Dean Deppe Talks Exegesis with Logos Talk: Part I

The Bible can be a difficult book to interpret. Churches split over the interpretation of controversial texts, and many Bible readers feel bewildered about tough passages of Scripture.

To help clarify and outline various methods of exegesis and interpretation, Dean Deppe, Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, has written All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible, currently on Pre-Pub.

In a way, this is a book designed for Logos users. Deppe an avid Logos user himself (he used Logos Bible Software as he wrote the book), and All Roads contains numerous examples of how to use Logos for exegesis and interpretation. So not only is this book vitally important for general readers, but it is especially beneficial for Logos users who are serious about understanding the text.

We were excited when Dr. Deppe took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible. What follows is the first half of a 2-part discussion.

Logos: Why did you write All Roads Lead to the Text?

Deppe: Interpreting the Bible can be frustratingly difficult for the average person. The eight chapters in this book equip the average reader with the methods scholars employ to interpret this historic book. The goal is that the reader will conclude at the end, “I too can read the Bible.”

Logos: How do you equip the reader to interpret the Bible?

Deppe: The book All Roads Lead to the Text functions as a template for model exegesis through an examination of:

  • grammar,
  • literary devices,
  • structure,
  • context,
  • historical and cultural background,
  • the history of interpretation, and
  • the exegete’s presuppositions for interpretation.

So really it is a book about exegetical methodology or hermeneutics.

What sets this volume apart from all others is the continuous use of biblical examples rather than an explanation of exegetical methods. Furthermore, I employ Logos Bible Software as I explore these biblical examples, so that students can perform their research more quickly and do not have to be close to a theological library.

All Roads Lead to the Text

Logos: You describe the book as a template for exegesis. How do you teach the process of exegesis?

Deppe: The best teaching methods employ memorable pictures. This volume compares the exegetical process to the use of various types of camera lenses so the reader perceives in a new way the importance of grammar, context, literary genre, historical background, structural analysis, and the history of interpretation.

Logos: Describe for us the flow of the book and the exegetical methods you employ.

Deppe: To fully understand the biblical text, we must place more than one lens on our exegetical camera.

The literary analysis of chapter one involves the employment of an infra-red lens to investigate what cannot always be seen in natural light. I demonstrate how the identification of unspecified genre and literary devices affect the final interpretation of a passage.

For grammatical exegesis in chapter two we employ an exegetical microscope which scrutinizes the details of a passage from words, to phrases, to clauses until we arrive at various translations of the text.

In chapter three we take a skeleton snapshot of the text so that we can envision the structure of the passage through developing a clausal outline.

Then, in chapter four, we avail ourselves of a wide-angled lens to probe the context before and after a particular pericope in chapter four.

In chapter five we utilize a telescopic lens and explore the world behind the text by inspecting the cultural and historical background.

Then, in chapter six, we roll out the motion picture exegetical camera in chapter seven to study the various periods of church history and to investigate how an examination of the major commentaries benefits our exegesis.

Next to last, chapter seven develops the finished photo through a theological analysis of the text and an exploration of the canonical meaning.

Finally, in chapter eight, we do not want to forget to explore the world in front of the text by an investigation of the reader’s presuppositions. We need to take an x-ray picture of ourselves so that we don’t subconsciously deceive ourselves and read our unexamined presuppositions into the text. Here I describe seven spiritual exercises and disciplines that enable us to apply the text to contemporary life.

These exegetical camera shots form a sample album of proofs that offer snapshots of the text from various angles. We discover that all roads lead to the text as the title of the book says.

Logos: What makes this book different from other books that interpret the Bible?

Deppe: What sets this volume apart from all others is the continuous use of biblical examples rather than an explanation of exegetical methods. Students and preachers want immediate application of theoretical methods. They want to know how a study of the grammar or structure of the text will make a difference. So in each chapter I include ten to twenty concrete examples of how the context or history of interpretation makes a difference in how you understand the Bible. Each description of a text consists of a couple of pages so the information is easily accessible yet sufficient in length to stimulate a good discussion.

Logos: Rarely does a volume include both scholarly exegesis along with a section on spiritual disciplines that will affect the reader in interpreting the text. What made you want to tackle these two together?

Deppe: The addition of a chapter on “Spiritual Exegesis” attempts to propose seven strategies in addition to the historical-critical method that affect interpretation and application. These spiritual disciplines include

  1. a practicing faith perspective,
  2. personalizing the text,
  3. praying Scripture,
  4. picturing concepts through meditation,
  5. listening prophetically,
  6. paradigm-building through mirroring, and
  7. imaginative application.

This x-ray of our personality, presuppositions, and spiritual makeup certifies that this whole process is not just an intellectual exercise completely separated from our life experience. Historical-critical exegesis stands at a crossroads where it must recognize and incorporate other methods into its field of vision. Our methods of interpretation must not only supply information but also personally form the reader, supply practical application, and connect the reader directly to God in deeper and more meaningful ways. That’s what I try to do in the last chapter.

Come back tomorrow for Part II of our discussion with Dean Deppe! And make sure to check out All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible for an opportunity to get it while it is still available at a great Pre-Pub discount.

Do you have favorite exegetical tips? Share them with us!

Weekly Roundup: August 20

The Weekly Roundup is a regular feature alerting you to significant things happening at Logos this week. Take a few moments to check out these newsworthy items for the week of August 20, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

Logos Facebook Page

Products

Key Item

You do not want to miss out on the free Perseus Collections!

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

Vyrso

Carol Kent is very excited about her book, A New Kind of Normal coming soon to the Vyrso bookstore! We are looking forward to many great books from authors like Carol Kent, Sheila Walsh, and Jan Silvious.

Job Postings

Logos is hiring! Here are just a few of the newer posting on our Careers page:

IT Department

Marketing Department

Was there anything else from Logos you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Weekly Roundup: August 13

The Weekly Roundup is a regular feature alerting you to significant things from Logos this week. Take a few moments to check out these newsworthy items for the week of August 13, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

Logos Facebook Page

Products

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

Was there anything else from Logos you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Personal Book Builder: The Inside Scoop

The most anticipated tool for Logos Bible Software has been Personal Books tool. Originally called Personal Book Builder (PBB), the tool was created for Libronix (Logos version 3) so that users could create their own books. It had a few shortcomings in that it created resources that were not exactly like their Logos produced counterparts. But that model has changed. Personal Books now have all the functionality of any other resource produced by Logos except it is produced by you.

What’s It For?

Personal BooksIf you’ve ever wished there was a way to bring all of your seminary papers, excurses studies, position papers, even your graduating thesis on “Middle Eastern Soil Samples and Their Impact on the Imago Dei,” and whatever else you can imagine into Logos, so that you could search it, reference it, and use it along with all of the other thousands of resources Logos makes available; your answer is Personal Books.

How Do I Use It?

Using the Personal Books tool is amazingly simple.

  1. Create your masterpiece in Word or any word processor that can save in a .docx format
  2. Save the file and remember where you saved it
  3. In Logos, click Tools | Personal Books
  4. When the Personal Books pane opens, locate and click Add book
  5. Add the information like Title, Author, Copyright, and Description, then set the resource type, adjust the language, and even add a book graphic
  6. Then click Add file and navigate to your original document
  7. Once you’ve finished, click Build Book and Logos does the rest

From this point forward your book can be located in your Library, added to collections, searched, highlighted, and more, just like every other Logos resource. Congratulations you’ve been (self) published!

Is That It?

Logos’ Personal Books tool opens up an entire vista of possibilities. Personal Books can be just like Logos books with tagging, milestones, and more. As I write this, the finishing touches are being put on the Personal Books section of the Logos help file and will be available soon (if not already) to help guide you through the basics of what Personal Books can do. Already, the Logos user community has been building the Wiki page for Personal Books. Like every other aspect of Logos Bible Software, the user forums are often the best place to search for and find answers to your questions.

But Wait, There’s More!

Logos’ Personal Books tool is already growing and more is planned. One user has created a script to automatically create tags and hyperlinks between resources and another created a script to add page numbers! In the past, Logos 3 PBB required users to find ways to share their work. My own website hosts almost a thousand Logos 3 format PBB resources contributed by the community. Now however, Logos has plans to integrate directly with the Logos.com website so that your works can be made available around the globe if you want them to be.

Sweet! Where Do I Get It?

Logos’ Personal Books tool is the main component of Logos 4.3. By clicking the Help Button | About Logos Bible Software in your copy of Logos you’ll see what version of Logos you are currently using. If it’s not at least 4.3 you can simply wait for Logos to update itself or type the command “update now” in your command bar and let Logos Bible Software do the rest.

What are you most looking forward to adding to your Logos library or what excites you most about the Personal Books tool? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Today’s guest blogger is Thomas Black, a Logos Forum MVP and a Pastor in Moweaqua, Illinois.

Free Personal Book Builder Ships with New Logos 4 Update!

We are excited to announce that the completely redesigned Personal Book Builder has shipped with the new version (4.3) of Logos Bible Software. Like all previous updates, version 4.3 is a free download for all Logos 4 users.

Personal Book Builder

With this update, Personal Book Builder will be added to Logos 4 as a completely free feature. You will now be able to create your own fully tagged, fully searchable books in Logos. These resources can be marked up with your own notes and highlights, and you can add links to your other Logos resources.

Create Your Own Resources!

Personal Book Builder allows you to create your own powerful, feature rich books for Logos 4! These books will operate with much of the same functionality as your other Logos resources.

Just think of all the documents you can combine with your Logos library. You can add your sermons, Sunday school lessons, personal Bible studies, or journals. Teachers can upload their curriculum and students can add their papers, essays and theses. Virtually any work you have on a Word document (.docx) can be integrated into your Logos 4 resources. Did I mention this was free?

How Do You Get the Update?

Logos 4 Users

If you have automatic updating enabled (screenshot), which is the default setting, Logos 4 should notify you that updates are ready to be installed. When you see the balloon tooltip window, right-click on the Logos icon in your system tray and choose to “Install update” (screenshot). If Logos 4 hasn’t downloaded the update by the end of the day, type Update Now into the Command Bar (screenshot). This will force Logos 4 to check for any available updates (screenshot) and begin downloading them.

Need to Upgrade to Logos 4?

If you are using a previous version of Logos Bible Software and waiting for that perfect time to upgrade to Logos 4, this is it! Not only do you get the newest version of Logos 4 including the Personal Book Builder, you will receive:

  • Up to hundreds of new books for pennies on the dollar
  • 100+ powerful new tools, features, databases, and more
  • Access to your library on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android device, and Biblia.com
  • An interest-free payment plan option for up to twelve monthly payments

Visit our customized upgrader to find out what discounts you qualify for.

New to Logos?

If you have not made the leap to Logos, what are you waiting for? There are a number of enthusiastic users who would love to tell you how much you will benefit from Logos Bible Software. Purchase a base package today and see how Logos 4′s incredible features can dramatically improve your Bible study.

What’s New in Logos 4.3?

Version 4.3 brings a number of important new features—many of which are in direct response to your requests. Here are the major ones:

  • Personal Book Builder
  • Resource Justification and Hyphenation—Full justification of resource text, with hyphenation, can be enabled/disabled in Program Settings. The default setting is Enabled.
  • Exegetical Guide—The default “Parts of Speech” setting in the “Word by Word” section is now “Include only these parts of speech” with only Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives and Adverbs selected.” Other parts of speech will be displayed, but will be grayed out. Clicking on a grayed-out word will generate data and navigate to the result.

There were also some nice little improvements made to resources, notes, searches, sentence diagramming, and syncing.

There are also some new features available for Mac users including updates to notes, keyboard shortcuts, and setup.

Check out “What’s New in Logos 4.3” to see a complete list of the changes.

Leave us a comment and tell us what you plan to add to your Logos 4 library with the Personal Book Builder!

Sacra Doctrina: Postmodern Theology

Many of the world’s technological advances have helped to make the world a smaller, more intimate place. From the lateen sail and the internal combustion engine to the printing press and the World Wide Web,  the speed which people and ideas travel around the globe is increasing rapidly.

Although this is a great advantage for the Gospel, it comes with challenging questions as well. How do we maintain an attitude of respect toward other religious viewpoints without compromising our commitment and beliefs in the Christian faith? What is a healthy middle ground between the polar extremes of pluralism and exclusivism?

These are just a couple of the questions that S. Mark Heim attempts to tackle in his award-winning book The Depth of the Riches. In this winner of the Theologos Award for Best Academic Book in 2001 from the Association of Theological Booksellers, Heim looks closely at, not only the paths of various religions, but also their salvific ends.

Retired professor Emeritus of World Christianity at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Dr. M. Thangaraj said this about The Depth of the Riches,

“How do I maintain an attitude of respect for and reverence toward other religions without compromising my strong commitment to the Christian faith? Christians cannot but struggle with this  question in today’s setting of religious pluralism. S. Mark Heim assists us in this struggle by offering a clear analysis of the grammar of religious diversity and a creative exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity. This book presents ‘a meditation on the Trinity,’ one that celebrates both the unique act of salvation in Jesus the Christ and the trinitarian plenitute that houses a variety of religious ends. Heim writes in such a way that, while reading his book, we can think, argue, and pray—all at the same time.”

The Depth of the Riches is only one of the six books in the Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology for a Postmodern Age Series, a collection dedicated to applying Christian tradition and Scripture to the new challenges in our postmodern context.

In the Sacra Doctrina: Christian Theology for a Postmodern Age Series you will find timely discussions on such important topics as ecological theology, the church as a reflection of the Trinity, a theological look at human personhood, and more. This collection deals with postmodern concerns both theologically and academically without being entirely unapproachable, and right now it is on Pre-Pub at nearly 50% off the retail price!

Get in early and take advantage of our special Pre-Pub pricing for this exceptional collection.

Is there a title you find particularly interesting in this collection? Leave us a comment!

 

Weekly Roundup: August 6

The Weekly Roundup is a regular feature alerting you to significant things from Logos this week. Take a few moments to check out these newsworthy items for the week of August 6, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

  • Forum MVP Dave Hooton reached the 8,000 post milestone. Thanks, Dave, for your incredible gift of service to thousands of others Logos users!
  • Did you notice that a collection of 171 puritan sermons just left Community Pricing at a mere 18¢ per sermon? Like usual, one forum user alerted everyone to the savings. . . . and a bunch of people locked in the price before it was too late.

Logos Facebook Page

  • Over 100 Facebook fans told us which of the following four books they would want most in their library. Did you know we have these books in Logos 4? Which would you choose?

Vyrso Facebook Page

Leaks

Dan Pritchett’s Twitter Feed

Products

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

Community Pricing

Bidding closes for these items Friday, August 12. Don’t miss out on these savings!

Vyrso

In celebration of the Vyrso Android App (beta) available in the Android Market, we’re giving away an Android tablet! If you winyou’ll get your choice of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola XOOM, HTC Flyer, or Asus Eee Pad Transformer!

Press

Hey Mark Driscoll, thanks for the tweet this week!

Was there anything else from Logos you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Weekly Roundup: July 30

The Weekly Roundup is a regular feature alerting you to significant things from Logos this week. Take a few moments to check out these newsworthy items for the week of July 30, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

Vyrso Facebook Page

Products

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

Community Pricing

These resources are nearing the 100% mark. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these bargains!

Vyrso

Many have downloaded the Vyrso Android App (Beta) from Android Market this week, please take a few moments and rate the app! Then go Vyrso.com and see our selection of Christian e-books.

Press

Was there anything else from Logos you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

How to Find a Bargain on Logos.com

There are definitely deals to be found on Logos.com. Here are some tips to ensure you don’t miss them.

Bid on Community Pricing Products

We often post on Logos Talk about deals that are available on Community Pricing because they’re some of the greatest bargains you are going to find on Logos.com.  The more people who bid on Community Pricing products, the lower the prices go. We’ve had collections sell for less than $10.

Puritan Sermons 1659–1689 (6 vols.) is a good example of the kinds of bargains you can find on Logos.com. The average bid for this six-volume collection of inspiring sermons, from the likes of John Owen and Richard Baxter, is $30. But it isn’t finished yet. With enough bids, the price can fall even lower!

Take a look at the Community Pricing page and see what’s available.

Check the Pre-Pub Page Often

Pre-Pubs are another way to get more book for your buck.

To justify the cost of developing a resource, we put that resource in Pre-Publication (or Pre-Pub). People vote on the resources they want to see developed by pledging to buy them while they are on Pre-Pub. Once we gather enough sales to pay for the creation of a resource, it moves from Pre-Pub into development.

During the Pre-Pub process, the resources are much cheaper than they will be once they are developed. The resources stay at that Pre-Pub price until they complete the development process. Once the resources are available for download, their price goes up.

It is a good idea to search the Pre-Pub page for the newest listings so that you can see when your favorite books go up. You’ll also want to check by ship date to make sure that you don’t miss out on getting a deal on a product that is about to ship.

Take Advantage of Faceted Browsing

Logos.com allows you to refine your search by a number of criteria. If you search the Products page for theology books sorted by price (lowest to highest), you are going to find all sorts of great deals. In fact, you might even run across some free resources. Try this with various topics and resource types.

Download Our Free Mobile Apps

I would be remiss not to mention Logos’ mobile apps. Both the iPhone app and the Android app (currently in beta) are completely free. With this free app you get over 40 Bibles! When you register or sign in to your free Logos account you get more than 30 additional books—absolutely free.

But that’s not all! You will not believe the Bible study you can do when you combine the iPhone app with a Logos 4 base package. Imagine having all of these features on your mobile device:*

  • Your resource library at your fingertips
  • Text comparison
  • Passage guides
  • Original language translations
  • Original language word studies
  • and much more!

At the low price of completely free, this is a true bargain.

*The Android app is currently in beta and, while it does have some great features, it has not yet reached parity with iPhone app.

Sign Up to Receive Special Email Notifications

Logos is often doing some kind of special promotion or giveaway. Sometimes you might not even know about it if you aren’t receiving our Freebies, Contests, and Giveaways emails.

We also send out Logos NewsWire emails alerting you to special prices and product news.

Receiving these notifications is easy. Sign in to your Logos.com account (or register for free) and click on the notifications tab. Then simply make sure that (A.) the Freebies, Contests, Giveaways and Logos NewsWire boxes are checked, and then (B.) click the update button.

 

Soon you’ll be getting updates on all the special offers available from Logos.

Keep Your Eye on Our Social Media Channels

Most Logos specials are going to be mentioned on one (if not all) of our social media outlets. And occasionally we will have specials that are specific to certain outlets. Don’t miss these events!

You can keep track of what Logos is up to by following us on:

  • Logos Talk: A great way to make sure that you don’t miss any important blog news is to subscribe to the RSS feed. You can have every blog sent to your email inbox or any web-based news readers you follow.
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave us a comment and tell us about the best deal you have received from Logos.

Flavius Josephus

Titus Flavius Josephus is a tough figure to classify. Was he a cultural aristocrat? A theologically minded Pharisee? A politician? An author? A historian? In Josephus we find all of these things—and more.

Josephus was born into the Jewish priestly order of Jehoiarib, the first of twenty-four priestly divisions organized by King David (1 Chronicles 24:7). Growing up, Josephus surpassed his peers in his study of Jewish law. After studying under the Pharisees, Essenes, and the Sadducees—the three major religious factions in first-century Jerusalem—he affiliated himself with the Pharisees.

Jerusalem was a powder keg. With a constant disdain for Jewish ideals, Rome inflamed their already tense relationship with the Jews. Between liberal use of Roman soldiers against Jewish citizens and Messianic Jewish factions who taught that the world would be ending soon, a number of factors were coming together to create the perfect climate for conflict. By the time Jospehus had returned from a trip to Rome to negotiate with Nero for the release of imprisoned priests, his nation was in revolt.

Despite skepticism about an uprising, Josephus took the post as military leader in the region of Galilee. Not all of Galilee was supportive of revolution, and insurgents hoped to use Josephus’ birthright and successful negotiations with Rome as inspiration to the hesitant Galileans. Josephus found himself fighting a defensive war against an overwhelming force while simultaneously trying to quell conflict within Jerusalem.

Josephus Supports Rome?

This is where Josephus’ story takes a strange turn and why many consider Josephus an opportunist and a traitor.

The Galilean city of  Jotapata had fallen, and Josephus had found himself trapped in a cave with forty other Jewish supporters. Fearing the worst, and not wanting to fall into Roman hands, a suicide pact was decided upon. They all agreed, standing in a circle  each second man would kill the third. Josephus considered it the providence of God that he and one other man were the last living. He convinced his fellow soldier they should give themselves over to the Romans.

Many modern scholars accuse Josephus of orchestrating this outcome. (In fact, the Josephus Problem has become a mathematical problem where a person must decide where to stand in this circle in order to be the last one living.)

Josephus began to work for the Romans giving them information on the insurgence. Rome also put him to use trying to convince the rebels to surrender. Jerusalem would not heed the warnings of this traitor however, and an agreement was never reached.

In 70 A.D., Josephus was eyewitness to the siege of Jerusalem. Rome destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem was sacked. According to Josephus, over 1,000,000 people were killed during the siege, with another 97,000 taken hostage. The death toll was high and the loss of the Temple dealt a destructive blow to both Jewish identity and their ability to rally. The revolution was brought to a swift end.

Josephus Writes His Histories

After becoming a Roman citizen, Josephus was commissioned by Caesar Vespasian to write an account of the Jewish revolt against Rome. Josephus finished The War of the Jews in 78 A.D. By the year 93, Josephus had finished his second major work The Antiquities of the Jews (a landmark history of the Jews from Creation through the occupation of Palestine). In the latter part of his life he wrote Against Apion and his autobiography The Life of Flavius Josephus. 

Flavius Josephus remains one of our best sources of first century history as well as an essential resource for Old Testament textual criticism.

Josephus Resources from Logos

Not only can you get the complete Works of Josephusas well as Josephus in Greek: Niese Critical Edition with Apparatusfrom Logos, but there are many more great references to help you get a grasp on his life and works.

Brill Academic has published many works on Josephus’ writings. The Brill Josephus and the Bible Collection (currently on Pre-Pub) contains four volumes full of enlightening research:

  • Studies in Josephus’ Rewritten Bible
  • Josephus, Judaism and Christianity
  • Josephus, the Bible and History
  • Passover in the Work of Josephus

If you are interested in what Josephus can bring to your Bible study and understanding of first century history, the Brill Josephus and the Bible Collection is a good selection to pick up while it is on Pre-Pub at over 50% off!

Other Great Resources

If you are still looking for some books on Josephus check out:

Leave us a comment and tell us how exposure to Josephus as improved your understanding of the New Testament context.