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Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16

[NB: The update at the bottom of the article is new; if you've found this article useful please review it. Thanks! — Rick]
The most recent issue of the SBL’s Journal of Biblical Literature (vol 126, no 3) has an article entitled “The Syntax of εν Χριστω in 1 Thessalonians 4:16″ (pp. 579-593). SBL members are able to download the article from the Society of Biblical Literature web site.
The article’s authors, David Konstan and Ilaria Ramelli, examine the question of whether or not the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω (“in Christ”) attaches to the clause subject (οι νεκροι, “the dead”) or to the clause verb (αναστησονται, “will rise”).
Why is this important? Basically the question the authors seek to answer is whether it is more appropriate to translate the clause “the dead in Christ will rise” or “the dead will rise in Christ”; important to the authors as they state:

The choice between the two versions is of considerable importance. On the first interpretation, only those who have died in Christ will be resurrected, whereas the second can be taken to signify that all the dead will be resurrected in Christ—the necessary premise for the thesis of universal salvation or apocatastasis defined by Origen and other patristics writers, including Gregory of Nyssa. (580)

At this point, I think it is worth stating that the way one answers the question may allow for an interpretation of universal salvation, but it surely doesn’t dictate it. I should also note that the authors don’t say that the way one answers the question dictates interpretation; I just thought I should make that clear.
I’m not going to interact directly with the article’s argument; I just thought it would be helpful to use this as a springboard to talk some more about (surprise!) syntax searching. Because examining questions like this really is syntax searching.
The authors of the article locate all instances of the prepositional phrase (there are 84 instances)* and then work through many of them looking to see what light they shed on how the prepositional phrase is attached. Of course, if you’ve used the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, you know that you can at least get their reading on questions like this. Here is how they organize 1Th 4.16:

1Th 4.16

As you can see, the OpenText.org SAGNT read the prepositional phrase (εν Χριστω, “in Christ”) as modifying the noun phrase, thus “the dead in Christ.”
Next we can search to find all instances of the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω. As you can see, The OpenText.org SAGNT does not specifically mark items as prepositional phrases, but it does have consistent encoding. There are two ways that prepositional phrases are annotated, and it depends on if they are adjectival (modifying a noun) or adverbial (modifying a verb). As can be seen in the above example, when the prepositional phrase is adverbial, one has a modifier that contains a modifier that is a specifier followed by a word that is the prepositional object. This query could be expressed as follows:

εν Χριστω functioning adjectivally

Adverbial instances are different; Romans 9.1 is a good example:

Ro 9.1

Inside of the word group (wg), the head term contains the exact same structure as the modifier in the adjectival version above. This can be expressed in the Syntax Search dialog as follows:

εν Χριστω functioning adverbally

If you combine both searches with an OR, you can get a list of all of the instances of εν Χριστω to follow along and consult as you read the article.

εν Χριστω as prepositional phrase

This essentially gives you a second opinion to check out while you follow the authors’ argument. And for technical arguments like the sort made in this article; that can be helpful.


* The authors’ count is 84; however a syntax search returns 86 hits. There are two verses that have two hits apiece. First is 1Co 4.15, which has εν and Χριστω separated by a postpositive γαρ in the second hit of the verse. The other verse is Php 4.19, which has an ambiguous modification structure (εν δοξη εν Χριστω Ιησου) that causes searches to locate each εν as the basis of the hit. Therefore a Syntax Search provides evidence of 85 instances; as the authors of the article do not provide a comprehensive hit list, there is no way to tell where these lists differ. My guess is that their count is a count of verse instances (84) and not of hits (85), though they do phrase it as if the number 84 reflects instances and not number of verses in which instances are found—a subtle but important difference.
Update (2007-12-07): I’ve revisited my original syntax search and the hit count discrepancy (84 vs 85). I’ve determined that 84 is the proper number. In my original syntax search, I should have done two things differently. First, I should have stated morphological criteria for the lexical form χριστος; or I should have just searched for the inflected text Χριστω. Second, the anything objects were unnecessary. A screen shot of the revised query is below. This query returns 84 instances, and these are likely the same 84 instances cited by Konstan and Ramelli in their article.

Syntax Search for εν Χριστω

Hopefully this clarification helps.

Pure Life Collection

Living a pure life is becoming increasingly more difficult in today’s secular culture. Sexual temptations are everywhere: TV, the Internet, the grocery store, the workplace. Many Christians—and even many pastors—are not adequately equipped for these challenges. The statistics are frightening. More ministers are falling into sexual sin today than ever before, and many Christian men live in constant defeat. Something needs to change. Pastors and churches must address these issues more openly and consistently—and they need solid resources to do so.
We are very excited to be able to offer this excellent collection of resources geared at helping men battle sexual temptations.
The Pure Life Collection (12 volumes) DVD-ROM contains nearly 2000 pages and 180 minutes from Steve and Kathy Gallagher of Pure Life Ministries—a ministry that has helped thousands recover from and avoid the devastating effects of sexual sin.
Here are the nine books that are included in the collection:

  • Out of the Depths of Sexual Sin by Steve Gallagher | 222 pages | 2003
  • Living in Victory by Steve Gallagher | 233 pages | 2002
  • Create in Me a Clean Heart: Answers for Struggling Women by Steve Gallagher and Kathy Gallagher | 269 pages | 2007
  • When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart by Kathy Gallagher | 189 pages | 2003
  • Intoxicated with Babylon by Steve Gallagher | 233 pages | 1996
  • At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry by Steve Gallagher | 304 pages | 2007
  • A Biblical Guide to Counseling the Sexual Addict by Steve Gallagher | 208 pages | 2004
  • Irresistible to God by Steve Gallagher | 170 pages | 2003
  • How America Lost Her Innocence by Steve Gallagher | 96 pages | 2005

Here are the three videos that are included:

  • Breaking Free From Habitual Sin by Steve Gallagher | Approx. 60 minutes
  • Overcoming Insecurity by Steve Gallagher | Approx. 60 minutes
  • The Call to Freedom by Steve Gallagher | Approx. 60 minutes

These solid resources are sure to provide a wealth of material to help men in the battle for sexual purity.
Here are two other important counseling collections that you won’t want to miss:

Getting the Most out of Your New Collection

So you’ve owned Scholar’s Library for a little while and have recently added a new collection. Perhaps you just purchased the massive Biblical Counseling Library (30 Volumes). Now you’re wondering how you can put it to good use.
The first step is to create a collection (Tools > Define Collections > New). For further help, see this video demonstration. To save you the time, I’ve already done the work for you. Download the file, and put it in C:\Documents and Settings\ . . . \My Documents\Libronix DLS\Collections.
With your collection file created, you can now start using your new books to their fullest potential. Here are five ways to get the most out of your new collection:
1. Familiarize yourself with your new books. Open My Library (Ctrl+L), and select Biblical Counseling from the Collection drop down. You will see the 30 books that came with your collection. Arrange the books by title or author, and “thumb through” them to get familiar with their contents. If you don’t know what you have, you probably won’t use them very often.

2. Use your new books in the Passage Guide. If you’re working on a sermon on Galatians 6:1, you might want to find out what your counseling books have to say. Since these books aren’t commentaries, they won’t automatically be implemented into the Passage Guide. But getting them to show up there is very easy. Open the Passage Guide, and select Properties. Toward the bottom, there is a Collections section. Check the box next to it and the box next to your Biblical Counseling collection.

Your report will now display hits for your passage.

3. Find a passage of Scripture. If you want to find a passage only in your new collection and not elsewhere in your library, you may want to use the Reference Browser instead of the Passage Guide. Open the Reference Browser (Ctrl+R), select Biblical Counseling from the drop down, set the Type to Bible, enter Gal 6:1 or another passage, choose how specific you want your search to be, and click search.

4. Find a topic. Open the Topic Browser (Ctrl+T), select Biblical Counseling from the drop down, and type a topic like bitterness into the Find box. Click on Bitterness, and immediately you get several relevant hits to explore.

5. Find a word or phrase. You can also search your new collection for a specific word or phrase. Open the basic search (Ctrl+Shift+S), select Biblical Counseling from the drop down, and search for something like manic-depress* (the asterisk includes depressive and depression).


By using these five tips, you’ll be getting the most out of your new resources in no time!

Luther’s Works — Now That’s a Deal!

We’ve talked about the concept of publishing one’s “life’s work” electronically on the blog before (here and here). But the concept isn’t new; some of these “life work” sets have even been published in print already.
If you’ve been around Biblical studies for any portion of time, you have likely heard of many of the big names of the protestant reformation — Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and the like. Did you know that the 55 volume set of Luther’s Works, translated from German into English and edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, has been available in Logos Bible Software format for over five years? And that, at least of the writing of this blog post, the price is only $199.95? (so, less than $5 a volume?!) A price of $199.95 is a pretty good value, even if you’re only interested in the commentary portion of the set.
I occasionally browse the products section of the Logos web site to remind myself of the cool things we’ve done, and I’d forgotten about Luther’s Works. I remember when we did the work on it. The books take up at least three shelves of a standard sized bookshelf. The first 30 volumes are volumes of commentary; the next 24 volumes are topical writings (including vol. 54, the always entertaining and sometimes rather earthy “Table Talk”), and the last volume is a massive index.
If you’re looking for some resources to compliment the books you already have and use in Logos Bible Software format, then maybe you should look into Luther’s Works and see if it floats your boat. Check out the volume list on this baby:

  • Volume 1: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 1-5
  • Volume 2: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 6-14
  • Volume 3: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 15-20
  • Volume 4: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 21-25
  • Volume 5: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 26-30
  • Volume 6: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 31-37
  • Volume 7: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 38-44
  • Volume 8: Lectures on Genesis — Chapters 45-50
  • Volume 9 Lectures on Deuteronomy
  • Volume 10: First Lectures on the Psalms — 1-75
  • Volume 11: First Lectures on the Psalms — 76-126
  • Volume 12: Selected Psalms I
  • Volume 13: Selected Psalms II
  • Volume 14: Selected Psalms III
  • Volume 15: Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Last Words of David, 2 Samuel 23:1-7
  • Volume 16: Lectures on Isaiah — Chapters 1-39
  • Volume 17: Lectures on Isaiah — Chapters 40-66
  • Volume 18: Minor Prophets I: Hosea-Malachi
  • Volume 19: Minor Prophets II: Jonah and Habakkuk
  • Volume 20: Minor Prophets III: Zechariah
  • Volume 21: The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat
  • Volume 22: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John — Chapters 1-4
  • Volume 23: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John — Chapters 6-8
  • Volume 24: Sermons on the Gospel of St. John — Chapters 14-16
  • Volume 25: Lectures on Romans
  • Volume 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4
  • Volume 27: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 5-6; 1519, Chapters 1-6
  • Volume 28: 1 Corinthians 7, 1 Corinthians 15, Lectures on 1 Timothy
  • Volume 29: Lectures on Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews
  • Volume 30: The Catholic Epistles
  • Volume 31: Career of the Reformer I
  • Volume 32: Career of the Reformer II
  • Volume 33: Career of the Reformer III
  • Volume 34: Career of the Reformer IV
  • Volume 35: Word and Sacrament I
  • Volume 36: Word and Sacrament II
  • Volume 37: Word and Sacrament III
  • Volume 38: Word and Sacrament IV
  • Volume 39: Church and Ministry I
  • Volume 40: Church and Ministry II
  • Volume 41: Church and Ministry III
  • Volume 42: Devotional Writings I
  • Volume 43: Devotional Writings II
  • Volume 44: The Christian in Society I
  • Volume 45: The Christian in Society II
  • Volume 46: The Christian in Society III
  • Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV
  • Volume 48: Letters I
  • Volume 49: Letters II
  • Volume 50: Letters III
  • Volume 51: Sermons I
  • Volume 52: Sermons II
  • Volume 53: Liturgy and Hymns
  • Volume 54: Table Talk
  • Volume 55: Index

Two New Pre-Pubs for Theologians

One of the great things about Logos is that it is an incredibly versatile tool. Whether you are doing careful research in Hebrew and Greek, studying the cultures of biblical times, grappling with the meaning of a passage of Scripture, researching an event in church history, sharpening your pastoral or counseling skills, or wrestling with deep theology, Logos equips you with scores of excellent resources.
Those of you with an interest in theology will definitely want to check out these two recent Pre-Pubs:

Norman L. Geisler’s Systematic Theology (4 volumes)

  • Volume One—Part One: Introduction; Part Two: Bible
  • Volume Two—Part One: God; Part Two: Creation
  • Volume Three—Part One: Sin; Part Two: Salvation
  • Volume Four—Part One: Church; Part Two: Last Things

This massive set is Geisler’s magnum opus. Anyone doing serious study in theology will want to consult this important work.
The Collected Works of John M. Frame, Vol. 1: Theology
Here are all of the great resources you will get:

  • The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God
  • The Doctrine of God
  • Salvation Belongs to the Lord
  • No Other God
  • The Amsterdam Philosophy
  • Perspectives on the Word of God
  • 16 Journal Articles
  • 9 Articles That Have Appeared in Books
  • 9 Articles Written for Dictionaries
  • 2 Pamphlets
  • 12 Lecture Outlines
  • 3 Study Guides
  • 4 Syllabi
  • 9 Sermon Manuscripts
  • 17 Short Articles
  • Over 70 Hours of Lecture Audio

John Frame is a profound philosopher, apologist, and theologian. His writings should not be missed. I’ve read several of his books and articles and have profited immensely from them. I can’t wait to add this collection to my Libronix library.
I encourage you to add both of these titles to your Christmas wish list.
Here are several other important theological works you also won’t want to be without:

Reflections on Logos Books and Print Books After Moving

My recent move across the country has given me occasion to reflect again on some of the reasons that I strongly prefer Logos books to print books. On many occasions over the last several weeks, I have had feelings of strong dislike toward print books—like when I was

  • spending hours and hours looking for boxes
  • spending even more hours packing those boxes (packing books properly takes a lot of time)
  • moving those heavy boxes around the house to get them out of the way
  • calculating how much it was going to cost to move them 2,900 miles
  • loading the truck to move out here (though I was glad to have the help of several friends, who were, by the way, not very fond of my print books either!)
  • unloading all of those boxes (without the help of my friends!) up to our second floor condo
  • spending hundreds of dollars on seven new bookshelves
  • spending hours putting those bookshelves together.

My hard feelings toward print books linger, as I

  • continue unpacking all 40 of those boxes
  • anticipate organizing and shelving all 1500 or so of those books
  • think of ever moving them again
  • reflect on how all of my books in my Libronix library were so easy to pack up, move, and unpack; how much money they saved me; and how easy and efficient they are to organize and use!

I guess I can be thankful that the other 3,500+ books in my library are Logos books rather than print books!

This move has just further confirmed for me what I was already convinced of: the incredible value and superiority of my Libronix library to my print library. The way I look at it, print books are something I must have and continue to use only until Logos releases them. I’m thrilled that Logos is doing so at an ever increasing rate—now with more than 8,000 resources available!

I’ve only scratched the surface of the superiority of Logos books to print books. For more, see these previous posts:

Create a Logos Wish List

With Christmas right around the corner, you’re probably already getting asked by family and friends for gift ideas. Why not create a wish list of the Logos products that you’ve been wanting to add to your library? If you’re like me, you’d prefer new resources from Logos over, well, just about anything else.
There are several sites that allow you to create a wish list and send it to your family and friends. Two you might want to consider are Google’s Wish List and Kaboodle.
Google’s Wish List
Google’s wish list is basic and easy to set up. Start by setting up an account. Then go to Logos.com and find your favorite products (e.g., Scholar’s Library: Gold – Logos Bible Software). You’ll also want to have a separate window or tab opened to http://www.google.com/products. Copy and paste the exact product title into Google Products and search. Then click “Add to Shopping List.”

To add it to your wish list, check the “In Wish List” box. Add any notes like priority, etc. Repeat this process for your other wish list items. When you’re ready to share your wish list, click on “My Wish List” in the left hand column.

Drop that link in an email, and all your friends and family will be able to see what you want. Here’s an example of a link you’d share: http://froogle.google.com/shoppinglist?a=SWL&id=ae8474ec…44a76fe6ac1.
While it is clean looking and simple, there are a few downsides to using Google’s wish list: (1) you can’t add items to your wish list directly from another website, (2) your wish list link isn’t very memorable (or short!), and (3) those who purchase from your wish list run the risk of duplicating what someone else already purchased for you. (They’ll just have to make it a collaborative effort.)
Kaboodle
Another, more advanced option is Kaboodle. One of my favorite things about Kaboodle is that it allows you to add things to your wish list on the fly. So as you’re surfing the Logos website, you can click the “Add to Kaboodle” button, and the product you are looking at is instantly added to your wish list.

The Kaboodle plugin is available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Here’s an example of a Kaboodle wish list link: http://www.kaboodle.com/philgons/wish-list—much shorter and more memorable than Google’s. Kaboodle also has the advantage of allowing people to reserve items that they have purchased for you, so you won’t receive duplicates.

Kaboodle has more of a cluttered feel to it with ads and such, but in my opinion is the better of the two options.
Have fun creating your own wish list!

Logos at the Society of Biblical Literature National Conference

If you will be attending the SBL national conference in San Diego next week, you might be interested in some of these additional sessions that Logos is sponsoring. You’ll see new stuff we’ve been working on (like the Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database and the Semitic Inscriptions) and you’ll be able to associate some faces with names!
If you’re not able to make these additional meetings but will be at the AAR/SBL meetings, please do at least drop by the booth and say “hello” to us!
(Yes, we’ll be at the ETS national conference too; we’ll have a post on what’s going on there next week)



AM17-36 An Electronic Database of the Biblical Qumran Scrolls
Date: 11/17/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: New York – MM
This meeting presents, for the first time, a searchable database of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. The session will demonstrate searching and display strategies for comparison of the biblical scrolls with the other texts of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, a variety of books now available in digital form for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM17-51 Syntactically-Tagged Databases for the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament
Date: 11/17/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: New York – MM
This session will overview the latest quantum leap for computerized research and teaching in biblical texts: databases tagged for syntactical structures and functions. The session is appropriate for anyone interested in computer applications for exegesis and teaching of the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament.
Additional Links:


AM 18-21 Electronic Books and Databases for Research in Josephus, Philo and the Pseudepigrapha
Date: 11/18/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Manchester 1 – MM
This meeting presents an overview of searchable, morphologically tagged databases of the Greek Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the writings of Philo (the Philo Concordance project), and the Niese edition of The Works of Josephus with critical apparatus. Along with these databases, scholarly monographs now available in digital form for the study of these texts will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM 18-51 A Discourse Annotation Database for Biblical Texts
Date: 11/18/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: Columbia 1 – MM
This meeting presents a searchable database of descriptive annotations of grammatical features based on their function within the discourse. These annotations describe the pragmatic choices of the biblical writers/editors and their effects. The descriptive aspect of the methodology takes into account stylistic idiosyncrasies. The function-based aspect allows for stylistic comparison. The Greek NT database is complete. Preliminary data for the Hebrew Bible and LXX will be presented.
We don’t have any additional links describing this at present because it is still in development, but you may want to examine some papers by the project editor, Steven Runge, D.Litt, housed on his Logos bio page.



AM 19-11 Electronic Books and Databases for Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic Inscriptions
Date: 11/19/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Orlando – MM
This meeting includes a demonstration of the use of a searchable database for the Ugaritic corpus (Ugaritic Databank, Madrid) and searchable scholarly reference works for Ugaritic. The session will also feature a new database for Microsoft Windows users for select Northwest Semitic Inscriptions representing languages and dialects such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Moabite, and Ammonite. The inscriptions database includes morphological tagging.
Additional Links:

New International Greek Testament Commentaries

All 12 volumes of the New International Greek Testament Commentaries are now available as individual downloads. Considering the massive amount of information in each commentary, the electronic versions will be a welcome addition to your digital library. You’ve heard the sales pitch before—electronic books save you time by bringing you straight to the information you need in seconds rather than hours. With print editions of thousand-page books you get lots of content and constant page turning. The electronic edition is a welcome alternative because you keep the great content while cutting your research time exponentially.

So what type of commentaries are the NIGTC? That question is best answered in the foreward of each volume. Senior editors Donald A. Hagner and I. Howard Marshall write:

“At a time when the study of Greek is being curtailed in many schools of theology, 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 volumes of the NIGTC are for students who want something less technical than a full-scale critical commentary. At the same time, the commentaries are intended to interact with modern scholarship and to make their own scholarly contribution to the study of the New Testament. The wealth of detailed study of the New Testament in articles and monographs continues without interruption, and the series is meant to harvest the results of this research in an easily accessible form. The commentaries include, therefore, extensive bibliographies and attempt to treat all important problems of history, exegesis, and interpretation that arise from the New Testament text.”

When these guys say their books have a “wealth of detailed study” they really mean it. Five of the commentaries are more than 800 pages in print form. (The volume on First Corinthians tops out at a whopping 1,479 pages!) Several of the books have received awards from organizations such as the Evangelical Publishers Association and Christianity Today.

In terms of value, the best way to go would be purchasing the 12-volume collection. To show our thanks to blog readers, Logos is now offering a discount on the NIGTC collection. Just enter coupon code NIGTC during checkout and your price will be reduced to $449.95. If you would prefer to mix and match the commentaries you want you’ll find links to each individual commentary below. For those who are studying any of the New Testament books covered in these volumes look no further than the NIGTC.

Using BDAG as You’ve Never Used It Before

My friend and colleague Johnny recently came up with some pretty cool tricks for using BDAG to help when reading the Apostolic Fathers in Greek.
The trick is pretty simple, but is involved to explain. So I made a video.

Think about other applications of this same technique:

  • Maybe you’re interested in where BDAG has cited a particular section of BDF? You could use this same trick. As an example, BDF §260 has to do with how the article is used with personal names. Want to know where BDAG cites or points to this section? Search BDAG for “bdf in 260″.
  • Maybe you want to see where BDF has referenced Ignatius to Polycarp. You can do the same search the video demonstrates, only do it in BDF: “af in ipol”.
  • You get the gist. I’m sure you can think of others.

How cool is that?