The best iPad app for Geek and Hebrew is Logos, but with great power comes a significant price tag. They same is true for Accordance and Olive Tree’s Bible Reader. While the Apps are free, you need to buy a Greek and Hebrew Bible which is tagged with syntactical information and good a set of lexicons to really make any use of the App beyond the basics (I lamented this in a previous post). If you buy a Logos Base package (either Language or Scholar) you will have the best tools for reading Greek and Hebrew on both your desktop computer or your iPad. Similar bundles are available from Accordance and Olive Tree. These bundles are expensive, but as Logos constantly points out, they are far cheaper than the actual books and are obviously more portable. As I said in my previous post, if you want to use a computer based study system to its full potential, you have to invest more than a few dollars.
Logos has the best tools at this point, but they are far from perfect. Open a morphologically tagged Greek or Hebrew Bible and select a word. A menu will appear to search, copy, or look-up. “Search” will find that word in any book you own, but it searches for that form of the word, not the lexical form. This means that you are not creating a concordance list, but a list of appearances of an inflected form. I am not sure this is useful, especially since the search finds the form in any interlinear Bibles in the Logos library, rather than just the Greek Bible.
When you “look up” a word, the floating box expands a bit and the Lexical form appears with a gloss along with full parsing information. This is similar to Accordance and Olive Tree,although the data is drawn from the DBL rather than Strong. From this menu, you can select to a Word Study on the lexical form, a feature which goes well beyond Accordance and Olive Tree at this point.
The Word Study option is more fruitful, but is lags far behind the desktop version. This option launches the Logos Word Study Tool. In the desktop version of Logos this is a very powerful tool which creates a page with links to lexicons and a complete list of occurrences of a word in the Greek or Hebrew Bibles, including all Greek resources you might own (in my case, LXX, Philo, Josephus, Apostolic Fathers, Pseudepigrapha, and the Iliad). There is a section with “example uses,” just a few texts listed illustrating how the word is used in the New Testament. There is another section listing the word in various grammatical relationships (with a subject, object, adverb, preposition, etc). A very valuable feature is a chart showing the words a Greek word translates in the LXX. When a Hebrew is selected in this chart, a list appears with examples from the LXX illustrating the relationship.
On the iPad, the page is limited to two lexicons (Dictionary of Biblical Languages and BDAG if you own them) and only example uses of the word. The Word Study page does include the usage chart, but without the complete list of occurrences in the Bible the value of the chart is limited. What is disappointing to me is that I cannot get a list of all of the occurrences of a word in the New Testament. This makes a real word study almost impossible since I do not have a complete concordance of a given word. It would be ideal to have a list of all the occurrences of a word with links so that I can work my way through the list reading each text to see how the word is used. Since the appearance of computer Bibles, I really do not use concordances anymore (In fact, I have either sold them all or given them away!) However, Logos on the iPad does not provide me with a concordance.
What I want from the Logos App is:
- I want to search a lexical form in the current Greek Bible, create list of all occurrences like a concordance. I really do not need the spiffy chart, but I do need a complete list of texts!
- I want to be able to have links to more than two resources. I own BDAG, but also Louw and Nida, Liddell and Scott, LEH, and a few others. It should be easy enough to add those to the list.
- If I own TDNT or other Greek resource, I want a link to the TDNT article on that word. I want to be able to change the search range. Just like the desktop Logos, I want to limit my search to just the Gospels or Paul, or even a single book.
- I would like to switch from the NA27 to the LXX easily (or to Philo, Josephus, etc.) After I scan through a list of texts from the NT, I often run the word in the LXX as well.
- I would like to see the morphological search engine included in the iPad app, although that might be too much for the platform to handle.
I realize this is a manifesto-like list, but until some of these things are addressed in an iPad Bible App, these programs are little more than Greek Bibles with a glossary. For me, Logos is the best tool for studying Greek, but at this point it does not go much beyond reading Greek. I cannot yet do a full word study on the iPad.