Bible Software Musings

Logos Bible Software currently has:

  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
  • The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament
  • The Andersen-Forbes Analyzed Text of the Hebrew Bible
  • Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: WIVU Syntactic Analysis (New Syntax Database)

Are either of the other two big name Bible software companies looking into syntax databases…?

Bibleworks

Accordance

14 thoughts on “Bible Software Musings

      1. Helen’s reply was yesterday. That’s not so long🙂

        I certainly do not know the business side of this, but is OpenText even available to other programs or do they have exclusive licensing with Logos? Accordance is much more willing (it seems from observation) to include what is available even if it is at a higher cost than BibleWorks is. In other words, I don’t think Accordance would be doing their own thing unless they couldn’t make arrangements for these other databases.

        1. Oops, I scrolled up to read the rest and then check the wrong date…

          Logos had a license with Opentext, but as far as I know it wasn’t exclusive. And then Logos wanted to buy a snapshot of the data so that they could modify it as much as they wanted, but the asking price was way too high. So they still just have a license. Apparently some currently unknown party offered something like $300,000 for the database, thinking it would be a good way to *get started* in the bible software business.

          At least that’s my understanding of it, but I don’t exactly what Logos’ relationship with Opentext looks like in detail.

        2. It’s a tough call. The more those kinds of databases are available, the more useful they will be. As someone in academia, I think scholars deserve to get compensated for their work, but most scholars aren’t in it for the money either….

          On the other hand, bottom line is, there’s another vicious circle involved. This stuff isn’t going to be useful unless people learn the languages aware of the usefulness of syntax databases. It’s hard to create a market for something whose utility is not appreciated.

  1. I’m somewhat leery of these syntactic analysis databases; it’s one more instance of someone else’s predigested analysis so that one won’t have to work through the Greek on one’s own. And all of these Logos items have a reverse interlinear too, don’t they?

    1. It depends on the database. The Lexham Syntactic NT is rather subjective with its use of traditional semantic/exegetical labels. But a database like Opentext.org (even with its flaws), itsn’t too bad. I’d say Opentext is no worse than most morphology databases and they have their own bits of subjective decision.

      There are dozens are things I can (and have and do) search for in studying grammar that I’d never be able to do with a morphology database. All the work I did in looking at the structure of Greek noun phrases came from doing searches in Opentext.org. And my problem with Opentext isn’t that their analysis is subjective, its that they could have do so much more (…and its inconsistent at times).

  2. I have not seen either company mention that those kind of databases are a high priority for either of them. I think along with Carl’s comment, both are deciding whether the extra would be worth it for their users. I don’t think the market has yet settled on this issue.

    1. More specifically, I do syntactic structure searches – to the extent that Opentext is consistent. The majority of these cannot be simulated in morph databases without large numbers of false hits.

      As for the word order searches, its easier to do these morph databases, but Opentext.org makes it possible to cut virtually all false hits by limiting the search too within a given constitutent, rather than having to make limits based the case & agreement markers on nouns, adjectives, and the like.

  3. As noted with Accordance, BibleWorks has looked into including these resources, but has not been able to negotiate a price which makes sense with our efforts to serve a customer base that in general is not affluent, and we consider it our mandate to keep prices as low as we can.

    At the same time, BibleWorks is trying to use its resources to provide the tools and resources needed by pastors, teachers, students, scholars and missionaries.

    We appreciate knowing of customers’ interest in these more expensive works, and, as we perceive that interest at a threshold level, will indeed move to include them in BibleWorks.

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