Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Using the right tool... BibleWorks7 and Logos

I have been thinking about how the Greek word ιδου is best translated. I remember the resonance of the KJV's rendering with "Behold!" but that is not a word used in modern idiom. What are some better, contemporary alternatives? Some questions that I asked to get a perspective on this topic include:

  1. How does the NRSV translate ιδου?
  2. Knowing that the most common Hebrew equivalent is הנה, what English words are used to translate it?
  3. How did the LXX translators render הנה?
  4. What Hebrew words did the LXX translators render with ιδου?
How would I answer these questions using BibleWorks7 or Logos? For either program, one of the quick and easy ways to see how the word was translated in the KJV is to use Strong's. Using a version linked to Strong's (KJV or NAU [=NASB] in BW7; in Logos, there is a separate Strong's Enhanced Lexicon resource, and it is also linked to the KJV, NASB, NRSV [RevInterlinear], and some Greek texts), find the desired word, and one will see the various ways it is translated in the KJV. The following results are returned:
<2400> ιδου, idou
Meaning: look, behold
Origin: from 1491a, used as a demonstrative particle
Usage: assure(1), behold(145), here(3), lo(1), long(1), look(8), see(1), then(1), there(1), when(1), why(1), yet(1).
<02009> הנה hinneh (243d)
Meaning: lo! behold!
Origin: prol. of 2005
Usage: after all(1), behold(938), go(1), here(41), how(5), if(18), if he sees(1), if the has indeed(1), indeed(11), lo(16), look(3), now(3), now*(1), see(4), surely(2), there(2), unless(1).

To find more detailed results and see what words are used in more modern English versions, however, let's see what each program can do.


  1. To answer the first question, I would use the morphologically tagged Greek NT (BNM) and search for ιδου. When my search results appear, I would then type NRS (and other version you may want) in the command line and those results would immediately be converted to the new version. This works great and is a good way to compare a number of versions quickly. The problem, however, is that when I switch versions, I lose the highlighting that indicates which word is actually translating the ιδου.
  2. Answering the second question is similar to the first except that this time I would use the WTM to find הִנֵּה. The same problem of losing hit highlighting occurs when switching versions.
  3. To answer this question, the tool to use is the CATSS/Tov Hebrew-Greek Parallel Aligned Text that is included with BW7. The graphic below shows what this tools looks like in BW7. Note the Hebrew and LXX texts at the top, an analysis window in the middle showing each Hebrew/Greek word used (and there are hover popups for explaining some of the more arcane abbreviations), and a lower window with the appropriate lexicons. Using the "Search for BHS-LXX Equivalents" tool, one simply enters the lemma and a frequency listing is returned. Clicking on a particular result will cause that text to appear.
  4. Same procedure as the previous question, except that one enters the Greek word.

    HERE is a listing of the results generated for questions 3 and 4 in BW7.
NOTE: The BW7 implementation of this aligned text has other powerful features. Using the Search tool, one can search for specific Hebrew/Greek forms and instances where one is looking just for a Hebrew / Greek combination of words.


  1. Here is where Logos has a decided advantage because of its Reverse Interlinear Bibles. For the NT, there is both a version for the NRSV and the ESV. (For the OT, only the ESV is available.) After opening up the NRSV English-Greek Reverse Interlinear NT, one can run a Greek morphological search on the word desired. The search results highlight the English word rendered by the Greek word, and to make the comparison even easier to see, one can generate a listing of "Aligned Hits in Context" that looks like THIS. One can also generate a nice concordance view that is even more helpful.
  2. A similar procedure to the first question is used here except the ESV English-Hebrew Reverse Interlinear OT is used. Run a search to find the הִנֵּה form. HERE is the aligned hits in context generated and the matching concordance listing.
  3. The Tov Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture is available in the Original Languages or Gold libraries in Logos or for separate purchase.
    Open that resource to a verse which has the הִנֵּה form. (Use the a verse generated in #2.) Right click, choose the selected text, and run a search on this resource. (Note: you may have to edit your search somewhat if it includes a prefix or suffix of any kind.) Here's where I can use some help, because I have not been able to find a way to generate a list of all the verses which have the Hebrew word that indicate the matching Greek word in the LXX. The closest I've come is to export my results to a Verse List, choose text and 3 columns, and then use properties to select BHS and LXX to show up in parallel. All highlighting has disappeared however.
  4. Go through the steps as in the previous question, but choose the Greek word instead. You can use the results here to see the Hebrew words used to translate ιδου, and then these can be displayed using the Concordance feature to organize the desired results in summary form like THIS.

NOTE: A significant limitation of Logos is that one cannot search for Hebrew or Greek lemmas in the "Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture." (I was able to conduct this particular search, because I was looking for the specific הִנֵּה / ιδου form.) If there is a way to search for lemmas to generate the aligned lists, please let me know...

Here is a screenshot showing how some of these resources look in Logos.

So, the implementation of the Tov Parallel Aligned Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Texts of Jewish Scripture is much more versatile and powerful in BW7 (though perhaps not as attractive in the browsing format). Logos, however, has the advantage of the reverse interlinears to aid in the work of determining Greek/Hebrew underlying the English. (Again, if anyone knows how in Logos to search for Hebrew / Greek roots in the Tov or how to display Greek words rendering a Hebrew word, let me know. Thanks.)

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