Monday, November 21, 2005

Text-Critical Software?

Do any of you have any handy software for doing textual critical research? Perhaps some of you have some novel uses for word or excel in tracking textual phenomena.

I have enjoyed using the Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible ( It is less expensive to buy in the US and Canada than on the other side of the ditch. The SESB is the only electronic Bible software that currently has the critical apparatus in it, if I am correct. Logos is working on one, though. It also has the LXX and Vulgate as well as the major Bible versions in French, German, Dutch, and English, rather than the lesser known ones you tend to get with the other software.


  1. I downloaded the demo version of Classical Text Editor a while ago and found it to be very interesting. Has anyone tried it? The URL is

  2. I'm editing the Syriac Interlinear NT for Logos along with George Kiraz and Terry Falla.

  3. You may want to look at Accordance. They carry a new product called Stuttgart Original Language Collection which includes pretty much the same stuff as SESB (except for the WIVU database). Besides, there are other critical apparatuses available (most notably, CNTTS, which is very useful for text-critical studies). You can use Accordance natively, on a Mac, or under emulation.

    Rubén Gómez
    Bible Software Review

    PS I enjoy your blog!

  4. Can someone clarify for me whether the SESB has Aland's Synopsis, and if so, if it has the Greek Synopsis? I saw a demo for the product that showed an English synopsis, but there was no synopsis listed in what the product includes. Logos has not been able to answer my question either by email or at the SBL conference.

    Also, are you saying that Logos is working on a separate critical apparatus other than the SESB product that they have?

  5. Christian Askeland asked in the original post about "some novel uses for word or excel in tracking textual phenomena."

    I have made available an Excel add-on for Quantitative analysis ("QAnalys"), á la Colwell & Tune , which is available at:

  6. Benjamin Pehrson,

    I do not see Aland's Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum in the software nor any English equivalent.

    Logos did not create the SESB apparatus. The Deutche Bibelgesellschaft created it and uses the same software as Logos (Libronix) to make everything come together. Logos is the American marketer of the product.

    If you want answers from the source, contact the creators of the software:

    My knowledge of Logos' work on an apparatus criticus is anecdotal... A friend who worked on one of their other products told me they were creating their own apparatus when I touted the superiority of my SESB over his Logos software.

  7. (More self-promotion...) Italian speakers have an advantage here, because they can use my free Bible program La Parola, which among its optional components includes all the text critical apparatus visible in the on-line version at The program is also in English, but the apparatus in the program is only in Italian (whereas the on-line version is in both English and Italian).

  8. Regarding Logos' implementation of the NA27 apparatus in the GBS SESB product (and the BHS apparatus as well) -- the GBS contracted Logos to do the work; both of inserting the apparatus markers in the running text of the NA27 and in doing the conversion of the textual apparatus. Regarding the textual work, I should know as I'm the one who did the conversion work on the NA27 from the supplied apparatus files. The GBS were instrumental in providing help proofing the work. The resulting product, the SESB, is theirs and is distributed in the US by Logos.

    Regarding the Aland synopsis in Logos Bible Software -- The general alignment is available in whatever Bible version one has on the system. Choose the Greek text as the display text, and the synopsis will appear in Greek. Change to English (or German, or Danish, or French, or whatever) and that text will be used.

    While we're at it, let's not forget the Tischendorf Editio Octava Maior available from Logos (and BibleWorks, and Accordance, I think). Scads of info, though no papyri information. And Comfort & Barrett's Earliest NT Manuscripts, also in Logos format (or print form from Tyndale in the US).

    You should be able to find more info on any of these by heading to the Logos web site ( and searching the site for relevant keywords.


    Rick Brannan
    Logos Bible Software