Archive - November, 2007

My Official Introduction

I’m Phil Gons, the new guy in the marketing department. My wife, Shanna, and I just moved to Bellingham from sunny South Carolina a week ago. My job here at Logos is to try to fill the void left by Daniel Foster’s departure. From what I hear, I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by very gifted people who are making learning the ropes less daunting. (Thanks to Mark and Ben for tolerating all my questions and requests!)

I’ll be doing a lot of PR stuff like working with product reviewers and press reporters and trying to get Logos exposure in print and online publications. I’ll also be involved in writing and maintaining some of the content at Logos.com, managing our affiliate program, and doing many other things to get the word out about all that Logos can do for laymen, students, pastors, and scholars in their personal Bible study, sermon preparation, and writing.

I have an undergraduate degree in Bible with a minor in ancient languages and a master’s degree in Bible. I’m slowly working on my dissertation for a PhD in Theology. I love biblical studies, theology, and technology, so being a part of Logos means I get to be a part of the things I’m passionate about.

I’ve been a Logos user for just about three years now. I’ve spent enough money on Logos software to buy a decent used car! I love it, use it daily, and highly recommend it to others.

In addition to my regular contributions here, I also blog once or twice a week on my personal blog.

Thanksgiving Dinner on My First Day

I picked a great day to start my new job here at Logos. Today we had a very nice spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and much more for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. (It was early this year because some of the guys will be gone next week at the upcoming ETS and SBL national conferences.)
Here are some pictures from the party.


As you can see, I was a little too excited about the food to smile for the camera. (That’s me in the gray sweater smiling instead at the turkey.)


I’m thrilled to be a part of the team here at Logos. I can already tell that it’s going to be a great place to work. I’ll be working in the marketing department, so I’ll be contributing to the blog on a regular basis. Look for my official introduction in my next post.

Logos at the Evangelical Theological Society’s National Conference

Logos will be at the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) National Conference in San Diego. A few of us are giving papers at the conference. Here are the details; if they sound interesting to you we’d love to see you drop by the sessions.
Of course, we’d also love for you to drop by our booth any time during the conference. So if you’re in San Diego at ETS, come on by and see what we’ve been up to (like the Qumran Biblical Scrolls and also the Semitic Inscriptions project).
We’ll see you in San Diego!



Wednesday, Nov. 14, 4:10-4:50 PM
Garden Salon Two
Richard W. Brannan
Richard Bauckham and Eyewitness Testimony: Does His Narrative Device Occur Outside of the Synoptics?
A recent book by Richard Bauckham (Jesus and the Eyewitnesses) describes Marcan usage of something he calls the “plural to singular narrative device” (Bauckham 156-157). He defines the device using syntactic terminology: “a plural verb … without an explicit subject is used to describe the movements of Jesus and his disciples, followed immediately by a singular verb or pronoun referring to Jesus alone” (Bauckham 156-157). Using this device, Bauckham posits Mark’s usage of Peter’s eyewitness testimony as underlying source for 21 different movements of Jesus (e.g. Mk 1.21).
Bauckham’s exploration of this narrative device is limited to the synoptic gospels. But does the device occur elsewhere? This paper argues that if such a thing as the plural-to-singular narrative device exists, then Ac 18.19 should be considered an additional Lucan instance of the device.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 11:10-11:40 AM
Sunset
Michael S. Heiser
The Professor and Mariamne: The Textual and Statistical Justification for Marooning James Tabor’s “Jesus Tomb Theory” on Gullible’s Island
(This session is part of the Near East Archaeological Society’s general session)
On March 4, 2007 the Discovery Channel aired a documentary touting the discovery of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus.” Negative responses quickly followed from all quarters of academia, across the theological spectrum. There has been one notable exception among biblical scholars, Dr. James Tabor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Despite the fact that popular interest in the Jesus Family Tomb has declined steadily in the wake of the overwhelmingly unfavorable response, Tabor has defended the film’s thesis. The reason is straightforward: an identification of the Talpiot tomb as the Jesus Family Tomb would lend support to Tabor’s own theory about the historical Jesus. This paper overviews and evaluates Tabor’s ongoing arguments for a Jesus family tomb in support of his own larger thesis about the historical Jesus.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 3:00-3:40 PM
Royal Palm Salon Two
Steven Runge
Teaching them what NOT to Do: The Nuances of Negation in the Greek New Testament
Most descriptions of negation are primarily concerned with highlighting the distinctions between ου and μη. Little attention is given to variation in the syntax of negation constructions. The biblical writers frequently used negation to describe what did not happen as a means of adding emphasis to what did happen. Emphasis can also be assigned by emphasizing a specific component of a clause rather than the entire negated clause. The purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate the basic patterns observed in the Greek NT. Based on this description, representative examples will be presented that demonstrate the exegetical payoff of careful attention to negation.


Friday, Nov. 16, 11:30 AM -12:10 PM
Royal Palm Salon Five
Michael S. Heiser
Did Jesus Allow for Reincarnation? Assessing the Syntax of John 9:3-4
In a 2003 article in the scholarly journal Filología Neotestamentaria entitled, “The True Meaning of Jn 9:3-4,” J. D. M. Derrett raised the possibility that Jn 9:3-4 (the man blind from birth) could plausibly be construed as evidence that Jesus was not opposed to the idea of reincarnation. Derrett argued that the disciples’ question about why the man was born blind suggests that the disciples were prepared to accept that the man had sinned in the womb or in a previous life. According to Derrett a specific syntactical structure (the “relative negative”— ου/μη [or any negative particle] . . . αλλα, followed by ινα) in Jesus’ response does not denote a categorical denial of the idea. This paper tests this assertion by means of Logos’ implementation of the OpenText.org syntactically-tagged database.

Logos at the Society of Biblical Literature National Conference

If you will be attending the SBL national conference in San Diego next week, you might be interested in some of these additional sessions that Logos is sponsoring. You’ll see new stuff we’ve been working on (like the Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database and the Semitic Inscriptions) and you’ll be able to associate some faces with names!
If you’re not able to make these additional meetings but will be at the AAR/SBL meetings, please do at least drop by the booth and say “hello” to us!
(Yes, we’ll be at the ETS national conference too; we’ll have a post on what’s going on there next week)



AM17-36 An Electronic Database of the Biblical Qumran Scrolls
Date: 11/17/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: New York – MM
This meeting presents, for the first time, a searchable database of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. The session will demonstrate searching and display strategies for comparison of the biblical scrolls with the other texts of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, a variety of books now available in digital form for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM17-51 Syntactically-Tagged Databases for the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament
Date: 11/17/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: New York – MM
This session will overview the latest quantum leap for computerized research and teaching in biblical texts: databases tagged for syntactical structures and functions. The session is appropriate for anyone interested in computer applications for exegesis and teaching of the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament.
Additional Links:


AM 18-21 Electronic Books and Databases for Research in Josephus, Philo and the Pseudepigrapha
Date: 11/18/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Manchester 1 – MM
This meeting presents an overview of searchable, morphologically tagged databases of the Greek Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the writings of Philo (the Philo Concordance project), and the Niese edition of The Works of Josephus with critical apparatus. Along with these databases, scholarly monographs now available in digital form for the study of these texts will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM 18-51 A Discourse Annotation Database for Biblical Texts
Date: 11/18/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: Columbia 1 – MM
This meeting presents a searchable database of descriptive annotations of grammatical features based on their function within the discourse. These annotations describe the pragmatic choices of the biblical writers/editors and their effects. The descriptive aspect of the methodology takes into account stylistic idiosyncrasies. The function-based aspect allows for stylistic comparison. The Greek NT database is complete. Preliminary data for the Hebrew Bible and LXX will be presented.
We don’t have any additional links describing this at present because it is still in development, but you may want to examine some papers by the project editor, Steven Runge, D.Litt, housed on his Logos bio page.



AM 19-11 Electronic Books and Databases for Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic Inscriptions
Date: 11/19/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Orlando – MM
This meeting includes a demonstration of the use of a searchable database for the Ugaritic corpus (Ugaritic Databank, Madrid) and searchable scholarly reference works for Ugaritic. The session will also feature a new database for Microsoft Windows users for select Northwest Semitic Inscriptions representing languages and dialects such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Moabite, and Ammonite. The inscriptions database includes morphological tagging.
Additional Links:

New International Greek Testament Commentaries

All 12 volumes of the New International Greek Testament Commentaries are now available as individual downloads. Considering the massive amount of information in each commentary, the electronic versions will be a welcome addition to your digital library. You’ve heard the sales pitch before—electronic books save you time by bringing you straight to the information you need in seconds rather than hours. With print editions of thousand-page books you get lots of content and constant page turning. The electronic edition is a welcome alternative because you keep the great content while cutting your research time exponentially.

So what type of commentaries are the NIGTC? That question is best answered in the foreward of each volume. Senior editors Donald A. Hagner and I. Howard Marshall write:

“At a time when the study of Greek is being curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament and will be an impetus in the revival of such study.


The volumes of the NIGTC are for students who want something less technical than a full-scale critical commentary. At the same time, the commentaries are intended to interact with modern scholarship and to make their own scholarly contribution to the study of the New Testament. The wealth of detailed study of the New Testament in articles and monographs continues without interruption, and the series is meant to harvest the results of this research in an easily accessible form. The commentaries include, therefore, extensive bibliographies and attempt to treat all important problems of history, exegesis, and interpretation that arise from the New Testament text.”

When these guys say their books have a “wealth of detailed study” they really mean it. Five of the commentaries are more than 800 pages in print form. (The volume on First Corinthians tops out at a whopping 1,479 pages!) Several of the books have received awards from organizations such as the Evangelical Publishers Association and Christianity Today.

In terms of value, the best way to go would be purchasing the 12-volume collection. To show our thanks to blog readers, Logos is now offering a discount on the NIGTC collection. Just enter coupon code NIGTC during checkout and your price will be reduced to $449.95. If you would prefer to mix and match the commentaries you want you’ll find links to each individual commentary below. For those who are studying any of the New Testament books covered in these volumes look no further than the NIGTC.

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