3 Little-Read Books That Changed the World

lucretiusA book’s influence tends to correspond to how widely it’s read: the most influential books usually speak to a lot of people. Certain books, though, manage to shape the culture without enjoying a huge readership. Today we’ll be looking at three: Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, Herodotus’ The Persian Wars, and James Joyce’s Ulysses.

1. On the Nature of Things

Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things is a book-length poem that articulates the Epicurean worldview: in short, that the universe is made of atoms, that there is no afterlife, that the gods don’t intervene in (or concern themselves with) human affairs, and that the best way to live is that which minimizes pain and maximizes pleasure. From the third century AD to AD 1417, Epicureanism was almost entirely forgotten.

Then an especially persistent book hunter came across a manuscript of On the Nature of Things, and people started reading it again. Machiavelli personally copied out the whole manuscript by hand. Thomas More alluded to it in Utopia. Montaigne quoted it outright—almost 100 times. The list of readers also includes Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne, Bacon, Ben Jonson, Newton, and Thomas Jefferson, who not only owned five Latin editions but even described himself as an Epicurean. Lucretius’ Epicurean worldview, so long forgotten, was back in style.

Since then, much of the book has been pushed back out of style by modern science: we believe in atoms not thanks to it, but thanks to people like Niels Bohr. On the Nature of Things is once again a little-read book. But it’s worth your time, because—as Stephen Greenblatt, the famous humanities scholar, argues—it’s one of the texts that brought about the Renaissance. Lucretius emphasized beauty, and so did da Vinci and Michelangelo. Lucretius argued against the fear of death, and so did Montaigne. Epicureanism has little in common with Christianity, but that’s no reason not to know it well, especially in its capacity as a catalyst for Renaissance thought.

We’re building a Noet edition of On the Nature of Things, and it’s still in Community Pricing: for just a little while, you can pick it up for a mere $5.

Join Shakespeare and Thomas Jefferson: for just $5, get to know this forgotten piece of history.

2. The Persian Wars

herodotus-the-persian-warsHerodotus’ The Persian Wars, written in the fifth century BC, seems impossibly remote: it describes the rise of the Persian Empire and the history and cultural background of Scythia and Egypt. This isn’t (directly) Christian history, and it seems far too distant to still be relevant—what’s the point?

Herodotus is worth reading because he introduced the very notion of history as we know it: a unified narrative of cause and effect. No less a figure than Cicero, in fact, called him the “father of history.”

In volume 51 of the Harvard Classics, George H. Chase writes that “what distinguishes [Herodotus] from his predecessors and gives him a unique place in the history of literature is the fact that he was the first writer to undertake the narration of a series of events of world-wide importance upon a comprehensive plan and to trace in those events the relations of cause and effect.” Reginald Macan adds, “There is, indeed, no ancient historian with whom Herodotus need fear comparison. . . . in the larger view of history, which embraces every experience of humanity [and] treats no aspect of human life as common or unclean . . . Herodotus keeps his rank as the premier historian of antiquity.”

Good news—Herodotus is on Community Pricing, and the current bid is only $4. You’re studying history as a series of ancient events; it’s worth studying history as a concept, too. Learn where our notion of history comes from: place your bid on Herodotus’ The Persian Wars.

3. Ulysses

select-works-of-james-joyceA strange fate: James Joyce’s greatest novel, a work of tremendous formal innovation, enjoys undeniable fame; its most famous attribute is its lack of readers. Ulysses recasts Homer’s Odyssey as a single day in the life of Leopold Bloom, much of it narrated in the style we now know as stream of consciousness.

The book’s next-most-famous attribute is its astonishing language. Jorge Luis Borges writes,

“Like Shakespeare, like Quevedo, like Goethe, like no other writer, Joyce is less a man of letters than a literature. And, incredibly, he is a literature within the compass of a single volume. His writing is intense, as Goethe’s never was; it is delicate, a virtue whose existence Quevedo did not suspect. I (like the rest of the universe) have not read [the whole of] Ulysses, but I read and happily reread certain scenes . . . . [Joyce] enjoyed a gift for words, a felicitous verbal omnipotence.”

The book certainly isn’t Christian, but that’s what your Logos 5 base package is for. Ulysses is for a different sort of study: the study of our time’s language and thought. If you’re interested in words, Ulysses offers a fascinating example of what’s possible—one that you, like Borges, can begin appreciating right away. If you’re interested in engaging the culture, Ulysses is a cipher of modern thought: it reflects modernity’s emphasis on language and on self, and it inspired some of the twentieth century’s most innovative art.

See what all the fuss is about: pick up Ulysses and more with Noet’s Select Works of James Joyce collection.

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P.S. Lucretius and Herodotus are both on Community Pricing, but Lucretius is moving especially fast: the price will be going up very soon. On the Nature of Things helps you understand not only ancient times but also the Renaissance—for the price of a cup of coffee, it’s a steal. Place your bid right now for just $5!

Upgrade Your Library with Diamond

L4-Silver-Diamond

Diamond is our second-largest base package. Not only does it give you all of Logos 5′s datasets and features; it also gives you a library of more than 2,000 volumes.

Let’s look at some of the great content you get with Diamond, all bundled at an amazing discount:

The College Press NIV Commentary Series (40 vols.)

Regularly: $739.95

The College Press NIV  Commentary Series gives you over 16,000 pages of Old and New Testament introduction and commentary. This set caters to a broad readership, from the academia to the pulpit to the pew.

Scholars will appreciate the series’ dedication to serious exegesis, its frequent appeals to the original languages, and its dialogue with the interpreters of the past. Pastors will discover a wealth of potential sermon material—the series’ verse-by-verse exposition is sensitive both to the texts’ ancient context and to Christian application. And everyone will benefit from the set’s clarity and readability.

A. W. Tozer Collection (57 vols.)

Regularly: $399.95

Many Christians can trace profound moments in their spiritual life to their discovery of Tozer’s writing. The Diamond package fills your library with 57 volumes of his insightful resources.

“A.W. Tozer has been one of the greatest writers of all time on themes as profound as the soul’s hungers. He well grasped the paradox of the cross. [H]e exhorts the believer to resist the downgrading of the cross to a mere symbol. If the cross has become to us a humdrum ornament to our faith, we have not understood it, and we have not felt its offense.”
—Dr. Ravi Zacharias, president, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Tozer’s writings are so impactful that all 12 reader reviews gave this collection five out of five stars!

The Works of John Owen (24 vols.)

Regularly: $399.95

J.I. Packer said, “For solidity, profundity, massiveness, and majesty in exhibiting from Scripture God’s ways with sinful mankind there is no one to touch [John Owen].”

Logos users agree—the Works of John Owen collection has earned strong reviews:

“Owen is one of the finest 17th-century theologians and pastors. The way God used him is beyond measure. These works testify to a heart that burned for the glory of the sovereign God and the joy of his people. Volume 10: The Death of Christ and his expositions of Hebrews transformed the way I understood the atoning work of Christ Jesus. Owen’s case for particular redemption is the most persuasive in all Reformed literature I have read.”
—Prayson Daniel

The Journal of Biblical Literature (26 vols.)

Regularly: $299.95

The Journal of Biblical Literature, the flagship journal of the Society of Biblical Literature, promotes critical and academic biblical scholarship and brings the highest level of scholarly expertise to bear on the study of biblical literature. The Logos edition of The Journal of Biblical Literature gives you nearly 20,000 pages of articles, reviews, and news written by top scholars between 1981 and 2006.

Take a look: this collection has earned an average rating of 4.5 stars.

B.B. Warfield Collection (20 vols.)

Regularly: $274.95

B. B. Warfield ranks among America’s greatest theologians and Reformed theology’s most ardent defenders. A prolific writer and accomplished scholar, Warfield argued for Reformed confessionalism against the extremes of nineteenth-century modernist and revivalist theology, and defined the parameters of theological method for the twentieth century.

“His mind was so clear and his literary style so chaste and lucid that it is a real joy to read his works, and one derives pleasure and profit at the same time.”
—Martyn Lloyd-Jones

The B. B. Warfield Collection includes the entire 10-volume Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, published in the decade following Warfield’s death in 1921, plus 10 additional volumes of books, articles, and lectures.

Readers love it: the collection has earned 11 user ratings and an average rating of 4.5 stars.

A. W. Pink Collection (40 vols.)

Regularly: $249.95

This collection of 40 titles by A.W. Pink should be part of every Christian’s study library. A practical theologian with a pastor’s heart, Pink has shaped the thinking of a generation of believers—especially on the topics of divine election and God’s sovereignty. One user said, “these books are a must for every Bible student’s library.”

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These six collections alone cover over 70% of Diamond’s cost—and they represent less than 210 of Diamond’s 2,000+ volumes.

If you’re not yet a Logos 5 base package owner, Diamond is a cost-effective way to get a powerful theological library at a great discount. Act now and you can get an additional 15% off!

Already own a base package? Diamond is a strong upgrade choice, and right now, we’re offering special discounts to upgrade. And don’t forget: if you already own any of the content in Diamond, you’ll get an ownership discount, too!

There’s not going to be a better time to move to Diamond. So pick up a new Diamond base package, or upgrade to Diamond right now!

Save 32% on Bible Study Magazine

6.5_JulyAug-BlogOrder Bible Study Magazine today and get 32% off the cover price!

Bible Study Magazine gives you the tools and insight you need to study the Bible and apply it in your life. No matter how you’re currently studying Scripture, BSM helps you get more out of your time in the Word.

In every 48-page issue, you’ll find sound advice and enriching insights from pastors and scholars who’ve spent years applying the Bible in their lives and teaching others to do the same. Read pastor profiles, author interviews, and stories of individuals whose engagement with Scripture has shaped their thinking and defined their ministries. Bible Study Magazine reveals the impact of God’s Word in their lives, and the power of Scripture in yours.

The July–August issue features Paul David Tripp, the biblical counselor, author, and international speaker. Tripp discusses street-level Christianity and the connection between knowing the Bible and transforming how we live.

You’ll also find:

  • “Hope for a Troubled Church”
  • “Not Your Average Bible Study: The Call of Discipleship: 8 Weeks in the Sermon on the Mount”
  • “The Great Dilemna of Divine Warfare”
  • “Won’t Back Down”
  • And more

BSM subscribers say:

“I eagerly look forward to Bible Study Magazine each month! I am grateful for the high quality and also for the dedicated enthusiasm of the staff and contributors.”

“Absolutely grateful for this magazine!”

Bible Study Magazine is a fantastic resource of added insight into study of the Scripture.”

“Love it! Love it! Love it! I read these cover-to-cover. Outstanding information and inspiration.”

Subscribe to Bible Study Magazine today and get 32% off the cover price!

Pre-order the John MacArthur Sermon Archive for Half Off!

john-macarthur-sermon-archiveRight now, you can pre-order the brand-new John MacArthur Sermon Archive for half off!

John MacArthur is president of The Master’s College and Seminary, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and one of the most influential pastors in the world. MacArthur’s pulpit ministry has been extended around the globe through his media ministry, Grace to You. He has written hundreds of books and study guides, including the bestselling John MacArthur Essential Bible Study Library and the MacArthur Study Bible. He’s also the author of influential books like Different by Design and Twelve Ordinary Men.

Get 3,000+ sermons backed up by Logos 5′s powerful tools

With the John MacArthur Sermon Archive, you’ll benefit from MacArthur’s decades of experience. You’ll gain insight into topics like:

  • “Marks of a Faithful Preacher”
  • “A Biblical Model of Giving”
  • “The Secret of Contentment”
  • “Restoring Biblical Eldership”
  • And over 3,000 more!

What’s more, these sermons are completely searchable and integrated with the rest of your Logos library. The Passage Guide allows you to see exactly what MacArthur has to say about the passage or topic you’re studying. The Topic Guide lets you perform powerful searches to instantly gather relevant biblical texts and resources. Citations link directly to English- and original-language texts, and terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. And to top it off, our mobile apps let you take your study on the go.

If you wait until it’s live, you’ll pay double the price! Don’t wait—pre-order the John MacArthur Sermon Archive right now.

Get $300 Off the Nelson Bible Reference Bundle!

Blog Header Image 400x400If you’ve taken a look at what’s in the Nelson Bible Reference Bundle, you know it’s an incredible deal. It brings together the power of world-class resources like the Word Biblical Commentary and the Preacher’s Commentary Series—resources that, on their own, cost hundreds of dollars.

But what if you could save an additional $300?

Good news: right now, you can! Just use coupon code NBRB2014 to get your discount.

An incredible deal on top resources

The Nelson Bible Reference Bundle is an exhaustive collection of Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, devotionals, and popular titles from your favorite Thomas Nelson authors. It makes Bible study, sermon preparation, and lesson planning quick, easy, interesting, and affordable—and right now you can get it for $300 off! That’s $100 less than the Word Biblical Commentary costs alone.

This bundle has earned a glowing average rating of five stars. People are blown away by the value, even before the discount:

“This was one of my best value purchases from Logos . . . counting the last two decades of being a Logos user!”

“A worthwhile investment for WBC let alone all the other great volumes included, really good value!”

“I feel a little taken back. This is a massive collection, I had a ton of these books and loved them. Having them indexed and having the opportunity to give [my print editions] away was a blessing.”

This is one deal you don’t want to miss

Once this deal is gone, you’ll lose out on your chance to get 200 volumes at about $3 each. Spread the payments out with an interest-free payment plan and you’ve got an incredibly affordable deal on a world-class library.

Don’t miss this deal—use coupon code NBRB2014 and get the Nelson Bible Reference Bundle for $300 off today!

Why the Greek Tragedies Still Matter

bristol-classics-greek-tragedy-bundle“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering,” wrote C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain, “and you find that you have excluded life itself.” We have always suffered; we have always tried to cope. That urge to understand suffering is what’s behind one of humanity’s richest literary traditions—tragedy.

The classical Greek tragedies are the bedrock of the form: just as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle shaped philosophy, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides shaped drama. Noet’s Bristol Classic Greek Tragedies Bundle gives you some of their most important works, including Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus and Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy. These compelling stories and penetrating insights into human nature still resonate today.

For a limited time, you can pre-order these tragedies for $45 off. The Pre-Pub price goes up on June 5­—claim yours right now.

Know the most important Greek tragedians

Some eras produce astonishing leaps forward in art and science. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were of one time; so were Leibniz and Newton, who independently invented calculus. Likewise, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides all worked in roughly the fifth century BC.

  • Aeschylus is widely regarded as the father of drama. Though he obviously worked before the time of Christ, he’s deeply concerned with themes common to Christian art: good and evil.
  • Sophocles defeated Aeschylus in a drama competition in 486 BC. He went on to dominate the world of drama for the next 50 years, winning some 24 out of 30 competitions. In his Poetics, Aristotle alludes to Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as the highest achievement in tragedy.
  • Euripides defeated Sophocles in a competition in 411 BC, and went on to introduce innovations that have informed tragedy down to modern times. Before him, tragic heroes were nearly mythical figures; after, they were ordinary people in extraordinarily trying circumstances.

When you read a tragedy like Hamlet or Othello—one in which actions have consequences and, simultaneously, fate acts as an almost blind force; one in which the tragic hero is imprisoned in a cage of his or her own making—you’re reading a story with roots in the works of these ancient Greeks.

Pre-order right now for the best price

The Greek Tragedy Bundle’s Pre-Pub price is going up in just two days; after that, it won’t be on Pre-Pub for much longer. You’ll never see a better price than this.

Know the classics: pre-order the Bristol Classics Greek Tragedies Bundle for $45 off.

Save up to 34% on Commentaries with Graduation Deals for Everyone!

Graduation Sale

In honor of this year’s graduates, we’re kicking off summer with great deals—for everyone! Whether you’re graduating or you just want to know the Bible better, you can save up to 34% on top commentaries. Here are a few of the bestsellers:

interpretation-a-bible-commentary-for-teaching-and-preachingInterpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching (INT)

On sale for $70 off!

Interpretation combines historical scholarship and theological questions, bringing an understanding of what the text says into dialogue with contemporary questions of life and faith. A readable blend of exegetical study and hermeneutical reflection, it will equip you to better teach and preach the Bible.

NIV Application Commentary Bundle (NIVAC)

On sale for $100 off!

Most Bible commentaries take us on a one-way trip: from our world to the world of the Bible. There they leave us, assuming that we can somehow make the return journey on our own. They focus on the original meaning, but don’t discuss its contemporary application. The NIV Application Commentary series brings together both halves of the interpretive process: it bridges the gap between the Bible’s world and today’s.

pillar-new-testament-commentary-blogPillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)

On sale for more than $75 off!

Full of contributions from authors like Douglas Moo, Leon Morris, and D.A. Carson, the Pillar New Testament Commentary is designed for both focused scholars and general readers of the Bible. The authors seek to “loosen the Bible from its pages” and help you apply its truths to your life.

The New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC)

On sale for more than $130 off!

“At a time when the study of Greek is being curtailed in many schools of theology,” states the series’ foreword, “we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament and will be an impetus in the revival of such study.” The New Testament demands exegesis that’s sensitive to theological themes, as well as to the texts’ historical, linguistic, and textual context. The NIGTC delivers. One Logos user says, “This is definitely a set that anyone serious about studying God’s Word would want in their collection.”

Celebrate a hard-earned summer by equipping yourself (or a friend) for future ministry and better Bible study: pick up your favorite commentaries today.

Get a Free Book by Walter Brueggemann

FBOTM_SocialShare_400x400Right now, you can get Walter Brueggemann’s Spirituality of the Psalms for free!

Brueggemann, one of the world’s foremost theologians and OT scholars, has led the way to compelling new understandings of ancient Israel’s faith and culture. Now you can pick up his intriguing exploration of the Psalms at no cost whatsoever.

One of the hardest parts things about interpreting and applying the OT is understanding its context and purpose. In Spirituality of the Psalms, Brueggemann explores the genres of the Psalms, and how genre affects their function. Using a model of “orientation / disorientation / new orientation,” he helps you relate Psalms to the ever-changing seasons of life.

walter-brueggemann-collectionBrueggemann has written more than 50 books, hundreds of articles, and several biblical commentaries. After you download your free book, be sure to enter to win the entire Walter Brueggemann Collection—you could take home all 24 volumes for free. That’s a $399 value!

Want more from Dr. Brueggemann?

After you download Spirituality of the Psalms, add David’s Truth: In Israel’s Imagination and Memory for just $0.99! In this completely revised edition, Walter Brueggemann examines four different sets of David narratives, each of which reflects a particular social context, social hope, and community. These stories offer a distinctly different “mode of truth” concerning this pivotal biblical figure.

Don’t miss out: get both Spirituality of the Psalms and David’s Truth: In Israel’s Imagination and Memory for just $0.99!

Take 15% Off a New Logos 5 Base Package!

Get 15% Off Logos 5

If you’ve been thinking about equipping yourself for Bible study with Logos 5, now’s the time. Right now, you can use coupon code GETLOGOSNOW to get 15% off a new base package!

Logos 5 will help you do deeper Bible study, faster:

Logos 5 also equips you with the most advanced theological library available. Each base package comes packed with top commentaries, devotionals, dictionaries, and more. You’ll get a massive digital library and powerful Bible study tools. You’ll find biblical answers, gain a deeper understanding of the text, and apply the Bible to your life. And, since Logos syncs across platforms, you’ll be able to take your library wherever you go.

Pick your perfect library

Finding the right base package is simple. Our comparison chart lets you view base packages side by side, so you can decide which datasets, resources, and prices fit your needs. From Gold (which gives you all of Logos 5’s features at the lowest price) to Portfolio (which gives you resources worth $78,000 in print!), you can choose the library that’s right for you.

And don’t forget: the bigger the base package, the better the deal. With a new base package, you’re saving way more than 15%. You’re also getting Logos’ bundling discounts, which increase as you add more books, plus Dynamic Pricing for the resources you already own.

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This is an awesome opportunity to get the world’s most advanced Bible software at a great discount. Use coupon code GETLOGOSNOW and take 15% off a new Logos 5 base package!

Logos 5’s Secret Sauce (and How It Will Transform Your Study)

Library ConnectionsYou’ve heard the term before: datasets. We sometimes mention them in emails and blog posts, and you can probably figure out most of what they are from the term alone. (Yes, they’re interconnected sets of biblical data.) But why should you care?

Because datasets are Logos 5′s secret sauce.

You won’t find them anywhere except in Logos 5. They’re not on any other website, in any other store, or even in the largest theological library out there. They were created exclusively for Logos 5 to help you study faster and better.

So, what makes these datasets so transformational? Here’s what they offer:

1. Access to game-changing scholarly research

Each of Logos 5′s 10 new datasets represents an intense research project by in-house scholars. Our research team spent years analyzing words, meanings, and biblical events—and connecting those ideas based on real human intelligence, not algorithms.

These datasets pull together massive amounts of information on world history, preaching themes, grammatical relationships, word senses, and more. They equip you to know who’s being referred to by each pronoun, verb, and noun, to see the meaning behind words, and to understand biblical events better by putting them in historical context. With this sort of data, you can complete tasks that would typically take hours—if not days—with a click.

2. Answers that take the guesswork out of Bible study

All this research and information may sound overwhelming, but—fortunately for you—getting the exact information you need is simple. That’s because you don’t need to go digging for answers: our tools and features do it for you. In fact, Logos’ tools are powered by the datasets themselves.

Zechariah 2

Click image to enlarge.

Here’s an example: you want information on Zechariah—not Zechariah the trumpet player, not Zechariah the father of Able, but Zechariah the father of John the Baptist. Lucky for you, we’ve already disambiguated all 30 Zechariahs in the Bible. Just open the Bible Facts tool and search his name: the tool sweeps through the Biblical People, Places, and Things dataset to present you with a full list of relevant verses, family trees, beautiful artwork, and dictionary links.

That’s a whole lot of work and power, and all you had to do was click “search.”

This is why datasets are so transformational—they connect related information across your entire library and present you with answers, along with the facts you need to reach new insights.

Save hours of research time: upgrade to Logos 5 and take advantage of the game-changing power of datasets.

For a limited time, you can get your best deal on a Logos 5 upgrade—see your custom upgrade discount and save today!