Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.
My Mom is in a book club. During the discussion of their current book, questions were raised about John Calvin and specific points of his theology. After a bit of hemming and hawing, my Mom offered to send an email to her son—the closest person any of them knew to being a theology expert—asking for some background on Calvin. More than that, they wanted to know what Calvin thought about God.
Intuitively they knew that throughout history there have been giants of theology. These are people who have had the uncanny gift of deeply reflecting about God’s nature and communicating it a way that strikes a chord in both the Church and the greater world. People like Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Edwards, and Barth.
Penetrating the depths of their thought helps us dig deeper into the unfathomable vast riches of God. Spending time with these people lets us stand on the shoulders of giants and scan the horizons of who we understand God to be.
Of course, the question is, how do we begin probing the minds of these thinkers? The best way is to jump right in and explore. My theology professor in college reminded us often that the best way to understand Karl Barth was to actually read Karl Barth. But we all need a little help. And I present to you Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection.
In this 7-volume collection Bloesch traverses the standard topics of systematic theology but does so with a keen eye on both the biblical witness and centuries of Christian thought. As a reader you’re presented with various summary positions and quotations from representative thinkers. Pick up Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection and begin to immerse yourself in the Church’s great thoughts and thinkers.
Update: We just learned that Donald Bloesch passed away on August 24, 2010. Here are a couple of nice obituaries:
I used to walk into old bookstores and see a Michelangelo or El Greco book and have to have it. It started with old cheap books, but it quickly got out of control. Before I knew it, Barnes and Noble and Borders had me. I was walking out with expensive books about Da Vinci. Then Amazon.com got me with sweet folios of art pieces by people like William Blake. There was something soothing about having coffee with a brightly colored book that combined text and art—two great mediums together. The combining of mediums is also what I love about magazines, hence the need for Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009. But with this book, you get art and writing focused on God’s Word. It’s an extraordinary conversational piece for your living room.
Why My Grandfather-in-Law Loves Coffee Table Books
I’m not the only one who loves big books. I recently took my grandfather-in-law into Barnes and Noble. He left with a big book on military planes, and almost bought one on trains. He loves coffee-table books for the same reason I do: They take everything we love about a subject, condense it, and throw it in a blender with art. So I asked my grandfather-in-law, “What do you think about a coffee table book about Bible study?” He got a big smirk on his face and said, “That would be perfect. Can I buy one here?” The answer was no, because to my knowledge Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is the only coffee table book solely about Bible study, and it’s not in Barnes and Noble.
You Will Love This Coffee Table Book
This compilation presents the wealth of an entire year’s worth of Bible studies, do-it-yourself guides, tips, and interviews with trusted pastors and teachers of Scripture. It includes book reviews, ideas for devotions, word studies, biblical humor, and archaeological and historical insights. Plus, Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 contains the sold-out, highly requested January–February 2009 issue, featuring an interview with Kay Arthur. Other people interviewed include Josh McDowell, Mark Driscoll, Randy Alcorn, Lee Strobel, John Piper, John MacArthur, and more. Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is perfect for display as well as for study and examination of God’s Word. Order it today by clicking here!
Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
There are many ways to discover Logos Bible Software. Our Ambassador, Refer A Friend, and Academic Programs, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Bible Study Magazine are just a few of the many mediums through which the word about our software gets out. However, few have a more unique story of stumbling—almost literally!—upon our software, than this customer who recently contacted us:
“I learned of Logos Bible Software on a flight back in April from Houston to Sacramento. Not from speaking to someone, but by seeing it through the seat in front of me. It’s amazing how God can use just two inches to help further change a man’s life. I could see with just those few glimpses that it was a life changing software.”
Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
I love discovering the history behind the books I read. If you’re anything like me, you may feel the same way—knowing the background of a resource can provide intrigue, context, and clarity.
The story behind the Cambridge University Press is of particular fascination. The world’s oldest printing press published its first book in 1584, and is still operational today. Cambridge has survived the growth and evolution of the publication world, as well as two world wars and over four centuries of change. They have published hundreds of thousands of books, including many theological materials and Bibles that have been used worldwide.
The fifty-seven individual volumes contained in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges—the first ever complete commentary set to be printed by Cambridge University Press—were published between 1884 and 1922, each containing valuable commentative insight and verse-by-verse exegesis from much-loved theologians such as Alfred Plummer, Herbert Edward Ryle, S. R. Driver, and many others. This significant collection provides a holistic look at the entire Bible, meticulously examining each Old and New Testament book.
Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, the second Cambridge University Press collection now available for pre-order from Logos, includes the entire New Testament in Greek. Written around the same time as The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, it holds writings from some of the same respected theologians and is a fantastic compilation of New Testament commentary. These twenty-one volumes are the perfect addition to any Greek scholar’s library.
The year 1591, only seven years after Cambridge University Press was established, saw the printing of Cambridge’s first Bible, setting a precedent for quality biblical literature. Now, hundreds of years later, Logos is pleased to carry timeless offerings of this historic press, brimming with outstanding scholarship in digital format for ease of study. You won’t be sorry you invested in these powerful volumes, especially with our current Pre-Pub pricing.
Here are a few of our other collections containing books from Cambridge University Press:
As a Logos Forum MVP, I think I’m fairly well equipped when it comes to understanding how Logos 4 works. But to be honest, while I understand the components, making them work together to get what I want doesn’t always come natural to me. When I discovered that Morris Proctor was going to be teaching one of his Camp Logos seminars close enough for me to attend, I signed up. I had attended an MP seminar for Logos 3 a few years ago, but L4 is a new creature altogether, so I was looking forward to gaining from Mo’s unique insights to the program.
Comprised of two days of instruction, the MP seminars are designed to take you from the basics of the program all the way to intelligently using it. I have to be honest, I didn’t learn much on the first day as Mo expertly pointed out each of the program interfaces and lead the class through several examples of the reports, tools and menus. Yet, the whole time I was never bored. Mo is such an excellent instructor that even the things I already knew didn’t bore me.
Over the two days Mo walked us through the elements of the program, beginning with understanding and customizing the home page. From there we covered studying with the guides, gleaning from the Biblical facts databases, using the Library, building collections, creating custom layouts, broad and targeted searching, and digging into the original languages with Reverse Interlinears and word studies—all while describing what all of the buttons and menus do, answering questions on the fly, and inserting enough expert tips to make the price of admission worth it no matter what your skill level with the program.
Another benefit for those like me who are eager to build their library even more: book prices. At the seminar, Mo has some great upgrade pricing available—and he points out some of the collections and books he has gained greatly from. I’m happy to say that he does this without sounding like a commercial.
So do you think you know Logos? I believe Morris could still teach you a few tips and tricks you’ve never thought of.
Look into Morris Proctor’s Camp Logos seminars and get ready for Camp Logos 2 which digs even deeper and is coming soon!
Don’t miss Camp Logos in your area! Spaces are filling up for the following camps, so register now:
Today’s guest blogger is Annie O’Connor, from the Logos Bible Software Design and Editorial team.
Have you ever heard a pastor mention that reading the letters in the New Testament is somewhat like listening to half of a phone conversation? You don’t know what the person on the other end is saying, you only know how the person on your end responded. Of course, we can’t reconstruct the exact details surrounding each letter in the New Testament, but we aren’t completely in the dark either. Many resources (like the ones in your Logos library!) discuss this information and provide a solid context to help us understand what was happening on the other end of the conversation.
Take for example the book of 1 Peter. What is the major theme of this letter? Here’s an excerpt from one resource:
“Peter elaborated upon the subject of suffering throughout the entire epistle. He offered words of hope to his readers as they faced suffering (1:4–5; 5:4). He pictured suffering as purposeful (3:14; 4:14)” (Holman Bible Handbook).
The theme of suffering is significant when you consider the apostle Peter as author of the letter. His acceptance of unjust suffering is remarkable given his previous abhorrence of it. In the gospels, Peter adamantly rejects the notion that Christ should suffer (Mark 8:31-33), and even denies his personal affiliation with Jesus in order to avoid suffering himself (Mark 14:66-72). What a difference, then, that Peter should say “For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly” (1 Peter 2:19, ESV).
Fortunately, each of our base packages offers an array of resources that provide such information on each book of the Bible. The information is in your library, but it isn’t completely organized the way our other Guides are. In order to find this information, you need to open each commentary, Bible dictionary, or handbook individually and navigate to the desired information. We thought, surely, there must be a better way. We decided to take the first step.
In Logos 4.0 we introduced a new tool called Reading Lists (Tools>Reading Lists). This tool allows you to capture locations in resources and organize those locations as hyperlinks under a chosen topic. Using this format, we have created a Reading List for all 66 books of the Bible. This means that you no longer have to manually locate information on these books; the Reading Lists streamline the process. If you want to learn about the book of 1 Peter, the Bible book reading list will link you to articles in your library that address 1 Peter. You can quickly link to various articles discussing the Date, Historical Context and Recipients (what sort of suffering were the letter’s recipients experiencing?) or Authorship, Message, and Purpose (how is Peter’s affiliation with this letter significant?). These categories, though, are only the start. The Reading Lists have 30 categories pertaining to each book.
To jump start the reading lists, we have linked ten resources that provide maximum coverage of resources in our base packages. The next resources in our queue for linking are Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary, The Summarized Bible, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, ISBE, and the New American Commentary Series. The Reading Lists are not limited to these resources, though. Since the Reading Lists are user editable, anyone can add links to any resource they want. That means you! If you don’t see your favorite resource among those already linked, or in our queue, you can add it.
How does that work? Open the Reading List to the book page you want to edit, click “Edit” in the upper right hand corner of the pane. This will open the correct reading list on topics.logos.com. Click “Edit” on that page and you will be able to add links. How do you add links? Open to the introduction for the correct Bible book in your favorite resource, copy the Reading List link, and pasted it in the editing window on topics.logos.com. Divide any headings into the appropriate categories, click “Save” and, presto, your links for your resource are available in the Logos 4.0 Reading Lists.
There are more detailed instructions on our FAQ page.
So, in Logos 4.0, go to Tools>Reading Lists, find the Reading List for the book you want to study and quickly find many articles discussing that book. If you want more resources, just click “Edit” and add them. Happy reading and happy linking!
Now you can sit back and really check out a book on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch before you purchase it and not be confined to a couple of pagescans. Free Book Preview works with the free Logos Bible Software app allowing you to preview entire Christian books for a limited time. At FreeBookPreview.com you can see a calendar of upcoming previews, read descriptions of previewed books, and see an archive of previously previewed books.
Today’s guest post is by Sarah Wilson, on the marketing team.
Logos has always been about providing the best quality in Bible study resources. One of the ways we do that is through our Community Pricing program, where our customers set the price for various titles and collections. We’ve had many deals throughout the years through Community Pricing, but the one that has everyone excited is The Greater Men and Women of the Bible, which is about to close this Friday.
Community Pricing allows you to set the price! Here’s how it works:
After estimating the cost of production, we provide a price range for you to bid for how much you would pay for a particular item. Simply click on a dollar amount on the graph to place your bid. Once there are enough bids, we can start producing the book. With Community Pricing, the more people who bid, the lower the price for everyone.
Today’s guest blogger is Sean Boisen, senior information architect at Logos.
The many Bible reference resources in Logos 4 contain a wealth of photographs, maps, illustrations, and other images that can enhance your study of the Bible. Some are specifically devoted to visual resources: for example, 1000 Bible Images, Images of the Holy Land, Photos from the Holy Land, and The Biblical World in Pictures. Because of the high-quality tagging which Logos performs on its resources, you can find these images using the #image operator: for example, this search,
#image “golden calf”
finds any image that’s relatively close to the words “golden calf” (most, though not all, of which are depictions of some kind of calf).
Despite all the imagery that was already part of our resources, for Logos 4 we specially commissioned more than 100 brand new, high-resolution infographics. Why did we go to all this trouble (and expense)? One reason is that many of the images from published works have copyright restrictions that restrict Logos users from copying them for teaching, presentations, handouts, etc. By creating our own collection of infographics, we have clear rights which we can then pass along to our users for their ministry and other non-commercial use (republishing them, for example, in a book, is a different matter: contact Logos about situations like that). The same is true of the Logos maps for Biblical Places: you can copy and paste them into PowerPoint or other programs that support graphics, or print them out for ministry use. In Logos 4, you can view the infographics by typing “Open Infographics” in the Command Bar.
Creating the Logos Bible Software Infographics was a significant challenge that took numerous professional artists and many months of effort to complete. In the case of images representing buildings or artifacts from Biblical history, a great deal of that work involved careful research to determine how best to depict these objects.
Here’s one example: the Golden Calf which Aaron and the Israelites constructed by melting down their jewelry (Ex. 32). The Golden Calf infographic in Logos shows a glistening figure with long horns. A Logos user wrote to us last week to ask why we hadn’t caught an obvious mistake: calves (that is, baby cows) don’t have horns!
In fact, it’s much more involved than that. Scholars differ in their opinions about the background of the calf imagery and the cultural and historical details behind the incident (which is repeated later in Israel’s history under King Jeroboam, 1 Ki 12:28-33). The Hebrew word ‘ēg̱el translated here “calf” can refer either to cattle or oxen, up to three years of age: so it’s not necessarily a “baby cow” (and some scholars think the diminutive term here might be a reference of disdain to their small size, rather than their young age).
Archaeological discoveries from the same period time include many images of bovine or ox idols from surrounding nations: many of them do in fact include horns, including the Egyptian deity Hathor and other Canaanite deities. The moon god Sı̂n was often represented as a bull, perhaps reflecting the similarity of the horns of the bull to a crescent moon. We know from historical evidence that Sı̂n was worshiped both in Ur (the likely birthplace of Abraham and Sarah) and Haran (where the Patriarchs stopped on their journey to Palestine). So there’s good historical evidence supporting the possibility that the Israelites would have been familiar with these practices and images.
Of course, we can only speculate about what the actual golden calves (both Aaron’s and Jeroboam’s) might have looked like: no one actually knows. But we worked hard to make sure any images we created for the Logos Bible Software Infographics represented solid historical evidence. In Logos 4, you can look at the Biblical Things pages for Golden Calf, as well as Jeroboam’s Golden Image at Bethel and Dan, to learn more about these artifacts.
Today’s guest post is by Robert Campbell, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to make the pilgrimage to Israel and the surrounding Bible Lands, then you can attest to the powerful impact it can have on your spiritual life. We are privileged to live in a time when visiting scriptural landmarks is relatively easy—just Google search “visit the Bible lands” and you have access to cheap plane tickets and Bible cruises galore.
What’s fascinating about one of our latest Pre-Pubs, Travels through Bible Lands Collection (15 Vols.), is not only that these adventurous explorers didn’t have our modern luxuries of airplanes and vacation packages, but that they traveled almost blindly into a wild and unknown terrain sometimes occupied by hostile communities. Some of these expeditions took years to accomplish, and many perished during these arduous journeys.
The travelogues and memoirs contained in the Travels through Bible Lands Collection offer us a pilgrimage of a different sort. We get to experience the Bible lands through a 19th century lens, guided by the archeologists and explorers who unearthed much of Babylon or mapped the shores of the Dead Sea. Our tour is on rickety boats and horseback instead of cruise liners and tour buses. We don’t follow a map to take pictures of a scriptural landmark; we get to experience firsthand when those landmarks were discovered.
The dangerous escapades and colorful characters that permeate these works rival any blockbuster action flick or adventure novel that comes to mind, but it’s the inspirational spirit of discovery which makes these works special. These writers shared the same innate urge we all have to see the places where the events of the Bible occurred, and they risked their lives to map them out and unearth them for the rest of us. And while I hope to someday travel the lands of Jesus and his apostles with my digital camera and air conditioned accommodations, I can’t help but marvel and cherish the written accounts these trailblazers left for us.