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Haddon Robinson and Discourse Grammar, Part 1

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software and author of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and Lexham High Definition New Testament.

I have been reading through one of my seminary textbooks, the first edition of Robinson’s Biblical Preaching. The more I read, the more I was struck by how closely his approach to exegesis matched up with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and the High Definition New Testament. Grammar professors are usually interested in the detail, the specifics of the words. The homiletics profs focus on the ‘big idea’, i.e. how the smaller parts contribute to the whole. The hard part is synthesizing these two elements.

This synthesis is captured in Robinson’s Stage 3 of preparation, after the lexicons, dictionaries and commentaries have been consulted. He states, “As you study the passage, relate the parts to each other to determine the exegetical idea and its development” (p. 66). What is interesting is that while he lists eight different kinds of resources to help you through your study Stage 2, he does not list any for Stage 3. Apparently, you’re on your own.

The core part of Stage 3 is identifying what Robinson calls the Subject and the Complement. The Subject “accurately describes what the author is talking about” (p. 67). Complements “complete the subject and make it into an idea” (p. 67). In other words, any given passage is made up of subjects, to which complements are added. The most important part of identifying these elements, says Robinson, is understanding the structure of the passage. If the structure is understood, then the flow of thought or reasoning can be accurately discerned and communicated. This is accomplished by developing what he calls a ‘mechanical layout’, essentially a block diagram that charts the flow of the text.

Such a layout points up the relationship of the dependent clauses to the independent clauses. . . . Either a diagram or a mechanical layout brings analysis and synthesis together so that the major idea of a passage is separated from its supporting material. (68)

Here is the sample of his mechanical layout from Appendix 2 of the first edition. It is not included in the second edition.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/robinson-layout.png

Now let’s shift gears and take a look at what is found in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. It provides the same kind of block outline for the entire New Testament as seen in Robinson’s layout.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/LDGNT-eph4.11-13.png

The independent clauses can be differentiated from the dependent ones by the labels in the left column, by the indenting, and by the discourse annotations like backgrounding (e.g. Text).

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/LDGNT-eph4.16.png

Where the Greek writer uses special devices to highlight that something is part of Robinson’s Subject, the LDGNT annotates this as a frame of reference (e.g. [TP Text TP]). Some frames of reference introduce topics, others introduce information that helps you relate what follows to the preceding text. Either way, they are clearly marked to avoid confusing them with Robinson’s Complement. Greek writers also used special devices to emphasize the most important part of the Complement. This too is indicated for you using bolding.

The LDGNT was intentionally developed for preachers and teachers. It includes many other devices that help you identify where the writers highlight key themes, or highlight significant connections between ideas, and much more. We felt like this information was so important that it had to get into the hands of folks without training in Greek. This resulted in a slightly simplified version called the Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/HDNT-eph4.11-16.png

Check out the videos for the HDNT and LDGNT to learn more about each resource.

Those of you who already have the LDGNT will be excited to hear about a forthcoming resource I’ve been working on: Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction to Discourse Features for Teaching and Exegesis. This text introduces the discourse concepts annotated in the LDGNT, starting with how standard Greek grammars like BDF, Robertson, Wallace and Porter treat them. Keep an eye out for it on the Pre-Pub page.

Pastor Appreciation Month Specials!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Pastors, since you are such an important part of our user base, we want to show our appreciation by giving you something for free and offering you discounted pricing on many of our best collections.

For the rest of the month, you can download the Sermon File Addin at no charge. No coupon codes necessary. Just visit the product page and place your order for the downloadable version.

We invite you to download it and give it a try—and spread the word to other pastors. Check out the video below to learn more about this powerful tool.


After you download it, be sure to watch the five tutorial videos at the bottom of the product page.

If you already have the Sermon File Addin, we want to show our appreciation to you as well! We’re offering discounted pricing on these 16 collections. Just use coupon code PAM2008 to see the special savings in your shopping cart.

If you’re not a pastor, why not show your pastor how much you appreciate him by buying him one of our base packages. Save 25% off with coupon code BLESSING. And then tell your pastor how he can get the Sermon File Addin for free by sending this post to him.

Update: The Sermon File Addin offer has expired.

Hands-on First Look at Bible Study Magazine

The first ten copies of Bible Study Magazine arrived in the office on Friday. We’re thrilled with the finished product—and think you will be as well.

Watch associate editor, John Barry, give a quick hands-on overview.

If you’ve already subscribed, you should be getting yours in your mailbox very soon. For the rest of you, it’s not too late to subscribe.

5 New Collections from Canon Press

We’re excited to be able to make available on Pre-Pub 41 books in five collections from our new friends at Canon Press.

Douglas Wilson Collection (17 Vols.)These collections cover a wide range of biblical, theological, and practical issues and are sure to be of help to average Christians, pastors, and scholars alike.

Canon Press is one of the literature ministries of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, which is pastored by Douglas Wilson, a theologian and prolific author—both in print and on his popular Blog and Mablog.

Wilson is also a powerful apologist in the tradition of Cornelius Van Til. I thoroughly enjoyed the six-part debate with atheist Christopher Hitchens hosted by ChristianityToday.com in June of 2007, “Is Christianity Good for the World?

17 Deals Ending Soon!

Forms of the Old Testament Literature Series (17 Vols.)An unusually high number of Pre-Pubs are scheduled to ship in the next few weeks. That means that the special discounted pricing will be ending very soon. You may want to give this list a quick look over to make sure that you don’t unknowingly miss out on any of these great deals.

Here they are in order of estimated ship date.

10/16/2008

  • The Trinity by Roger E. Olson and Christopher A. Hall

10/17/2008

Theology and Doctrine Collection (16 Vols.)10/20/2008

10/21/2008

10/23/2008

10/24/2008

Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology10/27/2008

10/28/2008

11/7/2008

And last, but certainly not least, is the long-awaited Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology with a target ship date of 11/14/2008. Many of you have been patiently waiting for a very long time. The wait is just about over.

Introducing the Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament

Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament DOWNLOADWhat in the world are those crazy people at Logos doing now? What is The Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament? Why another lexicon?

There are a few reasons, actually. Here are three of them.

First, this lexicon takes advantage of the classification in Louw & Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon based on Semantic Domains and offers definitions of each lemma broken into the different senses used in the Greek New Testament, as shown below.

Second, this lexicon lists every instance of every word in the NA27/UBS4 Greek New Testament classified by Louw-Nida sense. Why is this important? It means that you can be in the Greek New Testament, KeyLink into the Lexham Analytical Lexicon, and (particularly if you’re using the Active Reference Visual Filter) note the classification of the instance from which you KeyLinked.

Continue Reading…

Two Massive Biblical Reference Tools

I’m really excited about two new reference tools that we have recently added to our Pre-Pub page.

Big, unwieldy, out-of-print sets like these make wonderful additions to your Libronix digital library. Not only will you save huge amounts of shelf space, but you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for with far greater ease.

Looking for a word or phrase? No problem. No need to flip back and forth between the index volume (which we include for the set that has one) and the other volumes. Just run a search and click to jump right to the locations.

Want to look up a particular entry? Libronix is at your service. No need to try to figure out which volume it’s in. Libronix allows you to enter your topic right into the top of the resource and instantly jump to the right place in the right volume—no matter which volume you happen to have opened.

Want to find a Bible passage? Piece of cake. By using the reference browser or the basic search, you’ll have all the hits in seconds. You can even integrate these sets right into the Passage Guide.

I could go on, but you get the point. Libronix makes Bible study better and easier—especially when it comes to using gargantuan sets like these.

Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (12 Vols.)Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (12 Vols.)

This classic set is composed of 12 volumes of roughly 1,000 pages each for a total of 12,324 pages packed with biblical and theological content. With 31,000 articles and about 17,000,000 words, it’s unlikely you’ll come up empty handed when you turn to this resource.

As a reference point, the 83-volume Anchor Yale Bible, which has 43,315 pages, has an estimated 25,000,000 words. In terms of cost per amount of data, the Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature is a tremendous value.

New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (13 Vols.)New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (13 Vols.)

This 13-volume, 6,328-page set covers a huge range of topics. The full title says it best: The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religion Knowledge, Embracing Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, and Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiological Biography from the Earliest Times to the Present Day. The Homiletic Review called it “indispensable . . . the best reference work in the entire field.”

Though both of these sets are a bit older, they are still of considerable value for today.

Bible Study Magazine Goes to Press!

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the associate editor and project manager for Bible Study Magazine.

Bible Study Magazine—1-Year 5-Copy SubscriptionToday I have the privilege and honor of announcing that the inaugural issue of Bible Study Magazine went to press on Monday October 6th at 9:10 AM PST.

Since the time I was hired to launch, manage and be the Associate Editor of Bible Study Magazine, this project has become a deep passion of mine. I believe it will truly make a difference in the lives of those who read it.

If you haven’t heard about Bible Study Magazine yet, please check out the brand-new BibleStudyMagazine.com, where you can get a sneak preview of a few spreads. If you’ve already seen the site, I would recommend you check it out again, since this new version has a fresh feel and is much more informative.

We’re convinced that you’ll love this first issue. It is beautifully designed and full of enriching and fascinating content from (or about) some of the best in the church and biblical scholarship, including Josh McDowell, David Lawson, Peter Flint, Daniel Wallace, Mark Goodacre, Craig Broyles, Michael Heiser, and Arnold Fruchtenbaum.

At $14.95 for a one-year subscription, it is well worth your dollar. If you want the inaugural Nov-Dec 2008 issue, you’d better get your order in right away, because as you can see, we are nearly ready to ship the magazine.

Here is a list of the complete contents of the Nov-Dec 2008 issue:

Features:

Columns:

  • “Using Bible Dictionaries: The Athenians, the Areopagus and an Anonymous God” by James D. Elgin
  • “Discovering the Power of Luke’s Gospel” by Andrew B. Perrin

Sections:

  • “Letter from the Editor” by Michael S. Heiser
  • “Headlines” by Heather Bambeck-Hulsey
  • “Comics and Puzzles”
  • “Finding Time for God” by Jeannine Seery
  • “Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 8:43-48″
  • “Who Took Verse 4 Out of My Bible?” by Michael S. Heiser
  • “How Bible Study Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage with Precept Ministries’ David Lawson” by Christy Tennant
  • “When I Open the Gospels: An Interview with Dr. Mark Goodacre”
  • “What Does the Bible Teach About . . . Justification and Sanctification” by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
  • “What’s In Your Bible?” by Vincent Setterholm
  • “Shelf Life” (a review of four forthcoming books)

Subscribe now!

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Edwards

October 5, 2008 marked 305 years since the birth of Jonathan Edwards, who has been widely known as America’s greatest theologian. Most people’s birthdays don’t get remembered by very many people after they die, but Jonathan Edwards is a notable exception.

John Piper on Jonathan Edwards

As I mentioned in Friday’s post on Learning from Your Heroes’ Heroes, John Piper is well known for his immense appreciation for Edwards. He’s written or edited two books about Edwards, both of which are available in Libronix:

I’d strongly encourage you to listen to or read Piper’s biographical sketch on Edwards, “The Pastor as Theologian,” which was given at the first Desiring God Pastors Conference in 1988. Powerful and motivating.

As you might expect, Piper wrote a blog post about Jonathan Edwards’ Birthday, where he had this to say about him:

I suppose, after the Bible, no theologian has a greater ongoing effect on me as Jonathan Edwards. There are few in the world who combine the sharpness of mind, the scope of thought, the allegiance to Scripture, the depth of insight, the intensity of affections, the height of imagination, and the power of expression that he brings to all his work. I thank God for him today.

Coming Soon to Libronix!

Soon you’ll be able to have the standard 2-volume set fully searchable and tagged in your Libronix library. We announced Edwards’ works on Pre-Pub at the end of March. I just heard from our Electronic Text Development department that we’re not too far away from being ready to ship! If you haven’t placed your pre-order yet, don’t miss out on your chance to get our best price on the works of this eminently influential theologian. Place your pre-order now.

A Birthday Special

What would a birthday be without a birthday present? To celebrate Edwards’ 305th birthday and the soon arrival of his works in Libronix format, we have two specials for you, our blog readers:

  1. Get a taste of Edwards now by downloading A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections for free! Use coupon code EDWARDS during checkout to get this Edwards classic for no charge.
  2. Save 40% on the two Piper books on Edwards mentioned above by using coupon code PIPER-EDWARDS.

Both specials are good for one week, so take advantage now and spread the word!

Update: This offer has expired.

Learning from Your Heroes’ Heroes

Some people’s opinions carry a lot of weight, and rightfully so. For many, John Piper is one of those people. It’s hard to overstate his influence on evangelicalism. His preaching and writings are powerful and his wedding of passion and God-centered theology is contagious.

Like many of you, I’ve learned much from him—and, consequently, from his teachers.

Just as God uses John Piper to mold and shape people’s lives, God has used many people—living and dead—to shape John Piper. It’s wise to seek to learn from them as well.

I discovered Jonathan Edwards—like I’m sure many others have—due to the central role he has played for Piper. Of course, I knew about Edwards in my “pre-Piper” days, but Piper led me to really delve into his writings.

I’m eager to have Henry Alford’s Greek Testament in my digital library before too long (just a few more pre-orders needed!), largely because of what Piper had to say about it.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Vols.)Another author whom Piper has created interest in is Charles Simeon, whose massive Horae Homileticae (Hours of Homilies) was nearly impossible to obtain until we produced a digital edition of it. (Read the story of how it all came to be.) Now the entire collection containing 54 years of Simeon’s expository sermons covering the entire Bible is again available—and, I might add, much more useful!

At the 1989 Desiring God Pastors Conference, John Piper gave his annual biographical sketch on the life of Charles Simeon. It was entitled “Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering.” You can listen to the message or read it online. If you have the Piper collection, you can read the expanded edition right in Libronix.

According to Piper, Horae Homileticae “is the best place to go to research Simeon’s theology. One can find his views on almost every key text in the Bible.” (Roots of Endurance, 86). The depth and power of Simeon’s ministry was rooted in “a life of prayer and meditation.” As a result, “what Simeon experienced in the Word and prayer was extraordinary. It is so utterly different from the counsel that we receive today that it is worth looking at carefully” (Roots of Endurance, 106-07).

For a limited time, we’re offering Simeon’s 21-volume Horae Homileticae for more than 50% off the retail price when you use coupon code BIOGRAPHY.