Multiple Lexicon Lookup in Accordance 10

In a recent blog entry, Darin Allen showed one way to quickly look up a word in various lexicons in Accordance. The article included a helpful video describing how to set up the program and follow the process.

Yesterday, Mark Barnes uploaded a video in which he reproduced the same steps using Logos 5. He then went on offering yet more options, including his preferred method: the Power Lookup feature.

I’d like to add to this interesting comparison by showing you in the following video how to look up a Greek word in multiple lexicons using the Search All feature in Accordance 10. In Accordance, too, there is more than one way to do it (TIMTOWTDI).

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Finding all the forms of a Greek word in Logos 5

A while back I showed how to search for the root of a Greek word in Accordance. This is something that couldn’t be done in Logos 4 unless one was willing to follow a rather convoluted and error-prone workaround, as Mark Hoffman pointed out in a follow-up post where he compared the ability to search for Greek roots in Accordance, BibleWorks and Logos. Today I want to revisit this question, since Logos 5 includes the ability to search for the root of a word right from the contextual menu. The following video explains how it all works.

Note also that, as Rick Brannan rightly points out in the comments, the Bible Word Study guide in Logos 5 now includes a Root section. This means that you can right-click on a word and choose to run this very helpful automated tool and it will display all the roots for you.

 

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My Thoughts on Clause Searches in Logos 5

First things first. I love the new Clause Search feature in Logos 5. Personally, this is my favorite feature, and a prime example of the potential of Reverse Interlinears and semantic-based databases, two of the key areas that Logos has been focusing on in recent years.

I was asked to post a review on just one condition: to be honest. I think I can do that; I’m used to doing it :-)

Since there is so much to talk about, and it is quite easy to miss things when you set out to summarize what’s new in a major upgrade like this, I’ve decided to do an experiment and record a video for each of the new or enhanced features that I like the most. My goal is to show you how they work and, in some cases, suggest ideas of what I’d like to see added or improved. This is meant to be a conversation, so feel free to comment, link to a video response or whatever. Interaction is always the best way to learn. You’ll notice that this is an unscripted video, and I want it to be that way in order to capture that conversational approach.

I have always found Syntax Searches in Logos hard to understand,  and even harder to build. Perhaps that is the reason why I am so pleased with the new Clause searches. It may well be the case that some of my suggestions/requests can be achieved via syntax queries, but I believe they belong here, and that with clause searching we are just beginning to scratch the surface of some amazing new ways to search the Scriptures. This is exciting stuff!

So here is the video (just under 12 minutes long). I hope it is worth your time!

 

 EDIT (November 5, 2012): Rosie Perera has been kind enough to bring to my attention (see comments below) that even if you don’t specify the subject or the verb-lemma in the Clause Search, the information will be shown in the Analysis view and can be easily sorted out, as you can see in the screenshots below.

 

 

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Logos 5 is here!

Logos Bible Software has just launched version 5 of their Bible software program. It includes some great new features and seven new base packages, from Starter to Portfolio, but above all, it is what version 4 should have been all along.

From a philosophical/theoretical point of view, I would describe Logos 5 as the Semantic Web applied to Bible software (in this sense it is not difficult to see Sean Boisen‘s hand behind it). In other words, the program tries to find meaning in context and establish connections with the vast amount of resources available both in Logos itself and online. What this means in real life is that Logos 5 focuses on the use of pretty sophisticated tools (most of them automated), connecting the information and opening up avenues for further study, and fostering a network of Christian links among its users.

It is quite clear to any outside observer that Logos is out to build a whole ecosystem, but the key is to greatly improve/enhance its flagship product. Logos 5 hopes to be not just a step forward, but more of a significant leap ahead. Does it deliver on its promises? Let’s try to find out.

More anon…

 

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Bible Analyzer 4.6 for Mac

When I reviewed Bible Analyzer 3.5, I immediately realized this was an application that had great potential. I’m pleased to see that I was right. Version 4 is a lot better (and I mean a lot), plus it is now available for the Mac (OS 10.5 or higher).

BA 4.6 is a native Mac app that installs effortlessly. Follow the usual sequence of dialog boxes, agree to the Software License Agreement and type your OS X user password. That’s it!

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At first sight, the layout of the main window has not changed much, but it now includes a highly flexible window management system that allows for a great deal of customization. Everything is done by means of dragging and droping to a different area of the available space, or docking windows to make more room for the Bible window and the task we may happen to be doing at the time. There are many possibilities, including the ability to work with independent floating windows.

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There is a Cross-Reference panel that displays all the Bible cross references included in an enhanced version of Treasury of Scripture Knowledge that are relevant to the active verse in the Bible window. Besides that, a brand new Library Hits panel shows all the Dictionaries, Commentaries and Books that include a reference to the active verse (or that verse when it is part of a range, e.g., Rom 4:5-8). A popup window displays the first instance where the verse is referenced, and clicking on the Bible reference opens the tool at that particular place. Users can decide the amount of information they want to see, as well as the category they are most interested in. At any rate, results are returned instantly.

Another enhancement I enjoy very much is the ability to have Commentaries open a whole chapter at a time, and not just the comments on the selected verse.

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Resting the cursor on any word, while holding down the Control key, lets us see a preview of the description of that word in the preferred dictionary in a popup. Simply clicking on the word takes us immediately to the dictionary entry.

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Again, the Control key can be used while the cursor is on a Bible tab to have the active verse, the previous and the next one shown in a popup.

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The same method can be applied to different Dictionaries or Commentaries that include relevant articles (i.e., with the blue or green book icon besides the name) without the need to change tabs, unless, of course, we want to move to a different resource.

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Bible Analyzer offers a Daily Devotional with live Bible links, as well as a customizeable Prayer List window.

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Images are displayed in their own specialized window.

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The Quick Search box located at the top of the main window can be used to look for words (e.g., amazement)

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or to enter any Bible reference. The program understands if we have entered a Bible book or a search term.

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The look and feel of BA can be customized, and sessions/layouts saved and recalled. There are many other options included in the program that users can also tweak to their heart’s content.

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Searching is one of the key points of BA. It’s a real joy to see that almost anything we can think of can be searched quite easily. And one of the reasons it can do so is because of its very extensive Help. It really pays off to refer to it in those cases where we want to do something a bit more complex.

I could mention the Harmony/Parallel Generator, or the excellent AV-Strongs Index (based on an considerably enhaced Strong’s Dictionary), the Word clouds, the Text-to-Speech feature, or how easy it is to access information via the contextual menus. But why take my word for it when you can download it and see it for yourself absolutely free?

If you want more modules, you can always order the Bible Analyzer Suite CD-ROM for $38 plus shipping, or download any of the growing collections of free and premium modules. Most of these modules, while public domain resources, are very reasonably priced.

In sum, this is a very worthwhile program for those Mac (as well as Windows and Linux) users who need to work with English texts and good, solid classic resources, as well as use Strong’s numbers as part of their study of the Bible.

 

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Mind you, I did it for me

The personal testimony of Michael Surran, author of meBible, got me thinking. There seems to be a common denominator among many Bible software developers: they started to develop their applications for their own use. They felt a need and decided to build something that would meet that need. In some cases, users came as an afterthought, as it were.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that we are more likely to appreciate the usefulness of an app if we have also perceived and felt as ours the need that gave rise to its development. It also means that the closer we follow the thought patterns of the developer, the more natural and intuitive we’ll find the app. I think this explains, to a certain extent, why “intuitive” is such a subjective and hard-to-define term.

 

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