Saturday, November 10, 2012

Logos 5 Review - Part 2

In part 1 of my Logos 5 review, I provided some good excuses for getting the upgrade from version 4. In this part, I want to highlight some new features that I think provide more significant reasons to upgrade. That is, these are the more important additions and enhancements to Logos 5 as compared to Logos 4. What we are seeing here is not only the gradual improvement of the interface and user input built on the many years of experience, but we are also seeing the integration of the numerous aspects of Bible study that Logos has been implementing over the years: reverse interlinears (which now are not separate resources but well integrated 'behind' some of the standard English Bible versions), development of their Lexham resources, the SBL Greek NT, Runge's discourse analysis work, etc. It is clear that a lot of humans-looking-at-the-text time has gone into these new features.


One of the little things that makes a big difference is the search helps that now appear. As you can see in the graphic below (click to enlarge it), there are a number of suggested search terms you can use when doing a morphological search. Logos5 also seems to be smarter in terms of handling typing in Greek or Hebrew. I.e., there is less keyboard switching, and you can often get to Greek or Hebrew just by typing g: or h: or lemma:. Similar search suggestion helps are provided for the other types of searches including work with Boolean operators and various search fields.


In the graphic below, the search suggestions will give you an idea of the kind of searches that can be conducted using this new Clause Search.
Here's an example of a clause search that illustrates both its value and its limitations. Let's say you want to find all the times in the NT where Jesus is teaching. If you try to do that in English you would have to start by looking for all the forms for "teach* OR taught". That's simple enough to do using a Bible search, but you end up with 223 results in the NT, and you would have to sort through all those results for the ones you were interested in. Using a clause search, however, you can specify that Jesus is the subject and search for: subject:Jesus verb-lemma:διδάσκω. Note that Logos provides suggestions as you type, and the search box will turn red if you enter an invalid item. When you get the 24 results, note that "Jesus" does not have to be specified in the verse. Here is where someone has hand-coded that Jesus is the subject so that you will obtain a result like Matthew 5:2 where the text only reads, "Then he began to speak, and taught them..."

Further, note that if you use the Analysis view of your results, you can also see further syntactical information: object, indirect object, adverbial, related items and more. You can drag one of those headings to the top space, and your results will be organized by that heading. You can see what a help this can be, but this is also where we need to realize that this is probably still a work in progress. For example, instead of insisting that Jesus is the subject, we could simply ask that Jesus be referenced in the verse somehow. So, use: "person:Jesus verb-lemma:διδάσκω" or, if you want to work just in English but still using the Lexham Greek-English NT, "person:Jesus verb-gloss:to teach." 

Now we get 34 results, but if we compare these results to the previous list of 24, we see that we are dependent on the person who did the annotating, since Matthew 7:29, Mark 1:22, Luke 4:31; 13:10; 19:47; and 21:37 (all of them have something like ἦν διδάσκων = he [referring to Jesus] was teaching) are mistakenly omitted from the subject:Jesus search. Additionally, looking at the Analysis view, the listing of the Object is incomplete and has some errors. (For some of the Objects, "Road, highway, street" is listed instead of being coded as Adverbial. I haven't been able to figure out what "Location" means in the Analysis table.) There are other limitations to the types of clause elements you can search. For now, you can only search for verbs in a single Louw-Nida subdomain. It would be nice to not only look for times when Jesus taught (LN 33.224 subdomain), but all the times he was doing any kind of communicating (LN 33 domain).

Rubén Gómez on his Bible Software Review site has also already provided another great instance of how the clause search works and can be valuable. It's easy to use this Clause Search, and it can replace some of the more complicated Syntax searches. I don't want to be overly critical, because it's a tool with great potential, and I trust that Logos will be improving its databases and capabilities. Just keep in mind its limitations at this point. 


About a year ago, Accordance demonstrated an easy way to search for all the words based on a particular Greek root, and I blogged about the difficulty of conducting such a search in BibleWorks and Logos 4. It is now incredibly simple to do in Logos 5. Building on the kind of word lists in J. Harold Greenlee's New Testament Greek Morpheme Lexicon or Trenchard's Complete Vocabulary Guide to the Greek NT, lexemes can be connected to their roots and then searches conducted.

Right click on any word in a Greek or Hebrew text or English text that has been linked to the underlying original, choose Root, and then choose to conduct a morph search. Results can be viewed in parallel columns of text (as shown in the graphic above), aligned on the root word which makes clear all the words related to the root, or with the Analysis view that allows you to sort on a number of grammatical or syntactical options (graphic below). Why is such a search like this so helpful? Let's consider the important topic of "righteousness" in Romans. There are 36 instances of "righteous" or "righteousness" in the NRSV of Romans. The Greek root behind these terms is δικη. A root search turns up 77 results! If you look at the graphic above, you will see that the NRSV (and every other English version) has to translate in a variety of ways: righteousness, righteous, wickedness, decree, justified, requirements, injustice, justice, unjust, deserved, accountable... The perspective provided by a root search will broaden one's understanding of how a concept or idea is working in a document and also help uncover word contrasts and word plays.

This post is getting long, so I will continue in a part 3 with another important new feature in Logos 5 (the Bible Sense Lexicon) and some additional observations. 

Part 3 of the review is now posted

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mark.

    Thanks for talking about roots! I'm sure you've noticed, but they also show up in the Bible Word Study guide.

    Quite prescient noting both Greenlee and Trenchard — both were consulted as we assembled the root database for the NT. Note that the middle Liddell also has good information on roots — specifically, the ALL-CAP entries, and the segmentation of words as well. Unlike LSJ, where the breaking of words is pragmatic to cram more on a page, word breaking in middle Liddell is actually meaningful and helpful.