Archive - February, 2013

Can God Be Surprised?

The newest issue of Bible Study Magazine explores four tough questions, including, “Can God be surprised?” Part of the theme section “Your Temple Won’t Save You,” this article and others dig deep into the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations.

It’s the type of nuanced biblical scholarship that Bible Study Magazine has been producing for more than four years. Each issue features in-depth articles and an 8-week Bible study, as well as insights from Christian leaders.

What’s new in the Mar–Apr ’13 issue:

  • “Church in the City,” featuring Tim Keller. Find out how this pastor leads his congregation to deeper Bible study and spreads the gospel in an urban context.
  • Insights from Sally Lloyd-Jones. The author of the Jesus Storybook Bible discusses how to share the Bible with small children.
  • Off-the-beaten-track feature. A story about the Bible in China.
  • In-depth, ongoing Bible studies: This issue features “8 Ways to Pray,” a new study on the book of Psalms. Wisdom literature expert Miles Custis explores how expressions of grief, frustration, and fear fit the mold of worship.
  • Special section: Is the Ark of the Covenant lost forever? Find out if Indiana Jones ever had a chance. Also, are there two versions of Jeremiah? Michael S. Heiser reveals the history behind this biblical book in “Double Vision.”
  • Devotionals: What do you do when everything crumbles? What does it means to abandon super-human strength? See what Jeremiah and Lamentations have to say about grief.

In addition to this, each issue of Bible Study Magazine features stunning infographics and reviews of the latest Bible study materials. Bible Study Magazine will help you go deep into the Word and apply it to your life. What are you waiting for? Subscribe today!

Plato and Aristotle Coming to Your Logos Library!

Two must-have philosophy collections are now on Community Pricing: The Dialogues of Plato (5 vols.) and The Works of Aristotle (12 vols.).

Plato and Aristotle are more than required reading—they sit at the foundation of Western thought. And even though they lived several centuries before Christ, their writings greatly influenced the development of Christian theology.

Take Plato and Augustine, for example. Plato distinguished between the physical and spiritual realms and recognized the existence of eternal, unchangeable forms. Augustine drew from Plato in coming to terms with Christianity, describing in his Confessions that the writings of the Platonists helped him recognize the truths of Scripture (Book VII).

Aristotle’s writings provided Thomas Aquinas with the framework for his magnum opus, the Summa Theologica. He adopted Aristotle’s account of the physical world, as well as his approach to moral philosophy and ethics. Aquinas held Aristotle in such high regard that he refers to him simply as “the Philosopher” throughout his work.

The Logos editions of Plato’s and Aristotle’s works allow you to discover connections between these philosophers and the theologians that drew from them. Search key terms in Plato and Augustine and compare their thoughts side by side. When Aquinas references Aristotle, jump to that location in his corpus with a click. Enhance your Logos library and your theological study with these core texts of the Western tradition. Bid on The Works of Aristotle (12 vols.) and The Dialogues of Plato (5 vols.) today!

But why stop at Aristotle and Plato? Sign up to receive news and updates about more classic works of history, philosophy, and literature!





Exclusive: 50% Off Fortress Press Products

Save 50% with nine exclusive offers from Fortress Press!

We’ll be rolling out these deals on Twitter—a new offer every Monday through April 8.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t miss out:

  1. Follow us on Twitter.
  2. Look for #DailyDeal. (The tweets go out in the early morning and afternoon.)
  3. Click the product link, and use the tweet’s coupon code at checkout.

Here’s today’s deal:


Today you can save on Don C. Benjamin’s The Old Testament Story, which explains what the OT meant then, and what it means now.

Regular price: $40
#DailyDeal price: $20

To save 50%, use coupon code: DD15733

Get it now!

Logos 5: Timeline Filter

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.

One of the new Logos 5 datasets (contained in most base packages) is the Timeline, housed in the Tools menu. The hyperlinked Timeline contains events from both biblical and world history.

Currently, the dataset contains over 8,000 events (A), which can make for a cluttered display, especially if you’re looking for a specific event. This is why Logos includes a Filter box (B), allowing you to limit the displayed events. The box works very similarly to a search.

timeline filter image

For example, type:

    • Jacob to display only events containing the word Jacob

timeline filter image 2

    • Jacob OR Esau to display only events containing either the word Jacob or the word Esau

timeline filter image 3

    • Jacob AND Esau to display only events containing the words Jacob and Esau

timeline filter image 4

    • Jacob ANDNOT Esau to display only events containing the word Jacob but not the word Esau

timeline filter image 5

You can also use Find to jump to a specific event:

    • Press Ctrl + F or Cmd + F to open the Find box
    • Type a word in the box, like Isaac (A) 

timeline filter image 6

  • Notice that an event containing the word Isaac is centered in the Timeline
  • Use the previous & next arrows to jump to other events with the word Isaac

Please notice the difference between Filter and Find:

  • Filter limits the number of events currently being displayed on the Timeline
  • Find jumps to an event currently being displayed on the Timeline

You can use the Find feature by itself, or while you’re using the Filter box as well!

To learn more about the Timeline and all the other new Logos 5 features, check out the What’s New in Logos 5 training DVD, now available on Pre-Pub.

Save 50% on Resources for Lent

Lent_blog_400x147In many Christian traditions (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterian), this Wednesday marks the first day of Lent. For 40 days, observers everywhere will be forsaking things like meat, chocolate, or television—all in preparation for Easter. But why 40 days? What is Lent all about?

Origins of Lent’s 40 days

The tradition echoes Jesus’ fast during his 40 days and nights in the desert (Matt. 4:1-2), where he endured temptations offered by the devil himself. In that extreme climate, Jesus went without a bite to eat for more than a month. He must have been ravenous when the devil found him. And the theme of the first temptation? Bread (Matt. 4:3). After resisting the devil three times, Jesus banished him and went on to begin his public ministry, the culmination of which was his death on cross. Lent is a time of penance, prayer, and reflection as we contemplate Jesus’ ultimate gifts: his sinless life as a sacrifice for our sins, and his triumph over death.

The Hallmarks of Lent

Lent has many themes, but the three major motifs are denial, prayer, and reflection.

In honor of Christ, denial is exercised very intentionally during Lent. Jesus’ very life on earth was an example—he denied himself his incarnate form, humbling himself to walk among us, obedient to the point of death (Php. 2:5-8). And from the pages of the Bible he asks us to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow him (Matt 16:24). The self-denial associated with Lent helps focus our thoughts on him.

Focusing thoughts on God can easily give way to prayer and reflection. Jesus reveals the importance of prayer through example (Luke 6:12) and beseeches us to pray using parables (Luke 18:1). Through prayer and seeking God, Lent observers prepare for Easter by reflecting on why we celebrate it:

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his footsteps, who did not commit sin, nor was deceit found in his mouth, who when he was reviled, did not revile in return; when suffering, he did not threaten, but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly, who himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we may die to sins and live to righteousness, by whose wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:21–22)

This year, to help you reflect on Christ’s sacrifice during Lent, we’re offering several resources at 50% off:

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die by John Piper

John Piper gathers 50 New Testament answers to the most important question faced by believers: What did God achieve for us in sending his Son to die? This book will help you reflect on the true meaning of Christ’s sacrifice. Get it now for only $4.98.

Jesus and the Victory of God by N. T. Wright

N. T. Wright pens a compelling account of how Jesus himself understood his mission as the divinely ordained fulfillment of Israel’s destiny. Get this resource for only $17.49.

The Murder of Jesus by John MacArthur

John MacArthur tells the story of Christ’s sacrifice, with special attention to Jesus’ words on the cross, the miracle that attended the Crucifixion, and the true meaning of Christ’s atoning work. Get this resource for only $7.50!

We’ve also discounted these powerful titles:

All Lent discounts extend through Feb. 13, so take advantage of these prices today!

Leave us a comment and tell us how you’ll be participating in Lent this year.

What’s Baptism, and What Does the Bible Say?

base packagesNo matter your denomination, you’ve probably asked (or have been asked) what baptism is. It’s been a point of controversy for centuries. Why do we baptize? When do we baptize? How should we baptize? What is baptism anyway?

One really awesome thing about Logos 5 is its ability to connect you to every Bible verse on baptism (and thousands of other things). This way, you can dig into the Word and see what it says about important issues.

What the Bible says about baptism

Let’s say you’re listening to (or crafting) a message on Ephesians 4 and you come to verse 5: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

You might wonder, “What is baptism—really?” It’s easy to start exploring what the Bible says.

Start with a Bible Word Study

This is a smart way to get the definition of the word before diving into everything the Bible says about the practice. Just right-click “baptism” and run a Bible Word Study on the lemma. (What is a lemma? Find out here.)

Baptism

This will bring you definitions from all your Greek dictionaries and show you every place where your Bible mentions this Greek word. You’ll see that the word literally means “to dip” or “immerse,” but obviously there’s more to baptism than being underwater.

Next step: the Topic Guide

Now it’s time to get a better feel for the subject. You can open the Topic Guide, enter “baptism,” and immediately see key passages on baptism and a host of related topics, verses, media, events, and more!

The Topic Guide is one of the big time-saving features of Logos 5. It connects you to plenty of information on a single topic in seconds! You could stop here, but some folks may want to do even more Bible study on baptism.

If that’s you, you’ll love running a Morph Search.

Now let’s get the big picture

You have an idea of what the word “baptism” means. Now we get at the real question: what is baptism? One way you can know is by using Scripture to interpret Scripture: find every time the Bible mentions the word “baptize,” “baptism,” “Baptist,” etc. Sound extensive and complicated? Good news: it’s really easy to do: just run a Morph Search for the root!

Baptism II

This brings you every single mention of the Greek root in your Bible! Plus you can grab its uses in multiple translations. If you prefer the ESV and you want to share what you find with a NASB fan, it’s really easy to do.

Baptism III

Just by using these simple Logos 5 tools, you’ve found every time the Bible uses this word for baptism. You’re ready to study what baptism means for yourself!

Get established in the Word with Logos 5

Baptism is just one topic you can study for yourself with Logos. If you don’t already have Logos 5, get it now.

If you want to learn more about how to get established in the Word using Logos, sign up to hear about our educational resources!





You Could Be the Next Winner of the $25,000 Billy Graham Scholarship!

Steve LangellaKnox Theological Seminary’s $25,000 Billy Graham Scholarship is back! Enter to win at SeminaryDegreesOnline.com/Billy-Graham before March 1. If you win, you’ll earn your MA (Biblical & Theological Studies) at no cost.

You’ll get:

  • Logos 5’s vast Portfolio library, an academic advantage that’s yours for life
  • A $1,000 Logos.com credit for additional books
  • Logos’ deep academic discounts, so your $1,000 will go even further

What’s more, if you’re among the first 100 students to enroll this spring, you’re guaranteed at least a $2,520 scholarship.

Last fall’s winner: Steve Langella!

We’re pleased to congratulate Steve Langella, of Brooklyn, NY, on winning the previous Billy Graham Scholarship. Steve was born again in 1987; at the time, he was 24 and a bartender. He “began to feel restless and empty,” and one day he wanted nothing more than to go to church. He prayed, “Lord, I know that I am a sinner and that I have disobeyed you my whole life. Please save me and change my life.” God did, and Steve joined a church in Brooklyn, where came to realize that preaching and teaching were his spiritual gifts. In 2006, at 43, he decided to earn his BA in religion. Now he’ll be earning his master’s.

He says, “[this scholarship] will help me become better equipped to fulfill God’s calling in my life. It will . . . [afford] me the opportunity to continue my biblical education and not incur further debt . . . I believe that this scholarship will enable me to do what I could otherwise not to, which is sit at the feet of Gospel-centered men . . . and learn from their experience.”

The chance to become better equipped, to continue your biblical education debt-free, to fulfill your spiritual gifts—you could get all that, too. The Billy Graham Scholarship is back, and you could be the next winner!

Earn your master’s for free

Entry closes March 1. Don’t wait—enter to win at SeminaryDegreesOnline.com/Billy-Graham!

Wish You Knew Paul Better? Now You Can!

Arguably, with the exceptions of Jesus and David, we have an opportunity to know Paul through the biblical text better than any other biblical character. Yet, he remains a mystery—distorted by the breadth and depth of his writings, the often confusing nature of the Acts account of Paul’s ministry, and the reams of literature written on Paul’s letters.

We need a guide through Paul’s letters.

We want to be grounded in the historicity and culture of his world, and the connection points to Acts, while being guided through the various views on his writing—the details are many. But until recently, no such guide has existed. That’s why Logos created Lexham Bible Guides: Paul’s Letters Collection.

Lexham Bible Guides enhance your investment in Logos Bible Software, bring clarity to the vastness of literature regarding a passage, and connect you linguistically, culturally, and historically to the context of biblical books.

Derek R. Brown, PhD, specializing in Paul, is bringing clarity and connection to the print equivalent of rows upon rows, shelves upon shelves—entire sections of libraries—of literature. He has done some of this work with the accompaniment of other researchers and under the editorship of Douglas Mangum, an Old Testament specialist—Paul draws upon the Old Testament often—and contributing editor to Faithlife Study Bible. This task is arduous, and that’s why we’ve done it for you.

For years, users (perhaps even yourself) have asked us to curate the vastness of their libraries—there’s just so much information. We have received requests to have a scholar filter through all of the content and provide a hand-edited framework for passages of the Bible; specific ideas have involved the recommendation of leveraging the content users already own and telling them about other content thus providing an even clearer way to approach the Bible. We know that time is short and we all need more of it. You want an expert to help you and want that expert on call 24-7. That’s what Lexham Bible Guides are for.

Lexham Bible Guides provide the research, the guide, and the media for sharing much of the material—this leaves the part you’re best at up to you. It’s like having a professional researcher alongside you as you read the Bible. If you’re not convinced yet, you can literally email me—the publisher—and I’ll tell you more.

This is the last chance to order Lexham Bible Guides: Paul’s Letters Collection, a 13-volume collection, while it’s on Pre-Pub for a 21% savings of $115. Tomorrow, February 8, we’ll process orders and ship you Galatians, Ephesians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon. As Dr. Brown finishes the others, they will also be released and immediately download to your library. Pre-order Lexham Bible Guides: Paul’s Letters Collection today.

Grow in Your Understanding of Genesis

Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 12–50 is the largest Lexham Bible Guide yet. From God’s call on Abraham to Joseph’s death in Egypt, the volume addresses more than 200 exegetical, theological, and historical issues and offers 55 word studies, giving you insight into the interpretation of these foundational chapters. For each issue, we examine the viewpoints of top scholars and biblical interpreters, allowing you to gain a quick understanding without having to read through several commentaries.

In Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 12–50, we engage with more than 25 Genesis commentaries as well as relevant dictionaries and journal articles, providing you with a breadth of opinions on the more than 200 issues discussed in the volume. Our summaries of these commentaries’ positions save you countless hours of reading and research and give you short excerpts of the viewpoints articulated in biblical scholarship.

For example, after Joseph rose to power in Egypt, he had two sons with his Egyptian wife (see Gen 41:50–52). Scholars disagree on the relevance of Joseph’s names for his sons. Here is an excerpt from the volume:

Manasseh and Ephraim

During the seven years of plenty, Joseph has two sons (Gen 41:50). The giving of names in the Bible and in the ancient Near East carried great significance. Here, the names Joseph gives his sons speak directly to his past struggles.

Joseph names his first son Manasseh (menashsheh), which means something like “one who causes to forget.” Joseph explains this name by saying, “God has made me forget (nashshani) all my trouble and all my father’s house” (Gen 41:51). He names his second son Ephraim, explaining that “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen 41:52). Ephraim (ephrayim) is derived from parah, meaning “to be fruitful.”

Both names highlight the hardship of Joseph’s life (“my trouble” and “my affliction”) and God’s role in the success he is now enjoying (“God has made me forget” and “God has made me fruitful”). However, scholars disagree on how to understand the additional note about forgetting “all my father’s house.” Some view it negatively and argue that Joseph should have been looking to reconcile with his father. Others view this as Joseph’s desire to forget his past sufferings

  • McKeown argues that Joseph’s statement about forgetting “all the house of my father” indicates that he does not plan to seek out his family. He asserts that Joseph has a new family in Egypt and does not show interest in either reconciliation or revenge.
  • Sarna believes the phrase “all my trouble and all my father’s house” should be translated as “my suffering in my parental home.” He argues that Joseph is not forgetting his father’s home but is merely not allowing the troubles of his youth to intrude on his future.
  • Waltke notes that Joseph is “strangely indifferent” toward his father. He points out, though, that the narrator does not condemn Joseph for this. Waltke also argues that Joseph’s giving his sons Hebrew names instead of Egyptian names indicates that he has not forgotten his father’s house.
  • Westermann understands the phrase “and all my father’s house” to mean “I am far from my father’s house.” He asserts that the names Joseph chooses reveal his understanding that God has been with him (Gen 39:2–6, 21–23).

Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 12–50 is available individually or as part of the Lexham Bible Guides: Genesis Collection. The collection is on sale for a limited time—only until February 14, when Lexham Bible Guide: Genesis 12–50 ships. Order now to get the lowest price on this collection, which will serve as your guide to Genesis for many years to come.

3 More Ways to Change Your Life with Faithlife

The most crucial thing a person can do is increase their faith in Jesus. Our relationship with Christ is eternal, and likewise, what we do for him has eternal significance. In a recent post, I listed two ways God wants to transform your life this year. Here are three more ways to change your life using Faithlife.

1. Discuss God’s work with others.

When we discuss what God has done and is doing with others, we grow. We learn from others and are able to support one another. The journey with God happens together. Paul remarks in his first letter to the Corinthians: “And if one member [of the church] suffers, all the members suffer together; if a member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26 LEB). To help you in the process of journeying in faith with others, Faithlife reading plans are connected to group functionality—so you can easily connect online to discuss God, the Bible, and life with Christ. Faithlife.com provides you with a place to discuss God’s work together. You can do this as publicly or privately as you like; with Faithlife.com, you control who sees what in each group you create. You also know the level of privacy of the group you’re joining and the messages you’re sending.

2. Listen to what others have to say about God.

Surrounding yourself with people who can lead you in the right direction is critical to success. Paul remarks, “Do not be deceived! ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ Sober up correctly and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God—I say this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34). Listening to the first part of Paul’s message, it’s obvious that as believers we must surround ourselves with people who will help us in the process of learning about God, but the second part of Paul’s words—“I say this to your shame”—means that believers must be those who spread the knowledge of God. Faithlife.com provides a community where you can speak with others about God’s work among us, while providing a platform for you to contemplate and learn about the work you must do for God.

3. Act on God’s desires.

Simply knowing what God says, or talking about it, is useless. God wants for us to act on his Word and on his work among believers. Near the end of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he remarks: “Be on alert, stand firm in the faith, act courageously, be strong. All your actions must be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14 LEB). We must do good with our knowledge by loving others and following through on what God requests (compare 1 Corinthians 16:1–4, 15–18). Faithlife is about all aspects of your faith life having a place online and in an app, in a format that works for the online context of faith. But it’s my hope that the interactions you have with others on Faithlife.com, and your use of the Faithlife Study Bible, will result in you doing more for others in all of your life.

Now you may have read these three ways—and perhaps even the other two I listed—and said to yourself, “I know, I know—I will.” I can empathize with that response, but the truth is that we all need to be reminded and we all need accountability. That is one of the many reasons why we created the Faithlife app and Faithlife.com. Create a group to dialogue about the Bible together, and to support one another and suddenly you will be set up for success. If you set a goal to read through the Bible this year but have fallen behind, it’s not too late to begin Read the Bible together today.

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