Accessing the Anchor Yale Bible NT Commentary in Logos

The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary (AYB) is a phenomenal reference resource, and having a digital edition makes it even more useful. With a digital edition, you don’t have to wait until the next time you are at your theological library to look for answers to your question; it’s on your laptop or in your pocket ready to roll when the question arises. In this post, I want to show you a layout for using and accessing the AYB NT volumes in Logos Bible Software.

This is the first post in a 3-part series on the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary in Logos. You can check out the other posts here.

a layout designed for accessing reference resources
a layout designed for accessing reference resources

In the setup above there are four sections, moving clockwise, starting at the top left:

  1. Bible text
  2. Anchor Yale Bible Commentary
  3. Multiple Versions for looking up Bible references within the commentary
  4. A custom guide I created for quickly accessing key reference resources

Let’s walk through each section of this layout starting at the top left.

Bible text

In the top left you see NA28 open to the passage I’m studying. Here, the passage is Mark 1:45, an fascinating verse where Mark says Jesus was not able to enter publicly into the city; he was spending time in desolate places outside the city.

When you access a commentary, it is nice to be able to flick your eyes to the left and glance back at the text you are studying, and that is the simple purpose for this section. Notice also that this resource is marked as link set A, just like the custom guide below it. Wherever I go in NA28, my commentaries automatically follow.

NT Anchor Yale Bible Commentary

The primary purpose of this layout is to access commentaries, and that is why half of the screen is dedicated to AYB.

the right side is dedicated to commentaries
the right side is dedicated to commentaries

In this passage Jesus has healed a leper, and the leper has begun spreading the news about Jesus, despite Jesus’ instructions for him not to do that. Marcus notes that the man has become a sort of prototypical missionary broadcasting the good news everywhere. Marcus continues,

For Mark such universal promulgation of the good news is itself an eschatological sign (see again 13:10), and the conclusion of the passage with people coming to Jesus from everywhere reinforces this eschatological nuance. The healing itself fits into such a context, since the cure of one afflicted with scale-disease was sometimes seen as equivalent to a resurrection from the dead (cf. b. Sanh. 47a) and is thus a sign of the dawning of the new age and of Jesus’ centrality in it (cf. Matt 11:5//Luke 7:22 and see Kertelge, Wunder, 65).

Let’s take a look at a couple ways we can interact with this commentary. First, note volume and page numbers are displayed at the precise location where the page turns in the print book.

helpful access to volume and page numbers
helpful access to volume and page numbers

The scripture references and the reference to the Babylonian Talmud are hyperlinked, and you can jump straight to those passages with a single click. Alternatively, you can hover your mouse and quickly read the reference in the tool tip window.

hyperlinked references
hyperlinked references

Joel Marcus mentions “scale-disease” in that highlighted passage, and this might be a place where you want to explore the topic of disease in the Bible or, perhaps, look for other passages where disease is mentioned. To do this, you can open the Factbook (the little book icon with a check mark on the left side of the toolbar) and run a search for disease.

Factbook

I opened Factbook, dragged it over the commentary section, and ran a search for disease as you see here:

factbook – the first stop for topic/concept exploration
factbook – the first stop for topic/concept exploration

Scrolling down just a bit in Factbook, you see key passages listed with a host of other references to check out.

finding other key passages
finding other key passages

Scrolling down a littler further, you see both the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and the Lexham Bible Dictionary articles hyperlinked and ready to roll.

cultural concepts section of factbook
cultural concepts section of factbook

Finally, in that same screen shot, notice the cultural concepts section with links to relevant passages in a host of extra-biblical literature. Clicking “more” in the cultural concepts section demonstrates how thoroughly this data has been curated across a huge collection of sources.

extra-biblical literature in the cultural concepts section of factbook
extra-biblical literature in the cultural concepts section of factbook

You can click to see hyperlinked references to disease in any body of literature listed there. Here’s an example of what you see by clicking the arrow beside the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha:

exploring extrabiblical literature in factbook
exploring extrabiblical literature in factbook

Factbook really is a one-stop shop for exploring whatever concept, person, place, or thing you become curious about as you read a commentary.

Now, let’s take a look at how to jump to multiple versions of a Bible passage mentioned within the text of the commentary.

Looking up scripture references in multiple versions

When I’m reading this section of AYB and want to check out the reference Joel Marcus makes to Luke 7:22, one click opens the passage in the lower-center portion of the layout. Here, I’ve zoomed in and the lower-center portion of the layout you see in the screen shots above is visible on the left, the commentary on the right:

jumping from commentary scripture reference to multiple versions of the bible
jumping from commentary scripture reference to multiple versions of the bible

Let’s take a look at what is going on with that NRSV. I have an NRSV Bible open because it can be used for references to the OT, NT, or Apocrypha. The key to being able to jump here when you click a hyperlink is the Send Hyperlinks Here option. To select this option click the three horizontal dots to the right of the NRSV resource and select Send Hyperlinks Here. This is what tells Logos you want all your hyperlink clicks to go to this resource.

determining where your hyperlink clicks go within your layout
determining where your hyperlink clicks go within your layout

Using the multiple resource display feature, I have selected of few ancient versions of the Bible to be displayed alongside the NRSV.

displaying multiple resources with one
displaying multiple resources with one

One final bit of awesomeness here: Hovering over a word highlights the corresponding words in each version (old school Logos/Libronix called this sympathetic highlighting).

corresponding lexical forms highlighted by hovering over a word
corresponding lexical forms highlighted by hovering over a word

You set up this corresponding word feature in the visual filter portion of the resource toolbar (the icon that looks like three circles positioned like a triangle):

I love this feature of Logos Bibles. It’s so powerful and yet the display is so space-efficient, compact, and adjustable.

Finally, let’s take a look at the last portion of the layout, the custom guide I created for accessing commentaries.

Reference guide

The bottom-left portion of the layout has a custom guide I created containing only the guides I am regularly interested in. I usually keep the commentaries (or ancient literature) section open. Here’s a screen shot with each section collapses so you can see what’s included:

custom reference guide
custom reference guide

With the commentary section open, notice AYB at the top alongside twelve of my other prioritized commentaries.

commentary section of the reference guide
commentary section of the reference guide

After reading around in Joel Marcus’ Mark commentary, if I want to return to his comments on my verse, I can click on the title in reference guide and jump back right back to where I started — no worries about “losing your place.”

jumping to the discussion of my verse from the reference guide
jumping to the discussion of my verse from the reference guide

It’s super helpful to be able to move fluidly to and from several major commentaries by using the links in this guide. You can see the five I currently have open below. Notice the tabs in the right section of the layout: AYB, Hermeneia, ICC, NIGTC, and Pillar are all ready to roll.

multiple commentaries open and accessible via tabs
multiple commentaries open and accessible via tabs

Conclusion

I find this layout very useful as a default setup in Logos, and I have it saved with the title Reference so that I can easily jump back into it at any point.

I hope this post gives you a better idea of what it might look like to access the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary in Logos. You find two other posts in this AYB series here.

You can check out Logos 9 for free with their Logos 9 Basic package, which comes with a tagged copy of the SBL Greek New Testament.