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Recreating the World That Jesus Entered

Jesus’ entrance in our world marked the turning point of history. But Jesus did not enter onto an empty stage. What brought about the end of the Jewish state? What role did Herod the Great and his sons play in the politics of the day? What cultural and religious forces were at work when Jesus arrived?

Herod to Jesus (Act VI), volume 6 in Logos’ new series The Bible in Seven Acts, provides a complete survey of the historical and cultural setting of this pivotal period. Designed for pastors, teachers, and students, this resource gives you the tools you need to understand Jesus’ life and work against the backdrop of first-century Palestine and the Roman Empire.

Grasp the whole picture. For students and teachers, Herod to Jesus (Act VI) provides a clear and easy-to-follow snapshot of the entire historical period. Graphics—including timelines and event lines—put the whole story in perspective.

Make meaningful connections. In addition to its concise survey of the social, political, and economic setting of the world in which Jesus preached, Herod to Jesus (VI) links historical events and movements to the relevant biblical passages. Political intrigues, sectarian conflicts, and Messianic expectations all affected how Jesus was received.

Go deeper into the story. More than a textbook survey or an annotated bibliography, The Bible in Seven Acts is designed to take full advantage of the Logos digital platform. That means that one click takes you to relevant, curated content in the Logos library— comprehensive information written by the world’s best biblical scholars and historians.

For seminarians and students, Herod to Jesus (Act VI) provides an invaluable study aid. It makes your New Testament survey course make more sense. Compelling topics for papers or dissertations emerge from the details, and resources for in-depth research are at your fingertips in the Logos library, saving you hours of time in the library or scrambling online.

Pastors can use The Bible in Seven Acts to enrich their sermons with more depth and confidence than ever before. The resource includes slides to bring history vividly to life for your congregation. And the time you save by letting this series do your research leaves time for the other demands of ministry—and life.

Pre-order your copy of The Bible in Seven Acts: Herod to Jesus (Act VI) or the entire seven-volume series—you’ll get 25% off the regular purchase price.

What Are the 12 Tribes of Israel? Find Out Now

Mosaic_Tribes

Whether you’re studying the Old Testament, researching Middle Eastern history, or taking a trip to the Holy Land, you’re sure to come across talk of the 12 tribes of Israel.

But what are the 12 tribes of Israel, and how do we find out?

It’s a good thing we have some awesome reference books to help us with this question.

Logos 5 doesn’t just come with a set of shiny new features—it also includes different books that weren’t included in Logos 4 base packages. Logos 5 base packages were dissembled and rebuilt to give you the best library to use with high-tech software. And we’ve added 13 new Bible reference books to Logos 5 base packages, so looking up the 12 tribes of Israel is no problem at all.

What should we know about the 12 tribes of Israel?

The 12 tribes of Israel are (for the most part) named after the 12 sons of Jacob. Each son became the patriarch of an individual tribe as the nation grew. If I want to know about the specific tribes, I can right click any reference to them and look them up. Let’s start in Deuteronomy 33, where Moses blesses each tribe of Israel. When we come across a tribe’s name, we’ll right-click it and look it up in the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible—which is now available in base packages Bronze and up!

12 tribes

Quick profiles on the 12 tribes of Israel:

  1. Judah. The tribe of kings, and the most preeminent of the 12 tribes in the biblical narrative. Judah “prevailed over his brothers,” (1 Chronicles 5:2), and the tribe’s territory included the city of Jerusalem and the holy temple. King David was part of this tribe, and his royal line ruled in Jerusalem from around 1,000 BC until the city fell to Babylonian forces in 586 BC. Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the capital of the Southern Kingdom after the nation divided. Jesus is of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:1–2). Notable tribesmen: Jesus, David, Mary, Solomon, Caleb
  2. Reuben. Descended from Jacob’s firstborn, whom Jacob said was as “uncontrolled as water” (Genesis 49:4). The tribe chose not to settle in the Promised Land, and instead asked Moses for some of the territory that they conquered east of the Jordan River. Moses agreed to this, on the condition that they assist the western tribes in conquering Canaan (Numbers 32:28–32). They did so, but they did not assist the other tribes in battle during the period of judges (Judges 5:16), and the tribe falls into scriptural obscurity.
  3. Simeon. The man Simeon (with his brother Levi) slaughtered the men of an entire city to avenge his sister (Genesis 34:25–31). The tribe’s portion of land was within the midst of Judah’s territory (Joshua 19:1); however, Simeon did not grow as rapidly as Judah and seems to have dispersed across multiple territories (1 Chronicles 4:38–43; 2 Chronicles 15:8–9). This is consistent with Jacob’s prophecy concerning Simeon and his brother Levi: “I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”
  4. Levi. The tribe of the priesthood. The tribe of Levi stood by Moses (a Levite) during the golden calf incident at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32:25–29), and later took their place as ministers to the tabernacle, and later the Temple. Levi had no tribal territory—the Lord was the tribe’s inheritance (Numbers 18:19–20)—though they did receive pasture lands for their cattle (Joshua 21). Levitical duties were extensive (read Leviticus!), but Moses gives a brief summary of their significance in his blessing for the tribe (Deuteronomy 33:8–11).
    Notable tribesmen: Moses, Aaron, John the Baptist, Barnabas
  5. Zebulun. Zebulun doesn’t get very much attention in the Bible. The tribe does boast a strong, loyal fighting force during the days of the judges and King David. In fact, Zebulun had the largest presence in the army that made David king of Israel at Hebron, and they served him with “an undivided heart” (1 Chronicles 12:33).
  6. Issachar. Issachar has even less biblical presence than Zebulun, but the tribe was loyal to Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:15). They’re also remembered as “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
  7. Dan. We don’t read much about the man Dan, but we do see his tribe up to no good in the book of Judges. The tribe did not secure their original portion of land (Judges 1:34; 18:1), and instead migrated northward. In the process, they took for themselves other gods (Judges 18:14–17) and set up a new priesthood (Judges 18–20). The tribe later joins Jeroboam in idolatry when the kingdom of Israel divides (1 Kings 12:28–29). Notable tribesman: Samson
  8. Gad. Little is said of Gad, the man or the tribe. They, like Reuben, settled east of the Jordan.
  9. Asher. Jacob prophesied that Asher’s tribe would enjoy rich foods (Genesis 49:20), and the tribe went on to possess a region of eastern Galilee which is still known for its olive groves.
  10. Naphtali. Naphtali, with Zebulun, is mentioned by the prophet Isaiah in a passage we read often during Christmastime: “For a child will be born to us . . . .” This promise was given concerning the land of Galilee, specifically, the “land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” You can read the whole prophecy in Isaiah 9.
  11. Ephraim. This tribe is named after Joseph’s son. Joseph received the birthright from Jacob, and instead of just one tribe, he is the ancestor of two (Manasseh is the other). After the kingdom divides, the Northern Kingdom’s capital is in Ephraim’s territory, and the prophets sometimes refer to the entire nation as “Ephraim” (Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 5:3). Notable tribesmen: Joshua, Samuel
  12. Benjamin. This small tribe has played several important roles in Israel’s history. Benjamin stood against the rest of Israel in a national civil war (Judges 20:14–21:24). Saul, the first anointed king of Israel, was from Benjamin. The tribe was also loyal to David’s descendants when the northern tribes seceded (1 Kings 12:16–24). Notable tribesmen: King Saul, Mordecai, Paul
  13. Manasseh. This tribe descended from Joseph’s firstborn son, and uniquely settled on both sides of the Jordan River (Joshua 17:5–6). The eastern settlement is often referred to as the “half-tribe of Manasseh.”

Wait—13 tribes of Israel?

Kind of. Remember, Levi didn’t receive tribal territory like the other tribes. Also, Joseph’s sons were considered heads of their own tribes—both of which received an inheritance of land. In some lists, Joseph is counted as one of the 12 (Genesis 49; Deuteronomy 33). In others, Levi isn’t counted, and Ephraim and Manasseh are considered distinct tribes.

Here’s the math:

12 tribes – 1 (Levi) – 1 (Joseph) + 1 (Ephraim) + 1 (Manasseh) = 12 tribes

Learn more with Logos 5!

This blog post only scratches the surface. You can learn even more about the 12 tribes of Israel (or other biblical items of interest) with Logos 5.

And just so you know, the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible would normally cost $139.95 alone. But with Logos 5 Bronze, you get this 4-volume set along with 420 more resources—at your own custom discount.

It’s time to get Logos 5.

Already have Logos 5? Learn to use it for richer Bible study and ministry with our educational resources!

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!

What Is God’s Purpose for Your Church?

Pastors, seminary students, and scholars: transform your ministry with a two-day journey into the Word.

April 11–12 in Chicago, Logos is sponsoring Pastorum Live 2013, a conference focused on unpacking Scripture and the role of the church.

Study the church’s purpose from Genesis to Revelation

Pastorum will feature 10 scholars and pastors from leading Bible colleges, seminaries, and churches. Our expositors and faculty will help you understand how to unpack and fulfill your church’s mission while communicating practical, scriptural truths to your community.

You’ll learn how to communicate Scripture in profound and relevant ways, applying the text to real-life people in real-life situations.

The conference will be held at Park Community Church in downtown Chicago. You can stay at one of many surrounding hotels. Registration is now open at a discounted rate of just $79 through March 8.

You don’t want to miss this event. Create a healthier church and ministry, and enrich your personal Bible study by learning to dig into Scripture.

Register now and we’ll see you at Pastorum!

Win a Kutless Fan Pack from Faithlife!

The Faithlife Study Bible allows you to explore the Word with Christians around the globe. You can study with not only friends and family, but also your favorite authors, teachers, and artists.

Now Faithlife is partnering with Kutless, and giving you the opportunity to be in community with one of the biggest names in Christian music.

Visit FaithlifeBible.com/Kutless to get the FSB for free, and enter referral code “KUTLESS” when creating your account to join the band’s Faithlife group!

Then enter to win a hoodie, T-shirt, signed poster, and signed copy of their CD Believer below!

Build Community with Shared Prayer Lists

“Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.” —J. C. Ryle

We all know the importance of prayer, but things get in the way—busyness, lack of accountability, lack of reminder and encouragement, forgetting to celebrate when prayers are answered, etc.

If you own a Logos 5 base package, you’re most likely using a feature called “prayer lists” to help take a disciplined approach to prayer. With prayer lists, you can:

  • Schedule prayer requests and see them right in your home screen
  • Take notes and record prayer needs for future reference
  • Decide when to pray and when to get reminders

But what if you could share your prayer lists with friends, family, and church members?

With Faithlife’s prayer list widget, now you can! Your prayer list will sync across Logos 5 and Faithlife, setting you up to seamlessly combine prayer and in-depth Bible study.

Get started with Faithlife’s prayer list widget today

  1. Go to Faithlife.com and create a group
  2. Invite members using their email addresses
  3. Go to your group settings, press “sidebar,” and drag the prayer list widget over to the active tab
  4. Start adding your prayers

Share your existing Logos prayer list with a Faithlife group

  1. Go to Documents.Logos.com
  2. Click the desired prayer list
  3. Select “Action,” and then “Collaborate”
  4. Pick the desired Faithlife group

Share the Faithlife Study Bible today! Just visit FaithlifeBible.com/Giveaway and share it on your social networks.

This Tool Will Change Your Word Studies Forever

Tools like the Bible Word Study, the Exegetical Guide, and Morph Search make it easy to explore the biblical text, but there’s one new tool in Logos 5 that gets you even closer to word meanings—instantly.

It’s the Bible Sense Lexicon, and it’s going to change the way you think about word studies forever.

What’s a “sense lexicon”?

The Bible Sense Lexicon ties biblical words to their senses. By “sense,” we mean the idea that a word is supposed to communicate. For example, the English word for “run” has many possible senses:

  • To move swiftly by foot
  • To conduct (e.g., to “run a search”)
  • An act of running (e.g., to “go on a run”)

The same principle applies to words in the Bible.

The Bible Sense Lexicon has tied words in the biblical text to their senses, giving you a precise idea of what the biblical authors were trying to get across.

Example: what does “head” mean?

In Isaiah 7:9, we read that “the head of Ephraim is Samaria and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.” It’s obvious that “head” is a metaphor—the nation of Ephraim cannot have a literal physical head the way a human body does. But what does this metaphor mean?

We can activate the Reverse Interlinear ribbon, but without the Bible Sense Lexicon data, we’ll just see a bunch of Hebrew words (along with anything else we choose to display here).

BibleSenseLexicon

That’s great—if we know Hebrew. I don’t, so we’ll right-click it and run a Bible Word Study report on the lemma. (What’s a lemma? Find out here.) We’ll get a comprehensive report on the Hebrew word, how it’s used in the Bible, and lots of possible definitions!

BibleSenseLexiconII

That’s awesome: we see loads of ways this word is used in Scripture. This tool has just accomplished hours of research in seconds. But we still don’t know precisely what sense the word for “head” is used in. Does it mean “top”? “Beginning”? “Chief”? We could open up our regular lexicons and see if any one lists a specific sense for our verse in Isaiah.

Or we could see the sense in the Reverse Interlinear!

Bible Sense Lexicon IV

We can immediately see that the same Hebrew word is used to mean both “capital” and “leader”! So the capital city of Ephraim is Samaria, and the leader of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.

The Bible Sense Lexicon data makes the Reverse Interlinear ribbon one of my favorite tools in Logos 5. It’s a revolutionary way to cut right to a word’s sense—saving us even more time on word studies.

If you’re not using the Bible Sense Lexicon in Logos 5, you’re missing out. Get Logos 5 today—the Bible Sense Lexicon is included in Gold and higher.

Already have Logos 5? Learn to use it for richer Bible study and ministry with our educational resources.

Decide What’s Next and See Designed-for-Digital Resources

If you could design a Bible reference book to meet your needs, what would it look like? It would work seamlessly with your primary study platform, anticipate your questions, and be easy to share. It would use technology to make your work easier, faster, and more effective. It would take you deeper into the Bible and the other resources you own, while emphasizing practicality. It would help you grow while you’re investing in the growth of others. It would introduce you to new resources. And it may even have an easy way to take notes. The resources we create here at Logos are designed with these ideals in mind.

Our first question when approaching any publishing project is, “How can we help you do more and better work for God’s kingdom?” These products are answers to that question.

Take a few minutes to check them out. If you like a product, order it or commit to it on Pre-Pub. What you pre-order determines what we work on next.

Published Recently

Lexham Bible Guides

The Lexham Bible Guides prepare you to immerse yourself in God’s Word.

The Pastorum Collection

Present richer and more memorable sermons with the Pastorum Series Collection, and reduce your sermon-preparation time. The pastoral resources in this collection will enhance your ministry and presentation skills.

Studies in Faithful Living

The Studies in Faithful Living series provides rich biblical character studies for individuals and entire churches. The eight-week church curriculum includes discussion guides and videos, application questions, sermon outlines and media, and more.

In the Works

This five-volume set, with slides, will help you to select a fitting quotation to share with your congregation within minutes. Quotes from more than one hundred authors and works are at your fingertips, including Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, Richard Baxter, G. K. Chesterton, and Charles Spurgeon.

The Lexham Methods Series enables you to learn, refresh, or master the tools of biblical scholarship—and feel confidently equipped to share the materials with others. This collection will deepen and reinforce seminary and Bible students’ understanding of materials and enable them to conduct more extensive research.

On Pre-Publication—You Decide if We Create It

The Bible in Seven Acts collection is your starting point for study and research on the Bible’s historical periods. The collection surveys all the relevant literature on historical events, and brings the findings back to you.

When you order our Pre-Pub products, or spread the word about them on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, you make it possible for your preferred project to be created before the others. We come up with ideas, select the best ones, prototype them, and then list them on Pre-Publication. When you commit, you’re telling us what you want created.  So pre-order something today, or pick up one of the works we recently released.

Howard Hendricks (1924–2013)

Howard HendricksHoward Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary for over 60 years, author or coauthor of 23 books, and chaplain to the Dallas Cowboys (1976–1984), went to be with the Lord early this morning.

“To guide a person in the name of Jesus is a great privilege and a sobering responsibility; to misguide an individual is no minor matter to Him.”—Howard Hendricks, The Christian Educator’s Handbook on Teaching

Hendricks shaped more than 10,000 students in his lifetime—but his influence doesn’t stop there. Thanks to Hendrick’s personal mentoring of leaders like Chuck Swindoll, Tony Evans, and David Jeremiah, he has left his mark through their ministries, too. Being mentored as a young man played an important role in Hendricks’ life, and as he communicates in As Iron Sharpens Iron, the most dramatic spiritual and personal growth often happens through the influence of a mentor.

“Show me a man’s closest companions and I can make a fairly accurate guess as to what sort of man he is, as well as what sort of man he is likely to become.”—Howard Hendricks, As Iron Sharpens Iron

Hendricks’ enthusiasm for God’s Word was infectious. Convicted that the Bible was one of the most important means of spiritual development, he encouraged more than rote memorization and scriptural exegesis. To him, the Bible needed to become part of us.

“Do whatever it takes to become an acquisitive Bible reader. Marry the truth of the Word with your own interests and experience—through personal engagement in the process—so that you do more than remember a passage of Scripture—you make it your own.”—Howard Hendricks, Living by the Book

From our finite perspective, it’s impossible to see the impact of Hendrick’s faithfulness. Someday, in the light of eternity, we’ll see its full influence.

“Too many believers die with an unsung song still in them. They finish life at the top of the pile in their field but at the bottom of life in terms of fulfillment.”—Howard Hendricks, Color outside the Lines

Congrats to Last Month’s Bible College and Seminary Scholarship Winners!

$1,000 ScholarshipCongratulations to the latest recipients of the Logos Bible College and Seminary Scholarships, Marisa Ortloff and Luke Harmon! Marisa, who is getting her degree from Multnomah University in Portland, OR, was very excited to receive her $1,000 scholarship and new Logos 5 base package. Here’s what she said after winning the scholarship package:

“Wow! I am so grateful for this scholarship! Winning this scholarship will help me to continue my education and further my passion for educating the next generation!”

Luke is getting his degree in Southern California at Azusa Pacific University. He wanted to relay his gratitude for receiving this scholarship:

“The investment Logos has made in my life through this scholarship truly humbles me. It helps to set me up for success as I finish my degree and move on to further education and pastoral ministry.”

If you were to win one of these scholarships, you would receive $1,000 toward your tuition and a Logos 5 base package to help with your Bible study! The application process is quick and easy, too. Here’s what you do:

  1. Visit SeminaryScholarship.com or BibleCollegeScholarship.com, whichever applies to you
  2. Click the “APPLY NOW” button
  3. Watch the video then wait to be redirected to the application form
  4. Fill out the application form and click “Submit”
  5. Then you’re done!

There are four recipients of each scholarship each year—winners are chosen on January 10, April 10, July 10, and October 10. And the best part? It takes you only 15 minutes to apply!

Know someone who could use a scholarship?

Tell them about these opportunities! You can post a link to SeminaryScholarship.com or BibleCollegeScholarship.com on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog. You could even send your friends an email or give them a call.

fb1.pngFacebook: Leaving Post to Facebook checked, leave a Facebook comment below, and post a link to SeminaryScholarship.com or BibleCollegeScholarship.com, telling your friends to apply!

tw1.pngTwitter: Post a tweet with a link to SeminaryScholarship.com or BibleCollegeScholarship.com. Not sure what to tweet? You can just click here and tweet this for Seminary or click here and tweet this for Bible College.

bl1.pngBlog: If you have a blog, you can help out in two ways. First, you can write a post on your blog letting your readers know about the scholarships. Second, you can add one of our web banners for Seminary Scholarship or Bible College Scholarship to your site.

Not sure what to write? Try this:

Need Money for Seminary or Bible College?

Tired of searching for scholarships? Four times a year, Logos awards at least two $1,000 tuition scholarships, along with copies of Logos 5 Bronze through their Seminary Scholarship and Bible College Scholarship programs!

The scholarships are open to all students currently enrolled in an accredited theological seminary or Bible college located in North America, or planning to enrolling within the next eight months. All you have to do is watch a demonstration of Logos Bible Software and fill out a brief application. Once your application is submitted, you’ll be entered to win a $1,000 scholarship and a digital theological library that, in print, would cost nearly $8,000!