Important Passages: References to or from?

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Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Nov 2 2018 10:03 AM

I must confess that I am confused by the distinction between the options of/from in the Important Passages Guide. My impression is that one should not read the line as a sentence such "I am searching references of commentaries to all passages" which is a far from clear in meaning.

As I understand it, these are terms of the query as in the search panel: search what (e.g., references in commentaries) and where (passages referred to in commentaries on my passage vs passages whose commentaries refer to my passage).

This understanding works okay with commentaries (incl. use of the OT in the NT). But how the from/to distinction applies to lexica and shared concepts is unclear to me.

I did not find the tutorial video enlightening: it speaks of "John 1:1-3 referring to all passages". This sentence makes no sense on the face of it (John 1:1-3 does not refer to all passages!).

Help anyone?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 10:37 AM

Francis:
As I understand it, these are terms of the query as in the search panel: search what (e.g., references in commentaries) and where (passages referred to in commentaries on my passage vs passages whose commentaries refer to my passage).

If your reference is John 3:16, and Commentaries to passage shows John 4:42, and Commentaries from passage shows Isaiah 9:6, this means:

  • To: When people comment on John 4:42, they mention John 3:16 a lot.
  • From: When people comment on John 3:16, they mention Isaiah 9:6 a lot.

I agree that to/from is confusing with lexicons, etc. With lexicons and John 3:16, Romans 5:8 is one of the highest "to" entries and John 1:14 is one of the highest "from" entries. As I understand it, this means:

  • To: When you look at the lemmas in Romans 5:8, the lexical entries for those lemmas mention John 3:16 a lot.
  • From: When you look at the lemmas in John 3:16, the lexical entries for those lemmas mention John 1:14 a lot.
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Peter Venable | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 10:43 AM

It makes more sense if you think of the "From / To" distinction as being independent of the "Type".

Important Passages are ranked by how often commentaries discussing the "From" passage mention the "To" passage, so "To" is the most natural way to use this section. Switching to "From" reverses that, showing passages from which commentaries often mention the current passage.

Given this list, the "Types" of commonalities between passages are then added. While they can influence the score of a passage, they are secondary, and typically independent of the direction (From / To).

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 11:04 AM

Thanks Mark for your explanation which are easier to understand with regard to the two types you picked. 

Peter Venable:
Given this list, the "Types" of commonalities between passages are then added. While they can influence the score of a passage, they are secondary, and typically independent of the direction (From / To).

Is this because whereas there are many commentaries and lexica, there is only one source (Logos) for the datasets used to query most other shared data types?

Also, what does "all passages" mean? Is it reference to/from all passages or reference to/from the passage one starts with? 

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LogosEmployee

Francis:
Also, what does "all passages" mean? Is it reference to/from all passages or reference to/from the passage one starts with? 

We originally had plans to allow you to filter the list of target references, but there was not time to implement this filter. If this feature gets implemented, then you will be able to click "all passages" to select a passage filter for the results.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 11:36 AM

Andrew Batishko (Faithlife):
We originally had plans to allow you to filter the list of target references, but there was not time to implement this filter.

Yes! That's what I had guessed!

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 11:38 AM

Peter Venable:

It makes more sense if you think of the "From / To" distinction as being independent of the "Type".

Important Passages are ranked by how often commentaries discussing the "From" passage mention the "To" passage, so "To" is the most natural way to use this section. Switching to "From" reverses that, showing passages from which commentaries often mention the current passage.

This suggests my understanding is wrong. Could you confirm that?

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 2 2018 1:16 PM

Peter Venable:

It makes more sense if you think of the "From / To" distinction as being independent of the "Type".

Important Passages are ranked by how often commentaries discussing the "From" passage mention the "To" passage, so "To" is the most natural way to use this section. Switching to "From" reverses that, showing passages from which commentaries often mention the current passage.

Given this list, the "Types" of commonalities between passages are then added. While they can influence the score of a passage, they are secondary, and typically independent of the direction (From / To).

This is difficult to understand, never mind to remember. If the section is important, wouldn't it help if it were also intuitive?

What do you think about just explaining the direction with a heading like "Important passages mentioned in commentaries that discuss Jn 3.16."

Also, what if the From/To directions were more visual? Something along the lines of Jn 3.16 ->, and -> Jn 3.16.

Let's please make the tools easier for all of us to understand, as well as easier to use.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 3:14 AM

The newly released help file now clarifies for users that: 

"Users can choose whether the displayed references are To the entered passage or From the entered passage by clicking To, which is located next to All Types."

However, it does not answer the other questions that have been raised above. I think that there is need to reformulate the terms in the section. Hopefully, we will get answers to our questions which can then help us offer suggestions as to what could be clearer formulations. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 3 2018 3:16 PM

Francis:
Hopefully, we will get answers to our questions which can then help us offer suggestions as to what could be clearer formulations. 

You lost me. "Clearer formulations" of what?

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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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 4 2018 1:13 AM

MJ. Smith:
"Clearer formulations" of what?

A rephrasing of the wording of Important Passages so that users can more readily understand what it means.

Posts 3658
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 4:58 AM

MP's post on Important Passages produces a simple example that does not mention the to/from distinction. It then provides this explanation, which in my view, obscures rather than helps:

"Here’s just a little context for Important Passages: all of the cross-references in this section are coming from Logos catalog of commentaries and are related to the passage we’re studying. After locating the cross-references that authors mention in their commentaries, “Logos” makes an “educated guess” as to how or why they’re related to the passage under study."

The reference to commentaries is puzzling since the example he offered is a search from shared People/Places/Things. One would think these are related to Logos' corresponding datasets...

The quest for a more limpid explanation of how the tool works and how it is best used continues then.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 10:58 AM

The explanation is, if I understand correctly:

  1. All references are pulled from all commentaries and sorted into groups - passages coming from commentaries on verse x, passages in commentaries pointing to verse x.
  2. A ranking algorithm is applied
  3. To build the subcategories, the pairs of verses are screened against datasets e.g. cultural concepts, commands, people/places/things . . .

But the collection of reference pairs from the commentaries is always the driving force.

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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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 12:37 PM

What about the lexicons type? Seems strange (and ultimately questionable) that lemma overlap should be decided on the basis of references in commentaries. 

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Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 1:20 PM

Francis:

This post also appears to have the wrong screenshot in the middle...none of the descriptors match the steps he gives in the writing.

I noted this in the comments but they apparently deleted my comment without fixing the graphic.

(NB: If I'm confusing 'Important Passages' with 'Important Words' then my comment is moot....but I don't think I am.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 2:03 PM

Francis:
What about the lexicons type? Seems strange (and ultimately questionable) that lemma overlap should be decided on the basis of references in commentaries.

Here’s just a little context for Important Passages: all of the cross-references in this section are coming from Logos catalog of commentaries and are related to the passage we’re studying.

For other types of lemma overlap, see important words.

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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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 5 2018 2:18 PM

Francis:

What about the lexicons type? Seems strange (and ultimately questionable) that lemma overlap should be decided on the basis of references in commentaries. 

This is how I understand what Peter was implying above and in the light of some discussion during the beta (it's different to what I said earlier, so I presume I was wrong):

  • To be included in the "Lexicons" section, a verse must appear both in the commentaries discussing the passage, and in the lexical entries for the lemmas in the passage.
  • The ranking of this section (and indeed the other sections) is determining by the frequency of the passage in the commentaries, not the frequency of the passage in the lexicons.
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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 6 2018 12:17 AM

Mark Barnes:
To be included in the "Lexicons" section, a verse must appear both in the commentaries discussing the passage, and in the lexical entries for the lemmas in the passage.

Let's try to break this down (if I understand you and what MJ said earlier correctly):

1. Step 1: Produces a "References of Commentaries" type of list of most "Important" passages. To or from is determined by the user and is only really applicable at this stage.

2. Step 2: Determines in how many lexical entries a given important passage (from step 1) and the passage one started from both appear. Important passages are then ranked to show first the important passages that appear the most with the user passage in lexical entries.

Supposing that this is correct. Let's try to apply this Places/People/Thing. 

1. Step 1 always remains the same (a References of Commentaries type list).

2. Step 2 Takes a given important passage and determines how many Places/People/Things it has in common with the passage one started with (based on Logos datasets). Important passages are then ranked to show first the important passages in which there are most of these shared biblical entities.

Still supposing that this is correct, other questions follow:

1. Which commentaries does Important Passages query? A universal database or the commentaries one own? If the latter, could not the ranking be affected by the happenstance of the commentaries one has?

2. Same question with regard to lexica: universal or user-owned?

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Richard Wardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 6 2018 12:43 AM

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 6 2018 12:44 AM

Francis:

1. Which commentaries does Important Passages query? A universal database or the commentaries one own? If the latter, could not the ranking be affected by the happenstance of the commentaries one has?

2. Same question with regard to lexica: universal or user-owned?

I only have two minutes before I need to pop out, so I can't think about your other questions well enough in that time. But these answers I think I do know.

This dataset is compiled on Faithlife's servers, and therefore is for all the resources in the Logos universe. Everyone should have the same data. Let's double-check that: here's what I see for John 3:16:

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