A friend recently asked me how to get the most out of some of the great resources in SESB (now in version 2). My response was that he should create two workspaces—one for OT studies and one for NT studies—and integrate the texts and apparatuses with his other language tools. That led me to revisit my NT workspace and tweak it to take advantage of some newly acquired resources. Here’s a screenshot of my NT workspace, which was inspired by Rick Brannan’s workspace. I’m able to fit three columns comfortably on my 22″ Acer. I haven’t tried this on my 15″ laptop screen, but I imagine it would be a little cramped.
A Note on Resource Associations
To maximize the efficiency of this or almost any workspace, you should create parallel resource associations1 for all the various categories of resources that you use: (1) English Bibles, (2) Study Bibles/Notes, (3) NT Greek Texts, (4) NT Greek Apparatuses, (5) NT Greek Grammatical Tools (not grammars, but stuff like Zerwick, Robertson’s Word Pictures, etc.), (6) Commentaries (by book; e.g., one for Galatians, one for Romans, etc.), (7) Greek Grammars, etc.
The benefit of this is that you don’t have to have all the resources in each particular association opened to have quick access to them. Rather, you simply need to have one in the association opened, and then you can click on the parallel resources button to switch to (or open in addition to by holding down the shift key) one of the others. For example, I keep just one Galatians commentary opened, but can instantly hop to any of my other twenty some Galatians commentaries. Doing this as opposed to leaving many windows in the same association opened will not only make for a less cluttered workspace, but will also save on system resources and keep things running a little snappier.
About My Sections
Region 1: English Translations, Reports, and Bible Speed Search
- ESV: The ESV has been my primary English translation for the last couple of years. Obviously I want to have this opened. This is linked with link set A.
- NAS: Since I switched from the NASB and consider it to be a very valuable translation, I want to have quick access to it as well (even though its format really bothers me!). This is linked with link set A.
- NET Bible: While I would probably never use the NET Bible as my primary translation, it’s very handy for study. This is linked with link set A.
- NIV: The NIV is a great translation and its popularity makes it important to consult. Often the idiomatic rendering of a difficult text is helpful at least in letting me know how some handle it. This is linked with link set A. I can access other English translations here by using the parallel resources button.
- Passage Guide: Since most of the data from the Passage Guide that I find helpful are already integrated into my workspace, I have unchecked everything except for parallel passages. When I want to see this data for the passage I’m working on, I click the link set A, but then make sure to unlink it when I’m done so that it’s not running and slowing things down when I don’t need it.
- Exegetical Guide: Most of the helpful and important data from the Exegetical Guide are integrated into my workspace too, but it is helpful to have the grammar lookup enabled so I can see if my grammars cite or discuss my passage specifically. When I want to see this, I click the link set A, but then make sure to unlink it when I’m done so that it’s not running and slowing things when I don’t need it.
- Bible Word Study: If I want to do more in-depth study on a particular word that I’ve looked up in BDAG, I will run a Bible Word Study report. To activate the report I need only to click the link set D (my lexicon link set). But, again, I make sure to uncheck it when I’m done or it will run reports for every word I look up in BDAG, which will really slow things down.
- Bible Speed Search: Though you can access the Bible Speed Search from the right-click menu, it’s nice to have quick access to it. This is especially handy when the word or phrase is not in the passage with which you’re working. I realize that you could just open it from the menu, but it takes a little bit longer that way.
Region 2: Study Bibles/Notes and TSK
- MacArthur Study Bible: The MacArthur Study Bible is helpful to have on hand for a quick summary of a text. This is linked with link set A.
- Reformation Study Bible: The Reformation Study Bible is also good to consult. If I want to check out another study Bible, I can do that here via the parallel resources button. This is linked with link set A.
- NET Bible Notes: The NET Bible notes are very valuable to consult when you don’t want to wade through a more detailed grammatical commentary. Having them as a separate resource is very nice. Unfortunately, you have to buy the NET Bible separately from a place like Rejoice to get the notes as a separate resource, since the Logos collections contain the notes only as footnotes in the Bible text resource. This is linked with link set A.
- New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: On occasion it is helpful to glance at the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge to find that related passage that you just can’t remember. This is linked with link set A.
Region 3: Greek Texts
- NA27 (SESB): The SESB NA27 is the only copy of the NA27 that has all the textual apparatus marks in the text, so it is great to use as your primary Greek text when you are concerned about variant readings. This is linked with link set A.
- UBS4 (SESB): SESB 2 now includes the UBS4 with all the apparatus notes. This is great to have on hand, and I prefer the more detailed apparatus in the UBS text. Three frustrations with this resource: (1) the apparatus is not a separate resource (even though it was advertised that way) but only available through pop-up footnotes, (2) it forces you to use BibliaLS instead of your default Greek font (mine is Gentium), and (3) it has no morphology associated with it, so you can’t get parsing information on a hover over. I hope all three of these change, but it is nice to have access to the data, even if in an annoying way. This is linked with link set A.
- Westcott & Hort, Tischendorf, Majority Text, Textus Receptus: I keep one of these opened and use the parallel resources button to jump to the others. It’s nice to be able to compare these with the text of NA27/UBS4. This is linked with link set A.
- TENTGM: It’s also helpful to be able to check the text of the earliest manuscripts. This is linked with link set A.
Region 4: Apparatuses, Textual Commentary, and Greek Grammatical Tools
- NA27 Apparatus: The NA27 apparatus comes with SESB 1 and 2 and is a must for serious study. I used to keep these linked with link set A, but it caused some problems when I would click on a variant from the NA27 Greek text. Now all my apparatuses are linked with link set B. This way they all stay together, but it gives me a little more flexibility.
- Metzger’s Textual Commentary: As I mentioned, the UBS4 apparatus is not available as a separate resource, but Metzger’s textual commentary makes up for that. For the most important variants, he discusses in detail the reasoning behind the choice of one reading over another. This is also a must for serious study of the text. This is linked with link set B.
- Tischendorf & Majority Text Apparatuses: It’s also nice to check out Tischendorf’s apparatus or the Majority Text apparatus. I switch back and forth between them in this window. This is linked with link set B.
- Zerkwick: Here’s where I can access Greek grammatical tools (not grammars) like Zerwick and Robertson (and occasionally Vincent and Wuest). This is linked with link set A.
Region 5: Lexicons, Commentaries, Grammars, Clause Display, and ESV
- BDAG: This is my primary lexicon, so I have it opened here. I can access others (like LS, EDNT, TDNT, LN) with the parallel resources button. This is linked with link set D, primarily so I can quickly run a BWS report by clicking the link set D there.
- Commentaries: I keep one commentary for the book that I am studying opened in this region and use the parallel resources button to jump to my other commentaries on the book. This is linked with link set A.
- Grammars: I keep a grammar opened here in case I want to look something up—primarily after using the EG to see if my grammars mention the passage I’m studying.
- OpenText.org Clause Display: I keep this opened so I can take a quick look at the syntax of my passage. This is linked with link set A.
- ESV: I have a second copy of the ESV opened, which I use for looking up cross references and other passages. I make sure to click the “Reference Target” button so that any Bible links will go here by default. This is linked with link set C.
Region 6: Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, Philo, Apostolic Fathers, and NA27/LXX
- Pseudepigrapha: It’s nice to be able to click on the examples in BDAG entries and see how words were used in the OT Pseudepigrapha. Once the Greek text becomes available, this will be linked with link set G (currently, it only goes up through F) in case I open the Greek text alongside of the English and want them to scroll together.
- Josephus: It’s nice to be able to click on the examples in BDAG entries and see how words were used by Josephus. Once the Greek text becomes available, this will be linked with link set H (currently, it only goes up through F) in case I open the Greek text alongside of the English and want them to scroll together.
- Philo: It’s nice to be able to click on the examples in BDAG entries and see how words were used by Philo. This is linked with link set E in case I open the Greek text alongside of the English and want them to scroll together.
- Apostolic Fathers: It’s nice to be able to click on the examples in BDAG entries and see how words were used by the apostolic fathers. This is linked with link set F in case I open the Greek text alongside of the English and want them to scroll together.
- NA27/LXX: I have a second copy of the NA27 opened here and linked with link set C so I can look at the underlying Greek for the cross references and other passages related to the passage that I’m studying.
If I ever want to view two resources side by side that are sharing the same space, I can temporarily drag one over to the adjacent space and then put it back when I’m done. If I want to view two resources side by side that are not displayed at the same time and accessed only through the parallel resources button (e.g., BDAG and LS), I will need to make sure to hold down the shift key when I click the parallel resource. This way it will open in an additional window rather than opening in the same window.
Well, I think that just about covers it. Have fun creating your own!
For more ideas, you may want to check out others’ workspaces:
- If you’re wondering what a resource association is and how it differs from a collection, maybe this will help: A collection groups books together for the purposes of viewing in My Library and searching. An association groups books together primarily for the purpose of quickly jumping from one book to the next through the use of the parallel resources button or the left and right arrows on the keyboard (e.g., if you group and order all of your Greek lexicons in an association, you can scroll through each one’s entry for, say, δικαιόω.). ↩