Traveling the Bible Lands with Logos 4

Today’s guest post is by Robert Campbell, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

Travels

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.

Pick up Travels through Bible Lands Collection (15 Vols.) at nearly 70% off of the retail price and let Logos 4 transport you to the Bible lands. It promises to be an educational trip.

A Complete Guide to Understanding the Dispensationalism Controversy

Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

Logos is offering a new Pre-Pub on a much-debated topic. A Complete Guide to Understanding the Dispensationalism Controversy is a thoroughly researched and detailed look at dispensationalist interpretation. Few lay out this doctrine as clearly and meticulously as author Kerry Trahan, whose years of extensive research on the topic make his book a highly indispensable resource for all.

Dispensationalism has been around since the mid-1800s, and John Nelson Darby, creator of the 1890 Darby Bible and John Darby’s Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (5 Vols.), is considered to be the founding father of this school of thought. Some of the main points regarding this topic have to do with the dispensation, or grouping, of various people throughout the history of the Bible, as well as an emphasis on eschatology and ecclesiology. This doctrine has made a controversial yet significant impact on biblical interpretation since its inception, and is well-worth taking the time to understand.

For more information on dispensationalism, there is no better resource than A Complete Guide to Understanding the Dispensationalism Controversy. You will find Trahan’s work to be invaluable while researching dispensationalism for yourself, and his research will provide a valuable point of reference for entering into relevant theological discussions or sermon preparation. Whether you are a student, teacher, minister, or are simply hoping to glean more information on this important topic, you will love Trahan’s succinct and holistic approach to dispensationalism.

This Pre-Pub is already under development, and is well on its way to becoming a permanent and informative resource in your digital library.

Also available from Logos Bible Software:

Happy Birthday America

signin

To help celebrate America’s independence, download Celebrate Liberty! Famous Patriotic Speeches & Sermons at almost 45% off the retail price.

Here at Logos, we pride ourselves at being a company that provides cutting edge Bible study materials to the world. When you look at all of the countries where we offer payment plans, you can see that—although we are an American based company—we have a strong international presence. In fact, we have some of the best customers on the planet!

We would love to have you join us in wishing the United States of America a happy 234th birthday on July 4! For those celebrating American independence this weekend, Logos has pulled the book Celebrate Liberty! Famous Patriotic Speeches & Sermons out of the WallBuilders American Foundations Digital Library [DVD-ROM] and we’re offering it at nearly 45% off the retail cost through July 12th!

This 256 page book offers nine of the greatest early American orations about the blessings and responsibilities of liberty from some of America’s greatest orators: John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Samuel Davies, George Bancroft, Noah Webster, and others. Along with this collection of sermons and speeches comes historical glimpses and commentaries. If you are looking for a good resource, with plenty to consider and share regarding liberty and independence make sure you pick up a copy of Celebrate Liberty! Famous Patriotic Speeches & Sermons.

For those outside of the United States, leave a comment and let us know which national holidays you would like to see Logos acknowledge. We’d love to hear from you.

Imagine a Christian Magazine in Every Public Library

biblestudymagazine

Our goal here at Logos is to make Bible study more accessible than ever. And now you can help!

With Bible Study Magazine, we are able to share better Bible study tips, aids, as well as thoughts about Bible study from well-loved and high profile Christians.

But, we’re not just your average Christian magazine. To quote Mr. Magazine, “Bible Study Magazine is just that: a magazine to study the Bible. Some will be quick to say, so what’s new about that? Aren’t there plenty of magazines that deal with Bible studies and such? Well, on the surface, the answer is yes, but the more I studied (no pun intended) the new magazine, the more I saw its point of difference. It is not your grandfather’s Bible study magazine.”

We want this cutting edge magazine on Bible study to make its way to your public library, to provide Bible study tips and encouragement to a wider audience than ever before. Simply stated, we want more people studying the Bible.

The public library system generally does not carry niche publications—unless people start asking for them. But Bible study is so much more than a niche. That means there’s one reason why a magazine about the Bible isn’t in libraries everywhere: we haven’t thought to ask for it yet. It’s time to take a stand.

Can our magazine go places no Christian magazine has gone before? The fact that Bible Study Magazine has been in the Whatcom County Public Library System, and now is in the Bellingham Public Library (both in Washington state) says it can!

But let’s not stop with Washington State; let’s get Bible Study Magazine into public libraries all over the nation.

It’s easy. It will take you five minutes, max. Just go to your public library’s website, and find their book request form. (They probably won’t have a periodical request form.)

Then enter this info and submit the form.


Title: Bible Study Magazine
Author: John D. Barry
Publication Date: 11/01/2008
Publisher: Logos Bible Software
ISBN (or ISSN): 1945-0923
Price: $14.95

Join us in making Bible study popular again. To find your local library’s website, click here.

God’s Word for Your Questions

Got Questions?

Today’s guest post is by Sarah Wilson, on the marketing team.

Logos has an exciting new resource under development for your library: Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered a collection of 2,000 common questions with answers straight from Scripture.

You might be wondering what sets this reference work apart from the other commentaries, dictionaries, concordances, and resource guides that Logos has to offer.

Got Questions is not just another reference guide. It is an invaluable supply of important answers to basic questions about life, faith, the Bible, and theology. The publisher, Got Questions Ministries, identified over 2,000 essential universal questions that affect all of us—questions such as:

  • Does God exist?
  • Is there life after death?
  • What is Christianity and what do Christians believe?
  • What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
  • What is postmodernism?

Imagine that you are looking for some relevant topics to jump-start your small group or Sunday school discussions. The format of this resource is perfect for planning a meaningful dialogue about the nature of God, applying Scripture, or what the Bible has to say about salvation. You’ll have the Scripture references right at your fingertips, as well as a succinct explanation of the topic. Or maybe you are considering preaching a series on how Christianity answers life’s big questions. Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered will help you get started finding the most applicable questions for your congregation. The concise answers will help you focus your sermons on what is truly pertinent to your listeners.

Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered was put on Pre-Pub this week and gathered enough interest for us to send it to development! As a starting point for study or just as a quick guide, this Pre-Pub is essential for your library. Be sure to get in on the lowest price available for this invaluable study tool.

Get Your Bible Study Tips Published!

biblestudymagazine

Do you have some great Bible study tips that have helped you in your study of Genesis? We want to hear about them!

The theme of Bible Study Magazine’s November/December 2010 issue will be Genesis: Tower of Babel to Joseph. We want you to submit your best Bible study tips on Bible Study Magazine’s Facebook page. The best tips will be published in our two-year anniversary issue, Nov/Dec ’10!

If you haven’t “Liked” the Bible Study Magazine page yet, make sure you do so. We are looking at interesting ways we can integrate content from the Facebook community into the magazine, and we are dreaming up some fun contests and giveaways as well! So, make sure you head over to the Bible Study Magazine’s Facebook page and “Like” it.

While you’re at it, check out the new Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 collection on Pre-Pub. This complete collection of all the 2009 issues of Bible Study Magazine, plus the inaugural issue features over 350 pages of interviews, Bible study tips, info-graphics, archaeological and historical insights, and word studies. Just think, you can subscribe at nearly 50% off the cover price and never miss another issue and get the back issues from 2008 and 2009 you have missed in one bound volume!

And that’s right: Beth Moore is on the next cover! Tell your friends.

It’s Hard to Keep a Good Company Down

Update

On Friday, June 11, 2010, we had a robbery at our Mac satellite office in Bellevue, Washington. By breaking into the strongbox on the outer wall of the building, the thieves were able to get the fire department’s master key to let themselves in. When the cleaning crew discovered the break-in early Sunday morning, all of the computers were gone.

As inconvenient as this was to the Mac development team, it could hardly be considered a set-back. The machines had no access to corporate servers so there was no risk of data loss and—because it happened over a weekend—most of the developers had uploaded their code to the main office in Bellingham.

David Mitchell, the Mac team leader, was in the Apple store early Monday afternoon picking up new machines and we were back in business in no time!

The latest Mac release is looking really good and you can download the latest release (Alpha 22) right here.

Let Logos 4 Read the Bible to You

AudioToday’s guest post is from David Lemmons, one of the wonderful contributors on the Logos Forums.

I am a relatively new user of Logos. I have upgraded to version 4 and I have been learning more about it daily—there is still so much more to learn. I subscribe to RSS feeds of the Logos forums and learn new things about how to use the program just about every day.

One of the ways I use the software each day is in my daily Bible reading. I have a rather ambitious reading plan which leads me to read the Old Testament every 90 days and the New Testament every thirty days. This means I read the entire Bible four times each year and the New Testament an additional eight times.

My old system of getting this reading done was to open Logos to my preferred Bible and enlarge the text to the largest setting possible . In order to do my reading more quickly (and I think also to help retention), I use audio files to read as I scroll. I began with a set of MP3 audio files containing the narration of Eric Martin which I purchased for about $20. I adjusted the tempo of these 1189 individual files (one for each Bible chapter) by using the software Audacity. Adjusting the tempo did not result in the chipmunk-sound, rather, the words were easily understood, but were coming twice as fast as the pre-adjusted files. This project took quite a long time and was arduous, but I knew that once I got them prepared I would use them daily, so I did it. Reading the files at this faster pace requires one to concentrate more on the text and I think this is a useful serendipity.

A couple of weeks ago I learned that the very same thing that I had spent several hours of my precious time working on had already been provided by Logos 4.

I am using Windows Vista. All I needed to do was go to Control Panel and open up “Text to Speech.” I selected the voice that sounded best to me: “Microsoft Anna.” I set the “Voice Speed Slider Scale” to two notches slower than the very fastest setting. Then I opened up Logos4 to my Home Page. My two reading plans are on the home page. I click on the day’s reading. I hit the keys, and Anna reads to me at accelerated speed until I stop her by hitting once again . The scrolling is done automatically by Logos.

My reading for today was 1 Chronicles 23–29 and John 7–11. I read this in 26:30 minutes. With Logos 4, and its wonderfully adaptable reading plans, ability to read to me at whatever speed I choose, to scroll automatically through the Bible text, being a more disciplined daily Bible reader is so much easier and so much more fun—I love it!

Taking Greek Syntax Beyond the New Testament

Cascadia

Today’s guest post is from Michael Aubrey, on the marketing team.

Here at Logos, we’re always working hard to stay on the cutting edge of biblical research. We first introduced syntax databases in 2006 with the release of Libronix 3.0 and they were rightly recognized as the “new frontier” in Bible software. Mike Heiser demonstrated the vast superiority of syntax searches over morphological proximity searches with some awesome videos. And then again, three years later in November, 2009, with the introduction of Logos Bible Software 4, we did it again.

We revamped the syntax search dialog, completely changing the layout and introducing some awesome functions like dragging and dropping and introduced a brand new database: Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament.

Personally, this was the database that, as a user, I had been awaiting for many reasons.

For one, Cascadia consistently uses accessible terminology: Noun Phrase (NP), Verb Phrase (VP), and Prepositional Phrase (PP). These are labels based transparently and helpfully on Greek parts of speech: nouns, verbs, and prepositions. There’s nothing novel; nothing obscure or obtuse. This is plain vanilla, what-you-see-is-what-you-get syntax.

But more importantly, as soon as I saw the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament and read the preface, I knew there was massive potential here—far beyond the boundaries of the New Testament. The editors, Randall Tan and Andi Wu, write:

The Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament is derived from a new dynamic Treebank project developed by the Asia Bible Society. The Greek Syntactic Treebank Project is built on the basis of a computer-readable Greek grammar, with the syntactic trees (graphs) directly generated by a parser. Manual checking and corrections are stored as data in a knowledge base to guide the parser. The syntax trees (graphs) are dynamically generated form the latest version of the grammar and knowledge base, which enables continual organic improvement and growth as the grammar and knowledge base are maintained and updated.

We humbly present this preliminary version of the syntax graphs to users of Logos Bible Software and look forward to improving and expanding it in the future.

Randall Tan
Andi Wu
November 2009

Did you catch that? The Cascadia Syntax Graphs are derived from “a computer-readable Greek grammar” (my emphasis). If what that means and why it’s significant is lost on you, let me explain.

Unlike our other syntax databases, such as Opentext.org or the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament, the Cascadia database isn’t annotated and created by hand, one verse at a time. Instead, the trees are all created by the computer from grammatical rules based on the structure of Koine Greek. These generated trees are then corrected by hand. Every verse, every clause, every phrase and every word is reviewed as part of this process. While this is still quite a bit of work, it leverages text already analyzed (the Greek New Testament) to assist with the process of analyzing a new corpus (the Septuagint, and also the Apostolic Fathers). The key is that because these grammar rules are continually built upon and reviewed, they may potentially to be applied to any Koine Greek text.

That’s right: any Koine Greek text.

With that realization, we said to ourselves here at Logos, “Why not? Let’s give it a try!”

Built from the very same computer-readable grammar as the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament, these two new resources will make it possible to go beyond the New Testament in your study of the Old Testament, New Testament, Early Church, and Koine Greek. Every syntax search you create for the New Testament will also work in these databases and vice versa. For the first time, you will be able to examine syntactic structures across more than half a million words of Greek text.

Are you curious about the influence of Hebrew on the Greek of the Septuagint? Not a problem. Just pull up the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the Septuagint alongside the Andersen-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis!

What’s All the Fuss about Baal in the Old Testament?

Ugaritic
Today’s guest post is from David Witte, Information Engineer on the Design and Editorial team.

When I read passages in the Old Testament I always come across the god Baal. This is usually a bad thing for the people of Israel. It seems that they could not help chasing after this deity with gusto. Many rich stories concerning the rulers and prophets of Israel include this nemesis, such as Elijah’s showdown on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 17-18) or Gideon’s nighttime vandalism (Judges 6:25-32).

So to understand Israel’s difficulty with Baal and how God worked within their lives, we need to understand how Baal was viewed at that time. The best place to gain that understanding is by looking at ancient Ugaritic literature. Ugarit was an ancient kingdom located just north of Israel where modern Syria exists today. There is extensive information in Ugaritic literature about Baal, who was known as the “king of the gods” or “the Rider on the Clouds.” Take a look at Dr. Mike Heiser’s excellent write-up “What’s Ugaritic Got to Do with Anything?”.

Understanding the theological environment of ancient Israel gives greater meaning to the stories of Israel’s great trials with, and triumphs against, false idols. God was with them through it all, but it was painful at times. That helps us address modern issues such as: Where do our true loyalties lie? What separates a true Christian from a mostly Christian? How do idols creep into our belief system unnoticed?

I love teaching the story of Elijah and the showdown at Mount Carmel. Whether re-enacting it with kids or walking through the story with adults, it never loses its magic. Understanding how big and important the adversary was, and how little and powerless Elijah was, shows us how almighty and loving our God is. I found Peter Craigie’s book Ugarit and the Old Testament to be a good introduction to the Ugarit people and beliefs. This can be found in the Introduction to the Old Testament Collection. For a more in-depth look at the Ugaritic language and texts look at to the Ugaritic Library.