Category Archives: English

BibleWorks10: New Features

This is the last post of my five-post review of BibleWorks (BW). In the first four posts, we looked at BW as a whole, the Search Window, the Browse Window, and the Analysis Window. This post will focus on some key new databases and features in BW10 that enrich our study of the Scriptures.

BW10 starts up Untitledfaster than BW9 did. The first, most notable feature in BW10 is the new screen layout and colors that allow one to define his own color schemes for the windows. A comprehensive list of new features and databases is available. Here is just some of the key ones.

1) Samaritan Pentateuch by August Freiherrn von Gall: OT students now can compare between the Masoretic, Septuagint, and Samaritan texts.

2) High-resolution tagged images of the Leningrad Codex: the verse locations in the manuscript are tagged so one can easily locate and display any verse.

3) Nestle-Aland GNT 28th edition

4) New English Translation of the Septuagint (2007)

5) Danker’s Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the NT (2009)

6) Instant lemma form usage info for Greek and Hebrew: the new Forms tab in the Analysis Window gathers together usage statistics for morphologically tagged Greek and Hebrew texts.

7) EPUB reader & library manager: the new EPUB tab in the Analysis Window allows one to read EPUB files and manage libraries of EPUB files.

8) Complete audio Greek NT: sound files for NA27 Greek NT & Robinson-Pierpont Greek NT.

If you are using an old version of BW, I strongly recommend upgrading to BW10; it is worth the $189. If you never used BW, I encourage you to purchase it for your own study and ministry. BW also offers extra modules for reasonable prices. Among many helpful modules BW offers are Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (BDAG) by Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich; Reformed Dogmatics (4 volumes) (BAVI) by Herman Bavinck; Stuttgart Original Languages Module (Old and New Testament texts with the NA28 & BHS critical apparatuses and morphologies) (SOLM); Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (HALOT) by Kohler, Baumgartner, and Stamm; and Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Abridged) (TDNT) by Kittel, Friedrich, and Bromiley.

BW also has group discounts and, for unlikely situations, BW has a 30-day warranty and return policy where you can return it for any reason within 30 days. The intent of this warranty is to give the users sufficient time to decide whether BW fulfills their Bible research and study needs.

Sherif L. Gendy, PhD student

BibleWorks10: The Analysis Window

This is the fourth post in my five-post review of BibleWorks (BW). In the first post, we looked at BW int1as a whole and how it can be used to enhance our reading of the Scriptures and aid our exegetical studies. We looked in the second post at the Search Window, which is the first of three main windows in BW, where searches are performed on the various Bible versions. In the third post, was discussed the second window, the Browse Window, where the text of verses resulting from searches in the Search Window is displayed.

Today, we look at the third and last main window in BW—the Analysis Window (AW). The AW displays an analysis of the biblical text in the Browse Window through various functions that are accessed by a set of 18 tabs across the top of the window. Each tab represents a separate tool to analyze the text.

The AW can be split into two columns with each column having a portion of the total tabs available. This split allows one to use two tools at once and have them both visible. Through the Analysis Tab Options one can chose which tabs appear in each column with preferred orders.Untitled

All the tabs are extremely helpful but three of them are worthy of note. The Word Analysis Tab displays lexical and other verse-specific information automatically as one moves the mouse cursor over text in the Browse Window. The Resource Summary Tab displays a comprehensive index to information related to the current word or verse in the Browse Window. It includes a list of abbreviated lexicon entries, grammatical resources, as well as the places in various recourses where this verse is cited. New addition to BW10, the AW Leningrad Codex Tab displays high-resolution tagged images of the Leningrad Codex for the Old Testament in Hebrew.

In short, if you have an exegetical question or textlinguistic inquiry, you will most likely find the answers in the AW.

Sherif L. Gendy, PhD student

BibleWorks10: The Browse Window

int1This is the third post on my four-post review of BibleWorks. The first post was a general introduction of the program with some notable features highlighted. In the second post,whatis-browsewindow-full I talked about the first of the three main windows in BibleWorks, the Search Window (SW). In this post, we look at the Browse Window (BW), which is located in the center of BibleWorks.

The BW is where the text of verses resulting from searches in the SW is displayed. The BW is composed of two main parts. The first part is the Header, which is the upper portion of the BW. Fully customizable, the Header can display a dropdown outline of the Bible or a series of navigation list boxes, allowing one to select the Bible version, book, chapter, and verse. One of the interesting options in the Header is a dropdown list on the left side that allows one to choose from various Bible outlines and set outline options. These outlines were produced by the editors of different Bible translations. Another important dropdown list in the Header is the Browse Window Options. This is where different toggle options are available. One toggle that I find helpful is the Toggle Difference Highlighting. When selected, this toggle shows the word use differences in all the Bible versions by having them marked with color highlighting in the Test Area.

The second part of the BW is the Text Area, which displays the text of verses. Text can be displayed in two modes, Single Version Browse Mode (where a verse is displayed in its larger biblical context in a running, continuous text) or Multiple Version Mode (where a verse is displayed in many different Bible versions). One can easily toggle between the browse mode and the multiple version mode. The Text Area is closely linked with the SW. A double click on a word runs a search for it in SW. A double click on a version label will make that version the default search version. There is a number of menu searching options through a right click on a word in the Text Area. For example, one can search on lemma for a Hebrew or Greek word to find any instance of that word no matter what form it takes in the text. Through a right click in the Text Area one can lookup text in the default Bible dictionary, lookup a place name in the BibleWorks maps, and other options for looking up a word in a lexicon. For New Testament Greek text, one can also right click on a word and choose to open a New Testament diagram at that word or listen to the text read in Greek.

In short, the BW is the primary means to read and view the biblical text. It is as if your physical Bible is open right before your eyes with many fast ways and easy options to flip its pages and navigate its content.

Sherif L. Gendy, PhD student

BibleWorks10: The Search Window

In the last post, I introduced BibleWorks (BW) as a whole and how it can enhance your study of the maxresdefaultScripture. In this post, we look at the Search Window (SW), which is the first of three main windows in BW and located on the left. The SW provides a user interface that is used for performing searches on the various Bible versions in BW.

The SW is composed of two main parts. The first part is the Command Line, which is a text input box located at the top. It is where one enters words, phrases, morphology searches, or verses to look up. The number of different search options varies from a simple search for a word or phrase to searches that are more complex. For example, you can do a linear phrase search, specify verse context limits, or specify word context limits for lexical phrase searches. There is much more you can do in the Command Line.

The second part of the SW is the Results Verse List Box. It is a list box under the Command Line that displays the text of the verses resulting from the search. The verse list contains check boxes for each verse reference that enable further processing on selected verse results. For example, you can repeat last copy command, copy selected results list verse, or invert verse list.

What is unique about the SW is that biblical scholars can perform complex lexical and morphological searches that otherwise would take hours, if not days, to do them manually. Accuracy in results and speed in search performance are two key components that set BW apart as a Bible software program. Let us look at an example of complex search in Hebrew and Greek.

Hebrew: To search for any piel OR hithpael form of the stem כפר AND any form of the stem עון OR חטא you simply type (/כפר@vp* כפר@vt*).(/עון חטא) in the Command Line with the WTM (Westminster Hebrew OT Morphology) selected as the search version.

Greek: To search for the word καλoς followed by a form of the word εργον within five words, with the two words agreeing in gender, case, and number all you have to do is to type ‘καλoς =gcn *5 εργον in the Command Line with the BNM (NA28 BibleWorks Greek NT Morphology) selected as the search version.

These are just examples of a lot more complex searches one can perform in the SW of BW. One can search the entire Bible or limit the search to an arbitrary collection of passages or books. Once searching is done, BW gives detailed statistics with options to transfer texts, verses, parallel passages from different versions, entire Bibles, and lexicon entries to one’s favorite word processor.

In sum, the SW is a key part of BW that opens many doors to close analysis of the text for further exegesis and intertextual studies. The SW is where you start your journey of understanding the biblical text through BW.

Sherif L. Gendy, PhD student

BibleWorks10: Introduction

I have been using BibleWorks (BW) since it is 5th edition. Ever since, I have been upgrading and bibleworks-10-screenshotusing its new additions of resources and functions. As a PhD student in biblical studies, I rely on BW for my research and use it regularly for my work on biblical languages, morphology, sentence flow, and discourse analysis.

In this blog series, I share my experience of using BW, with special attention to BW10, to show how your reading of God’s Word will be immensely enhanced as you avail oneself of BW10. This first post introduces BW as a whole and highlights some tools that I find useful in studying the Scriptures. The next three posts will explain some of the main functions of the three core Windows in BW: Search Window, Browse Window, and Analysis Window. The final post will highlight the new resources in BW10.

As the most comprehensive Bible software program I have ever used, BW offers numerous tools needed for close exegesis of the original text of the Bible. It has 200+ Bible translations in 40 languages, 50+ original language texts and morphology databases, dozens of lexical-grammatical references, plus several integrated analysis tools.

When you focus on a biblical passage, whether for an academic research, sermon preparation, or simple daily reading, you would definitely need some tools and resources to help you better grasp the text’s meaning. BW achieves two goals in a simple, straightforward way: it saves your time looking for information in books, and it points you to the text without simply making a hermeneutical decision for you. Thus, your exegesis, based on biblical languages, is accomplished efficiently and accurately as you use BW’s tools, which will enrich your study of the biblical text. Through BW, you interact with the text firsthand.

BW is inevitable if you are looking into doing a linguistic and intertextual analysis. Finding echoes, allusions, or direct quotations across the Testaments is made easy with the use of BW’s several search options and cross references. With a simple search, you can see how a certain word is used across the Testaments, in the LXX, Targum, or Pseudepigrapha. Text-linguistic analysis is effortlessly achievable through the aid of BW and its lexical and syntactic resources.

The tools for analyzing the text (e.g., related verses, phrase matching) and viewing the text (e.g., parallel versions, synopsis window, text comparison), are particularly helpful for nonacademic Bible students and readers. Whereas, the more academic resources that I find very helpful are the lexical-grammatical references for Hebrew (e.g., Joüon-Muraoka, Waltke & O’Connor), Aramaic (e.g., Reymond), and Greek (e.g., Danker, Wallace), text criticism resources (e.g., NT critical apparatus), and reference works (e.g., Bible dictionaries, confessions of faith, detailed satellite and elevation maps, and commentaries). These tools and resources are fully integrated and tagged with the text.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of resources found in BW10. For a complete list of resources, see the full contents of BW10 here.

The next post will look into the Search Window in BW10 with its numerous functions and options.

Sherif L. Gendy, PhD student

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Bound for the Promised Land: The Land Promise in God’s Redemptive Plan

Oren R. Martin, Bound for the Promised Land: The Land Promise in God’s Redemptive Plan, Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2015. Pp. 208. $25.00, paper.9780830826353

In this book, Oren R. Martin demonstrates how, within the redemptive-historical framework of God’s unfolding plan, the land promised to Abraham advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden. This promise also serves as a type throughout Israel’s history, anticipating the even greater land, prepared for God’s people, which will come as a result from the person and work of Christ. This land will be enjoyed in the new creation for eternity. Martin unpacks the land promise as it progressively unfolds across the Bible’s two Testaments in ten chapters as follows.

1. BIBLICAL THEOLOGY AND THE LAND PROMISE

Here Martin lays the foundation for his study by briefly surveying the land promise in biblical scholarship. He explains his approach, which includes unity in the diversity among the books of the Bible, continuity between the Old and New Testaments, progressive typology, and interpreting texts within their textual, epochal, and canonical horizons.

2. THE BEGINNING AND THE END: THE LAND AND THE KINGDOM

In this chapter, Martin shows how the land theme is organically related to both the kingdom of God and the covenants as they unfold and progress across the canon. More specifically, he establishes a framework for understanding the place of God’s people in the kingdom. Martin concludes that the biblical story describes the teleological design of God’s people in his place under his rule.

3. MAKING THE PROMISE: GENESIS

Martin considers here the importance of Genesis 1–11 for the entrance of Abraham into God’s redemptive plan. He examines the nature and scope of the Abrahamic covenant and the promise of God in Genesis 12–50. He concludes that, with Eden as the prototypical place for the kingdom, the land promised to Abraham advances the place of the kingdom. This land promised is a type of a greater reality with international and worldwide dimensions.

4. ADVANCING THE PROMISE: EXODUS-DEUTERONOMY

This chapter evaluates the progress of God’s fulfillment of his promise of land to Abraham in two plot movements in Israel’s history. First, Martin looks at the exodus event and demonstrates how it is a means through which God fulfills his promises to his people, constituting the beginning of a great journey to relocate to a new land. Second, Martin considers Deuteronomy’s way of portraying the land. This includes the land as a gift Yahweh owns, a new paradise with the Edenic creational mandate passing on to Israel, and a place of inheritance and rest where “life” and “prolonging of days” are experienced when there is obedience.

5. PARTIALLY FULFILLING THE PROMISE: JOSHUA-KINGS

In this chapter, Martin continues his focus on the progress of the fulfillment of the land through Joshua and Kings. Standing in continuity with Deuteronomy, Joshua marks a new beginning that results in conquest, occupation, and possession of the land. With the arrival of David, who appears in a Joshua-like role, the fulfillment of God’s promise of the land significantly advances and escalates. Solomon is portrayed as an Adam-like figure who on the one hand typifies a restoration to Edenic conditions, while on the other hand being responsible, through his disobedience, for the second expulsion from the sanctuary-land and the end of the monarchy.

6. FULFILLING THE PROMISE? EXILE AND THE PROPHETS OF AN ESCHATOLOGICAL HOPE

In this chapter, Martin examines the loss of land in exile and the prophetic anticipation of an international and universal restoration brought through a new covenant, which advances God’s cosmological plan from Adam through Abraham, and is cast in terms of an Edenic land, city, and temple—all of which are coextensive. Martin concludes that through the substitutionary work of a Davidic Servant-Shepherd-King, God will make a new creation that is reminiscent of the idyllic conditions of Eden, where his people will dwell securely.

7. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE INAUGURATED: THE GOSPELS

In this chapter, Martin examines the most relevant passages in the Gospels of Matthew and John to demonstrate that the land promised to Abraham will finally be won by Christ. Christ, being the typological fulfillment of Israel, has inaugurated a new creational kingdom through his physical resurrection.

8. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE INAUGURATED: THE EPISTLES

Martin considers here the fulfillment of the land promise in Paul, highlighting the inheritance language that Paul uses which is linked to the Abrahamic promises. There is a future orientation inherent within the idea of inheritance, which is expressed through the typological correspondences that unfold within the Old Testament. The fulfillment in Hebrews comes through Christ and his work. God will bring those who preserve in faith into his eschatological rest, the heavenly Jerusalem, their final homeland, and the unshakeable kingdom. Finally, in Peter we see a transformed eschatological reality with the promised new heaven and new earth.

9. THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE CONSUMMATED: THE ESCHATOLOGICAL KINGDOM IN REVELATION

In this chapter, Martin examines the new creation in the book of Revelation as the fulfillment of the land promise. More specifically, the new creation is depicted as Edenic paradise, temple, and city (new Jerusalem).

10. THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS

Martin concludes his study by making theological connections and applying the interpretative findings of the previous chapters to eschatology. More specifically, this chapter evaluates how the land promise is interpreted and fulfilled in the theological systems of dispensationalism and covenant theology. In the end, the chapter provides a via media in the light of the arguments presented throughout the book.

Martin’s via media is indeed what covenant theology teaches if understood properly. It seems that Martin is equating covenant theology with replacement theology, which is not accurate. Covenant theology does not see the church replacing Israel; rather the church consists of the believing Israel along with believing gentiles in both the Old and New Testaments.

Martin skillfully connects the land theme with the garden of Eden in one hand, and the new heaven and new earth on the other. He reads the land promise in light of the overall plan of redemption and particularly through the person and work of Christ. Martin interacts with many scholars and cites a number of resources to the point where his own voice is lost in the presentation. It is hard to distinguish his own argument or contribution in the subject.

Sherif L. Gendy

This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and Its Oddities

Matthew Richard Schlimm, This Strange and Sacred Scripture: Wrestling with the Old Testament and Its Oddities, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015. Pp. 272. $22.99, paper.9780801039799

In this book, Matthew Richard Schlimm offers strategies for reading and appropriating the OT, showing how it can shape the lives of Christians today and helping them appreciate the OT as a friend in faith. Schlimm discusses twelve theological and biblical issues found in the OT.

1- IS THE OLD TESTAMENT AN ENEMY, STRANGER, OR FRIEND TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH?

In this chapter, Schlimm shows how the OT can give the church fresh ways of thinking about God, humanity, and creation.

2- OUR FLEETING MOMENTS IN PARADISE

Schlimm tries to make the case for reading the stories in Genesis 2–4 symbolically rather than being historical narratives. For Schlimm, the characters of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel are simply mirror images of ourselves as representatives of humanity as a whole. This conclusion seems to go against the way in which the rest of the Scripture understands these chapters and their characters.

3- DARKNESS OVER THE FACE OF THE DEEP

Schlimm argues here that the OT critically borrowed ideas from surrounding cultures. Therefore, Christians should be critically open to evolution and see science as a friend to the Scripture. Schlimm does not address the question of the extend to which Christians should be pen to evolutionary theories and scientific discoveries when they contradict the Scripture?

4- THE R-RATED BIBLE

Schlimm discusses different approaches of dealing with Bible’s morally questionable stories including, in one hand, searching for saints in the text to uphold them as examples to follow, and on the other hand, the “pursuing paradigms” approach which admits that no human in Scripture provides a perfect model for us to emulate. Schlimm argues that reading stories well requires us to understand the story experience, which reflects real-life experiences.

5- KILLING ALL THAT BREATHES: VIOLENCE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Schlimm seeks to correct some mistaken premises when one reads the OT violence. He makes helpful hermeneutical observations that description is not prescription, we should not imitate God, we should not apply such texts directly to our daily lives, and we should not read individual passages in isolation from other passages.

6- MALE AND FEMALE GOD CREATED THEM: GENDER AND THE OLD TESTAMENT

Schlimm provides his approach, which requires rejecting biased interpretation and seeking gender equality, counteracting male-centeredness, by questioning troublesome texts, and by recovering neglected texts that work against male domination.

7- GOD COMMANDS US TO DO WHAT?! THE STRANGE LAWS OF THE BIBLE

Schlimm lays out some laws that seem strange in the OT including dietary, purity, and ritual laws. Schlimm suggests that we read these laws with sympathy and openness, paying attention to culture’s customs and relating particulars to the whole.

8- IS THE LAW ENGRAVED IN STONE? THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF GOD’S LAW

Schlimm invites us to think of the OT as a law professor, where we encounter issues that beckon for serious theological reflections—matter like holiness, poverty, disgust, food, sacred space, and sacrifice.

9- TRUTH IS MANY SIDED

Schlimm deals with the question whether the OT contradicts itself. He admits that there are many sorts of theological and ethical tensions within the Bible. He argues that since God is transcendent, his truths in the Bible are much bigger than we are and present conversations about who God is and what he wants from us.

10- DROWNING IN TEARS AND RAGING AT GOD

Schlimm reflects on the prayers of complaint in the Bible to highlight their acknowledgment of the grief, anger, and anguish that normally accompany life. But there is also hope: that night shall end, and a brighter day shall arrive.

11- GREAT AND TERRIBLE IS THE WRATH OF THE LORD

Schlimm seeks to explain God’s anger to show how the OT reveals a God who is deeply concerned about evil—but also slow to anger. He argues that God’s anger exists in uneasy tension with his love. Schlimm concludes that the OT shows four characteristics about God’s anger: 1) it is real; 2) it needs to be taken seriously; 3) God is slow to anger; and 4) This anger does not endure.

12- THE OLD TESTAMENT’S AUTHORITY

In thinking about the OT’s authority, Schlimm offers his model of the Old Testament as our friend in faith. According to this model, the OT offers an invitation to a richer, fuller, and more faithful life.

This seeks to invite Bible readers to see the OT as a friend of faith, thus it becomes accessible, personal, and practical. Each chapter ends with a list of annotated books and recommended resources for further study.

Working under the false assumption that the OT is an enemy, Schlimm tries to make a friend out of it. The weakness of Schlimm’s suggested model is not recognizing that the Scriptures primarily bear witness to Christ and his work (Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39). Thus, any reading that dismisses Christ and his work from its focus misses the purpose of the OT and its role as a Christian Scripture.

 Sherif L. Gendy