OT Anchor Yale Bible Commentary in Logos

In a previous post, I demonstrated what it looks like to access and use the NT Anchor Yale Bible Commentary (AYB) in Logos Bible Software. In this post, I want show you how and why I modify my layout when using the AYB Old Testament and Apocrypha volumes. We’ll also take a look at some of the content included in this series.

OT Layout

The textual history of the Old Testament is a little more complicated than that of the New Testament. “Daughter versions” (Greek, Latin, Syriac, et al.) play a bigger role because we don’t have as many original language (Hebrew/Aramaic) witnesses to the Old Testament as we do the New Testament (Greek). Even basic Old Testament textual criticism involves a number of ancient languages. Those familiar with the daughter versions frequently want to see the OT text in several different versions, and that’s why in this setup I have given more room to this middle section.

OT layout for accessing commentaries
OT layout for accessing commentaries

Alongside the NRSV I’ve included the four ancient versions I’m most regularly interested in:

  • Hebrew Bible
  • Septuagint
  • Vulgate
  • Dead Sea Scrolls

Now, if I want to check out the reference to Judges 13:22 in Jacob Milgrom’s AYB Leviticus commentary, I can hover to see it in the tool tip or click and see it in each of these versions.

more space allotted for OT versions
more space allotted for OT versions

This layout also has enough horizontal space to make the columns on the left of the commentary a little more narrow when I want to check out the table of contents in an AYB volume.

narrower text columns providing more space for AYB
narrower text columns providing more space for AYB

This is a good setup for those times when you want to zoom in on the commentary text (⌘+=) and read more extensively.

⌘+= to zoom in on the commentary text for extensive reading
⌘+= to zoom in on the commentary text for extensive reading

Hyperlinks to extra-biblical literature

In Dahood’s Psalms commentary, at 2:7 he mentions how Canaanite culture believed the king was the offspring of the gods, and he cites an Ugaritic text as support. Notice the Ugaritic text is hyperlinked and available in the tool tip window.

Ugaritic hyperlinks
Ugaritic hyperlinks

I appreciate how clicking on UT 125:10–11 opens the Ugaritic passage in the same place where I would normally send my scripture hyperlinks.

Religious Text from Ugarit (2nd Edition) opened via a hyperlink in AYB
Religious Text from Ugarit (2nd Edition) opened via a hyperlink in AYB

For better or worse Dahood’s commentary is filled with Ugaritic references, and it is nice to be able to look these passages up in context.

Moving throughout a single volume

In Logos, it’s very easy to navigate within an AYB volume. For example, when recently reading Di Lella and Harman’s Daniel volume, I read this comment and wondered when the volume was written:

It is, however, more probable that the author used an older Aramaic story for the account of the “food test” in ch. 1.

To quickly take a look at bibliographic info, all I had to do was click ⌘+shift+i.

⌘+shift+i for volume information
⌘+shift+i for volume information

Notice below that right after this comment the authors point the readers to a portion of the commentary introduction.

hyperlinks to other portions within the same commentary
hyperlinks to other portions within the same commentary

Clicking “Unity of the Book and Date” takes me straight to that portion of the introduction where I can easily scroll down to the third section that discusses the issue of a potential Aramaic original edition of Daniel.

moving throughout hyperlinked portions of the commentary
moving throughout hyperlinked portions of the commentary

Once you read to your satisfaction here, simply clicking the back arrow takes you back to where you were reading in the commentary on chapter 1. You might have wanted, however, to take a look at that portion of the introduction without leaving your current spot in the chapter 1 commentary. To do this, all you have to do is long-hold on the hyperlinked words (“Unity of the Book and Date”) and drag it above or below. This opens another copy of the commentary to the introductory section.

opening a separate copy of the commentary from a hyperlink to the intro
opening a separate copy of the commentary from a hyperlink to the intro

Full-scale Apocrypha volumes

AYB includes eight full-scale volumes on the Apocrypha. You might have other volumes in your Logos library that survey the apocryphal book, but hardly any other is as in-depth as the AYB volumes.

AYB Apocrypha volumes
AYB Apocrypha volumes

Notice in the top left portion of the layout, I’ve opened a third primary text, Rahlfs’ Septuagint, and another reference guide down below, linking both together as Link Set C.

Goldstein's 1Macc AYB commentary
Goldstein’s 1Macc AYB commentary

Goldstein’s 1Maccabees volume includes over two pages of commentary on the first verse of 1Maccabees. Here, I’ve highlighted multiple comments about the mention of Χεττιμ in 1Macc 1:1. You can also see multiple hyperlinks to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Clicking the link to CD 8:11 opens the Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition to the proper place in the Damascus Document.

DSS alongside AYB
DSS alongside AYB

Conclusion

Logos editions of the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary are a worthwhile investment because they are easy to move within and annotate, and the ability to fluidly jump from commentary straight to the primary literature makes the volumes so much more useful than print editions. The convenience of the digital editions speaks for itself, but I hope these posts help you envision the benefit of using the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary in Logos.

You can check out the other posts in this 3-part series here.

If you are interested in checking out a basic version of Logos 9, you can do so for free here.