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Bible and Popular Culture

How does the “greatest story ever told”—what C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein referred to as “true myth”—get picked up and echoedin the popular storiesof Western culture?

The Bible and the Arts collection brings together four books with more than 1,300 pages of material exploring the intersection between popular culture artifacts and the Bible.This collection hasbeen gathering interest for some time and is now under development in our electronic text department.

If you’re a fan of the silver screen, a preacher who likes to illustrate or punctuate a sermon with examples from literatureor film, or simply a person who enjoys literature and art, this collection is for you.

These four books would make for a great read straight through. Do a word or phrase search to zero in on an idea. Put the booksinto a defined collection within Passage Guide toserendipitously discoverany references to your Bible passage when running the Passage Guide report.

For example, using a prototype build of Gospel Images in Fiction and Film, I ran Passage Guide on Matthew 2 and came up with 8 links to discussions in the book that touch on that passage. (click for a larger image)

Here we find some great discussion of how the visit of the Magi is treated in four different films: Pier Paulo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St Matthew (1964); Franco Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth (1977); William Wyler’s Ben-Hur (1959); and George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).

There areinsightful analyses, comparisons between the various treatments, and reflections on how the movie makers use the Magi’s visit to foreshadow Christ’s Passion. Earlier in the chapter, the author provides a brief survey of the Visit of the Magi in art and popular imagination and offers some thoughts on T.S. Eliot’s 1927poem “Journey of the Magi.”

Here, then, is a rich abundance of ideas that would enliven your study or teaching of a well-known Nativity passage. And much more awaits those who add this collection to their digital library!

Lange’s Lost Volume

I love a good story, and this one illustrates a couple of qualitiesLogos strives for and that we have touched on in previous posts: obsessive attention to detail and listening to customers.

A couple of weeks ago, Logos user Jerry Peterson wrote to suggest@logos.com to let us know about an oversight in our description of Lange’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (24 volumes)on the prepub page:

Dear Logos,I was elated to see that the Lange’s Commentary set has moved into the developing stage. I am one of the pre-publication purchasers of Lange’s 24-volume commentary. As I was reviewing the list of books today, I realized that the commentary on the Apocrypha is not included with this sale. I have the printed set. It contains 25 volumes with the Apocrypha as Volume XV of the Old Testament.

In the Preface, Philip Schaff wrote, “It has been deemed timely to issue, as a supplementary volume to Lange’s Bible-work (which is confined to the canonical books), a revised version of the Apocrypha, with critical and historical introductions and explanations. Homiletical hints would, of course, be superfluous for Protestant ministers and students.” The Preface was written on June 14, 1880.

Although I am a Lutheran pastor, I have appreciated having this additional commentary with my set. Please give serious consideration to adding this book to Lange’s Commentaries.

Thank you for the consideration.Jerry Peterson

Now this was news to us. A 25th volume…how could we have missed it? Clearly it was not arecent addition to the set, since it was published in 1880! This question hit particularly close to home since I wrote most of the original marketing copy for the product back when it was offered via Community Pricing.

It turns out that the publishers who reprint Lange’s commentary today have dropped the volume on the Apocrypha. I can only guess the reasons, but I suppose it was considered of little use to a largely Protestant readership and would have expanded the series beyond the tidy dozen double volumes used to contain the whole.

Once Lange’s “Lost Volume” surfaced, we had to decide what to do about it. The cost to order a copy of this rarebook and digitize the additional 680 pages was not part of our initial cost estimate.

Fortunately, the decision was not too difficult. It would be lame to publish an incomplete set, if we could possibly do the whole thing. We found a first edition copy, printed in 1880, which I’m now holding in my hands and which will soon join its 24 brethren to betyped and tagged.

The price of the collection will not be changed by the addition of this volume but we’ll feel better knowing it’s complete…and trust that you will appreciate the additional material. I know Pastor Peterson will!

Dear Daniel,

A big THANK YOU for including the 25th volume! I SO appreciate the work that Logos is doing. I NEVER expected to have a library to this extent! And I have literally run out of book space in my regular library. (And then, needless to say, the ability to have so much research at your finger tips is wonderful!)

Yes, please feel free to use my email… Glad to be of help.

Pr Jerry Peterson

Better late than never…

Logos 3 launchednearly 14 months agoon May 1, 2006, and since then not a day has gone by without someone upgrading to version 3.

We’ve talked aboutvarious books and features of version 3here on the blog, launched two road trips, and sent out some pretty postcards to those in our database who haven’t upgraded.

And yet more than a year later, some of you are still missing out on what Logos 3 has to offer.

It could be that we’ve said too much across too many venues and what’s needed is just a simple list of the most compelling features of Logos 3.

So here is that list: The Top 20 New Features of Logos 3

The Top 20 list was compiled by our ministry relations team and is the product of countless conversations with customers about what really matters to them.

These are the features that get oohs and aahs when demonstrated to a live audience and that have the greatest impact on the user’s Bible study. We’ve gone out of our way to explain the benefits of each new feature and what it means for your Bible study.

Each feature is also illustrated with a screenshot and includes a link to a tutorial video (if available). Socheck it out…perhaps this is the prompt you’ve been waiting for totake your Bible study to new heights!

Download Free Vocabulary Lists

If you are teaching yourself Greek or Hebrew or simply trying to keep your skills sharp, you may want to check out these freevocabulary lists that can be downloaded and opened within Logos Bible Software 3:

Vocabulary Lists for Popular Grammars

We’ve built vocab lists built around 11 Greek grammars, 6 Hebrew grammars and 2 Aramaic grammars. Some of these grammars are available for Logos Bible Software; some aren’t.

I was particularly excited to see a vocabulary list for Athenaze, the grammar I used when learning classical Greek at Hope College.

As you can see, the vocabulary words are given in the same order as they appear in the grammar, following the lessons or chapters and part-of-speech divisions. You can edit the glosses and words provided, delete an entry in the list (words you already know, perhaps?), and re-sort the entries.

Tip: To manually move a vocab word up or down the list, click and drag it. To delete a word, click it once and hit the Delete key.

Another cool thing is that you can print these vocab lists to make flash cards! So whether you’re starting out on the adventure of learning a biblical language—or want to make sure your skills don’t rust over the summer—take advantage of this freebie and give your studies a boost!

See also:

How-To: Make a Vocabulary Guide with Word Frequencies

How come I don’t have the Vocabulary Lists feature? Vocabulary Lists are part of the Original Languages Addin, included in the following Logos 3 collections: Original Languages Library, Scholar’s Library, Scholar’s Library: Silver, and Scholar’s Library: Gold. If you own the Original Languages Addin as part of an older collection but have not updated to Libronix DLS v3.0 or greater, you can get Vocabulary Lists for free: open Libronix DLS and click Tools | Libronix Update. If you own a collection like Bible Study Library or don’t own a base collection, you can get the Original Languages Addin by upgrading to a Logos 3 collection that includes the addin or purchasing it individually.

InterVarsity Press Blogs!

The good people over at InterVarsity Press have ramped up their blogosphere presence with a couple of cool, new,behind-the-scenes blogs. Welcome!

In Andy Unedited, IVP editorial director Andrew T. Le Peau writes about publishing from the inside.One recent post discussed what goes into craftinga good (or bad) book title. Something I’ve always wondered about myself.

Addenda & Errata is written by the IVP Academic editorial team.A couple of recent postsshared jokes that weary authors inserted into indices and dictionaries. Ever heard of the theologian Franz Bibfeldt?

(In the software business we call these hidden jokesEaster Eggs, though I’m not able to say whether the current version of Logos has any.) :-)

Yet another great IVP blog that launched in the past couple of months is called Behind the Books. Its authors have also been on the theme of levity among the bookish, with a great post about ancient scribal blogs. These are great tidbits found in the margins of ancient manuscripts…things like:

“He who does not know how to write supposes it to be no labor; but though only three fingers write, the whole body labors.”

“As travelers rejoice to see their home country, so also is the end of a book to those who toil [in writing].”

Or these “text messages” between Irish scribes, carried out in the margins of a 9th century commentary:

“It is cold today.”

“That is natural; it is winter.”

I, for one, look forward to learning more about our print publishing brethren from these blogs. I’ll also take the opportunity to remind you that our very own publisher relation guy Bill Nienhuis is back in the blogging saddle at Original Expression and recently shared some insightful thoughts on the battle between authors and publishers over print-on-demand rights.

And who said book publishing isn’t fun…?

Learn Hebrew this Summer

You’ve been wanting to do it for some time…why not make it a goal to learn Hebrew this summer?

We’ve got some excellent tools to help make it as easy as it can be. Here are my top three picks, in no particular order:

Biblical Hebrew for Beginners

This brand new Logos book is due toshipat the end of the month, so now is your last chance to take advantage of the prepub discount and get this for less than $20.

The description says,”Biblical Hebrew for Beginners shows you how to master fundamental Hebrew in clear, simple steps. Starting from scratch with the Hebrew alphabet, Rabbi Dan Cohn-Sherbok leads you through the essentials of biblical Hebrew and has you reading the Bible in Hebrew from the very first lesson. There are simple exercises (including answers), a word list, and plenty of examples throughout.”

How much easier could it get? Plus it’s even endorsed by a former Archbishop of Canterbury! So ignore the bizarre cover and check out the details

Beginning Biblical Hebrew

I had the pleasure to meet Mark Futato when he was here in Bellingham giving atalk on Psalmsas part of the Logos Lecture Series. It was a fantastic talk,and Mark would be a great teacher of Hebrew whether in person or via this grammar.

An RBL reviewer said of this one,”Mark D. Futato’s new Hebrew grammar is a simple, thoughtful, and straightforward work that reflects genuine empathy for the beginning Hebrew student. The agenda of the book is to provide the fundamentals of the language unencumbered by information that may fog the road toward basic Hebrew competency.”

Logos user George Somsel warned, “I can see it putting all Hebrew instructors out of work since it’s so simple to teach yourself.” Look to your tenure, Hebrew profs!

The First Hebrew Primer: Textbook, Answer Book & Audio Companion

This one is the big enchilada, complete with audio recordings and a workbook.

These resources begin with the alphabet…or you might say the Aleph-bet (aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, get it?)…and over the course of thirty lessons provides enough information and practice to enable you, with the aid of a Hebrew-English dictionary, to understand most biblical texts.

We just put together a brief video demo so now you can get a look at what the First Hebrew Primer package is all about.

Wouldn’t it be great if you got to the end of summer and could look back on not only a bunch of great barbecues, ball games and days at the beach…but also take with you a new knowledge of and appreciation for the Bible that Jesus used? Learning Hebrew would provide a lifetime of rewards and there’s no better time to begin than now!

Syntax Search Example: Prepositions and Nouns

If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that sometimes I just notice things as I’m reading through the text. This time, it was a syntactic structure used in 1Ti 6.3, shown below in the  ESV NT Reverse Interlinear:

The structure that is highlighted is what we’re interested in. This is a neat little syntactic structure where the article + substantive (here a noun) combo surrounds a prepositional phrase. Here’s the syntax graph of the verse:

I thought it might be interesting and instructive to walk through constructing a search to find this and other instances (over 100 in the NT!). So I created a video.

[Note: I used WMV format because the video as captured was too big for Camtasia to save as Flash format. I'll try to keep it shorter in the future -- RB]

Reading and Using the Apostolic Fathers: Part III

This is the third post in a series of posts having to do with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English. (The first post is here, the second is here).
Today’s video focuses on different reports and resources that the Apostolic Fathers resources complement through providing text on hover, on how references to Apostolic Fathers within lexicons can be exploited, and also how Apostolic Fathers information can be used in the Bible Word Study report.

Note: The video discusses two resources that do not ship with Apostolic Fathers but can be added to your digital library: NA27 (included in “language” base packages) and the BDAG lexicon.

Reading and Using the Apostolic Fathers: Part II

This is the second post in a series of posts (first post here) having to do with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English. Today’s video focuses on basic capability of the morphologically annotated Greek texts, including configuring the interlinear lines, keylinking and using visual filters.

In the third and final installment next week, I’ll show how to configure linking and hovering preferences related to the Apostolic Fathers and dig into the Bible Word Study report.

Note: The video discusses two items that do not ship with Apostolic Fathers but can be added to your digital library: morphological filter (part of Biblical Languages Addin, which is included in “language” base packages) and the BDAG lexicon.

Reading and Using the Apostolic Fathers: Part I

The long-awaited Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English has shipped! This includes three editions of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers (each edition has both Greek and English text, so six resources in all). More info, of course, is on the product page.

I thought I’d take a few posts and show some of the things you can do with these resources. Today’s video has to do with general use of the resources with some ideas of further things you can do to get more from the books as you read them. Today I’ll focus on the English, though I’ll focus on the Greek editions in future posts.

Future posts will likely include things like keylink preferences, hovering and highlighting and also integration with the Bible Word Study report.