation so your notes reflect your preferences.

One of the other really cool things is that it comes with the Lexham English Bible (LEB) for free. (Admission: I’m biased because I put a lot of sweat into this one.) The LEB is a new translation. It tends toward “literal” on the translation spectrum, but it is still readable. Logos released the NT in 2009 and the OT in 2012.

Need to know more? There are a host of videos available on the Faithlife Study Bible web site explaining all of the features.

Even more cool tech stuff about the Faithlife Study Bible:

Once you have the Faithlife Study Bible:Ipad 2

  • It has dedicated iOS and Android apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, and other Android devices)
  • It works in Logos Bible Software (Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire)
  • It works on Biblia.com (online)

I haven’t even begun to tell you about the growing community at Faithlife.com. Faithlife.com is the community where notes and questions are shared, groups are formed, prayers are prayed and life is lived. For lack of a better term, it is a social network. But it isn’t Facebook. It is group oriented, not self-oriented. It is built to be private with you in control of how much of anything is shared to any particular group you are in community with, so you’re not sharing everything with that creepy guy you knew in high school who friended you. Faithlife.com is designed to be a place where your church and the groups in your church can interact and grow and share what you’re learning — when you’re not together in person doing that already. I’ll probably blog more about Faithlife.com in a later post.

Getting the Faithlife Study Bible for FREE

The folks at Logos gave me a special coupon code for readers to use to license a copy of the Faithlife Study Bible. The license is good through March 2014. Here’s how to get it:

  1. Go to http://faithlifebible.com/free
  2. Enter your coupon code: RickBrannan
  3. Download the app
  4. Log in with your Logos.com/Faithlife.com account
  5. Enjoy the Bible!

Note that the “Logos.com/Faithlife.com account” are the same thing. Your Logos account. If you don’t have one, you can easily make one; and you will be prompted to do so. If you do have a Logos account, use it. And FSB will show up in your Logos Bible Software the next time you start it.

Do check it out, and do let me know what you think. And tell your friends. It is a great resource for folks who have a tablet or smart phone and are looking for a Bible app. Thanks!

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:39:38 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Internally, as Logos Bible Software 4 neared time to ship, a group of us in the Design & Editorial department were commissioned to make some videos for Logos 4. These aren’t meant to be completely instructional how-to videos, just walk-thru and demonstration of some features. You know, to get you comfy with the feature.

Now you can hear the smooth, dulcet tone of my voice, coaxing you gently through the peculiarities of each feature. [yeah right]. Anyway, here are the ones I did:

The links are to YouTube; they were functional as of the time of writing this post.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 11:20:33 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, November 02, 2009

Logos4 logoYou may think “Huh?! Finally?!! I just heard about Logos4!” but Logos4 has been my life for at least the past 18 months. But now I can talk about it to whomever I please. Logos4 is public. Released. Not a beta. You can buy it now. You can cross-grade, upgrade, or flat-out buy it today. Download the whole thing if you want. That’s pretty awesome.

If you haven’t heard, please check out the Logos4 web site. Oh, and don’t forget about the iPhone app, either. Yes, there is a Logos iPhone app. I’m not making this up.

Logos4 is a complete change. It is new from the bottom up. It does things differently. I’ve fallen in love with the windowing system, rule-driven collections mean my collections can finally keep up with my library, floating windows are a dream on multi-monitor setups, and there are a ton of new resources too.

Instead of all that stuff (which others will cover, I’m sure), I just wanted to point to a few things dear to my heart in Logos4.

  • The Apostolic Fathers Reverse Interlinear
  • Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament
  • Templates for Syntax Searching
  • Grammatical Relationships in Bible Word Study
  • Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery

1: The Apostolic Fathers Reverse Interlinear. Logos4 has a great selection of reverse interlinears (OT and NT for ESV, NRSV, NKJV, KJV, NASB95; an alignment of the LXX and BHS; and the in-progress Lexham English Bible (LEB) is also reverse-interlinearized for the available content [Rom-Rev]). But reverse interlinears aren’t just for Bible text anymore, they can be implemented on non-Bible text as well. Really all that is needed is a text and its underlying source. So a few years back I pitched the idea of having a reverse interlinear of the Apostolic Fathers text (English with underlying Greek; sorry, no Latin). Our first editor was unable to take on the project due to personal circumstances. I wanted this one so much I ended up doing the reverse interlinear alignment myself as a side project! It was fun, and now you can use a reverse interlinear with Greek text outside of the NT.


This brings up another feature that works with all texts that share a common alignment text (or are the alignment text): Something called “Sympathetic Highlighting”. For you Logos old-timers, this is “Navigate to Associated Word” on steroids. Basically, you highlight something in one text, and the other text highlights it too. You can see this above; I’ve highlighted text in the English, the underlying Greek gets highlighted too. This works in the OT and NT. Highlight something in the ESV and see how the NASB95 treats it. Even better: Highlight something in the LXX and see it highlight in the BHS (!)

2: Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament. If you’ve followed Logos at all over the past five years, you know that we’ve been very innovative in applying syntactic analyses (analysis above the word level) to the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament. Logos4 continues this innovation with the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament. These are based on work done by the Asia Bible Society in their Greek Syntactic Treebank Project. They use simple, approachable terms (like “Subject”, “Indirect Object”, “Clause”, “nominal phrase”, “prepositional phrase”, etc.) for their structures.


The Syntax Search dialog has been completely revamped as well. For example, below is a query for the Cascadia Syntax Graphs that locates where a prepositional phrase has φοβος as its object:


In comparison with LDLS3 (and OpenText.org), Cascadia needs fewer properties, uses more approachable terminology, and is conceptually easier in structure.

3: Templates for Syntax Searching. As much as I love syntax searching, I’m enough of a realist to know that it is a great feature with a very limited audience. Most folks just want to know when something is the subject, or the object, or where it occurs as the main verb. Or even perhaps what sorts of adjectives modify the word. Templates provide this. From the syntax search, hit the query drop-down. Templates are on the left. Select one, and go. Let’s say I want to find where the verb φοβεω is negated (so, “do not fear” instead of “fear”):




Click “Go” when the word is there (select from the list or hit enter), and you’re doing a syntax search.

Alternately, you could open the desired template for the desired database from the syntax search editor. This would open the actual structure to search. From here, just fill in as necessary.

4: Grammatical Relationships in Bible Word Study. The primary difference between v3 and v4 in Grammatical Relationships is speed. In Logos4, it’s faster. Much faster. Like, real fast. But there’s this new section that shows up (where applicable) called Preposition Use. This is where the study word is the object of the preposition. There’s this cool graphic used to help show how the preposition is used. Here is an example with φοβος (fear) as the study word:


Fret not, there’s a Preposition Use chart for Hebrew too.

5: Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery. Go to the command bar. Start to type in “Facilitate”. You should see:


What does it do? Try it. Let me know what you find. Need some background? Try this three-and-a-half year old blog post.

What am I not mentioning?

There’s all sorts of stuff I’m not mentioning, including:

  • Scads of new resources available in the new “LE” collections.
  • Maps. Awesome maps. Zoomable maps. Linked to dictionaries maps. Linked to the text maps. Linked to Google maps maps.
  • Infographics. Images of all sorts. Images in Dictionaries are integrated. Stereoscopic images.
  • Customizable Guides. Ever wanted to create your own Passage Guide from a template of options? Now you can. Same for Exegetical Guide and Bible Word Study Guide.
  • Passage Analysis. This is cool. OK, I’ll give you a picture of this one:


There is so much other stuff, I’ve just gotta stop now. There is not enough time to mention it all in a blog post. Check it out for yourself.

Post Author: rico
Monday, November 02, 2009 5:09:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, November 01, 2009

I’d been meaning to talk with my friend at Hendrickson about Bernard Taylor’s Analytical Lexicon of the Septuagint (amazon.com) (ALS), but as fate would have it a different friend passed a copy along to me on Friday. So I figured I’d take a peek at it and blog a bit about it as well.

First, a disclaimer: I’m the one that put together the Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, so I’ve mucked about the waters of analytical lexicons. Conceptually, analytical lexica like these are easy. Just dump the database and sort it, right? Realistically, they are much more difficult because they involve a tremendous amount of checking, sorting, reviewing, laying out, and other things. I understand completely how much work Bernard Taylor has done here, and he should be commended for the work.

Second, a story: When one of the editors of a text that Logos puts out (who will remain anonymous) came to the office to walk us through his work, we heaped adoration upon him for the years of work that was represented in what he’d done. He took this as an opportunity to tell us that all long-term database driven work really needs is “sitzfleisch” (dunno if I spelled that correctly), meaning someone’s gotta sit down and do it. For the LXX, Taylor sat down and did it. The world needs more Bernard Taylors.

Now, with all of that said, there’s really not that much to an analytical lexicon, presentation-wise. You should be able to look up your word (any word in the text) and get to a decent definition or gloss. Parsing is extra, and Taylor gives that too.

Taylor’s definitions are actually the translation equivalents from Lust, Eynikel and Hauspie’s Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint (LEH), so they are recently published and have some history behind them.

The problem? The definitions are too brief. But more than that, there are no example citations listed at all. A lexicon of a corpus that has no references whatever to that corpus. No sample citations for senses. This is a problem.

Further, I have problems imagining anyone in this day and age of analyzed texts available electronically through numerous Bible software providers would actually use this lexicon in the way it seems intended to be used, by physically looking up the word in print. I could be wrong (or myopic, my gainful employment is in making these things available and accessible electronically) but I just don’t see it happening with any frequency. About the only reason to buy this book is to make sure you have an LXX lexicon on your shelf that you can look at when you can’t find the information anywhere else. And it is well-priced for that market (and could possibly steal the graduate student sales from LEH).

The problem is that I see another better presentation of the data. Instead of an analytical lexicon, this sort of data needs to be presented Sakae-Kubo style as a Reader’s Lexicon. Order it by the text, filter out words based on NT frequencies (since NT readers would be most likely to use such a work) and perhaps overall frequencies. Have volumes for Pentateuch, Prophets, etc. since they’re likely to be bigger than the present 600pp.

Of course, one further problem is that software providers are doing things similar to that. Logos has an “Exegetical Guide” which does pretty much that same thing.

So while overall I’m impressed with the amount of work and detail of the work that has gone into this volume, I have a hard time seeing how it could be used by anyone, outside of the use-case of simply needing an LXX lexicon on the shelf for reference. For that, the price is good — although one might be better off saving that money for an electronic version of an LXX Lexicon (LEH is available from several, including Logos).

Post Author: rico
Sunday, November 01, 2009 9:03:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, October 09, 2009

I’ve wanted to look into this for awhile, and found the following from the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary quite helpful:

Alternatively [abba] has been explained as a rare vocative (in which case it could just as well be Hebrew as Aramaic) or as derived from children’s baby talk (cf. "Papa," "Daddy"). If the last explanation were right, then the use of abba as an address to God in Mark 14:36 might be thought to imply a special, indeed a unique, intimacy. This view was held at one time by J. Jeremias, but he later came to regard it as "a piece of inadmissible naivety" (1967: 63). Wrong as it is, it deserves mention not only because of its extensive dissemination beyond the walls of academia but also because its influence can be detected even in the work of respected scholars such as J. G. D. Dunn (1975: 21–26; 1980: 22–23) and is explicit in the most recent writing of M. J. Borg (1987: 45). Apart from the intrinsic unlikelihood of the idea that Jesus ever addressed God as "Daddy," the suggestion is ruled out of court by one important fact: wherever abba is found with the meaning "father" or "my father" (in Mishnaic Hebrew or Targumic Aramaic), it is equally employed of the fathers of grown-up sons. One instance cited by G. Vermes (1983: 42) is Judah’s threat to his unrecognized brother, Joseph, in the Tg. Neof. version of Gen 44:18: "I swear by the life of the head of abba, as you swear by the life of the head of Pharaoh your master. . . ." And as J. Barr (1988) emphasizes, inferences concerning the meaning of words must be based upon function, not upon origin or derivation. (AYBD v1 p7, article on “Abba” by John Ashton)

Conversely, see J.D.G. Dunn in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, in his article on Prayer:

A great deal has been made during the past forty years of Jesus’ style of address to God and its significance. Jeremias made the case for Jesus having regularly addressed God by the Aramaic word ‘abbā>’ (see Languages of Palestine); and he also noted that ‘abbā’ was "a child’s word"; and this led too quickly to the conclusion that abbā meant "Daddy"—an early conclusion which Jeremias soon qualified, but which has come back to haunt the study of the Gospel traditions ever since.

The basic evidence is clear and Jeremias’s initial conclusion probably sound. The key evidence is the appearance of abba itself in Mark 14:36. Added to that is the clear attestation that the same form was used by the early Christians (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). Two points of significance are to be noted in the last two passages. (1) The Aramaic word was retained in the worship of the Greek-speaking churches. This must mean both that this particular prayer address had become so established among the earliest Palestinian believers and so precious for them that it was carried over into Greek-speaking worship. That is to say, its continuing value lay not in its meaningfulness to Greek speakers but in the meaningfulness of the living tradition of prayer which it expressed. (2) It is remembered as a word particularly associated with Jesus: to say abba is to share in a common sonship and a common inheritance with Jesus (Rom 8:16–17; Gal 4:6–7; cf. 8:29). This must mean that the word was recalled as a word particularly and peculiarly associated with Jesus’ own sonship to God (see Son of God). Were it a common prayer idiom of (some) Jews at the time of Jesus (as some have suggested, without supporting evidence), it would not have had this significance of linking the one who said abba so distinctively and directly with the sonship of Jesus. (DJG, p. 618-619).

Also in DJG, see D.R. Bauer’s article on “Son of God”:

Jesus experienced this intimate fellowship especially through prayer, and consequently addressed God in prayer almost exclusively as "Father" (Aramaic Abba Mk 14:36; cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). Jeremias has argued that Jesus was apparently the first Jew to address God in prayer as Abba (Jewish prayers typically used the obsolete and formalized Hebrew term Abi), and that Abba was a term of familiarity and intimacy, having originally developed from the speech of children ("daddy"). Subsequent scholarship has been unable to contradict the claim that this prayer language of Abba was original with Jesus. Although Jeremias’ employment of etymological considerations is questionable (Barr), his distinction between formal prayer speech, which suggests distance, and the more colloquial expression used to address earthly fathers bears the weight of critical scrutiny.

This article references the following, which I am unable to access but would love to. 

J. Barr, " ‘Abba’ Isn’t ‘Daddy,’ " JTS 39 (1988) 28–47;

My thoughts at present? It preaches well, but I don’t know that abba as “Daddy” is warranted. My gut says to go with Barr on this one.

Anyone else want to chime in?

Post Author: rico
Friday, October 09, 2009 3:23:36 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, July 02, 2009

Was reading Jerome Murphy O’Connor’s St. Paul’s Ephesus: Text and Archaeology (amazon.com), and came across the following paragraph in the context of asylum offered in ancient pagan Greek temples:

It is easy to think of ways in which the safeguard of assessment of individual cases could be nullified. That this in fact happened at the temple of Artemis is clear from Apollonius of Tyana: “But I do condemn the people who by night and by day share the home of the goddess. Otherwise I should not see issuing thence thieves and robbers and kidnappers and every sort of wretch or sacrilegious rascal. For your temple is just a den of robbers.” (Letter 65). The final phrase evokes Jeremiah 7:11, which was used by Jesus apropos of the Temple in Jerusalem (Mark 11:17 and parallels). (Murphy-O’Connor 25)

This is speaking about those who abuse the offer of asylum, those who take up asylum to escape the prosecution they are worthy of. It would be interesting to see a larger examination of this (one that, of course, safeguards against parallelomania). Did a quick search of my Logos library for (bible = "Mk 11:17" and Apollonius) and didn’t find much.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, July 02, 2009 2:11:15 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, June 19, 2009

Here we go. Mike at ΕΝ ΕΦΕΣΩ tagged me in Josh McManaway’s A Meme: Funniest Things in Ancient Literature.

I don’t have a wide reservoir of non-NT ancient literature to draw upon. A few come to mind, though.

Hebrew Bible

First thing that comes to mind is 1Ki 18.26-27, particularly v. 27. I don’t know Hebrew, but here’s the English (from the ESV):

26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” (1Ki 18.26-27, ESV)

So, Baal doesn’t answer his prophets when they cry to him. Elijah helpfully points out some options to the prophets of Baal, including (my paraphrase), “hey, guys, maybe Baal is (to put it as my 2-year-old daughter would) going ‘poo poo’, and that’s why he can’t hear you!” The bit about being asleep is funny too.

Martyrdom of Polycarp

I laughed out loud the first time I read MPoly 9.2:

Therefore, when he was brought before him, the proconsul asked if he were Polycarp. And when he confessed that he was, the proconsul tried to persuade him to recant, saying, “Have respect for your age,” and other such things as they are accustomed to say: “Swear by the Genius of Caesar; repent; say, ‘Away with the atheists!’ ” So Polycarp solemnly looked at the whole crowd of lawless heathen who were in the stadium, motioned toward them with his hand, and then (groaning as he looked up to heaven) said, “Away with the atheists!” (MPoly 9.2, Holmes)

So the proconsul wants Polycarp to renounce his Christianity by saying, “Away with the atheists"!” (Christians, who refused to worship pagan gods, were considered to be atheists). Polycarp — the wise old codger — instead takes the same words and, by his actions, condemns the whole crowd with them. Gesturing to the pagans and rabble-rousers in the crowd, he says “Away with the atheists!” but obviously is referring to the whole crowd, not making renunciation of his faith. Polycarp, at least 86 years old, is “sticking it to the man”.

That’s it for me. I won’t be tagging anyone else for further participation in this meme, but if you’re looking for an excuse and have a good one to post … consider yourself tagged.

Post Author: rico
Friday, June 19, 2009 7:54:51 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, March 29, 2009

Here’s the paper I presented at BibleTech:2009:

Stylometry and the Septuagint: Applying Anthony Kenny’s Stylometric Study to the LXX

In 1986, Anthony Kenny wrote a book called A Stylometric Study of the New Testament which gives details for compiling and comparing book-by-book stylometric statistics for the Greek New Testament given a morphologically tagged corpus. This exploratory study proposes to apply Kenny's method to the LXX, using the Logos Bible Software LXX Morphology, to analyze style.

While Kenny's primary application of his method was in the area of authorship studies, this paper is more interested in the general style of the LXX, and not at all interested in authorship theories or assigning a 'hand' to different passages. For better or worse, this paper treats the LXX as a corpus, and has little interest in its relationship with the underlying Hebrew text.

Once the analysis has been detailed, some points of interest (known only when the analysis is complete as the nature of the study is exploratory) will be further explored. Areas in which the work could be further developed will also be reviewed.

If you actually read it, and then actually have feedback, then please let me know what you think.

In a nutshell, after looking at book-level and chapter-level distributions of part of speech, case/number/gender, tense/voice/mood; I have a worked example of future tense in Leviticus (and then in the Pentateuch). My conclusion: In the Pentateuch, anyway, future tense verbs appear in concentrated groups. The application is when you read or work through these works, then, you should pay attention to the clustering of the future tense to determine what is going on (law-giving, prophetic stuff, whatever). And, if you run across an isolated instance of the future tense, you should pay double attention to that because it is not normal.

At some point in the future, the audio from the talk will be on the BibleTech website.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, March 29, 2009 10:22:57 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, January 22, 2009

Any ideas as to what this might be?

Hint: It has to do with my BibleTech:2009 paper. (If you're using a feed reader like Bloglines, you'll need to see the post on ricoblog for the details)


Any ideas?

Ok, I'll give. The above is a representation of parts of speech in the first five books of the LXX (so, the pentateuch). Yes, lots of refining to do, but you get the gist. The order is:












Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:08:07 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, January 12, 2009

I've mentioned the upcoming Bible Technologies Conference and the paper I plan on presenting there (also info here). I've recently realized that I've got a little more than two months to get the durn thing written.

I also realized that Kenny spent 124 pages talking about Stylometry in the New Testament; I'm giving a paper that is allotted perhaps 30 minutes (some portion of which is intended for questions) for a corpus that is roughly four times the size of the New Testament.

In other words, I'm realizing that I'll have to give a very high level overview with perhaps some glimpses at deeper-level data. Chances are I'll follow most of Kenny's lead, which means:

  • Rough overview of distribution of major parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, etc.)
  • Rough overview of most common words and their distribution/frequency
  • Perhaps some further look at things like conjunctions and articles

Kenny then used portions of his data in the evaluation of certain textual issues, mostly geared toward authorship (Luke/Acts, John/epistles/Revelation, Paulines). I'll have to determine an issue to examine further using the data pulled together, but I have some constraints:

  • No examination of JEDP, whatsoever.
  • No examination of authorship, whatsoever.
  • No examination of translational theory, whatsoever.

Given these constraints, are there stylistic issues in the LXX that you would suggest I use for my example case study?

My own thoughts have to do with genre (say, look at stuff having to do with narrative versus stuff having to do with poetry to see if there are any sorts of things that seem to be indicative of one or the other). But I'm interested in what you might think or suggest. For an idea of the criteria/features I'm tracking, see this post.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion(s), or drop me an email (textgeek at gmail dot com). Thanks!

Post Author: rico
Monday, January 12, 2009 4:35:53 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve. I don't know about you, but here in Bellingham we have at least 2 feet of snow on the ground, which is very unusual for this time of year. And it's still snowing; we got 4-6" more overnight—with more on the way, according to the weather-dude. I get to shovel my driveway for the fourth time in a week! The Christmas Eve service at our church has been canceled. Mail delivery is off-and-on (so much for that "neither snow nor sleet nor hail" bit). We're hoping the garbage truck makes it to pick up our garbage today. And I've been working from home (thanks, Logos!) since last week Friday. This will be the first real white Christmas, with lots of snow, that I can ever recall experiencing.

I wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to all who read ricoblog, and express my gratitude as well. I know my posting has been sporadic this year; hopefully the posts that I've made have been interesting and thought-provoking in some way.

I've come across a few unique tools and charts that I wanted to make sure all you folks out there in TV-land knew about. I find them incredibly interesting and think that you might too.

So enjoy these goodies, and Merry Christmas!

What's in Your Bible? Find out at BibleStudyMagazine.comChristmas Goodie #1: What's in Your Bible? An interactive Canon Comparison Chart.  This is from Bible Study Magazine (which is published by Logos), put together my my friend and colleague (in that order), Vincent Setterholm. You're likely aware that most protestant bodies accept 66 books in the Biblical canon, and that there are "apocryphal" or "deuterocanonical" books that are accepted into other traditions' canons. But did you know that the Ethiopian canon (the widest canon) has both a "broad" and "narrow" canon, and that the broad canon includes stuff like purported letters of Peter to Clement? Check the chart out to get a glimpse of the sorts of things going on in the canons of other traditions.

Christmas Goodie #2: Biblindex: Index of Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Early Christian Literature. This as well is very awesome, hat-tip to Kevin P. Edgecomb at Biblicalia. I've mentioned Biblia Patrisica on this blog before; it is a 7 volume (plus one supplement) set that somewhat exhaustively sets out references among the writings of the Fathers to the Bible. Biblindex makes this information available for query:

This site already allows simple interrogation in a corpus of about 400,000 biblical references, from the volumes of Biblia Patristica, CNRS Editions, 1975-2000, and unpublished archives of the Center for Patristics Analysis and Documentation (CADP).

As Kevin notes, the search function is somewhat byzantine. Read the instructions to figure out how things work, it doesn't work like you might think. But it makes a wealth of hard-to-find material available, with a little work. You should bookmark this site.

Christmas Goodie #3: Collation and Evaluation of OT Apocrypha Translations. The hat-tip goes to Mark Hoffman of Biblical Studies and Technological Tools for this one. This originated in a posting to the Biblicalist yahoo group. There is a cool chart, some XML, and a spreadsheet. Check it out, there is some cool and useful information here.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 9:15:17 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, November 19, 2008

[NB: I'll be blogging random things about my upcoming BibleTech:2009 paper; these posts will all be available in the "bibletech" category. If you're presenting a paper at the conference, might I suggest the same practice? That way they'll all be available by a search for 'bibletech' on Technorati or some other such service. —RB]

In his book A Stylometric Study of the New Testament (amazon.com), Anthony Kenny lists 99 features that he tracked across the corpus, using them as a guide to his analysis. His feature list is based on categorization of the Friberg morphology circa 1986. I believe the Friberg has undergone significant revision since then and is considered to be in at least its second edition; perhaps even the third edition. Kenny also includes some stock lexical items such as conjunction instances, preposition instances, and some specific words (e.g. θεος, λεγω). Note that Kenny did all of his counts by hand, from "the microfiche concordance ot the machine-readable version of the Analytical Greek New Testament"! (Kenny, "Note on Sources") He used a TI 58 statistical calculator for his numbers, also "the ICL 2988 machine in the Oxford University Computer Services". (Kenny, "Note on Sources").

Right now, I'm thankful for fast computers, XML and for Perl and/or C# (haven't figured out which language I'll use for the code yet).

In my paper for BibleTech:2009, I'm proposing to carry out a similar analysis, only of the LXX, using the Logos Morphology. There are several of the 99 categories that can be re-used (81, to be exact). Friberg has much more going on in adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions than the Logos LXX Morphology; this accounts for much of the difference.

However, I think I'll be able to track up to 106 features, and perhaps more. How? Kenny did very little with participles, and even less with pronouns. I have no idea why he did little with participles because the Friberg morphology is rich in this area (even differentiating, at the 'mood' slot, between 'participle' and 'participle (imperative sense)', Kenny pp. 10-11, figure 2.1). It may have been because it would be too tedious (recall he counted by hand). But pronouns are simply a type of noun in this edition of Friberg, so Kenny's hands were tied (he tracked third-person pronouns in sum and also by case, but that's it).

Kenny also didn't track instances of the vocative case (for articles, nouns, and adjectives). But he did track optatives and pluperfects (indeed rare cases in the NT). Thus, to the 81 shared criteria, I'm considering adding 25 more for a total of 106.

If you're interested, the list of 25 additional features is below.

Because of differences in classification of voice
82. Number of occurrences of third-person singular indicative verbs in the either-middle-or-passive voice

83. Number of occurrences of verbs in the participle mood
84. Number of occurrences of participles in the nominative
85. Number of occurrences of participles in the dative
86. Number of occurrences of participles in the genitive
87. Number of occurrences of participles in the accusative
88. Number of occurrences of participles in the masculine
89. Number of occurrences of participles in the feminine
90. Number of occurrences of participles in the neuter
91. Number of occurrences of participles in the singular
92. Number of occurrences of participles in the plural
93. Number of occurrences of Proper Nouns

94. Number of occurrences of Interjections (I)

95. Number of occurrences of vocative articles
96. Number of occurrences of vocative nouns
97. Number of occurrences of vocative adjectives

Other Pronoun Information
98. Number of occurrences of Relative Pronouns
99. Number of occurrences of Reciprocal Pronouns
100. Number of occurrences of Demonstrative Pronouns
101. Number of occurrences of Correlative Pronouns
102. Number of occurrences of Interrogative Pronouns
103. Number of occurrences of Indefinite Pronouns
104. Number of occurrences of Reflexive Pronouns
105. Number of occurrences of Possessive Pronouns
106. Number of occurrences of Personal Pronouns

There may be more, I just have to think about it a bit more. For instance, I could add case-specific instances of each pronoun type (so, relative pronouns in the nominative, in the genitive, etc.) but at present I'm thinking that's overkill. Of course, I may change my mind. I also need to consider if there are particular word instances to include in the feature list; I may have to do some word frequency analysis in order to determine candidates. I will also have to review LXX-specific conjunctions and prepositions to determine how those portions of the list might be expanded.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 3:15:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, October 31, 2008

[Disclaimer: I work for Logos Bible Software and love every minute of it. The links to Logos below are just that, links. I get no commission or brownie points from click-thrus or any sales.]

Logos will be at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (in Providence, RI, Nov 19-21, 2008) and also at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (in Boston, MA, Nov 21-25, 2008).

The specials mentioned below are only available at these conferences. And I'm not even listing all of them, just the ones that I find interesting and which I think you (my humble reader) may be interested in. There are 12 specials designed for the conferences, I'm only listing three of them below. If you'll be at the conferences, please stop by the booth for more info on all of the conference collections, or to purchase them.

These are awesome collections of top-notch texts useful for Biblical Studies. Listed first is perhaps the best deal you'll ever find on the combination of ICC NT vols and several (33!) very useful JSNTS monographs.

New Testament Studies Bundle (64 Vols.)

Show Only Price  $1,199.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $4,541.45

Advanced Greek Supplement (6 Vols.)

Show Only Price $299.95
Show Savings (off Retail) $111.91

ANE Studies Bundle (30 Vols.)

Show Only Price $639.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $806.94

As I said, that is only three of the twelve bundles. If you're at the show, be sure to ask about the "Scholar's Reference Bundle" which includes all of ICC, all of WBC, and a few other commentary sets. These are specials on the big stuff that you won't want to miss.

Post Author: rico
Friday, October 31, 2008 8:00:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's what I've submitted for BibleTech:2009. We'll see whether or not the paper is accepted.

Note that the deadline for submissions is Nov 3, 2008. Last year was a blast, so I'm pumped for this year's conference (on March 27-28, 2009 in Seattle, WA).

Stylometry and the Septuagint: Applying Anthony Kenny's Stylometric Study of the NT to the LXX

In 1986, Anthony Kenny wrote a book called "A Stylometric Study of the New Testament" which gives details for compiling and comparing book-by-book stylometric statistics for the Greek New Testament given a morphologically tagged corpus. This exploratory study proposes to apply Kenny's method to the LXX, using the Logos Bible Software LXX Morphology, to analyze style.

While Kenny's primary application of his method was in the area of authorship studies, this paper is more interested in the general style of the LXX, and not at all interested in authorship theories or assigning a 'hand' to different passages. For better or worse, this paper treats the LXX as a corpus, and has little interest in its relationship with the underlying Hebrew text.

Once the analysis has been detailed, some points of interest (known only when the analysis is complete as the nature of the study is exploratory) will be further explored. Areas in which the work could be further developed will also be reviewed.

I should stress again, the key word is exploratory, particularly since I'll be using a beta/in-development form of the Logos LXX Morphology. I don't have theories I'm trying to prove, I'm interested in seeing what sorts of information comes to light when applying a Kenny-esque technique to the analysis of the style of the LXX.

Will you be at BibleTech:2009? You really should, last year's was one of the best, most fun conferences I've ever been to. And, if your paper proposal is accepted, you don't have to pay the conference registration! How cool is that?

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:30:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, October 10, 2008

Just installed the following Logos Bible Software packages to my home computer:

Sheffield/T&T Clark Bible Guides Collection (44 Vols.). This much sought-after and highly esteemed Bible study guide series is concise, comprehensive, manageable and affordable. The Sheffield/T & T Clark Bible Guides Collection (44 volumes) serves as an invaluable resource for students, preachers and Bible study leaders. Each of these books delivers to the reader a thorough and insightful introduction to a particular book of the Bible or the Apocrypha. All the books in the series were written by leading biblical scholars and the authors have drawn on their scholarly expertise as well as their experience as teachers of university and college students.

Writings from the Ancient World (16 vols.) The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) publishes books intended to convey the finest biblical scholarship to students in college, university, and seminary courses, leaders in church and synagogue settings, and members of the general public interested in biblical study. The SBL offers these 16 volumes of Writings from the Ancient World to provide teachers, literary critics, historians, general readers, and students direct access to key ancient Near Eastern writings that date from the beginning of the Sumerian civilization to the age of Alexander the Great. The volumes typically offer historical and literary background to the writings, the original text and English translation, explanatory or textual notes, and a bibliography. These ancient writings—letters, laws, government documents, poems, prayers and rituals—provide a glimpse into the social, economic and religious context of other civilizations before and during early biblical times.

Post Author: rico
Friday, October 10, 2008 9:00:04 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kevin P. Edgecomb (whose blog biblicalia should be more widely read than it is) is the host and proprietor of BSC:XXVI. Step right up and check out the fantabulous job he did in assembling this month's montage of Biblical Studies monotony ... er ... uh ... well, I need something to alliterate with the 'm' vibe there ... read on and you will surely see that the Biblical Studies blogosphere is definitely not monotonous.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:19:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I've enjoyed reading the portions of Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament (amazon.com). Again, I should stress I haven't read the whole thing. I have read the first two essays, the essays on Pauline literature, and part of Köstenberger's closing essay.

Of the essays I read, I most appreciated Köstenberger's essay which treated the Pastorals, the general epistles, and Revelation. Why? Because it seemed the most practical of them all. It actually treated the subject looking at the general question of usage of the OT in the NT book. Most of the other essays that I read were good, but they were very narrowly focused—on a particular way that OT passages were used in the NT book. That's all well and good, but I was really looking for something a bit more general. And I guess that's why Köstenberger's article stood out to me. I don't think it was just because that was the essay that discussed the Pastoral Epistles.

While examining Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament (amazon.com), a ricoblog reader pointed me to another essay of Stanley Porter's, published in JSNTSup 148, Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel (amazon.com): "The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament: A Brief comment on Method and Terminology". This essay was helpful in providing some background on method and terminology and also because I culled a few references from footnotes on stuff I'd like to follow up on (the book also mentioned many of these titles in its footnotes):

There are more, but that seems to be a good start.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:51:16 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Friday, August 24, 2007

I've poked around Stanley E. Porter's Hearing the Old Testament in the New Testament (amazon.com) a bit. I haven't read everything, but have read some things. This post will just be a listing of the Table of Contents; I'll write a subsequent post (hopefully in the next few days) with some thoughts on the book itself.


Introduction: The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament
     Stanley E. Porter

The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament as a Rhetorical Device: A Methodological Proposal
     Dennis L. Stamps

Biblical Texts and the Scriptures for the New Testament Church
     R. Timothy McLay

Scripture, History, Messiah: Scriptural Fulfillment and the Fulness of Time in Matthew's Gospel
     Michael P. Knowles

The Beginning of the Good News and the Fulfillment of Scripture in the Gospel of Mark
     Craig A. Evans

Scripture Justifies Mission: The Use of the Old Testament in Luke-Acts
     Stanley E. Porter

"They Saw His Glory and Spoke of Him": The Gospel of John and the Old Testament
     Paul Miller

Written Also for Our Sake: Paul's Use of Scripture in the Four Major Epistles, with a Study of 1 Corinthians 10
     James W. Aageson

In the Face of the Empire: Paul's Use of Scripture in the Shorter Epistles
     Sylvia C. Keesmaat

Job as Exemplar in the Epistle of James
     Kurt Anders Richardson

The Use of Scripture in the Pastoral and General Epistles and the Book of Revelation
     Andreas J. Köstenberger

Hearing the Old Testament in the New: A Response
     Andreas J. Köstenberger

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Ancient Sources


Post Author: rico
Friday, August 24, 2007 5:05:44 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, July 19, 2007

This morning the Logos Bible Software blog announced the BibleTech 2008 conference. It'll take place January 25-26 in Seattle, WA.

While Logos is the primary conference sponsor (disclaimer: I work for Logos), the conference is not about Logos Bible Software. It is designed for those who are interested in the intersection of the Bible and technology. So this could be professionals, hobbyists, publishers, bloggers, webmasters, educators or just about anyone else. If you're interested in the Bible and technology, no matter where you are, what you do, or who you work for, we'd love to see you in Seattle.

Several folks have already agreed to present. I'm most interested to hear from James Tauber (general XML/Python stud and co-creator of MorphGNT.org) and Zack Hubert (creator of zhubert.com).

The call for participation is open. Have an itch you'd like to scratch, or a cool side project you'd like to present? Then submit your ideas. I know I've got a few different ideas a-brewin'.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, July 19, 2007 7:43:26 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Saturday, June 30, 2007

Various books of the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) have been available in preliminary form for a few years. However, in the past few months, the NETS crew have finished their work and placed PDFs of everything online. So check it out. Oxford University Press will publish the print edition ... I'd guess in time for SBL.

(hat tip: Epistles of Thomas)

Post Author: rico
Saturday, June 30, 2007 10:32:00 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'd like to see John Hobbins (Ancient Hebrew Poetry), Tyler Williams (Codex), and Chris Heard (Higgaion) blog about what "Selah" means in the Psalms and how it should affect our reading of the Psalms.

But please, nothing over-long or in multiple parts.

Where does this come from? Sometime over the summer I'll be speaking on Psalm 20 at an evening church service, and I'm just curious about how Selah is used there. Sure, I'll read up on it, but I'd be interested to read what these gents might have to say.

Update (2007-06-27): Chris Heard obliges and posts on "Oh! Oh, Selah!". You're awesome, Chris. Thanks. Also note Bob MacDonald in the comments who mentions that selah is sometimes thought to be equivalent to a pause. Bob also points us to his own diagramming of Psalm 20.

Update II (2007-06-27): Though somewhat unrelated, note that Kevin P. Edgecomb (biblicalia) has begun a series to provide 'formal' and 'informal' translations of the Psalms. He's got Psalm 1 & 2 up.

Update III (2007-07-07): John Hobbins obliges as well and posts on "Selah in the Psalms". Thanks, John. Is it just me, or is it refreshing to others when scholars can survey evidence and say, "we really don't know" like John and Chris have. We have clues, certainly (some sort of musical interlude?) but nothing hard-and-fast. And don't worry, John, I'm nowhere near done with the Ella pictures.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, June 26, 2007 5:16:11 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, March 29, 2007

I just received a reminder about the SBL / Logos Technology Paper Awards. I'm anxious to see what folks are working on!

The dealine for papers is May 1, 2007 with winners announced at International SBL in Vienna. Here's a blurb for the uninformed:

Logos Bible Software and the Society of Biblical Literature announce two sets of awards for papers that creatively use technology in exploring questions of grammar and syntax in biblical studies: one focusing on the Hebrew Bible, the other on the Greek New Testament. The contests are open to all those engaged in the study of those disciplines, and prizes will be awarded in both areas for student and faculty/professional categories. A total of twelve awards will be given.

There's some decent winnings ($1000 cash, $1000 Logos software credit, and $200 SBL book credit for first place entries (4 available) for winning papers, and lots of chance to win with both student and professional entries for the areas of Hebrew Bible and also Greek New Testament. I'd enter, but Logos employees are not eligible.

Get thee to thine syntax annotations!

Update (2007-03-31): ricoblog reader Tom notes that syntax searching can be difficult to get a grasp on. I agree; the multi-dimensionality of the data alone is a new sort of concept to master in thinking about the Greek New Testament. For me, I've found a deductive method to work. If you are somewhat familiar with NT Greek, begin with a passage you know cold. Compare the syntax graph to what you know of and see mentally when  you examine the text itself. See how the syntax maps the structures you're thinking of. Then, using the graph as a guide, try to reproduce some structures. Start small and general, like a clause component that has the same wordgroup->head term->word (insert the proper lemma) as what you're looking at. Search and tweak until you get your template passage as a hit. Then add new components and tweak to get an idea of how to map the basic structure you already know. "Lather, rinse, repeat" is how I end up describing it. Also, beginning with a passage you know, you could do a Bible Word Study on a word and examine the sorts of things the Grammatical Relationships section returns. Under the hood, that's doing a lot of template-based syntax searching. So that's another way to start to play with syntax data without having to master the search dialog.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, March 29, 2007 12:47:50 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Logos Bible Software Blog announced the Logos Bible Software/Society of Biblical Literature Technology Paper Awards. Here's the scoop:

Logos Bible Software and the Society of Biblical Literature announce two sets of awards for papers that creatively use technology in exploring questions of grammar and syntax in biblical studies: one focusing on the Hebrew Bible, the other on the Greek New Testament. The contests are open to all those engaged in the study of those disciplines, and prizes will be awarded in both areas for student and faculty/professional categories. A total of twelve awards will be given.

These are serious prizes, but they'll require serious work. The deadline is May 1, 2007 with award notification during 2007 International SBL in Austria. More details on the Technology Paper Awards page at Logos.com.

Note -- Logos and SBL employees are not eligible. That means I can't submit a paper (drats!)

Update (2006-09-28): Check out the page on the SBL's site which also is the home of the URL http://www.sblawards.com. Also note mention of the prize in the SBL Forum. And the press release reproduced on Logos' web site. We're really interested to see what sorts of topics folks delve into and how they use the annotation(s)!

Post Author: rico
Thursday, September 28, 2006 8:59:45 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Over on PaleoJudaica, Jim Davila notes that there will be a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Seattle, over at the Pacific Science Center.

I'm really looking forward to it. Actually, one Saturday while the scrolls are in town (not sure which one, though), my employer (Logos Bible Software) is taking the whole company to see the show! So after I've seen what's there I'll be sure to report back.

Here's the exhibit web site, if you're interested: Discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls. They have some background on featured scrolls. They sound mostly fragmentary, though some interesting passages are represented. There are also some lectures associated with the scroll exhibit, though I don't know that I'll be getting down to Seattle for those.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:02:19 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Tuesday, May 09, 2006

[disclaimer: I do work for Logos Bible Software, but the below post is from me, not from Logos.]

If you're in Biblical Studies at all, working with the text of the Hebrew Bible or the Greek New Testament, you've heard of the Hermeneia Commentary series.

All 40 published volumes will be published as a CD-ROM product in the Libronix Digital Library System (LDLS), fully compatible and complementary to Logos Bible Software.

You can pre-order Hermeneia now via the Logos Pre-Publication system. The price is currently $500 (do the math: $12.50 per volume!), the pre-pub system only charges you upon release and shipment of the software.

You don't have to like the conclusions of the Hermeneia commentaries, but if you're doing anything serious, you have to deal with them. The series is unique in that it includes volumes of extra-biblical material too (e.g., 1 Enoch, Didache, Ignatian Epistles, 4 Ezra, etc.).

More info is on the pre-pub page. Do check it out.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 4:36:56 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ok, it isn't really the news, but it is in Publisher Weekly's Religion BookLine.

Hebrew Classic Might Bring Surprises for Christians

It's on Exodus in Targum Onkelos, the first of five volumes to be released covering all of Targum Onkelos. Queue up to get your copy, the article says they're only publishing 3000 of them ...

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, February 22, 2006 9:53:47 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint) provisional translation page has been updated again.

Note that 1-4 Kingdoms are now available, and a few others have been updated (e.g., Esther, I think).

Grab the PDF while you can.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, November 29, 2005 9:16:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, October 20, 2005

The NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint) provisional translation page has been updated. Everything is listed so one now knows where the holes are. Several new translations. Joshua, 1 Samuel ("Old Greek"), Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs ... the list goes on.

Unfortunately, no Sirach, which is what I was looking for tonight. Oh well. Thanks to the updates I now know that as of 10/10/2005, Sirach is "in review".

Check it out.

(Yes, I've read the "To the Reader" introduction ... )

Post Author: rico
Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:28:01 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, August 07, 2005

I just noticed that the NETS project has uploaded some new stuff, notably:

  • Introduction to the Reader
  • 1 Maccabees (their spelling is "1 Makkabees")
  • 4 Maccabees (their spelling is "4 Makkabees")
  • Jeremiah

I've no idea how long these have been posted, but there's a lot of stuff there. If you use the LXX at all in your studies (and if not, why not?) then you want to grab these while they're available.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, August 07, 2005 11:13:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Thursday, April 14, 2005

[NOTE: When this post was written in April 2005, several PDF facsimiles of editions of the Greek New Testament were available from bibles.org.uk. They no longer appear to be available. The downloads are sizeable and I am not able to provide them for download or FTP or delivery on DVD. Apologies, RWB]

I've mentioned this before, but I'm a bibliophile when it comes to stuff dealing with the Greek New Testament. If it has to do with the Greek NT and it was published in the mid to late 1800s or early 1900s, chances are I want it. I enjoy the content, the conclusions, the scholarship and the typesetting.

I'm even more excited about early editions of the Greek New Testament, but I know that I'll never own any of these editions. But I have found a few as PDF files. Today I grabbed a PDF facsimile of the Complutensian Polyglot (PDF is approx. 500 megs, available via bibles.org.uk). And it is so very cool.

The Complutensian Polyglot is notable for a number of reasons. First, it is a polyglot, meaning that it presents the text in more than one language (poly + glot ==> "many tongues", roughly).

It was printed between 1514-1517 and as such is the earliest printed (type-set) representation of the Greek New Testament. But it wasn't available until 1522, which means the Erasmian edition of 1516 was the first available printed Greek New Testament; even though the Complutensian is the better Greek text and despite the fact that it was technically complete before Erasmus completed his text. The NT has Greek and Latin in parallel. Check it out (click any graphic for a larger version):

This is 1Ti 2.3-7. If you look closely, you'll see that each word in the Greek and Latin is preceded by a small superscript character. This is a form of alignment. That's right, the text, while typeset in parallel columns, is aligned at the word level through the superscript number device. I've said it before to others, but these early typesetter dudes were studs. Check it out:


Little known to anyone who hasn't read John Lee's fantastic book A History of New Testament Lexicography, the Complutensian Polyglot also has the earliest example of a printed Greek lexicon. The last volume contains a glossary of Greek words with their Latin equivalents.

But that's not all. The Complutensian Polyglot is an edition of the whole Bible. That is, the Greek New Testament is only 1/3 of the book. There are volumes of Hebrew Bible content. Here's a sample from Genesis 1:

That's right. The left column is the LXX ... with interlinear Latin glosses! The middle column is Jerome's Latin. The right column is the Hebrew. If you look closely ... you'll see superscript letters in the Latin column and in the Hebrew column; so there is (I'd guess) a word-for-word alignment going on here too. How cool is that? I don't know Hebrew, so I have no idea what information the right-most margin contains. In addition, if Targum Onkelos has content to represent, the Aramaic is made available as well.

This is scholarship and typesetting that was going on in the early 1500s. I am continually amazed at what was accomplished just in this edition (let alone other typesetting and scholarship from the era), and that in just a few years (1514-1517? By hand? Whoa!). Here we are today, with our computers and our desktop publishing systems ... and we couldn't set something like the above without a whole lot of complaining, grudging and whining, once we got past the Hebrew font issue and figured out a hack around the interlinear portion. Speaking of which, check out the detail on that interlinear portion:

Look at that beautiful work. The Latin gloss is above the main line of the Greek text. You can barely make out the Greek once you account for the minuscule-esque script. Cross-references in the margin. I'll say it again — these guys were studs.

Not only that, but guess what? The supplementary volume (you remember, the one with the Greek-Latin glossary?) also has a Hebrew-Latin lexicon. Yep. You're reading that correctly. Check it out:


Here's some more detail showing a couple of articles in their entirety:

Now, remember — no computers. Nothing but dudes, type (which they probably cut themselves) and a press, along with desire and a bunch of elbow-grease. Not only that, but they sure knew how to end the NT. Why don't we see typographic devices like this in our modern Bibles? Would it cost too much to have the graphic design department whip something out? Would the extra page and ink really sink the budget and cause us to lose money? This is the right way to end the NT, giving all glory to God. If you know Latin and can translate more than the first line, feel free to send me your translation. I'll post it at the end of this article and link back to your blog/website/whatever.

Update: As I work my way through the Latin (I don't know Latin, so it's mostly what I can intuit based on my knowledge of Spanish and Greek) I see that the first few lines do mention the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), but the rest of it seems to list the balance of folks involved in the production -- a few cardinals and some other folk. Then it ends with the date (Jan. 10, 1514?). As I said, I may very well be mistaken as I don't know Latin. But that's what seems to be going on in the final typographical device.

Post Author: rico
Thursday, April 14, 2005 4:38:42 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Monday, March 07, 2005

Checking the NETS Provisional edition site again, I note the presence of a few books I hadn't seen yet:

  • Tobit
  • Proverbs
  • Lamentations
  • Susanna

Hop on over & grab 'em while they're hot.

Post Author: Rico
Monday, March 07, 2005 7:09:37 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, February 12, 2005

Yes, I spelled that "Salomon" (like the ski equipment maker) because that's the way it is spelled in the title of the NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint) edition.

The NETS Provisional translation page has been updated, and the PDF of the Psalms of Salomon (Solomon) is now available.

I was looking up a citation in NETS Leviticus (19.33-34, if you must know) so I thought I'd check and see if anything new was on the site.

I've blogged about this in the past. If you use the LXX at all in your studies ... you should check it out.

Post Author: Rico
Saturday, February 12, 2005 7:33:49 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, February 01, 2005

About a month ago, I blogged about the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) Provisional Edition, which is slowly making its way online.

More has been posted. If you haven't been able to check it out for the past few weeks, you should. There are provisional editions of 11 books, plus a provisional edition on the twelve minor prophets, making for 23 books in total. The Pentateuch is now represented in its entirety. The complete list (and links to the PDF files) is on the page, give 'er a look-see.


Post Author: Rico
Tuesday, February 01, 2005 9:20:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, December 12, 2004

I was aware that this was going to happen at some point (based on posts I recall from B-Greek) but didn't know it had started.

The New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) has begun to release provisional editions of books online as PDF files. These may have been posted for some time, but since I didn't know about it I thought I'd mention it. If this release is widely known, and I've just been oblivious (quite possible) I apologize for the noise.

Provisional editions of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy are available on the NETS Provisional Edition page. I was looking for Pietersma's edition of Psalms since it is actually published but I don't have a copy. I should've picked one up at ETS. <sigh>.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, December 12, 2004 2:26:17 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, October 10, 2004

So, I'm reading this book (The Face of New Testament Studies by McKnight & Osborne). The essay on interpretation of parables (“Modern Approaches to the Parables” by Klyne Snodgrass) starts off with a brief historical survey of the allegorization of parables. It mentions that allegorization was done in Qumran, and then gives a reference: “see 1QpHab XII.2-10”. (p. 178).

I think, “Hey, I've got access to an English translation of the non-Bible scrolls in The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition. I wonder if I can find that reference?”

See, when you run across a reference like 1QpHab, even though it is referring to Habakkuk, the lower-case 'p' indicates that it is referring to the pesher on Habakkuk, this one found in Qumran cave 1. A pesher is like a commentary, at least from what I remember. This one is referring column 12, lines 2-10. So I knew I should have this in the DSSSE.

And I found it! Way cool. Here's the text:

2 The interpretation of the word concerns the Wicked Priest, to pay him the
3 reward for what he did to the poor. Because Lebanon is
4 the Council of the Community and the animals are the simple folk of Judah, those who observe
5 the Law. God will sentence him to destruction,
6 exactly as he intended to destroy the poor. And as for what he says: Hab 2:17 « Owing to the blood
7 of the city and the violence (done to) the country ». Its interpretation: the city is Jerusalem
8 in which the /Wicked/ Priest performed repulsive acts and defiled
9 the Sanctuary of God. The violence (done to) the country are the cities of Judah which
10 he plundered of the possessions of the poor.

García Martínez, F., & Tigchelaar, E. J. C. (1997-1998). The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Translations). Vol. 2 published: Leiden ; Boston.; "This book offers a fresh English translation of all the relevant non-biblical texts found at Qumran, arranged by serial number from Cave 1 to Cave 11"--Pref. (Vol. 1, Page 21). Leiden; New York: Brill.

This is apparently an interpretation of Hab 2.17-18. And it is a good example of allegorical interpretation of the Scripture.

Fun stuff, no?

Update: Cheers to Vince for his comment clarifying pesher.

Post Author: Rico
Sunday, October 10, 2004 9:47:21 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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