Category: Hebrew

2 Chronicles Göttingen LXX in Accordance

Accordance is the only software that has Hanhart’s 2 Chronicles Göttingen edition. V&R published the print edition in 2014, and Accordance released their electronic edition in 2018.

Currently, Accordance has their Göttingen LXX on sale for the lowest price they have ever offered. The 2 Chronicles volume is available apart from the bundle, but the individual volume is not currently on sale.

In this post, I want to demonstrate a few of my favorite ways to use this resource on MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS. This will give you a better idea of what it looks like to work with an electronic edition of Göttingen on each platform.

MacOS

On the Mac, I use the Göttingen volumes more for reference than reading. I find it helpful to save each Göttingen volume in its own workspace and then jump to that workspace when I want to reference it. This setup allows me to reference a Göttingen volume without the need to open the text module, open the apparatus module, and then adjust the size and position of each.

The following video shows you how to setup and save a workspace for the 2 Chronicles module:

Saving a workspace for 2 Chronicles Göttingen LXX

After you have a workspace setup for the Göttingen volume, you can then jump to it easily by two-finger clicking on a verse reference and selecting the workspace name from the context menu. Check it out:

Jumping to the 2 Chronicles Göttingen LXX workspace

Before looking at the module on the iPad and iPhone, I want to show you another way I reference the Göttingen volumes on MacOS. You can set up the Göttingen volumes in a workspace alongside other ancient witnesses and jump to that workspace when you want to quickly look for other readings. I named my workspace OT Texts. In this video, here’s what I do:

  • I jump from 2 Chronicles 1:1 in the the Hebrew Bible
  • to my OT Texts workspace
  • to the 2 Chronicles Göttingen volume
  • and back to the Hebrew Bible where I started.
HB > OT Texts > Göttingen > back to HB

iPadOS

In this section, I just want to share some screenshots of what the 2 Chronicles volume looks like on iPad OS. There will be another post that continues my “Ways of Reading” series, and in that post I’ll talk about reading Göttingen 2 Chronicles on the iPad and using a print lexicon.

Göttingen text with apparatus:

12.9” iPad Pro 2018

Gottingen text with NETS as diglot:

12.9” iPad Pro 2018

Now, let’s take a look at what it looks like to actually jump to a few lexicons while reading the text on an iPad. In this video, here’s what I do:

  • I start with the 2 Chronicles Göttingen text,
  • open the instant details by long pressing on χιλίαρχος,
  • jump to BDAG,
  • switch to LSJ,
  • switch to LEH,
  • and go back to the Göttingen text.
12.9” iPad Pro 2018

iOS

Last but not least, just a couple screenshots on the iPhone.

Göttingen text only:

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Göttingen text with apparatus:

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Göttingen text with instant details:

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Conclusion

The laptop/desktop software allows you to reference the Göttingen volumes in unique ways. You can quickly jump to the Göttingen volume with the apparatus already open and positioned correctly. You can also setup and jump to a workspace that allows you to see the Göttingen volume alongside other ancient witnesses. The iPad and iPhone versions allow you to more comfortably read the text and reference your Göttingen volumes on the go.

I hope this post gives you a better idea of how you can use the electronic edition of the Göttingen Septuagint in Accordance.

Electronic Editions of the Göttingen LXX

Academic bloggers and tweeters show up for International Septuagint Day like no other day. Today, my timeline has been filled with tweets about the Septuagint, and I love it. I wanted to add to the chorus by clearing up some confusion regarding electronic editions of the Göttingen LXX in Logos and Accordance.

Volumes

You have two options for electronic Göttingen LXX editions: Logos and Accordance. I’ve owned it on both platforms for several years, but until tonight I did not realize the nature of differences between the packages. I knew Logos started out far ahead in the number of volumes they offered, but Accordance has consistently released more and more Göttingen volumes the past few years. Here’s where we stand.

Logos has 5 volumes that Accordance doesn’t have:

  • Judith
  • Tobit
  • 3 Maccabees
  • Wisdom of Solomon
  • Susanna, Daniel, and Bel et Draco

Accordance has 1 volume that Logos doesn’t have:

  • 2 Chronicles

Here is a full list of the volumes included in each package:

AccordanceLogos
GenesisGenesis
ExodusExodus
LeviticusLeviticus
NumbersNumbers
DeuteronomyDeuteronomy
RuthRuth
2 Chronicles
Esdras 1Esdras 1
Esdras 2 (Ezra, Nehemiah)Esdras 2 (Ezra, Nehemiah)
EstherEsther
Judith
Tobit
1 Maccabees1 Maccabees
2 Maccabees2 Maccabees
3 Maccabees
Psalms & OdesPsalms & Odes
JobJob
Wisdom of Solomon
SirachSirach
12 Prophets12 Prophets
IsaiahIsaiah
Jeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Epistle of JeremiahJeremiah, Baruch, Lamentations, Epistle of Jeremiah
EzekielEzekiel
Susanna, Daniel, Bel et Draco

Even though Accordance has fewer volumes than Logos, Accordance has continued to develop and release Göttingen modules, whereas I don’t think Logos has added to their offerings since their initial release. This pattern suggests that in the coming years Accordance will catch up and surpass Logos in the number of volumes offered.

Price

There are other pluses and minuses to consider besides which books are included. For example, Logos’ package is significantly cheaper. Right now, Accordance is offering their Göttingen package for $599, but that is a sale price and it’s the cheapest it has ever been. The normal Accordance price is $850. Logos normally sales their package for $699, but oddly enough you can find the Logos’ Göttingen LXX in this expansion pack for $329.

Features

Both Accordance and Logos include morphological tagging, but each platform has a way that it one-ups the other.

If a Göttingen volume has two apparatuses —one for the transmission history of the Old Greek and one for tracking differences in other Greek translations besides the Old Greek—Logos splits apparatus 1 and apparatus 2 into different modules. This makes seeing the text and the content of each apparatus far easier than including both apparatuses in one module. Accordance does this for all its modules except the Pentateuch volumes. For whatever reason, in Accordance the two apparatuses for the Pentateuch volumes are together in one electronic module. There is so much info in apparatus 1 that it makes it hard to see the actual text of a passage and scroll down far enough in the apparatus module to see the apparatus 2 information. You scroll down to the apparatus 2 information, but because the apparatus and text modules are linked, now your text module has jumped a verse or two ahead. This is a bummer because the Göttingen Pentateuch volumes are the ones I reference most frequently. I wish the developers would split the Pentateuch volumes into separate text modules and split apparatuses 1 and 2 like they do for the rest of the series.

Accordance however includes one very significant feature of the print volumes that Logos does not have: the Kopfleiste. This is a header that that appears on each page of the print volumes and tells you exactly which witnesses include the text that appears on that page. Without it, finding this information in the introductions is possible but very difficult.

Quality

Finally, the issue of quality control. It isn’t as simple as you might think. Older editions of the Göttingen volumes do not have digital files. These volumes have to be converted in some way to make digital resources. The Göttingen volumes make this very difficult to do well because of the insanely dense apparatus and the numerous uncommon sigla used.

So which platform pulls this off the best? It’s hard to say. At one point, Abram noted that the Logos editions seemed to be more accurate. I think this was based mostly on a close reading of the Isaiah volume. When I reviewed the Job volume for Accordance, I found many typos in the apparates and introduction. The Accordance developers, however, were all over this and fixed all the typos very quickly. When I read 2 Maccabees in the Logos Göttingen edition, I found many typos in the parsing. These have been fixed, as well.

While this category of comparison is significant, it is really hard to say which platform is more accurate.

Conclusion

I’m sure there are still typos in the electronic editions on both platforms, but to me the most useful Göttingen LXX is the one that I have with me when I want and need it. For this reason and many more, I prefer electronic editions over the print volumes. If I were still doing academic research in this field on a regular basis, I would certainly check a print edition before stepping up to the mic at SBL. For the purposes of reading and everyday study, the electronic editions are amazing. And no matter what time of the year it is or what sale is happening, the electronic editions are so, so much cheaper than the print volumes.

Here on LXX Day 2020, cheers to you, Logos and Accordance. Thank you both for years of fun reading and research. I hope to see both of you develop electronic editions of every Göttingen that has been and will be published. Prioritize these, please.

— a happy Göttingen reader

Postscript

Please note that V&R just published Peter Gentry’s Ecclesiastes edition, and we would love to see this in electronic form by LXX day 2021.

Thanks, Accordance

I don’t know how I missed this. Today, I discovered that in the Accordance iOS app you can copy a link to a particular place in a resource, paste that link in your notes, and make your notes, in whatever app you use, hyperlinked to Accordance. I love it.

For those of you that might be interested in how this can be useful in note taking, I tweeted a screen recording.

During Christmas break, I had a chance to actually work with Accordance 13 on the Mac and the new(ish) iOS app. I really appreciate the aesthetic shine both apps have now. Dark mode is gorgeous on the Mac, but the appearance of both apps has significantly improved over the past year (not to mention the substantial functionality improvements with live click on the Mac and the keyboard shortcuts on iOS). It is stability, however, is what shifted my reading and reference workflows back to being Accordance-primary.

Because some key resources (GE/BrillDAG, Croy’s Greek grammar, Oxford Latin Dictionary, Whitaker’s Words, Collins Latin Dictionary) are in Logos and not Accordance, for the past few months I had been primarily — almost exclusively — using Logos. During holiday travels, however, I took only my iPad for reading. After a few days, the Logos iOS app proved to be too buggy for regular, sustained reading. The primary problem was that the text in resources would randomly jump up half a paragraph or more when I went to scroll. I pointed this out at the end of my Logos 8 review, and it hasn’t been fixed.

This and other stability issues led me to open the Accordance app. During the last few days of traveling, I spent several hours reading in the Accordance iOS app, and it was rock solid. I’m just discovering some of the delightful, newer polishes and improvements. The developers deserve some serious thanksgiving. I want to quote here something I said in a my iOS App Store review:

Accordance is a classy company that focuses on quality work and has done so for 25 years. I trust Accordance, and I prefer to invest my personal library budget in their books over print or other digital platforms.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there isn’t just one way of reading. I read with print books, with Logos, with Accordance, with open source online tools, and various other combinations of print and digital media. I’ll continue to use them all.

Today, however, I just wanted to say thanks to the Accordance folks. Y’all rock.

Accordance iOS app on an iPad in split view with Ulysses on the right for note taking

Reading with a Reader’s Text and Full Lexicon

Lately, I’ve enjoyed the balance of using a reader’s text and a bigger lexicon. I say “balance” because this combination allows you to move quickly when you want to move quickly, and for me that is what I want most of the time. The reader’s text facilitates this wonderfully. When I want to step into the bigger picture and explore the broader meaning of a word, when I want more than a basic gloss or a meaning in this context, the big lexicons are what I want. Lexicons that are devoted to the particular corpus you are reading will often even satisfy the desire to check your understanding of a particular phrase in a particular verse because they provide translations of so many occurrences. So in addition to giving you a more complete picture on the use of a word across time or across the literature you are reading, the big lexicons frequently eliminate the need to consult your favorite translation, as well.

Details by Corpus

For the New Testament, I’ve really enjoyed the Tyndale House reader’s edition this year (leather/hardback). I’ll do full post on it this summer, but what I enjoy about it is everything from the font, to the paragraph layout, to the textual choices (cf. 2 Corithians 5:3, ἐνδυσάμενοι), and more. The lexicons of choice have been either BDAG, Montanari’s GE, or LSJ. Depending on the scenario, I’ll use print or digital versions of the lexicons.

For the Septuagint, the new reader’s edition is splendid (flexisoft). I’ve been in Leviticus and enjoying reference to LSJ, Montanari, and occassionally Muraoka or LEH.

For Anabasis, Steadman’s reader has been great. He only has books 1 and 4, but all I’ve needed this year is book 1. Eventually, I will have to turn to the Loeb, which is fine, but a reader is always preferable. It’s usually a digital LSJ that I turn to when I want more. Montanari would be great, but when I finally get around to Xenophon during the week I’m rarely in my office and I never have time to flip pages and read leisurely.

Hebrew has been on the back burner, but with a friend I’m making another pass through Genesis in the BHS reader’s edition (flexisoft). I normally turn to digital versions of HALOT or CDCH, but when I’m home I go to my print copy of Holladay (because of Michel Gilbert’s experience shared here and here).

Conclusion

Usually when you want to turn from a reader’s text and explore a bigger lexical work, it is more enjoyable to use a print lexicon if the situation allows. This weekend it’s been the reader’s GNT, BDAG in print, and Apple’s Arcade Fire Essentials playlist. Saturday mornings are made for this sort of reading experience.

There are so many ways to read in the original languages. Don’t latch onto one way and make that the only way you can feel satisfied in doing it. Just do it.

Logos 8 – Notable Performance Improvements

For over ten years I used Logos as my primary tool for studying the Bible. A few years ago, however, it seemed clear to me that my primary interests and the focus of Faithlife (the company that makes Logos) were going in different directions. I wanted a product that prioritized original language research, and it seemed to me that Faithlife was focusing primarily on creating new ways for their average customer to discover new things in Scripture. Helping people discover new insights is great, but it wasn’t where my interests were. I was struggling in the forums to get typos fixed in what I considered to be key resources, and so I eventually made the move to Accordance. I love Accordance and still use it every day. So why am I reconsidering Logos?

At some point, Logos ironed out the typographical problems in their Dead Sea Scrolls resources. That was the primary issue that turned me away from the product. Recently, they also significantly upgraded their mobile app — changes that affect the every day reading experience. Tabbed browsing makes it easier to have multiple resources open and easily move between them. What I care about is how quickly and fluidly I can move throughout the program, open resources, look up words, and run searches without seeing the spinning beach ball of sluggishness. The reading experience is the key.

Finally, when Logos 8 released I heard there were significant performance improvements, and this is what made me want to give it another shot. Logos is notorious for severely taxing older computers with an intense, frequent indexing process, and in my opinion, the program has not been snappy since the Libronix/Logos 3 days. The way the promotional material spoke about performance improvements tipped the scales. I had to give it another shot. I’ve been using Logos 8 for a couple months now, and here are a few thoughts on my experience with both the Mac and iOS apps.

Mac app

I have been using Logos 8 on two laptops:

  1. a mid-2014 MacBook Pro with a 2.2GHz i7, 256GB SSD, and 16GB of RAM
  2. an early-2014 MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz i5, 128GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM

Here’s the scoop: Logos 8 runs well on both machines.

On the MacBook Pro, I thought the performance was solid from start to finish. The startup time was very reasonable, it was easy to open and move around multiple resources, searches were very fast, and much to my surprise even the indexing process seemed more efficient. I am really happy with how quickly I can open multiple resources, move them around, and run searches. At no point did I hit a wall where I thought the program was having to catch up. That’s a big deal, but that is also on a MacBook Pro. Granted, it’s a four year old MacBook Pro, but it has 16GB of RAM.

The real story here is that Logos 8 runs well on my MacBook Air with a measly 4GB of RAM! I did not expect this. I want to illustrate what I mean by “well,” so the video below demonstrates basic performance functions like opening the program, opening resources, moving them around, looking up words, and running a simple morphological search — text, lexicon, & concordance work.

Even in a resource as typographically complex as the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts, I can scroll through the resource with relative ease. If I scroll down or up as fast as I can in any of the resources I opened, eventually scrolling becomes jumpy, but that is not a big deal. You don’t navigate from Matthew to James by scrolling. You use the navigation box. If you just want to scroll a few paragraphs or chapters or even to the next book of the Bible, that’s no problem.

I don’t have any detailed metrics to report — just a video and my testimony based on every day, normal use. I am happy with the performance of the Logos 8 Mac app.

iOS app

The iOS app serves well as an on-the-go reading companion. You can download books for offline access, including morphologically tagged resources. So if you want to download your GNT and be able to double-click for morphological information and quick word lookups, you can do this even when offline. When your text is downloaded and the lexicons you want to access are downloaded to your mobile device, looking up words is fast — down right snappy.

The mobile app features tabbed browsing and the ability to save workspaces. This means that I can create a workspace for reading Anabasis with the text, lexicon, reading notes, and companion grammar, easily swipe between the resources, and then save that workspace when I’m done and navigate to another reading setup for the GNT or Hebrew Bible.

Aesthetically, both the Mac and iOS apps look great. I love the Greek and Latin fonts. The iOS app is particularly noteworthy because it fills the screen of the latest iOS devices, from edge to edge, and has a true black reading mode that is gorgeous on OLED displays. Here is a video that illustrates opening a saved workspace, looking up words, navigating to another workspace, and using tabbed browsing. I’m recording this on a 2018 12.9 iPad Pro:

As a reading companion, the app does its job, but there are a few annoying glitches that affect the reading experience. For example, if you need to look up multiple words in a sentence and want to do this by double-clicking each word, you find that double-clicking frequently just highlights the next word without showing the quick information pop-up. The other issue is that sometimes the app seems to cause the resource you are viewing to jump several lines up. This happens most frequently when flicking between tabbed resources in the same workspace.

These issues are much easier to illustrate with a video. In what follows note that every other word shows the information pop-up. The second issue is harder to reproduce, but it does happen a couple times toward the end. As I move around in the text and flip back and forth between resources, notice that the text jumps from Matthew 5:24 to Matthew 5:9. This happens around second 40. The same thing happens again around second 50.

Conclusion

I’m really happy to say that Logos 8 seems like a mature product. There are new, experimental features, but the performance improvements make Logos 8 seem to me like the most stable, efficiently running version since the era before the major rewrite that took place between Logos 3 and 4. I have tried to show here that for everyday reading, lexicon work, and research, Logos 8 should run well enough on older, entry-level laptops, as well as more robust machines. I’m sure there are portions of the program that would still push an old MacBook Air to the limit, but those are not features that I have encountered as I use the software for teaching, reading, and reference. At this point, the mobile app still seems primarily intended to be a reading companion to the Mac app, but if you primarily use the software to read and reference lexicons, the mobile app can serve as your primary driver. I use it far more than the desktop version, and overall I’m happy with it. I hope the glitches noted above will be fixed soon, and I would love to see more robust, full-featured morphological and lemma search functionality come to the mobile app.

You can learn more about Logos 8 here. Note especially the free basic academic package and the academic discount program. They have other academic packages, as well. These are streamline packages intended to better meet the needs of students and those interested primarily in original languages.

Obligatory disclosure statement: Logos provided me a free upgrade to version 8 for review.

Encountering Exodus 32 in the LXX

I experienced a passage in Exodus this morning as I never have before. I was reading Exodus 32, and verses 17–18 seemed to jump off the page. I have read this passage before in the Septuagint, but perhaps I was moving a little too fast. I was reading for comprehensive exams the first time, and that sort of reading is rarely reflective. Here’s the passage:

καὶ ἀκούσας Ἰησοῦς τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ λαοῦ κραζόντων λέγει πρὸς Μωυσῆν Φωνὴ πολέμου ἐν τῇ παρεμβολῇ. 18 καὶ λέγει Οὐκ ἔστιν φωνὴ ἐξαρχόντων κατ᾿ ἰσχὺν οὐδὲ φωνὴ ἐξαρχόντων τροπῆς, ἀλλὰ φωνὴν ἐξαρχόντων οἴνου ἐγὼ ἀκούω.

And when Joshua heard the sound of the people crying out, he said to Moses, “That’s the sound of war in the camp! [Moses responded] and said, “It’s not the sound of those marching ahead with force or of those turning to run. But the sound of those marching headlong into wine is what I hear.”

Now, that’s my idiomatic translation, and it captures the way I experienced the text. Rendering ἐνάρχομαι in verse 18 is difficult to do in an idiomatic way. It translates three instances of IV.ענה, to sing. Here’s the Hebrew of verse 18:

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵין קוֹל עֲנוֹת גְּבוּרָה וְאֵין קוֹל עֲנוֹת חֲלוּשָׁה קוֹל עַנּוֹת אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ

It’s not the sound of conquering or the sound of defeat; it’s the sound of singing I hear.”

Whatever you do with ἐνάρχομαι, it seems pretty clear to me that the Septuagint is a little more explicit about what is happening. I hear more contrast and perhaps frustration with the addition of ἀλλά and especially the addition of οἶνος, wine — a word that makes explicit the real reason the people were in such an uproar.

So, I’m drawing no major text-critical conclusions here; it’s just striking. This verse made me stop and reflect and visualize the scene as I never had before. I had to check the Hebrew to see if the Septuagint text was different in any way, and as it turns out, it is just different enough from the Hebrew to at least partially explain why the passage seemed so fresh and new.

Incidentally, I was reading in the new Septuagint Reader’s Edition, which you can still get for a fantastic price at CBD. More on that edition in the coming weeks.

Critique textuelle de l’Ancien Testament Online

Charles Jones posted notice that the University of Zurich has made available all five volumes of Dominique Barthélemy’s Critique textuelle de l’ancien Testament.

There is nothing quite like this work. I’ve posted in the past on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, which led to these volumes, and on the unique role Bathélemy played in the committee’s work. These five volumes are the most comprehensive treatment of the textual problems in the Hebrew Bible ever produced.

In print, each volume is very expensive. I’ve always wanted to own copies, but with the price — a couple hundred bucks a piece if I remember correctly — there was just no way. To have each volume in a quality PDF is so fantastic.

Give them time to download. The files aren’t that big, but they took a bit longer to download than I expected. I should note that they are all in French. Here’s the permalinks:

  • Volume 1 (1982) Josué, Juges, Ruth, Samuel, Rois, Chroniques, Esdras, Néhémie, Esther
  • Volume 2 (1986) Isaïe, Jérémie, Lamentations
  • Volume 3 (1992) Ézéchiel, Daniel et les 12 Prophètes
  • Volume 4 (2005) Psaumes
  • Volume 5 (2015) Job, Proverbes, Qohélet et Cantique des Cantiques