How Can I Put This?

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This post has 43 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 59
Bill | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 26 2017 2:15 PM

Andrew Baguley:

If you would like to see these features available in Logos, please vote for them on UserVoice (https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/17871697-create-a-database-of-biblical-issues-and-stances-w).

Thanks.

You got my vote!

Posts 59
Bill | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 26 2017 2:26 PM

Andrew Baguley:

I've had a play with the Book of Jude to show how this could be done.  I used a spreadsheet for the sake of transparency, though the final product would be a lot more straightforward to use.

Here are samples of the graphs that could be produced: 1768.Jude Graphs.pdf.  I hope each tells its own story.

Here is a short analysis showing how the data could be used: 1447.Jude Analysis.docx.  The tables of summary data would be automatically generated.

Here is the data that these are based on: 6116.Jude Issues and Stances - For Sharing.xlsx.  I've created it to allow easy filtering of the data by stances.  This should also be possible in the final product.

Awesome! Thank you for all your efforts. I hope FL brings this into development quickly

Posts 5564
Forum MVP
Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 26 2017 8:04 PM

Andrew Baguley:

Here are samples of the graphs that could be produced: 1768.Jude Graphs.pdf.  I hope each tells its own story.

Here is a short analysis showing how the data could be used: 1447.Jude Analysis.docx.  The tables of summary data would be automatically generated.

(I only looked at those two documents)

I find it interesting that you distinguish Evangelical from Reformed. Why is that?

As one in the Reformed stream, I'd say most in the Reformed tradition would agree with most of Evangelical theology (excluding liberal leaning "Reformed" who are then, in my view, no longer theologically Reformed).

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 29 2017 1:22 PM

Rich DeRuiter:

I find it interesting that you distinguish Evangelical from Reformed. Why is that?

As one in the Reformed stream, I'd say most in the Reformed tradition would agree with most of Evangelical theology (excluding liberal leaning "Reformed" who are then, in my view, no longer theologically Reformed).

I basically used the data in the Denomination/Theology project.  The spreadsheet makes this clear.  It also explains that the summary data is limited to Reformed and Evangelical because these were the only two categories I felt that there was enough data for.

As you say, most in the Reformed tradition would also be Evangelical, but there are many Evangelicals who would not see themselves as Reformed.

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 29 2017 1:24 PM

Thanks for all the positive comments.  The number of votes for this project has risen, but it would still benefit from more: https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/17871697-create-a-database-of-biblical-issues-and-stances-w 

Posts 777
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 1 2017 12:59 PM

Sorry, but this is a no-sale for me - not even close.  

The OP states, "... Rosling has demonstrated how creating a single database of UN data and applying powerful informational visualisation software can increase understanding quickly and even at a popular level ...  I would love to see this applied to the Bible ..."  

My response is, How have we ever grown in our understanding of the text and theology over the past x-thousands of years without this "single [enormous] database of ... data and ... powerful informational visualisation software" that you argue we must have?  Or is there some Gnostic-like, hidden trove of knowledge beyond our current reach that can only be accessed via SQL?   IMO, at some point computational tools become reliance on a mechanistic manipulation and interpretation of data, and has the very real potential of becoming a man-made substitute for the guidance, leading, and instruction of the Spirit of God - a new Babel-ian tower, if you will, that promises it will get us close to God.  

All computational aids harbor a poison pill - namely, that "results" can take on a truth value simply because the computer says it is so.  Thus, "computer-designed" widgets are assumed to be far better than manually-designed widgets because it is naively believed that a computer doesn't makes mistakes.  And, such and such is the correct biblical interpretation because the software says so.  Similarly, a "consensus" of opinion as tabulated by the computer must represent the truth.  And, so forth.  Ultimately, truth is mauled by logical fallacy,  Athanasius groans in his grave, and Pilate stills asks, "What is truth?"  No computer, or database, or visualisation software, or SQL query can ever substitute for sitting under one's fig tree and pondering the things of Christ.  

Again, sorry, but no-sale.

How blessed is the one whom Thou dost choose, and bring near to Thee(Psa 65:4a)

Posts 10231
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 1 2017 1:21 PM

Now, JRS, 'positive comments'.   I've done 2 non-sensical ones.  I'll go for #3.

'Analyze to show thyself approved.'  How's that.


Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Sep 1 2017 1:22 PM

JRS:

Sorry, but this is a no-sale for me - not even close.  

The OP states, "... Rosling has demonstrated how creating a single database of UN data and applying powerful informational visualisation software can increase understanding quickly and even at a popular level ...  I would love to see this applied to the Bible ..."  

My response is, How have we ever grown in our understanding of the text and theology over the past x-thousands of years without this "single [enormous] database of ... data and ... powerful informational visualisation software" that you argue we must have?  Or is there some Gnostic-like, hidden trove of knowledge beyond our current reach that can only be accessed via SQL?   IMO, at some point computational tools become reliance on a mechanistic manipulation and interpretation of data, and has the very real potential of becoming a man-made substitute for the guidance, leading, and instruction of the Spirit of God - a new Babel-ian tower, if you will, that promises it will get us close to God.  

All computational aids harbor a poison pill - namely, that "results" can take on a truth value simply because the computer says it is so.  Thus, "computer-designed" widgets are assumed to be far better than manually-designed widgets because it is naively believed that a computer doesn't makes mistakes.  And, such and such is the correct biblical interpretation because the software says so.  Similarly, a "consensus" of opinion as tabulated by the computer must represent the truth.  And, so forth.  Ultimately, truth is mauled by logical fallacy,  Athanasius groans in his grave, and Pilate stills asks, "What is truth?"  No computer, or database, or visualisation software, or SQL query can ever substitute for sitting under one's fig tree and pondering the things of Christ.  

Again, sorry, but no-sale.



I think if we were talking about laymen - then maybe I'd agree with you. But at this point it seems like logos paying userbase are academics, and pastors. Both of whom ought to be deeply involved in studying scripture, have become convinced of their positions already, and would likely argue with at least one of the positions.

I'm not sure I understand what hes asking for well enough to say I could use it or not. BUT I know he has come up with things in other areas that have proven valuable.

I would never ever accept a position simply because a computer was biased a certain way.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 2 2017 8:08 AM

JRS:

Sorry, but this is a no-sale for me - not even close.  

The OP states, "... Rosling has demonstrated how creating a single database of UN data and applying powerful informational visualisation software can increase understanding quickly and even at a popular level ...  I would love to see this applied to the Bible ..."  

My response is, How have we ever grown in our understanding of the text and theology over the past x-thousands of years without this "single [enormous] database of ... data and ... powerful informational visualisation software" that you argue we must have?  Or is there some Gnostic-like, hidden trove of knowledge beyond our current reach that can only be accessed via SQL?   IMO, at some point computational tools become reliance on a mechanistic manipulation and interpretation of data, and has the very real potential of becoming a man-made substitute for the guidance, leading, and instruction of the Spirit of God - a new Babel-ian tower, if you will, that promises it will get us close to God.  

All computational aids harbor a poison pill - namely, that "results" can take on a truth value simply because the computer says it is so.  Thus, "computer-designed" widgets are assumed to be far better than manually-designed widgets because it is naively believed that a computer doesn't makes mistakes.  And, such and such is the correct biblical interpretation because the software says so.  Similarly, a "consensus" of opinion as tabulated by the computer must represent the truth.  And, so forth.  Ultimately, truth is mauled by logical fallacy,  Athanasius groans in his grave, and Pilate stills asks, "What is truth?"  No computer, or database, or visualisation software, or SQL query can ever substitute for sitting under one's fig tree and pondering the things of Christ.  

Again, sorry, but no-sale.

I know this idea won't be for everyone, JRS, and I'm happy to accept that it's not for you.

You also leave me with the idea that I haven't explained it well enough, which was why I worded the original post the way I did.  I suspect there are few readers of these forums who would expect a computer to provide a man-made substitute for the Spirit of God.  However, many of us are happy to use Logos as it can assist us in delving into and understanding God's word better.

My suggestion is that there is a lot of data available in commentaries (and introductions and studies and journals if you look at the Jude analysis), and that it is too much for most of us to read thoroughly.  Therefore, a database that allows this data to be searched, sorted, analysed and graphed to allow quick and easy access to it could be a help along the way.  Logos is a very powerful SQL-based database.  My proposal is to increase its effectiveness still further.

It won't provide the 'right' answer, merely an overview of what people have said about passages of scripture.  If it demonstrates that one view has become popular, that doesn't make it right, but it might hint at why some views have become unpopular or the reasons that different views have waxed and waned in popularity, or how interrelated certain interpretations are.  For example, in the Jude analysis, it surprised me how few of the translation and interpretation stances were altered, or needed to be adjusted for Bateman's radical view of the opponents.  The data shows me this much more quickly than I could have seen otherwise, and in a way that is useful for demonstrating it to others.

I'm sure that more time spent with the data would provide much more insight, but better tools and more data would make the insights easier to come by and more valuable.

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 2 2017 8:37 AM

Denise:

Now, JRS, 'positive comments'.   I've done 2 non-sensical ones.  I'll go for #3.

'Analyze to show thyself approved.'  How's that.

"Analyze" you say, Denise.  I haven't seen that translation of 2 Timothy 2:15 before.  Here are some of the more common:

"2:15 Be-diligent to-present/show yourself approved to-God,

... aorist act. impera. of σπουδάζω (LN 68.63) (BAGD 2. p. 763): ‘to be diligent’ [Lns; NASB], ‘to do one’s best’ [HNTC, LN; NIV, NRSV, TEV, TNT], ‘to do one’s utmost’ [NTC], ‘to work hard’ [LN], ‘to try hard’ [NAB, REB], ‘to make every effort’ [BAGD; NJB], ‘to take all pains’ [ICC], ‘to be zealous’ [BAGD], ‘to endeavor’ [LN], ‘to study’ [KJV]."

Minor, E., 2008. An Exegetical Summary of 2 Timothy 2nd ed., Dallas, TX: SIL International.

[With 35% off the Exegetical Summaries Series at the moment, it's not a bad time for anyone who hasn't already got it to invest: https://www.logos.com/product/38965/exegetical-summaries-series]

I'm not sure why you're persisting with "nonsensical comments", Denise, but as your comments five years ago helped get the denomination/theology project off the ground (http://community.logos.com/forums/p/44253/394765.aspx#394765), you're forgiven.

I think you thought that project was a no-go, as JRS thinks about this one, until you could actually see what I meant.  I believe your response was:

"Pretty nifty, Andrew.

OK ... I'll take back EVERYTHING I said."

(http://community.logos.com/forums/p/54491/396441.aspx#396441)

I just wish it didn't take five years to convince Logos...

Posts 10231
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Sep 2 2017 8:42 AM

Andrew, there may well be an explaining issue.  Keep in mind, personally, I'm in the analysis business.

But for the record, analysis is not doing. And the scriptures emphasize the doing. Talking theology, here.

Having been in the corporate management business many years, folks that liked to analyze, made terrible operators ... making money. And my impression is the same at church .... computer-guys (not so many gals) pretty much are not in the people business. 

As strange as it may sound, a congregation would do well to strike pastors that like computers. Or like to slice and dice theology.


Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 3 2017 7:46 PM

Denise:

Andrew, there may well be an explaining issue.  Keep in mind, personally, I'm in the analysis business.

But for the record, analysis is not doing. And the scriptures emphasize the doing. Talking theology, here.

Having been in the corporate management business many years, folks that liked to analyze, made terrible operators ... making money. And my impression is the same at church .... computer-guys (not so many gals) pretty much are not in the people business. 

As strange as it may sound, a congregation would do well to strike pastors that like computers. Or like to slice and dice theology.



So you're saying no pastors younger than 70, and no pastor (no matter the age) that is an avid user of Logos? :P

Suspect most of us tend to "like" our computers. Or at least like having a computer that doesn't get in the way.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 10231
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 4 2017 5:36 AM

Don't know about '70'.  

But 'yep' on the rest.  Got time and money for computers and Logos? Got time for evangelizing and the poor (or your family).


Posts 3938
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 4 2017 7:40 AM

Well and I think I speak for the majority here (as most of us are younger than 70, all of us (yourself included) are logos users) , its a good thing God chooses pastors.

Thats borderline offensive of you Denise.

How much time do you spend evangelizing?

How much of your check do you spend on the poor?

Do you volunteer at food pantries? are you in the process of getting a soup kitchen?

I hope you put your money where your mouth is.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 10231
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 4 2017 9:12 AM

Actually, abondservant, I don't do any of that ... I'm not not in your world and no offense intended.

I'm only referring to what one might draw from the early first century, and apparently the early 2nd (Didache, etc). I fully recognize Christianity has moved on.


Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 4 2017 2:20 PM

Denise:

Andrew, there may well be an explaining issue.  Keep in mind, personally, I'm in the analysis business.

But for the record, analysis is not doing. And the scriptures emphasize the doing. Talking theology, here.

Having been in the corporate management business many years, folks that liked to analyze, made terrible operators ... making money. And my impression is the same at church .... computer-guys (not so many gals) pretty much are not in the people business. 

As strange as it may sound, a congregation would do well to strike pastors that like computers. Or like to slice and dice theology.

My suggestion is that the computer guys and gals at Logos input the data and produce the analysis tools, allowing those whose focus is elsewhere better able to make sense of the range of different interpretations and understandings.  This allows more time to be spent on people and communication, without losing the wisdom of the past.

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 26 2017 6:11 AM

I thought I'd give this suggestion another go, so I've added some extra data to the spreadsheet, including a number of study bibles.  Here's what I've just posted elsewhere (https://community.logos.com/forums/t/156612.aspx):

This is an overview of the views of commentators, Bible translations and Study Bibles for all the main controversial issues and interpretive decisions in the book of Jude: 6404.Jude Issues and Stances - December 2017.xlsx

and some comments: 8535.Jude Analysis.docx

with some helpful graphs: 7043.Jude Charts.xlsx

and some comments: 3755.Jude Graphs.pdf

All of the data is supplied, plus charts to show how stances have changed over time.  It also shows the most popular view for each issue, and highlights where commentators, Bible translations and Study Bibles differ from this view.

I would love Logos to provide this for all books of the Bible, especially the New Testament, hopefully in a more user-friendly format than given here.  If you would like this as well, or would be happy to lend your voice to my hope, please vote here:

https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/17871697-create-a-database-of-biblical-issues-and-stances-w

There is more information on this suggestion here:

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/133058.aspx

Thanks.  Enjoy exploring Jude with this data.

Posts 3687
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 26 2017 6:27 AM

Andrew Baguley:

Issues: Debated interpretations of scripture and related information (e.g. author of 2 Peter; date of writing of Revelation; whether the dreamers in Jude 8 are “filthy”, revelatory or metaphorical).  The issues are all the debated points discussed in the major commentaries or outlined in works such as SIL’s Exegetical Summaries (https://www.logos.com/product/38965/exegetical-summaries-series) and Lexham Bible Guides (e.g. https://www.logos.com/product/27493/lexham-bible-guides-pauls-letters-collection).

Stances: These are the stances for each issue (e.g. author of 2 Peter: Peter, colleague of Peter, later pseudonymous author...; date of Revelation: 41-54, 54-68, 81-96, 98-117 (depending on the emperor) or more specifically 90-95, 95-96 ...; dreamers in Jude: “filthy”, revelatory, metaphorical).

Facets: Country, Date, Denomination and Stream (see http://community.logos.com/forums/p/54491/854808.aspx#854808), Type of Work (e.g. technical commentary, devotional commentary, academic study, popular paperback, sermon)

Graphical Functionality: This should allow aggregated statistics (e.g. graphs of: stances by different denomination; stances through time; works taking particular stances on multiple issues; percentages of commentaries/works representing a particular stance over time).

I am not entirely sure of what I think of the idea at this point. It is a good concept. What I am not sure about is how much use it would actually see in comparison to the work required to compile all this information. But I really mean it: I am not sure... either way.

Some comments:

I think that a coverage of issues could be helpful but easier to document than stances. So, for instance, one might look at Genesis 1 and would expect discussion of the image of God. However, not every commentary will be interested in source critical analyses. So, seeing which commentaries do or don't could be helpful for those who either want it or the reverse. 

Stances are more difficult to document. Let's take as an illustrative example the idea that a passage that pertains to election could be interpreted in a "calvinistic" or "arminian" way. Surely, there would be a full spectrum of variations in views that might be misrepresented by either label. I think it may be more difficult to label these properly and incontroversially.

As far as graphical interface is concerned, I like the "browser" model in Logos. 

As far as feasibility is concerned, it needs not be all or nothing: it could be a progressive tagging.

Yet several questions arise:

(1) What's in it for Faithlife that would make the time investment worthwhile?

(2) Would there be sufficient interest/use for it?

(3) Would this be seen as lessening the value of the Lexham guides that Faithlife has already invested in?

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 29 2017 5:04 AM

Thanks to all those who have voted for this suggestion.  If you would still like to vote for the project, you can do so here: https://logos.uservoice.com/forums/42823-logos-bible-software-7/suggestions/17871697-create-a-database-of-biblical-issues-and-stances-w

I meant to post that rows 194-198 are some of the most interesting in the main spreadsheet.  I guess I should have moved them up to the top, so I've reordered the spreadsheet, copying the important overview rows to the top.  These show the most popular recent stance for each issue, with notes and a list of exceptions, plus whether a graph is available in the Jude Charts spreadsheet.  The overview is now followed by the Study Bibles, English Translations, Greek Versions and then the commentaries, journals and other studies. 

The updated version is here: 5428.Jude Issues and Stances - 29 December 2017.xlsx

Comments, suggestions and corrections welcome.

Posts 579
Andrew Baguley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 29 2017 5:45 AM

Many thanks for the response, Francis.  I'll try to respond to your points.

Firstly, thank you for recognising that it is a good concept.  I think that with good integration, it would be well used.  I also think that many people will think that it will take more time to compile than it needs to.  I've tried to transparently stand on the shoulders of others, using some of the best work out there to summarise the issues and the stances of different interpreters.  Once the issues have been decided, it is quicker than I thought it would be to log the data.

Limiting the suggestion to covering issues would come closer to the Lexham Bible Guides as they now are.  This would be much more limiting than I would like.  Detailing the most current stances has been really quite informative in itself, and allowing people to produce graphs would allow people to discover traits and patterns for themselves.  If I can find the time, I might try to outline some key findings, and how the data made them clear.

For a small number of issues, nuance is important.  I've found that the Exegetical Summaries series falls short here at times as I have plunged into commentaries to check the summaries.  Refinement over time will help, but it will never fully capture the spectrum for all issues.  I found myself drawing a few conclusions regarding the Jude data that didn't quite hold up as I checked the data.  However, the overall benefit outweighs this difficulty.  For an example that illustrates this difficulty, see the final paragraph in the Jude Analysis document.

I fully agree with progressive tagging.  I suggested this above, saying:

"It's a sizeable undertaking, but I think a worthwhile one.  The problem is if we try to aim for completeness which, as you say could never really be achieved.  However, the trick is to start with an achievable step, and then keep expanding.  The SIL Exegetical Summaries (SILES) series could provide the initial base data, and the list of commentaries could be limited to, say, the top 20 commentaries on www.bestcommentaries.com that are available in Logos, for each book of the Bible.  The exact number isn't important.  Probably the best commentaries to include first are those that are systematically referneced by the top commentaries.  If the SILES data is used, then the first stage could be largely automated.

My feeling is that if you decide your initial questions/issues, such as in SILES, then it doesn't take as long as you'd think to skim commentaries and match them against the questions.  In time, the list of questions could expand (e.g. which are the focus of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentaries, as they're written, or better still those treated at length in the major commentary series, such as the Word Biblical Commentaries, the recent International Critical Commentary Series, Anchor Yale, NIGTC, NICNT and BECNT)."

In response to your questions:

1) What's in it for Faithlife? I think Faithlife are interested in helping people understand the Bible, and need to find ways to make money from doing so in order to pay for the project.  My suggestion helps people understand the Bible, and written the right way could point people to commentaries to explore different ideas, much like the Lexham Bible Guides do, thus increasing sales.  I would see it either as an interactive feature within Logos, included in a Feature Set, or incorporated into the Lexham Bible Guides, providing the data that I think they currently lack, both as evidence of what is said, and of extra information that they could quite easily include.

2) Would there be sufficient interest/use?  I would like to think so, but it's difficult to prove the concept up front.  I can foresee many more uses than I have so far documented, and I think it could easily become a major 'go to' point for checking out the biases and perspectives of the main commentaries, translations and study bibles people use, and the impact these have on the text and interpretation.  I'm not sure how Logos decide to produce their feature sets.  I suspect that a lot of people would not really see the use of many of them until they have the tool in front of them.  Even then, not every tool will be used by everyone.  I'm not sure how they usually gauge interest up front.

3) Would this lessen the value of the Lexham guides?  Personally I think it would add to their value, whether incorporated into them or produced separately.  I suggest, as I suggested years ago, that there could be more issues covered, with better evidence for what is said, and a wider treatment of commentaries.  The Guides are good overviews, but are not transparent as to their own biases, and sometimes make things seem clearer and less controversial than they are.  The overview of commentaries suggested is as transparent as possible, and tackles all of the major issues that the major commentaries tackle.  Instead of simply saying "most commentators now think...", it provides the easily-checked evidence.  The Lexham Guides generally point to one commentary per stance for controversial issues.  They have (hopefully) curated the best.  My suggestion also allows people to click through to alternative commentaries with the same stance, to see how others have argued their case, or to click through to those who stand against, for their perspective.  If people don't have the "best" commentary for arguing the stance, they still might have one of their commentaries with the stance, which should be clear from a glance at the data, and they can then decide whether investing in the "best" commentary would help them.

I hope this sheds some light at least.

Thanks for engaging.

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