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7 Must-Have Books on Early Christian Persecution

classic-studies-on-persecution-in-early-christianityAs Christianity crossed national and cultural borders and the number of believers multiplied, the religion showed its revolutionary potential and threatened Roman authority. To suppress the growing faith, the Roman government persecuted Christians in brutal ways.

It’s extremely important to know the context and stories behind Christianity’s early years. Here are seven books to guide you:

1. The Early Persecutions of the Christians

Leon Hardy Canfield walks you through topics like the legal basis of early persecutions, the persecution of Christians under Nero and Trajan, and more. This is a great, broad study on the persecutions faced by the early church.

2. Persecution in the Early Church: A Chapter in the History of Renunciation

This book examines the legal, historical, ecclesiastical, and experiential aspects of the early persecutions of Christians, emphasizing “those aspects of the inner life of the church which led to persecution.”

3. Christianity and the Roman Government: A Study in Imperial Administration

This book takes a close look at Roman history, allowing you to get a feel for what happened on both sides of the conflict.

4. The Conflict of Christianity with Heathenism

Based on the best in early-twentieth-century scholarship, this resource offers valuable insight into the struggles between early Christians and pagans.

5. The Valerian Persecution: A Study of the Relations between Church and State in the Third Century A. D.

Patrick J. Healy examines the conflict between Christianity and Rome in light of scholarship that reveals its roots in state policy and administration. In doing so, he illuminates the magnitude of the challenges early Christians faced in spreading a message with the power to revolutionize Rome and the world.

6. The Decian Persecution

One of few resources of its kind, this book follows the persecution of Christians under the rule of Emperor Decius.

7. The Persecution of Diocletian: A Historical Essay

Built around a paper that won the Hulsean Essay Prize in 1874, this resource presents a vivid picture of the Diocletian persecution and offers several innovative interpretations of the period’s historical records.

* * *

You don’t have to go out and buy all these books on their own. Right now, you can pre-order the Classic Studies on Persecution in Early Christianity collection, which gives you all seven titles, for just $69.95—that’s 30% off! Pre-order yours now.

Then check out the rest of our resources on Pre-Pub!

Explore the Ancient World with Cutting-Edge Archaeology Research

American-Schools-of-Oriental-ResearchWe’re pleased to announce a new partnership with The American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), an academic organization dedicated to the study and preservation of the culture and history of the Near East. Committed to “initiating, encouraging and supporting research into the culture of the Near East . . . and helping the public to understand the findings of that research,” ASOR plays a crucial role among academics working in the fields of archaeology and biblical and Near Eastern studies, as well as those outside the academy wishing to learn from their research.

For several decades, ASOR has published three academic journals, as well as a newsletter and monograph series. We recently listed several volumes of their journals on Pre-Pub. If you’re interested in biblical studies and archaeology, you’ll want these resources.

A must-have for Near Eastern studies

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Founded in 1919, the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research is an interdisciplinary journal that includes articles about the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean world from the Paleolithic period through Islamic times. The journal features articles in a multitude of disciplines, including art and archaeology, history, anthropology, geography, philology and epigraphy, and literature. With an emphasis on the significance of archaeological discovery and excavation for understanding Near Eastern culture, BASOR provides cutting-edge research on the ancient world.

If academic writing and topics seem intimidating, rest assured that BASOR is designed to serve both lay and academic audiences. There’s simply no better way to get a sense of recent research in archaeology and biblical and Near Eastern studies.

Get the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research before the price goes up!

Interested in more from ASOR? Check out their other journals on Pre-Pub—Biblical Archaeologist / Near Eastern Archaeology (1992–2011) and the Journal of Cuneiform Studies (1993–2011).

Our Top Picks: Best Bible Commentaries

the-expositors-bible-commentaryOver the next few months, we’ll be highlighting some of the most popular products in each resource category on Logos.com. Today we start with commentaries.

Three reader favorites

It’s important to lean on the wisdom and experience of those who have come before us (Proverbs 11:14). Commentaries are one of the best ways to do just that:

“It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others . . . It has been the fashion of late years to speak against the use of commentaries . . . A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences”
—Charles Spurgeon

Logos.com offers nearly three thousand commentaries. That’s a lot to choose from, so here are three of our most popular sets:

1. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary

The EBC gives you an analysis of each biblical book, plus an introduction, outline, and bibliography. The result is a well-rounded, accessible commentary recognized for excellence by an ECPA Gold Medallion Award. A team of 50 authors contributed their expertise, each articulating well-researched convictions while dealing fairly with opposing points of view.

word-biblical-commentary2. Word Biblical Commentary

For a more academic perspective, add the 59-volume Word Biblical Commentary to your Logos library. This huge set enjoyed universal acclaim in print, and now, networked with your other resources in the Logos format, it’s even more powerful. The WBC’s depth makes it one of Logos’ most sought-after series.

3. NIV Application Commentary

On every page, this newer set demonstrates how the truth of Scripture remains as relevant today as it ever was. Like many commentaries, it explains historical background and original-language nuance; more than that, though, it also offers pragmatic modern applications for the truth it unearths.

Coming soon . . .

We’re not done adding to our commentary library—there’s some great new content on the way. You can bid on or pre-order both of these sets right now!

Spurgeon Commentary Collection: New Testament Letters

Charles Spurgeon wrote formal commentaries on only two books—Psalms and Matthew. But, of course, he taught on the rest of the Bible all throughout his massive body of work. Logos’ own Elliot Ritzema has undertaken the task of combing through Spurgeon’s essays, lectures, sermons, and books, gathering Spurgeon’s words into commentary form. The first volume—Galatians—is available for download right now, and eight more volumes are available for pre-order at a great discount.

the-speakers-commentaryThe Speaker’s Commentary

In the late nineteenth century, the Anglican Church was at a crossroads. Controversial issues of historical critcism, racism, and polygamy clamored for a definitive response. F. C. Cook led a team of 30 scholars to craft a remarkably self-aware set of commentaries that speak not just to Anglicans but to the the global church about its place in a fallen world. We’re bringing this 13-volume set to Logos through Community Pricing, so you can help set the price—and get an amazing discount.

Download, pre-order, or bid on your favorite commentary sets right now—you can take up to 18 months to pay with an interest-free payment plan.

Pick out your favorite commentaries today!

Further Your Ministry Without Putting It on Pause

Improve Your Ministry with Mobile EdAs Christians, we’re all called to ministry in one form or another. Whether it’s formal work in the church or love and support for someone who needs them, ministry is a huge part of who we’re called to be as followers of Jesus. But how do we do it in a biblical, God-glorifying way?

A biblical education can go a long way toward providing the skills we need to serve those around us. But if you have a family, a job (in or outside the home), or other responsibilities, how can you get this important education?

A new way to learn

Logos Mobile Education is your answer—it’s a new way to study, learn, and grow. There are many courses available that you can start on immediately, and dozens more coming in the near future. They’re all taught by world-class scholars and professors in a format that goes with you wherever you are.

Each course has personal video lectures, helpfully enhanced with on-screen text and broken into small, cohesive segments. These courses make it easy for you to study, whether you have five minutes or an hour. The videos are paired with searchable, highlightable transcripts featuring learning objectives and further readings. This makes your lectures more than just a one-time learning experience: they become reference material you can come back to again and again.

Start learning with Mobile Ed today

Get started with our Bible and Doctrine Foundations Bundle, which contains nine courses designed to help you grasp the basics of doctrine, the flow of Scripture, and even how to use Logos for your studies. And don’t forget to pre-order the Elyse Fitzpatrick Bundle, which gives you three courses on counseling and personal development:

With these practical courses, you’ll begin equipping yourself to better understand God and his Word and to make a deeper impact in the lives of those around you.

Get Logos Mobile Education, and start learning today.

Why Context Is Key—and What to Do about It

Bible-in-7-Acts_cover_6In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson devotes the first seven minutes to the story of the creation of the One Ring and the war against Sauron. Without this historical perspective, the audience would have no background for any of the events in this epic trilogy—context matters.

God’s story of redemption spans thousands of years, from the beginning of civilization to the destruction of the Second Temple and beyond. The Bible in Seven Acts brings the Bible’s historical and cultural context to life. Each volume provides comprehensive, in-depth analysis of biblical history’s most important people, places, and events.

Understand the context of Jesus’ birth

Say we want to understand the political and cultural climate in Judaea when Jesus was born. We could turn to Act VI: Herod to Jesus to find timelines that provide historical context for the reign of Herod the Great.

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B7A_6-eventline

We quickly learn that Herod “quelled all rebellion, and . . . seized control of key Jewish institutions . . . using them in concert with his personal army to maintain control of his kingdom.” 

B7A_6-MessianicExpectations

This insight into the fragile relationship between Herod and the Jewish people helps us understand Jewish hopes and expectations during the intertestamental period.

Perfect for studying and teaching alike

the-bible-in-seven-acts-with-slidesThe series’ slides make it easy to share what you learn. Pastors can use The Bible in Seven Acts to enrich their sermons with more depth and perspective. Ministry leaders will gain a level of biblical orientation normally available only to those who pursue seminary training or a Bible college degree. Students and academics will find The Bible in Seven Acts to be an invaluable study aid to enhance any curriculum, help in researching and writing stronger papers, and free up time for ministry, work, and family.

Each volume is interconnected with your existing Logos library to give you relevant, curated content with a click. We’ve done the research, so you can pursue new avenues of exploration without losing countless hours in the process.

And The Bible in Seven Acts is currently on Community Pricing, so you have a say in how much it costs! Get the whole story of the Bible—place your bid today.

What People Are Saying about Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary

lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionaryIn case you haven’t seen the comments on Lewis and Short’s Latin Dictionary, here’s what some of you are saying:

“This is the most accessible and comprehensive of Latin dictionaries and at a price which should be an inducement to anyone who wants the best value for the least outlay. . . . I’ve [had a] bid on this since December 2011, please get it into production!”

This is THE Latin Dictionary—and while we’re all rating something we didn’t use in Logos, I compared the sample pages to the current edition as sold on Amazon for three-digit prices (paper!) and found no differences. I’m in at the maximum bidding price—let’s get this into production!

“This is a massive resource (those 2019 pages are really tiny print on gigantic pages). It is also easily the best Latin English dictionary ever made. . . . I can imagine it takes quite a bit of effort to tag something so large.”

“Check how much it costs in paper, and then remember how useful it would be in digital format.”

This is a stellar dictionary—and at anything under $50 it’s an extremely low price, considering all the ways that you can leverage this dictionary in Logos. A hardcopy, it should be remembered, goes for at least twice that price. And no hardcopy can even begin to compete with what we can do with a Logos dictionary.”

Imagine you’re in the thick of writing a research paper, or up to your neck working through the Church Fathers, and you come across a Latin word. Maybe you know enough Latin to get you through most of the time—but not this time. Or maybe you don’t know Latin at all, but the word might make or break your argument, or might be the perfect anecdote to add to your sermon. You simply don’t know.

What’s a dictionary like this worth to you?

In print, you’d pay more than a hundred dollars. Or you’d have to track down a copy at a library. (Or you’d have to settle for an inferior dictionary.) And then you’d have to navigate your way through more than two thousand pages of dense text to find the entry you’re looking for. There’s a cost to each of those options—not only in dollars, but also in your time.

For something that’s worth this much, $24 is a steal—especially when you consider the value of the tagged, robust digital edition, fully integrated with your library and connected to Logos’ study tools.

Maybe it’s not for you. If that’s the case, don’t bid. Spend your money wisely.

But if you think you’ll ever need a dictionary like this, remember that it’s only available for $24 while it’s on Community Pricing, so now is the time to get it.

And if you’ve already bid on the product, leave your own comment at the bottom of the product page and encourage others to get it at the best price while they still can!

Are You Up to Date On N. T. Wright, the BECNT, and the ECC?

We recently reconfigured N. T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone series, the BECNT, the ECC, and other popular commentaries. Now you can find all the available volumes in one place—on sale for a limited time!

baker-exegetical-commentary-on-the-new-testament-16-volsBaker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (16 vols.)

The BECNT is a standard name in biblical studies. Its accessible language and diversity of contributors uphold its reputation as a trustworthy commentary that puts biblical truth first. And whether you’re fluent in ancient Greek or you’re just starting to learn, using this commentary in Logos lets you approach the New Testament in its own language.

And, for two weeks only, the BECNT is on sale at an amazing discount! Until February 24, you can buy or upgrade the collection (now with the most recent volume on Galatians) for a low introductory price—and if you own any part of the collection, your price will be even lower, since you won’t pay for what you already own. Get an incredible discount, and use payment plans to make it even more affordable.

New Testament for Everyone Series (18 vols.)

N. T. Wright’s ambitious commentary series makes the New Testament’s topics and books accessible to everyone. Across 18 volumes, Wright translates and examines the entire New Testament, digging into the background of each book and delivering modern interpretations that bring together exegesis and practical application. Through February 24, you can use coupon code NT4EVERY1 to get 10% off!

(By the way, did you notice New Testament Prayer and Wisdom for Everyone arrive on Pre-Pub?)

Focus on the BibleFocus on the Bible Commentaries (41 vols.)

Featuring scholarship from Cyril J. Barber, Christopher W. Morgan, A. Boyd Luter, and others, the Focus on the Bible Commentaries series is truly Scripture-centric. By studying the text’s historical and cultural environment, the authors’ purpose and style, and the subject matter of the text itself, the series aims to bring you into the very heart of the Bible. Save 10% when you use coupon code FOCUS2014 through February 24!

Eerdmans Critical Commentary (8 vols.)

The Eerdmans Critical Commentary unpacks the biblical text using modern historical, textual, archaeological, and linguistic scholarship, making it easier to grasp theological and applicable meaning. Expand your preaching and your scholarship with the ECC, and save 10% when you use coupon code ECC2014 through February 24.

These sales end very soon—get (or complete) your favorites today!

Get 89% Off the Select Works of John Dewey

select-works-of-john-deweyHow do you judge a system of thought?

Do you judge it by how well it mirrors reality, or by how well it helps you solve problems and take action?

Most of the Western philosophical tradition treats philosophy as, in the words of Richard Rorty, a “mirror of nature”—a system dedicated to reflecting the world as it is. But language makes an imperfect mirror, and attempts to map reality through it can lead to fuzzy thinking. John Dewey helped found the tradition of American pragmatism, which maintains that philosophy is simply a tool to solve practical problems—one whose answers are good or bad insofar as they’re useful, not insofar as they mirror the world.

A refreshing absence of theory

There’s a lot to like about pragmatism. Most of today’s philosophy privileges theory: postmodern readings of classic texts, for example, use it to draw out arguments that the authors never intended to make. (Plato wrote the Phaedrus about love and rhetoric; Derrida, the postmodern godfather, read it about “play,” “trace,” and “différance.”) But Dewey’s pragmatism leaves no room for theory—all that matters is inquiry and, based on its results, the decision whether a given hypothesis is “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory.” Objective and results-oriented, pragmatism amounts to a wholesale alternative to postmodernism—one that predates it by more than 50 years.

But what about absolute truth?

Though pragmatism departs from postmodernism in its rejection of theory, it parallels it in one extremely interesting area: its treatment of absolute truth. You’ll notice that Dewey is concerned with satisfactory and unsatisfactory outcomes, not right and wrong ones. Bertrand Russell draws out the distinction:

“Truth, as conceived by most professional philosophers, is static and final, perfect and eternal; in religious terminology, it may be identified with God’s thoughts, and with those thoughts which, as rational beings, we share with God. . . . [But] Dewey makes inquiry the essence of logic, not truth or knowledge. . . . Dewey, like everyone else, divides beliefs into two classes, of which one is good and the other bad. He holds, however, that a belief may be good at one time and bad at another . . . . Thus a belief about some event in the past is to be classified as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ not according to whether the event took place, but according to the future effects of the belief.”

What, then, to make of pragmatism—so clear-headed in its lack of theoretical pretense, yet so dismissive of absolute truth?

Russell continues:

“Dewey’s divergence from what has hitherto been regarded as common sense is his refusal to admit ‘facts’ into his metaphysic, in the sense in which ‘facts’ are stubborn and cannot be manipulated. In this it may be that common sense is changing, and that his view will not seem contrary to what common sense is becoming. . . . It has seemed to me that [Dewey’s] belief in human power [as arbiter of truth], and the unwillingness to admit ‘stubborn facts,’ were connected with the hopefulness engendered by machine production and the scientific manipulation of our physical environment.”

That is, pragmatism is, in its emphasis on the human, uniquely of our time. Russell argued the point in 1945, and his conclusions continue to ring true. That makes understanding pragmatism singularly important.

Know the culture: get Dewey’s select works for 80%+ off

You’re a serious thinker. You’re interested in how the culture handles objective truth—and why. And for just a few more days, you can a great deal on an outstanding entry point into the cultural conversation: the 11-volume Select Works of John Dewey, on Community Pricing for 89% off. Because these are Logos books, they represent the most useful editions of Dewey’s works—ever—and because they’re on Community Pricing, they’re the best deal on Dewey you’ll ever see.

This collection won’t be on Community Pricing for long. Bid on the Select Works of John Dewey for 89% off!

Then keep exploring philosophy as a window into culture: browse the new Noet libraries at Noet.com/Products.
 
 
Or keep reading—what does math have to do with culture?

Get Introductory Savings On the Eerdmans Gospel Studies Collection

Eerdmans Gospel Studies CollectionRight now, you can pre-order the Eerdmans Gospel Studies Collection for over $30 off!

This 19-volume collection examines the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. You’ll learn about Jesus’ use of parables, analyze the literary features of the canonical Gospels, and assess the Gospel of Thomas. The collection includes an introduction to the Synoptic Gospels, studies on the Gospels’ named women, and comprehensive guides to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Here are just some of the titles you’ll get:

Jesus and eyewitnesses

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony

In Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness TestimonyRichard Bauckham argues that the four Gospels are closely based on the eyewitness testimony of those who knew Jesus personally.

“Bauckham has delivered a remarkable and insightful volume that is sure to offer a much-needed challenge to the status quo in modern gospel studies.” —Westminster Theological Journal

Women in the BibleGospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels

Richard Bauckham offers an in-depth study of both the individual women who appear in the Gospels and the specific passages in which they appear. This unique approach reveals that there is much more to be known about these women than previous studies have assumed.

“The texts that deal with women in the New Testament have been worked over so often it might seem that there is nothing left to say. In this masterful study Richard Bauckham easily proves this is not the case.” —Marianne Meye Thompson, professor of New Testament, Fuller Theological Seminary

Studies on Jesus parablesStories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus

Klyne Snodgrass explores, in vivid detail, the context in which Jesus told his parables, the purpose they had in his message, and the ways they have been interpreted by the church and modern scholarship.

“I have been looking for a book like this on the parables all my career. I celebrate its appearance.” —Charles H. Talbert, distinguished professor of religion, Baylor University

These thorough studies are ideal for scholars, students, and anyone else interested in furthering their study of the Bible.

Get these volumes—and 16 more—for the best price: pre-order the Eerdman Gospel Studies Collection today!

How Well Do You Know These 2 Surprisingly Complex Biblical Stories?

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You may have noticed that, in the past year or so, we’ve been publishing books on subjects as varied as the epilogue of Ecclesiastes, Augustine’s and Luther’s views on marriage and sexuality, and Christianity and Judaism in Revelation 11. These books all started out as dissertations, and we thought they deserved a broader audience than they would have found sitting on a shelf in a seminary library.

We have two more dissertations on Pre-Pub that you won’t want to miss:

What’s the message of David and Goliath?

In Rethinking David and Goliath, Lisa A. Eary examines the familiar story of the Israelite shepherd boy fighting the Philistine giant (1 Samuel 17). Rejecting some popular understandings of the story, she argues that it’s less about overcoming giants than it is about seeing situations from God’s perspective and acting on faith in that belief. Eary’s dissertation was just completed in 2012, and you can help turn it into a book! Pre-order Rethinking David and Goliath today.

From Babel to Babylon

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In The Biblical Polemic against Empires, J. Lanier Burns, research professor of biblical studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, explores the Bible’s attack on Babylon. He started out with an interest in the events of Revelation 17–18 and continued into an exploration of the Old Testament, particularly Genesis 10–11 and various passages in the Prophets. He discovered that the biblical critique of Babylon is dominated by themes of deity, kingship, and city.

In summary, Burns writes, “Ancient Babylonians believed that gods, which were the personified, generative forces of the environment, governed the universe and could be manipulated through cult [that is, a sacrificial system]. This was the basic background of the biblical dispute (and the basic contrast of biblical theology). The faithful Hebrews believed that their personal, righteous, and living God governed creation according to His revealed will, and the cult memorialized His redemptive, historical acts for His covenant people.” Keep learning about the biblical critique of Babylon: pre-order The Biblical Polemic against Empires now.

These books won’t be on Pre-Pub much longer—pre-order yours today!

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