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The Logos Edition of the Westminster Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia

What makes the new Logos edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia with the Westminster Theological Seminary Morphology database version 4.2 (BHS/WTS 4.2) special?

1. Cantillations & Accent Marks

Previous morphologically-tagged editions of the BHS in Logos format had only the Hebrew consonants and vowel diacritics, and none of the cantillation marks, as shown below. This is because the Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS) morphology database gives the text that way: without cantillations.

Exodus 20:4 with vowel points (nikud) only.

However, the Logos BHS/WTS 4.2 has all of the marks. In the figure below, Exodus 20:4 is given as above, but with all of the cantillation marks highlighted.

Exodus 20:4 with vowels (nikud) and cantillations (teamin).

If you compare the following page scan from the printed BHS (1983 edition) of Exodus 20:4 with the figure above, you will see that all of the cantillation marks from the print are present.

Exodus 20:4 from the printed BHS

2. Marking of Differences Between Electronic Editions of BHS

Most electronic versions of the BHS that are available in any format come from the Michigan-Claremont (M=C) files encoded from 1983-1987, edited Prof. Alan Groves at WTS and Prof. Emanuel Tov at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This text contains the cantillations. Beginning in 1987, Prof. Groves and Prof. Dale Wheeler of Multnomah Bible College began work on a morphological analysis of the text. It is this morphological database that is usually published electronically. In the process of creating the morphological database, the Michigan-Claremont text has been corrected in a number of places.

For the Logos edition of BHS/WTS 4.0, cantillation marks were added by programmatically comparing the WTS morphology text consonant-by-consonant with the M-C electronic text of the BHS, and copying over the cantillation marks as appropriate. In the process, we found hundreds of (minor) differences between the Michigan-Claremont files and the newer WTS files. Sometimes this reflects a typographical error in M-C, or sometimes just a difference of opinion in reading the manuscript that the print (and electronic) BHS is based upon, Codex Leningradensis (L). Most often, the difference is in the use of a maqqef in one text vs. the use of a space in the other. In a few dozen cases, however, the difference between the two texts is in the vowel pointing. We felt that the variant "readings" in vowel points might be useful, so we put in a footnote with the M-C reading, as in the figure below from Genesis 19:2 (BHS/WTS version 3.5).

Genesis 19:2 showing a difference between WTS and M-C

These “variant readings” between the WTS and M-C files are marked with superior numerals in the Logos edition. The WTS reading is given in the main text, and the M-C variant is given as a popup. In this case, you can see that the WTS gives a Sheva under the first consonant (Heh), but M-C gives a Hataf Patach.

3. Textual Annotations from the Westminster Morphology Database

Note in the figure above an asterisk next to the superior numeral in the figure above. The WTS database has annotation markers throughout which explain many of the differences between it and the printed BHS, or between it and the M-C electronic files. In this case at Genesis 19:2, the asterisk tells us that the printed BHS has been faithful to the manuscript (L), even though both show an unusual form. In this case, M-C corrected the strange form and gave a more normal one, but WTS sticks with BHS and L.

Annotation at Genesis 19:2 explaining the WTS reading

With the information given in these two footnotes you can get a more complete picture of what is going on in the BHS, as well as the two electronic editions.

4. Enhanced Handling of Ketiv/Qere Readings

The Hebrew Old Testament has some words that are written one way but read another. This happens in more than a thousand places throughout the Old Testament, for various reasons. The text which appears in the text is called the ketiv or “written” text, and the text which appears in the margin is called the qere or “read” text. The Logos edition of the BHS has always given both qere (Q) and ketiv (K) readings, usually with the qere in the text and the ketiv as a footnote.

The new Logos edition of the BHS makes K/Q display user-configurable by putting these readings into an interlinear format.

A Ketiv/Qere reading in Jeremiah 5:6

Note also that there is a third reading shown, which represents the “blended” form given in L and the printed BHS. This reading consists of the Ketiv consonants with the vowels for the Qere, which is how K/Q is notated in the printed BHS. No other electronic edition of the (that we're aware of) has these blended forms. That means that the Logos edition of BHS is the only one that matches the print in these instances!

You can choose which lines to display, and what order, by opening the Interlinear Configuration dialog by going to View | Interlinear on the main Libronix DLS application menu.

Interlinear Settings for the BHS/WTS 4.0

Viewed as an interlinear, with the BHS form first, then the Ketiv form, followed finally by the Qere form, Jeremiah 5:6-7 looks like this:

Jeremiah 5:6-7 with K/Q readings in interlinear format

With only the BHS form visible (as in the printed BHS), those same verses look like this:

Jeremiah 5:6-7 with only the blended BHS K/Q forms visible

5. Enhanced KeyLinking

The four features listed above were all introduced in the Logos Bible Software's version of the 4.0 morphology. For the release of the 4.2 morphology and Logos Bible Software version 3, a great amount of work was done to ensure that it is easy to accurately navigate from words in the Hebrew Bible to the correct entry in the Hebrew lexicons. For more information on these enhancements, see the article on Hebrew KeyLinking.

6. Homograph Numbers for Searching

The BHS/WTS 4.2 has added support for the use of homograph numbers when searching. Homograph numbers distinguish between different words that are spelled the same. So now, by default, when selecting a lexical form for Speed Searching, or running reports such as the Bible Word Study, you will only get hits for the same word you ran the report on, not other words that happen to be spelled the same. Homograph numbers can also be used in the Morphological Bible Search and other search dialogs.


In short, the Logos edition of the BHS is more accurate, more powerful, more informative, and easier-to-use than ever before.