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Updates to the SBLGNT Apparatus

When Logos released The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (SBLGNT) in 2010, we included an apparatus that provided information on which editions of the Greek New Testament differ from the reading found in the SBLGNT. The apparatus included readings from four editions: Westcott and Hort (WH), Tregelles (Treg), Robinson-Pierpont (RP), and the Greek behind the 1984 NIV. Where the NA27 edition differed from the NIV Greek text, the NA was cited explicitly.

The Greek behind the 1984 NIV, published by Zondervan in print in 2003 as A Reader’s Greek New Testament, provided a modern edition of the Greek New Testament that could be used for comparisons. However, it’s clear that most users of the SBLGNT and its apparatus would rather have the Nestle-Aland family of editions represented in the apparatus.

So that’s what we did. If you haven’t already received these updates, you should receive them soon.

With the release of the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (NA28)  in 2012, we had a great excuse to revisit the SBLGNT apparatus and update it to cite readings from NA28 instead of NIV.

Please note: the text of the SBLGNT has not changed; only the apparatus has changed. Continue Reading…

Shipping Soon: Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha

Order the 2-vol. Greek Apocryphal GospelsI’m really excited about the upcoming release of the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha collection, which was announced 11 months ago on the Logos blog.

While this was originally intended to be a collection of morphologically analyzed Greek texts, it now includes a separate volume of English translations.

And there are introductions to each translation, geared toward the Christian reader new to this material. That was one of my primary goals while working through the material and writing the introductions.

It looks like I was able to meet that goal. We sent out some pre-release review copies, and here’s what the early readers are reporting. Check out the full reviews for more on how these documents are necessary and useful in the study of the early church.

The Apocryphal Gospels are significant for what they tell us about the Gospel tradition and Christian origins. These two books on Apocryphal Gospels by Rick Brannan are a great pair of resources for anyone who wants immediate access to reliable texts, translations, and introductions on their PC or tablet of non-canonical Jesus literature.
— Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology and New Testament at Crossway College in Brisbane, Australia (full review)

This work is a very valuable contribution that goes beyond previous lists of sayings and publications of only the English gospels. Rick’s brief but insightful comments about each of the sayings, variants, and gospels round out his work in a way that makes it accessible to both lay readers and scholars.
—William C. Varner, professor of Bible and Greek, The Master’s College (full review)

Rick Brannan’s edition of the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha for Logos offers an important new resource that anyone interested in the early history of Christianity will want to have. . . . I expect this exciting resource will play an important role not only in providing more convenient access for scholars and students already in the habit of studying these texts, but in introducing a wider audience to them as well. Many thanks to Rick Brannan and Logos for their role in not merely providing a useful tool for the already-interested, but also helping to highlight these important texts and make them accessible to others who might not otherwise encounter them or realize their importance for our understanding of the ancient church!
— James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language & Literature, Butler University (full review)

Rick Brannan has taken the concept so brilliantly executed by Jeremias and improved it. High praise indeed I realize but completely justifiable—for in the soon to be released Logos edition titled Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha, Brannan offers the Greek texts of the ‘sayings of Jesus’ which are found outside the Gospels (in the letters of Paul and other New Testament texts along with extracanonical early Christian literature) along with introductions and translations. He also provides the more important ‘gospels’ which didn’t make the canonical cut, again in both the original Greek editions and in translation.
—Jim West, adjunct professor of biblical studies, Quartz Hill School of Theology (full review)

In his latest contribution to the study of early Christian literature, Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha, Rick Brannan places pseudepigraphal gospels, agrapha, and fragments in their due place, allowing the scholar quick access to a world that could reshape some of our understanding of early Christian theological and literary development.
—Joel L. Watts, author, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: An Introduction and Commentary (full review)

The apocryphal Gospels are crucial for a thorough comprehension of Christian origins, especially historical and theological trajectories into the second century and beyond. Brannan assembles an impressive collection of apocryphal Jesus tradition in Greek and English which not only provides us with new editions of the usual suspects, but also spans significant fragmentary papyrological documents as well. Unique search capabilities enable linguistic analysis for some of the literarily closest material we have to the canonical Gospels due to the digital format of these texts. Highly recommended for anyone interested in serious study of early Christianity and its literature.
— Andrew W. Pitts, Bethel Seminary, San Diego

Pre-Pub pricing for Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha is only available for a short time. Once it ships, the price will go up. Ensure you get the lowest price by signing up for the Pre-Pub today!

Available in Logos 5: Lexham English Septuagint, Alternate Texts

Base Packages II

One of the new resources released with Logos 5 (and available in collections from Bronze up, and also in the Minimal Crossgrade) is the Lexham English Septuagint. And now we’re happy to inform you that an associated resource, the Lexham English Septuagint: Alternate Texts, is ready.

The Lexham English Septuagint (LES) is a new English translation of the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Jewish Scriptures). It uses the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint as a starting point, creating a literal but readable translation.

Now, one of the things we’ve learned about translations of the Bible over, say, the past 40 years is that, well, there are a lot of translations. We have the KJV, the NASB, the NIV, the NRSV, the LEB, the CEB, and all sorts of other translations in English.

There were also a lot of translations back in the days when the Septuagint originated, and we have knowledge of some of these different translations. One of them, known as the Theodotion edition, evidences itself in a different edition of the book of Daniel. Theodotion’s Daniel, while having much the same content as what is known as the “Old Greek” edition of Daniel, simply says it in different ways. So much so that we know that these aren’t really transmission variations, but translation variations. Sort of like how the NIV and NASB both have different English words for Daniel (in most places) but are translating the same material.

The Lexham English Septuagint: Alternate Texts (LES:AT) resource includes Theodotion’s version of Daniel, as well as the additions to Daniel: Susanna, Bel, and the Dragon (yep, dragon!), the Prayer of Azariah, and the Song of Three Youths. The Prayer of Azariah and Song of Three Youths are traditionally inserted in Daniel 3, making the Septuagint version of Daniel 3 exactly 100 verses long in the LES!

The LES:AT also includes an alternative version of Tobit, which is found in Codex Sinaiticus. Again, it is largely the same story, just a different translation.

The work on these books was not complete when Logos 5 and the LES were initially released. It has since been completed. Folks who have upgraded to Logos 5 packages that include the LES are already licensed for the Additional Texts volume. You should receive it soon, if not already, as an automatic download.

For a limited time, you can still save at least 15% on a base package. With the addition of Lexham English Septuagint: Alternate Texts, this is the ideal time to upgrade to Logos 5.

Joseph in the Matrix

Are you familiar with the movie The Matrix? I’m not so worried about the plot of the movie here; instead, I’m wondering about a particular effect created in the film: time essentially stopped or slowed incredibly, but the main character (“Neo,” played by Keanu Reeves) appeared conscious in the midst of the slowdown. Do you think this was a new technique? I remember watching it, thinking that it wasn’t just cool, it was innovative.

What if I told you about a noncanonical story of Jesus’ mother, Mary, circulated among early Christians—one that used a similar technique? And what if I told you it happened right at the point when Jesus was born? Well, it did, and that story is also known as the Protevangelium (or “Proto-Gospel”) of James (though in all likelihood, James, Jesus’ brother, had nothing to do with it). It tells a story of Mary’s parents, her birth, how she was raised, how Joseph came into the picture, and—of course—the birth of Jesus.

The Protevangelium of James is found in a group of writings usually called “apocryphal gospels” or “New Testament apocrypha” or sometimes even simply “noncanonical gospels.” I’ve been working on a version of the apocryphal gospel material available in Greek. We recently expanded it to a two-volume collection. One volume includes “Texts and Transcriptions”; this is the Greek material with morphological analysis. The second volume includes “Introductions and Translations”—newly written introductions to each document, fragment, or excerpt, as well as newly compiled bibliographies, and translations of all the material. It’s pretty cool (at least I think so); check it out if you’re interested. Most of the work is done, and we hope to release it early in 2013.

Anyway, back to Joseph in the Matrix. Here’s the setting: Joseph and Mary are traveling to Bethlehem for the census. Mary is at pretty much full-term pregnancy. On the way, though, Mary says to Joseph, “Take me down from the donkey, for that which is within me presses hard to come out.” (Prot. James 17.3) Now, any father-to-be can identify with Joseph here. His task is to find a place for Mary, and quick. So, according to this version of the story, Joseph finds a cave, drops Mary off there, and immediately goes to find a Hebrew midwife to assist with the birth.

And here is where the shift happens. The story was in the third person, but in Prot. James 18.2, it shifts to the first person singular, with Joseph as speaker.

“Now I, Joseph, was walking, yet I did not walk. And I looked up to the air and saw that the air was astonished. And I looked up unto the vault of heaven and saw it standing still, and the birds of the sky at rest. And I looked upon the earth and saw a dish laid out, and workmen lying by it, and their hands were in the dish. And they that were chewing did not chew, and they that were lifting food did not lift it, and they that put it to their mouth had not put it there. And behold, there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up. And I looked upon the stream of the river and saw the mouths of the goats upon the water, yet they did not drink. And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

Joseph notes, “I was walking, yet I did not walk.” Other people and objects are described in a similar state of being, but not moving; essentially stuck: “there were sheep being driven, and they did not go forward but stood still; and the shepherd lifted his hand to strike them with his staff, yet his hand remained up.” The picture is of a moment, frozen in time. Joseph is caught in that moment, similarly frozen, but consciously aware of it. And then, as suddenly as the moment comes, it leaves: “And suddenly all things were restored to their course.”

After this experience, Joseph conveniently and immediately locates a Hebrew midwife, and returns to the cave with her. Joseph and the midwife then find out that Jesus had already been born.

So why even mention this story at Christmastime? Not because it is canonical (it isn’t) or because it accurately supplements the story of Jesus’ birth (it probably doesn’t). But this is another way that some early Christians—particularly those who were struggling with the concept of the virgin birth—told that story. They told it in a way that allowed them to believe the virgin birth actually happened.

Not only that, it’s a good story, though I do like Luke’s version better.

Pick up your copy of Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha today.

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Greek Apocryphal Gospels: Full English Translations!

I know. I can hear the groaning already.

Greek Apocryphal Gospels? Rick, I thought we were done hearing about that. Really, why keep bringing it up? This stuff isn’t in the Bible, so why mention it so often?”

True, it isn’t in the Bible. But that doesn’t mean it has nothing to do with biblical studies. These are some of the earliest evidences we have of how folks were using (what we consider to be) the canonical New Testament text. They were harmonizing it, using it for sermons, expanding upon it, and sometimes even adding their own stories (or stories that had been handed down outside of the NT). This is cool stuff, and it’s important for really getting a grip on how early Christians viewed and used the New Testament text!

That, and I wanted to give an update to those who have already pre-ordered the Pre-Pub because the scope of the project has expanded—but the pricing hasn’t gone up (yet).

So, what’s changed? Of course, you would know all of this if you joined or followed my Greek Apocryphal Gospels group* on Faithlife.com, but for those of you who haven’t done that yet, here’s the list.

English Translations of Fragments and Agrapha

I’ve translated (or included existing translations) of all the fragments and agrapha. This means—at least for the fragments and agrapha and some of the fragmentary and known gospels (Gospel of Peter and Gospel of Mary fragments, as well as the Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas)—English translations will be available. So you will be able to use this resource even if you can’t read or work through the Greek text.

Expanded Fragment Coverage

In addition to providing translations, I’ve also expanded the list of fragments that are included. The initial Pre-Pub listed the following fragments:

  • P.Egerton 2
  • P.Oxy 840
  • P.Oxy 1224
  • P.Cairo 10735
  • P.Merton 51
  • Fayum Gospel Fragment (a.k.a. P.Vindob.G 2325)

In researching the fragments and writing the introduction to the fragments, however, it became clear that some more fragments really should be added. Some of these were not included initially because transcriptions were not in the public domain, and also because images of the fragments were not available for transcription. I’ve since located clear, readable images of certain fragments, so the list is longer. Here are the added fragments:

  • Dura Parchment 24
  • P.Berol. 11710
  • P.Köln 255, which is the bottom corner of fragment 1 of P.Egerton 2
  • P.Oxy 210
  • P.Oxy 5072

Lots of new stuff, all of it interesting.

When will it be done?

That’s a great question. And the answer is: I don’t really know. The Greek text of the longer Gospel material (Infancy and Passion gospels) is still being worked on (initial capture); the morphological analysis will come after that. I have the bibliography together, though I have occasionally added  new entries as the introductions have been written. I’ve written drafts of introductions to the agrapha and fragmentary material (over 40 pages of single-spaced text thus far, with footnotes), and I’m moving into the Gospel of Peter next.

Convinced yet? Check out the Pre-Pub page for the list of stuff included. That, and check out some of the previous posts I’ve written about the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha:

 

*Make sure you have a Faithlife user account—you can sign in with your Logos.com account. Then simply join the Greek Apocryphal Gospels group (button to the right of the group name) to get involved with the discussion!

Using Greek Apocryphal Gospels in your Study (Part 2)

Greek Apocryphal Gospels

As the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha project is now in the “Under Development” stage of the pre-pub process, and since I’ve done some work on it, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the material.

Most folks aren’t familiar with this stuff, but it is very interesting and can even be helpful when looking at the events recorded in the New Testament.

In Part 1 of this two-part post, we talked about P.Vindob. 2325, an apocryphal fragment which has similarities with the gospel accounts of Jesus predicting Peter’s betrayal (Mt 26:30–35; Mk 14:26–30) .

There are also fragments of things that expand or add to canonical material, like P.Berol. 11710, two small fragments dating back to the sixth century that share a short interaction between Nathanael and Jesus, which perhaps expands a bit on Jn 1:47–51. One snippet from those small fragments: “The Rabbi also said, ‘Nathanael, walk in the sun.’ Nathanael answered him and said, ‘Rabbi Lord, you are the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’”

These additions should not be considered canonical. But the influence of the Johannine themes (the light/darkness motif via “walk in the sun”; Nathanael calling Jesus “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” see Jn 1:29) are notable. For whatever reason, the author of this expansion thought these things were important enough to frame in this manner.

Some fragments give accounts of things altogether unknown. P.Oxy 840, dated to the fourth century, tells the story of a Pharisee and high priest (named Levi?) talking with Jesus and his disciples in the temple complex about purity. This one even has Jesus giving this Levi a “woe” statement:

“Woe to you, blind ones who do not see. You have washed in these running waters in which dogs and pigs have been cast night and day, and have cleansed the outsides of your skin, which also the prostitutes and the flute-girls anoint and wash and scrub and beautify for the lust of men.”

Yikes! There are elements that the gospels use in railing against Pharisees (a “woe” statement, talking about cleansing the outside and neglecting the inside, see Mt 23:25-37) but the substance is altogether unknown outside of this fragment. We can see, perhaps, how a segment of early Christianity continued portray the Pharisees in a derogatory manner.

Does this stuff interest you at all? Then you should check out the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha. It will include the Greek of these fragments and other documents. The fragmentary papyri and agrapha will also have translations. The larger apocryphal gospels will have newly-written introductions along with bibliographies. Each fragment will also have a short introduction; the agrapha will probably have an introduction for each source of agrapha. These introductions will also discuss parallels/relationships with the New Testament.

All of these things add to the understanding we have of how scripture was used and even how it was mis-used in the early days of the development of Christianity. We learn more about what sorts of stories they told, what sorts of sermons they preached, and how they tried to understand the gospel and tell it to others. By understanding even a little more about the cultural milieu of those early days of the development of Christianity, we end up with more insight to the gospel itself and how it was received by those who heard it.

Using Greek Apocryphal Gospels in Your Study (Part 1)

Greek Apocryphal Gospels

Since the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha project made it to the “Under Development” stage of the Pre-Pub process, I’ve been spending part of my time working on it.

Specifically, I’ve been working on getting transcriptions of all of the fragmentary stuff and the agrapha together. It’s been fun, and I’ve been able to acquaint myself with these valuable fragments at a deeper level.

[Short aside: As I've worked on the transcriptions, I also translated them because I found it helpful for reference. So the resource will also include translations of the fragments and agrapha, which is new — not even mentioned on the Pre-Pub page yet!]

But, really, can this stuff be helpful and useful as you study the Bible? I think it can be, and that’s one reason why I wanted so much to start this project.

Let’s take a small fragment, P.Vindob. 2325 (aka “The Fayûm Fragment”) as an example.

This little guy, probably part of a larger scroll, was located in Vienna in 1885 among some papyri that Archduke Rainier had ferreted away. It probably dates to the early/middle third century (so, 200–250).

As you read it, it will sound very familiar. But the wording itself is different from other synoptic accounts of the same event. Here’s my provisional translation:

… and he brought out, as he said, that “In this night you will all fall away, as it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.’” Peter said, “Even if everyone else does, I will not.” Jesus said, “Before the rooster crows twice, today you will deny me three times.”

Sound familiar? Yup. Sounds like the same thing which is mentioned in Mt. 26:30–35; Mk. 14:26–30; see also Lk. 22:34 and Jn. 13:38. But, at the same time, it is a bit different. Jesus isn’t explicitly referred to at the beginning, at least in the portion of the text we have. It makes you wonder what happened before this event. The quote of Zech 13:7 is introduced slightly differently ([κατα] το γραφεν vs. γεγραπται γαρ), but the substance of the quote is pretty much the same. It is missing Mk 14:28/Mt 26:32, the part about the disciples meeting in Galilee after Jesus is raised. The dialogue between Peter and Jesus is a bit shorter and simpler. And the text agrees with the Markan reading, that the rooster will crow twice (Mt./Lk. just say “crow”), but says it will be “today” without Mark’s further “this night” clarification.

There are enough differences between the Greek of P.Vindob. 2325 and Mark 14:26–30 that we can pretty safely assume P.Vindob. 2325 is not directly related to the Gospel of Mark. A minority view is that it could be from the Gospel of Peter, but that relies on shaky ground (reading “Peter said” as “I, Peter, said” through an alternate reconstruction).

What P.Vindob. 2325 does tell is us that people were telling the story of Christ’s crucifixion (and resurrection) in all sorts of ways and that, at least in this instance, it sounds pretty much like what we’re familiar with. One common thought today is that P.Vindob. 2325 was a re-working and abridgment of the synoptic accounts.

There are all sorts of fragments like this, witnessing some portion found in the gospels—but not in completely the same way. While definitely not canonical, they are very interesting and enlightening.

There are also fragments that expand upon canonical material and fragments that give us completely new material. They  help us understand more about the sorts of tales and influences that were floating about in the early, early church. We’ll talk about these sorts of fragments next week!

Jesus’ Final Week: A Closer Look

Logos Talk will be bringing you special Holy Week devotionals from a number of authors. If you’d like more resources to prepare your heart for Easter, Logos has discounted a number of Holy Week titles.

Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem and spent the night in Bethany (Mark 11:11). Jesus knew that he would be arrested, tried, and crucified later that week. How does he use this last stretch of time?

  • He curses the fig tree (Mk 11:12-14, 20-25; Mt 21:18-22)
  • He cleanses the temple (Mk 11:15-17; Mt 21:12-13; Lk 19:45-46)
  • He teaches in the temple (Mk 11:27-12:12; Mt 21:23-22:14; Lk 20:1-19)
  • He predicts the destruction of the temple and last things (Mk 13:1-37; Mt 24:1-25:46; Lk 21:5-36)
  • He is anointed in Bethany (Mk 14:3-9; Mt 26:6-13; cf. Jn 12:1-8 and Lk 7:37-39)

Have you ever noticed how many of Jesus’ parables are taught during this week? How about the growing frequency of interactions he has with authorities in Jerusalem?

When I step back and look at it all (through the lens of hindsight), it looks like Jesus is preparing himself and his disciples for his crucifixion and resurrection.

Jesus in the Temple

Jesus cleanses the temple and heals people who need help. For this, the authorities hated him even more.

After this, Jesus engages in a “stump-the-teacher” session with all sorts of folks, answering questions about paying taxes, resurrection, and the greatest commandment. And those are just the questions we know about. I don’t know about you, but I get the sense that many of these questions were tests to see how good Jesus was. Sort of how we all (whether we admit to it or not) have “test passages” we like to use when examining commentaries or study Bibles. Jesus passed this questioning with flying colors, of course, because he is Jesus. If someone had questions about Jesus and what he taught, that person’s larger concerns may have been answered by this session.

So Jesus and his disciples leave the temple area. After his disciples respond in awe to the size and beauty of the temple complex (Mk 13:1), Jesus says that it will all be destroyed (Mk 13:2). He was beginning to focus them on the gospel that really matters instead of the magnificent architecture and beauty of human effort.

The Mount of Olives

From here he goes on to the Mount of Olives (Mk 13:3-37; Mt 24:1-25:45, called the “Olivet Discourse” by some) and begins to talk about end times. Jesus’ prophecy can be paraphrased: “Horrible, unthinkable things will happen, and then it’ll get worse. Help those who need help. Watch and be ready for my return. It’ll happen; I will be back.”

Afterward, in Bethany, during dinner at Simon the leper’s house, a woman, nameless in Matthew and Mark (Mk 14:3-9; Mt 26:6-13), dumps a bunch of expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Jesus says she is helping prepare his body for burial. That’s very weird for us to read—imagine what the folks at dinner were thinking! But Jesus said it was a beautiful thing.

Yes, I think Jesus was getting ready for his crucifixion, and he was getting his disciples ready, too. Take some time today or tomorrow to look at the steps he took and the things he taught, and let Jesus get you ready to experience his death, and (praise God!) celebrate his resurrection.

Leave us a comment and tell us how you’re remembering Jesus this week, and check out our special Holy Week resources.

What’s So Cool about Greek Apocryphal Gospels?

You may have seen an announcement for a new Pre-Pub called Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha.

Yes, that’s a mouthful. But what are they? And are these things actually useful to me in my study?

I think they are, and I’m pretty excited about working on this project.

These documents are not canonical. Some of them are just fragments that were found in dumps of papyri. But they give us insight into how early Christians dealt with their faith, how they told others about things they’d heard, and how they interacted with the myriad of stories and tales they were hearing about this guy Jesus and his disciples. These documents also teach us more about the Greek the early church used. Just think, something useful for historical studies and grammatical studies!

This resource includes gospels, which means it centers on things that tell the story of Jesus. Different people see different kinds of these gospels. I include three basic different types:

  • Infancy Gospels. These include stories about Jesus’ youth and even earlier. The Protevangelium of James includes a much fuller story about Mary and Joseph with all sorts of details (even about Mary’s midwife) that are not canonical by any stretch, but insightful nonetheless.
  • Passion Gospels. These are gospels about the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They have similarities with the canonical gospels, but include expansions and embellishments as well.
  • Post-resurrection Gospels. The Greek extant for the Gospel of Mary is fragmentary, but insightful; one of the available fragments has a snippet of a story where Peter turns to Mary and asks her to relate what she knows of Jesus.

There are also fragments of apocryphal gospels.  One of these, P.Egerton 2, is fantastic. It consists of a few fragments, but these compile in short succession a number of events that are easily recognizable in the canonical gospels. Again, we get to see how early Christians understood the canonical gospels, how they framed that material, and how they used it for other purposes.

Among the coolest things, from my perspective, are the agrapha. The word technically means “unwritten”; in this context it denotes sayings that claim to originate with Jesus but aren’t in the canonical gospels as we’ve received them. Some of my favorites of these are in the Apostolic Fathers, in the written work known as Second Clement, which is the earliest complete non-canonical sermon we’ve got today. In chapter 5, there is an allusion to Matt 10.16 / Luke 10.3, but with an expansion and a twist:

2 For the Lord said, “You will be like sheep among wolves.” 3 And answering, Peter said to him, “But if the wolves tear apart the sheep?” 4 Jesus said to Peter, “The sheep have no fear of the wolves after they are dead, and you have no fear of those who kill you and who are able to do nothing more to you, but you fear him who after you are dead has power to throw soul and body into the hell of fire.” (2 Clem 5.2–4)

Whether this was really something Jesus said, we have no idea. But isn’t it interesting that it would be used in the early church (early/mid second century) in a sermon?

What is in the resource?

The resource includes morphologically analyzed Greek of each of the included gospels, fragments, and agrapha. So it will be searchable and useable much like you’d use any morphologically analyzed Greek edition (NT, LXX, Apostolic Fathers, Philo, etc.). In addition, I’ll be writing introductions and providing bibliographies for each major document and fragment. The agrapha will probably have a single introduction and bibliography.

This is pretty much the same format we used for the Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology. The goal is to provide a useable Greek text and, because the material is not that familiar to many, decent introductions to each of the major documents giving some background, history, and applicability to one’s studies of the Bible.

Does that sound like fun? It does to me. If it does to you too, then order the Pre-Pub and let’s get this thing going!

Excited about this project? Leave us a comment!

New Testament Reverse Interlinear Available for the NIV 2011

We have wrapped up work on the reverse interlinear for the NIV 2011 New Testament. If you have Logos 4 installed, a license for the NIV 2011 with reverse interlinears, and are set up to receive updates, the update should be automatic. The reverse interlinear for the NIV2011 Old Testament is well under way, we hope to release that later this year.

Growing up as a child of the late 70′s and early 80′s, the standard Bible in my church and home was the NIV. But I have to admit, I am less familiar with the TNIV and the NIV2011, so I was actually happy to work on this reverse interlinear project.

There has been both support and criticism for the NIV 2011, particularly as it handles what have come to be known as gender issues. I won’t comment on those, but I thought I’d highlight a few of the other changes between the 1984 NIV and the 2011 NIV.

Change 1: Is it “Christ” or “Messiah”?

The 1984 NIV used “Christ” to translate the Greek Χριστος (Christos) almost exclusively. There’s nothing wrong with that. But one refreshing change I noticed is that when Χριστος is used referring to the prophesied savior to come (mostly in the Gospels), the 2011 NIV uses “Messiah” instead of “Christ”. Elsewhere, where a particular person, Jesus, is referred to using Χριστος, the 2011 NIV uses “Christ” (or “Jesus Christ” or “Christ Jesus” as the Greek text warrants).

This is a refreshing change. I think sometimes we slip into thinking that “Christ” is Jesus’ last name, and this change helps us remember that in the Gospels it is a title referring to the Savior to come.

Change 2: Is it “Saints” or “Holy Ones”?

I was less excited about this change, but can understand why the committee made it. This typically shows up in the epistles. I think the change is primarily about focusing on the effect of Christ on someone (made holy) versus focusing on some sort of status ascribed to a person as a result of that effect. The use of “saint” today is different than it was in the 1970′s and 80′s when the NIV was originally translated, so some sort of change is defensible, though it wreaks havoc with the way I remember and have internalized the text since my younger days.

These are just a few of the larger, consistent changes between the 1984 and 2011 editions of the NIV. There were scads of smaller changes, as well. If you’re really interested in those sorts of details, and you have the 1984 NIV available in Logos, you can use Logos 4′s Bible Comparison features (Morris Proctor talks about it briefly here) to tease out all of the differences—even punctuation, which is sometimes very interesting!

If you don’t have NIV 2011, you can pick yours up today!

Has the NIV been beneficial to your Bible study? Leave us a comment and tell us how!

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