Verbum Search through Tip of the Day #15b

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Sep 15 2020 7:19 PM

Tip 15b: Factbook Biblical Person: Events

Please be generous with your additional details, corrections, suggestions, and other feedback. This is being built in a .docx file for a PBB which will be shared periodically.

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Biblical Event Navigator

On mouse over, Open In Biblical Event Navigator identifies its function.

On right-click, a context menu comparable to those from the event list is available.

On click, the Biblical Event Navigator is opened. There is no documentation for this interactive. From Verbum Help:

Biblical Event Navigator

A collapsible tree view of biblical events (based on the Factbook narrative event hierarchy) that allows users to view the Bible’s large narrative arcsbroken down into the smaller stories that comprise themand explore significant details of each event.

Users can navigate in two ways:

•        Type the name of an event in the Find events box and click the relevant event in the sidebar on the left (or click the title of a bulleted event in the main panel). For example: type Life of Jesus, click an event in the sidebar, and click bulleted events until the desired event appears (if relevant).  

•        Expand the relevant sections of the tree to drill down to the desired event. For example: Life of Jesus > Passion week > Jesus’ resurrection > Jesus’ tomb is found empty > Women find the tomb empty

Events will display significant features with hyperlinks to Factbook entries for some or all of the following:

•        Participants links to the important individuals who took part in that event.

•        Setting links to the event’s location.

•        Important things links to significant impersonal things in the event.

•        Topics and Themes links to important ideas addressed by the event.

•        Defining Passages are the pericopes that tell of the event.

•        Mentioned In are other pericopes that mention or allude to the event.[1]

  1. The standard orange line at the top of the tab indicates that this is the active panel.
  2. The left panel is a hierarchical list of Biblical events (as defined by Faithlife) that expands and contracts as indicated by the arrowheads. The orange bar on the left margin and the blue background hue mark the selected event.
  3. Information on the selected events appears on the right panel. The elements shown include:
  • The event name serves as the title and matches the name given on the left.
  • Participants lists the major participants in the event. The behavior of the participants’ names is:
  • Setting lists the primary locations of the event. The behavior of the place names is:
  • Important Things lists significant objects utilized in the event. The behavior of the object names is:
  • Finally, the sub-events directly beneath the event are listed. If they are the final level, then the Biblical passage is given. Those without a Biblical passage can be expanded further.
  1. Sometimes there is an error in the results e.g. Lot is a person not a thing. Please report all errors you see; the error is often displayed in multiple places. You will help everyone who uses Verbum or Logos. Faithlife will not fix errors they do not know about. This is reported at BUG: Abraham's nephew is a thing?  Note that another error was found in the tool while researching for this post: BUG: History menu of Biblical Event Manager
  2. The Find events box is used to enter the name of an event. This allows faster access to an event, especially for “unknown” events.
  3. A select menu allows one to change the translation shown in the preview and opened on a click.

Behavior of the elements is standard. For the Biblical names, Biblical places, Biblical things, and Biblical events:

  • Mouse over displays information card
  • Right-click opens the context menu
  • Click opens Factbook to the Biblical person entry

For the Biblical passage references

  • Mouse over displays a preview in the top priority Bible containing the passage.
  • Right-click opens the context menu.
  • Click opens the top priority Bible containing the passage to the referenced passage.

The relationship between the Biblical Events as listed in Factbook and as displayed in the Biblical Event Navigator:

Note that Factbook shows the events including events up the hierarchical chain but it shows them as a simple list not as a hierarchy. Factbook gives Bible references for all events while the Biblical Event Manager shows references only on the lowest level, i.e. events that are not further subdivided.

Bible Context Menu

Step 1: Open the NRSV to Abram is called (Gen 11:31-12:7) by clicking the reference in Factbook.

Step 2: Select the entire reference. Note that it neither starts nor ends on pericope boundaries of the NRSV.

Step 3: Right click to open the Context Menu. Note that the first two levels and the terminal level appear in the context menu. The levels “God fulfills promises made to Abraham” and “Abraham is called” are omitted. As “Abraham is called” matches the boundaries of the selection, this has been reported as an error at BUG:Context Menu events omits exact match.

Step 4: Select God calls Abram (1), i.e. an event datatype, on the left side of the context menu. Note the options that are now available:

Available options include:

  • The Search (2) has all six standard options: an inline search, a search panel in either Bible or Basic mode, and the Basic search panel mode using all open, all resources, or everything. The inline search takes the following form:

    Note that this is dependent upon Faithlife tagging. The datatype for Biblical Event “<Event God calls Abram>” takes the same form as Biblical Person ”<Person Abraham>”. However, where the person tag attaches to a simple name, the event tag attaches to a section of text narrating the event (or referring to the event). {Section section item}. The highlighting of the results covers the full passage.

    The Bible Search shows both the narrated event (Gen 12:1-5) and references to the event in Joshua, Nehemiah, Acts . . . These appear in the Inline search form as well if one simply spins through the matches.
  • The copy options allow one to copy the search argument (3) giving “<Event God calls Abram>” i.e. the datatype for the Biblical event rather than the section form found in the actual searches.
  • The look up option (4) searches for a definition. Here it searches Factbook i.e. it opens Factbook to the event “God calls Abram”. This is identical to the Factbook option.
  • The Factbook option (5) opens Factbook to the event “God calls Abram”.
  • The Atlas option (6) opens the Atlas tool to a map tagged with this event:

    The Atlas repeats some event information (title, description, participants), provides links to Factbook and a Media Search, a list of related maps in the atlas, and media collections with relevant items. Selecting the Media search offers:

    The Media Collection results overlap the Media Collections section in the Atlas itself; the Atlas results match the list of maps in the Atlas itself; the Library (downloaded) results provide two useful interactives which have not previously been brought to the user’s attention.
    The Media search which will be explored later, has a simply format: Select Media as the search type; select the media type to search i.e. All media; select the resources to search i.e. all resources; and use the standard event datatype search argument <Event God calls Abram>.
  • The Timeline option (7) opens the Timeline to the event. Unfortunately, a bug causes the attention circles to bring attention to the wrong point: BUG: Attention circle brings attention to the wrong location.

    The “late” indicates there are differing opinions on the probably dates – this is the later of the dates; there is an entry for an “early” date.
    Clicking on the entry, brings up an information card:

    Clicking on the “More” in the information card, opens Factbook to the entry “God calls Abram”.
    Mouse over “Difficulties with Early and Later Dates” displays a preview of the referenced article in the BEB (Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. 1988. “Exodus, The.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1: 742–46.). Clicking opens the resource to the appropriate location. Warning: I have not explored the effect of prioritization on this feature.

Odds and ends

Faithlife has provided no documentation on the Biblical Events dataset. Therefore, we have no knowledge of the criteria used to create the hierarchy offered us. Initially, the Biblical Events omitted the deuterocanonical books. Therefore, the user may wish to use other structures of Biblical Events for which more information is available. Some possibilities:

  • Cavins, Jeff, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer. 2011. The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation. Ascension Press. This resource supports a popular Bible study program. A teacher may wish to integrate with this selection of eras and key events.
  • Walton, John H., and Kim E. Walton. 2010. The Bible Story Handbook: A Resource for Teaching 175 Stories from the Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. This resource divides the Protestant (Calvinist) canon into story units for which it supplies a Lesson Focus, Lesson Application, Biblical Context, Interpretational Issues in the Story, Background Information, and Mistakes to Avoid.
  • Discovering God’s Story: Fully Illustrated Bible Handbook in Chronological Order. 2010. Cincinnati, OH: Standard. Another Protestant canon resource that divides into units with Its Part in God’s Plan, Major Themes, and a Daily Reading Plan.
  • Nelson, Thomas. 2010. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. This resource is designed for family use including a short passage of narrative scripture, a prayer, going deeper through reading e.g. liturgy or Catechism of the Catholic Church, through family activities, and fun vocabulary and trivia.

For some guidance on studying narrative see:

For the context of Biblical events, locating the event in a visual view of the lectionary (or, for the Gospels, with the festal icons of the iconostasis), place the event in context both historically and liturgically. Loosely, the following statements are true:

  • Ordinary Time in most lectionaries has the Gospel follow the life of Jesus.
  • The first readings of Lent and the alternative first readings from Pentecost to Advent follow the history of God’s plan of salvation.
  • The narrative lectionary follows the history of God’s plan of salvation as well.

There is no way within Verbum, to replicate the contents of the Events section of Factbook on a Biblical Person. You are dependent upon Faithlife tagging and selection routines.



[1] Logos Help (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2018).

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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