Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
Recently, the marketing department—fueled by copious amounts of coffee—has been working hard on redesigning the new Logos.com website. The end result has been well worth the effort. I love the easier navigation as well as the enhanced searching capabilities (not to mention the new and improved Pre-Pub page)!
Now that the new site is live, you should be seeing more Pre-Pubs heading your way. One recent addition of particular note is our new N. T. Wright Collection (34 vols.). Wright’s large body of work has provided an impressive contribution to the Church, and we are pleased to be able to offer more of his works to Logos users.
This set of thirty-four comprehensive volumes provides great academic content. The collection not only features Wright’s well-loved book Simply Christian, but also fifteen New Testament commentaries, resources on eschatology, volumes on Christ’s life and the Lord’s Prayer, discussions on the authority of the Bible, and more! This collection has much to offer. Wright was named by Christianity Today as one of the world’s top five theologians and his words are accessible to a wide spectrum of readers: theologians, biblical scholars, church ministers, and laity alike. No matter where you fit into that spectrum, knowing what this noted theologian has to say will greatly enhance your Bible study.
By the way, we had a chance to sit down with him recently, and he had some great stuff to say! He even shared his thoughts regarding the future of biblical scholarship in a digital era. Stay tuned for a forthcoming video of our interview with him.
Here are some of our other collections containing N. T. Wright resources:
Today’s guest post is by Sarah Wilson, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
I love a good story. I was that kid hiding under the covers with a flashlight, catching up on Nancy Drew or the Chronicles of Narnia, long after lights out. With my love of reading and the written word, becoming an English major was an easy choice. In college, I studied plot devices, story arches, character development, point-of-view, literary theories, narrative structures, as well as things like grammar, punctuation, and citation systems. Studying the more technical aspects of novels, essays, and non-fiction pieces made my old beloved stories mean so much more—there are universal characteristics that make a compelling and appealing story.
The Bible is full of stories—the best stories because they are true. The stories of David, Moses, Simon Peter—heroes of the faith—inspire us, convict us, and provide context for our lives. Knowing the structure and literary background of the Bible is essential for general readers, professors, students, and anyone wanting to understand more about about the framework of the written Word of God.
As a book worm who geeks out over narrative ideas and theories, I’m really excited about David Jobling’s The Sense of Biblical Narrative (2 vols.), a Pre-Pub shipping tomorrow. In essay format, he goes into amazing detail on the narrative and theological structure of the Old Testament, covering literary theories such as myth, political and geographical ideologies, as well as providing invaluable exegetical and critical analysis of various Old Testament characters and passages, such as Jonathan, Ahab, and Numbers 11—12.
For those of you who want to get more out of your Bible study or sermon preparation, or if you love narrative ideas and background as much as I do, this incredibly helpful collection is a must-have. It’s in production right now—it will be going live the day before Thanksgiving. The Sense of Biblical Narrative (2 vols.) retails at $109.95, so pre-order today and get it for only $22.95!
Editing a commentary is usually a chore. There are footnotes, end notes, and in-between notes—all information you want, but usually don’t want to edit. Editing Steve Runge’s High Definition Commentary: Philippians was different: it was life changing. Here’s why.
There Aren’t Notes—and That’s Good
Comprehensive commentaries, like volumes of the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary, need notes. You want as much information as possible to ensure that you’ll find what you’re looking for. But Runge’s Philippians commentary has a different purpose: it’s practical and teachable.
This quote from the commentary, which is about Philippians 1:28, will show you what I mean.
Opposition can cause us to second-guess our decisions. Should we have done this? Was it all a mistake? If I had done it differently would things have gone more smoothly? To address these issues, Paul reframes the idea of “striving for something” in the face of opposition. How do you deal with the doubts and second-guessing? By going back to what you know to be true. If God has really called … [the Philippians] to this ministry, and opposition is to be expected as a natural consequence of its message, then why doubt? They doubt because they’re relying on their own perspective. Paul addresses this once again by recasting things from God’s perspective.
Like a Story, You Will Want to Read This Commentary Cover to Cover
I read this commentary cover to cover. Yes, that’s my job. But once you download it, you will want to do the same. Until now, I’ve never read a commentary with a narrative arc. This commentary has a beginning, middle and end. Like the book of Philippians, this commentary has plot twists, shocking moments, and a climax.
After I read this commentary, I wanted to change parts of my life. I wanted to follow Jesus more closely, pray more intently, and love more fully. Steve has an incredible way of blending a linguist’s understanding of the Bible with passion and application. As I told Steve, “The church needs this commentary series.”
Graphics Make This Commentary High Def
Prose can only get you so far. Some words are just better as images. This is the first commentary I’ve ever seen with graphics. Shiloh Hubbard, the Visual Designer on this project, did an amazing job creating the accompanying slides that illustrate Steve’s commentary. If you buy the commentary, you’ll get 2 -3 slides for each section of Scripture. We’re making the Bible memorable while also making your job easy: you can use these slides for teaching.
This particular slide from the commentary stuck in my mind. It called me back to rejoicing in my prayers—a reminder that we all need. It also prompted me to request the same from the church plant I’m part of.
Here’s Steve’s description of the slide—his descriptions come with the commentary too.
Rejoicing as a Safeguard: Paul begins the chapter by “again” commanding the Philippians to rejoice. It is one of the most critical things they can do to guard their hearts against discouragement. It’s not just a good idea, it is a safeguard specifically designed by God for this purpose. How does it work? If I am choosing to rejoice in the Lord over my circumstances or situation, it will be nearly impossible to grumble and complain about the same thing. It is an either/or proposition. A natural consequence of truly rejoicing in the Lord about something is the inability to complain about it. You cannot grumble and rejoice about the same thing at the same time. If you’re grumbling, you’re not rejoicing.
Today’s guest post is by Louis St. Hilaire, Content Manager on the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.
We’ve discussed the Catena Aurea on the blog before, but before the special Pre-Pub price expires, I wanted to share how excited I am about its completion.
For those unfamiliar with it, the Catena Aurea is a commentary on the Gospels made up of quotations from Church Fathers and other commentators compiled by Thomas Aquinas. The English translation was edited by yet another great theological mind, John Henry Newman. An earlier post from Rosie Perera explains very well how great a resource this is, but I want to explain the benefits of the Logos edition in particular.
Aside from the basic advantages of a Logos edition—like higher accuracy in the capture of the text—there are a few specific things that we’ve done to make the Catena Aurea more usable than ever.
For one thing, print editions of the Catena Aurea have a very compact format, with patristic quotations strung together in long paragraphs and their sources only indicated by brief abbreviations and marginal notes.
In the Logos edition, we’ve added spacing to make the quotations easier to see. We’ve expanded, standardized (and, where necessary, disambiguated) the abbreviations for Church Fathers names to allow for easy identification of the source and consistent searching across the volumes. We’ve added pop-ups giving information from the front matter identifying who an author is and when he wrote, and we’ve moved marginal references into more precise locations in the body text.
Most of all, we’ve linked around 3,000 patristic references that are found in the Early Church Fathers, so that, in combination with that set (in either the Protestant or Catholic editions), you can instantly explore the broader context of many of the quotes. This makes it easy to use the Catena as a starting point for deeper study of the Church Fathers and, since the quotes in the Catena are often very brief and are occasionally condensed from longer passages, it can sometimes be particularly important for establishing the complete thought of the author.
With linking of Bible references, indexing by Bible verse, and integration as a commentary into your Passage Guide, this makes the Logos edition more powerful and easy to use than anything else available.
Even at full price of $139.99, the Logos edition of the Catena Aurea is a bargain, when you consider that you’re getting a richer, more powerful resource than comparably priced print sets, but until November 30, you can get it at the special Pre-Pub price. Don’t miss out!
If you are a regular reader of the Logos blog you know that Monday is typically set aside for Morris Proctor’s training posts. Morris Proctor is the certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. His blog posts are a regular feature, giving insight into getting the most out of Logos 4.
If you look over the last couple of weeks you will find great training tips like:
This is just the beginning of the training that is made available weekly at blog.Logos.com.
In addition to these weekly tips, Morris also leads Camp Logos training seminars around the country. These two-day training sessions in using Logos 4 for Bible study have been a valuable resource for equipping even the most seasoned Logos 4 users. Logos forum MVP, Thomas Black, shared with Logos blog readers just how much he got out of the Camp Logos seminar.
Check the schedule for a listing of upcoming Camp Logos events near you, or join us for “National Camp Logos,” held in Bellingham, Washington, each summer. Next year’s National Camp Logos will be held June 9-10, 2011. If you can make it, you can also enjoy a tour of Logos!
Camp Logos is not the only way to receive training in Logos 4. Morris Proctor also has a number of great resources available from Logos Bible Software.
Zondervan and FreeBookPreview.com is offering a free opportunity to examine Ravi Zacharias’ Has Christianity Failed You. During the week of November 7–11, you can preview Has Christianity Failed You in its entirety on the free Logos Bible Software iPhone/iPad app.
Ravi Zacharias is known for tackling difficult issues with intellectual vigor and genuine sensitivity. In Has Christianity Failed You, Zacharias compassionately wrestles with many of the questions that cause believers to nurse silent doubts or walk away from the Church altogether. The odds are that if you are not struggling with your own crises of faith—you know someone who is!
Today’s guest post is by Louis St. Hilaire, Content Manager on the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.Popular views of the Middle Ages are often shaped more by Monty Python caricatures than by reality. Far from being a parenthesis in the progress of human learning and achievement that can be mostly ignored, the religious, political and philosophical developments of the medieval era are crucial for understanding the subsequent history of the West and the shape of the modern world. This is particularly true for the areas of church history and theology.
From Gregory VII to St. Francis to Jan Hus, the late Middle Ages were alive with movements to purify and reform society and the Church that presaged the changes of the Reformation era and left their mark on every form of Western Christianity. Meanwhile, the formation of the scholastic synthesis—and its eventual unraveling—are critical for understanding many Reformation-era controversies.
Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.
“This is the end—for me the beginning of life.”
German pastor-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke these famous last words to his fellow prisons at the Flossenbürg concentration camp where he was imprisoned as a conspirator against the Nazi regime.
For Bonhoeffer, and many of us, the end of our earthly life is the beginning of an even greater journey: eternal life with God. But for most of us, figuring out what this means exactly is a bit trickier. To further complicate matters, Christian eschatology (the systematic study of the Last Things) is often full of rabbit trails, speculation, and esoteric biblical imagery. Finally, there are so many different biblically supported positions concerning Eschatology; it’s difficult to know where to even begin.
Hopefully this list will be a nice primer on resources that might aid you in your Biblical studies of eschatology.
The late Fuller Theological Seminary professor is best known for articulating the “now/not yet” nature of the Kingdom of God. God’s kingdom has been fulfilled within history in Jesus Christ but awaits its consummation at the end of history. In this volume, Ladd guides us through the Biblical witness concerning the End Times.
In this volume, Reformed thinker Loraine Boettner examines the relative merits, weaknesses, and Biblical support for the three three major positions concerning the Second Coming of Christ and the future of God’s Kingdom: amillenialism, premillenialism, and Boettner’s preferred position: postmillennialism.
Life in the Spirit, the third volume of Methodist theologian Oden’s towering systematic draws from the deep cistern classical Christianity in examining the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church universal and the individual believer. Concluding with a discussion on eschatology, the Last Things are far from a theological addendum but instead includes both “the end and meaning of the whole of human history” (p. 371).
Eschatology as a discipline didn’t begin yesterday. We have much to learn from the past. Summa Theologica is an outstanding source for any topic, but is especially important for providing much of the basis for Roman Catholic thought over the last 700 years. As a compilation of Patristic commentary on the Gospels, Catena Auraea is unique in that it affords you to get a sneak peak on how the Church has historically interpreted the Gospel passages concerning the End Times.
As a dictionary, J. Daniel Hays, J. Scott Duvall, and C. Marvin Pate have edited a simple but thorough tool that helps you both identify the terms and issues surrounding prophecy in the Bible. As you study those often obtuse passages concerning the Last Things, this will be a resource your reach for time and time again.
Not for beginnings, but as a collection of scholarly essays concerning related topics such as the nature of time, the practice of hope, and the future of creation you’ll have food for thought on the ways eschatology might shape our Christian faith and practice in the 21st century.
If you subscribe to Bible Study Magazine, you may have come across a new section in the Nov-Dec ‘10 issue: Bible Study Tips. In this issue, we’re publishing Bible study tips from readers like you.
The vision of Bible Study Magazine is to get people into the Word. We’re not looking for a niche readership. We believe that, given the right tools and methods for Bible study, anyone can be a theologian. This has been our mission since Bible Study Magazine went to press two years ago, and it’s still our goal today. (As a side note, it is our birthday and we do accept cake donations.)
It’s not just the experts that have something valuable to say about Bible study. We’re looking for Bible study tips from anyone who is passionate about studying the Word. That’s where you come in. Contribute a Bible study tip. Join the conversation, and perhaps someone might benefit from your perspective.
How can you weigh in for future issues? It’s simple. Go to our Facebook page and “like” us—if you haven’t already. Then post your Bible study tips on our wall. Tips can be short or long, general or specific.
James Hamrick contributed this tip to the Nov-Dec ’10 issue:
“Write down every verb used for God. The God of Genesis is one who sees, learns, walks, speaks and maybe even wrestles.”
And RC Clyde added this:
“Keep it simple: 1) Get a Bible you can understand. 2) Pray to God before you start. 3) Let God show you His Word; don’t draw your own answer. 4) Find a good commentary.”
Take a moment to consider your own Bible study methods, and then share them with the rest of the Bible Study Magazine community. Join the conversation and help someone else get into the Word.
Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.
“Don’t let commentaries rob you of the joy of discovery!”
This little bit of advice from my New Testament professor has really stuck with me, and shaped the way I study the Bible. Rather than simply reaching for one of hundreds of great commentaries out there, I now look for another way. It’s not that my professor was against commentaries and forbade us from using them. Far from it. He simply recognized that studying the Bible should be a thrilling adventure full of twists, turns, detours, and discovery. For the student of Scripture, jumping to a commentary was akin to skipping to the final chapter of a novel: you get the gist of what happened, but you miss out in the process. Instead, the commentary should be a conversation partner that helps balance your own discoveries with someone more experienced than you.
This didn’t mean you could simply open a Bible, read a passage once, and expect to understand it completely. There are occasional obscurities and difficulties that need assistance to resolve before we can reach that place of discovery. To aid us in our discovery, he recommended a whole host of tools to put in our box: lexicons, grammars, apparatuses, and my favorite of the bunch—dictionaries.