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Q and A with Author Shaun McAfee

Verbum is proud to feature Shaun McAfee, author of Filling our Father’s House: What Converts Can Teach Us about Evangelization, available on pre-publication now.

We recently interviewed Shaun, who is serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan. Thank you, Shaun, for your service to our country and for your support of Verbum!

1. How did you become a fan of Verbum?

My earliest experience with Verbum was hearing and reading Steve Ray and Scott Hahn praise the product, shortly after I had converted to the Catholic faith. Their positive experience and endorsement of Verbum seemed very genuine. I briefly checked it out and was interested, but I must have put it off for some reason. Months later, I found success in blogging and started a Master’s degree in Dogmatic Theology with Holy Apostles College and Seminary. During my graduate work, I learned that all my writing heroes were not just huge supporters of Verbum, but heavy users. At a Catholic Apologetics Academy with Patrick Madrid in early 2014, I was further amazed by the strength of this product when I met with one of Verbum’s sales representatives. At that point, I had to have it.

I got the product and loved it immediately—no buyer’s remorse whatsoever. I wondered how I worked without it for so long. As a growing academic, writer, and Lay Dominican, Verbum became the best investment I had ever made. It still is, really. My passion to get this in the hands of others swelled, and I approached Holy Apostles Seminary about striking a deal with Verbum to get this product to more students. Verbum was generous, and granted a 30-50% off the software (depending on student status). Even while I serve here in Afghanistan, I have Verbum on all of my media devices, and I constantly refer to them in writing and personal study. I wouldn’t just say I became a fan—I became an ambassador!

2. What’s the thing you like best about Verbum 6?

That’s a tough one. Verbum 6 was not a mere systems upgrade, like Windows, to correct problems—it was an all-out change to the fundamental use and capability of Verbum. That’s one thing I appreciate about the folks at Verbum: they understand that people these days are tired of unnecessary upgrades. We like value-added improvements, features, and innovations, and that’s what Verbum did with 6. Personally, I enjoy the dashboard in 6 a lot more: better reading, relevant topics, great graphics, and share-worthy content every day!

3. How does Verbum help your faith grow?

My conversion to the Catholic Church, and my life since, has been ingrained with study. I studied my way into the Catholic Church, learning the truths and the reasons, and how to tell others about that. Those facts became faith. The intellectual became highly personal, and any aid to that study aided in my personal growth.

 4. What do you think is the best way to spread the word about Verbum Catholic Products?

What is Verbum not doing to spread the word?! They just dropped a huge sum of money to support Lumen, their high school curriculum, they sponsor giveaways, and they seem to be at every major event. I suppose the MBA in me is thinking that the real nuggets of growth come from word-of-mouth referrals. I call this Chatter Marketing. When the product is good, and that company does everything it can to support and entertain its users, they’re going to talk. I’ve talked, no kidding, 10 close friends into buying Verbum, and worked for 5 months to attain the deal for my beloved college, Holy Apostles College and Seminary. When people really believe in something, they want others to know about it. Users of Verbum should share this great product with their peers.

Get a Verbum library today, and be sure to lock in introductory pricing on McAfee’s Filling our Father’s House!

Filling our Father's House

 

 

Free Verbum 6 Training Video!

For the Feast of Corpus Christi, Verbum is featuring valuable search information from Verbum 360 Training. We have complete and step-by-step training for a variety of purposes: academics, devotion, homily writing, and more.

Learn how to use our software with a variety of products:

Get your specialized Verbum Training today!

What’s New in Verbum Now

Every day we’re working hard on innovative solutions to the problems you encounter in your study of the Faith. Our team regularly develops exciting new features, datasets, tools, and more to give you a deeper understanding of Scripture and Tradition.

In the past, you had to wait until the next release of our software to access extensive updates like these. But whether you’re a priest, scholar, student, or an everyday Catholic with a passion for Scripture study, we recognize that you want the latest and best tools to help you dig deeper into Scripture and the life of the Church, right now.

That’s why we created Verbum Now—roughly every six weeks, we roll out our newest developments so you can use them in your Scripture study immediately. It’s easy to get started with Verbum Now; you can even get your first month free.

We just released our newest features and tools to Verbum Now members—if you’ve been waiting to subscribe, this is the time to start. Here’s what’s new:

Trial Resources

For the month of June, Verbum Now members have access to The Life and Works of Athanasius the Great. New resources will be available for trial in July.

Training Videos

We’ve partnered with our sister software, Logos, to bring you general-purpose training for Verbum’s most powerful tools. The “Logos Pro” team has been hard at work building helpful videos that guide you through all of Logos/Verbum’s powerful features. We’ve even tagged these videos so that, for instance, if you search for “help concordance,” you’ll find a Logos Pro video that will show you how to use that feature.

Discover the new Grammars section

Search any verse in the Exegetical Guide, and Verbum displays cross-references according to spelling conventions, the origin of a word, the way the word is constructed, and much more. The Grammars section helps you sift through cross-references to find discussions that relate specifically to the questions you want answered about syntax or morphology. This allows you to investigate results from your reference grammars by type or by language.

  • In “Subject” view, search results from reference grammars are grouped by “Type” (Prolegomena, Exegesis, Orthography, etc).
  • In “Resource” view, grammars are organized by language. These groups can be expanded or collapsed like other guide subsections.

 Discover the new Grammatical Constructions section

Powered by the Greek Grammatical Constructions dataset, this section shows you what Greek Grammatical Constructions occur in the text you’re studying and list the results by type. This allows you to:

  • Identify Greek grammatical constructions present in the text you’re studying
  • Search the New Testament for other occurrences of a grammatical construction, like Granville Sharp’s rule
  • Discover the syntactical value of each construction

 New features in Concordance

With the latest update, you can build a concordance for any resource, and then filter its contents by language, headings, and lemmas. For English Bibles for which we have reverse interlinears, you can even filter word-sense data or biblical people, places, or things. You can quickly discover which character is mentioned most in the book of Acts, or discover the most commonly-used senses in a book, chapter, or passage.

  • New filter options for Bible word sense data and biblical entities data have been added to the Concordance tool. Concord by lemmas in Reverse Interlinears or discover references to people, places, and things across your Bible.

 Additional books completed for OT Propositional Outlines

Reformat Bible text into an outline that labels the purpose of each line in the Old Testament and relates each segment to the surrounding text. Below is the list of books currently available with this feature:

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy
  • Joshua
  • Judges
  • Ruth
  • 1 Samuel
  • 2 Samuel
  • 1 Kings
  • Esther
  • Obadiah
  • Jonah

Stay tuned to the Verbum Blog for more updates to Verbum Now, and make sure to get your first month free if you haven’t yet subscribed!

Leverage Verbum’s Visual Filters

Verbum has dozens of powerful tools, but sometimes the little things you don’t even know to look for can be incredibly helpful. This week, we want to draw your attention to Verbum’s Visual Filters with this excerpt from our Verbum 360 Training, which is currently free with any Verbum 6 Library as part of the Easter Sale.

Get the end of this chapter and training on all your favorite tools with the complete Verbum 360 Training—free!

 

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.

 

Using Faithlife This Lent

This guest post is by Alex Renn, Verbum Marketing and Operations Team Lead.

Today we’re going to look at Faithlife, Verbum’s social component.

This post will give you a basic understanding of how to use Faithlife. In a future video, we’ll take a deeper look at how to create and manage your own groups.

If you haven’t set up your profile yet, you’ll want to do so right away. Signing up for Faithlife only takes a few seconds, and if you already own and use Verbum, all you need is your account’s email address and password to get started.

Start by going to Faithlife.com and simply sign in or sign up.

If it’s your first time on Faithlife, you’ll be guided through some basic profile set-up. The more information you provide, the richer your experience will be.

Now that your account is set up, let’s join the Verbum group. You’ll see the option to “Join” in the upper right.

Now that you’re in a group, let’s take a look at group navigation. The tabs at the top of a group page allow you to move around while remaining in the same group.

Most tabs are self-explanatory, but I’d like to draw your attention to a few:

1

News is the tab you’ll see most often: think of this as the group’s “wall.” Post whatever you want here and engage in discussions with others.

The Documents tab is where you’ll go to find the Lenten reading plan and other documents that group members have shared. From Verbum you can share notes documents, reading plans, prayer lists, and more.

The Community Notes tab is a big one! When you take community notes in the software, and select the Verbum group, this is where they will be displayed. Of course, they’ll also display in your resource within the software, so it may be easier to engage with them there. The advantage of viewing them in Faithlife is you can see all of them in one place, and participate from any device—even a public computer.

Finally, the Discussions tab is where we’ll be encouraging dialogue. Think of this as a mini-forum for specific topics that will garner lots of engagement. This will be where we host the Discussions each week for the Lenten Journey.

Now that you’re familiar with the tab menu, let’s take a look at the rest of the Faithlife environment. To the left is the primary navigation bar where you’ll find five main menu items.

2

The first of these is the “My Faithlife” section. My Faithlife includes posts from all your other groups, as well as any posts shared to “My Faithlife” by people in your groups. It’s a more general space, and comments shared here are visible to a wider audience. Anyone who is in a group with you can see the content you share to My Faithlife.

Right under My Faithlife is the Notifications section. This lets you know whenever anyone does something interesting in your groups. Once you’ve selected this section, you can define what you think is interesting in the “Notifications settings” on the right.

3

I recommend you set email notifications for receiving messages, new posts, and community notes in the Verbum group. You can hover to see an “edit per group settings” option if you’re in multiple groups and only want emails from the Verbum group.

4

The Messages section is a simple and useful feature that allows you to see all the private messages sent between you and other Faithlife users.

The Calendar and Community Notes sections collate all of your Community Notes and events from the groups you’re in and let you see them all in the same place. These are especially helpful if you’re in multiple groups and want to make sure your events don’t overlap, or if you want to see the most recent community notes across all your groups.

Below the five main tabs are all of the groups you participate in. If you are in a lot of groups, there is a drop-down icon at the bottom of the column that allows you to view all of your groups on a separate page. Plus, you can pin groups within the sidebar for easy access. I recommend you pin the Verbum group, so that it always shows at the top of your groups list.

5

That’s it! Join us in the Verbum group for our Lenten Journey and start getting even more out of your study!

New in Verbum 6: Wikipedia

Verbum 6 makes Wikipedia work for you.

If you still find yourself starting from Wikipedia—handy for quick overviews of foreign concepts—start from Wikipedia in Verbum. Verbum helps you go from Wikipedia to in-depth answers and allows you to uncover deeper layers of scholarship.

Say I’m reading the Summa and I encounter David of Dinant. I can right click and immediately pull up Wikipedia in the software:

David of Dinant

But besides giving me quick information about who he was, Verbum’s Wikipedia tool lets me take notes and highlight right in the Wikipedia article. So I can flag this or save it for future reference.

Wikipedia

Once the note is in place, Verbum keeps track of edits made to that page on Wikipedia, so my note won’t get lost or deleted.

If you already use Wikipedia as part of your workflow, you will find that Verbum has made it even easier and more powerful.

Check out the Wikipedia tool in all our Verbum 6 libraries.

New in Verbum 6: Inline Search

The inline search tool integrates the power of Verbum searches with the convenience of the “find” function.

See how this search works, and imagine how it can change the way you use Verbum.

Inline Search is available in all* Verbum libraries.

*EDIT: While the Inline Search function is available in all libraries, advanced searching capabilities are still powered by special datasets (and reverse interlinears). These may not be available in the lower libraries. Reverse interlinears (which power original language searches like “<Lemma = lbs/el/λόγος>”) are not included in Verbum Basic. You must have Foundation or higher. To access searches like “<Person Jesus>,” you need the “Biblical Referents Dataset” which is available in Scripture Study and above.

New in Verbum 6: Treasury of Sacred Art

As Catholics, we celebrate and enjoy the physical senses. We approach God through the Sacraments, we deepen our prayer with sacramentals, and we gather to worship in beautiful sacred spaces. Our faith is supported by what we see and experience in mass, with “architecture, sculpture, paintings, icons, and stained glass lend[ing] an ambience that speaks of the mystery of God” (US Catholic Catechism for Adults 171). Sacred art, then, forms a vital aspect of our tradition—and it is newly accessible in Verbum 6!

The newly-catalogued Treasury of Sacred Art contains over 800 comprehensively tagged paintings and illustrations. Let Verbum accompany your faith journey and draw you closer to God. Watch the video below to see it in action!

The Treasury of Sacred Art is only available in Verbum 6 Foundation and above. Don’t miss out on all this art—upgrade today!

New in Verbum 6: Psalms Explorer

The Psalms Explorer is one of Verbum’s new interactive media features. It is available in Verbum Master and Verbum Capstone, and it allows you to engage the biblical text in a whole new way.

I really enjoyed digging into the psalms and discovering the poetic beauty of their structure.

And I know I’m only scratching the surface in this video.

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