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Bringing You the Best Editions

The best edition of a classic work is not always the newest one. Newer editions sometimes omit valuable information contained in the original.
This is the case with Conybeare and Howson’s The Life and Epistles of St. Paul (2 Vols), which has been reprinted with abridged footnotes. However, our electronic edition is the complete and unabridged edition, which includes all of the original footnotes. On our product page, we explain,

NOTE: This work has been reprinted and distributed by Eerdmans Publishers. The edition for sale here is not the Eerdmans edition, otherwise known as the People’s Edition. The 2 volume set we feature here contains Conybeare and Howson’s original footnotes, complete with Greek and Hebrew quotations, which were abridged in later editions.

Is this a big deal? Perhaps not for most people, especially those who don’t read footnotes! But footnotes often contain some of the richest material, and the unabridged footnotes may just contain the example you’re looking for to shed light on something you’re studying. Why not have the unabridged footnotes, especially in the digital edition?
We do our best to make sure that we are providing you with the best possible edition, which we can do because we don’t have some of the restrictions that print publishers often do. Few people will stay away from a digital book because it’s too big or has too many pages. Finding obscure references in a big digital volume is a cinch, and all digital books weigh the same and take up the same amount of shelf space! Because of benefits like these, most people are more attracted to a digital volume with more content. However, size is frequently a concern with print books—both for the publisher and for the purchaser.
Another example of how we try to give you the best edition possible is the forthcoming Josephus in Greek: Niese Critical Edition with Apparatus. The product page notes,

This is the first and only edition of Josephus’ works, electronic or otherwise, to feature Niese’s prefaces in English. The translation was produced by Logos specifically for this edition.

So in this instance, our edition is even better than the print edition!
While more isn’t always better, it almost always is when you’re dealing the all of the conveniences of the Libronix Digital Library System.
Be on the lookout for other places where we make our digital books from the best print editions—and often make them even better!

Why Use the Targums?

Two weeks ago my esteemed colleague Dr. Heiser wrote an insightful post about the importance of the Septuagint (LXX) for New Testament (NT) students and scholars. He used an example from Deuteronomy 33:2, showing how in three different verses, New Testament authors alluded to angels being present at the giving of the Law. In the Masoretic Text (MT) of the Hebrew Bible that we have today, there is no use of the word mal’akhim, or angels, but the Septuagint does mention angeloi in Deuteronomy 33:2. Dr. Heiser’s conclusion is that the NT authors must have used the Septuagint. But is this the only possible conclusion?
The phrase in question in the Hebrew Bible is ‘merivvoth qodesh’. Dr. Heiser reads this as a place name, but allows that it could mean “Ten thousands of Kadesh” with Kadesh also being a place name. (This is how the LXX translates this phrase, transliterating qodesh as Kades as if it is a place name.) But the MT points the word qodesh, not qadesh. So it could also be better rendered “Ten thousands of holiness” or “Ten thousands of holy ones”. Now this still isn’t using the word ‘angels’ and so doesn’t completely explain the Septuagint translation. After all, ‘holy ones’ could refer to righteous men or priests (like it does in certain Ugaritic tablets – maybe we need a follow up post on “Why use Ugaritic?”) rather than angels. Indeed, in Dr. Tov’s alignment of the LXX and the MT, angeloi is aligned to a different phrase than merivvoth qodesh altogether – being tentatively aligned with a very difficult portion of the MT which is often translated as fire or lightening flashing down from Yahweh’s right hand, or the law being brought forth from fire. But this ought to show that it is possible for ‘merivvoth qodesh’ to be interpreted as a large assembly of angels from the MT alone.
But is there any evidence outside of the Septuagint that this interpretation of the passage was widely held? Turn with me in your Targums to Targum Onqelos (TO) on Deuteronomy 33:2. It reads:

And he (Moses) said, “The Lord was revealed from Sinai, and the brightness of His glory appeared to us from Seir. He was revealed in His power upon the mountain of Pharan, and with Him were ten thousand holy ones; He gave us, written with His own right hand, the law from the midst of the fire.”

The Targums were an oral tradition long before they were written down. The basic practice was to read the scriptures in Hebrew and then translate them into Aramaic for those who couldn’t understand Hebrew. The translations are sometimes quite literal, and sometimes expanded with interpretive comments. Over time, some Targums came to be written down and achieved some authority in the communities that used them. Targum Onqelos is a fairly literal rendering of the MT in this verse, and it is obvious that the interpretation in the synagogues that produced TO that ‘merivvoth qodesh’ is referring to a myriad of holy ones instead of a place name. But still no mention of the specific word mal’akhim, or angels.
Now turn to Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (TgPsJ) on Deuteronomy 33:2. It contains a much-expanded reading compared to MT, LXX and TO:

The Lord was revealed at Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel, and the splendor of the glory of His Shekinah arose from Gebal to give itself to the sons of Esau: but they received it not. It shined forth in majesty and glory from mount Pharan, to give itself to the sons of Ishmael; but they received it not. It returned and revealed itself in holiness unto His people of Beth Israel, and with Him ten thousand times ten thousand holy angels. He wrote with His own right hand, and gave them His law and His commandments, out of the flaming fire.

Now we see that qodesh has become an adjective describing mal’akhim (actually, mal’akhin in Aramaic, with n replacing m as the plural suffix – but the word is the same). We’ve gone from ten thousands of his holy ones to ten thousand ten thousands of his holy angels! And all without losing the difficult section of the MT that is here translated as giving the Law from the midst of the fire.
To finish our tour of the Targums on Deuteronomy 33:2, you can turn to either Targum Neofiti or the Palestinian Fragment Targums to the Pentateuch – they both read about the same thing here, and the verse seems to be expanded even a little further than TgPsJ:

And he said: The Lord was revealed from Sinai to give the law unto His people of Beth Israel. He arose in His glory upon the mountain of Seir to give the law to the sons of Esau; but after they found that it was written therein, Thou shalt do no murder, they would not receive it. He revealed Himself in His glory on the mountain of Gebala, to give the law to the sons of Ishmael; but when they found that it was written therein, Ye shall not be thieves, they would not receive it. Again did He reveal Himself upon Mount Sinai, and with Him ten thousands of holy angels; and the children of Israel said, All that the Word of the Lord hath spoken will we perform and obey. And He stretched forth His hand from the midst of the flaming fire, and gave the Law to His people.

So what?
None of this proves whether the NT authors used the LXX or not. TO clearly translates MT. The other Targums may translate the MT but reflect an interpretive tradition that is similar to the one which produced the LXX, or both the LXX and the other Targums might be translations of a Hebrew text that is somewhat different from MT. But it does go to show that the interpretation of Deuteronomy 33:2 that is found in the New Testament might have also been found in the local, Aramaic speaking synagogue without any reference to Greek translations. And figuring out which text the NT writers are quoting or alluding to isn’t as simple as just reading the LXX and the MT and picking between the two. How many other places have theologians turned to Greek sources like the LXX or Philo when a trip to the local synagogue would have hit closer to home? Let’s not forget the Targums!

Upgrade Special Ending Soon!

Over a year and a half ago we launched the ground-breaking Logos Bible Software 3. It was and continues to be the most advanced collection of digital tools and resources on the planet for studying the Bible. Logos Bible Software 3 added more than 100 new features and updates to the Libronix Digital Library System and brought even greater value to our base packages by including tons of new books, addins, and other data! (Check out the Top 20 New Features of Logos 3!)

Last Chance for the EARLYBIRD Discount!

Thousands of you have already upgraded and are taking advantage of all that Logos Bible Software 3 has to offer, but many of you are still missing out! This is a call to upgrade before we finally end our “EARLYBIRD” discount permanently. We’ve extended this special for a long time now because we wanted to give everyone the chance to upgrade at a discounted rate, but we plan to discontinue it for good on December 31, 2007. Don’t miss out on this final chance to upgrade with the “EARLYBIRD” discount and get all the added value in our new base packages!

Updating vs. Upgrading: What’s the Difference?

Some customers get confused between updating and upgrading. As a result, many are missing out on most of what Logos Bible Software 3 has to offer! Let me explain the difference.

Updating

Updating deals with the core Libronix software engine and is free. When you update, you get the latest version of the Libronix Digital Library System and the most up-to-date version of your digital books. You can easily update from within Libronix by clicking on Tools > Libronix Update or from the update page on the website. Run the Libronix Update as often as you want, but we recommend checking for new updates at least once a month. If you haven’t updated your software in a while, do it now and see what you’ve been missing out on!

However, if you only update and don’t upgrade, you’re missing out on most of the new features of Logos Bible Software 3!

Upgrading

Upgrading deals with the base packages and is not free. When you upgrade, you get tons of new books and tools that will allow you to take full advantage of Logos Bible Software 3. You are not repurchasing what you already own. You are paying a customized upgrade discount price for the new books and addins that you don’t already have. Our customized upgrade discounter gives you upgrade prices for the various base packages taking into consideration what base package you already own and even some of the other titles that you may have purchased. Visit http://www.logos.com/upgrade to find out what your upgrade options are!

Is It Worth It?

Our base packages are among our most heavily discounted collections. You get thousands of dollars worth of resources for just a fraction of the cost. They are an amazing value. If you don’t want to take our word for it, check it out for yourself. In order to make an informed decision, you’ll want to see (1) what you are going to get and (2) what it is going to cost you.

What Will You Get, and What Will It Cost?

Visit the product page for the collection you already have and look for the to find out what has been added to that base package.

You’ll see that the resources make even upgrading from the old version to the new version of the same base package a tremendous deal. For example, if you own only the Bible Study Library, you can upgrade for as little as $34.66! You should at least upgrade to the new version of the base package you own. But most of you should probably consider making the jump up to one of the higher base packages where you get an even better deal!
After you’ve seen all the items that were added to your base package, check the comparison chart to see all the additional resources that the larger collections add! The best value is Scholar’s Library: Gold. It’s not for everyone, but it may be for you.

Take advantage of your upgrade options before they expire!

Library Builder: Volumes 4-6

Also, don’t miss out on your chance to buy Library Builder: Volumes 4-6. It is available only through the end of the year! Find out why this is such an amazing deal!

Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16, Part IV


I’ve blogged a bit about the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω in 1Th 4.16. There are three previous posts in this series:

Today’s post, the last in the series, is a follow-up to Part II. We’ll further explore how to search for εν Χριστω in relation to the verb (predicator) that it co-occurs with; only today we’ll search for this with both adverbial (as in Part II) and adjectival instances. For those of you who can’t wait, here’s a link to the video:

In 1Th 4.16, εν Χριστω occurs before the verb, as shown below:

1Th 4.16

This instance is somewhat ambiguous (indeed, that’s the reason why the JBL article was written); there are equally good reasons for the prepositional phrase to modify the subject or the verb. OpenText.org SAGNT annotates this as an adjectival relation, further modifying the subject. In order to examine like cases, we need to find where the prepositional phrase itself (whether the OpenText.org SAGNT annotates it adjectivally or adverbially) occurs preceding the predicator. Our earlier search in Part II only located OpenText.org’s adverbial instances.
So today’s video starts there and then shows how to search for where OpenText.org’s adjectival instances precede the predicator. The combination of those two lists provides the whole set of instances where the prepositional phrase precedes the predicator.

Once the lists are available, the analysis can proceed. Examine not only the verbs, but also the other clausal components that are similar to 1Th 4.16. Which of these instances, like 1Th 4.16, appear to be genuinely ambiguous as to where the prepositional phrase can attach? And can those instances help in establishing reasons to prefer either adjectival or adverbial modification in 1Th 4.16?
Lastly, after surveying the material, you may want to do a reference search of your Greek grammars to see if any of them discuss the issue of how the prepositional phrase functions in 1Th 4.16; you may also want to check some of your commentaries (like NIGTC on Thessalonians, perhaps; or the WBC or ICC volumes if you’ve got ‘em) to see what they say.

Why Use the Septuagint?

Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Michael Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.
Logos recently announced the creation of the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint on the Pre-Pub page. Many pastors, seminary students, and lay people devoted to Bible study might wonder about the value of the Septuagint for Bible study. The Septuagint, of course, is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. The Septuagint was the Old Testament of the early Greek-speaking church, and it is by far the version of the Old Testament most frequently quoted by Jesus and the apostles in the New Testament. Rather than try to persuade you of the value of the Septuagint by means of these kinds of arguments, I thought it might be helpful to provide a practical example where the Septuagint explains what seems to be a New Testament theological blunder. I’m betting most of us are interested in that sort of thing!
Below is Deuteronomy 33:1-2 side-by-side in two translations. On the left is my literal rendering of the traditional Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Masoretic text. On the right is an English translation of the Septuagint at this passage. I have boldfaced significant differences for some discussion.


Traditional Masoretic Hebrew Text
Septuagint
1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.
2 He said: Yahweh came from Sinai, and He shone upon them from Seir. He appeared in radiance from Mount Paran, and approached from Ribeboth-Kodesh, from his right lightning flashed at them.
3 Indeed, he loved the people, all his holy ones at your hand. And they followed at your feet; he bears your words,
4 the law which Moses commanded us, an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.
1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.
2 He said: The LORD came from Sinai, and He shone to us from Seir; He made haste from Mount Paran with ten thousands of Kadesh, his angels with him.
3 And He had pity on his people, and all the holy ones were under your hands; and they were under you; and he received his words,
4 the law which Moses charged us, an inheritance to the assemblies of Jacob.


What Are We Looking At?
Some English translations (ESV, NIV, NASB) are close to the Septuagint or sound like a mixture of the two choices. As the traditional Hebrew text goes, the Hebrew phrase in verse 2 underlying “Ribeboth-Kodesh” is the same (except for spelling) as what occurs at Deut. 32:51 (“Meribath Kadesh”). This is why most scholars today consider the phrase to be a geographical place name, and I agree. The Septuagint, however, obviously has something else going on! While it is possible to get “ten thousands of Kadesh” from the Hebrew consonants of the traditional Masoretic text, the very common Hebrew word for angels (mal’akim) does not appear in the traditional Masoretic text. The Septuagint translation (aggeloi) came from a different Hebrew text.
One more observation: In verse 3 the Masoretic Text seems to equate “the people” with “all his holy ones.” Yahweh’s people, his holy people, are under his authority (“under your hand”). They follow at the LORD’s feet and receive the Law. Note that the singular pronoun “he” in “he bears your words” likely refers to Israel collectively (i.e., ISRAEL bears your words). Israel is often referred to as a singular entity in the Bible (“my son,” Exod. 4:21-23; “my servant,” Isa. 44:1). The Septuagint, however, gives the reader the feel that “his people” and “all the holy ones” are different groups. In the Septuagint, God pities his people and his holy ones–the angels referred to in the previous verse–are under his authority. Israel, of course, receives the law.
So What?
So who cares? Well, the Septuagint here helps us understand an oddity mentioned in several places in the New Testament-the idea that the Mosaic Law, given at Sinai, was actually given by angels. Check out these New Testament passages:

Acts 7:52-53
52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”
Hebrews 2:1-2a
1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
Galatians 3:19
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.

Simply put, if you stick to the traditional Masoretic Hebrew text for your Old Testament, there is no place that the New Testament writers could have drawn such an idea. The closest you come to that is in Psalm 68:17. While that verse has a multitude of angelic beings at Sinai, it says zilch about the Law.
The point is that the New Testament references have provided fodder for biblical critics who want the New Testament to be guilty of either an outright error in thought, or just contriving a doctrinal point out of thin air. The Septuagint shows us that those perspectives are just simply incorrect. The New Testament writers weren’t nitwits or dishonest. They were using the Septuagint.

Two New Lexham Greek-English Interlinears

If you subscribe to our Pre-Pub feed or check the Pre-Pub page often, you probably noticed that we recently announced two new products in our growing Lexham Bible Reference Series. There are three products available in the series so far:

Now on Pre-Pub are two new Greek-English interlinears:

Randall Tan and David A. deSilva are the editors for the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint. Twenty-seven other scholars are contributors to the project. W. Hall Harris III serves as General Editor and Translator for the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament.

Why More Interlinears?

Perhaps you’re wondering what makes these new products special, and why you should consider buying them.

The LXX Interlinear

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first ever Greek-English interlinear of the LXX available for any Bible software platform. That alone makes it pretty special! It’s difficult even to find an LXX interlinear in print! You’ll also be getting a fresh morphological analysis of the entire LXX text.

The NT Interlinear

With regard to the NT, we have added direct links for every Greek word to Louw and Nida’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. These links are disambiguated and context-sensitive and connect you directly to the appropriate Louw and Nida article for the word you are examining. (Where multiple interpretations are possible, you are given all relevant articles.) This tagging will allow you to search the interlinear by domains, articles, and ranges.

Both Interlinears

Here are the primary features that make both of these Greek-English interlinears special:

  1. Two Levels of Glossing: Each Greek word has a simple, context-free gloss (i.e., the "Lexical value," what you’d see in a lexicon) and a context-sensitive gloss (or "English Literal Translation").
  2. Idiom Level: Where the literal translation doesn’t convey the force of a passage, the interlinears provide an additional idiomatic translation.
  3. Notes: There are four different kinds of notes: (1) lexical, (2) text-critical, (3) literary/rhetorical, and (4) LXX compared to the Hebrew (LXX interlinear only).
  4. Word Order Number: They also include English word order numbering where it is not clear.

As you can see, both of these interlinears will make great tools to aid you in your study of the Greek of both the Old and New Testaments. Visit the product pages to read more, see screenshots, and place your pre-order.

Keep your eye out for even more great resources in the Lexham Bible Reference Series.

Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16, Part III

I’ve blogged a few times about 1Th 4.16 and the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω (see here and here).

1Th 4.16

But there’s more to talk about.
One thing that could be handy is searching for when the prepositional object (Χριστω) is articular, and when it is anarthrous. Our initial search for the prepositional phrase found both articular and anarthrous instances.
But in tracking how εν Χριστω functions, it may be necessary to consider articular and anarthrous instances separately. With syntax searching, you can do this. I’ve created a video that starts with the basic search for the prepositional phrase and adjusts it to first locate articular instances (so, εν τω Χριστω) and then to locate anarthrous instances (εν Χριστω) .

Christmas Deals from Logos!

Logos has a couple of Christmas specials this year that you’ll definitely want to check out.
Base Packages
First, we are offering 25% off on all of our base packages. If you’ve been saving up your money for Scholar’s Library: Gold, now is the ideal time to get a great price on the best collection of Bible software on the planet. Make sure to use the christmas2007 coupon code, but it should be automatically applied for you when you click “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now!” For those of you who are upgrading from one base package to another, we are giving you a 15% discount.
Library Builder: Volumes 4-6
Second, due to the incredible response from last year’s Christmas special, Library Builder: Volumes 1-3, we have decided to create Library Builder: Volumes 4-6. This massive collection of 300 resources is worth more than $6100 in print editions! We are offering it for a very limited time for only $399.95! That’s a savings of more than 93%! After December 31, 2007, this product will be permanently discontinued. You may never again have the opportunity to get most of these resources at such incredibly low prices.
While some of you may already be compelled to buy this great collection of resources based on the discount alone, most of you want to see the list of included resources first.
Collections Included
But before you check it out, perhaps highlighting a few of the collections that you will get will be sufficient to show you how great a deal this really is. Take, for example, the International Theological Commentary (27 Volumes), which we sell for $529.95. The inclusion of this one set all by itself makes purchasing Library Builder: Volumes 4-6 a good deal; and when you consider that for $130 less you are getting 273 more books, it becomes a tremendous deal!
If that’s not enough to convince you, consider that you are also getting these 10 collections:

For just these 11 collections, you’d pay $2054.45 if you bought them on sale individually. If you were planning to buy even a couple of these, you’d be far better off buying Library Builder: Volumes 4-6.
Some Top Individual Volumes Included
If you’re still unconvinced, we’ve also included a number of very solid individual volumes, which are available in no other collections, from publishers like Bethany House, Christian Focus, Crossway, Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Eerdmans, IVP, Jewish Publication Society, Kregel, Paternoster, SPCK, T&T Clark, and more:

These 22 titles alone would cost you $439.95 if you bought them on sale! That’s $40 more than the price of the entire Library Builder: Volumes 4-6, which includes 278 additional titles! Convinced yet?
Figure out what you already have, and do the math for yourself. Then join the hundreds of others who agree that this deal is just too good to pass up.
By the way, we mean it when we say that this collection will be permanently discontinued at the end of 2007. Last year dozens of people called desperately wanting to buy Library Builder: Volumes 1-3 after the deadline. Unfortunately, we had to turn them away. Don’t let this be you come January. Place your order for Library Builder: Volumes 4-6.

Greek Syntax: First Thessalonians 4:16, Part II

A few days back, I posted an article about 1Th 4.16, specifically on using syntax searching to find all instances of the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω. And that is helpful, but it isn’t the whole story.

1Th 4.16

Today’s article will build on that previous article. In the previous article, I discussed how one can find instances of prepositional phrases that modify a verb; so, adverbial instances of prepositional phrases. What can be more interesting, particularly when attempting to discern what is going on with a particular prepositional phrase such as occurs in 1Th 4.16, is to do some searching that examines how the prepositional phrase stands in relationship to the syntactic items around it.
So today’s article will use the same basic concept to find instances of εν Χριστω that modify the clausal verb; but we’ll look for where the prepositional phrase precedes the verb; for where it follows the verb, and if it occurs modifying a supplied verb.

prepositional phrase functioning adverbally

Because it is easier to show than document in writing, I’ve created a video that walks through these searches.

Why is this important? Well, in examining 1Th 4.16′s use of εν Χριστω, you’ll notice that there are two strong possibilities for the prepositional phrase. It can either attach to the subject οι νεκροι, or it can attach to the verb αναστησονται. In 1Th 4.16, the verb follows the prepositional phrase. One strategy, then, is to look for analogues (similar instances). Where else does the verb follow the prepositional phrase? And where it does, what else is going on in those verses syntactically?
That won’t give the whole answer; but it may help in getting there. And syntax searching isn’t just searching for words, or collocations of words, or even collocations of words with some morphological data thrown in — it is searching for relationships between words, and for relationships between higher-level syntactic components (such as subjects, predicators, and the like).
In this case, we’ve specified relationships between words to define the structure that represents the prepositional phrase εν Χριστω (which is why syntax searches implicitly locate items like εν γαρ Χριστω even though postpositives are not explicitly accounted for in the search) and we’ve also specified structures that specify relationships between clause components (the predicator and the component containing the prepositional phrase).
We’ve been able to sift our hits with (relatively) little effort and, more importantly, with precision. These different search results, then, can help us walk through like structures, looking for analogues that may shed some light on how to determine whether or not εν Χριστω in 1Th 4.16 is functioning adverbially or adjectivally.

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.