Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Logos Bible 4 Upgrade: Is It Worth It?

I have the old Logos Bible Scholar's Edition. To upgrade it would cost me $472.46. To the credit of Logos I was able to download the free engine for Logos 4 and utilize the purchased modules I already have. Personally, I do not feel that I should have to keep buying the same software over and over again every time there is a new release of Windows or the base Bible software.

Microsoft's new Windows 7 will not run Windows XP, XP Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2 software. But Windows 7 does work with Windows XP Service Pack 3. So I lost my old XP copy of Zondervan's 1995 version of The Expositor's Bible Commentary. My old laptop burned out the video card so I had to buy a new laptop. So now I am out the $100.00 I spent a few years ago for The Expositor's Bible Commentary software from Zondervan. While the commentary is basically a pulpit commentary, the introductory notes were especially helpful and the commentary is from a basically reformed perspective, although some of it is weak reformed theology.

Microsoft wants to make you spend more money so their new operating system does not include the virtual mode for running XP software. That's going to cost you $89.95 to upgrade from the Home Premium Edition--which comes with most new computers--to Windows 7 Professional Edition.

So the other option I have is to buy The Expositor's Bible Commentary for Logos 4. How much will that cost me to upgrade? Not much. It's only $129.99 if you pre-order. But how much will it cost if you wait until it is released? God only knows but the suggested retail price Logos has on the website is $456.68. See the pricing at The Expositor's Bible Commentary. The Logos pre-order prices are not excessive but the problem is new releases often have numerous bugs and typos. Logos does include a way to report typos which they promise to report to the publishers for correction at the next release.

O.K., I have admit that I love being able to do exegesis on the computer. Logos has been a useful tool. But as I said in an earlier post it does not deliver everything it promises, particularly in the parsing modules. I found several niphal Hebrew forms which were listed as qal in the parsing. I do not know if that was because of errors made by the publisher or if it is an error made by the Logos programmers. The morphological tags were obviously in error on those points.

I have not tried Bible Works 8.0 yet but I am eagerly awaiting the delivery so I can compare it with Logos 4. Stay tuned!


Vincent said...

Hello, Charlie!

The price you are quoting for upgrading to Logos 4 is basically the sale price ("Introductory Special" good through Jan 31) for a new purchase of Scholar's Library. I'm not sure how many years old your version of Scholar's Library is. The original Scholar's Library had about 60 books, and the current collection has 475, and they don't actually share as many titles as simple subtraction might suggest. So for folk who bought Scholar's Library 9 years ago and never upgraded in between, there isn't special upgrade pricing (other than the Introductory Special) to get all the way up to the 475 current titles. However, there is a minimum crossgrade that gets you some of the new databases that really make Logos 4 sing that is available for about $70 which you may qualify for even if your copy of SL is older. And anyone who has a much more recent copy of Scholar's Library qualifies for a highly discounted cross-grade to the new Scholar's Library that provides about 100 new titles and databases, for about $130. In any event, a live customer service rep (800-87-LOGOS) could do a better job of figuring out your upgrade options depending on what you own.

We certainly don't structure the upgrades so that folk have to buy the same books over and over again.

Zondervan has not yet announced what kind of discounts might be available on the new Logos editions for owners of the previous versions of Expositor's, but the price you're quoting on Expositor's is for a complete new set, not an 'upgrade'. The 'suggested retail' is just the MSRP for the print books, as a comparison, just like how Amazon shows the list price on books next to their discounted price. As you can see, the difference between the 'Pre-pub Special' and the 'Logos Sale Price' is $0, so as far as we know, $129.99 will be the price after this is published as well. That's not normal for pre-pubs, but it's how this particular contract worked out.

On the Niphal/Qal issue, which Hebrew database are you looking at? I'm guessing if your Scholar's Library is really old, then you are looking at a really old version of the Hebrew Bible database.(You can get a file name and version number by clicking on the 'i' button at the top of the resource, and look for 'support information'.) Once you have that version info, can you give an example of the problem? Of course, we have the typo report feature if the latest database does indeed have parsing errors, but it's helpful to have some specific examples.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Vincent, I was studying Genesis 24:51-67. I'll have to get back to you on that niphal verb form.

As for the 475 new books? I read the list of what's included in the newer Scholar's Edition. Several of the books I've already purchased separately as addons. BAB, BDB, TWOT, etc. I don't see much more in addition that I could use. Those pastoral counseling and church administration things don't interest me.

I'm also not interested in sermon illustrations, outlines, or helps. I prefer to do all that myself.



Charlie J. Ray said...

I most always report typos when I find them. I do know how to report typos.


Charlie J. Ray said...

Vincent, the database file for the BHS I have is dated 1991. Also, the updates are downloaded regularly so I don't see how the database could be the problem. It's the same basic product that came out with the original Scholar's Edition.

Also, I've looked at the listing of books included with the Scholar's Upgrade and most of them I have added on individually already. Additionally, many of those 400 plus books you mention are not what I would consider academic. Some of them are available on the internet for online reading, like Luther's commentary on Galatians, etc.

As for the parsing, I noted at least one instance in Genesis 24:57 where the verb lemma qara' is identified in the information window for the BHS as qal, imperfect, 1st person, common, plural. However, the form of the word is niqera'. Basic Hebrew tells you that verbs beginning with nun are the niphal form. this is confirmed when one searches the BDB for niqera'. It comes up under both I. qara' and II. qara' as a niphal, perfect, 3rd masculine singular and once as a participle in that form in Isaiah 43:7.

Strong's lexicon gets it wrong as well since Strong's also lists it as a qal.

Also, when you popup the information window for niqera' the definitions are all way off. It doesn't even give the verb. Several are references to "partridge" and other such nonsense. (See TWOT and Strongs).

So instead of getting a straightforward parsing and definition from a lexicon I had to dig further. The point being that I knew it was wrong based on the English translation and on my knowledge of Hebrew verb forms. But someone not knowledgeable would not know to look further and do a search for niqera' in BDB or the Hebrew Reference Grammar.

Also, I remember doing a morphological search for niqera' in BHS and every occurence incorrectly listed niqera' as qal rather than niphal.

So my complaint is that "ease of use" isn't easy. I had to fine tune when the basic parsing/morphology should have done it correctly the first time.

My other complaint is that Hebrew words with the waw conjunction prefix simply pops up the information for the prefix or the prepositional prefix without parsing the entire word formation. For example, in Genesis 24:57 the first word is wayyo'meru. This is the waw particle conjunction prefixed to the verb. The info says "waw." Wow!

Well, to correctly parse wayyo'meru you have to highlight the everything after the waw and then point to the word to get the info. Then you get the right parsing: yawmar, verb, qal,imperfect waw consecutive, masculine plural.

So maybe I'm splitting hairs but it seems to me that "ease of use" means I don't have to figure out how to get the right display info but when I point the mouse to the verb the info window should not says simply "waw" but the above information I get when I go through additional steps.

Those are at least two concrete examples. I hope this clarifies things.



Charlie J. Ray said...

Ok, in fairness, I did look up Isaiah 43:7 in the BHS and haniqera' is properly parsed as a niphal participle, masculine singular. Now let me check the Strong's number via the KJV and see how it is parsed there in the Tense Voice and Mood module.

Strong's number link to T/V/M also gets it right!

This is how it is supposed to work.

I'm waiting to compare Bible Works to see if it has similar problems. Rest assured that I will give that software the same rigorous review.



Vincent said...

I'm still not sure which Hebrew database you're using (I'd need the file name and version number from that resource information screen), but it doesn't really matter since all the databases I have agree on Genesis 24:57, as does the Analytical Key to the Old Testament. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament also lists Gen 24:57 under the Qal uses of this verb.

When I check the parsing against a paradigm chart for Hebrew verbs just to make sure I'm not crazy, qr' has an aleph in the third consonant, and when I look up the Qal imperfect first person common plural form for 3-aleph verbs I see nimsa' which looks exactly like niqra' to me in terms of the morphological pattern.

Jouon-Muraoka's Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (§114b) talks about how some words syntactically have to be cohortative, even when they are not cohortative in form, and it specifically uses Gen 24:57 as an example of that phenomenon.

If you're running any but the oldest version of the Westminster database, you'll see that the morph code renders that it is cohortative 'in meaning only', and they have categories for 'in form only' and 'in form and meaning'. I think in the future we'll see databases that tag form and function where these conflict, instead of picking one over the other. But maybe this is the different in meaning that is bothering you rather than a stem change?

One other point of clarification - while upgrades to resources are free, sometimes our license to a particular database is such that a major version change requires that we make the new database a new 'resource'. So if you're running the old 2.0 or 3.5 version of the Westminster database, we can't just give away the 4.x version (though if I am remembering right for 3.5 users, we have a very reasonable upgrade price). So even with free updates it is quite possible that you're not looking at the most correct version that we have. We've also done a tremendous amount of work on linking the biblical text to the lexicons that won't be reflected in some of these old versions.

Charlie J. Ray said...


That's the information about the version.

And frankly, Vincent, if your company is going to sell products on the basis of a "standard operating platform" then WHY should I spend hundreds of dollars for commentaries that will not work or be up to date with the database in 3-5 years? That's why I bought into Logos in the first place. There was a commitment to make the library continuous for years to come.

So I could buy many different books without the need for a hard copy. So why would I spend $8,000 for the highest level of your software with the accompanying library if it will be obsolete in 4-5 years????

I can spend $25 for a hardcopy and it's good from here till I drop dead!

Secondly, I have my doubts that the database being out of date has anything to do with it since obviously YOUR database is saying the SAME thing.

The cohortative would require the ha- ending:

§15.4. The Cohortative Form
The meaning of the cohortative can broadly be described as an indirect command to the 1st person. (Cf. §19.4.) In the cohortative the suffix -ָה is added to the imperfect of the 1st person. The final stem vowel which occurs before this vocalic suffix is reduced. This phenomenon is found in every stem formation with the exception of the Hiphil where the / -ִ / occurring before the vowel suffix is retained. (Cf. §16.7.)
1 sing.‍
Let me write‍
1 pl.‍
Let us write‍
Van der Merwe, C., Naudé, J., Kroeze, J., Van der Merwe, C., Naudé, J., & Kroeze, J. (1997). A Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar (electronic ed.) (71). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ok, I checked my hardcopy of Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar. Apparently, some scholars think it is a qal imperfect in the cohortative because qara' could be irregular. Most would take the -ah ending but the aleph throws it off. But the Niphal perfect is identical in form except no -ah ending. The niphal perfect can be a middle voice similar to Greek and reflexive. Let us call...

I think BDB would be correct since BDB lists the form as a niphal perfect. The lexicon speaks directly to the issue while the grammars leave it up to syntax and judgment.

I will have to concede that the problem is most likely in the Westminster morphology and not in the software on the question of whether נִקְרָא
in Genesis 24:57 BHS is qal imperfect cohortative or niphal perfect.

However, I still dispute your point that the older database and links are the problem when the information window displays the wrong form and definition since the links are obviously working in BDB and the other lexicons. Most of the time the info window is correct but some words are not correct, which means some folks using the software will reach wrong conclusions or have trouble reading the original languages.

BDB says:

†Niph. Pf. 3 ms. נִקְרָא Je 4:20 +, 1 s. נִקְרֵאתִי Est 4:11, etc.; Impf. 3 ms. יִקָּרֵא Gn 2:23 +, וַיִּקָּרֵא Ez 20:29 +, etc.; Pt. נִקְרָא Is 43:7 Je 44:26;
Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (2000). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (electronic ed.) (896). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.


Niph. meet unexpectedly; Pf. 3 ms. נִקְרָא, c. עַל pers. Ex 5:3;
Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (2000). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (electronic ed.) (897). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.

וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֱלֹהֵי הָעִבְרִים נִקְרָא עָלֵינוּ

I will have to write a blog entry about this issue. Perhaps I have been too hasty to blame the morphology for being wrong when there might be an ambiguity there.

I still think it should be a niphal perfect due to BDB, though.



Vincent said...

I'm not sure what you mean (or if I do, but I don't think the analogy is accurate or fair). The old BHSMORPH you are using (based on the 2.x Westminster morphology) still works, exactly the way it did when you bought it. We have licensed newer databases which you have not purchased. If you bought a paper book and a 2nd edition came out, you would not expect to get a free copy. In this we are WAY ahead of the print publishing industry, since we routinely give away free improvements to the vast majority of our books. Sometimes we do have to treat a new edition (be it a revised print edition or a revised database) as a new resource and can't give away the improvements, but we don't make your old books stop working. Obviously there is a certain amount of 'obsolescence' in all reference works, since they can go into new editions or be replaced by other books that become the new standard, incorporating the latest state-of-the-art - but this is even more true for print books than it is for digital ones.

You are correct that in this instance, the parsing problem has nothing to do with your database being old - except that if you had any of the newer versions, you'd see that word marked as cohortative in meaning (but NOT in form - there is no cohortative ending).

The qal form in Gen 24:57 is not itself unusual in any way. The same form appears in Psalms 80:19, where it is not cohortative in meaning. The word forms like a standard 3-aleph, which you can verify in any paradigm chart. Since I know you have BHRG now, check "§18.4. The III Aleph That Is Not Pronounced" and in the Qal column, in the row Pl. Imperfect, 1 (25 rows down) you'll see this exact pattern of prefix and vowel.

The grammar I cited illustrates that sometimes words are cohortative in meaning but not in form. But I guess I'm repeating myself now. The bottom line is I can't find a single grammar, lexicon or database anywhere that agrees with you that this word should be parsed as a niphal. So if there's a genuine problem here, it isn't related to any specific database, but rather with the collective understanding of a great many grammarians and lexicographers.

I hope this is helpful and I'm not just frustrating you.

Vincent said...

Regarding your observation about the Information Window: like I said in a previous post, we did a LOT of work on linking correctly to the lexicon that you won't see in the Westminster 2.0 database you are using. So you'd be doing me a great favor if you didn't blog about how bad we are at linking to lexicons when you're using a database we haven't sold in many, many years. :)

The form niqra' CAN be a niphal, and so BDB isn't wrong when it lists that form under the niphal sub-entry. But it doesn't happen to be a niphal in Gen 24:57. You'll note that the BDB article doesn't treat this specific instance of the word, so I'm not going against BDB by siding with HALOT and Jouon-Muraoka and AKOT and all the databases.

In case you don't have access to the Jouon-Muraoka grammar I cited, I'll copy that here for you (from 114b):

(1) Strictly speaking, a distinction must be made between the (syntactical) cohortative mood and the cohortative form. Sometimes, indeed, the syntax clearly indicates the cohortative mood even though the form is not cohortative. In ל״א verbs the forms of the type אֶמְצְאָה, נִמְצְאָה are almost always avoided. Thus we always have אֶמְצָא חֵן let me find favour! Gn 34.11 etc.; נִמְצָא חֵן Gn 47.25 etc.; Gn 24.57 נִקְרָא let us call!;

Charlie J. Ray said...

Vincent, the database is dated 2006: 2006-03-23T21:05:57Z

The point I'm making is simple: your company is taking the Microsoft approach. Make everything obsolete so that people are always having to pay more and more to upgrade. It's a bottomless pit.

Second of all, the database you are criticizing didn't work then by your own admission since you're saying the links didn't work THEN.

Tell you what, since Bible Works is sending me a free copy of 8.0 for evaluation provided I write at least 10 or 12 posts, I will do the same for you. Send me an evaluation copy of Scholar's Edition 4 and I will compare it to Bible Works. Jim Barr was kind enough to suggest that I review their software.

I call it like I see it. What you're really saying is that your old database didn't deliver and now you want me to dish out $472.00 to find out if you did a better job on the new one?

And on top of that many of the books included in your list are what I would call pulp and not of real scholarship quality.

Regarding the Hebrew discussion, the cohortative syntactical issue really has nothing to do with the form. As the grammar says it is the total structure of the sentence that is cohortative. But then, grammars are not the final word. Gesenius does not even mention Genesis 24:57 in any of the references.

If the the form is cohortative, why doesn't the morphology mention that?

And as I pointed out the form ends with an aleph, not the qamats hay. Also, I am big enough to admit when I've made a mistake as I said earlier. There might be an ambiguity in the form since there are three possibilities: Niphal participle, Niphal perfect, or Qal imperfect (cohortative). In Exodus 5:3 the same word is parsed in the Westminster Morphology as Niphal perfect 3ms.

I'm certainly not going to endorse your product if you can't back up what you're saying. Salesmanship is one thing but a clear demonstration of the REAL capabilities of your product is quite another issue altogether.

Unless I see it with my own eyes all I have is your word on it and you're out to make money.

Sorry to put it so bluntly.

I'm not the most popular blog on the net but I do have a fair following and the interconnection factor has a way of getting around to other blogs.

Charlie J. Ray said...

"The grammar I cited illustrates that sometimes words are cohortative in meaning but not in form. But I guess I'm repeating myself now. The bottom line is I can't find a single grammar, lexicon or database anywhere that agrees with you that this word should be parsed as a niphal. So if there's a genuine problem here, it isn't related to any specific database, but rather with the collective understanding of a great many grammarians and lexicographers."

This is basically an argument from silence since you only cite a single grammar to support your view, other than the Westminster Morphological chart.

Not one of the other sources, by your own admission, even mentions it. Arguments from silence are notoriously weak.

BDB lists the form in Exodus 5:3 as Niphal perfect and so does the Westminster Morphological information. So it is a judgment call. You yourself admit the "form" is the same for both and the grammar you cited says the syntactical construction is cohortative.

It really comes down to this: Did Laban give an indirect command to call Rebekah? OR did he simply use a reflexive "let us"...? If the later, then the form is Niphal perfect which Gesenius lists as functioning much the same as the Greek middle voice.


Charlie J. Ray said...

I noticed also that you ignored my point about the library principle. If I can buy new books as needed, that is a great selling point for your product. But IF I have to purchase major upgrades that include a lot of junk I don't want or need, why would I continue to use your product?

I've bought targeted books that meet my needs several times since the original Scholar's Version. But I'm not going to buy an upgrade when I have the software and new modules that work fine.

The average pastor cannot afford that sort of upgrade every 3 or 4 years. They would rather purchase individual commentaries, lexicons, etc. as needed and based on peer review and recommendation. Most seminaries tell students not to buy multi-volume commentaries because they are a mixed bag and the scholarship is often uneven between one commentary and another in the same series.

Charlie J. Ray said...


This is the only place I found the exact pointing and it's listed as a niphal perfect masculine singular in ABHRG. Table 12 III Aleph Verbs on the very first line.


Charlie J. Ray said...

I fail to see why I have to buy the SAME BHS again simply because you have corrected database errors you made?

Vincent said...

The 2006 date you are quoting is not the date of the database contents, that is the date of the last time we ran it through our compiler so that even though the data is 10 years old, you can still use it as our technology changes.

You wrote: "I fail to see why I have to buy the SAME BHS again simply because you have corrected database errors you made?"

You don't ever have to buy the "same BHS" again. If you want a new, different BHS, it might cost something - though it is available a la carte outside of the packages you aren’t interested in. But I wasn’t suggesting you buy anything because of “errors we made”. The databases themselves have been improved by the database creators, tagging new features never before tagged, and we have created new features that never existed before, like a very accurate set of tables for getting from a database to a lexicon, even when the spelling and homograph information is entirely different.

You accused me of 'arguing from silence' - I guess in the sense that I'm pointing out that BDB is silent on the issue that you think it is supporting you on, that is true. But you challenged me to cite more authorities than Jouon-Muraoka. OK.

Analytical key to the Old Testament on Gen 24:57 has:
נִקְרָא לַנַּעֲרָ Qal impf. 1 c.p. (895)-prep.-def.art.-n.f.s. (655) we will call the maiden.

Word Biblical Commentary reads the following note on Gen 54:27:
57.a. נקרא is syntactically cohortative though formally 1 pl. impf. (SBH, 111; Joüon, 114b, n.). (No, this doesn't mention the stem, because the author thinks it is obvious - but it does say 1 pl. imperf., and the niphal form you're sure this is is the 3sm. perf. form, so it is clear that Wenham reads this as a qal.)

The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament has the following on page 1128, in the entry for qr' under the Qal stem, subentry A:
A. of people, and much more rarely of יהוה; see THAT 2:673.
—1. a.: to call someone, call someone over: with לְ Gn 12:18 20:8 24:57f 26:9 27:42 39:14;

And if you scroll one paragraph above it, you'll see niqra' listed as a Qal form in that paragraph, too - though that is just the list of Qal forms, without verses.

Waltke/O'Connor, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax §34.1.d has the following:
"The cohortative is hardly ever marked for final-he verbs, rarely for final-aleph verbs, and is indistinguishable before suffixes." And then it has a footnote using Gen 24:57's niqra' as the example. It wouldn't make sense as an example if he was talking about the Niphal perfect.

In addition to the Westminster database, the Andersen-Forbes database parses this word as: "verb, qal, active, cohortative, plural, common, first person".

The Werkgroep Informatica, Vrije Universiteit (WIVU) db renders this as: "verb, Qal, imperfect, 1st person, plural". (They don't tend to mark "common" gender the way other databases do because of the linguistic theory they follow.)

Please look again at the BHRG paradigm chart. The exact same form is used BOTH for the Niphal perfect 3ms form AND the Qal imperfect 1pc form. I counted down 25 rows, but if you're only counting rows with Hebrew in them, it's 19 rows down. I don't know how you missed it.

Have I reasonably "backed up what I'm saying"?

You asked "If the form is cohortative, why doesn't the morphology mention that?". I thought I was clear about 2 things: 1) the form isn't cohortative, the meaning is. The form is Qal imperfect 1pc. 2) If you had a newer version of the Westminster database, you'd get new features, like tags for words that are cohortative in meaning, though not in form. "Why doesn't the morphology mention that?" Answer: They hadn't tagged that feature 10 years ago.

I'm not in sales or marketing. I'm one of the technical guys who works on the Hebrew tools.

Charlie J. Ray said...

OK, I see the other form on line 25 now but when I searched the BHRG the engine only turned up the first instance for some reason.

Alright, I concede that the evidence is in favor of the cohortative form.

I don't want to upgrade anything except the databases for my exegetical tools. The BHS, NA27, LXX, BAG, BDB, etc. The lexicons and biblical texts. What is the most cost effective deal I can get to do a minimal upgrade on the databases you say are out of date?

I don't want addins or junk commentaries just the technical features to do exegesis on my own.

Vincent said...

The Original Languages Library is on sale for $312 through the end of the month (use coupon code 'Lastchance'). That is a decent collection of mostly fluff-free materials for Biblical Languages work - there's a few titles that probably don't belong, but not many (you can see the contents at www.logos.com/comparison - the column with the red dots is the Original Languages Library). It doesn't include the newer Westminster, but I got permission to offer you that for $10 (the normal price for folk who already have the Westminster 3.5 instead of your 2.0). We don't sell BAGD anymore (though if you own this already, it will still work fine) - we sell the newer, completely revised BDAG. It's available on its own for $150, or if you want a stellar Hebrew lexicon to go with it, we bundle BDAG and the 5 volume HALOT together for $274, which is a better deal.

Support Reasonable Christian Ministries with your generous donation.