Archive - March, 2008

Merge Your Libronix Accounts

I regularly come across people in our database who have two or more Libronix accounts. There are several reasons this could happen. Some pastors have two accounts: (1) a personal Libronix account that belongs to them and (2) a church Libronix account that belongs to the church and will stay with the church when they leave. In situations like these, the two accounts have to stay separate since they belong to two different parties.

But often a single owner will have two or more accounts. Most of the time this happens when an existing user installs a new collection for Libronix on a new computer and creates a new account instead of entering his old one. Perhaps he can’t remember what his Libronix Customer ID is and doesn’t know how to locate it, or maybe he doesn’t know that products created by third party publishers, like the Theological Journal Library, can be seamlessly integrated with all of his Logos Bible Software. As a result, his Libronix digital library is spread across two licenses and two computers.

One of the benefits to the Libronix Digital Library System is that you can add books and collections from a number of different publishers right into a single, integrated platform. Unintentionally setting up multiple accounts defeats the purpose of a unified library. If you have accidentally created multiple accounts and don’t have access to all of your books on the same license, please contact our customer service department by phone (800-875-6467) or by email (customerservice@logos.com). They would be happy to merge your accounts into a single one so you can take advantage of the benefits of having everything searchable and accessible in one place.

Update: Please don’t contact customer service unless you (1) know that you have more than one Libronix account (and shouldn’t) or (2) are pretty sure you might have more than one account because not all of your books are showing up as unlocked even after synchronizing your licenses several times. I realize it would be nice to find out that you have two licenses and didn’t even know it, but that is probably not the case. :)

The Works of Jonathan Edwards on Pre-Pub!

Jonathan Edwards’ (1703–1758) massive importance as a theologian, pastor, and philosopher is hard to overstate. More than 250 years after his death (he died of smallpox on March 22, 1758) he is still the subject of an enormous amount of theological literature. The bibliography of resources below speaks volumes about his ongoing—and even growing—influence.

Soon you will be able to have access to Edwards’ most important writings in your Libronix Digital Library System. The Logos edition is based on the standard 1834 edition that was reprinted by Banner of Truth and Hendrickson, both of which are still in print.

When we put Edwards up on Pre-Pub a few days ago, someone in our newsgroups asked if we’d be including Henry Rogers’ "Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards," which was added to the beginning of the Hendrickson edition to set it apart from the Banner of Truth edition.

I’ve been waiting for this one for a while too! Just a few days ago I was lamenting the fact Logos hasn’t offered it yet, so this is a pleasant surprise!

. . .

One thing I’d like to point out, I have the Hendrickson edition and there’s an essay called "Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards" that takes up about 60 pages that doesn’t seem to be included in the forthcoming Logos edition. Will that be included?

Regardless, thanks for finally offering this one!!!

—Greg

Since we always like to provide you with the biggest and best editions possible, adding this essay was an easy decision. So make sure to thank Greg for suggesting it and helping us hunt down a copy of the essay. And remember, it pays to give us suggestions like these.

Head over to the product page to put in your pre-order for The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 volumes).

Continue Reading…

Waiting for the Next Shoe to Drop, Part 2

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

Logos has just posted a Pre-Pub for a whole new kind of Bible study tool—the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Over the last few weeks I have described a few of the concepts that are included in these resources:

This post is a follow up to tell you about another strategy that the New Testament writers used to create point-counterpoint sets. This device allows the writer to highlight important connections that they did not want us to miss. In the first post, I talked about how words like ‘while’ can be used to create anticipation that ‘another shoe’ is going to drop. Here is the example again, just to refresh your memory. Notice the difference that adding the italicized word makes regarding your expectations about what might follow:

  1. “I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

    versus . . .

  2. While I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

    or . . .

  3. “I have appreciated most of your work over the last few months . . .”

In this post, I am going to tell you how negative statements can be used to create the same kind of effect that something more is coming, ‘another shoe’ so to speak. When I was growing up, I remember being told not just what I was supposed to do, but also what I was not supposed to do. Think about the following sentences.

  1. Get up and help.
  2. Don’t sit there. Get up and help.
  3. Don’t just sit there; instead, get up and help.

When I read these words, I hear my mom’s voice in my head. I could tell how frustrated she was by which option she used. Option 1 communicates what she wanted me to do, but without much force. Option 2 has a bit more oomph (read ‘frustration’), a bit more zing. Telling me what not to do does two things. First, it makes me wonder what I am supposed to do, if I am not supposed to ‘sit there’. Second, the negative statement provides a backdrop against which to contrast the positive statement. Option 2 sounds sharper because the contrast between the negative and the positive is sharper. Finally there is option 3, which adds some extra words (‘just’ and ‘instead’) that really forces me to link these two statements together in ways that option 2 just implied.

We make decisions like this all the time when we are speaking, but not by stopping and thinking “Hmm, should I create a counterpoint?” We just do what ‘fits best’ in the context, based on whatever it is that we want to communicate. My mom made decisions about whether to use option 1, 2, or 3, depending upon how much force she wanted to use (Believe me, I made option 3 look pretty attractive far too often).

The negative statement is called a ‘counterpoint’ ‹›, and serves as a contrast and a set-up for the ‘point’ ‹› that follows. In most cases, the ‘point is the more important of the two. In the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, every point-counterpoint set that is explicitly signaled in the New Testament is marked right in the text, making sure you don’t miss any important connections in your Bible study or sermon preparation. It will look something like this:

‘Don’t just stand there ›,‹ DO something’.

The pairing of negative and positive statements is used all over the New Testament to create special connections called ‘counter points and points’. Let’s take a look at some NT examples.

In Matthew 4, Jesus is being tempted by Satan after having fasted for 40 days. Satan tempts Jesus to turn stones into bread to relieve his hunger. Jesus responds in v. 4:

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Γέγραπται ‹ Οὐκ ἐπ ̓ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος › ἀλλ ̓ ‹ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος θεοῦ But he answered, • “It is written, ‹ “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, › but ‹ by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

This is a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3. Notice that is says what you shall not live on before telling you what you shall live on. Stating ‘what not to do’ is a powerful way of both creating an expectation that more is coming, as well as setting up a contrast with what follows. Not every negative statement creates a counterpoint, but the Lexham High Definition New Testament and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament shows you where they do. Going back to Matt 4:4, Jesus not only rejects what Satan had tempted him to live upon, but he also sets the stage for what he (and we) should live upon—the Word of God.

In Romans 1:32, Paul creates a powerful point-counterpoint set using a ‘not only . . . but also’ framework.

οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιγνόντες ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες ἄξιοι θανάτου εἰσίν, ‹ οὐ μόνον αὐτὰ ποιοῦσιν › ἀλλὰ ‹ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν τοῖς πράσσουσιν. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, ‹ they not only do them › but ‹• give approval to those who practice them.

It is bad enough that those who know God’s decrees are not obeying them, but it is actually far worse. Not only do they do them, but they also/even give approval to others who do them. The bullet (•) at the beginning of the ‘point’ in English is the ‘also/even’ that I added in my translation. This Greek word makes the contrast even sharper than just the negative/positive order. It would have been much easier for Paul to just state that ‘they give approval to those who . . . .’ Providing the negative first followed by the positive really adds some zing to the force of the statement, which is strengthened even more by the ‘not only . . . but also’ structure. The ESV did not maintain the ‘also’ connection that is there in Greek. The use of ‘also/even’ to strengthen connections of one of the special devices that is annotated in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (called ‘thematic addition’), but is not included in the HDNT.

There is a whole series of point-counterpoint sets in Ephesians 5:15-18 that create the same kind of contrasting connections as in the other examples we have looked at.

Βλέπετε οὖν ἀκριβῶς πῶς περιπατεῖτε ‹ μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι › ἀλλʼ ‹ ὡς σοφοί, 16 ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν, ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. 17 διὰ τοῦτο ‹ μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, › ἀλλὰ ‹ συνίετε τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου. 18 καὶ ‹ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἐστιν ἀσωτία, › ἀλλὰ ‹ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, Look carefully then how you walk, ‹ not as unwise › but ‹ as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore ‹ do not be foolish, › but ‹ understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And ‹ do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, › but ‹ be filled with the Spirit,

Paul gives us a series of commands, and uses the counterpoints to sharpen the contrast between what we are not supposed to do and what we are supposed to do. Sharpening the contrast also helps to tighten the connection between these commands. Remember, he could have just as easily said, “walk wisely . . . understand the will of the Lord . . . be filled with the Spirit.” Leaving out the counterpoints would have been easier, but would also have removed much of the zing and punch that these commands have in their current form.

Point-counterpoint sets are just one of more than 15 different devices included in the HDNT, and of more than 35 that are found in the LDGNT. Every place a point-counterpoint set is clearly marked in Greek, it is annotated in the resources using the ‹ counterpoint › ‹point › symbols. If you are interested in learning about other devices that are included in these resources, check out my previous blog posts.

If you haven’t yet placed your order, don’t miss out while it’s still available at the discounted Pre-Pub pricing.

Morris Proctor’s Tips & Tricks Blog Is Back

Morris Proctor is well known as an authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. For more than a decade, he has been traveling around the country holding Camp Logos events where he trains people how to take advantage of the power of the Libronix Digital Library System.

In May of 2006, we decided to start a blog for Morris to share some of his helpful training tips. Twice a week—every Wednesday and Saturday—there was something new to help users learn how to use Logos better. Here are some example posts:

The Tips & Tricks blog somehow managed to fall off the radar several months ago. Users have expressed how much they miss it, so we’re finally starting to add new content on a regular basis.

Starting today, you’ll again see regular tips from Morris. If you don’t already have it bookmarked, head on over to http://tips.logos.com/ and add it to your favorites. If you’d rather see it in your RSS reader, the feed to subscribe to is http://feeds.feedburner.com/MorrisProctorsTipsTricks. For your convenience, we’ve also built it right into the blog section of your Logos home page.

Today’s post is entitled "Seeing Multiple Devotions on the Home Page." Check it out.

It Pays to Pre-Order Early—Literally

Everyone loves to get a good deal. And two Logos users just recently got an amazing deal: $17.95 for the entire Sheffield/T & T Clark Bible Guides Collection (44 volumes). That’s just over $.40 per volume and almost 99% off the retail price! We posted this Pre-Pub last week with the wrong price. A $17.95 price tag is about what one of these individual volumes would have. Oops! We quickly corrected it to $279.95, but in that short time that it was up at the wrong price—only a few minutes—two people jumped on it and locked in the ridiculously low $17.95.

Most online sellers wouldn’t honor a price mistake like this. I’ve purchased what I thought were really good deals from Amazon and Dell only to be notified that my order had been canceled because the item had been improperly priced. But in this situation we’ve decided to honor the price and reward these two individuals for placing their Pre-Pub orders early.

It’s not often that we post something at the wrong price, but this situation gives me a perfect opportunity to emphasize an important point about our Pre-Pub program: it pays to pre-order early—literally.

The initial Pre-Pub price is almost* always the lowest Pre-Pub price you’ll see. Sometimes that price stays the same until it ships, at which time it jumps up to our normal sale price. But often the Pre-Pub price will increase for a number of reasons, and those who order earliest get the best deal.

Sometimes we run a special promotion to offer you an extra discounted price like we’re doing with the Works of John Owen (17 volumes). For another week and a half, the Pre-Pub price is only $174.95. Then it will jump up to $224.95.

Another reason to place your pre-order early is that we may add additional material to a set after we’ve already put it up on Pre-Pub, as was the case with Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (63 volumes). A user pointed out that our set didn’t include the hard-to-obtain volume on the Apocrypha. We tracked it down and added it to the set, increasing our production cost. The Pre-Pub price eventually went up, but everyone who had already pre-ordered it essentially got the additional volume for free.

It’s also possible that our publisher relations department could negotiate permission to do a newer, more expensive edition after a collection is already on Pre-Pub. This is exactly what happened with Barth’s Church Dogmatics. We had initially obtained permission to publish the current edition of CD, but we ended up getting permission to do the new, forthcoming edition that won’t be available in print for several more months.

The bottom line is that it is in your best interest to place your pre-order sooner rather than later. The most efficient way to do that is to subscribe to our Pre-Pub RSS feed.

* In the rare event that a Pre-Pub price goes down, we notify the customers so they can order it at the lower price. No one is ever punished for pre-ordering early.

Barth’s Church Dogmatics Coming Soon!

On 03/15/06 we put Karl Barth’s magnum opus, the 14-volume Church Dogmatics, on Pre-Pub. As we expected, it quickly reached 100% of the pre-orders needed to move it into production, but you may have noticed that its status never changed to “Under Development.” This appeared on the product page for nearly a year and a half:

Note: This title has gathered 100% of pre-orders needed; it will move into production pending final approval from the publisher.”

We are happy to inform you that we have received the final approval from the publisher. Production is almost complete, and we are on track to begin shipping very soon. But that’s not all. Behind this delay is some very exciting news! The issue that was holding up production was whether we’d be producing the current edition or the forthcoming new edition. We are thrilled to let you know that the Logos edition will be the new edition!

What’s new with the new edition? It offers the classic translation of T. F. Torrance, G. Bromiley and others, prepared by a team of leading experts from the Center for Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. The text is presented in a new, user friendly format. Greek and Latin passages are now given in English translation alongside the original to make the work more accessible for students without a working knowledge of the ancient languages. Simply hover over or click the asterisk after any untranslated text to see its translation.

The publisher has set the retail price of the new edition at $840 for the entire set. Individual volumes are going for $90 or more and aren’t scheduled to be available until this September. If you were to buy all 14 volumes in print, you’d be spending between $840 and $1,300 and waiting months to get them! For just another week or so you can get this new edition for only $499.99—an incredible savings!

The Logos edition of Barth’s CD will be seamlessly integrated with the rest of your Libronix resources giving you access to all the great features you have come to love, like (1) instant lookups of words or phrases, (2) jumping to other resources in your Libronix library like Calvin’s Institutes, which Barth references scores of times, (3) Scripture references and footnotes as pop-ups, (4) the ability to mark up the text and take notes, and (5) our advanced searching, which enables you to find all the places that Barth mentions any word, phrase, Scripture reference, and more. Barth has never been so convenient to read and study!

Visit the Church Dogmatics product page to place your order!

About Barth

“Undoubtedly is one of the giants in the history of theology.” —Christianity Today

“He may well have been the most influential Protestant theologian of the twentieth century.” —Millard J. Erickson

“The great Church father of Protestant Christendom, the one genuine Doctor of the Protestant Church the modern era has known.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“One of the most important Protestant theologians of the 20th century.” —Eberhard Busch

“The most significant theologian of the twentieth century.” —T. A. Noble

“One of the leading thinkers of 20th-century Protestantism.” —The Columbia Encyclopedia

“One of the most influential Protestant leaders of the twentieth century.” —H. Jacobsen

“Perhaps the most influential German-speaking theologian of his century.” —R. V. Schnucker

“There never was a full missions theology until Karl Barth wrote one, and no one should undertake to prepare a better one (or conceive that he might prepare a better one) until he has mastered Barth.” —Hendrik Kraemer

“Even his severest critics have had to establish their positions with respect to his.” —David L. Mueller

The most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. —Pope Pius XII

About Barth’s Church Dogmatics

“One of the most notable theological publications of our time.” —Expository Times

“It is in the Church Dogmatics above all that we must look for the grandeur of this humble servant of Jesus Christ, for the work he was given to accomplish in it will endure to bless the world for many centuries to come.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“Only Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas and Calvin have performed comparable service in the past, in the search for a unified and comprehensive basis for all theology in the grace of God.” —Thomas F. Torrance

“Among Barth’s many books, sermons and essays, the multivolume Church Dogmatics—a closely reasoned, eloquently stated argument in nearly ten thousand pages—stands out as the crown of his achievement.” —Clifford Blake Anderson

“His multi-volume Church Dogmatics (CD) constitutes the weightiest contribution to Protestant theology since Schleiermacher.” —T. A. Noble

“Barth’s Church Dogmatics is by far the most detailed Protestant exposition of Christian doctrine to have appeared since the Reformation.” —The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

To learn more about Karl Barth in your Libronix library, see the following articles and books:

For even more, check out these journal articles:

If you like Karl Barth, you might also be interested in our Studies in Karl Barth Collection (2 volumes).

Learn Logos Bible Software

Logos Bible Software is an incredibly powerful tool. I’ve been using it almost daily for the last three-and-a-half years and would consider myself a fairly advanced user, but I still regularly discover new things that Logos can do.

While Logos is very easy to use and anyone can get benefit from it without training, really taking full advantage of what Logos has to offer takes time and effort. And that can be a daunting task for the average person.

It’s our desire that every Logos user would be able to make full use of what Logos can do to help them study the Bible more efficiently and profitably. We have an entire section of our website dedicated to training. It provides you with scores of free training articles and videos. We also frequently share helpful tips on the blog. But all that information can be a bit overwhelming for the new user. Where do you start?

To help users manage all of that information more easily, we’ve created a free online course called Learn Logos Bible Software. It was designed for Bible colleges and seminaries to offer to their students as a one credit course. But since most of our users aren’t in Bible college or seminary and might never have the chance to take this course, we decided to share it publicly with anyone who would like to use it.

The course is comprised of 16 lessons that walk you through our most important training material, which is grouped together in helpful categories.

Most lessons include videos to watch, questions to answer, exercises to do, and articles and blog posts to read.

We hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

New Video on the Lexham HDNT

Reuben Evans, from our ministry relations team, put together a PowerPoint Keynote presentation to show the new Lexham HDNT at a recent pastors conference. He got really good feedback on it, so we wanted to share it with you as a video.


Flash, 59.7 MB, with sound, 15:22

To learn more about the HDNT, visit the product page and check out Steve’s blog posts:

Using Libronix to Learn about “Famous” People

I often find myself turning to Libronix to learn more about important people from church history—from Augustine to John Owen to Karl Barth. In my last blog post, I included a pretty hefty list of articles on John Owen that I found in my Libronix library. Several people commented to me how helpful they found that list and wished they had something like that for all the “famous” people in the history of the church.

While I can’t promise that we’ll be able to make lists like that for you, I can give you some pointers on how you can build them for yourself. Here’s the process that I took when I looked for articles on John Owen.

Step 1: Browse My Library

First, I looked for any resource titles in My Library that mentioned John Owen. Depending on how common the name is that you’re looking for, you may be able to try just the last name. If that’s too broad, add the first name, but keep in mind that the individual may have a middle initial or middle name included. Doing this with Owen gave me one good result: John Piper’s book Contending for Our All: Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen.

Step 2: Topic Search in Biographies Collection

My second step was to do a topic search for Owen in my biographical collection. One of the first collections I created when I got Logos was a collection of resources with biographical entries. Here are the current contents of my collection:

If you think you’d find this collection helpful, feel free to download it and put it in your My Documents\Libronix DLS\Collections folder.

To do a topic search for Owen, you would type topic(Owen), topic(“Owen, John”), or topic(“John Owen”). The most comprehensive results were with topic(“Owen, John”).

But it’s probably easier to use the Topic Browser. Typing Owen and clicking Search shows me both “Owen” and “Owen, John” as topics. It takes the guessing out of it and makes it a simpler process.

Step 3: Search in Biographies Collection

Third, I did a search for “John Owen” OR “Owen, John” in my biographical collection. This will give me hits were Owen is mentioned in the content of the article, but may not be in the title.

Step 4: Topic Search in All Available Resources

Fourth, I did a topic search for Owen in All Available Resources. This turned up a number of great hits in the theological journals and a few others from resources that weren’t in my biographies collection. I chose to do All Available Resources instead of All Unlocked Resources because I like to know if any of my locked books have relevant material in them. It’s good to know what great resources I’m missing out on, and this is one way to find them. Note that you’ll need to search for topic(Owen) as well as topic(“Owen, John”) to get a complete list, since some articles refer to Owen by last name only. As with step two, it’s probably better to use the Topic Browser for this.

Step 5: Search in All Available Resources

Finally, I did a search for “John Owen” OR “Owen, John” in All Available Resources to see if I had missed anything significant. Again, this will turn up a lot of hits, but if you want to be comprehensive, this search is essential. I found a couple additional relevant articles this way.

Two tips for working through big lists like this efficiently: (1) when you click the plus sign next to the book title, skim the headings for the name you are looking for (not all headings are necessarily topically tagged), and (2) give attention to the articles with the highest number of hits as they are more likely to be relevant.

Now, if you know you want exhaustive from the start, you could skip right to step five since it should give you all the results from all of the preceding steps. But often you don’t know how much information you’re going to find—or even how much information you want—until you get into the process, so it’s usually good to start out small and work your way up. The most targeted list of hits will probably be step two, which is the method I typically use when I want quick results and don’t need to be exhaustive.

What else would you do to find biographical information in your Libronix library? What other resources would you add to a biographies collection? Why not create a list of articles in Libronix about your favorite person from church history and post it on your blog? Let us know if you do.

Waiting for the Next Shoe to Drop, Part 1

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

Over the last few years, I have learned the importance of expectations. Expectations play a huge role in our lives, even in how we use language. Read the following statements, and compare the difference that adding a single word to the sentence can make in changing our expectations about what follows.

1. “I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

versus . . .

2. “While I have really appreciated your work over the last few months . . .”

or . . .

3. “I have appreciated most of your work over the last few months . . .”

Notice the difference in expectations that was created in the last two sentences compared to the first sentence? What changed? Figuratively speaking, adding ‘while’ or ‘most’ in this context has the effect of signaling that the ‘first shoe’ has dropped. It creates the expectation that something more is coming, and it probably won’t be good. Another way of looking at this is to say that the last two sentences create a ‘counter point’, signaling that a more important ‘point’ is about to come that connects back to the counter point.

We make decisions like this all the time when we are speaking, but not by stopping and thinking, “Should I create a counter point so that Rick will expect that more is coming, or should I connect these thoughts using another device?” No. We just do what ‘fits best’ in the context, based on whatever it is that we want to communicate. Creating the expectation that a second shoe will drop using a counter point is a powerful way to connect two things together, things that otherwise might not have been connected. It is not just English that can create this kind of expectation. Most languages have some means of doing this, including Greek. You guessed it, we are headed into the New Testament to introduce another device that is included in the Lexham High Definition New Testament, which is now on Pre-Pub along with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. Today’s topic is point-counter point sets, using a words like ‘while’ or ‘in as much as’ to create a ‘counterpoint’ to connect and draw extra attention to a ‘point’ that follows. The point is the ‘second shoe’.

In the same way that we can use words like ‘while’ to create an expectation of something more (a counter point), Greek has a tiny three letter word μέν (men, Strong’s number G3303) that accomplishes the same thing. Its primary purpose is to produce a counter point, creating the expectation that some related point is about to follow. The point is typically more important than the counter point. Using a counter point has the effect of attracting attention to the point that it would not have received otherwise.

There is just one problem: Greek is not English. Since Greek has such an easy way of creating counter points, it is often difficult to capture what is going on in Greek in a smooth English translation. Words like ‘on the one hand’ would be too clunky in most cases. As a result of this mismatch between the languages, well over half of the counter points signaled by μέν are lost in translation. They show up in your reverse interlinears as a bullet (). The great thing about the Lexham High Definition New Testamentis that it helps you find all the places where things like counter points are signaled, and even shows you the ‘point’ that it is connected to.

Take a look at Jesus’ statement about the fields being plentiful for harvest (Matt 9:37). The bullet () after ‘harvest’ stands in the place of a Greek word that does not have an English equivalent in the translation. It stands in the place of our counter point marker μέν. I will use symbols to help you find the ‹ counter point › and the ‹ point ›. The brackets ‹ and › let you know where the point or counter point begin and end.

τότε λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ‹μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς › ‹ οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι Then he said to his disciples, ‹ “The harvest is plentiful, › ‹ but the laborers are few; › (ESV)

Without the use of μέν, the positive statement about the harvest might sound like it is the last word on the matter, rather than a counterpoint to highlight the great need for more harvesters. The use of ‘but’ captures the contrast, but does not convey the anticipation. Jesus’ hearers were expecting something important would follow when they heard μέν, just like we would if we were to hear, “While the harvest is plentiful . . .” The call for more laborers is much more powerful when you realize it is a set-up to attract our attention to the point that follows, but the counterpoint is obscured in the translation to English.

Take a look at the counter point in Matthew 26:24.

μὲν υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὑπάγει καθὼς γέγραπται περὶ αὐτοῦ › ‹ οὐαὶ δὲ τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ ἐκείνῳ διʼ οὗ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται › καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, › ‹ but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! › It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” (ESV)

While it was necessary for the Son of Man to be betrayed in order to fulfill prophecy, the betrayer has no excuse for his actions, he will be held fully accountable. What a frightening warning, one which is made all the more powerful through the use of a counter point to attract extra attention to the point that follows.

Another counter point example used to create a connection is found in Acts 2:41-42. Here again, the particle μέν is untranslated.

οἱ μὲν οὖν ἀποδεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθησαν καὶ προσετέθησαν ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ ψυχαὶ ὡσεὶ τρισχίλιαι. › 42 ‹ ῏Ησαν δὲ προσκαρτεροῦντες τῇ διδαχῇ τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ, τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου καὶ ταῖς προσευχαῖς. • So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added • that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. › (ESV)

You are probably thinking, “Why in the world would these two verses be connected?” Great question. The answer is that the writer wanted to make sure that we connected these verses. He could have left out the μέν, but his choice to include it reflects his intent that we make a connection that might otherwise be missed.

There are actually two Greek conjunctions at the beginning of v. 41. The conjunction οὖν (translated here as ‘so’) tells us how to relate v. 41 to what precedes, summarizing the people’s response to Peter’s sermon. The μέν creates a counter point, raising the expectation that another shoe is going to drop. The 3000 being added and baptized is not the final word. As significant as this response is, the writer wanted to connect the response of the 3000 to the events that follow. Verse 42 describes how the people devoted themselves to the teaching, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Creating a counter point here suggests that while 3000 ‘getting saved’ and baptized is significant, it is only the beginning and not an end in itself. The Great Commission calls us to make disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded us. This is exactly what we see being highlighted here by making the connection between vv. 41 and 42. The apostles are obediently fulfilling their commission. We see a picture of the new believers moving on to obey all that was commanded. The writer’s choice to create a counter point connection helps drive this point home. However, this connection is impossible to find in English.

Point-counter point sets are only one of roughly 15 other devices that are included in the Lexham High Definition New Testament. This resource not only provides an introduction to these devices, it marks every place they occur right in the English text. Using the symbols keeps you in the Bible instead of in study notes or a commentary. It also lets you see ‘at a glance’ the devices that the writer is using in the passage you are studying, allowing you to quickly and easily identify the key ideas, to understand the flow of the passage.

See Steve’s previous posts about the Lexham High Definition New Testament:

See also the recent announcement of Steve’s two products now on Pre-Pub:

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