Call: 877-542-7664

The Seven Last Words of Jesus

In honor of Good Friday, Verbum would like to invite you to a deeper meditation on Christ’s crucifixion. Fr. Devin Roza, LC, a student of Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, shows us how to find the seven last words of Jesus, and gives us some food for thought that we can carry with us throughout the day — and throughout the Triduum.


Clementine Vulgate Now Has Morphological and Lemma Data

This post was written by Louis St. Hilaire

We’ve just shipped a free update to the Clementine Vulgate, which adds morphological and lemma tagging to the Latin text.

This tagging is important for a few reasons. First of all, it allows you to quickly see possible parsings of a word by hovering over it. Secondly, it lets you quickly look up a word in a lexicon such as Lewis & Short no matter what form the word is in.

Most importantly, though, it lets you use Verbum’s Morph Search to perform powerful searches by lemma or morphological form. Just right-click a word, select “Lemma” or a specific morphological form on the right, then select Morph search on the left. [click the image to enlarge]


This makes it easy to study the usage of a particular word across the Vulgate. For instance, I can use the search on Lemma for “pereo” to find all occurrences of this verb in the Vulgate, regardless of form:


Or I can search for a specific form, such as all occurrences of “pater” in the accusative singular:


Note that, at this point, we’ve just used an automated process to apply the tagging. This means that some words might have been missed and forms that are ambiguous are just tagged with all the possible parsings. Nonetheless, this tagging represents an important step forward for Latin functionality in Verbum and enriches the text substantially.

The Clementine Vulgate is included in all our Verbum libraries, and you can learn more about morphological searching in Practicum.

Bid now to get 82% off the Best Latin Dictionary for Historical/Theological Study

The Latin language holds a central place in the Christian tradition. It was the official language of Christendom for over a millennium, and continues today to be the primary language in which the Church operates on an official level.

The authority on classical and early-modern Latin

The Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary is an essential resource for studying classical, medieval, Renaissance, and early-modern Latin texts. With over 2,000 pages of detailed lexical data, it’s hands-down the best single-volume Latin dictionary to have in Verbum.

Quickly and easily move from individual words in the Latin Perseus texts to their entries in Lewis and Short. Consult definitions, explore contextual usage, and grasp the nuances of Latin with confidence.

Understand scriptural context

Knowing Latin gives you the ability to understand the primary texts of the Roman era, which in turn help you better understand the context in which the New Testament and early Christianity emerged.

Take Pliny the Younger, for example. This high-ranking Roman official wrote letters that help us understand the inner workings of Roman imperial society—including the early imperial persecution of Christians. In a letter to Emperor Trajan (Letters, vol. 2, p. 405), Pliny asks how he should carry out the trials of suspected Christians. He describes his current method of interrogating them, and how their worship practices seem to be “nothing more than depraved and excessive superstition.” The earliest surviving Roman document to refer to early Christians, Pliny’s letter is of great historical importance for understanding the unfavorable conditions in which Christianity first spread.

A language of Christian tradition

lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionaryBetter understanding Latin gives us key insights into the foundations of early Christian theology. The early apologetic works of Tertuallian and Minucius Felix, which laid the foundation for Latin Christianity, give us a glimpse of how early Latin Christians combated paganism. Augustine composed his Confessions in Latin; Thomas Aquinas‘ magisterial Summa Theological, also written in Latin, represents Christianity’s highest theological expression in the medieval era. You can’t fully engage these important theological works without some acquaintance with Latin. What better dictionary to have in your Verbum library than Lewis and Short?

Bid now on Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary to help put this important resource into production. You’ll get it for 82% off, but you need to bid quickly—it won’t be on Community Pricing for much longer!

Bid now and get 82% off!

Why Original Language Study Is Important

I often meet people who simply can’t see the point of studying the Scriptures by looking into their original languages. Questions like, “Why do I need to study the Greek if I can read it plainly in the English already?” are commonplace, and I wanted to briefly address this issue.

First—I am not a Ph.D. I completed a lowly undergrad degree studying religion and history. I can read neither Greek nor Hebrew. 

But I know how important it is to study the Holy Scriptures. I know the value of meditating on a verse, of letting the context and meaning of certain words shed light onto my understanding of Scripture.

And, thankfully, the Church guides us in our understanding of Holy Scripture. Through the Church, the Holy Spirit is guide and counselor regarding the truths we are to hold firm to in the Faith. But this doesn’t mean we can’t open our ears and soften our hearts to what God may want to speak to us through the Scriptures as we read them in private devotion.

It’s easy to forget that the Scriptures that we read today were not originally written in English. The authors of the Bible wrote in a language with a different lexicon—the words, phrases and imagery they chose had certain meanings in context, and sometimes it’s difficult for us to understand those meanings without looking at history and the original language itself.

This is precisely where the tools provided in Verbum become extraordinarily helpful.

Let’s say, for instance, I wanted to understand more about the concept of “fear” in the scriptures. I already know that “fear” in English has different connotations. I know that “the fear of the Lord” is different than something like a fear of spiders. But are there any other differences that I am missing? And what places in the Bible can I find these differences?

Let’s open up the Bible Sense Lexicon and  see what happens.

Typing in fear I see five different Lemma’s (the dictionary form of the word) in addition to a list of scripture verses where these different instances of “fear” are used.

LemmasHere I see that “fear” in the Scriptures can relate to at least five different senses. Clicking on one at random, mo-ra, I am brought to a Bible Word Study where I see this word used in even more detail.


Clicking on any of these parts of the graph bring me to all of the references in Scripture where “fear” was translated in that particular way.

When we scroll down again to look at the senses in the Bible Sense Lexicon, we see that the Hebrew language had many different permutations of what we translate as  “fear.” What does this mean? Well, for one, when we come across the word  “fear” in the Old Testament, we realize that such a word is packed with layers of meaning. Isaiah 8:13 for instance reads:

But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your fear, and let him be your dread

The word for fear here is our headword, מוֹרָא (mora).

This means that in addition to fear meaning something akin to terrorthe word holds meanings that include respect, reverence or awe. God is not just an entity to be terrified at; he is awesome, and worthy of reverence and praise. Just knowing something as simple as this disambiguates the text and helps us reach a clearer understanding of what the author had in mind when writing Scripture.

Tools like the Bible Sense Lexicon in conjunction with the Bible Word Study are, at least, fascinating tools that give you a glimpse into the history of language. But when used for study and personal devotion, you can use these tools to dig up deeper meanings in Scripture and get insight into Biblical concepts you might not have ever thought of otherwise.

The Bible Sense Lexicon is a great example of one of the tools that is continuing to grow inside of Verbum. Though it is now limited to nouns, soon you will be able to search other kinds of words, increasing your ability to study the original text even further. Upgrade today to get access to the Bible Sense Lexicon and other great resources inside Verbum (and hurry while you can still lock in a custom discount!)

Help Desk Software