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How Logos 5 Helps You Study like an Expert

Take your Bible study to the next levelI’ve noticed something interesting about experts. They’re usually most interested not in already knowing, but in being able to learn.

An example: At LogosTalk, we write and edit using a modified version of the Chicago Manual of Style, which is more than a thousand pages long. When I was getting into the field, I asked a veteran editor how on earth she remembered the whole thing. She explained that she didn’t—she was just really good at finding what she needed. It came down to 1.) having access to all that information and 2.) being able to navigate it quickly and accurately.

It’s the same with experts in lots of other fields. Translators don’t need to memorize every last word in the original language; they need to know the language overall (its syntax, its standard reference works) well enough to learn what new words mean. Software developers don’t need to know how to solve every single problem ahead of time; they need to understand new problems well enough to look for solutions, and they need to know where and how to look. The important thing isn’t knowing everything off the top of your head—it’s being smart and resourceful enough to find useful answers fast.

Logos 5 helps you learn

Last week, we discussed why a large library is so valuable: interconnected by Logos’ tagging and datasets, it constitutes a network that’s far richer than any standalone volume. The cool part is that Logos 5 doesn’t just change what you study—it changes how you study, too. Logos 5 sets you up to learn more, faster.

We’ve seen that the two key criteria to really high-level learning are 1.) how much information you have access to and 2.) how confidently and precisely you can navigate it. Logos 5 base packages address the first criterion through their wealth of resources. The largest base package, Portfolio, gives you more than 2,500 resources from experts in their field—that’s a treasure chest of potential knowledge, more books than you would read in decades’ worth of formal education. (You can browse the contents of all the base packages at Logos.com/Upgrade.) And the second? Logos 5 sets you up with study tools like the Timeline, Clause Search, Bible Facts, and the Bible Sense Lexicon, which connect you to context, precise search results, original-language nuance, and far more. You don’t have to sit down and read every book in your library—thanks to Logos’ tools, you can find useful new answers exactly when you need them.

Logos 5 gives you an enormous biblical and theological library. It gives you the means to find fast, accurate answers. It equips you to study like an expert.

Get Logos 5 at the best price

Right now, during the Logos 5 upgrade sale, you can save on Logos 5 in three ways:

  1. Bundling discounts: Base packages are already a superb deal—because they bundle so many resources, they let you build a library that would cost far, far more in print. (The print equivalent of Portfolio, for example, would cost around $78,000!)
  2. Dynamic Pricing: Logos.com looks at your current library and gives you a custom discount based on what you already own. Let’s say you own a commentary included in your new base package—you’ll get a lower price, because you’re only paying for the books that are new to you.
  3. Special upgrade discount: For a limited time, the upgrade sale gives you an extra way to save. Like Dynamic Pricing, this discount is based on what you already own; unlike Dynamic Pricing, it takes your whole library (tools, datasets) into account, not just your books. If you’re upgrading from Logos 5 Starter to Logos 5 Gold, for example, you’ll get a personalized upgrade discount—one in addition to what you’re saving with bundling discounts and Dynamic Pricing.

The upgrade sale won’t last forever, though—if you’re still on the fence, now’s the time to upgrade.

Get equipped to learn more, faster. Take advantage of all three discounts before the upgrade sale ends. See your custom upgrade discount right now!

 
P.S. Budgeting doesn’t have to hold you back from getting the library you really want. If you’d rather spread out the payments in easy-to-manage chunks—interest-free!—look into a simple payment plan. Why not lock in your upgrade savings while you can, make budgeting a little easier, and start exploring your new library today?

We’ve already calculated your custom upgrade discount: take a look at Logos.com/Upgrade.

Understand the Building Blocks of Logic

works-of-aristotleTruth.

Sometimes it seems like philosophy has given up on the concept. Postmodernism tends to treat it as relative; poststructuralism tends to treat it as an attribute of language, not reality.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to read a philosopher who sets out to build a framework for proving what’s true: Aristotle.

3 Rules of Thought

Aristotle wrote on everything from biology to poetry to rhetoric, but he’s best known for his meticulous work on logic. In the Organon (six of Aristotle’s core texts—Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics, and Sophistical Refutations) and the Metaphysics, Aristotle developed the classical Three Rules of Thought, without which even basic communication would be nearly impossible:

  1. The law of identity: every thing is the same as itself and different from other things. A is the same as A; A is distinct from B.
  2. The law of noncontradiction: two or more contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time. If we claim that x equals 1 and that x also equals 2, something has gone wrong.
  3. The law of the excluded middle: either a statement is true or it’s false.

If these laws seem totally self-evident, that’s part of their force. From Euclid and Pythagoras on, most technical proofs have started with universally accepted premises (axioms) and moved through valid steps (premises) to reach nonobvious conclusions. The Rules of Thought sound fundamental enough to be axioms, but they’re really rules of inference: principles that govern whether a move from one premise to another is valid. That means that, in the Aristotelian framework, they’re raw tools we can use to determine what’s true.

(By now it’s becoming clear why, agree or disagree, Aristotle can’t be avoided: if you try to demonstrate that something’s true, you’re almost certainly taking part in Aristotelian logic.)

What does this mean for theology?

Christianity is concerned with truth; it’s little wonder that Aristotle’s framework has proved influential.

Aristotle was also the one behind the deduction and induction you kind of remember from high school. A refresher: deduction moves from the general to the specific; induction moves from the specific to the general. So if Aristotelian induction lets you work from an specific observed aspect of the world to a general claim about science, it also lets you work from a specific observed aspect of the world to a general claim about God. (In that sense, the watchmaker argument—that the universe, like an intricate watch, testifies to the hand of a creator—is inductive.) If Aristotelian deduction lets you work from an axiom to a specific claim, it lets you work from the Bible to the particulars of theology.

Aristotle’s main influence on Christianity has been through Thomas Aquinas, who convinced the church that Aristotle’s methods were preferable to those of Plato. Aquinas established five famous proofs of God’s existence, and three in particular build on Aristotle’s logic:

  1. First Mover, which comes directly from Aristotle’s Physics: If all motion is caused by some prior force, and if the world is filled with motion, where did the first motion come from? (From God.)
  2. First Efficient Cause: If all situations have a cause, what do we make of the cause at the start of it all? (It is God.)
  3. Necessary Being: Not all things in the world are merely possible; some are necessary. A necessary thing can be caused by another necessary thing, but that introduces the infinite regress invoked by the previous two proofs; there must be something that is necessary in itself. (That thing is God.)

These ancient arguments remain influential and popular with apologists like William Lane Craig. Of course, apologetics is more than just logic. It’s also rhetoric—argument—and Aristotle has much to teach on that as well . . . but we’ll leave that for another post.

Learn from the father of logic

Aristotle wasn’t a Christian thinker, but his works are tremendously important. Noet offers Aristotle’s core arguments in the 12-volume Works of Aristotle Collection—the Organon, the Metaphysics, and more. What’s more, the Noet editions let you study in ways that the ancient Greeks could only dream of: when Aristotle argues against Plato, you can jump directly to Plato’s arguments; when modern apologists cite Aristotle or the Three Rules of Thought, you can see the evidence for yourself.

If you’re interested in truth and logic, this collection is a gem.

Understand the building blocks of logic: pick up the Works of Aristotle Collection today.

 
Or get an even better deal: go with Noet’s Ancient Philosophy Bundle, which also gives you the dialogues of Plato.

Why It’s Time to Upgrade to Gold

goldThe Logos 5 upgrade sale is here! It’s time to start studying with the world’s leading Bible software—right now, you can get an outstanding deal on a Logos 5 base package.

Why Logos 5?

Logos 5 sets you up with a massive biblical and theological library, as well as a suite of powerful tools that help you learn and remember more. You can use the visual Timeline to see historical context. You can use Clause Search to find every mention of Jesus, including pronouns like “he” and “his.” You can use the Sermon Starter Guide to help build your insights into compelling messages.

But maybe you already know all that, and you’re still on the fence.

Thing is, the most important thing about Logos isn’t its variety of features. It’s what the features have in common: human intelligence. Studying with Logos 5 is like studying alongside a scholar who’s spent decades lovingly poring over the text—someone who’s ready to let you know when a translation comes from a surprising root, who’s eager to recommend a related resource that adds important context, who’s somehow already read and thought through everything. Someone who points you in the right direction and then pushes you to go deeper.

That’s because Logos 5 really was designed and hand-tagged by scholars like you. Here’s how:

 

Why Gold?

Each Logos 5 base package has its strength. Starter, which gives you the introductory Logos 5 experience, is (of course) the most affordable. Portfolio, Logos 5’s flagship library, gives you the most books and the most for your dollar. What Gold gives you is flexibility.

Gold is the first base package that offers all of Logos 5′s tools: before Gold, you’re missing out on valuable features. That means that, of the feature-complete packages, Gold gives you the highest ratio of tools to books—you’re getting the complete Logos 5 experience, but it’s up to you to customize the rest of your library. If you’re not ready for Platinum, Diamond, or Portfolio, go with Gold, and then add just the specific books you want. You’ll have all the features from the higher base packages, plus a core library of 1,076 biblical and theological resources—plus extra titles tailored just to you.

After all, you can buy new books one by one, whenever you want, but the only way to get all the features is to upgrade your base package. Why hold yourself back?

That focus on features makes Gold a terrific deal. People love it because it’s the most affordable way to get all of Logos 5′s tools:

“I had Silver and upgraded to Gold [and it] has made a vast difference in my studies. The extra language tools are a big plus. With . . . the quality of Logos software, I could not be happier.”

“Logos Gold has been a huge blessing to me. I purchased it for seminary, and before my schooling starts, I have already used it greatly. It has helped me better prepare for family devotions. It has aided in greatly enhancing my understanding of Scripture in my personal devotions. And, as I begin a new ministry director position at the church we now attend, I know it will be a powerful tool in that as well. All this and I still can’t wait to use it in seminary! Soli Deo Gloria! I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone in ministry as an invaluable asset to use both personally and professionally!”

“I cannot say enough about Logos 5 and the Gold package; it has been a blessing in many ways. I’m a bivocational pastor, and, with the limited time I have, these additions have been a life saver. Thank you for helping me open God’s Word to others and assisting me in truly following our Lord.”
Gold users

Get the best deal right now

Base packages are a superb value—thanks to their built-in bundling discounts, you get hundreds or thousands of books for the same price you’d spend on just a few of the individual resources. They’re an even better deal thanks to Logos.com’s Dynamic Pricing, which gives you a custom discount based on your current library: if you already own some of the titles in Gold, you’ll get an even lower price.

And, right now, you can take advantage of a third discount—the Logos 5 upgrade sale!

The best part? To make budgeting easier, you can spread out the costs with a simple, interest-free payment plan.

So browse through Logos 5’s features. Take a look at everything you get with Gold. Keep in mind that there won’t be a better time to upgrade, and that Gold’s the easiest way to get the complete Logos 5 experience.

Then upgrade to Gold today, or browse all the base packages and pick out your favorite!

Classical Spotlight: A Greek Lexicon, a Spanish Novelist, and a German Philosopher

noet-classical-foundations-bundleScholars have a name for the West’s interconnected canon of philosophy, history, and literature: the Great Conversation. It’s an enormous, fascinating body of work, and it’s reflected in an enormous, fascinating library: Noet’s 124-volume Classical Foundations Bundle.

That’s a lot of scholarship to take in, so let’s take a closer look at just three categories: ancient languages, literature, and philosophy.

1. Ancient languages: Liddell and Scott Greek–English Lexicon

This famous lexicon covers Greek from the eleventh century BC to the fifth century AD. It’s extremely detailed: each entry gives not only a definition, but also examples of irregular inflections and, most importantly, numerous quotations from classical sources to demonstrate usage. Of course, the same level of detail that makes LSJ such a treasure makes the print edition cumbersome: to get the most out of it, you have to flip between the main entries and the supplement, and then between LSJ and the primary sources.

Not so with Logos:

You’ll want it if you’re studying Homer and Hesiod. You’ll want it if you’re studying Plato and Aristotle. You’ll want it if you’re studying Paul or Chrysostom or Origen. For serious scholars of ancient Greek, LSJ is simply the most useful dictionary in the world.

On its own, LSJ costs $135; considering how much it adds to every ancient-Greek resource in your library, that’s a smart investment. But the Classical Foundations Bundle gives you an even better deal: you’ll get 123 more volumes across philosophy, history, and the classics, including many more reference works for both Greek and Latin.

Pick up LSJ on its own, or get the best value: add it and many more language resources with the Classical Foundations Bundle.

2. Literature: Cervantes’ Don Quixote

You probably already know the plot of Don Quixote: the earnest Alonso Quijano, having read so many tales of knighthood and chivalry, imagines himself to be a knight named Don Quixote; the loyal Sancho Panza joins him on his adventures, stealing every scene with his unassuming wit. You know it’s a classic. What you may not know is how interesting it is.

For one thing, it was arguably the first novel: though several works compete for the title, the Quixote’s formal innovation is undeniable and tremendous. For another thing, it’s shot through with the most modern literary characteristic of them all: irony, the perceptible gap between what’s stated and what’s implied. (We all know Don Quixote isn’t the knight he thinks he is.) Quixote’s susceptibility to stories implicates all of us who find ourselves buying into shared narratives and allowing ourselves to be guided by them—in that sense, the story is subversive to the powers of epic and propaganda. It’s also just as meta as the twentieth century’s metafiction: in the sixth chapter of book 1, for example, a barber inspects Quixote’s library and comes across Cervantes’ own Galatea, which, he concludes, “has [only] some good invention in it” and “presents us with something but brings nothing to a conclusion.” In chapter 9, we learn (falsely) that the original Quixote itself was found in a heap of papers for sale, written entirely in Arabic. By the time we reach book 2 (not included in the Noet bundle), the protagonists have all read book 1.

It’s easy to read the great twentieth- and twenty-first-century novelists and conclude that only moderns could think this way. Don Quixote proves that assumption wrong, and it’s a sheer pleasure to read. Add it to your library, along with dozens of other literary monuments: pick up the Noet Classical Foundations Bundle today.

3. Philosophy: Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant is widely regarded as the greatest modern philosopher, so—whether or not you find merit in his conclusions—you’ll certainly want to be familiar with the broad strokes of his thought. Kant entered philosophy as a rationalist, in the mold of Descartes. Then Hume, the radical empiricist, “woke [him] from [his] dogmatic slumber,” leading him to start doubting the feasibility of working from subjective thought and perception to objective claims about the world. Truth, for Kant, conforms to the mind that thinks it: this makes him an important milestone in the postmodern turn toward the subjective.

It’s unsurprising, then, that Kant argues for God from intuition, not reason. “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe,” he writes: “the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” From that moral law follows the gap between how we are and how we know we should be; from reflection on that gap follows belief in God. But many of his theological conclusions are decidedly unorthodox—he’s widely thought of as advocating for self-salvation as opposed to atonement and divine grace; likewise, most Christians would object to his conclusion that truth is in the mind of the subject.

That’s one reason why he (like philosophy generally) is worth studying from a Christian perspective: if you’re going to make convincing arguments against these positions, you have to understand them. (Of course, there are lots of other good reasons to study philosophy.) The Classical Foundations Bundle gives you Kant’s most important works, along with the context within which he wrote—Descartes, Hume, and the other great works of the Western tradition.

Understand Kant’s philosophy and the larger context of Western thought: pick up Noet’s Classical Foundations Bundle.

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We’ve discussed the usefulness of LSJ, the inventiveness of Cervantes, and the influence of Kant. These attributes are important, but they’re not always obvious—sometimes we need context and commentary to see how everything fits together. What’s so great about the Classical Foundations Bundle is that it gives you the big picture: writers commenting on writers, philosophers refuting philosophers, trains of thought developing over the centuries. It gives you the context to not just read, but understand—the context to join the Great Conversation.

Know the West’s most important works of philosophy, history, and literature: start learning today with the Classical Foundations Bundle.

Why You Should Care What de Tocqueville Says about America

tocqueville-democracy-in-americaIn 1831, a French aristocrat named Alexis de Tocqueville came to America to understand its culture. The resulting portrait, Democracy in America, is one of the all-time great works of political philosophy—not to mention probably the most famous book about America ever written.

Democracy in America offers both glowing praise and withering criticism. It’s cited by both the right and the left. It’s been publicly quoted by every American president since Eisenhower.

Here are three reasons you should read de Tocqueville:

1. To get a new perspective on America

De Tocqueville was one of the greatest political philosophers ever, and his arguments about American culture are fascinating. A few tidbits:

  • He argues that the two greatest building blocks of American liberty are (unsurprisingly) a free press and (surprisingly) the absence of primogeniture—the aristocratic practice, widespread in de Tocqueville’s time, of leaving the entire family inheritance to the firstborn. “Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press,” he writes, “and I will provide you with a republic.”
  • Though John Adams introduced the phrase tyranny of the majority, it was de Tocqueville who popularized it. “In America,” he argues, “the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.” (He elaborates, scathingly, that “the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.”)
  • He identifies American liberty’s greatest asset as social mobility: though there exist vast class differences, those differences aren’t set in stone, as they are in an aristocracy. In de Tocqueville’s America, anyone can, through merit, ascend to any rank. (He goes on to link this social mobility with America’s reputation for materialism: because we—they, if you’re outside the US—are on a level playing field, we’re all competing; because we’re all competing, we assess things in terms of personal gain.)

Democracy in America is full of arguments like these, usually couched in memorable, highly quotable language. It’s not just a book about American history—it’s a book about how the world sees America, and how America sees itself.

2. To be an informed voice in the public discourse

When a work is cited by every American president since Eisenhower, you know it’s not only insightful, but also compelling. That’s because de Tocqueville is given to universal statements, delivered with aphoristic force. On their own, claims like these can imply all sorts of other ideological biases. But de Tocqueville, of course, was writing outside and before America’s current understanding of left and right—it’s a big mistake to interpret him as supporting the entirety of any one political platform. (The editors of the most recent translation, in 2001, almost omitted the subject index, given that “such an index may give a false sense of security” by encouraging quote-by-quote reading.) When you know Democracy in America, you’ll know the context next time you hear de Tocqueville quoted in a stump speech. You’ll be equipped to check the facts and make up your own mind.

3. To get a window into the Second Great Awakening

Many of de Tocqueville’s insights are timeless (his confident, meticulous style would have you believe that all of them are), but Democracy in America stands as a work of pure history, too. De Tocqueville, remember, was in America in the early 1800s: Andrew Jackson had recently been elected president; tensions were mounting over slavery; war with Mexico was just around the corner. Given the book’s status as a historical snapshot, one of the most interesting things about de Tocqueville’s America is how Christian it is: de Tocqueville writes that “There is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.” There are innumerable similar claims.

It’s no surprise, though. After all, the Second Great Awakening was in full force—Charles Finney, Lyman Beecher, and other preachers were drawing huge crowds across the country. Democracy in America isn’t just a study of America’s general identity; it’s a detailed look at American Christianity. Pair it with IVP’s Dictionary of Christianity in America and the Charles Finney Collection or Lyman Beecher Collection and you’ll be set up to understand this important chapter in American faith.

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Get the Logos edition for 68% off!

Right now, Democracy in America is on Community Pricing for just $12—that’s 68% off. You’ve seen how much context matters; Logos, with its encyclopedias and cross-references, is the best platform for contextualized reading there is.

If you’re interested in American (or American Christian) history, you’ll find Democracy in America fascinating. This is one of the world’s masterpieces of political philosophy, in the world’s leading format for serious study: at just $12, it’s a superb deal.

That means the price will be going up very soon—don’t let yourself miss this one.

Bid on Democracy in America for just $12, and then pick up more resources to study the Second Great Awakening: pair it with IVP’s Dictionary of Christianity in America, and add the Charles Finney Collection and the Lyman Beecher Collection for even more context.

Explore the Language of the Early Church

HarpersLatinDictionaryWe pay a lot of attention to the Bible’s original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, but many of the early church’s most important texts were written in another language: Latin. Luckily, Logos offers some outstanding Latin reference works and primary sources that can bring you closer to the ancient world.

Let’s start exploring:

Get the best Latin dictionary

Choosing scholarly resources can come down to preference—we all have our favorite authors, our favorite exegetical methods, our favorite reference works. But sometimes there’s no room for debate: sometimes one resource is clearly the standard in its field.

Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary is that resource. For those of us who’re fascinated by the ancient world, it’s simply the finest Latin dictionary available.

Scholars choose Lewis and Short because of its breadth. It gives you 2,019 pages’ worth of lexical data, spanning classical times through the early modern era; that makes it an important aid whether you’re working through Irenaeus or through Aquinas. If you’re studying Christian history, you’ll be working with Latin. If you’re working with Latin, you’ll want this dictionary.

Moreover, it’s in the Logos edition that Lewis and Short really shines. Those 2,019 pages can be hard to navigate in print, to say nothing of the legwork involved in cross-referencing them against the patristic hard copies (if you can even access any). With Logos,* everything is indexed for precise searches, and you can jump right from an entry to a primary source and vice versa. It’s that mixture of scholarly rigor and right-now usefulness that’s earned Lewis and Short such glowing reviews: other Logos users write that “[t]his is THE Latin dictionary,” that it’s “easily the best Latin dictionary ever made,” that it’s “stellar,” that “no hard copy can even begin to compete with what we can do with a Logos dictionary.”

Navigate the early church’s culture with the finest Latin dictionary available: pick up Lewis and Short right now.

* For now, Lewis and Short is only available for desktop, not mobile.

Then choose from these important primary sources:

early-church-fathers-protestant-edition1. Early Church Fathers

Augustine, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, Origen—this massive collection sets you up with English translations of the postapostolic era’s most important works. It’s a window into the origins of a great deal of Christian doctrine, which makes it a fascinating way to revisit the foundations of your faith. Pick up the Early Church Fathers collection and explore the early church’s world.

2. The Works of Prudentius

The poems of Prudentius, who was educated in religion, literature, and rhetoric, are shot through with biblical influence. His most important work is the Psychomachia, which is considered the first major Christian allegory; that means it paved the way for classics like the Divine Comedy and The Pilgrim’s Progress. You’re already studying the early church’s theologians. Now, while the four-volume Works of Prudentius is on Community Pricing, you can study its poetry for 73% off.

works-of-ovid-and-horace3. Works of Ovid and Horace

Latin literature’s three canonical poets are Virgil, Ovid, and Horace. Though they weren’t Christian writers, it’s important to know their work, which was hugely influential in the ancient world. You can get Virgil’s Aeneid in the famous Harvard Classics Collection; Ovid and Horace you can get in the incredibly rich Works of Ovid and Horace. (The standout volume is Ovid’s Metamorphoses, one of the most influential poems in literary history.) Get in on the best price—bid on Ovid’s and Horace’s collected works for 83% off!

4. Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things

In Acts 17:18, Paul addresses Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. If you’re curious about Paul’s context, you’ll want to look into Epicureanism, one of the most popular worldviews in early Christian times; the best way to do so is through the writings of Lucretius. (Epicurus’ magnum opus, On Nature, was destroyed, but Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things builds on Epicurus’ thought.) Right now, On the Nature of Things is 72% off on Community Pricing—place your bid before the price goes up.

Pick up Lewis and Short today, and then choose the primary sources that fit your study!

Get a Better Understanding of the Ancient World for Just $7

Hediod CollectionWe tend to think of ancient Greece (and the ancient world generally) as belonging to a single period: antiquity. The closer we look, though, the less antiquity looks like one internally consistent era—in fact, ancient Greece had its own rupture between ancient and modern. Between the two are the fascinating works of Homer and Hesiod.

The Greeks’ own Greek classics

By the time Aristotle composed his first arguments against Plato, the works of Homer and Hesiod were already hundreds of years old and venerated as classics. Most modern historians place Homer between 800 and 700 BC; Hesiod was active between 750 and 650 BC. (For reference, that puts us squarely in OT times: around then, Isaiah would have been carrying out his ministry in Judah.) Homer you know from his epics the Iliad and the Odyssey; Hesiod you know from the story of Pandora’s Box, which was actually a jar. The Greeks thought of Homer and Hesiod as a pair: the former gave the culture its great shared narratives, and the latter filled in the details—Hesiod described Greek mythology, farming, economics, astronomy, time-keeping, and more. Generally, his poems are didactic: they told the ancient Greeks how to live. Between Homer’s myth-building and Hesiod’s instructional goals (not to mention his exacting detail), these poems give us a remarkable window into ancient Greece.

A vexed relationship with the past

One of the things that make Homer and Hesiod so interesting is how they negotiated their own sense of ancient and modern. Bertrand Russell writes, “The Olympian gods, who represent religion in Homer, were not the only objects of worship among the Greeks, either in his time or later. There were other darker and more savage elements in popular religion, which were kept at bay by the Greek intellect at its best.” H.J. Rose describes these elements in his Primitive Culture in Ancient Greece: there were statues of Pan, which were beaten when food was scarce; there was a cave favored by the wolf-Zeus, in which no one cast a shadow and after entering which no one survived longer than a year; there was a clan of possible werewolves. We associate ancient Greece with pure reason, but all of this was still going on in classical times.

Russell argues that “The Homeric poems, like the courtly romances of the later Middle Ages, represent the point of view of a civilized aristocracy, which ignores as plebeian various superstitions that are still rampant among the populace. . . . Guided by anthropology, modern writers have come to the conclusion that Homer, so far from being primitive, was an expurgator . . . holding up an upper-class ideal of urbane enlightenment.” That is, Homer’s works aren’t just a window into ancient Greece—they were a biased, active hand in shaping its religious customs.

We see a converse phenomenon in Hesiod, and this time the primitive customs are the Olympian myths themselves. Hesiod’s Theogony lays out Greek belief point by point, from the creation of the universe through the gods’ rise to power. The interesting part, though, isn’t what he writes—it’s how he was read. Even as the Greeks began to turn away from this mythology and seek purely rational explanations for the world, they continued to read Hesiod out of a sense of tradition: out of respect for antiquity.

It’s easy to think of the ancients as credulous, grasping at the nearest magical explanation for the phenomena around them. What we see in Homer and Hesiod, though, is a self-aware tension between past and present—one that feels very modern. Homer distances himself from ancient pagan belief to advocate for the Olympian pantheon. Hesiod fleshes out that Olympian pantheon but is, as the times change, relegated to a mere emeritus role. In many ways, the relationship of ancient Greece to its own antiquity looks like the relationship of modernity to ancient Greece. That’s what makes Homer and Hesiod so interesting: they represent not only timeless literature, but also an influential culture navigating its past and present.

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Get 61% off Hesiod, the Homeric hymns, and the Homerica

You know how important ancient Greece is—it gave us mathematics, history, philosophy, and more. (In turn, Platonism contributed to the Christianity of the early Church Fathers and, in particular, helped bring about Augustine’s conversion and some of his most interesting thought.) If you’re interested in ancient history and biblical context, ancient Greece should be part of your study.

You also know how important the Iliad and the Odyssey are: if you don’t own these masterpieces, stop reading this post, add them to your Logos library, and start enjoying them today.

But Homer’s lesser-known works—the hymns and Homerica—and Hesiod’s writings give you an especially nuanced window into ancient Greek culture. Now Noet is building these classic texts in tagged, research-friendly editions that sync with the rest of your library and give you access to Logos’ powerful study tools. Currently, Noet’s two-volume Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica is just $7 on Community Pricing­—that’s 61% off!

Once you’ve added these important texts, you can get the big picture with one of Noet’s research libraries: the Classical Greek Bundle gives you the Iliad, Homeric GrammarLiddell and Scott Greek–English Lexicon (LSJ), and more; better yet, the complete Classical Foundations Bundle gives you everything in the Classical Greek Bundle, plus essential works of philosophy, additional original-language resources, the 1,114-volume Perseus Classics Collection, and far more.

Bid on Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns and Homerica for just $7, and then pick the Noet library that’s right for you!

Get 44% Off the New Kittredge Shakespeare Collection

new-kittredge-shakespeare-collectionShakespeare, wrote Ben Johnson, “was not of an age, but for all time!”

He wrote in a spectacular English that shaped how we speak today. He described the human condition—love, doubt, revenge, laughter—in all its beauty and confusion. He gave the culture a series of almost universally recognized images and stories.

Any one of these accomplishments would have secured his place in history. That Shakespeare achieved them all is astonishing.

Logos is building his major works in a series of very special editions: the 25-volume New Kittredge Shakespeare Collection. It’s on Pre-Pub for 44% off, but the price is about to go up. If you love language and literature, or if you’re interested in understanding the culture by way of one its most important pillars, you’ll want to pre-order this one right now.

Kittredge?

George Kittredge (1860–1941) was a literary critic in the classical mold—multilingual, witty, academically rigorous, staggeringly well-read. He taught quite a few classes at Harvard, among them English 2, the beloved Shakespeare survey that first earned him fame. From all those years of teaching came his annotated Shakespeare editions, which remained the standard in American scholarship long after his death.

Kittredge was a “philologist”: a student of literature who approached his work with a historian’s concern for cultural context and a scientist’s demand for rigorous proof. Academia, no less than other human institutions, is subject to trends; halfway through the twentieth century, philology was replaced by New Criticism, which sought to examine texts in a vacuum, independent of culture and authorship. Subsequent academic schools—above all, New Historicism—returned to Kittredge’s interest in context, but in a newly postmodern intellectual climate, his would-be-scientific rigor seemed pedantic or naïve. Like philology, Kittredge never came back into style.

It’s modern criticism’s loss: that philological lens makes his Shakespeare collection incredibly rich. For Kittredge, the object of study wasn’t just Shakespeare—it was the past itself. Now, with the research-friendly Logos editions (imagine how Kittredge would have loved the cross-references!), you can rediscover the Shakespeare collection that the Ivory Tower forgot.

“Without Tyndale, no Shakespeare”

You know that Shakespeare’s an important window into the culture. What you may not know is that Shakespeare’s works are shot through with biblical references. Shakespeare, it seems, had much of the Bible almost memorized.

These aren’t word-for-word quotations; Shakespeare didn’t cite Scripture directly. Rather, he incorporated its language to imbue his works with a layer of special drama. You have to know your Bible to pick up on most of these allusions. (Hamlet, in the face of despair, tells Horatio, “There is special providence in the fall of a sparrow”; attentive readers will hear the echo of Matthew 10:29.) Specifically, Shakespeare was a beneficiary of the work of William Tyndale, whose widely available translation gave England a vast bank of shared references (like “the fall of a sparrow”) and encouraged a literate culture. David Daniell, founder of the Tyndale Society, went so far as to say that without Tyndale, there could be no Shakespeare.

The connections between Shakespeare and Christianity merit more than this passing mention; if you’d like to learn more, you can pick up several volumes on the topic with Logos’ Shakespeare and Christianity Collection. In the meantime, though, suffice it to say that reading Shakespeare need not come at the expense of reading your Bible—you’ll be surprised and delighted to encounter traces of Scripture all through his most famous works.

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The New Kittredge Shakespeare Collection is 44% off on Pre-Pub, but it’s moving fast—the price is going up very soon. This is your chance to own one of humanity’s literary treasures, curated and explained by one of the twentieth century’s greatest scholars and critics.

Don’t let this one pass you by—pre-order the New Kittredge Shakespeare Collection right now.

Get the Best Price on Treasured American Adventures

Among American literature’s greatest achievements is its longstanding marriage of high art and high adventure. Melville, Twain, Cooper, London—some of America’s greatest writers set their dramas against America’s spectacular rivers, seas, and tracts of wilderness.

These aren’t just important works of literature. They’re gripping adventure tales, long ago integrated into the American national consciousness.

And now you can get them in the single most useful, reader-friendly format they’ve ever appeared in: Logos.

Take 80% off the Select Works of Herman Melville

select-works-of-herman-melville“In the winter of 1851,” wrote Jorge Luis Borges, “Melville published Moby-Dick, the infinite novel that brought about his fame. Page by page, the story grows until it takes on the dimensions of the cosmos: at the beginning the reader might consider the subject to be the miserable life of whale harpooners; then, that the subject is the madness of Captain Ahab, bent on pursuing and destroying the white whale; finally, that the whale and Ahab and the pursuit which exhausts the oceans of the planet are symbols and mirrors of the universe.”

There are many “great American novels.” In scope, in ambition, Moby-Dick is perhaps the greatest.

Noet’s new Select Works of Herman Melville collection gives you not only Moby-Dick but also The Piazza Tales, Typee, Omoo, and The Confidence-Man, all important texts in their own right. For a just a little while, the collection is on Community Pricing for just $12—that’s 80% off!

Once it covers costs, though, the price is going up; this deal won’t last long. Get the best price on Melville’s select works—bid right now.

Take 79% off the Select Works of Mark Twain

select-works-of-mark-twainMark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is Moby-Dick’s leading rival for the title of great American novel. Faulkner called Twain “the father of American literature.” Hemingway (on what else could he and Faulkner agree?) wrote that “All modern American literature comes from [Huckleberry Finn]. . . . the best book we’ve had.” Appleton’s magazine wrote that “[Twain] will be recognized as one of the most national of American authors, and one of the peculiar glories of American literature.” The Select Works of Mark Twain collection gives you not only Huckleberry Finn but also its predecessor, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and a series of enthralling travelogues and works of speculative fiction.

Bid now for 79% off!

Take 60% off the Select Works of James Fenimore Cooper

select-works-of-james-fenimore-cooper

“[Cooper] is a poet; and if his creations should not be immortal, it will be the work of the perverse and incalculable accidents of time”
The New-York Review

Cooper’s series of Leatherstocking Tales novels, which detail the adventures of frontiersman Natty Bumppo, are in large part responsible for romanticizing the American wild; the wild, in turn, was a hugely important building block in America’s self-image. These books don’t just show you the frontier—in the American imagination, they helped constitute it.

Get these important works for 60% off: bid before the price goes up!

Take 56% off the Select Works of Jack London

select-works-of-jack-londonLondon’s famous adventures bring together philosophical speculation and gritty realism. The Call of the Wild and White Fang explore the relationship between civilization and wilderness; White Fang, in particular, is regarded as an allegorical account of London’s own transition from his troubled teenage years into middle-class adulthood. The cerebral Sea Wolf follows the adventures of a shipwrecked literary critic who’s taken in by an amoral but highly intelligent captain; it’s an oblique attempt to refute Nietzsche’s theory of the superman. The Iron Heel, arguably the first modern dsytopia, anticipated the twentieth and twenty-first centuries’ formal experimentation and even influenced Orwell; today, it seems very far ahead of its time.

Place your bid for 56% off!

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Great literature doesn’t have to be boring, and these American classics prove it. They’re adventures that you’ll read and reread, and then pass down to your children.

Own some of America’s literary treasures—bid right now!

Understand Early Christianity’s Roman Context

the-history-of-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire

“In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury.”
—Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

“At the hour of midnight the Salerian gate was silently opened, and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of the Gothic trumpet. Eleven hundred and sixty-three years after the foundation of Rome, the Imperial city, which had subdued and civilised so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia.”
—Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The rise and fall of imperial Rome constitute one of the most important narratives in Western history—Christian history in particular. The Romans contributed core elements to government, politics, art, engineering, and almost everything else we know as modern. Under Nero, Maximinus Thrax, and Decius, Rome subjected Christians to atrocities. Under Constantine, Rome helped Christianity flourish.

If you’re studying Christianity and overlooking Rome, you’re overlooking essential context.

Study Rome from its rise to its fall

Logos offers several important resources on ancient Rome—in particular, Polybius’ The Histories, Appian’s Roman History, Livy’s History of Rome, Cassius Dio’s Roman History, and Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Together, these works set you up to study Roman history from its beginning to its end.

1. Rome’s rise

polybius-the-historiesPolybius’ The Histories gives you a fascinating look at Rome’s ascent between 264 and 146 BC. The Greek historiographer analyzes all the factors that contributed to Rome’s dominance: above all, strong leadership, the separation of powers, and advantages of geography.

Right now, The Histories is on Pre-Pub for 22% off, and the price is about to go up. You’ll want to pre-order this one right now.

2. Rome’s zenith

  • Appian’s Roman History is the only surviving account of the Roman civil wars, which were enormously important to Rome’s trajectory overall. Appian doesn’t name his sources outright, but scholars agree that Appian built on the work of Polybius; Logos lets you study these Roman histories side by side. And if you bid now, you can get Roman History for 73% off.
  • Livy’s History of Rome surveys Rome’s history from its mythical founding to the reign of Augustus. Livy offers narrative, not just chronology; in fact, books 1–10 and 21–30 have become defining examples of Golden Age Latin. Right now, History of Rome is on Community Pricing for a full 85% off!
  • Cassius Dio’s Roman History covers 1,400 years, from the founding of Rome to AD 229. Dio really shines in his treatment of events after the first century BC, many of which he witnessed firsthand; his account is unmatched in detail. You can get Dio’s Roman History for 78% off on Community Pricing.

3. Rome’s fall

Edward Gibbons classic History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is by far the most famous work on ancient Rome, and Gibbon devotes several chapters to Christianity in the Roman world. In a 1997 review, History of the Christian Church magazine noted that “for fullness and general accuracy and artistic representation [Gibbon’s] work is still unsurpassed”; years earlier, no less a rhetor than Winston Churchill credited Gibbon’s lofty style with influencing his own. History of the Decline and Fall is a remarkable overview of the factors that contributed to Rome’s undoing and the lessons that Roman history holds for world powers today. Plus, at $17.95, it’s an astonishing value.

Study Roman context with the best resources

Most of these works are on Community Pricing, which means that prices are going up very soon. Likewise, Polybius’ The Histories is on Pre-Pub, but it won’t be for long—if you’re at all interested in the ancient world, you should pre-order it now.

Pre-order Polybius’ The Histories right now, and add a more modern perspective with Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
 

Then keep reading—how did Augustine influence philosophy?

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