Basics in Bible Syntax

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Jason Wells | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, May 8 2021 6:12 AM

Good morning all,

Apologies if this is a repost - I have looked but not found what I was looking for.

I am not a minister - just someone who is seeking, so I don't have the Seminary answer and have large gaps in my understanding.

My question is this: Does anyone know of a post or reference to a resource (in the general sense, not the ones in my library) that discusses Bible basics. Specifically, I would like to understand the syntax of a verse, etc. For example, if I copy and paste Rom 8:24-25 using "Fully formatted with Footnotes" I get the following:

Romans 8:24–25 (NIV)

24 For in this hope we were saved.c But hope that is seen is no hope at all.d Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.e

c  1 Th 5:8; Tit 3:7 d  See 2 Co 4:18 e  Ps 37:7   The New International Version. (2011). (Ro 8:24–25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

What I am looking for is an understanding of what "c", "d", and "e" refer to and why does "d" say "See" in front of the citation vice the others which do not. Also, it seems that these references aren't universal, meaning that when I look at my printed CSB, I don't see any references (much less the ones above.)

Often the references seem "attached at the hip" to the original scripture but sometimes I don't get the reference at all.  

Having said that, I have many similar questions so any references to general Bible syntax would be great!

Thank you so much!

In Him,

Jason

Posts 1506
HJ. van der Wal | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 8 2021 7:01 AM

Shalom Jason!

Your question reminds me of an old blog post from the Libronix-days of Logos Bible Software: https://blog.logos.com/those_little_nu/ 

The footnotes and cross-references are part of the translation. The preface to the NIV only has a very brief explanation of the footnotes in this version. The explanation in the preface to the English Standard Version is much more helpful: https://ref.ly/logosres/esv?art=features 

Jason Wells:

why does "d" say "See" in front of the citation vice the others which do not.

The word "see" probably indicates that if you go to 2 Cor 4:18 you will find there several other cross-references.

Posts 513
Leo Wee Fah | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 8 2021 7:52 AM

From NIV Study Bible from another software platform:

„ÄčThe NIV cross-reference system resembles a series of interlocking chains with many links. The head, or organizing, link in each concept chain is indicated by the letter “S” (short for “See”). The appearance of a head link in a list of references usually signals another list of references that will cover a slightly different aspect of the concept or word being studied. The various chains in the cross-reference system—which is virtually inexhaustible—continually intersect and diverge.

This cross-reference system was first introduced to NIV Study Bible in 1985.

Posts 919
Bill Anderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 8 2021 7:57 AM

Jason Wells:

Good morning all,

Apologies if this is a repost - I have looked but not found what I was looking for.

I am not a minister - just someone who is seeking, so I don't have the Seminary answer and have large gaps in my understanding.

My question is this: Does anyone know of a post or reference to a resource (in the general sense, not the ones in my library) that discusses Bible basics. Specifically, I would like to understand the syntax of a verse, etc. For example, if I copy and paste Rom 8:24-25 using "Fully formatted with Footnotes" I get the following:

Romans 8:24–25 (NIV)

24 For in this hope we were saved.c But hope that is seen is no hope at all.d Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.e

c  1 Th 5:8; Tit 3:7 d  See 2 Co 4:18 e  Ps 37:7   The New International Version. (2011). (Ro 8:24–25). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Jason,

As I read this, you appear to be asking more about what the footnotes of this verse mean, not the syntax of the verse. Syntax refers to the way the words are arranged and to the grammar of the verse, etc. The idea behind the cross references is to allow Scripture to interpret Scripture; that is, to let the Bible be its own interpreter of the meaning of a particular verse by comparing it to other passages.

To me, the "c" footnote provides cross references to other N.T. passages that have the word "hope" in it and also the concept of salvation. The "d" footnote provides another N.T. passage that illumines what Paul may have meant by "But hope that is seen is no hope at all." The "e" footnote takes you to Psalm 37:7 which can illumine the concept of "patiently" in the verse. "See" before the passage referenced in footnote "d" alerts you to the passage indicated. When you do, you will see that the end of that verse has a footnote with three other passages you can look at.

Posts 11
Jason Wells | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 10 2021 3:08 AM

Good morning gentlemen,

Thank you for your time and explanations. It is fairly obvious that the scriptural references are some sort of cross reference but I was hoping to find something like Bill stated in his post. I would also think that somewhere there would be a comment on why the editor thought the particular scripture was a good reference rather than leaving the reader to himself to determine the intent.

There are so many types of references these days (even in print - much less with Logos) that I was hoping to understand what differentiates this cross reference/footnote system over any of the other options. 

My print Bible states, "Footnotes are used to show readers how the original biblical language has been understood" but this also led me to believe that there would be some sort of standard (-ish ) interpretation across translations. 

Regardless, I guess the answer remains (as in almost every other facet of life), "it depends." Ambiguity remains, and I believe that is the answer here - it depends on the version I am reading.

With this answer, I am hoping that Logos just uses each version's original reference system - otherwise I am further confused!

Thanks again - you all are Logos' best resource!

Jason

Posts 5444
Forum MVP
Mike Binks | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 10 2021 8:35 AM

Jason Wells:
With this answer, I am hoping that Logos just uses each version's original reference system - otherwise I am further confused!

On this you can be sure - a quick check against a print version will confirm.

Logos (usually) faithfully reproduces the print version electronically even to the point of being reluctant to correct typos in the original until a new, corrected, print version emerges.

tootle pip

Mike

How to get logs and post them. (now tagging post-apocalyptic fiction as current affairs)

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