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Evangelical Review of Theology, April 2004, Vol 28 (2), p. 181-82

Logos Bible Software Series X - Biblical Languages Supplement, 2003

Logos Research Systems, Inc., Bellingham, WA, USA
Reviewed by David Parker, Editor,
Evangelical Review of Theology

Logos Research Systems have released a further module for their current Logos Bible Software Series X (see ERT (2003) 27:3, pp. 272-275). The ‘Biblical Languages Supplement’ is aimed especially at scholarly users and includes several new features as well as a number of additional resources. It also includes an update of the main engine (to Version 2) and fixes for some of the earlier resources. The morphological search window is now easier to use.

The new resources include the Friberg Greek NT and Lexicon, the Barclay Newman lexicon (the print edition is familiar as a companion to the UBS Greek Testament) and an LXX lexicon. There are also a number of historic Greek texts (such as Scrivener’s TR, Stephen’s TR, Westcott and Hort and Elzivir) which will be of interest to some students. Burton’s Moods and Tenses is included, as is the enhanced Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew lexicon and Davidson’s Hebrew syntax. Of more specialised interest are three volumes of Egyptian literature and two old Syrian gospels and the Peshitta along with a Syriac lexicon. A particularly useful addition is the ‘parallel passages’ module which includes Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels, Aland’s Synopsis of the Four Gospels, the Eusebian Canons, OT quotes in the NT, some Old Testament parallels and other resources which provide synopses of various parts of the Bible.

The supplement contains some useful add-ins to improve functionality, mostly by exploiting the graphics to produce helpful visualisations of the data. One of the most interesting of these is the ‘verb river’ which allows the user to display a graph of the use different verb forms throughout a passage or book – e.g., the occurrence of imperatives, or the use of the first person, thereby making clear changes in the nature of the text. Differences between versions can also now be displayed by a similar ‘river’ and by plotting an X-Y cluster graph to show the variations. Ordinary searches can also be graphed to show the distribution of hits over the whole or portion of the Bible selected or in a large variety of other ways (such as the ratio of hits to words, verses or chapters in a book) to give statistical correlations.

All of these features should help in gaining a better picture of the text and a clearer and faster understanding of the data if they are used with discernment. Similarly useful is the morphological filter which enables words matching a given morphology (say, all the optative verbs, or all the prepositions) to be color highlighted for easy recognition. Of far less value is the ‘summarising filter’ (now part of the new ‘Visual Filters’) which simply highlights a given percentage of a text, but the results do not appear to be very reliable. Other bonuses are the module which allows the user to draw sentence diagrams to display grammatical structures, and a graphical query editor to use instead of the normal Windows interface.

The extra resources now available and the additional features in this module when coupled with the Scholar’s Library, and the vast (and rapidly expanding) array of e-books available by extra purchase, make a powerful package which should be attractive to academics and students. Most of the graphical features should be particularly useful in class room situations. Users will need to weigh up the cost benefit of the additional (special) price of US$159 of this module. More details: www.logos.com/originallanguages

© 2004 by World Evangelical Alliance Theological Commission Used by permission.