Verbum Bible Software Gets Into High-School Education

MapsandGraphsAnd they’re giving away $5 million in grants to get schools up and running on their new four-year high-school curriculum, called Lumen.

Verbum, the Catholic version of the bestselling Logos Bible Software, has created a program to provide $5 million in grant money to help high schools implement its new religious-education curriculum. The new program called “Lumen” is a four-year series built to connect the classroom textbooks directly to powerful Verbum software, which integrates the Bible, catechisms, original documents, writings of the Church Fathers and many other resources. As Alex Renn, Verbum’s marketing and operations team leader, pointed out, “Rather than trying to digitize a textbook, we are writing it with the expectation that students will have access to a collection of key texts, so vocabulary words are links, and reading assignments open books as well as study tools.”

Read the rest in the National Catholic Register.

Verbum Bible Software: Enter to Win an iPad Mini and Scholar Edition

Go here and scroll down.  The contest goes until January 6th. Since it’s Rafflecopter, you might be able to enter once a day.

Some good stuff is on sale as well, in case you have some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket. I liked the Sacra Pagina series, Scott Hahn’s Letter & Spirit series, and, of course, the Ratzinger/Benedict collection. For the hardcore cases, The Fathers of The Church series is also on sale.

Verbum 6 is Here

Verbum Bible Software (the Catholic version of Logos Bible Software) is the backbone of my research and writing on religion. It allows me to drill into massive amounts of data with ease. Scripture, original language resources, church documents, history, papal writings, theology, philosophy, commentaries, and, most important of all, a huge amount of patristic material is all part of my Verbum library. I can highlight, annotated, clip, export, compare, and do almost anything I need to do with text. I can’t imagine doing some of the work requires for my masters without it. Most recently, the ghost series drew heavily on Verbum.

Version 6 was just rolled out, and it adds some very nice new features. This video provides an overview, but some of the things added are

The Psalm Browser was the new feature that really caught my eye. It allows you sort psalms by type, author, and more using visual tools.

Ancient Literature Tools gather all ancient resources that refer or relate to a passage.

Timeline and Atlas: These tool allows you situation Bible books and events in a historical context, and locate them geographically.

Cultural Concepts is a search result that gather references to ancient cultural ideas (such as anointing or hospitality) found in scripture.

Bible Book Guides provide various kinds of introduction and background material for each book of the Bible.

Word Sense does a good job at distinguishing among various meanings of the same word.

Factbook functions like a heavily linked encyclopedia within Verbum, pulling up information, links, references, and resources for topics and individuals, such as “carpenter” or “St. Thomas Aquinas.”

Media resources have been expanded with some powerful search features and some nifty new items, such as aerial views of locations as they look in Bibles times, and as they look now.

There are more robust search and language tools, enhanced introductions to Greek and Hebrew, and much more in the update. I’m loving it so far, and plan to write about a couple of features in more depth.

You can buy or upgrade Verbum here, and see the full line of Logos/Verbum 6 tutorials here.

“I shall be called John Paul”

On this day in 1978, the newly elected John Paul I explained his choice of name:

Yesterday morning I went to the Sistine Chapel to vote tranquilly. Never could I have imagined what was about to happen. As soon as the danger for me had begun, the two colleagues who were beside me whispered words of encouragement. One said: “Courage! If the Lord gives a burden, he also gives the strength to carry it.” The other colleague said: “Don’t be afraid; there are so many people in the whole world who are praying for the new Pope.” When the moment of decision came, I accepted.John Paul I

Then there was the question of the name, for they also ask what name you wish to take, and I had thought little about it. My thoughts ran along these lines: Pope John had decided to consecrate me himself in St Peter’s Basilica, then, however unworthy, I succeeded him in Venice on the Chair of St Mark, in that Venice which is still full of Pope John. He is remembered by the gondoliers, the Sisters, everyone.

Then Pope Paul not only made me a Cardinal, but some months earlier, on the wide footbridge in St Mark’s Square, he made me blush to the roots of my hair in the presence of 20,000 people, because he removed his stole and placed it on my shoulders. Never have I blushed so much!

Furthermore, during his fifteen years of pontificate this Pope has shown, not only to me but to the whole world, how to love, how to serve, how to labour and to suffer for the Church of Christ.

For that reason I said: “I shall be called John Paul.” I have neither the “wisdom of the heart” of Pope John, nor the preparation and culture of Pope Paul, but I am in their place. I must seek to serve the Church. I hope that you will help me with your prayers.

All of John Paul I’s papal messages, radio talks, and more are available in The Homilies, Audiences, and Other Writings of Pope John Paul I (6 volumes, Latin and English) from Verbum for $25. 

Free Bonhoeffer Book From Logos

The free book of the month from Logos is worth a download: Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Vol. 3: Creation and Fall:

Creation and Fall originated in lectures given by Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the University of Berlin in the winter semester of 1932–1933 during the demise of the Weimar Republic and the birth of the Third Reich. In the course of these events, Bonhoeffer called his students to focus their attention on the word of God—the word of truth in a time of turmoil.

It’s a commentary on Genesis 1-3.  Grab it while you can.

Brand New Verbum Bible Software Packages!

I get excited easily when it comes to new releases from Verbum, the Catholic Bible study software created Logos Bible Software. Today–Black Friday–they are releasing new bundles with some remarkable and welcome improvements.

These new “Verbum Plus Libraries” are updated to include a Catholic Topical Index, Saints Database, restructured librareis, more books, improved lectionary support, and other improvements.

Here’s the official rundown of new features:

IMPROVED LECTIONARY SIDEBAR
• Roman Missal now opens automatically (The Missal, in English is now included in Foundations Plus)
• Look ahead or back and choose the liturgical reading you want to view from a calendar
• Displays titles of readings instead of verse numbers only
• New icon indicating liturgical color

SAINTS DATABASE
• New database of over 500 Saints and their feast days
• High resolution images for over half of the Saint entries
• Navigate through the saints and their feast days right on your homepage

CATHOLIC TOPICAL INDEX
• Huge reference index, hand-compiled by scholars here at Verbum
• Doctrinal in nature
• Shows up by default in Cited By Tool and the Topic Guide
• Filled with topics especially relevant to Catholic doctrine
•Study topics like absolution, Eucharist etc, and see where scripture verses, Catechism references, and Ecclesial writings that pertain to that topic are located in your library
• Works best with more resources/bigger libraries

Each of the packages–Basic, Foundations, Scripture Study, Master, and Captone–add more resources and power as they go up in price. Verbum is expensive, but I would not be able to do my Masters in Theology work, Catholic writing, lecturing and even some of my blogging without it.

Verbum is at the heart of my system for writing about theology and preparing lessons, and its ability to drill down through massive amounts of text and language resources is the kind of thing that compresses the work of a week into seconds. They keep adding great resources and features, and although I’ve only had a little time to look at the new version, it looks like a solid upgrade created with Catholics in mind.

New Titles For Verbum/Logos

Verbum Bible Software continues to be the center of my academic world, particularly now that I’ve begun the final semester of my masters program with two scripture classes. I got word from Alex Renn at Logos/Verbum that some new stuff is available, or soon to be available:

Fathers of the Church Series (127 vols.): This is the big one, folks. The current “Fathers” series is nice, but those are old translations with gaps. The new Fathers set will have titles not seen in English, and be a more complete set of patristic texts. Expensive, but essential for masters and PhD work.

Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry (13 vols.): I’m very curious about this series, which is a fresh commentary that studies OT texts as they are, rather than trying to source them to death.

The Aramaic Bible Series (22 vols.): This one’s pretty hardcore: all extant targums translated into English. Aramaic, rather than Hebrew,was the dominant language in the century before Christ, and these translations and paraphrases provide an important link to the Judaism before, during, and after the life of Christ.

Sacra Pagina New Testament Commentary Series (18 vols.): New translations and commentaries of NT texts in a project akin to the old Anchor Bible series.

Catholic Scripture Study International Studies (30 vols.): Short Bible commentaries by Scott Hahn, Mark Shea, Cindy Morales, Steve Ray, and others. 

Peter Kreeft Bundle (27 vols.): Includes his Socrates series, apologetics, and theological works.

Catholic Answers Collection (21 vols.): This is a set of publications from Catholic Answers, ranging from pamphlets to full books by Karl Keating, Jimmy Akin, and others. 

 

Verbum Prepares a Massive Patristic Collection

You don’t spend any time in deep study of the Church Fathers without coming across some reference to the Patrologiae Cursus Completus of Fr. Jacques Paul Migne. Fr. Migne’s goal was truly epic: create a cheap series of books collecting the complete writings of the Church Fathers, Greek and Latin.

His editions were massive and done with some haste, so they’ve been subjected to criticism over the years, but they remain the single largest source of patristic writing ever compiled. The English translations from Philip Schaff, which are in wide use on the internet and within the Verbum Bible Software, were based on Migne’s originals, but do not represent the complete corpus, which has never been rendered in English in its entirety.

Over the years, better, more academic texts and translations have replaced individual works from the Patrologiae, but there is no single source like it.

Verbum is bringing this treasure of the Church to their software in two editions: Patrologiae Latina (221 volumes of Western Fathers) Patrilogiae Graeca (167 volumes of Eastern Fathers). Each of these is currently on pre-publication sale for $250, which is a flat-out steal for academics and theology students. They’re also publishing  a set that includes Patrologia Syriaca (2 volumes) and Orientalis (17 volumes). These supplements were created by Rene Graffin to fill in the gaps of Migne’s work with writings from the Syriac Church Fathers as well as texts in Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Greek, Georgian, and Slavonic.

The editions are full of introductions, critical and supplementary material, and are fully adapted to the Verbum/Logos format. This means they are cross-linked the Schaff editions in English, which means you can spot check Schaff against the originals.

“But Tom,” I hear you saying. “I don’t read Latin or Greek! What’s a body to do?!”

Look, my Latin is wretched. I was a C-student, and time hasn’t improved it all that much despite my occasional forays into Wheelock. As for my Greek? A-ho-ho-he-he-ha! You know what Ben Jonson said about Shakespeare? “Small Latin and less Greek.” It’s like that, but worse. Here’s a picture from my desk:

Sad, isn’t it? I still need to count on my fingers, too.

But that’s the beauty of Verbum. Their language tools provide a sturdy crutch for the Latin/Greek challenged. You can pick your way through the text with the help of various dictionaries and word-study aids. It’s a beautiful thing.

This will be one of the jewels in Verbum’s crown for the serious academic. Order early to lock in a good price, because it’s not going to be $250 forever.

Upcoming from Verbum (Logos)

Verbum is charging ahead with more releases, many now on “pre-pub.” This means they’re gathering interesting by taking pre-orders, at a reduced price. That enables them to determine user interest in a certain title or bundle.

For example, Edward Schillebeeckx Collected Works (14 vols.), isn’t really something at the top of my list. But tell me you’re working on Select Works of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI (21 vols.)The Homilies and Angeli of Pope John Paul II (8 vols.) by John Paul II, or the first English translation of Aquinas’ Commentary on the Prophet Jeremiah: English and Latin (2 vols.), and I’m there, baby.

A new, larger Benedict/Ratzinger set is also on the way. The Select Works of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI (21 vols.) includes the following items:

 Another nice set, currently on community pricing, is Post-Reformation Catholic Thought and Piety (27 vols.). With community pricing, people bid on the highest price they’re willing to pay for the set. If the set goes lower, you pay the lesser price.

Here’s the official description of this set:

The Catholic Church has honored only 35 people with the title “Doctor of the Church,” recognizing them for their eminent learning and great sanctity. Nine of these thinkers have lived in the past five centuries: St. John of Ávila (1500–1569), St. Teresa of Ávila (1515–1582), St. John of the Cross (1542–1591), St. Peter Canisius (1521–1597), St. Lawrence of Brindisi (1559–1619), St. Robert Bellarmine (1542–1621), St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622), St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787), and St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897). Their brilliant works vary from Scriptural commentary, to mystical poetry, to catechetical instruction and spiritual direction, and will add historical, intellectual, and spiritual depth to your Logos library.

The Post-Reformation Catholic Thought and Piety (27 vols.) collection offers writings from each of these modern Doctors (with the exceptions of St. John of Ávila and Thérèse of Lisieux—whose Story of a Soul is available separately). Taken together, their writings provide a window into Catholic thought and piety as the Church faced the struggles of the Reformation and of modern society. But they are of more than historical importance. As is evidenced in their continued and profound influence on contemporary Christian thought and piety, the insights and spiritual accomplishments of the modern Doctors are of enduring value.