Why Jesus’ Genealogy Matters

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

Biblical genealogies can be boring. So when I begin reading Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus in Chapter 1, it’s easy to skip right over the first 17 verses and miss their significance. But with Logos 5, every passage of Scripture—even genealogies—is an opportunity to explore connections between people, places, and events, and uncover the truths they contain.

Since I’m already in Matthew 1, I don’t even need to leave my Bible to start exploring. I simply right-click on the word “Jesus”, select Person, and choose the new Bible Facts tool which opens in a new panel.

Matthew’s long list of names is now a visual guide for exploring the rich story of Jesus’ heritage throughout the Old Testament. Just clicking on any name lets me learn about each person and their significance in biblical history—from Boaz’s redemption of Ruth (Ruth 4:1–12) to Hezekiah’s cleansing of the Temple (2 Ch. 28:3–19).

I can also get a quick visual overview of these significant people and events using the new Timeline view in Bible Facts. I just click on one of the primary events listed for any person—say, Abraham. Now I am presented with an interactive timeline of the events that led up to Jesus’ birth.

So in just a few minutes, I am able to reacquaint myself with the story of the Old Testament—a story that Matthew’s readers would’ve been very familiar with.

By using the Bible Facts tool, I quickly begin to see that this genealogy is not merely a list of names—it’s a reminder of the Old Testament story. By going all the way back to Abraham, Matthew is stringing together God’s great work of redemption as the context for Jesus’ birth. The arrival of the Messiah, the “son of David” and “son of Abraham,” is what all biblical history has been leading up to.

And this just scratches the surface of what I can learn about Matthew 1:1–17 with the Bible Facts tool alone. If I wanted to explore further, I could answer questions such as:

  • How do God’s covenants with Abraham and David relate to Jesus’ birth?
  • Why does Matthew begin his genealogy with Abraham, whereas Luke begins with Adam?

With the Bible Facts tool, biblical genealogies are more than just names—they’re stories.

You’ll find all the tools we used today in Logos 5 Starter and higher. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

JSOTS: Old Testament Monographs Is Shipping Soon!

The Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement (JSOTS) has brought cutting-edge scholarship to the academic community since 1976.  Through the years, JSOTS has enlisted leading scholars to provide penetrating insight into some of the most hotly debated topics in biblical studies today.

The Library of Hebrew Bible/OT Studies: JSOTS Old Testament Monographs continues this tradition of world-class scholarship with seven engaging volumes on critical issues in Old Testament studies. The Origin of the History of Israel, for example, challenges popular theories on the composition of the Pentateuch and the historical books by comparing their literary structure to the Histories of Herodotus. The Heythrop Journal praises this new approach by calling it “the most exciting development within Old Testament studies since the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis.”  In The Image, the Depths and the Surface, Oxford professor Susan Gillingham confronts the issue of subjectivity in interpretation and discusses how readers can make sense of competing views of the Bible. Other volumes in this collection wrestle with issues of Old Testament hermeneutics, interpreting Song of Songs, and the history of the Ancient Near East.

So whether you’re studying, researching, or teaching on the Old Testament, JSOTS Old Testament Monographs is the perfect resource to aide your studies. Pick it up today for 87% off the retail price while it’s still on Pre-Pub.

Reading the Bible Theologically

Since the dawn of the Enlightenment, biblical scholarship has grown increasingly skeptical and specialized. Scholars isolate individual books of the Bible from the rest of the canon, becoming experts in Matthew, Isaiah, or Genesis, rather than Scripture as a whole.

But is this how Jesus and the apostles read the Scriptures?

Taking a cue from the New Testament and such prominent theologians as Augustine, Calvin, and Luther, the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible (16 vols.) starts with the premise that the Bible is Christian Scripture. Affirming its divine inspiration and human authorship, each book is interpreted theologically by identifying its place within the canon and how it illuminates the gospel of Jesus Christ. While attention is given to historical and literary context, the primary focus is on each book’s major themes and theological contributions. Like the writers of the New Testament before them, the Brazos commentators are not satisfied with only understanding a book in its own right but also relating it to the redemptive work of the Messiah.

Brazos also frequently interacts with influential interpreters from throughout church history. For example, Robert W. Jenson’s commentary on Ezekiel includes contributions from Origen and Pope Gregory the Great. Likewise, Stanley Hauerwas’ commentary on Matthew draws from Augustine, Barth, and Bonhoeffer. This approach recognizes the Spirit’s work in illuminating the Word to the church throughout the ages, giving proper respect to the voices of those who have come before.

This commentary series is especially helpful for pastors, as it provides the canonical context for each book of the Bible and draws connections between the Old Testament and the New. This frees up pastors to spend more time exegeting individual texts and less time analyzing entire books.

The Brazos Theological Commentary (16 vols.) is an important step forward in scholarship, taking the best in modern hermeneutics and combining it with the theological methodology of the New Testament and early church fathers. And for a limited time, it’s on Pre-Pub for 40% off the retail price. Pick it up today and learn how a theological approach brings rich, new insight into studying the Bible.

Our Rich Heritage in the Life and Works of Horatius Bonar

One of the joys of working at Logos is helping Christians everywhere become more aware of their rich heritage—from the foundational writings of Augustine to the powerful preaching of Whitefield. After all, we are not the first generation to wrestle with the Scriptures, to battle false teaching, or to seek to live faithfully in an age of apathy. Today, we introduce another important, yet little-known, saint with the Pre-Pub release of The Life and Works of Horatius Bonar (47 vols.).

Horatius Bonar’s Ministry

Ministering during the mid-nineteenth-century revivals in Scotland, Horatius Bonar was known for his biblical preaching and tireless evangelism. Working alongside Robert Murray McCheyne (his close friend) and Thomas Chalmers, he witnessed an incredible work of the Spirit that brought multitudes to Christ. He describes this remarkable season as having “all the marks of a work of God which we see in the account given of the preaching of the gospel by the apostles.”

Like the Puritans before him, Bonar’s writings are saturated with deep reflection on the cross and the importance of applying the gospel to every aspect of the Christian life. In The Everlasting Righteousness, Bonar offers a simple yet profound explanation of justification that Charles Spurgeon calls “suggestive, gracious, full of holy unction.” Tony Reinke describes Bonar as having the “literary talents” of John Bunyan and an “ability to confront doctrinal concerns of the day” reminiscent of Spurgeon.

In addition to his voluminous works, Bonar is most widely known for his extensive hymn-writing, penning over 600 hymns. Realizing that the influence of the Psalter was diminishing amongst young people, he began writing new hymns set to the popular music of his day. Some of these hymns remain cherished classics, such as “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” and “All Power and Glory and Honor and Praise.”

The Life and Works of Horatius Bonar (47 vols.) on Pre-Pub

With over 12,000 pages worth of writings and more than 400 hymns, The Life and Works of Horatius Bonar is a monumental collection. Pick up this important work on Pre-Pub today for 83% off and hear the voice that awakened a generation and still calls God’s people to greater faith and obedience.

Get Notified about the Latest Titles for Logos

We’re always working hard to bring new titles to the Logos library—from the latest books by top publishers and best-selling authors to tried-and-true classics. But with the sheer number of titles going up each week, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date.

That’s why we’ve created two new email subscriptions to notify you when the latest works become available on Pre-Publication and Community Pricing. Whenever a new title is available for Logos, you’ll be the first to know. This ensures that you’ll never miss the chance to get a classic on Community Pricing for up to 95% off or to snag a new title on Pre-Publication at a steep discount!

Signing up for these notification lists is easy:

  1. Go to the account details page on Logos.com
  2. Click on the Notifications tab
  3. Scroll down and select the boxes next to Pre-Publication and Community Pricing

That’s it! Now you’re all set to get updates on the latest titles to add to your digital library.

Find out more information on how our Pre-Publication and Community Pricing systems work.

Kick Off 2012 with a Logos Bible Reading Plan

The new year is upon us—a time for making resolutions and setting goals. What better way to start 2012 than with a new Bible reading plan?

Following a Bible reading plan is an easy way to become more familiar with the Scriptures—one day at a time. It can be a tremendous boon to a more consistent prayer life, deepening your understanding of theology, and fostering biblical wisdom that better equips you to confront life’s challenges.

We believe in the value of Bible reading plans. We also understand that there is no one-size-fits-all plan for everyone. That’s why with Logos you can use any of your favorite reading plans or easily create a custom Bible reading plan to suit your needs. And it’s never too late to start, since Logos lets you set the beginning and end dates for every plan—no matter what time of year.

With daily reminders on your home page, you’ll never lose track of where you are. And even if you do get behind, you can quickly adjust your plan in Logos to catch up to the current day. Never skip another reading! (We are also working on a fix to sync your reading plans with your mobile devices, letting you bring your reading plan with you wherever you go. Stay tuned for future announcements!)

Want to dig deeper? One of the advantages of doing your 2012 Bible reading in Logos is the ability to quickly discover word meanings, navigate to similar passages, and pull up any related resources. Turn your daily readings into opportunities for deeper Bible study—all without leaving Logos!

Bibles for Just $10!

To help you achieve your new reading goals, we’ve discounted popular Bibles like the NASB, ESV, and KJV to only $10 for a limited time! Paired with a new Bible reading plan, it’s the perfect time to try out a new translation or add a favorite to your library.

Achieving that New Years’ resolution just got a whole lot easier with Logos.

Also check out the on-going discussions on our Facebook page about different reading plan options as well as helpful tips for staying committed.

Discover How to Read the Bible Wisely

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”—Proverbs 3:13-14

What does wisdom say about reading the Bible?

In Reading the Bible Wisely, Richard Briggs answers this question by providing an approach to biblical interpretation that takes both wisdom and the Scriptures seriously. You will explore the reasons why we read the Bible in the first place, methods of interpretation that consider its historical, literary, and theological dimensions, and what role the Bible should have in our lives as the people of God.

Reading the Bible Wisely also explores how Scripture and the transformed mind of the believer interact to illuminate the process of interpretation. With the Logos Bible Software edition, every scripture reference is linked to your preferred Bible translation, allowing you to put the interpretive principles into practice right away—without losing your place in either book!

Learn how to wisely study the Word by picking up Reading the Bible Wisely on Pre-Pub now for only $13.95!

What do you think are some of the most important things to remember when reading the Bible? Leave us a comment below!

Logos 4′s Secret Weapon: The Command Bar

Logos 4 has a powerful secret weapon in its arsenal. Are you taking advantage of it?

Using Logos 4 is incredibly simple: enter a passage and click “Go.” But for the times when you want to perform a more specific task, like opening an individual title or searching a particular book, there is a faster way.

Enter the command bar.

While this tool has been in Logos for a while, few users take advantage of its features. The command bar lets you perform any task within Logos simply by typing it, from database updates to searching specific titles to accessing help files. So let’s explore some ways that the command bar can be used to help speed up Bible study.

Jump Straight to Any Resource

Have a specific book or translation you want to quickly reference? Just type in the title and hit enter. Logos instantly brings up the book. You can even enter the abbreviated name and Logos is smart enough to figure out what you want.

Want to jump right into a particular passage without performing a search? Simply type any Scripture passage into the command bar and it will open in your preferred Bible.

Curious to see how the NIV or NASB renders a particular passage? Instead of searching for it in your library and then browsing to the passage, simply type “open {Translation} to {Passage}“. For example, typing the following would bring up Romans 8 in the NIV:

open NIV to Romans 8

Not sure what the abbreviation for your chosen translation is? No problem. Simply type out the name according to the syntax above and a drop-down menu will appear listing the available resources. It’s that simple.

Perform Instant Word Searches

Looking to find every instance of faith in your Top Bibles or even all of your resources? Just type faith into the command bar and select the resources you want to search from the drop-down menu.

Quickly Copy Any Resource

Want to copy a specific Bible verse to share with your friends or use in your sermon preparation? Easy. Just type “copy {Passage} from {Translation}“. Typing the following would copy Romans 8:1-4 to your clipboard, ready to be pasted into the destination of your choice:

copy Romans 8:1-4 from ESV

Quickly Perform Biblical People, Places, and Things Searches

Want to learn more about the life of Abraham? Curious about Jesus’ genealogy? Not sure where Corinth is located? The command box lets you directly perform Biblical People, Places, and Things searches by typing in the following command:

Open Biblical People to {Person Name}
Open Biblical Places to {Place Name}
Open Biblical Things to {Thing Name}

Quickly Search the Help Files

Not sure how to use the syntax search? Need some assistance with collections? By typing “help on {Topic}“, Logos quickly opens the help files for any given subject matter. For example, typing the following would search Logos help for entries on collections:

help on collections

By taking the time to learn how to use the command box, the powerful tools of Logos 4 will be just a few keystrokes away. If you are interested in learning about the other commands available, check out Logos’ Wiki.

Have some favorite commands you would like to share? Leave us a comment.

At Last, the Complete Works of Jonathan Edwards is on Pre-Pub

We are pleased to announce the availability of Yale’s authoritative edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards on Pre-Pub.

Considered by many to be America’s greatest theologian and philosopher, Edwards propelled eighteenth-century America into the First Great Awakening. Preaching about a God who desires not only the intellect but also the affections of His children, his focus on the beauty of the holiness of God continues to radically challenge the church today.

Many Previously Unpublished Works!

Until now, many of Edwards’ original manuscripts had been kept in private collections, unavailable to the public.  After the Edwards family released his writings to Yale University, scholars spent a great deal of time transcribing Edwards’ nearly illegible handwriting—one even said that “it can take years of experience to read Edwards’ handwriting accurately.”

These works, which now include critical introductions, analysis, commentary, and reflection by noted Edwards scholars, express why Perry Miller, founder of the Yale edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, describes Edwards as “the first and greatest homegrown American philosopher.”

The Life of David Brainerd

This collection is full of new scholarly insights into the philosophy, theology, and historical context of Edwards’ work. Take, for example, The Life of David Brainerd. Published in 1749, The Life of David Brainerd was the first popular biography to be published in the United States and remains one of Edwards’ most celebrated works. The Life of David Brainerd we are familiar with is not the original, however; Edwards changed his work to emphasize Brainerd’s anti-Arminian views.

The Works of Jonathan Edwards lets you read the well-known Life of David Brainerd alongside portions of Edwards’ original manuscripts.

 Jonathan Edwards’ Private Notebooks

You’ll see how Edwards matured into a profound philosopher and theologian when you read through this collection of theological notebooks, unpublished sermon manuscripts, letters, and personal writings. Edwards’ intellect is revealed throughout the text, giving you a glimpse into the mind of an emerging public spokesperson for orthodox Calvinism.

Pick It Up Today!

This definitive collection is finally available on Pre-Pub, at a savings of more than $1,100! Join the generations whom Edwards has transformed and encouraged by ordering this collection today!