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Announcing the BOSS - Bible Organizer Study Suite

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Scott Jones (of; “Adelphos” in the BW forums) has posted a significant update to his previously released Verse List Organizer (VLO).

Deemed the “BOSS” (Bible Organizer Study Suite), this new tool allows a user to manage both verse and word lists generated with the BibleWorks Verse List Manager (VLM) and Word List Manager (WLM).

I have not had a chance to use it myself, but it looks promising.

Check out the forum post for more information about downloading and installation.

finding all non-Qal verbs with the command line

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The professors at GCTS often test students in Hebrew exegesis/grammar courses by requiring the students to parse all non-Qal verbs.

As the reference librarian, I’ve been asked a few times how to run a search in BibleWorks for all non-Qal verbs so that the student identify them at a glance and concentrate their study “where it counts”.

One way of doing it would be this:


The letters in between the left and right brackets represent an “or” search of all stems but the Qal.

One student was able to achieve the same search by using the Graphical Search Engine and using an “exclusion” list to exclude any Qal verbs.

I thought that there would be a third way. I tried the following search (with my search limited only to the Book of Jonah):


The first set of parentheses would look for all verbs. The second set of parentheses would then search for all Qal verbs, but the exclamation point set in between the two sets of parentheses would “negate” the second set. Unfortunately, this does not work. When I perform the search given above, I only get 1 hit.

Now that I think of it, I understand why… The search above looks for VERSES not words. It looks for verses that have verbs and then negates all verses that have Qal verbs. This results in a single hit in Jonah 2:2, where there is only a single verb, and that verb is not a Qal, but rather a Hithpael.

So, I posed the question to the BW forums:

Is there a way to negate on a word by word level? So that one could do something like this:

I know that this search does not work, but I was wondering if there’s anything that might work like this.

Boy oh boy, I do love the BW forums! I got an answer from MBushell (a guy who’s pretty familiar with BW ;) ). He noted that the following search would work:


Indeed it does!

13841 verses, 9676 forms, 22560 hits, and only 4.53 seconds later, I was able to do a search on all non-Qal verbs in the entire Old Testament (not just Jonah). I then used the Color Filter to highlight all these verbs, so that I can see them at a glance in the text. I’ve been using BW since 4.0, and I never came across the use of the caret ^ in BW searches, but it sure comes in handy!

Update: I just tried a similar search in the BGM, trying to find non-indicative verbs in James, and I could not get it to work. Back to the forums!

New Tool - Verse List Organizer

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

If you follow discussions on the BibleWorks forums, you’ve no doubt already seen that Adelphos, an avid BibleWorks user, has created a special program that, although not a part of BibleWorks, works with data created by BibleWorks to manage verse lists. Rather than re-posting all of his helpful introductory material, I will direct you first to his post describing his program and second, to the post in which any further discussion about it is taking place. Don’t be like me and post on the first link. If you have questions or comments, add them on the second link.

Although I haven’t used the verse list much to create numerous lists, Adelphos’ program at once seems to fit a great void. Imagine keeping track of verses that relate to a Bible study you’re working on. Maybe you’re keeping track of a theme throughout a book of the Bible, you can easily add verses to the verse list, but what will you do with that list when you’re done? The Verse List Organizer helps you do more with the data that BibleWorks makes easy to create.

In the past few days, Adelphos has already modified a number of aspects of the program to better fit user needs. Sounds like he’s taken his approach to customer service like a certain company I know of.

DOWNLOAD Verse List Organizer

New Versions - Tregelles Greek New Testament

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

A little over two weeks ago, on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog Dirk Jongkind announced the release of a digital edition of the Tregelles Greek New Testament. Thanks to his contributions, as well as the other people who worked on this project, the team was able to produce a digital edition of Tregelles’ text as well as a secondary text which consists of corrections to Tregelles’ text.

Because they produced the text under the attribution, non-commercial, share-alike license,  I was able to re-compile their texts for use in BibleWorks. If you want to know more about the Tregelles text itself or the Tregelles project, check out the official website and the Introductory PDF. The PDF is especially valuable because it documents the 469 changes they made to the original Tregelles text.

As far as the BibleWorks implementation, I only have a few things to say.

  1. Whereas the Tregelles project noted section and paragraph breaks, I have simply dumbed those breaks down into paragraph breaks which are marked by the ¶ in the text.
  2. The Pericope of Adultery (John 7:53-8:11) is not part of the main text of Tregelles, but he does include in the note readings according to the D codex and Stephanus. There wasn’t a great way to include these, but both are given one after another (first D and then Stephanus) in the BibleWorks text under the same verse. Example John 8:1 reads [[ Ιησους δε επορευθη εις το ορος των ελαιων.]] [[Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν ἐλαιῶν ]]. Both readings are in double brackets to show that they are not part of the main text. The first set of double brackets is the D text, it does not have accents and smooth breathing marks. The second text is from the Stephanus reading.
  3. There are two versions (TNT1 and TNT2) available for download here. TNT1 represents the original Tregelles reading and TNT2 represents the corrected version. You will most likely want to use TNT2, but TNT1 was provided for the sake of comparison.
  4. These files are also being released with verse mapping files thanks to the kind and efficient work of Mark Eddy.
  5. The re-use of these files still remains under the Creative Commons License of Dirk Jongkind and the Tregelles project.

DOWNLOAD TNT1 (Uncorrected Tregelles Greek NT) (unzip all files to your \databases\ subfolder)

DOWNLOAD TNT2 (Corrected Tregelles Greek NT) (unzip all files to your \databases\ subfolder)

Installation Instructions, Part 1 - Versions

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Many folks have asked for instructions on how to install the various files that are hosted on this blog. I’ve posted the first of hopefully several pages dedicated to their installation.

Before you jump to the tutorial, please note the following: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of actually reading your BibleWorks help files! For you to get the biggest bang out of the bucks you shelled out to buy BibleWorks, reading the help files is a necessity. I have been using BW since 4.0, and I still learn things from the help files when I review them. The instructions provided are meant to be a supplement to the help files. They do not serve as a replacement.

Helpful list of modules

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

I’ve referenced his blog numerous times before, but Mark Hoffman provides another great post on his blog in which he creates an organized list of BibleWorks versions available and breaks them down into different groups in order for you to see what is all available. As the number of user databases have grown, the list has become quite long and so it’s nice when others reorganize the data into ways which make it easier to see what’s all out there.

If you want to download some of these lists check out the following links:

List of BibleWorks7 Texts: XLS spreadsheet / PDF:grouped / PDF:A>Z

BibleWorks 7 Tutorial/Tips Online

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Did you know that if you Google “BibleWorks 7″ this blog doesn’t even show up on the first page of searches? Well it didn’t yesterday anyway, but in a shameless effort in order to increase the logic of the search engine, I will try to mention BibleWorks 7 specifically more often.

(This actually is not even an ego- or monetary-driven plot. I think if someone is looking at BibleWorks 7 this website would be one of the best things they would want to know about because they would learn that when they purchase BibleWorks 7, they’re not only getting all of the great things that come as part of the program, they’re also getting a humongous list of other freebies, some of which are not available on any other platform.)

However, in a Google search for “BibleWorks”, our blog does show up and on the first page of the search is also this neat little link to an instructional guide to BibleWorks 7 from the Yale Divinity Library.

Now chances are you aren’t going to learn anything new from it if you’ve been using BibleWorks 7 for a long time, but sometimes we learn best by constant review and seeing things explained from a different point of view. Also, if you’re like me, you probably only read Help files as a last resort, so you might have missed something really basic quite early on. In any case, here’s the link for you again:

Divinity Library Instructional Guide: BibleWorks 7.0

New Modules - Old Hebrew Grammar Series

Friday, July 11th, 2008

I would be remiss if I neglected to mention that since the last major updating there has been not one, two, or even three new Hebrew grammar modules made available by Pasquale. Quite frankly I didn’t even know that so many existed. All of these are out of print and copyright editions (so they are rather old), but nevertheless, they still might be useful to specialists in the field or else to those who simply like to see how others explain certain grammatical features. They are all modules of images of each page of the real book (so searching and copying and pasting is not really an option with them), which may downgrade their value. But then again, you’re not going to be paying anything for them, so why are you complaining?

However, to increase their value, Pasquale has added a special feature to these files. Can you tell me what it is and how it is helpful? If anyone can figure it out, they will get the spotlight in the next blog post.

So here are the goods: (follow along with the series on the BibleWorks forums)

New Module - Von Soden’s Apparatus

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Another module by Pasquale, this work includes Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments by Hermann Freiherr von Soden, images of the pages of the real book arranged in order of the New Testament.

  • The electronic edition of von Soden’s Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments pages 102-289 used by permission of Clint Yale
  • Table 1 - it came from L.Vaganay - An introduction to New Testament textual criticism - pag 156 - Cambridge University Press 1991
  • Von Soden images used by permission of - Center For The Study Of New Testament Manuscripts

It can be used in tandem with the Tischendorf Critical Appartatus that is already in BibleWorks 7.

DOWNLOAD! 170 MB file!

New Vocabulary File - Hebrew Verb Diagnostics

Friday, July 11th, 2008

This vocab module was put together by Matt Hauger. The zip file includes a text readme, which offers the following explanation:

These forms are based on Pratico and Van Pelt’s charts in the back of ‘Basics of Biblical Hebrew.’ This book lacks charts on Qal weak verbs, however; these are drawn from the relevant chapters on each Qal form. In general, only those weak forms that differ from the corresponding strong form are included here. Not all the differing Hithpael weak forms from the chart are included; many of those forms do not even appear in the Hebrew Bible, and Hithpael forms are easily identified by their preformatives.

You can also find more on this module at the BibleWorks forums.

The idea behind it is that by looking at the markers of various verbal forms, the reader can become better at recognizing what makes a Qal imperfect or a Niphal cohortative. A picture shows how he accomplishes this:

The scholarly Hebraist might recognize the above as a typical formation of a Qal imperfect III-aleph verb, with the qames (long a-class vowel) under the 2nd consonant of the verb stem rather than a holem (o-class vowel), as is “typical” for a Qal imperfect. When coupled with a grammar, this vocabulary file is a great way to review the rules of the parsing game!


Save the zip file to your hard disk, then unzip the .vrt file to your c:\Program Files\BibleWorks 7\init folder (assuming a default installation).

Once you’ve unzipped the .vrt file to you init folder, then open BibleWorks. Once you have BibleWorks open, open the Vocabulary module –

Tools | Vocabulary Flashcard Module

Once you have the vocab module open, choose File | Import and navigate to the .vrt file you just unzipped into this folder.