Logos Syntax Searching – A How-to Guide

A couple of years ago, Logos Bible Software introduced a significant break through in Biblical language studies. The creation of Databases such as,

Opentext.org Syntactically Analysis Greek New Testament

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament

and Anderson-Forbes Analysis of the Hebrew Bible,

should have revolutionized the study of the Greek and Hebrew in the Old and New Testaments. Unfortunately, taking advantage of the databases for searching for various constructions has not been as easily as one might have hoped. The search apparatus is somewhat complex and determining how to run a search is often a process of trial and error more than anything else. My first searches with Opentext.org, the database I’ve used the most, were rarely successful. Though since I was writing a paper for this contest last year, I got things figured out for the most part. But I would like to let you in on a few little secrets for searching.

Narrow, Broad, Narrow.

What does that mean? Well, start with the specifics. Begin with a particular construction that you’re curious about in a specific verse. Try to reproduce what you see in Opentext.org’s clause analysis. Do not try to reproduce the entire clause or verse, just those elements that you are interested in. Also in the first narrow, we focus only on the book in which you’ve found your construction.

The “Broad” expands the search range to the entire NT.

The second “Narrow” looks for patterns in our results. This last one is search specific and is not always necessary depending on the previous search results.

So for the next several posts, we’ll word through building a search and analyzing it. Finally we’ll end with a conclusion and summary. I hope this will help some people out there. The links below will become live as I post them.




Summary & Conclusions

14 thoughts on “Logos Syntax Searching – A How-to Guide

Add yours

  1. I was chatting with the senior pastor at church tonight and he brought up (for the third time in a month) wanting me to have a look at Logos on his computer because it doesn’t work right. So long story short, I had a look and it is messed up. Brand new notebook PC, fresh Logos (scholar ed.) install, screwy.

    The biggest problem is that many times some of the windows will only display about 30 pixels of text in the top portion of the window and the lower half of the window is empty white filler. The arrows on the right that allow you to navigate the results are only about a quarter inch apart and there is no slider to maximize the window. I have yet to figure out how to fix this and it looks like a programming (code) error.

    Key Links are broken. Transferring the library from DVD to HDD seemed to go okay and I confirmed it separately, then I was prompted for the DVD when trying to open the Louw-Nida lexicon. My pastor said Logos is supposed to have a feature to audibly pronounce the greek and hebrew but I couldn’t find it. Suffice to say, after two hours of my life working with Logos I was not impressed and extremely frustrated.

    As a very tech-savvy person I was surprised at how broken and user-unfriendly Logos is, especially from a clean install on a brand new machine. Anyways, I look forward to your upcoming post 😉

  2. Nathan, I’ve never had any of the experiences you’ve just described – ever. I don’t know what to tell you. Customer Service might be the way to go. They have very good CS.

  3. Wait, is he running Vista and/or IE7? And do you know what version of Logos it is? There were serious problems with Vista and IE7 before a certain version…but those have all been fixed.

    Next time you see him or his computer, have it go to “Tools” and “Update.” That should do it. If not, go to the logos website:


    And if that doesn’t do it, call CS, they’ll take care of him.

  4. It’s a Dell with XP on it. I didn’t look at the browser but I assume it’s IE6 or IE7. I’ll try updating on Wednesday night if I think of it. I think I probably reacted a bit strongly because I was excited to check it out after this post earlier and then I could basically do nothing with it.

  5. Sorry, Phil, the links in your comment got you trapped in my spam filter!

    Nathan, listen to Phil! And don’t hate the program. Its a delight!

  6. Based on my father’s many years using Logos with no problems, plus your comments and those of many others online I just know that it is a good program. I won’t have a chance to work on it tomorrow as I’m skipping church for a birthday party with family. Anyways, next chance I get I’ll have a look at those links, update it, and see what version of IE he has installed.

    By the way, I have a sneaking suspicion that my dad owns way more modules than he should have. He had that guilty smirk when I was questioning him about it tonight.


    As was suspected the computer was running Logos 3.0 on a XP machine with IE7. After two days downloading the updates due to slow internet I finally got all of the updates installed and running on 3.0e. It appears to be functioning normally after reboot, though I haven’t tried an exhaustive check. Thank you for the help Phil and Mike 🙂

    Also, I’ve been really impressed with the Logos blog and the very consumer friendly layout, design, and content of their online help. I think the only thing I still find strange is why the program seems to be intimately tied to MS’s IE. Regardless, it should be fun to fiddle around with later now that it’s working.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: