No matter whether you’re looking for more detail about biblical people and places, background on significant historical events, or insight into a theological topic, Factbook will get you started. Factbook is one of the most powerful features of Verbum, and it makes almost any biblical or theological term easily searchable.
To use Factbook, start by entering something you are exploring in the Topic or Reference box. Then, select the precise item to study from the dropdown list, examine the different sections presented and find relevant information drawn from a combination of Verbum-provided data and resources in your Library.
In this article we will look at how to open Factbook and then go through four "worked examples" showing how to use it as a starting point for study.
Skip ahead to:
You can open Factbook by clicking the Factbook icon on the toolbar.
Alternatively, you can select it from the Tools menu:
Study a Biblical Event
In this example, we are going to look at when Jesus turned water into wine.
Open Factbook, and enter water wine into the reference box to get a list of options that relate to the terms you have entered. To see a complete list of the options available choose the Show all for "water wine" option at the bottom of the list
Note that different types of information are available. Relevant ones here are:
- The biblical event
- Looking at what happened as a miracle
- The biblical pericope
In this example, we are focusing on the biblical event so we'll select that one from the dropdown menu. This shows:
- The biblical passage where this event takes place (in the Key Passages section)
- Where this event fits within the wider biblical narrative, in this case where it fits within the life and ministry of Jesus (in the Events section). This is really helpful when trying to correctly locate happenings in their context.
Scroll down to the bottom of the panel to see links to additional information (in the See Also section) that enables you to examine specific elements in more detail. These include:
- Links to Factbook entries relating to key people involved (in the Participants subsection)
- Links to Factbook entries relating to the location where the event took place (in the Setting subsection)
- Links to Factbook entries relating to key things involved (in the Important Things subsection)
- Links to Factbook entries relating to topics relevant to this event (in the Topics subsection)
- A link to the Passage Guide on the biblical passage (in the Guides subsection)
Click one, such as the Mary (Mother of Jesus), to examine that item in more detail.
This provides detailed information about the person including links to dictionary articles, key passages where they are mentioned, biblical events in which they participated, and more. Exploring these other linked sections allows you to gain additional insights and deepen your understanding of the biblical event.
To get back to the main event you are studying, use the back arrow at the top-right of the panel.
Study a Biblical Book
In this example, we'll look at how to begin studying the biblical book of Jonah.
Enter jonah into the reference box to get a list of relevant options and select the book entry.
After a very brief overview of the book, the first section shown is the Key Article. This is a dictionary article selected by Faithlife that provides an overview of the book. Click the Read more link to open the dictionary to that article.
Further down there is an Events section which shows where this story fits in the overall biblical narrative. This is followed by the Bible Book Guide which is one of the key Factbook sections when studying a biblical book.
Continue opening different subsections to see links to articles in your dictionaries and other resources that provide information on the content, context, meaning of the book, and much more. Click the links to see detailed background information about the book.
As you move through the Factbook entry, you will find links to additional resources that provide insights into this biblical book, including:
- Links to additional dictionary articles - in addition to the Key Article (in the Dictionaries subsection)
- Links to journal articles in your library that relate to the book (in the Journals section)
- Links to books in your library that are about the book (in the Books from Your Library section)
Scroll down to the bottom of the Factbook panel to see links to useful information (in the See Also section) that enables you to examine specific elements in more detail. These include:
- Links to the Factbook entries relating to relevant prophetic writing (in the Topics subsection)
- Links to a Topic Guide on the book (in the Guides subsection)
- Links to the Factbook entry for the book's author (in the Authors subsection)
Click one, such as the Minor Prophets, to examine that item in more detail to gain further understanding of the context in which the book was written.
Study a Theological Topic
In this example, we'll look at how to explore a theological topic - using the Trinity as an example.
Enter trinity in the reference box to get a list of options that relate to this topic. You will see a range of options.
For this example, we'll select the Systematic Theology entry on The Trinity.
As in the previous examples, there is a very brief summary followed by the Key Article. For these theological topics, this article is normally drawn from the Lexham Survey of Theology. This lists all the major topics in systematic theology, showing how they are interrelated. It provides an overview of each topic and links to further reading. It can be purchased as a standalone resource or is included in the Verbum Silver Feature Upgrade and above. Click the Read more link at the bottom of this article to go directly to the survey resource.
Scroll down a little further to find a number of further sections including:
- Links to biblical passages that provide particular insight into our understanding of the Trinity (in the Key Passages section)
- Links to relevant articles in your systematic theology resources (in the Systematic Theologies section)
Study an Original Language Word
In this example, we'll look at how to use Factbook to begin studying an original language word - using the Greek word χάρις (charis) as an example.
Enter charis into the reference box to get a list of options that relate to this topic. Select the Greek lemma.
The Key Article section is typically drawn from the Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, which provides a lot of information about the word: a simple definition, the different ways in which it is used, usage in the Septuagint, usage in non-biblical resources, and links to related commentary and journal articles. It can be purchased as a standalone resource or is included in the Verbum Silver Feature Upgrade and above.
Scroll down a little further to find a number of further sections including:
- Links to additional lexicons with articles on that word (in the Further Reading section)
- Links to entries in the Bible Sense Lexicon showing different ways the word is used (in the Biblical Senses section). Note, this requires the Verbum Bronze Feature Upgrade or above
- A link to the Bible Word Study Guide, which provides even more capabilities for in-depth study of the word (in the Guides section)
Accessing Factbook Directly From the Text
The case studies above involve typing a term into the Factbook reference box and selecting from a range of options. It is also possible to open the Tool to an entry directly from the biblical text either using the Context Menu or the Factbook Visual Filter.
Using the Context Menu
- Right-click the word you want to look up.
Words with existing Factbook entries display a label in the left-hand column. Click the label to expand options in the right-hand column. Click Factbook to open the entry for your chosen word.