TIP of the day: Factbook person - dictionary section

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jun 19 2015 5:50 PM

In Tip of the day: Events in the life of a Biblical person we explored the events section of the Factbook. Here we will explore the Dictionary section.


1. Navigate Tools ==> Bible Reference ==Factbook to open a Factbook panel.

2. Enter the name of a Biblical character - I am using Mary (Magdelene) as the example as she illustrates some of the problems that arise on an individual with a common name. TIP of the day: Why set a community tag - correcting information illustrates one of the problems.

a. Hover on a title brings up an information popup on the resource

b. The linked article (shown in blue) can be clicked, ALT + clicked, right clicked (Context menu) or dragged and dropped to open the dictionary to the article in the location of your choice.

3. Not all articles appearing here are well selected. The Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible is acknowledged as an error by Logos and will be corrected. However Smith’s Bible Dictionary and Every Woman in the Bible err in including all Mary’s rather than specifically Mary Magdalene.

The explanation for this “error” is:

Sean Boisen:

Initially we only had a general topic for named people in the LCV, effectively "people named Mary". This reflected the organization of virtually every Bible dictionary: they put them together in a single article, typically with sub-articles distinguishing them. That makes sense in the print world, where you first look up "Mary" and then look more closely for the one you want. It doesn't make sense in the digital world (which is why the Lexham Bible Dictionary will eventually have a distinct article for each).

We've since made the LCV topics more fine-grained, to match what we have in the biblical text (in the case of Marys, we have seven). We've been going back through the dictionaries to make the linkage more specific, but we still have some data connection issues to work out so we don't lose that specificity. Just to be clear, we haven't tagged the DDD article with anything other than "people named Mary".

To report errors in this section, or any section of Factbook, use the Respond section at the end of the Factbook panel. This allows Faithlife to prioritize the work based upon users’ concerns.

Context Menu

3. Open the ESV and navigate to Matt 27:56.

4. Select Mary Magdalene and right-click to bring up the Context Menu. Note the ESV has a reverse interlinear which should insure the accuracy of its data.

5. On the right side of the menu select the person Mary Magdalene. Note that the dictionaries listed are precisely those seen in Factbook, complete with the same problem cases.

6. Click or drag-and-drop to open a Bible dictionary at the specified article from the menu.


7. To see what curating the list of resources included in the Factbook gains the user, compare a basic search on Heading Text and Large text on resources with type:encyclopedia – the closest the user can get to selecting Bible Dictionary entries on Mary Magdalene without creating special collections. Items such as A Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature and The Prayer Book Dictionary are omitted as belonging to a broader context than “Bible facts”. Resource such as All the People in the Bible: An A-Z Guide to the Saints, Scoundrels and Other Characters in Scripture may be requested via the Respond section of the Factbook.

8. You may make a Collection containing just the resources of your choice to search if neither the Factbook selection or the type:encyclopedia serve your purpose. An example of when you might wish to do this: when teaching a class to restrict yourself to dictionaries commonly available to the participants.


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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