Archive - June, 2012

Who’s in the Spotlight?

One of the big challenges in studying Old Testament stories is identifying the central character, the one to whom the writer wants you paying close attention. This is especially true in complex stories like that of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing, in which Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau each play an important role. So how do you find the central character, the one in the spotlight?

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and the Lexham High Definition Old Testament help you find information like this by marking all the places where the most important linguistic devices occur. The device we’ll look at today is overspecification.

Background:

Think about the last time you introduced someone to someone else. Chances are you gave a name (“This is Jayson…”) plus some specific connection to you (“. . . my neighbor” or “. . . a friend from work”). You picked the most relevant connection for the context, which required you to choose which connection to use. Here’s what I mean. If I were speaking at a conference, they’d never introduce me as “Ruth’s dad” or “Jayson’s friend.”  They’d pick the connection most relevant to the context, like “scholar-in-residence” or “doctor of biblical languages.” After the introduction, they’d only use my name, usually there’s no more mention of the connection. Usually, that is.

Genesis 27

Genesis 27 recounts the story of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing. The main characters are already well established from the preceding context, as is their connection to one another. So why is it that the writer keeps repeating their connection to one another, e.g., “Esau his older son” (Gen 27:1), “Jacob her son”, and “Esau your brother” (Gen 27:6)? What is accomplished by these overly specific connections? They exist for two reasons; we’ll cover the first one in this post.

Since connections are only needed when someone is first introduced, repeating them where they’re not required helps us see where the writer has placed the spotlight. How? Even though the connection is unneeded, it still instructs us how to connect the person to the story. Here’s how it works. The story opens with Esau connected to Isaac as “his son” in v. 1, instructing him to fix him a savory meal. After Rebekah hears of Isaac’s plans, she calls for Jacob, “her son.” Note the shift here. He could have simply been called “Jacob” or alternatively connected to Isaac as “his son.” By connecting Jacob to Rebekah, the writer shifts the spotlight from Isaac to Rebekah just as Rebekah begins hatching a plan to divert Isaac’s blessing from Esau to Jacob.

In Gen. 27:11, overspecification signals another shift in the spotlight, just before Jacob protests against Rebekah’s request. He’s no longer called “her son”; instead, Rebekah is called “his mother.” This new connection forces us to the new initiator.

The coolest example of overspecification comes as Jacob presents the meal he’s prepared to Isaac. Gen 27:17 states that Rebekah gives the food to “Jacob her son,” who, in turn, takes it to “his father.” Here the connections and spotlight shift from Rebekah to Jacob. In v. 20, as Isaac questions the identity of the meal-bearer, he speaks to “his son!” Which one? He’s not sure, and the writer of Scripture captures this ambiguity by changing from “Jacob” vaguer “his son!” In v. 21, as Isaac prepares to touch and smell the one addressing him, there are no connections provided! Why not? It avoids making any judgment about who’s initiating, whether Jacob will triumph or whether Isaac will reject his claim.

Finally in v. 22, as Isaac gives in to Jacob’s request, the expression “Isaac his father” is used, connecting him to Jacob right at the point that Isaac decides to go along with Jacob’s request, despite his misgivings.

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and the High Definition Old Testament use a silhouette symbol () to mark all the overly specific references.

In Gen 27 this devices is used to signal shifts by providing new connections between participants. The changes coincide with shifts in initiators, heightening the drama of an already exciting story. The resource annotates all occurrences of 30 of the most exegetically significant discourse devices, and it includes both an introduction and a glossary that help you understand what each accomplishes. The analysis also provides a block-indent outline to help you break down the complexities of Hebrew syntax.

There’s also a version specially designed for those who haven’t studied Hebrew: The Lexham High Definition Old Testament  (HDOT). Even though the analysis is based on the Hebrew text, nearly all the same discourse devices are available, displayed on the ESV text.

Both resources come with an introduction and glossary to explain the concepts. Plus the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible comes bundled with the HDOT in a six-volume bundle: the Hebrew and the English together at a special price.

There’s a parallel set of New Testament resources currently available that use the same symbols and same linguistic framework:

These resources are part of a growing suite of exegetical resources that apply cutting-edge linguistic research to day-to-day study, helping you find important details often lost in translation.

Pre-order your copy of the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and the Lexham High Definition Old Testament while they’re available on Pre-Pub. Then check out the rest of our Lexham resources.

Take the Tour Winner Visits the Logos Campus!

We launched Logos’ 20th-anniversary Take the Tour contest in February. Not only did Logos users come out of the woodwork to suggest witty captions for our virtual tour of the Logos campus, thousands entered to win a trip to Bellingham, WA, to see our facility first hand. When the smoke cleared, Irvine, California resident Jefferson Lee won an all-expenses-paid Logos tour.

“I was excited!” exclaimed Lee, the international philanthropy director at Wycliffe USA. “Then I thought . . . is this spam? I don’t normally win a lot of things, so it was really nice. I’d really like to visit their office since [Wycliffe] provides translations for Logos Bible Software.”

Wednesday, June 27, Lee and his family spent the day touring the facility and getting to know some of the individuals behind Logos Bible Software. The kids enjoyed some air hockey and foosball, and Executive Vice-President Dan Pritchett challenged Rachel Lee to a game of ping-pong, which she graciously let him win. (Truth be told, Dan plays a mean game of table tennis. If you have plans to tour the Logos campus, see if you can book a game with him.*) Meanwhile, Jefferson drank espresso and took in the view of Bellingham Bay from Bob’s office on the seventh floor of the Flatiron building.

Not only did the Lees enjoy a tour of the Logos campus, they took advantage of their Pacific Northwest visit to explore Seattle (coffee capital of America and home to Microsoft and Boeing) and Vancouver, BC, host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and neighbor to the world-famous Whistler Ski Resort.

We’d Love to See You Too!

If you ever find yourself passing through Bellingham, stop in for a visit. We do hundreds of impromptu tours every year for people who just drop in. We’d be happy to walk you through our offices. You might even get a game of ping-pong out of it.

We know you might not be able to make it in person. That’s why we created the virtual tour. You can take a 10-minute stroll through Logos and not miss a thing. If you’ve already seen it, watch it again: we recently released Take the Tour 2.0 with new footage and laughs.

Like what you see? Want your desk featured in a future iteration of the Take the Tour video?  If you are looking for fun, rewarding work, check out our Careers page. We might be looking for you!

*There’s a $100 Logos book credit for the first person who can beat Dan at ping-pong while visiting Logos.

Think you have what it takes to beat Dan? Let us know in the comments.

Is Your School a Logos Bible Software Partner?

You’ve seen announcements about our partnership with Knox Theological Seminary, and you know that Logos is the standard, indispensable tool for every one of Knox’s Preaching and Teaching DMin students. But what you may not know is that Logos Bible software is rapidly becoming an essential and fundamental tool for many Christian colleges and seminaries.

Logos Helps Students Succeed

Couple automatic, customizable citations for more than 27,000 available titles (and counting!) with the ability to do hours of research in seconds, and it’s no wonder that the students and faculty of educational institutions are making Logos a requisite in their regular curricula. Factor in the ability to use Logos on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android, or the web and you’ve got one of the world’s most powerful and versatile tools for biblical research.

Students struggle to pay for higher education. The cost of credits and resources can often be prohibitive which leaves them to the hard, unnecessary choice of doing without the books they need to excel. When you factor in the time spent on research and homework, there’s often little time left for that important second job. With Logos, research is done in a fraction of the time, enabling students to do less searching and more reading. Our well-rounded base packages and bundles make books more affordable. Students are spending less money and saving more time, which results in a better educational experience.

Also, let’s be honest—many Bible colleges have amazing programs but struggle to keep up technologically. Students want a top-notch theological education without having to sacrifice the advantages that technology affords them.

Standardizing on Logos in their educational program keeps them on the cutting edge of Bible study while outfitting them with an amazing, portable theological library for life.

Here’s a sample of the prestigious schools that require Logos in their classes:

  • Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Harvard Divinity School
  • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Ashland Theological Seminary
  • Moody Bible Institute
  • Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Trinity Western University
  • Pacific Life Bible College
  • Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Florida School of Preaching
  • Liberty University
  • Concordia Seminary
  • Calvary Bible Theological Seminary
  • Texas Baptist Institute
  • Lancaster Bible College
  • The Master’s Seminary
  • And more

Include Logos in Your Curricula

The Preaching and Teaching DMin from Knox isn’t the only academic program requiring Logos. Institutions have made Logos a fundamental component for various classes, including:

  • Advanced Greek
  • Hermeneutics
  • Counseling
  • Bible Study Methods
  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Computer Assisted Greek Study Tools
  • New Testament Biblical Theology
  • Old Testament Biblical Theology
  • Apologetics
  • And so many more!

If you want to start using Logos with your class syllabus, or already are but don’t see your school on our list, send us an email!

Students: Don’t Miss These Opportunities

There’s only a couple more days to enter to win the $20,000 Haddon Robinson Scholarship. If you’ve been thinking about getting your doctorate, the Preaching and Teaching DMin from Knox Theological Seminary and Logos Bible Software is perfect for you!

You can also enter to win a $1,000 tuition scholarship and a copy of Scholar’s Library from SeminaryScholarship.com or  BibleCollegeScholarship.com.

Lastly, if you are a student going to Bible college, seminary, university, or a similar institution, you are also eligible for our Logos Academic Discount Program.

Logos is an invaluable resource for  the students and faculty of any Bible school. Email us now, and find out how Logos can give students the tools they need to succeed.

The Holy Land: Help Logos Craft the Perfect Tours!

With Logos 4, you have tons of maps and pictures to help contextualize the text you’re reading. But imagine if you could actually gaze over the Sea of Galilee, walk the streets of Jerusalem, and stand on the Temple Mount. How would that enhance your understanding of—and perspective on—the Bible?

Now you have the opportunity to experience the Bible: to see firsthand the places and things you’re reading about. We’re introducing tours of Israel. To increase the appeal, we’re planning to offer a few different types:

  • General: This is the standard tour of Israel. Visit biblical sites with other tourists from around the world and learn from knowledgeable local guides.
  • Pastor/Church: How about a pastor-led tour of Israel? Your pastor can lead your church, teaching you as you go.
  • Author-Led: Enjoy a  tour of Israel led by your favorite author or theologian.
  • Scholarly: Be led through Israel by an expert in the area’s history and significant sites.
  • VIP/Custom: Tell us exactly what you want to see and we’ll customize the trip just for you. Want to take a more intimate group? Or really immerse yourself in one place?

Interested in Going? Let Us Know!

Since tours are a new endeavor for us, we’d love your feedback. Go to Faithlifetours.com and take the brief survey to let us know what tours you’re interested in. Your responses will help us arrange tours in the coming years.

While you’re at Faithlifetours.com, sign up for the Faithlife Tours email list to be the first to know when the site launches and get information about our first group of tours!

Faithlife: Build a Community Wrapped Around the Word


Faithlife is where Christian community happens online. There’s no place quite like it for sharing life with other believers. You keep up with friends on Facebook. You manage your messages with email. If you have a band, you (might) still be on MySpace. Now there’s a place to connect with your church, your friends, and your school over what’s most important: God and his Word.

  • Create and join groups of friends, family, coworkers, and classmates.
  • Share your Logos resource notes with groups.
  • Share announcements, news, and events with your church groups.
  • Create study groups and share documents for your seminary classes.
  • Share notes on Bible verses with your groups through the Faithlife Study Bible.

And soon, you’ll be able to do much, much more.

Don’t Forget the FSB!

Faithlife is a community wrapped around the Word, so we’ve developed a study Bible for the community. The Faithlife Study Bible is ever growing, mobile-friendly, group-focused, and huge—it’s the largest study Bible in the world. The FSB is compatible with several different translations, it includes a built-in Bible dictionary, and it lets you share notes and reading plans with your Faithlife groups.

Best of all: you can get it free through 2014!

How to Join

Sign in at Faithlife.com with your Logos account. If you don’t have an account already, register a new account for free. (If you have had a Logos.com account for a while but have forgotten your password, you can go to Logos.com/forgotpassword to reset it.) Then complete your profile with a picture and more information about you. It’s totally private—you control what can and cannot be seen. Once your profile’s set up, find your church’s Faithlife group, or start creating your own groups.

Faithlife is always improving with updates and new features. Do you know a way to make it better? Do you want to talk to other Faithlife users? Why not get involved on the Faithlife forum?

We’ll see you on Faithlife!

Last Chance: Get Your Doctorate Free!

For a few more days, you have the chance to expand your ministry and biblical knowledge with a Doctor of Ministry from Knox Theological Seminaryabsolutely free.

The Haddon Robinson Scholarship covers your entire DMin in Preaching and Teaching—a value of over $20,000.

  • Tuition—$12,750
  • Fees—$2,750
  • Logos 4: Portfolio Edition—$4,290 (Actually, this massive library would cost over $35,000 if you were to purchase every title in print!)
  • Logos book credit—$1000
  • Estimated total value—$20,000+

A Doctorate like No Other

Even without the scholarship, the DMin in Preaching and Teaching is an amazing opportunity to take your ministry to new heights. It’s the only doctorate program out there that will train you in both world-class theology and first-class technology. You’ll learn from brilliant biblical scholars, including preaching and teaching authority Dr. Haddon Robinson and NIV and NASB translator Dr. Bruce Waltke. You’ll emerge an expert in biblical study and teaching, equiped with your own enormous Logos library for powerful lifelong ministry.

These are just a few reasons every pastor or Bible teacher should invest in a Knox DMin, but there are many more.

Last Chance to Win—Class Starts Soon!

The first onsite class is in Bellingham, Washington, this August. Apply at DMin.me by June 30 to enroll for the class—don’t miss this chance to bring new depth and breadth to your ministry.

The window of opportunity get your DMin free is closing! The entry period lasts through June 28, so enter to win the Haddon Robinson Scholarship before it’s too late.

Get the World’s Largest Study Bible Free!

A good study Bible will have millions of words, thousands of study notes, and lots of maps, timelines, charts, and more. But all those pages add up; there’s only so much you can put in a printed study Bible.

That’s not an issue anymore, though. The new Faithlife Study Bible is the world’s largest study Bible, and you can take it anywhere!

The FSB Has It All

We’re reinventing the study Bible for the digital age. While print study Bibles are limited to a few study notes per page, the digital FSB provides much, much more:

  • 3 layers of study notes (over 1.4 million words total)
  • Lexham Bible Dictionary (2,500+ articles)
  • Lexham English Bible
  • Shared reading plans
  • Shared notes
  • About 400 photos, videos, and infographics
  • Access to Faithlife, the new Christian online community

The FSB integrates seamlessly with your Logos library, and some study notes link to your Logos resources.

And it’s always growing! We’re constantly expanding the FSB with new study notes, dictionary articles, images, and more. And no matter how huge it gets, you’ll always be able to carry it around with the Faithlife Bible apps for your iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

The FSB Is Perfect for Groups

The Faithlife Study Bible isn’t just big; it’s also the best study Bible for groups. The FSB makes it easy for churches, schools, and your own groups of friends to dig deeper together.

  • Pick your translation. Most study Bibles are only available in specific translations, but the FSB’s study notes are anchored to the original biblical languages. So whether you’re using the ESV, KJV, NIV, or another preferred translation, you can see the same notes!
  • Share notes and reading plans. The FSB connects with your groups on Faithlife, so you can share thoughts and reflections on Bible passages. And if your group is reading through the Bible in a year, you can share a reading plan that keeps you all on track. Of course, these plans sync with your own Logos reading plans.
  • Share sermons and lessons. Document sharing is easy with the FSB, too. Put your sermon outlines, course syllabi, and more up for your groups to see.

Get the FSB Free through 2014

Try the world’s largest, most advanced study Bible free through March 2014. The FSB would usually cost $29.95 per year, but with coupon code FREE, you can use it free for the first two years! Once you’ve subscribed to the FSB, download the app so you can access it on your mobile devices. Don’t forget to tell your friends about this tremendous opportunity to dig deeper together with this revolutionary new study Bible.

Go to FaithlifeBible.com now and enter coupon code FREE to start reading the FSB today.

John Piper Testifies to the Power of the Logos Library

One of the strengths of Logos Bible Software is that you can create a unique theological library and search it in seconds. With more than 25,000 resources available, your library can be completely personalized to meet your needs.

Respected pastor, teacher, and author John Piper recently recommended Logos for its unparalleled ease of use for study and research.

Logos Bible Software from Desiring God on Vimeo.

We’re working hard to serve the church, and endorsements like this mean the world to us!

If you’re looking for ways to improve your Bible study, look no further than Logos Bible Software. We have the base packages to get you started and the resources you need to build your dream library.

Logos 4: Using Willmington’s Book of Bible Lists

mp|seminars Tips

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

I don’t know about you, but with all the power of Logos Bible Software, sometimes I forget I can just open a resource and use it without an elaborate search, like pulling a book off the shelf. One book you may want to use in such a straightforward way is Willmington’s Book of Bible Lists, a cross-reference resource containing over 350 lists of biblical topics ranging from “Abominations to God” to “Worshipping God.” Here’s one of many ways to utilize this book, which appears in most Logos base collections.

Let’s say we’re studying Luke 22:43, in which an angel strengthens Jesus. We decide to topically examine angels throughout the Bible:

  • Type the word lists in the Command box.
  • Click Open Willmington’s Book of Bible Lists from the drop list to open the resource.
  • Type angels in the book’s reference box.
  • Press the Enter key to jump to the section in the book exploring that topic.

using-willington1.png

 

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As you scroll through the book, notice the various lists about angels: “27 Facts about Angels,” “8 Names for the Angels,” “7 Heavenly Activities of the Angels,” etc. Of course, all the lists are cross-referenced to your preferred Bible—just click a link to look up a reference.

If you frequently find yourself using this book, drag its tab to the Shortcuts bar to create a shortcut icon for quick access.

If the book is new to you, spend a few minutes surveying it, because I think you’ll appreciate the helpful, straightforward information it contains.

  • Choose the panel menu on Willmington’s Book of Bible Lists.
  • Select Show table of contents.

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Now explore the contents pane on the left, noting the variety of subjects Dr. Willmington includes in this easy-to-use cross-reference resource.

What list in Willmington’s Book of Bible Lists do you find the most interesting? Leave a comment and let us know!

Southern Baptist Calvinism Debate: We Have the Resources You Need

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.  It’s fair to say that  the SBC’s theological discussions have a ripple effect throughout the greater evangelical world.

Back in May, a contingent of SBC leaders signed a statement intended to realign the denomination with the “traditional Southern Baptist” view of salvation and move away from a perceived trend towards Calvinism. You can read A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation on SBCToday.com.

While the statement has generated a lot of support, there has been pointed criticism as well. Critiques have included challenges against the proposed traditional Baptist view of salvation, suggestions of poor exegesis, and even claims of semi-pelagianism (a soteriological teaching suggesting that although humanity is tainted by sin, we still have the ability to cooperate with God’s grace of our own volition).

A Google search for A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation returns over 30,000 hits full of discussion and opinion from all over the theological spectrum. These include thoughtful analyses from leaders like Albert Mohler and academics like Roger E. Olson. The discussion is deep and complex.

Logos has the books you need to clarify and deepen your understanding of Baptist history. Research Calvinist and Arminian theology and draw your own conclusions regarding the traditional Baptist understanding of  salvation—head to our Baptist history page to see our discounted Baptist resources and to get the coupon codes!

We have top-notch books and collections for 50% off:

That’s not all—pick up The Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witness for only $29.99 or get 15-volumes from A. T. Robertson, one of America’s foremost Baptist scholars, for only $161.97—a savings of 40%. We have the 4-volume Works of Arminius (4 vols.) for just $79.96.

With more than 25,000 resources, Logos has the titles you need for cutting-edge theological research. Check out our amazing collection of Baptist resources today!

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