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.

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