Friday, June 28, 2013

BibleWorks 9 Part 2: Useful functions

Immediately I ought to add that these “key features” are those I find particularly useful. I am a New Testament academic, which means I don’t tend to find too much use for some modules and items others may indeed require. To be honest, there is much in this package that I have not explored; I use it as my needs determine. In other words, don’t expect a complete overview of all BW tools and functions cos there are buttons I haven’t yet pressed!

So, where to start? In my previous post I added this screen shot:


So let me show why I claim that for those who want to get their noses into the text, there is no better tool. Sure, it comes with 200+ Bible translations in 40 languages, 40+ original language texts and morphology databases, and dozens of lexical-grammatical references (as they not on their webpage), but I tend to focus on issues involving:

  1. lexical and syntactical options
  2. grammatical issues
  3. text-criticism
  4. intertextual matters

In this post I will focus on the first two, the lexical and grammatical.

1) The raw data (signifiers / lexemes)
Of course, in a sense text-critical issues functions in coordination with this set of issues, but for the sake of order I will note first how BW9 enables analysis of the raw data. In the screenshot I focus on 1 Corinthians 8. I have purchased two key lexicons, the BDAG and HALOT (which I highly recommend). Just hovering over a word gives me BDAG + other standard lexicon information. A right mouse click brings up another menu, and I often perform a (restricted) search on the use of a given lemma in a discrete text or corpus. In other words, I gain all the lexical I might need together with a catalogue of its use in (here Paul's) texts. By lifting all restrictions from the search, I also get a broader sense of the use of a lemma (or specific word form), which alerts me to potential intertextual functions. Of course, if I struggle to parse a given word, that is automatically done by BW (although some care is needed here), and anything I need can be copied and pasted into my Word Processor (although again, care is needed as accents need to be proofed).

2) Grammatical issues
Of course, grammar belongs together with the above, but lexicons (which will tell you all about protasis and apodosis, cf. 1 Cor. 8:5, for example) and additional inbuilt grammars are invaluable (including Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics), which hyperlink to the relevant primary texts. For those who have some experience of sentence diagramming, BW comes with Leedy's version. So, 1 Cor 8:4 is reworked as follows:

The Leedy work comes with explanations for all of the symbols, but even if this is not my primary reference for grammatical matters (for that I need to consult the best commentaries) it offers potentially deeper insight and fresh perspectives.


Post a Comment

<< Home