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New Module - Aleppo Codex Index

Friday, November 10th, 2006

Joshua 1:1 in the Aleppo CodexFor some time now, images of the Aleppo Codex (כתר ארם־צובה) have been available online. The website is very well done, with access to high resolution photos of all existing pages of this valuable witness to the Masoretic text. Now, thanks to Pasquale Amicarelli, BibleWorks users can access these photos from their Resource Summary Window with a new CHM module. Users MUST have an active internet connection to access to each photograph. Keep in mind that the text is not complete, as the Wikipedia entry mentions:

[The b]eginning and end of the manuscript are missing, as well as some pages in between. The current text starts with the last word of Deuteronomy 28:17 (ומשארתך, “and your kneading trough”). After that, the books Joshua, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachi, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Songs follow. The last leaf ends with בנות ציון in Song of Songs 3:11 (”come out, you daughters of Zion…”) The missing parts are the end of the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Esther, Daniel and Ezra/Nehemiah.

The Bible-Researcher website has an excellent introduction to the Aleppo Codex. See also the Wikipedia article.

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Liddell-Scott (part two)

Sunday, November 5th, 2006

BDAG meet your big brother, Liddell-Scott.

As you can tell by this side by side shot, Great Scott makes poor old BDAG look like a dwarf. What you don’t see (because I couldn’t get the pictures to come out right) is what the books look like inside. Comparing the print of Liddell-Scott to BDAG is like comparing a photo caption text to the front page headline. Furthermore, whereas BDAG’s entries are generally differentiated, Liddell-Scott groups as many lexemes together as possible. And the confusing part of it is that these words are grouped together not necessarily because they share meanings but because they share the same letters. Thus in order to find the word εὐλογία you have to look up εὐλογέω. Now in this case you probably could have found the right entry, but in other cases it is much more challenging.

A screen shot with LSJM in action. Highlighting just a few of the features Starting at 1 o’clock on the picture.

  • LSJM integrates completely into the Resource Summary window just like any other lexicon. This is part of BibleWorks lexical-grammatical integration which keeps track of all of those pesky citations so you don’t have to.
  • Resource Window integration means two things. First, it means that whenever you are on a word, if that word is in Liddell-Scott (which it will be unless it’s some obscure proper noun), you will see the beginning of the entry in the Resource Summary Window. To open the entire entry, just click on the appropriate line in the Resource Window.

In this example, I was holding my mouse over the word καιροὺς in the Browse Window. Because LSJM has this lemma, it appears in the Resource Summary window. Now if I wanted to bring up the LSJM entry in the Lexicon Browser, I would simply click on καιρός in the Resource Summary window.

  • But if you look carefully below that, you also see a line that says Ref: Gen 1:14. What’s that about? This is the second awesome feature of LSJM and its integration into the Resource Summary window. In this case when you are on verses of the Bible which have citations in LSJM, you will know about it without reading every single entry. You will know about it because the Resource Window will say that your given verse has a reference in LSJM and it’s all right there. This is pretty awesome because it means you don’t have to click on every single word to know if LSJM has something to say about that given word in that given text. [Note: That doesn't mean that if LSJM does NOT have a reference that what LSJM says is irrelevant or useless. LSJM will *always* be useful because it will help you learn shades of meaning that a given word had in other texts. This can be important for determining whether a word can or can't mean X by looking at how it was used in other places.]

Now at 9 o’clock in the picture, you will see bold-faced Greek words and indented Greek words with symbols in front of them. The bold-face word is a head entry as given in the print LSJM. The indented words are all the words you would find in the print LSJM within that entry. In addition to that, the indented information also tells you whether a word is found in the Supplement.

The various symbols mean the following:

  • Main entry words are in bold.
  • Supplemental entries are prefixed with a “+”, “x” or “*” and subentries are prefixed with a superscripted number indicating order in the main entry.
    • A “+” indicates a supplemental item that is an addition to a main entry.
    • An “x” indicates a supplemental entry that is a new lexicon entry.
    • An “*” indicates a correction to a main entry.

Thus instantly you know that if there is a number by the entry, it is a unique word. If it has another symbol it will be supplementary information. If you click on one of the words marked with the +, x or * you will instantly be taken to the supplementary entry. Quick and easy!

  • Finally, at 10 o’clock in the picture, you will see the verse pop-up in the Lexicon Browser. Thus, whenever LSJM has biblical citations, you can see within the Lexicon Browser what that verse is. Or if you’d like you can click on the link and it will be brought up in the Browse Window.

Two final pictures demonstrate what I meant about how easy it is to access the supplementary information.Let’s say I use the Lexicon Browser to see the word ἀγαπάω in LSJM. If I do that, the word list filters out all words except the relevant hits. In this case, there are two exact hits. One is the main entry, one is the supplementary entry. How easy is it to go back and forth from the main entry to the entry? It’s as easy as clicking back and forth from one to the other. No page turning. No opening up new windows. None of that. Click one. Bingo. Click back to the other. Cha-ching. Pretty nice deal if you ask me.If you want to see the bigger picture of what’s going on, click the Reload button and you’ll get the full word list back and see the complete relationship of these two words according to the full word list.

In closing, I can do no better than echo Mike Bushell’s words (since he actually *is* BibleWorks and can actually say and mean stuff):

We believe this to be the most accurate electronic edition of the “Great” Scott available. There are still typos though. The text is huge and represents a humongous amount of work. Oxford is beginning a project now, using our text and other resources, to produce the best text possible. That will be made available to our users (who purchased LSJM) without charge. [more available at the BibleWorks forums.]

From what I have seen I too believe this to be a great package and BibleWorks’ commitment gives me confidence that any parts I missed will be covered in the future.

New Module: The Great Scott Lexicon

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Any BibleWorks user who is anybody, keeps an eye on the official BibleWorks forums, but just in case someone missed the post, I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention that BW7 now has released the giganto version (yes that is the technical term) of the Liddell-Scott lexicon (referred to in BW7 as LSJM for its main editors Liddell, Scott, Jones and McKenzie). This is “the” Greek lexicon. If I’m lucky there might be another lexicon which surpasses Liddell-Scott in my lifetime, but I highly doubt it. In other words, if you spend the money on this one, you’re making a valuable and long-term investment.

This lexicon is different from the Intermediate Liddell-Scott (Middle Liddell) which comes “free” with the BW program in that it is, well, much bigger! Unlike the Middle Liddell which has vague references to who uses words, the Great Scott lexicon uses actual references, which really makes it much more useful!

Recently, classicists have been able to access Great Scott via Perseus, but the BW7 LSJM module has a few distinct advantages.

  • First, it’ll be available on your computer even when you’re not connected to the Internet (Perseus lately has been notoriously hard to use because it’s been on and off-line so much).
  • Second, unlike the Perseus LSJ, this version includes the supplementary entries to the Great Scott, which are readily accessible within the BW Lexicon browser.

Now I am probably one of the few out there who own the paper edition of Great Scott (and that is mostly because, as has been mentioned earlier, I am a book fan), but the BW edition of LSJM is sooooo much the superior to the book edition for a few reasons.

  • First, it is darn near impossible to use the real book because it is so huge, the paper is so thin (I’m afraid to use it lest I tear a page or two right out of it), and the print is so very small. In BW, the lexicon can be as small as your laptop, there will be no papercuts and the text can be as big as your screen can allow.
  • In addition to that, the supplementary lexical information in the book LSJ is found in the back in supplementary appendices. In other words, if you want to find out any new information about a given lexeme, you have to page through multiple parts of the lexicon in order to find it. Sounds easy enough until you try to keep one finger where you were, and use the others to page forward in the giganto book without tearing any of the pages! Well in BW, all the supplementary information is accessible in an organized and easy-to-use manner. (I’ll try to put up a screen shot in a day or so).
  • BW folks have also worked hard to differentiate the text so that the entries are easier to understand. Specifically what this means is not only is the text in BW’s LSJM the same as the written text (including bold and italic font), but LSJM is different than the print book because the entries are broken up with indentations, which make definitions and glosses in the entries so much easier to use. This was not done in the print LSJ because it would have made that volume 4 or 5 times as long, but in the digital world, this is not a problem!

Other reasons why LSJM is super cool:

  • It will help you plow through some of the classical Greek works I’ve been releasing for BW.
  • It will give you the “big” picture of how words in the Biblical corpus (LXX (and earlier), NT, and beyond) are used in other literature and give you citations so you can verify this for yourself.
  • Did I mention the lexicon has clickable links to the Biblical verses within the entries just like BDAG and other lexica of BW?

Whew. I probably meant to make some grand point at the beginning of this post, but I got carried away. What can I say. This release excites me!

Augustine’s Works Module by Pasquale

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Pasquale has put together a CHM module that contains the public domain text of Augustine’s works as found on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library site. The module is tagged to work with BibleWorks, so that if the editor of the volumes mentions any verse of Scripture, a link will be displayed in your Resource Summary Window. All of the following texts are included (the CCEL versions are linked below):

  • Volume I. Prolegomena: St. Augustine’s Life and Work, Confessions, Letters [v2]
  • Volume II. The City of God, Christian Doctrine [v2]
  • Volume III. On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises [v2]
  • Volume IV. The Anti-Manichaean Writings, The Anti-Donatist Writings [v2]
  • Volume V. Anti-Pelagian Writings [v2]
  • Volume VI. Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels [v2]
  • Volume VII. Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies [v2]
  • Volume VIII. Expositions on the Psalms [v2]

Download Augustine’s Works for BibleWorks! (18.6 MB)

Blogs as academically useful things…

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I’m not sure how big the readership out there is, but this is a call for interaction if you are able. I am wondering how useful people think blogs are or would be for contemporary interaction with the biblical texts, and for my purposes I am thinking mostly on a grammatical level (interpretative and theological moves would indoubtedly come into play, but I’m not coming to that point quite yet).

For instance, would it be something of value if I went through Acts 17, copied footnotes from BDF/Wallace/Robertson/etc on significant features of the text, tried to explain uses of genitive, pariticiples, etc. and put this into a blog post on Acts 17. So if you were looking at Acts 17 and curious about some of its features you could call up that blog and get some more information on it.

Commentaries widely differ in their philosophy. Some of them deal with portions of the text in their original language, but I find very few that answer grammatical relationships that I want answered. I guess they either assume I know the answer and so they let it pass OR I assume they don’t know the answer and that’s why they let it go.

I know resources like B-Greek exist and it is helpul to search out help there, but in order to get what you want, you have to do a lot of searching. What I’m looking for is a way to bring together grammatical commentary on passages into one place and I’m wondering if a blog would be a proper form.

Obviously even if this were something I did, my “answers” would no doubt err. There might be some question whether this is really an “objective genitive” or something else. Or maybe someone thinks the force of verbal aspect is best brought out another way. A blog could sort of provide for this kind of dialogue (not very well, I’ll admit). One could also provide hyperlinks to sub-discussions on specific features of the text….

Anybody have any thoughts on this matter? Is there interest in developing such a thing?

User-database: Virgil’s Works (Latin)

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

As promised earlier in the week, Virgil’s Works in Latin are up and ready to go. It only seemed fair since I put the Iliad and the Odyssey out there that their Latin complement should also have a place. Of course if you feel this is too far afield, don’t worry about it, I won’t be offended.

Update: For some reason blogger did not accept my upload, but the link should now be working. Sorry for the confusion!

Updated Bezae & Vaticanus; Croy Vocab Added

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Pasquale has sent updated versions of both the Bezae & the Vaticanus modules. These updates fix some broken links and missing pages. Thanks again, Pasquale, for your hard work.

  • BEZAE UPDATE (ZIP)
  • VATICANUS UPDATE (ZIP)

In addition, we’ve added the VOCABULARY FILES for Croy’s A Primer of Biblical Greek.

New Module - Codex Bezae

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Again, Pasquale has produced an excellent module. This time, he has presented images of the Latin and Greek texts of Codex Bezae (Gregory-Aland no. D or 05). The Wikipedia article on Bezae mentions the following outstanding features:

Matthew 16:2f is present and not marked as doubtful or spurious. The longer ending of Mark is given. Luke 22:43f and Pericope de adultera are present and not marked as spurious or doubtful. John 5:4 is omitted, and the text of Acts is nearly one-tenth longer than the generally received text.

For a transcription of the Greek & Latin text of Bezae for Luke and Acts that notes differences with the NA27 see this French website. An excellent description of Bezae has been provided by Robert Walz. Now BibleWorks users now have images of Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Bezea and the Gospel of Mark in Washingtonius!

As a side note, Wieland Wilker - an avid BibleWorks user - has authored “Codex Bezae and the Da Vinci Code: A textcritical look at the Rennes-le-Chateau hoax.” Wilker offers convincing evidence that the fake document is based on a page of Bezae.

Bezae promises to be a very interesting manuscript to study!

DOWNLOAD BEZAE (82MB!)

User-database: Sophocles’ Works (Greek)

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

I just finished up the conversions for the plays of the Greek tragedian Sophocles. Now they too are accessible within BibleWorks.

A word is needed about the format of the databases. You will find numerous places in the compiled database where lines are empty or left blank. This is because I have followed a pretty slavish adherence to officially documented line numbers of the Greek tragedies so that users will be able to refer to specific entries in Greek grammars and lexica which reference Greek tragedies by line number. I couldn’t explain to you why lines are divided as they are, but it was done with the intention that this would make these texts useful and helpful to anyone who is using classical Greek tools.

If you become aware of major flaws in my line numeration, please let me know. Obviously if anyone is very serious about classical Greek study, they will have to go beyond this offering because it is based on a relatively old (and thus public domain) text, namely, Jebb’s version. But this will be very helpful to people who wish to continue word studies within BibleWorks itself.

On another note. I have almost completed compiling Latin versions of all of Virgil’s works. The link on the files page is up, but the file is not. This will be up later this week probably. In any event there will be a blog post about it when I do complete it.

New Module — Intro. to Norton’s NT Peshitta Trans.

Saturday, September 30th, 2006

MS 2080 in the Schøyen Coll.Ewan MacLeod has compiled and tagged a new module which will be of special interest to scholars of the Syriac New Testament:

Norton, William. A Translation of the Peshito-Syriac Text and of the Received Greek Text of Hebrews, James, 1 Peter and 1 John, With an Introduction, on the Peshito-Syriac Text, and The Revised Greek Text of 1881. London: W.K. Bloom, 1889.

In essence, this module is an “extensive introduction” to a translation already included in BibleWorks 7.0 — the Norton Translation of the NT Peshitta (NOR). According to the NOR copyright & source file, this introduction includes a “history of the Peshitta and an analysis of readings compared with the Greek text.” It also “has footnotes regarding the variant readings of the Peshitta.” Ewan has been kind enough to convert this introduction into a CHM Module, that is completely tagged and tied into the Resource Summary Window. Many thanks, Ewan!

Download! (103KB)