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Breaking, or rather break-in, news…

 

It seems like it was just yesterday that thieves broke into our Mac satellite office and made off with all the computers.

But it wasn’t yesterday, it was a month ago, on June 11th.

Apparently they liked the way we loaded up those iMacs as developer workstations, because they came back last week and took all the replacements. And this time they left behind the PCs owned by the company we’re sub-leasing space from. That “Switch” campaign is finally sinking in!

Twice-bitten by the big city, we’re going to hunker down here in low-crime Bellingham (where we’re in our own more secure and video-surveilled space) and work hard to keep our Mac product moving ahead. Maybe we can move the Mac developers to a 24×7 schedule; we’d get the dual benefit of speeding development and having a night-watch team!

The Bible Is Special

BibleAlmost a decade ago I found myself on the phone with a man whose office was a hospital bed.

I had never met him before, but I had heard that he was dying of complications from pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. From what I understood, he was in a hospital bed under his doctor’s supervision, with oxygen tubes in his nose. Unlike some men around 80 with similar declining health and a restrictive lung disease, he didn’t stop talking or let his shortness of breath silence him. He was taking the time and effort to make sure he personally spoke with me, to secure my word in order to see his vision through to the end.

Most of you reading this have spent far more time ministering to and visiting with the sick than I have, and I have been moved by many stories of those under your care and in your own families finishing strong. So what makes this situation so remarkable? Personal attention to something that could have been so easily delegated.

This particular man had representatives in almost 200 countries, 25,000+ full-time employees, and more than 225,000 trained volunteers for his organization. So why was he the one on the phone? Why wasn’t I talking to his staff? What could be so special that he had to personally take the time, and endure the physical discomfort to ensure this got done himself?

Continue Reading…

Logos 4 Infographics and Attention to Detail

Calf

Today’s guest blogger is Sean Boisen, senior information architect at Logos.

The many Bible reference resources in Logos 4 contain a wealth of photographs, maps, illustrations, and other images that can enhance your study of the Bible. Some are specifically devoted to visual resources: for example, 1000 Bible Images, Images of the Holy Land, Photos from the Holy Land, and The Biblical World in Pictures. Because of the high-quality tagging which Logos performs on its resources, you can find these images using the #image operator: for example, this search,

#image “golden calf”

finds any image that’s relatively close to the words “golden calf” (most, though not all, of which are depictions of some kind of calf).

Despite all the imagery that was already part of our resources, for Logos 4 we specially commissioned more than 100 brand new, high-resolution infographics. Why did we go to all this trouble (and expense)? One reason is that many of the images from published works have copyright restrictions that restrict Logos users from copying them for teaching, presentations, handouts, etc. By creating our own collection of infographics, we have clear rights which we can then pass along to our users for their ministry and other non-commercial use (republishing them, for example, in a book, is a different matter: contact Logos about situations like that). The same is true of the Logos maps for Biblical Places: you can copy and paste them into PowerPoint or other programs that support graphics, or print them out for ministry use. In Logos 4, you can view the infographics by typing “Open Infographics” in the Command Bar.

Creating the Logos Bible Software Infographics was a significant challenge that took numerous professional artists and many months of effort to complete. In the case of images representing buildings or artifacts from Biblical history, a great deal of that work involved careful research to determine how best to depict these objects.

Here’s one example: the Golden Calf which Aaron and the Israelites constructed by melting down their jewelry (Ex. 32). The Golden Calf infographic in Logos shows a glistening figure with long horns. A Logos user wrote to us last week to ask why we hadn’t caught an obvious mistake: calves (that is, baby cows) don’t have horns!

In fact, it’s much more involved than that. Scholars differ in their opinions about the background of the calf imagery and the cultural and historical details behind the incident (which is repeated later in Israel’s history under King Jeroboam, 1 Ki 12:28-33). The Hebrew word ‘ēg̱el translated here “calf” can refer either to cattle or oxen, up to three years of age: so it’s not necessarily a “baby cow” (and some scholars think the diminutive term here might be a reference of disdain to their small size, rather than their young age).

Archaeological discoveries from the same period time include many images of bovine or ox idols from surrounding nations: many of them do in fact include horns, including the Egyptian deity Hathor and other Canaanite deities. The moon god Sı̂n was often represented as a bull, perhaps reflecting the similarity of the horns of the bull to a crescent moon. We know from historical evidence that Sı̂n was worshiped both in Ur (the likely birthplace of Abraham and Sarah) and Haran (where the Patriarchs stopped on their journey to Palestine). So there’s good historical evidence supporting the possibility that the Israelites would have been familiar with these practices and images.

Of course, we can only speculate about what the actual golden calves (both Aaron’s and Jeroboam’s) might have looked like: no one actually knows. But we worked hard to make sure any images we created for the Logos Bible Software Infographics represented solid historical evidence. In Logos 4, you can look at the Biblical Things pages for Golden Calf, as well as Jeroboam’s Golden Image at Bethel and Dan, to learn more about these artifacts.

Want to go deeper into the background of subjects like the Golden Calf? Consider stepping up to a more in-depth Bible dictionary, like the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, or the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

177 Ways To Give a Glowing Recommendation

Web Ads

Recommendations are quite powerful.

Recommendations from a trusted source are even more powerful. That’s where you come in.

By default, "word-of-mouth" is typically what we think of when we consider recommending a product or service, but these days we cannot forget to include digital recommendations. Consider how often you send an email, update your Facebook status, or how often you use Twitter. To your friends, followers, and email contacts, your positive or negative comments will go a long way to influence their decisions, especially when it comes to a product or service.

No matter which method you use to communicate, why not recommend something that could potentially transform lives?

For those of you talking about Logos via email or word-of-mouth, we hope you have only positive things to say about your experiences with us. If for some reason you aren’t comfortable giving us a glowing review, we want to take care of you right away and do what we can to make you a happy customer! Please call us at 1-800-875-6467 or email customerservice@logos.com so we can help you. If that doesn’t work, you can email our president at bob@logos.com. We want you to be taken care of!

For those of you who have a website, blog, podcast, for you to link to us is just as high a recommendation and compliment as any other. As such, we have a Logos Web Ads page with a selection of 175 web ads and 2 audio files for you to use:

Logos Bible Software 4
Would your audience benefit from Bible study software? Then take a look at our Logos Bible Software 4 web ads.

Logos Bible Software iPhone App
How about iPhone Bible software? Then use one of our Logos Bible Software iPhone App web ads.

Bible Study Magazine
Want to recommend solid Bible study tools and methods to others? Then grab one of our Bible Study Magazine web ads.

SeminaryScholarship.com and BibleCollegeScholarship.com
Is your audience college-aged, or parents of such? Consider using SeminaryScholarship.com web ads or BibleCollegeScholarship.com web ads.

RefTagger and Bible Search Bar
Finally, grab one of our RefTagger web ads and one of our Bible Search Bar web ads because what blog or website is complete without them?

As you can see, there are many different sizes and styles to choose from, so there should be something for everyone. Once you grab what you need, be sure to come back often as we frequently add content. Once you grab the code from the Logos Web Ads page and post the ad on your website or blog, please feel free to leave a link in the comment section so we can check it out!

Logos Bible Software 4.0d Shipping Today

A new version of Logos Bible Software for Windows is shipping today. Version 4.0d is the fourth significant update since we launched back in November. This free download brings with it a handful of new features and improvements and fixes lots of little bugs. So you’ll definitely want to make sure to update soon.

If you have automatic updating enabled (screenshot), which is the default setting, Logos 4 should notify you sometime today that updates are ready to be installed. When you see the balloon tooltip window, right-click on the Logos icon in your system tray and choose to “Install update” (screenshot). If Logos 4 hasn’t downloaded the update by the end of the day and you just can’t wait any longer to get your hands on the latest release, type Update Now into the Command Bar (screenshot). This will force Logos 4 to check for any available updates (screenshot) and begin downloading them.

Important Note: Installing Logos 4.0d will start a complete reindexing of your resources. So you might want to wait to install the update until you have some free time.

What’s New in 4.0d?

There are far too many changes in 4.0d to list. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Using our new COM API, other programs can now talk back and forth with Logos 4 to do some pretty cool things.
  • You are able to link directly to guides, reports, searches, and other parts of the software, not just to resources as in previous versions.
  • Clippings, Information, and Text Comparison tools can be exported.
  • Clippings can be reordered by drag and drop.
  • The Scan DVD command will display an option for all connected CD/DVD-ROM drives containing media (e.g., “Scan D:\”).
  • Passages can be added to a passage list from the clipboard.

To see a complete list of the changes in 4.0d, check out the support article “What’s New in Logos 4.0d.”

Time to Upgrade to Logos 4?

Are you still running Logos 3 (or the old Logos Library System!)? If so, now would be a great time to upgrade to Logos 4. It’s had nearly eight months of extensive testing by thousands of users, and our team of developers has been fixing bugs, listening to user feedback, and adding some really cool new features. There’s a lot more still planned. To see some of what’s coming, check out the list of additional features we plan to add.

What about Logos 4 for Mac?

The Mac version is getting really close. Yesterday we released Alpha 23. Now that nearly all of the features of the Windows version have made it in to the Mac version, there might be a beta around the corner. Those of you who’ve been holding off while it was still in alpha testing may want to consider jumping in during the beta phase. Remember, you can safely use both Logos for Mac 1.2.2 and Logos 4 for Mac side by side. If you’re ready to help us test it, you can either upgrade your base package or download the core engine and start contributing in the Logos 4 for Mac forum.

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.

Logos Co-Founder Speaks about the Best-Selling Pre-Pub of All Time

Dale Pritchett

Today’s guest post is from Dale Pritchett, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of Logos Bible Software.

In the eighteen years we’ve been in business, the single most popular, and perhaps most important, Pre-Pub title we have ever offered is Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

For many years now, schools have been downsizing Greek and Hebrew programs due to decreasing demand. Students have been opting-out of the rigorous language programs in such numbers that we now estimate that less than fifteen percent of all seminary students complete a Greek or Hebrew language course as part of their degree program. You have to believe, as a result, the exegetical skills in the pulpit have been greatly reduced. This concerns us greatly.

This is something we care about.

To change the status quo, we developed Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software. This series is targeted at the eighty-five percent who opt-out of traditional language programs, as well as those who need to re-invigorate their once-learned skills. We hoped this series would help reverse the trend and make original language studies more accessible to average students. Little did we know how huge the response would be.

Everyone should experience the Bible in the original languages.

We are reaching out this one last time to encourage you to place your Pre-Pub order right away before the price goes up. We encourage you to join literally thousands upon thousands of Logos Bible Software users across the world who are committed to taking their Bible study to the next level by digging into the original languages, perhaps for the first time ever.

You can do this.

The videos are step-by-step. Self-study at your own pace. No previous knowledge of Greek or Hebrew is required. Even English grammar is explained. No rote memorization of forms or paradigms either. You can do this, and we are here to help.

A couple of weeks ago, the two instructors sat down to talk about their experience with the project. Listen to their thoughts here:

The time is now.

Logos users have chosen to pre-order this video series more than any other product we have ever offered on Pre-Pub. In fact, we even had to delay the ship date by two days just to account for the sheer quantity of DVDs we had to order. The good news for you is that it gives you one final chance to get in on the discount.

The training you need to finally get into the original languages is ready. Read more about this incredible training series, watch the introductory videos, preview some of the videos in the series, and place your order right away before the price goes up.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Seminary Scholarship Winner

Rebecca.jpgCongratulations to Rebecca S., the recipient of our most recent $1,000.00 Seminary Scholarship. Rebecca is currently a part time student at Luther Seminary, enrolled in their distance education program. This coming fall, she’ll be moving to St. Paul, MN, to attend Luther Seminary full time.
As the winner of the scholarship, Rebecca received a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship and a copy of Logos Scholar’s Library.
We are currently taking new application for our next scholarship, which will be awarded on August 10th, 2010. If you are a seminary student, please head over and apply today.
What about Bible College students?
If you’re currently working on your undergraduate degree at a Christian or Bible College, then you should apply for our Bible College Scholarship. Like our seminary scholarship, three times a year we give one student a $1,000.00 tuition scholarship plus a copy of the Logos Scholar’s Library. To learn more, and apply, visit www.BibleCollegeScholarship.com.
Increase your odds of wining the scholarship!
Unlike most scholarship where you don’t want a lot of people to apply because it decreases your chances of winning, the opposite is true with our Seminary and Bible College Scholarships. After you have applied, tell all your friends to apply and to enter your name in the “How’d you hear about this scholarship” section of the application. If the scholarship winner has entered your name, you BOTH win the scholarship! So, the more people who apply and enter your name as the one who referred them, the more chances you have to win $1,000.00 for tuition and a copy of the Logos Scholar’s Library.
Seminary students, apply here:

Bible College students, apply here:

Biblical Languages and Bible Software

Today’s guest post is from Johnny Cisneros, Product Manager for Systematic Theology, and co-instructor of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software.

Moving from Digital Crutch to Digital Tool

Greek

When I was taking Greek and Hebrew, professors and teaching assistants continually warned us, “Don’t rely on Bible software to help you because it will become a crutch.”

They said that with good reason. The whole point of the language course was to be able to read the Greek New Testament or Hebrew Bible at sight (i.e. with little or no help from a parsing guide or lexicon).

In order to reach that goal, we spent the first year memorizing paradigms, vocabulary, grammatical terms and constructions, and doing basic translation. Weekly assignments could take anywhere from three to nine hours to complete. This went on for about twenty weeks.

I still have fond memories of sitting at a local coffee shop, filling out a custom made spreadsheet for Greek verb paradigms. I even bought a whiteboard for home so I could write out Hebrew verb paradigms first thing in the morning (crazy, I know). Each paradigm memorized was like another trophy earned.

But I learned that not every student felt the way I did. Not every student wanted to get involved in scholarship. Not every student made their own paradigm spreadsheets. At some point during the first year, they lost heart—unable to see the payoff. Faculty encouraged students to persevere with the promise that in the second year they would see that value of what they had learned.

But in first year, when the goal is identify everything word, form, and construction by sight, is software a crutch?

Yes.

So how can we call our software a tool?

Simple. We changed the goal.

Our goal in Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software is not for you to sight read the Greek NT or the Hebrew Bible without the helps. Instead, it’s to understand how to use the helps for interpreting the Bible. Do we still require you to be able to accurately identify the form of a particular word? Absolutely! But we don’t make you memorize a chart; we use our Visual Filter technology. After all, the inability to recognize liquid aorist verb at sight is not what makes a preacher “dangerous” with the biblical languages; it is being uninformed as to how the aorist tense works.

In Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software we introduce you to the grammatical concepts of a second year course, bypassing the paradigm chart and vocabulary that are supposed to be memorized in the first year. We show you how those concepts connect to English Bible translations, comparing their interpretations of the Greek and Hebrew. We open up commentaries that make use of the original languages so that you can get more value out of your library. And we demonstrate how you can apply those concepts to our original language tools and databases, the majority of which are unique to Logos Bible Software. Finally, we include principles for interpretation so that you can avoid some of the common mistakes.

Not only are these objectives more relevant for a teaching ministry, but the approach is sustainable in ministry.

So whether you are a student, pastor, or professor, there is something here for everyone. Order your copy of Learn to Use Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software today and move from digital crutch to digital tool.

Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos

During the past few months, we’ve been hard at work on Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software, a complete video introduction to using Logos Bible Software for learning and studying the Bible in the original languages. We’re almost finished with the series, and we plan to ship in just a few days.

A few days ago, Mike and Johnny—the two instructors in the videos—sat down to talk about the project. You can view their conversation below.

If you’ve got a little more time, be sure to check out some of the additional footage and sample videos posted on the product page.

Remember, Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software ships in just a few days. The price will jump to $499.95 next week, so make sure you pre-order it today for $159.95 while you still can.