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The Works of John Owen on Pre-Pub!

John Owen (1616–1683) is one of the most important Protestant theologians of all time. As both a pastor and a theologian, John Owen brings together some of the best in rigorous theological analysis and warm and vibrant spirituality making his writings food for both the mind and the heart.

Owen scholar Carl Trueman considers Owen “not only the greatest theologian of the English Puritan movement but also one of the greatest European Reformed theologians of his day, and quite possibly possessed the finest theological mind that England ever produced” (Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, 494). According to I. Breward, it was Owen who was “the great systematic thinker in the Puritan theological tradition” (New Dictionary of Theology, 552).

Our users have requested Owen for years, and we’re excited to finally make his works available. We’ve been in contact with several Owen scholars, and it quickly became clear that we needed to release the original Goold edition, which contains not only all the contents from the Banner of Truth reprint edition, but also Owen’s original Latin works (i.e., part of volume 16 and all of volume 17).

The introductory Pre-Pub price is only $174.95. That’s an enormous savings compared to the print edition—without even factoring in the value of the added Latin material. But this price will last only until April 4, 2008, at which time it will jump up to $224.95. Place your order now to lock in this incredibly low price, and help us spread the word to others!

If there is enough interest in Owen’s works, we’ll eventually put his 7-volume Hebrews commentary up on Pre-Pub as well. So put in your order, and tell your friends.

To learn more about John Owen in your Libronix library, see the following articles:

Study the NT Like Never Before!

Logos is pleased to announce another first in the study of the Bible: a visually marked-up discourse analysis of the entire New Testament in both English and Greek!

Dr. Steve Runge has spent countless hours studying the devices that speakers and writers of all languages use to communicate and tagging those devices in every book of the New Testament. Most of us use many of these devices in our everyday communication, but figuring out what they are, what they signify, and how to identify them in the Bible is something that the vast majority of people are not equipped to do.

The Lexham High Definition New Testament

For the English-only reader, we’ve created the Lexham High Definition New Testament (LHDNT), which comes with three Libronix resource files:

  • Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition
  • Lexham High Definition New Testament: Glossary
  • Lexham High Definition New Testament: Introduction

The text of the NT is marked up with visual representations for the 15 different devices. Hovering over any of the devices gives you a pop-up window with a concise definition, allowing you to stay right in the text. Right clicking on the device gives you the option to jump to the glossary for a definition, explanation, illustrations, and questions to ask yourself to understand why the author used that specific device. Since all of these devices are tagged, you can even search for the various devices across the entire NT or in specific corpuses of Scripture. And for those who want to go even further in their study, the introduction to discourse grammar will give you an excellent starting point.

The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament

Those with even a little knowledge of Greek (or plans to learn some Greek in the future) will want to purchase the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (LDGNT) instead. The LDGNT is the Greek counterpart to the LHDNT, and it has several advantages over the English version.

  1. The analysis is more detailed. Instead of 15, more than 30 devices are annotated in the Greek text, allowing for even greater precision. The glossary and introduction are larger and more detailed as well.
  2. The Greek version has a more powerful search interface making more advanced queries possible.
  3. Finally, the LDGNT includes all three resources from the LHDNT, enabling you to view the Greek and the English side by side—the perfect setup for those who are still learning Greek and for those whose Greek is a bit rusty.

Find out more and place your order at the two product pages:

For even more information, read Dr. Runge’s three blog posts:

“Free” Libronix Books Hidden on Your Bookshelf

An avid user emailed me last week excited that he had just found a Libronix CD-ROM in the back cover of one of his print books. He has owned the book for months, but never knew that the CD was for Libronix and had the entire book on it—unlocked and ready to use. He decided to take the time to look through his print library and found that he had two more books sitting on his shelf with "free" Libronix resources waiting to be installed.

You may want to take a few minutes to check your own print library. Fortress Press has published 17 print books that include the Libronix CD-ROM in the back cover. These can be purchased in a collection of 18 or individually.

If you already have one or more of these, but weren’t aware that the CD-ROM in the back was a Libronix book, you’ll want to be sure to add it to your digital library. There’s nothing more you need to purchase or unlock. Just pop in the CD-ROM and activate it like any other product.

You may just have some "free" Libronix books sitting on your own bookshelf. Go have a look!

Moulton-Howard-Turner Greek Grammar Collection Shipping Soon!

If you’ve been to the Pre-Pub page recently, you may have noticed that our featured Pre-Pub is the five-volume Moulton-Howard-Turner Greek Grammar Collection, which is scheduled to ship on 3/17/2008. I’ve been looking forward to this one since it was first announced in June of 2006, so I can’t wait to have these five volumes in my Libronix library.

  • A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 1: Prolegomena
  • A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 2: Accidence and Word-Formation
  • A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 3: Syntax
  • A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 4: Style
  • Grammatical Insights into the New Testament

We used Turner’s volume on syntax in an advanced Greek grammar course in seminary, and I found his meticulous analysis to be incredibly helpful. Grammars make excellent resources to have in your Libronix library. Not only will you be able to instantly check the thousands of biblical examples that the authors cite, but you’ll also be able to jump to other grammatical tools like Robertson’s Grammar, Zerwick’s Biblical Greek, and BDAG to compare and do further study.

Having this set integrated into the Exegetical Guide in Logos will exponentially increase its usability. The Exegetical Guide finds the passage you are studying and gives you all the places where your grammars mention or discuss it. With several solid grammars in your library, you’ll never be short on exegetical gems for your sermons, lectures, papers, and articles.

If you haven’t yet placed your pre-order for this set, there’s still time to get it for the low price of $199.95. CBD sells the four-volume set for $269.99. If you buy ours, you’ll save $70, receive a fifth volume at no extra cost, and get a much more usable collection of resources.

ANET on Pre-Pub!

Customers have asked for Ancient Near Eastern Texts (ANET) for years, and we’re thrilled to announce that it is finally on Pre-Pub.

If you already have The Context of Scripture (COS), you’ll still want to add ANET to your digital library for two reasons. First, while the two volumes have some overlap, both ANET and COS have texts that the other does not have. So you need both if you want access to all of the texts. Second, ANET is much older than COS, which means that most books that reference ancient Near Eastern texts will cite ANET rather than COS. Having ANET makes looking these references up much easier.

Those who recently purchased the new Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations (CD-ROM) will be happy to know that it has scores of links to ANET, allowing you to jump instantly to the various texts.

The Pre-Pub price is currently only $59.95. Amazon sells the print volume for $115. Don’t miss out on this incredible deal!

Can I Get That As a Download, Please?

Today’s guest blogger is Adam Navarrete, one of the new additions to the marketing department at Logos.

In the marketing department, we’re always running reports and looking for ways to provide you with better service. Over the last two weeks, an analysis of our top CD items has provided us with a spectrum of titles to make available for download. What this means is that those of you who have not already added these great collections or individual titles to your library can now do so without having to wait for discs to make their way to you—and you can save a few extra dollars on shipping costs!

The greatest thing about purchasing downloadable resources is that there is no wait time. Whether you are ordering after hours, on the weekend, or when you need a resource for class or to finish your sermon preparation, you get your product as quickly as your internet connection allows.

This becomes a benefit for those of you who have already purchased these items as well. Since the individual book files are now accessible as downloads, you have quick and easy access from the product pages in case your discs become damaged or get lost.

Here is what we have recently made available:

Expect to see more of our top products available for download very soon—along with other cool ways to provide you with even better service.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

For those faint of heart who would prefer to avoid another of my long-winded blog posts, just order this. The rest of you, read on.
When it comes to the Greek New Testament, Logos Bible Software has a great host of tools to help you see the trees. Lexical tags in the various tagged editions of the GNT (including the various interlinears and reverse interlinears) link to lexicons and help you find the range of meanings possible for a given word. Morphological tags in the same texts provide some contextual clues to help determine the meaning and use of the word in the particular instance under study. Learning grammars help students recognize the most common morphological and lexical trees for themselves.
But, while one can learn a lot of useful things by examining the trees, some of the greatest riches of studying the New Testament in Greek come when you can step back and see the forest. That is, at some point the student needs to look at things above the word level. ‘Syntax’ is the term we use for describing how words form into phrases and clauses, and how those structures are used to form sentences. Logos Bible Software has tools for working at the syntax level as well. Reference grammars tend to contain a lot of word- (tree-) level detail on areas like morphology (how words are formed) and phonology (how a language sounds), but they will frequently contain some good information on larger structures like phrases and clauses as well. But few reference grammars approach the Greek New Testament above the level of the sentence. Last year, Logos Bible Software released an edition of the OpenText.org syntax database, which graphs out sentence, clause, and phrase relationships and provides a powerful searching interface for working at the syntactic level. Other syntax databases for the Greek New Testament are also in the works.
There are, however, a growing number of scholars who are looking at much larger units of text than the sentence. The branch of linguistics dedicated to looking at larger blocks of text and analyzing how language is used to convey meaning on a much broader scale is ‘discourse analysis’. (‘Text-linguistics’ is another term sometimes applied to this field.) Recent posts on this blog by Dr. Runge have been giving you a taste of some of the data we’ve been working on to show discourse level features. But I wanted to call your attention to a new collection of books just posted on the prepub page. The Studies in New Testament Greek Collection contains a number of insightful books and essays on the topic of discourse analysis. The books provide some of the theories for how to analyze texts, and then apply the theories so you can see the results. This collection introduces other fields related to discourse analysis, such as ‘rhetorical criticism’ (an examination of how authors use various language elements to persuade or make an argument) and essays on how the cultural context of the New Testament should inform our exegesis. (For example, there are many essays on the topic of how bilingualism in 1st century Palestine should effect how we read the New Testament.)
If you skim the authors and editors of the volumes in this set, you’ll notice several by Stanley Porter (Author of Idioms of the Greek New Testament) and Jeffrey T. Reed (with Stanley Porter, one of the OpenText.org fellows) as well as D.A. Carson (author of Exegetical Fallacies), just to name a few. In addition to discourse and rhetoric, there are many essays in this collection that treat on other intersections between linguistics and biblical studies. This collection serves as an excellent introduction to the value of linguistics for interpreters of scripture.
The preorder price is only $240 for 16 volumes – I paid more than $100 for each of those Greek books in print! I’m very excited about this offer, and hope it generates enough interest to go into production quickly. Order yours today!

Greek Syntax: Article Introducting Prepositional Phrase

Awhile back over on the Logos Newsgroup for Greek, someone asked a question:

Someone has commented that there are 484 occurrences of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase, such as, "τα επι τοις ουρανοις." I wonder if someone would teach me how to search my GNT (N/A27) to confirm this statement?

The example is (I believe) from Eph 1.10:

εἰς οἰκονομίαν τοῦ πληρώματος τῶν καιρῶν, ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι τὰ πάντα ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, τὰ ἐπὶ τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἐν αὐτῷ. (Eph 1:10, NA27)

as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (Eph 1:10, ESV)

Note that the same structure is used in "things on earth" in the same verse.

Anyway, the best way to find stuff like this — where you’re really searching for a relationship between words and/or phrases even though it looks like proximity will get you close enough — is a syntax search. In this example, the relationship is between the article and the prepositional phrase. It is more than proximity (occurring close to each other or in sequence); it is functionally that the prepositional phrase in some way further modifies/qualifies/distinguishes the article (which, in cases like these, tends to function like a relative pronoun).

The OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament makes this relatively easy to find. Let’s look at this portion of Eph 1.10 first to see how it is analyzed:

Here the word group contains a head term; the head term contains a word (τα) and the structure that modifies it. Here the structure is a relator. A relator is basically a prepositional phrase that functions adjectivally, modifying a substantive (instead of functioning adverbially, modifying the primary verb of the clause). So all we need to do is find where a relator modifies a word that that is an article.

There are two basic cases to consider. The first is like Eph 1.10, where the word is the root word of the head term, and the relator modifies it. The second case is where the word is a modifier itself, like in Mt 5.16:

Here note that τον is a definer, and the relator (adjectival prepositional phrase) modifies the definer.

These are the two cases to consider. A syntax search that looks like the following should account for both of them:

You’ll notice I’ve used an unordered group to contain the word+modifier portion of the query. Why did I do this? Because I really want to find where a word and a modifier are siblings (occur at the same ‘level’ in the annotation) because this implies they are in relationship with each other. The containing structure(s) (here the head term or modifier at the root of the query) constrain the elements to already being in the same unit. The unordered group allows for this, letting you specify the elements you care about (here a word and a modifier), and it will run the permutations, including optional elements occurring between them, while it searches. It makes query specification a whole lot easier.

When the search is run, 298 occurrences are located. Here’s a snapshot of the results dialog:

The different colors in the results come in because of the "OR" in the query. In this way you can tell that some results come from one half of the "OR". Here the greenish color represents the top half of the "OR" (word is a direct child of head term); the brown represents the bottom half (word is a direct child of modifier).

So, to answer the question posed on the Greek newsgroup; I’d respond that according to the OpenText.org Syntactically Analyzed Greek New Testament, there are 298 instances of the definite article occurring without a noun introducing a prepositional phrase.

Hebrew, Canaanite, and Aramaic Inscriptions and the Power of Libronix

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.

In my last blog post about the new inscriptions databases, I noted that one of the challenges we face at Logos when we create research tools for studying ancient texts in their original script is how such data can be made accessible for users who do not read the ancient languages. A second challenge we have applies to scholars: showing them that the ancient language resources we produce are about more than searching and concording texts.

For many scholars, that is precisely what software is about. I know this because I was one of them when I came to Logos three years ago. At that time I would have been thrilled to have certain ancient texts in any electronic form so I could do the kinds of searching we now see as primitive, like searching through a web page or a PDF document. I had no conception of being able to simultaneously search ancient texts and other books, such as commentaries, dictionaries, and lexica—the sorts of things that Libronix users do routinely. As a scholar, I also had little appreciation for the value of having ancient texts in English transliteration. Once you’re able to read texts in original script, you sort of set aside transliteration as something remedial. In the digital world, that’s a mistake.

In place of a detailed written explanation of these points, I’ve prepared a brief Camtasia video that illustrates them. For those scholars who have never seen Libronix in action, whose electronic research has been limited to online resources, the video will demonstrate rather quickly how much more advanced the capabilities of Libronix are to web pages and PDF files. For experienced Libronix users who work in Hebrew, the use of transliteration in the video may introduce you to something you had not thought possible—being able to search for words across different text corpora (here, Hebrew inscriptions and Ugaritic) with one search.

Stylistic Variation or Intentional Shaping? A Look at Characterization in John 11

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software, whose work focuses on the discourse grammar of Hebrew and Greek.

Have you ever wondered about the changes in names, or the orders of names, that you see in the New Testament? A common answer to these kinds of questions has been that the changes represent “stylistic variation” by the writers, and are not very significant. Depending on your view of inspiration, you might not be satisfied with such an answer. I know that sometimes I vary the names I use to refer to my kids, and there is meaning to be associated with the changes. If they have been behaving badly while mom was out running errands, I might say to her, “Your children were . . . .” You can fill in the rest. If my wife heard these words, she would immediately know that I was not well-pleased with them. Calling my kids ‘your children’ in certain contexts has predictable, repeatable effects.

If I were to ask my wife, “How’s the most helpful and caring wife in the world doing this morning,” she will likely wonder if I am buttering her up for something. Using these kinds of expressions to refer to my kids and my wife is not the norm; they stand out in the context. They each serve to ‘characterize’ the people they refer to in a specific way.

About 11 years ago, this question of characterization got stuck in my craw, and it took a good bit of reading to figure out what was going on. I found examples of it all over the Bible, but was not satisfied with the typical answers I found. These kinds of questions ended up becoming the focus of my doctoral studies. John 11, the chapter where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, provides a great chance to look at some of the devices that the biblical writers used to carefully shape their words and message. The patterns they used are found not only in Greek, but in Hebrew and many other languages as well. Understanding these devices will help us better understand the point the writers are trying to make, and can really help you with your Bible study. So if you are interested in learning more about this, keep reading! These concepts are part of a new resource we are working on called the Lexham High Definition New Testament. Here is the ESV version of John 11:1-5.

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

Three people are mentioned in v. 1: Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. This is the first mention of Lazarus in John’s gospel, so he needs to be introduced from scratch. His introduction in v. 1 could be translated something like, ‘There was this sick guy, Lazarus of Bethany . . . .’ Mary is the most well-known character, which John reminds us of in v. 2. Finally, Martha is introduced, and linked to Mary as ‘her sister’ so that we know how she fits into the story.

In v. 3, Mary and Martha are referred to collectively as ‘the sisters’. Lazarus is referred to as ‘he whom you love’. Why not just call him ‘Lazarus’? One reason for making a change like this is to make the reader think about Lazarus in a particular way, just like I did with my wife and kids above. In this case, the sisters are appealing to Jesus not just to heal Lazarus. They are appealing to Jesus’ love for Lazarus as an encouragement for him to come and heal their brother. Calling him ‘he whom you love’ also lets us know that Jesus has a close relationship with Lazarus, something that is important for understanding Jesus’ actions later in the story.

This strategy of switching from a proper name to a thematically-loaded expression is frequently used to characterize participants in a particular way. It forces us to think about them in a way that we would not otherwise have had in mind. Such changes are often motivated by wanting us to think about a particular person in a particular way, based on its importance to the big idea of the passage. In the context of John 11, this thematic characterization lets us know that when Jesus does not immediately heed the sisters’ request that he is not blowing them off because he doesn’t care about Lazarus. It also lets us know why he weeps in v. 35.

In verse 5, we learn that Jesus loves all of them, not just Lazarus. Take a look at how Lazarus, Mary and Martha are now referred to in this verse. Do you see the changes from v. 1?

3 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

There are several of them. The order of the characters has changed, with Lazarus last and the sisters first. There is also a change in Mary’s referring expression from a proper name ‘Mary’ to the less-specific ‘her sister’. Do these changes make any difference? Yes!

There are three basic reasons for switching from a proper name like this. One reason was already mentioned above, (re)characterization. The change makes you think about the character in a particular way that is important to the context. The second reason for changing from a proper name is to background one character with respect to another. Most main characters are given a proper name, while less-important ones are assigned less-specific expressions like ‘his servant’ or ‘one of the Pharisees’. If both sisters had been referred to using proper names, it would have placed Mary and Martha (and Lazarus too, for that matter) on an equal level of importance, perhaps with the more important one occurring first in the list. In v. 5 we have both Lazarus and Martha assigned proper names. Changing from ‘Mary’ to ‘her sister’ has the effect of pushing her into the background, figuratively speaking. This raises a question. Which of the two named characters is more important, Martha or Lazarus? This is where the third function of these name changes comes into play.

Use of ‘her sister’, either as a substitute for a proper name or as a supplement to a proper name (like ‘Mary, her sister’), can indicate who the current ‘center of attention’ is. It is something like the writer putting a spotlight on the character he wants us to focus on. Notice that Mary is linked to Martha as ‘her sister’. She also could have been called “Lazarus’ sister”, but this would have made us think that Lazarus is the center of attention, not Martha.

Why is she more important than Lazarus? After all, it is Lazarus who is raised from the dead, not Martha. Martha is the center of attention because of the importance of her conversation with Jesus in vv. 20-30. This dialogue is with Martha, not Mary, not Lazarus. John is foreshadowing this through the changes that he makes, and he uses these kinds of devices consistently throughout his gospel. If he had called Mary by her proper name, there would be no explicit signal about who the center of attention is. Calling her, ‘Mary, her sister’ in v. 28 accomplishes the same thing, reinforcing that attention is still focused on Martha.

When the chapter opened, Mary was the one that the village and Martha were connected to, since she was the best-known character of the three. John needed to tell us how to connect these new characters to the story, and he did it by connecting them to someone we already knew: Mary. However, once everyone is introduced, John shifts gears in v. 5 to put Martha in the spotlight because of the importance of her dialogue with Jesus.

John has a point that he wants to make sure we understand, and he uses every means available to make sure we get it. These kinds of changes are one of the many tools the biblical writers used, and they are comparable to tools found in many other languages. The Lexham High Definition New Testament identifies the most practical of these tools every place they occur in the New Testament. We have looked at how John used ‘characterization’ in John 11, but he is not the only writer to use this convention. Look at how Paul refers to the Father in Eph 1:3: “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. He is not trying to tell us which ‘God and Father’ he is referring to with “who has blessed us…” He is characterizing God in a particular way based on its importance to what follows. He wants us to recall these qualities and characteristics of God because of their importance to what he is about to tell us in the letter that follows.

Now, the Greek New Testament is not the only place you find (re)characterization used to shift the center of attention back and forth between the actors in a narrative. Most every language does this: The devices may differ from language to language, but the basic task and its effects are the same. For some great examples of shifting the center of attention onto different characters, take a look at Genesis 27. There are SEVEN re-characterizations in ONE chapter. They all coincide with switches in the initiator of the action within the story. Below is a chart with excerpts from the ESV text in one column and a description of what is going on in the other.

If you read the story, take a close look at v. 21. At the point that Isaac is not sure whether to believe Jacob or not, there is no explicit indication of the center of attention. Once he decides to go along with Jacob’s plan, Isaac is referred to as “Isaac his father” in v. 22.

The same device is used in Gen 2-3 to indicate shifts in the center of attention. Take a look at how ‘Eve’ is referred to. She starts as ‘Adam’s wife’ in 2:25, then shifts to ‘the woman’ as she interacts with the serpent in 3:2-6. Then she gives the fruit to ‘her husband’ who eats it, which is consistent with Eve being the center of attention (Adam was last referred to as ‘the man in 2:25). Eve is the initiator and the center of attention for the first part of Genesis 3, which is a shift from Genesis 2. The writer unambiguously communicates this shift through the changes in referring expressions. When the two of them hide from the LORD God in 3:8, ‘they’ hear Him coming and ‘the man and his wife‘ hide themselves. Another switch! There is no need for saying ‘the man and his wife’ since saying ‘they’ would have been just as clear. But making this switch from ‘the woman’ to ‘his wife’ explicitly signals the shift in center of attention from Eve to Adam just before the LORD God addresses Adam as the one responsible for the Fall.

This are just of few examples of ‘characterization’, one of fifteen devices that is included in the soon-to-be-prepubbed Lexham High Definition New Testament. If you found this post helpful, take a look at the post on backgrounding of action or the making of the Lexham High Definition New Testament. Tune in next week to learn about another practical device from this new resource that can help make a difference in your Bible study!

Update: Both products are now available for pre-order: