View Full Version : Lexham syntatical BW equivelant?

01-30-2012, 07:56 PM
I'm in a Greek course at seminary. I have BW8, know it, love it, & dont want to part with it. The Prof has his students get Logos "scholar edition" because it has the Lexham syntatic GNT "expansions and annotations". Basically it takes some of the guesswork out of the syntactical purposes of clauses, conjunctions, ect.

Does anyone know of a BW equivelant to this, not a morphology, a syntactical "helper."

Mark Eddy
01-30-2012, 09:04 PM
No, BibleWorks currently (as of 9.0) does not have a syntactical database for any Greek (or Hebrew) biblical text. It would be a shame to have to buy another program just for that one database, since it would have so much overlap with BibleWorks, and would add so much cost to you. Perhaps you could show the professor the direct links from BW to the Greek Grammars it contains. If there is a significant syntactic question on a passage you are studying, one of the Grammars in BW is almost sure to have a discussion of it. Since syntactical analysis is much less objective than morphological identification, I would not want to have one syntactical analysis blind an exegete to the other possibilities. Since I do not have the database in question (because it is not available in BW), I do not know if it allows for multiple possibilities or not.
Mark Eddy

Michael Hanel
01-30-2012, 09:12 PM
In addition to what Mark said, BibleWorks does have for the NT a complete set of diagrams of the text. Though the diagrams are not searchable like a syntactical database would be, they're extremely helpful in doing syntactical analysis on passages.

01-31-2012, 09:52 AM
Also, in addition to what Mark said, a lot of syntactical searches are actually possible in BW, whether on the Command Line or in the GSE (Graphical Search Engine). I execute them from time to time (having gotten great input from Mark on several occasions; he is great at syntactical search strings!). When you perform a syntactical search, you actually get to analyze and evaluate the data yourself, which is much better than being spoon fed analysis from someone else that may be wrong.


01-31-2012, 10:58 AM
In addition to what's already been mentioned, the MacDonald's Transcription in BW9 can also be helpful sometime.
Additionally, you can always link to the online OpenText.org (http://www.opentext.org/texts/NT.html) site (which has provided a lot of the groundwork for the syntactical analyses). Take a look at that link. It's all based on clausal analysis. You may need to look at the Model Introduction (http://www.opentext.org/model/introduction.html) to understand how they are doing things, but it's actually pretty self-explanatory if you know a bit about sentence structure. You will note that the whole NT has been analyzed along with a couple books of the NT Apocrypha and the Didache.
If you find it helpful, you may find it handy to use the BW external links editor to be able to jump to the chapter (sorry, the site is too complex to let you jump to the verse) of the NT book to see the analysis.
Below is a graphic of how to setup the External Link Manager.
The line you want to enter in the "Web page, File to open..." box is:



(I haven't checked w/ every NT book, but it does appear that OpenText and BW use the same abbreviations for the NT books, so it should work in most instances.)

01-31-2012, 01:12 PM
Interesting discussion. I wonder if Chris or someone familiar with the Lexham material could say a little more about what it offers. I definitely see the point about not having a canned syntactical analysis making choices for one. OTOH, in a Greek classroom something like that could make a starting point for discussion, with the professor asking for or pointing out alternative analyses.

After a quick look at the syntactically abysmal 1 John 3:19-20 in OpenText and in the Leedy diagrams and MacDonald transcription in BW, it seems that OpenText and Leedy offer basically the same possibilities (MacDonald doesn't seem to do as much), albeit in quite different formats. (I have to say, though, that I'm not sure how much any of it would help the beginning student in untangling the mess.) I do wonder, then, what Lexham has that they don't.

01-31-2012, 01:48 PM
I have not studied 1John 3.19-20 in depth, but it certainly is a mess of a sentence. (This is to say that Leedy and OpenText do kind of make sense to me, so I'm not sure how they are 'abysmal.') For comparison sake, here are a few different options available in Logos:

Runge's Lexham Discourse Greek NT

Lexham Syntactic Greek NT (Lukaszewski)

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament: Clause Analysis (Porter, O'Donnell, Reed, Tan)

I'd be interested to hear you say more about these, Dave!

01-31-2012, 02:46 PM
Here is what is in BW for the passage being discussed (far from useless) :

1Jo 3:20 — The o[ti clauses are difficult. They do not seem to provide a logically clear appositive to tou,tw| (v. 19). A further complication is that the first o[ti in v. 20 does not appear to have a verb; immediately after o[ti comes an embedded conditional clause, then where the verb introduced by o[ti is expected, one finds instead another o[ti with its own verb. The verb of the second o[ti, however, construes very naturally with the first o[ti and its subsequent conditional clause, so the best sense I can make of the construction is to view the second o[ti as resumptive, simply restating the first one. This is what several versions seem to do, and I have diagrammed accordingly. Another possibility that is fairly attractive to me is to supply an elliptical "we know" with the second o[ti clause. The verse would then read, "because if our heart should condemn [us], [we know] that God is greater than our heart and knows all things." I am not aware, though, of any versions that take this approach. Some versions appear to take the first o[ti as the neuter of o[stij, translating "whenever" or "in whatever," as the continuation of v. 19 (see, e.g., NASB). This seems very unlikely to me. 1John uses o[ti more frequently than any other NT book (3.5% of his words are o[ti; this is more than twice the concentration in the book that uses it next most frequently, which is John’s gospel). Added to this is the fact that John’s gospel and first epistle are near the bottom of the list in frequency of usage of o[stij. The gospel does have 4 occurrences of the neuter singular of o[stij, but all of them are objects of verbs of speech; there is no parallel to the adverbial usage here. This sentence in 1John has two other occurrences of o[ti, and it is very hard for me to think that John would have expected his readers to discern that the middle one is not the common conjunction but is rather the relative pronoun used in a way unexampled elsewhere in his writings.

1Jo 3:20
h`mw/n (1st) — It would be possible to construe the word as the object of the verb, which takes the genitive. I follow BDAG here in taking it with kardi,a.


We have avoided syntactical databases because when push comes to shove they have limited value for advanced scholars and tend to be very difficult to use for beginners. By nature they are very subjective. In order to understand a complex verse an interpreter needs to immerse himself in the Greek text and syntactical databases quickly become just one opinion among many. Like commentaries, they are useful to consult, but should never be relied on. That does not mean that we won't add any such databases. This just explains why we have not seen it as a priority. We have investigated alternatives and they tend to be too expensive to put them in the base package and to expensive as external modules for most of our users. We decided not to do it until we could do our own so that it could be incorporated in the base package and made available for everyone. This is really important to us. It is on our list but we have no idea at this point how much Windows 8 will gum up development works.

Kevin W. Woodruff
01-31-2012, 03:00 PM
Does anyone have the settings for the Lexham Clausal Outlines feature that would go into the External Links Manager of BibleWorks? I have it in my Logos, but have been unable to get it to load from my Eternal Links in BibleWorks


01-31-2012, 05:47 PM
To MGVH: I didn't mean to say that Leedy or OpenText was "abysmal"; I meant to say that about the syntax of 1 John 3:19-20. (No disrespect or irreverence intended; it's just that, as anyone who has studied it agrees, it is "a mess.")

To MBushell: In my haste, I overlooked the Passage Notes in Leedy. Quite impressively detailed; thanks! I tend to agree with BW's reasoning regarding including syntactical databases. What's there in Leedy and MacDonald should be enough for most users to follow most sentences; and experts will want to approach the text without extra lenses.

FWIW, this is what I wrote in my Abingdon NT Commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John:

First John 3:19-20 is one of the most obscure sentences in the New Testament.... The verb peisomen should mean “we shall convince”; but commentators often cite evidence for “we shall pacify” or “reassure” (NRSV). In the following clauses we find hoti (either “that” or “because”), ean (normally “if”), and another hoti. It is the presence of two hotis that lies at the root of the problem.... Translated literally, and with all the ambiguities displayed, the Greek runs, “In this we shall know that we are of the truth, and before him we shall convince/reassure our heart that/because, if the heart condemns us, that/because God is greater than our heart and knows everything.”
The most common solution is to translate peisomen “reassure”; to reinterpret hoti ean as ho ti an, “in whatever case, whenever”; and to translate the second hoti “because” or “for” (e.g, NRSV, NIV, NAB, REB; Brooke 1912, 100; Marshall 1978, 197 n. 4; Schnackenburg 1992, 185). However, the evidence that peisomen can mean “reassure” is weak, as is the evidence for this adverbial usage of ho ti an (which is also in the wrong case to be the object of “condemn” [Boyer 1988, 254]). Some, therefore, consider the second hoti redundant, either as simply resuming the first or as a grammatical error. This yields either “we shall reassure our heart because, if our heart condemns us, God is greater...” (cf. the KJV); or (more naturally) “we shall convince our heart that, if our heart condemns us, God is greater...” (cf. the NEB; and see, e.g., Houlden 1973, 102; Brown 1982, 457-458. First John does not use a resumptive hoti in comparable passages elsewhere (3:2; 5:14); however, it seems more plausible that the author has violated his usual practice in this regard than that he has created virtually unparalleled usages of peisomen and ho ti an. The translation adopted by Houlden, Brown, and others is probably correct.

This seems similar to Leedy's approach. Personally, I think that the writer simply got lost in his own sentence and added a second hoti ungrammatically, as people sometimes say in English, "I told her that if I came by that I would bring a cake." 1 and 2 John have a number of difficult sentences like this.

Recent translations don't offer much advance on this. The translators of the NET Bible are to be commended for courage, if nothing else, for translating all of the hotis as "that" (and for the detail of their notes): "And by this we will know that we are of the truth and will convince our conscience in his presence, 20 that if our conscience condemns us, that God is greater than our conscience and knows all things."

Well, sorry for the topic drift! I, at any rate, have learned something new about tools available in BW.

01-31-2012, 06:46 PM
I personally agree with MBushell that BW should not be bothering with syntactical databases. Though I know that sentence diagramming is an important part of some greek grammar instruction, it's not in my classes.

Back in the day, I did learn sentence diagramming. The Leedy ones in BW are helpful and make sense to me. Most of my younger students have never done diagramming. I don't have time to teach diagramming in order that they can do it in Greek.
I find diagramming to be of limited value. With my first year students, we aren't venturing beyond the level of Luke. It's not that hard to figure out the subject/verb/object.
I actually find MacDonald's transcription in BW to be of somewhat greater value. It directs their attention to see a bit of the literary structure of a passage rather than the grammatical structure. I do encourage me students to do a similar kind of outlining of a text for themselves in their word processor just using indents and text colors.
The other resource I do find helpful is Runge's Lexham Discourse Greek NT which is in Logos. It draws attention to syntactical points of emphasis in the Greek. It's the kind of stuff we usually overlook. It is stuff like noting that the subject occurring before the verb in a Greek sentence is not the usual and hence a point of emphasis.

01-31-2012, 06:51 PM
Does anyone have the settings for the Lexham Clausal Outlines feature that would go into the External Links Manager of BibleWorks? I have it in my Logos, but have been unable to get it to load from my Eternal Links in BibleWorks

Look around for other threads on this. The main issue is that Logos4 uses numbers for book identifications (e.g., Mark is 02 or something), but the <book> parameter in BW passes through an abbreviation (Mark is Mark; Philippians is Phil). Someone would have to figure out some sort of script to change the BW abbreviations to the matching book numbers and then run the Logos executable. That's why you can usually link up to words but not verses in Logos.

01-31-2012, 09:07 PM
Thank you all! I would prefer to wrestle with the text and "Wallace, syntax" than purchase a new $500+ program. I have used leedy's in the past and it should offer a small degree of 'cheat.' It won't spell it out as simply as the logos aid, but i think it'll do fine.

Thank you again.