Re: Computer tools for B-Greek?

Date: Wed Feb 16 2000 - 17:59:01 EST

In a message dated 2/16/2000 3:26:59 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<< >From: Ryan Simmons <>
>To: Biblical Greek <>
>Subject: Computer tools for B-Greek?
>Date: Tue, Feb 15, 2000, 3:32 PM
> I want critical
> electronic texts with an apparatus of variant readings
> of the NT, LXX, and Hebrew. I would like search tools
> and statistics that are as helpful and reliable as
> good printed concordances. I would like a selection
> of the leading lexicons in electronic format with
> citations of examples indexed to the text similar to
> Alsop's index of BAGD. I also want an index of the
> LXX text giving the Greek words used to translate each
> Hebrew word. In addition to all this wishful
> thinking, some electronic format of an arrangement of
> the text of the gospels such as Aland's Synopsis
> Quattuor Euangelorium would be nice.
> Besides the expense of a printed library containing
> the critical texts, good lexicons, indexes to those
> lexicons, and concordances of each set of literature,
> the use of these bulky volumes is more cumbersome than
> hyperlinked texts. I just don't know of an electronic
> package that is as good as the printed references. Is
> there such a thing? If not, what is the best
> available? My Greek professor and fellow students
> would be grateful for your suggestions.
 *****private post, off list****
 Ryan Simmons,
 Your wish list is somewhat utopian. I have been using what has been
 called by some the most advanced system for computer based research in
 biblical languages since fall of 1994. I have all the modules installed
 that have anything whatsoever to do with biblical languages and textual
 research. This system addresses *in some form* about 70% of your
 requests including the gospel synopsis and MT/LXX lexical data. It does
 not address the critical text issue. This system only runs on a Mac. You
 may have heard of it.
 Guess what? I still prefer to use physical books for most of my work.
 Why? Simply because the computer tools, no matter how good, are somewhat
 inflexible. They always represent some particular way of looking at the
 problem and they freeze this perspective into the architecture of the
 software so that you end up with a tool which will impose restraints on
 how you do your work. These restraints stifle thought.
 This problem is addressed in detail by Matthew Brook O'Donnell** in his
 article "The Use of Annotated Corpora for New Testament Discourse
 Analysis." O'Donnell points out how most databases currently in use mix
 discourse levels within the same tag (e.g., morhphologial and semantic
 data). He also points out the more subtle and often overlooked issue
 that the architecture of the database reflects a particular school of
 linguistics (e.g., generative, functional, etc). This second problem is
 the most serious of the two. I would add to O'Donnell's astute
 observations that the architecture of the search engine also represents
 a school of linguistics. So what you end up with is a
 database/search-engine which only lets you ask certain kinds of
 questions cast into the form in which E.A. Nida or someone like him
 might raise the question. (I am not picking on Nida. He is just the
 first person who came to mind.)
 Short of building your own databases (an arduous task) you will never
 escape the problem mentioned above. A number of people doing research at
 the Roehampton Institute have taken to building their own databases. I
 have no idea how they go about this. But I would guess that they have
 some tools that reduce this task to a reasonable number of labor hours.
 I did some database building of my own in the early 90's but gave it up
 for Lent :-)))))))

I use Logos software. It does run on Windows (pity those poor, unfortunate
fellows who are stuck with MACs :-)). You can search the Greek or Hebrew
using wildcards. You can link the LXX to the MT (this is about as close as
you're likely to come to linking the words themselves). There are Greek
(BAGD, LSJ [middle Liddell], Louw-Nida) and Hebrew (BDG abridged and
complete, Swanson -- OT version of Louw-Nida [separate vols. for Hebrew &
Aramaic]) Lexica. Also there is an abridged version of TDNT with the
possibility of a complete version. There is, however, no critical apparatus.
 You can make notes which you can link to different Bibles and verses. You
can export your notes in ASCII, RTF, HTML, or Unicode.



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