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Bible Study on the Birth of Jesus Begins Today!

Christmas is coming, and we’re all excited to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming to dwell among us. But how many of our ideas about Christ’s birth come from the Bible, and how many from Christmas carols, TV specials, nativity scenes, and the like?

The biggest holiday on the Western calendar recognizes the birth of Jesus—let’s do a Bible study to see how it really happened.

Now through Christmas, we’ll  be posting new ideas for studying the birth of Christ. Some of the Logos bloggers and I will walk through the Gospel accounts of the Nativity using the powerful Bible-study tools in Logos 5.

Let’s get started!

So, if we’re doing a Bible study on the birth of Jesus, where do we start? The new Topic Guide is the easiest way to get started, even if you’ve never read the biblical account of the Nativity. Let’s open the Topic Guide and see what’s in store.

I start typing in “Christmas,” and the guide suggests both Christmas and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. That’s helpful, because I’m really interested in the second option in this Bible study. I select it, and the Topic Guide brings me places to start my study! I get a definition of the topic and links to my Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. I also get a list of related verses and topics.

This gives me plenty of Scriptures to read and examine, and other topics to explore. So using the Topic Guide, I get:

  • A suggestion for the topic I really wanted (even though I typed something else)
  • The definition of the topic
  • A list of passages for future Bible study
  • Ideas for more topics to explore

It took me only nine seconds to get to all this information from the Home Page. It doesn’t matter if I’ve memorized the New Testament or if I’ve never opened the Bible before—either way, I’m ready to start learning more about the birth of my Savior. Logos 5 makes Bible study more approachable than ever, and I can’t wait to study the birth of Christ further.

You’ll find all the tools and books we used today in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

It’s Not Too Late to Save on Black Friday Deals!


If you haven’t taken advantage of our Black Friday deals yet, there’s still time! Logos’ Black Friday sale is packed with limited-time deals on our most Liked products. But you need to hurry—these discounts are available for only five more days.

Save now on items like:

Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software

Regularly: $499.95

Get it for only $249.95 with coupon code BFRIDAY19

Take your understanding of biblical Greek and Hebrew to the next level with this instructional resource from Logos. Learn to interpret Scripture in a simple, straightforward manner at your own pace, or refresh the Greek and Hebrew you learned in seminary or Bible college.

Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software places the payoff of biblical language knowledge up front. There’s no rote memorization of vocabulary or grammatical forms. That’s because Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software is designed to show you how to properly use the tools used by advanced seminarians.

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Regularly: $59.99

With coupon code BFRIDAY5, it’s only $39.99

Readers of the New Testament often encounter quotes or allusions to the Old Testament that may be unfamiliar or obscure. In this volume, G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson bring together a distinguished team of scholars to isolate, catalog, and comment on both the obvious Old Testament quotations and the more subtle allusions found in the New Testament. The result is a comprehensive commentary on the Old Testament references that appear from Matthew through Revelation. It’s a vital resource for the reference library of every student of the New Testament.

International Critical Commentary (53 vols.)

Regularly: $1,750

Just $1,350 with coupon code BFRIDAY11

The International Critical Commentary, published by T&T Clark International, has long held a special place among biblical works. It brings together all the relevant aids to exegesis: linguistic and textual, archaeological, historical, literary, and theological, with a comprehensiveness and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series. If you were to purchase all 53 volumes in print at suggested retail price, you’d pay over $2,800.

You’ll find a lot more discounted items during our Black Friday Sale.

Visit Logos.com/BlackFriday by December 3 to see the complete list of deals available, including discounts on resources like:

  • IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle
  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  • John MacArthur Bundle
  • Christian Theology 2nd ed. by Millard j. Erickson

Don’t forget, this holiday season is a perfect time to upgrade! Check out the custom upgrade discount calculator to see your special price to move to Logos 5.

 

How to Study a Word’s Root: Thanksgiving

When it comes to studying the Bible, I always want to go deeper. My problem: I’m no Greek or Hebrew scholar. That’s one of the reasons I get so excited every time I open Logos 5. So much original-language research is done for me, I can instantly understand more.

I’ve been studying biblical thanksgiving lately. One place this study takes me is Psalm 136, where the psalmist pens 26 lines of gratitude to the Lord, “For his lovingkindness is everlasting.”

I look it up in my favorite Bible. Since I’m doing a little original-language digging, I’ll go ahead and turn on my reverse interlinear—it’s the table at the bottom of this image.

This entire psalm is encouraging the reader to give thanks to the Lord, who has shown lovingkindness to Israel through creation, delivering them from Egypt, bringing them to the Promised Land, and sustaining them. The psalmist closes by echoing the beginning: “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his lovingkindness is everlasting.”

If it’s so important that I “give thanks,” I need to know what it means!

This is where the Bible Word Study tool comes in. I right-click “thanks” and pull up more information about the Hebrew lemma. Then I run a Bible Word Study.

The Bible Word Study guide fetches the word’s definitions from my lexicons and dictionaries, and shows me how this word, ydh, is translated across my Bible.

So I learn that giving thanks to the Lord is more than saying “thank you” to God. It’s also an acknowledgement of who he is and what he has done. In the case of Psalm 136, it makes sense: acknowledge that the Lord has done incredible things for his people, and thank him, for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

But I want to go deeper. I want to find examples of this kind of thanksgiving.

With Logos 5, I’m able to take a look at other biblical words that share this root.

I see that there are 32 uses of the similar toda(h), which is a sacrifice, song of thanksgiving, etc. That’s interesting. I click the Hebrew word, and Logos 5 runs another Bible Word Study!

I can explore the definitions to see that this thankful song of praise to God was an act of worship that proclaimed his mighty works. Also, the word is used for songs like Psalm 100.

. . . which gives me a fine place to keep exploring as I study biblical thanksgiving this November!

And with the new root data in Logos 5, you can do deeper word studies like this, too!

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. Check out your special pricing options with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator.

What Is Exegesis—and Why Should I Care?

“Exegesis” sounds like a technical and abstract idea, but at its core, it’s quite simple.

Exegesis is drawing meaning from what the Scripture says.

Exegesis is going to the Bible to understand what it meant when it was written, and letting the author’s intent govern the way the Bible is interpreted. Exegesis can involve highly technical language analysis, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, you can do it right now.

What Is Exegesis? Watch How It Works!

Let’s try out some exegesis on Luke 17:11–19, where we see Jesus cleansing ten lepers, but only one thanks him. We start by looking the passage up in Logos 5.

A big part of exegesis is answering the question, “What did the author want to get across?” We see in Luke 1:1–4 and Acts 1:1–2 that this book is intended to be an exact account of Jesus’ acts and teachings, so we need to see what Jesus says and does in this passage:

  • Jesus cleanses ten lepers.
  • Only one comes back to glorify God and give thanks.
  • Jesus commends the thankful one.

Now that we’ve covered the elementary stuff, we can start doing exegesis, right? Well, actually, we’ve already started. We determined some of what the text means by letting it speak for itself—that’s what exegesis is.

Now Let’s Try the Exegetical Guide

We can exegete this text as deeply as we want with the Exegetical Guide. First, I right-click “giving thanks” in verse 16 and select “Exegetical Guide.”

This fetches all my grammars, apparatuses, and visualizations, plus a word-by-word breakdown of verse 16. I just want to see what “giving thanks” means, so I’ll find it in the breakdown:

We can see that “giving thanks” refers to being thankful, or feeling obligated to thank. Thankfulness via obligation? That doesn’t sound so good to me at first.

But when I open BDAG (a lexicon, or cross-language dictionary), I see that the word εὐχαριστέω was a diplomatic term: the party on the receiving end of a favor would assure the other party of their goodwill. In the New Testament, this word is almost exclusively used for giving thanks to God (exception: Romans 16:4).

And with Logos 5, I can also look up any New Testament word’s syntactic force, or how syntax determines its function. This is kind of nuts-and-boltsy, but sometimes we can learn what the text is saying by looking at both what a word means and how it’s used.

Great—it’s a participle showing manner. But what does that mean? Well, I get the definition on hover.

By looking at the syntactic force, I see that the leper’s actions took on a tone of returning goodwill to the Lord who just healed him.

When I see something like this, I ask myself these questions:

  • Has Jesus done me any favors? I can think of at least one.
  • What’s my attitude of thankfulness? Do I just carry on, happy to be blessed, or do I turn it into an opportunity to glorify God?
  • Do I even feel obligated to thank him?

Exegesis may sound purely academic, but it can lead you to ask life-changing questions.

What Is Exegesis? It’s Something You Can Do!

The Exegetical Guide is certainly one of my favorite tools in Logos 5, and it may be yours, too. You can get all the Exegetical Guide functions when you get Logos 5 Bronze, but the BDAG lexicon comes in base packages Platinum and above.

So start doing exegesis on your own! Check out your special Logos 5 pricing options with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator.

Top 5 Reasons to Earn Your Knox MACCS

Knox Theological Seminary’s new Master of Arts (Christian and Classical Studies) equips you for modern ministry with the Great Books’ classical training. This MA, unparalleled by that of any other seminary in the world, is supremely relevant to Western ministry. And it’s fully online, so you can study anywhere. Here’s why the MACCS matters:

  1. You’ll engage Western culture by exploring its defining literary and philosophical works.
  2. You’ll follow Christian doctrinal development through ancient, medieval, and modern times.
  3. You’ll articulate both Christian and non-Christian worldviews.
  4. You’ll learn from some of today’s most trusted Bible scholars, among them Drs. Warren Gage and Sam Lamerson.
  5. You’ll explore the curriculum’s works with the world’s finest exegetical software—Logos 5.

Much More than Your Average Seminary Degree

With the MACCS, you’ll develop more than just an excellent understanding of Scripture. You’ll develop historical perspective, a philosophical habit of mind, moral imagination, and rhetorical skill. Here’s one pastor’s account of the MACCS’ richness:


Study Free with the Francis Schaeffer Scholarship!

Knox is offering one comprehensive scholarship and one hundred partial scholarships for a total of more than $200,000! Learn more and enter to win at KnoxSeminary.edu—it’s fast and simple.

You’ll deepen your love for the Gospel and get classical training for modern ministry with Knox’s online MACCS. To learn more or apply now, call 1-800-210-6466 or visit SeminaryDegreesOnline.com/Degrees/MACCS.

Introducing Logos Bible Software 5

Bible study is about connection. The Bible connects us to the very words of God, and to study it is to make connections: between facts and feelings, texts and commentators, hearts and minds, ourselves and God and one another.

Logos Bible Software 5 is a significant update that is all about connection. Logos 5 connects the people, places, things, events, topics, and themes of the Bible with new and expanded databases. It is completely integrated with Faithlife, an online network for connecting your faith community, where you can share biblical insights, maintain a group prayer list, or read the Bible (or any book in your Logos library) in community with others. Logos 5 features new guides and tools for connecting the dots in your Bible study.

Experts have spent more than three years writing, editing, and tagging our unique databases of Bible knowledge. Dozens of books have been thoroughly tagged with special metadata about Bible outlines, preaching themes, historical events and Bible facts. Every original language word in the Bible has been reanalyzed and connected to new databases, while staying connected to modern translations. We have created nearly a million connections between our data elements and Bible verses.

All this connection is toward one end: helping you do more and better Bible study.

And, conveniently, all this connection makes that easier than ever before. In addition to powerful new tools for sermon preparation and topical study, Logos 5 contains many small updates and improvements that streamline your study. Logos 5 quickly becomes a transparent tool that gets all the overhead out of the way, so you can get connected to the Word.

* * *

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5! Check out your special pricing options with the discount calculator.

Put Our Research Team to Work for You!

Biblical history is tricky—it’s easy to mix up data. Most articles on a biblical period are meshed with academic debate, making it difficult to decipher the basics. And once you learn what you want to know, there’s often no clear research direction. The Bible in Seven Acts takes care of all these problems and more.

Find answers fast with The Bible in Seven Acts: Herod to Jesus. In an easy-to-follow format, this resource summarizes historical content and annotates related links to Logos resources. It provides a framework for biblical history and its context. It gives you stunning media to share what you learn, including event linestimelines, and slides for key people, movements, and ideas.

Each volume in The Bible in Seven Acts is an annotated synopsis and bibliography of the major people and events of biblical history—reimagined for the digital age. Hybrids between textbook-type surveys and annotated bibliographies, these volumes are built on technological resources available only in Logos. The interconnectivity of The Bible in Seven Acts with the Logos library provides you with relevant, curated content at a click. Produced by a highly educated Bible research team, the series does the heavy lifting for you.

With The Bible in Seven Acts, you’ll:

  •  Find things fast. There’s no need to locate, read, and annotate dozens of reference materials. Everything is in one spot.
  • See connections. The overview format leads you to research topics you may have never read about or heard of.
  • Gain perspective. You’ll learn about all the relevant historical and cultural issues related to this biblical era. Everything is elegantly organized.

The Bible in Seven Acts has what you need for in-depth research on biblical history or quick overviews in a pinch. The series leads you in the right direction with intelligent technology and research.

Using The Bible in Seven Acts: Herod to Jesus is like having a research team do your initial work and organize it with links so that you can read further to draw your own conclusions. It’s like having a media team come up with smart ways to present what you’re learning so that it’s more memorable when you share it.

Pre-order The Bible in Seven Acts: Herod to Jesus for a special low introductory price. The price will go up soon—so pre-order now!

Check Out Logos’ First Windows 8 App!

The release of Windows 8 is right around the corner, and we’re already offering our first Windows app. With the free Verse of the Day app, you’ll get a daily artist-created Scripture tile on your start screen.

You can browse through the last 30 verses, share the day’s verse, or jump to Biblia.com to read the whole passage.

If you’re already running Windows 8, download the app now. Once you’ve tried it out, rate and review it! We’d love to know what you think.

Running Logos 4 on Windows 8

Going to be picking up Windows 8 when it’s available? We recommend running Logos 4.6.

To check which version you’re currently running, click on the help icon (question mark in the upper-right-hand corner of the Logos homepage) and choose “About Logos Bible Software” from the dropdown menu. When the new window opens, you’ll see the version listed at the top (example).

If you’re not running the current version of Logos 4, type “Update now” into the Command Bar (example). This will force Logos 4 to check for any available updates (example) and begin downloading them.

Jarrid Wilson Talks Social Media and His New Devotional

If you’ve never heard of Jarrid Wilson, then get ready, because it won’t be long before his name is mentioned alongside top ministry leaders.

Jarrid represents the new wave in ministry, one that uses social media and technology to preach the Gospel. Jarrid’s use of Twitter, Facebook, his podcast, and his blog has enabled him to spread the Word to tens of thousands of people all around the world.

Jarrid was kind enough to talk to us about his ministry and his brand-new devotional, 30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us.

What compelled you to write a devotional?

30 Words is more than a devotional: it’s an experiment for an everyday person who is looking to gain further knowledge of God’s character. I wrote 30 Words in hopes that it would be set apart from other devotionals, something people can reread whenever they are looking for a fresh wind of encouragement or inspiration.

How is this devotional different from others?

There is plenty of material both for individuals brand-new to their faith, and for those looking to become the next great theological mind. But what I realized is that there fails to be much content for the middle man. “A devotional for the rest of us” is for anyone looking to deepen their relationship with God, no matter where they are on their walk with Him. 30 Words is a bridge.

What drew you to publishing with Kirkdale Press?

Simple. Kirkdale Press is family. Not only are they incredibly gifted at what they do, but they have an incredible heart for authors who are passionate about their work. I am truly honored to work with Kirkdale Press, and I am thankful God allowed me to publish my first book through them.

Social media plays an important role in your ministry. What do you find so compelling about social media?

Matthew 28:18–19 is a simple statement that encapsulates my yearning for ministry through social media. We are called to make disciples of “all nations,” and I believe that through the power of social media, we are able to take the Gospel to the homes of millions across the world. Social media has a tendency to turn the everyday introvert into an everyday extrovert. And by using that to my advantage I am able to speak words of truth, hope, grace, and love to people all across social media platforms.

What are some challenges and potential benefits for the church in incorporating social media into its reach and mission? 

I believe that God has gifted us with many tools in sharing the Gospel, and that one of those tools for today’s age is social media. I can’t begin to understand why a Church wouldn’t want to use this tool to help their mission in sharing Christ. Although not everyone is social savvy, you’d be surprised by how many people you can reach through a single tweet or Facebook post.

What are some great and not-so-great examples you’ve seen of social media being used by Christians?

I can’t begin to explain how many people I see who claim to love Jesus in their bios, but who have yet to resemble Him in their tweets or posts. It hurts my heart to see people tweet malicious statements in the name of Christ, all because they have the comfort of hiding behind a username. We are called to be the difference, and I believe our greatest struggle in the social media world will be to not conform to how the world uses it.

Jarrid’s devotional 30 Words is published through Kirkdale Press, and it’s available now.

Lisa Chan Discusses Being a Pastor’s Wife

I was happy to catch a few minutes to chat with upcoming Defined by God speaker Lisa Chan. Lisa has been married to pastor, speaker, and writer Francis Chan for 18 years. I asked Lisa about some of the struggles pastors’ wives face.

Was Francis a pastor when you first married him?

Yes, he was working with a church. The church had gone through a terrible time, and there was a split with the senior pastor. We left on our honeymoon thinking maybe he would take over temporarily at that church, but in two months’ time, Francis felt like, “You know what, I think God wants us to start our own church and for me to really head out and lead.” And so Cornerstone was founded after two months of marriage.

What’s the biggest challenge pastors’ wives face today?

That’s an interesting question. I think one of the biggest challenges is authenticity. It’s so easy to slide into a position or a title and find your identity in that instead of being an authentic, godly woman—one pursuing Christ, walking in step with the spirit, and focused on what he wants, rather than what people want or think. We all know that’s part of the territory, but if you can learn to keep your eyes forward and on Christ, you can learn how to deal with it in a better way.

What advice would you give to pastors’ wives who are struggling with authenticity and feeling like they have to fit into a mold that other people put them in?

I think the best way is to not spend too much time thinking about it—usually if we focus on the problem, it just gets bigger and bigger. But if we turn our focus and choose to say, “No, I’m going to go after Christ, I’m going to grow in my walk with God, I’m going to learn to listen to his voice and do the things he asks me to do”—that’s really the only answer. And I know it seems really oversimplified, but sometimes our biggest problems have very simple answers. That would be my biggest advice—just follow after God and that’s what it’s all about.

My husband gives this illustration that if you’re learning to be a mountain-bike rider, you have to look where you want to go. In other words, if you look where you don’t want to go, like the cliff or rut, your bike will automatically go where you don’t want to go. So to stay on the right path, you look at where you want to go. And so for us, as pastors’ wives, let’s not look at this big cesspool of “Oh people expect so much of me, and this is so terrible”—you’re going to go that way—but if you just say “I’m going to be a women of God, a child of God after him,” all the other stuff falls into place because you’re just following after God.

What will you be speaking on at the Defined by God conference, and how will it help pastors’ wives?

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be speaking about having a steadfast love, and I’m going to be sharing a lot that I’m saying here; I want to refocus and resimplify because we tend to overcomplicate, and I know that’s my tendency, and the Lord is just showing me how much I need to step back and simplify and do the next step that’s right in front of me. What does God have for me right now, today? I don’t want to worry so much about the future and get ahead of myself.

What would you say to women who are thinking about coming but are on the fence?

I know that as pastors wives, we hear a lot of messages—maybe sometimes we get to attend some with our husbands, we’re listening, we’re reading, so sometimes it can feel like it’s just gonna be one more thing on our plates. But I think the uniqueness of this is that it will be just pastors’ wives instead of a women’s conference or couples’ retreat, and so to me, that’s the fun of this. Wow, we’re all very like-minded, we have the same struggles, the same desires, husbands who are in the same place in ministry, and so there’s camaraderie and the ability to feel united with so many women who are in the same place. And I’m just asking women to consider how much of a blessing it is to come together with other women to understand exactly where you’re at.

Come see Lisa and more fantastic speakers at the Defined by God conference in San Diego, CA,  November 1–3.

Register now for FREE!