TIP of the day: Getting to know the people part 3a: events of their lives

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Sep 8 2016 10:49 PM

Logos provides us with many tools for tracing the lives of individuals ... unfortunately most of these tools are sparsely populated and there is no provision for us to expand/customize them to meet our particular needs. Tools include:

  • Timeline
  • Bible People Visual Timelines (interactive)
  • Narrative Character Maps (interactive)
  • Factbook
  • Wikipedia

Important resources include:

  • Bible
  • most Bible dictionaries
  • Bible biographic dictionaries
  • Talmud
  • Ginzberg, Louis, Henrietta Szold, and Paul Radin. Legends of the Jews. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2003.
  • Hammer, Jill. Sisters at Sinai: New Tales of Biblical Women. First Edition. Philadelphia, PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2001.
  • Pseudepigrapha and apocrypha
  • Horne, Charles, and Julius Bewer. The Bible and Its Story. New York, NY: Francis R. Niglutsch, 1908
  • Stewart, Brody.  Verbum Treasury of Sacred Art. Bellingham, WA: Verbum, 2014.
  • Ryken, Leland, Jim Wilhoit, Tremper Longman, Colin Duriez, Douglas Penney, and Daniel G. Reid. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000. and similar works
  • Jeffrey, David L. A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1992.

Why such a broad range of tools and resources? Because the characters in the Bible range from quite detailed stories (think Abraham or Ruth) to very sparse information (think Melchizedek) - yet the use of Melchizedek in Hebrews makes him an essential character.

Starting point 1: The Factbook entry

1. Enter the character name into Factbook. You will be most interested in the Events, Dictionaries and Also see Sections:

  • Under Tools ==> Bible Reference ==> Factbook, click on Factbook to open the tool
  • Enter the name you want information about
  • Select the name from the drop down list
  • Hit enter

I am using Abraham as the example because he also appears in both the Bible People Visual Timelines and the Narrative Character Maps. He is not representative as several chapters of Genesis are devoted to his story.

2. Expand and review the Events Section - here we see that to read the story of Abraham we need to read from Terah settles in Haran (Gen 11:31) to Abraham dies (Gen 25:10). Depending upon your background, you may know that Jewish thought organizes his life around the "Ten Trials of Abraham" - as usual with such an old tradition, the 10 tests show variations - and emphasizes the final trail known as the Akedah which becomes very important in Christianity.

The Event Section:

  • Click on the arrow head on the left of the section bar to expand the section
  • Click on the "more" at the bottom of the list as many times as is necessary to completely expand the list
  • (2) marks the Biblical reference for the beginning of the Abraham narrative
  • (3) marks the Akedah
  • (4) marks the Biblical reference for the end of the Abraham narrative
  • (5) marks a New Testament reference to Abraham that will provide a strong clue as to the "meaning" of Abraham
  • (6) provides a link to the Biblical Event Navigator.

An aside: as a teacher one could reasonably ask to see the life of Abraham as given In Gen 11:31 - 25:10 as:

  • a timeline of the events in sequence with no dates indicated but with notes regarding age or duration when given
  • a map of his travels marking where each of the events occurred
  • or use his life to introduce the creation of narrative character maps

On mouse-over an information popup appears which gives more detail about the event:

Clicking on an event will open the Factbook to that Event. Note that you can use the back arrow on the right to return to your previous entry.

3. Use the Open in Biblical Event Navigator link at the bottom of the list to view the events in the Biblical Event Navigator.

Note that the Biblical Event Navigator is manipulated by expanding/contracting of event group headings. The event group headings and particular event precisely parallel what we see in Factbook. However, when we select a particular event, a descriptive panel opens in the right panel of the tool. This provides the following information:

  1. Selection of a bottom level event
  2. Title given the event in Logos
  3. Major participants in the event
  4. Setting of the event
  5. Defining passages of the event i.e. passage that actual describe the event as it occurs in narrative time
  6. Passages in which the event is mentioned / recalled / recounted. This gives strong clues as to what portions of the story have cultural significance at a later time.

For links in Participants and Settings the behavior is the same as above ... hover produces an information panel; a click opens the Factbook to the entry. Biblical passages provide a preview on hover and open your highest priority Bible that contains the passage on click.

One has options and navigation within the Biblical Event Navigator tool:

  1. You may select any Bible - translations or original language ... but that doesn't mean you'll get it (yes, I've entered an error report
  2. You may move back to the "adjacent" prior event
  3. You may move forward to the "adjacent" next event.

4. The Dictionary section provides a list of the dictionaries (broadly defined) that contain an entry on Abraham in the priority you have assigned to the dictionaries. Note that when your prioritization "runs out" Logos applies their default priorities. And yes I have reported the extraneous results ...

5. The See also section also lists events but in this case events as given in the timeline. It also provide the link to the Wikipedia article on Abraham.

  1. Expand the section via the arrow head on the section bar
  2. Expand lists within the section via the "more"
  3. Under Timeline you will find the various events involving Abraham that occur on the Timeline Tool
  4. Mouse-over provide a brief preview that includes a date (early-late set off the range of dates to which scholars assign the event).

Clicking on an event will open the Timeline tool "to" the event ... depending upon what your settings are from your previous use of the tool.

To give it more focus, set to the Patriarchal period:

Set the Subject to Biblical Studies

Set the type to Group of People or Individual

And if you really want focus Enter Abraham and any other relevant names into the filter box (space for "and", a comma for "or"). Note the 3 green bars for the Life of Abraham - Early, Late, and Rowley.

Mouse over the life bar gives you the number of events included in the timeline.

Mouse over a timeline item basically repeats the line; click opens an information panel; clicking on more within the information panel opens Factbook to the event. This is atypical behavior.

Typical behavior:

  • Click opens an information window
  • Mouse over will open an information card

  • Click opens an information window
  • Click on "more" in description will open Factbook to the event
  • for source link behavior, see below
  • Click on "more" in source list will display more sources

  • click on event in timeline opens informational panel
  • mouse over on resource in informational panel open preview panel for resource
  • click on resource in informational panel will open the resource to the appropriate article

6. Finally, at the bottom of See also is a Further Reading section with a link to Wikipedia which will open a version of the Wikipedia page within Logos.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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