Reliability of Morph searches in Logos vs Bibleworks vs Accordance

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 8:51 AM

Perfect summary, Francis. Yes

All of us in so many areas of life, both related to faith and not, have a worldview that is in great part the fruit of both good and bad scholarship, which, as it were, "trickles down" over time and helps form culture. Oftentimes we are unaware of our own presuppositions or how our ideas were influenced by some academic (or anti-academic!) sitting at his desk for hours on end 20, 200, or 2000 years ago!


I, for my part, am now a man of letters, because I am primarily a man of faith (I hope). It is the motivation and end-goal of my work, a tool, not an end in itself.


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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 9:07 AM

I, for my part, am now a man of letters, because I am primarily a man of faith (I hope). It is the motivation and end-goal of my work, a tool, not an end in itself.

Glory to God!

"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.'    Philippians 1:6  (NASB)


Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 9:47 AM

Francis, carefully avoiding 'theology' (but actually speaking to the validity of hefty investments in Logos), I'm using 'Church' as the final judge being Jesus; obviously His judgment equals His Church.  And I'm using 'church' as the proposed replica by the various scholars, ecclesiastics, etc. (there being mucho proposed replicas).

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 2:39 PM

if Logos could be installed on school computers, I think it would contribute positively to advertising it and promote rather than dispense the need of buying it.

I agree, in fact this is probably one of the reasons why some scholars use Accordance and Bibleworks, because they are familiar with it from using them in school and because their mentors and teachers recommend them. 

However, you mentioned price, and that is another big factor, too. The Biblical Language package is on sale for 637.48 USD but normally 749,95 USD, one can get Accordance's Biblical language collection for 299.00 USD, and BibleWorks for 359.00 USD. Of, course someone on the Academic program could get Logos Biblical Language package for less, But what about translators no longer in school? For, them  Logos, lowest priced standard basepackage is 250.71 USD which comes with few scholarly, tools for the use of translation.

Another, problem is Marketing and Advertising as you mentioned in passing. I would go farther and say that Logos doesn't market it self well (if at all to language scholars) their focus seems to be on those who want large theological libraries and animated features (nothing wrong with that, okay). Also, look and see who recommends Logos, Are, those mega church preachers, inspiration writers, authors of self help books, or are they textual critics and language scholars? 

Now, as for the tagging issue! Logos, has (recently) improved their Dead Seas scrolls sectarian data base. That was good step to take seeing the many complaints about it in years past. Some on these forums have also complained about the tagging in the LXX (not only you).  However, Logos does have a different tagging philosophy in regards to Greek, and someone from logos once mentioned this on the forums a a year or two ago when controversy arose. Not, everyone agreed with Logos tagging style, but at least the explained it. I will try to find that post for you, soon. 

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 3:03 PM

I agree with your comments have the relative value of packages for academics and the rather high price tag for the language collection. I have a lot of resources already and there is not all that much in the "new to you" list but the biblical languages collection, with dynamic pricing, with academic discount, would still be $525.

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James Hiddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 14 2014 3:25 PM

I don't know where you see the $499 for the Accordance 11 BL version but I see $299. I can prove it if you want.

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BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 1:34 AM

James Hiddle:

I don't know where you see the $499 for the Accordance 11 BL version but I see $299. I can prove it if you want.

I am not sure if you are talking to me or Francis, but in my post written early today at 7:39 AM I quoted the same price as you did:

one can get Accordance's Biblical language collection for 299.00 USD 

And, anyway my point was Accordance and BibleWorks provide scholarly tools at a much lower price than Logos currently does. Which, is a reason why Accordance and BibleWorks are adopted by scholars and schools. 

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

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James Hiddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 8:22 AM

Someone mentioned it was $499 but now I can't find that post.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 8:33 AM

James Hiddle:
Someone mentioned it was $499 but now I can't find that post.

I was the guilty party, but I removed that part of my post when I found out it was mistaken, because I did not want future readers to be confused by it. Instead, I confused present readers! Hmm

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James Hiddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 10:09 AM

Ok so I'm not losing my mind than Big Smile

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Unix | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 10:20 AM

It's incredible how many think Logos/Verbum can be everything. The company just has a large market share among customers who spend above a certain amount, and there's nothing particularly special about that. Faithlife has many problems: cost, slowness when up and running (and this doesn't seem to get solved other than that books are now cached in RAM once they have been opened), non-intuitiveness, aggressive marketing, huge difference in philosophy between buying individual resources compared to the largest bundles and some of the base-packages and thereby non-flexibility, the company having huge costs for customers returning items and customer service, not being able to input the CVV code makes it more difficult to buy, very difficult to get anything on a payment plan, some resources being outrageously expensive compared to Accordance such as devotionals and Wesley, huge version upgrade steps with few and weird crossgrade alternatives - meaning there are no free upgrades.

48G AMD octacore V9.2 Acc 12

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 10:35 AM

Just reflecting on some of these points

slowness when up and running (and this doesn't seem to get solved other than that books are now cached in RAM once they have been opened),

As has been discussed elsewhere very dependent on hardware configurations.


I don't understand what this means in this context

few and weird crossgrade alternatives

there are five crossgrade options (three standard and two Verbum) and they seem sensible and reasonable to me

meaning there are no free upgrades.

there will be a free update to the core Logos 6 engine in February

But I don't understand why you make most of the points you do in the context of this thread which is talking about reliability of searches

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BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 8:21 PM

Hello Francis,

If, you are still out there (and even if you are not) you might enjoy reading the following thread this 2013 thread titled: Greek Lemma Questions

that thread points out and covers some of the issue concerning why some of Logos' morphological Greek texts sometimes have different tagging from those in Accordance and BibleWorks. 

Here, are a few more issues you might want to consider when making your request for improvement in regards to scholarly texts:

(2) Tov's MT/LXX Parallel Up to date?

(3) ἔρημος or ἐρῆμος

The followings issues have been fixed :

(4) After years and several posts, typos remain in Logos' non-biblical DSS (QSM)

(5) Not, a tagging issue, but a graphics/display issue concerning the Dead Sea Scroll Sectarian text:

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

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BKMitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 19 2014 4:01 AM

Here is dated, but information on issues that still apply to morphological tagging:

(Warring: the Bible Software programs mentioned below have evolved, and have a lot more morphological tagged texts than they did back in the 90's when this was written) 

Researchers who use these tools should be aware of how these potential pitfalls can affect the accuracy of their analysis.

The following discussion focuses on the Greek New Testament, but the principles are applicable to searching the Hebrew Bible and Septuagint.

Differences in the Underlying Biblical Texts

  1. Different Morphologically Tagged Texts

    As has been shown, there is a considerable variation in the tagging schemes used in Greek New Testament texts. The Friberg texts use a more functional classification method than other texts. Even the Friberg 2 text still has many functional and unusual classifications. The Gramcord and CCAT texts use largely formal classifications.

    Unfortunately, except for Gramcord, the manuals for popular Bible-search programs rarely discuss the assumptions used in the classification of words. Yet it is essential that researchers understand the nature of the underlying machine-readable biblical text if their analysis of the text is to be meaningful.

    The print edition of the Friberg 1 text has an appendix outlining the criteria used for the tags (Barbara and Timothy Friberg, eds., Analytical Greek New Testament, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981). Unfortunately there is no similar book explaining the classification philosophy of the revised Friberg text. In many instances TheWord deviates from the Friberg 1 tags, without documenting the differences. No program makes use of more than one of the Friberg multiple classifications of ambiguous words and no program documents the selection criteria...

  1. Many tagged texts have some functional or unusual classifications of words which can produce unexpected search results.

    In Gramcord, many foreign words such a hosanna are classified as interjections. However, foreign proper nouns are classified as nouns and parsed by function in context. By contrast, Bible Windows and Bible Works classify hosanna as a particle.

    Conjunctions and particles are particularly difficult words to classify. A beginning user might miss many occurrences of kai if he only searches for the word as a conjunction. Since kai also functions as an adverb in some cases, most programs will sometimes classify it as an adverb. However, as the following chart shows, the classification choices in individual instances vary considerably:

  1. Bible Windows was unable to report the total number of occurrences of kai, because it only allows 750 matches in a search. Since it is hard to predict how a program will classify the word in any given passage, the safest approach is to search for all possible classifications and manually eliminate invalid matches. The Gramcord manual documents how many times each word is classified as a conjunction, particle or adverb, which makes it easier to define searches that will find all occurrences of such words.

    Since the Friberg text (Bible Works and TheWord) attempts to classify many words by function based on discourse analysis, some classifications may be surprising to users. Friberg 1 uses the category of "substantive adjective" to refer to adjectives which are used as nouns in context. For example, agathos ("good") is classified as a substantive adjective in Mt 5:45 ("he makes the sun shine on the evil and the good). This type of classification affects 4131 occurrences of 1068 words in 3009 verses! While adjectives can certainly function as substantives, the term "substantive adjective" is not a part of speech used by most Greek grammars. It would be easy for a user to accidentally miss many important occurrences of adjectives unless he searches both for "adjectives" and "substantive adjectives". The Friberg 2 text eliminates the substantive adjective classification, but it introduces other surprising functional classifications. For example, in most cases Friberg 2 classifies relative pronouns as adjectives, with an adjective subtype of "relative." It introduces a category of participial imperative (168 occurrences of 120 words in 135 verses) and (7813 occurrences of 1726 words in 4792 verses).

    Functional classifications such as those frequently used in Friberg's text are more subjective than formal classifications. Their value depends largely on the accuracy of the classifier's interpretation of the text. While they appear to be objective raw data, in fact they contain the prior conclusions of another researcher, which tends to skew the search results to fit the classifier's own viewpoint.

  2. Treatment of Classification Ambiguities

    Even the strictest formal classification method must classify certain words by function in context, since the morphology of these words is inconclusive. While in most cases the meaning is clear in the context, in some instances the grammatical classification is subject to scholarly debate. For example, the gender of potamou could be either neuter or masculine. In Mt 6:13 the meaning is debated: Does the Lord's Prayer ask for deliverance from "evil" (neuter) or "the evil one" (masculine)? Since Bible Windows 2, Gramcord and Accordance classify potamou in Mt 6:13 as neuter, a search for masculine adjectives will not find the verse. By contrast, TheWord and Bible Works classify the word as masculine and do not allow the word to be found in a search for masculine adjectives! Only Bible Windows 3 acknowledges both possible parsings and allows the word to be found with either search.

    Bible-search programs would be more useful if they marked such words as ambiguous and allowed searching on the multiple classifications. The print version of the Friberg text includes multiple classifications in many instances. However, at this time only Bible Windows 3 allows searching on Friberg's multiple classifications. Although Bible Works and TheWord both remove the multiple parsings in Friberg 1, the documentation does not explain the criteria used to make these choices.

    Gramcord makes a good attempt at handling ambiguous classifications. In many cases, it tags words in multiple ways and flags the ambiguous classification in the resulting concordance. The documentation lists all ambiguous classifications which are used. However, even Gramcord could be improved in this area. For example, it does not include the ambiguous classification ofpotamou in Mt 6:13.

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 19 2014 5:03 AM

I went to look up in the preface and intros on several morph-tagged texts and found this kind of things:


Interested users can gain a fair knowledge of our policies and practices by consulting F. I. Andersen and A. D. Forbes, “Hebrew Grammar Visualised: I. Syntax,” ANES 40 (2003) 43-61. Full details of our policies and practices as regards the text and its representation by phrase markers are supplied in Biblical Hebrew Grammar Visualized, published by Eisenbrauns. Current information can be found at our website:

BHS 4.2

The information in this paragraph was drawn directly from Alan Groves, “Supplement to the Code Manual for the Michigan Old Testament” (last revised 7 June 1989). This document and further information can be found at the World Wide Web site of the Westminster Hebrew Institute at

I did not find (skimming quickly) something similar in Penner, Ken, and Michael S. Heiser. “Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology.” Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2008.

Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts:

The text of the scrolls has been tagged using the Michigan-Westminster grammatical tagging scheme, the same system used in the Biblia Hebraica Westmonasteriensis, with some modifications to accomodate the fragmentary nature of some of the scrolls. Sentence breaks have been indicated wherever possible, so that searches of more than one line can be executed. These breaks are often approximate and subject to debate.

I don't really have the time to check more resources or explore the websites that are referred to. It is to be hoped that they do in fact answer the kind of questions we might have and that it does not require too much poking around in order to find these answers. I do think that a section on morphologies (characteristics, differences) would be a useful (and needed) addition to the help file.

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