Tuesday, May 20, 2008

BibleWorks, Logos, Accordance: Searching in Hebrew/Greek, Scanning/Context in English

The exercises I will demonstrate here arose from a discussion on the BibleWorks forum. The question is this: How can one conduct a search in an original language (Hebrew/Greek) but scan the results and see the context more quickly in English?

I played around a bit in BibleWorks, Logos, and Accordance to see how one would respond to that question in each. What I did is conduct a search on the Hebrew word ברך (bless). I then show how those results can be displayed in each program. Then I show how I might go about scanning the results in English and viewing the context of the results.

Here is the BibleWorks video. (2'44" 5.3Mb)
Here is the Logos video. (2'52" 4.8Mb)
Here is the Accordance video. (1'13" 1.2Mb)

Summary and Conclusions:

  • BibleWorks is very fast in conducting the searches, but it is rather awkward in trying to scan the results in English. It is easy to click through the results and see whatever texts one wants in horizontally-oriented parallels. The parallel windows feature--which allows for vertically-oriented viewing of parallel texts--is helpful, but it requires frequent backtracking to see the search results.
  • Logos is the slowest of the three, but it also has the most powerful features and options. The linking of windows provides a good way to run through hit results. Starting with the Hebrew (or Greek) text, it is easy to conduct a speed search and then "Export Results to Verse List," and then set up the verse list to display "References and Text in Three Columns." My only complaint here is that I would like a four column display so that I could have BHS Hebrew, LXX Greek, and an English version displayed.
    I did not demonstrate it in the video, but there is a way of accomplishing even more than a 4 column display. 1) After exporting results to a verse list, one can leave it at "References Only." 2) Use Tools > Bible Comparison > Parallel Bible Versions to open in a new window. 3) Choose the versions you want displayed. 4) Create the text link. [UPDATED directions >>] I.e., when you double-click on the reference in the Results window, it should open a window or two with the text. Using the small chain link icon at the top of one of those windows, choose a link set. Choose the same link set in the Parallel Bible Versions window. 5) Now when you double-click on one of the results in the Verse List, it will appear in this window.
    The value of the Reverse Interlinears is also demonstrated with this task. It is easy to conduct a speed search in Hebrew, Greek, or English. The results display in English--and the hits are even highlighted in the English!--but they are linked to the original language, and one can, of course, link the Reverse Interlinear window to any other text display one wants.
  • Accordance does a very nice job of returning helpful displays of results. The texts can easily be set to display in vertically-oriented parallels. The use of the "Context" option makes it easy to see as much text around the results as one wishes.


  1. Mark, the link to the Bibleworks video doesn't work.

  2. > Did I miss a still more excellent way?

    Yes you did! :-)

    After running a speed search from your original, in the Speed Search window just change your Bible version to the ESV Reverse Interlinear.

    When I ran the speed search it put "lemma:marks({he}ברך{/}) @ homograph = "v #2 (WTS)"" in the search bar. You need to remove everthing after and including the @ sign for it to run in the R.I (it didn't do this in the Greek).

    But that way you can work with the original and never have to open the Reverse Interlinear.

    Hope that helps!

    - Gabriel

  3. Unless it is just me, all the video links are giving 404 messages.

  4. Thanks, truthstands. I followed your steps (using the BHS, speed search on brk lemma, delete last half of search line, switch to ESV Heb/Eng RevInt), and it worked fine. Oddly, though, I can't seem to get it to work with any other word... Strange. And, as you note, it doesn't work w/ Greek NT either.

    Tim: I think it is just you! I've triple checked the video links, and they are all working.

  5. From Dave Hooton on the Newsgroup:
    "Different marks account for a lack of success in Hebrew. Removal of homograph information also means the searches are not the same. Searching both bibles with "lemma:({he}???{/}) produces comparable results."

    Sorry for the confusion, but the greek did work for me, I meant that it didn't add the unnecessary information.

  6. Sorry, it is working fine now, we had some Internet "issues" last night, which probably account for it - but I was not aware of the problem when I wrote the comment :(

    Very useful screencasts!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Hi Mark,

    I can see the videos for BibleWorks and Accordance, but not for Logos. (I use logos and only tried the other two to see whether they worked or whether the problem was more general.)

    For Logos, if I click on the link, I see the same promising screen as for the others, with a play button over a fuzzy picture. But when I hit play, I then see nothing at all and the browser claims to be downloading, but there is no network activity.

    I presume it's something to do with that video, as I can see the other two fine.

    I'm eager to learn about text links, (which I can't make work by following the help in Logos itself) and very grateful in advance for any help!



  9. Hi, Steffen,
    I just tried the Logos video on a entirely different computer, and it worked fine. Maybe some hiccup... try again!

  10. Hi Mark,

    Really sorry, but I still can't see it, even on a different PC.

    If you have the time, could you give me a pointer on how to set up the window link? If I follow your instructions in steps 1-5 in the small font section under Logos above, the one that doesn't seem to work as I expect is step 4.

    After I create a text link, if I click on a reference in the verse list, it will open a new window, rather than changing the content of the linked parallel bible window.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance!


  11. Hi, Steffen. I can't figure out why the Logos video doesn't work for you. Email me (mgvh at yahoo dot com), and I can send you the video directly if you wish.
    If you look at the 'small font' directions for Logos, you will see that I have clarified what I meant by linking the windows. A bit clunky, and you may have to resize windows a bit, but it works.

  12. Thanks Mark, you're a star!

    The added notes above made the difference. It all works fine now. I won't trouble you for the video.

    Thank you so much once more for this excellent blog and for this article: it makes life so much easier. Thanks also to TruthStands for the tip re using interlinear fast searches. Very handy.