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Why Would Jesus Conceal His Identity?

As the saying goes, a man is only as good as his reputation. Unfortunately, reputations are fragile: anything from whispered insinuation to broadcast slander can shatter even the most guarded image. While this is especially true in our world of instant media, it was also true in Jesus’ day—and Jesus knew it. At least, that’s what John H. Morris Jr. argues in his The Messianic Secret in Mark.

As we read Mark’s Gospel, we find Jesus charging his followers to keep quiet about his miracles and identity (Mark 1:40–45; 8:29–30). Yet in other scenes, Jesus encourages people to tell others about him. These seeming discrepancies have puzzled interpreters for centuries, leading to suggestions that Mark invented the charges of silence to explain why Jesus never revealed his messianic nature during his life.

In The Messianic Secret in Mark, Morris argues that this isn’t the case; rather, these are accurate descriptions of the normal behavior of a high-profile first-century person trying to grow his or her reputation while protecting it from people who would seek to discredit it. Jesus was doing what he could to protect his public image. Sometimes that meant keeping his identity and miraculous works a secret.

Morris’ groundbreaking work explores these passages in Mark’s gospel from a social science model of deviance and name-calling.  Approaching the Gospel of Mark in its first-century context, Morris bridges the cultural gap between the first century and today, offering new insights into the peculiarities of Jesus’ behavior in proclaiming his ministry. With an annotated bibliography showing examples of insults, name-callings, and slanders from the New Testament era, Morris explores the lengths Jesus went to to ensure that his message of good news and salvation would spread.

Pre-order your copy today.

Pastors: Abraham Ships Soon—Pre-Order Today!

As Abraham did centuries ago, pastors recognize God’s call and set off on a journey, sometimes without a map or a detailed plan or a lot of company. Logos created its complete curriculum packages to give pastors resources for the trip. Abraham: Following God’s Promise: Complete Church Curriculum provides a comprehensive, biblically sound, compelling study of Abraham’s life for individuals, small groups, or entire congregations.


Abraham’s initial response to God’s call was only the first step in a long trek. His path would take him through both humiliation in Egypt and military victory in Canaan. He struggled deeply with doubt and fear when God’s promises seemed remote and improbable. His deepening friendship with God gave him the confidence to argue for mercy for Sodom and Gomorrah and the courage to obey even when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, the promised child.

The core of Abraham: Following God’s Promise: Complete Church Curriculum is an in-depth eight-chapter commentary that puts that long trek under the microscope. The complete curriculum package expands on the study book. Pastors can take advantage of eight sermon outlines, with dynamic visual media that bring Abraham’s story to life during Sunday-morning worship. The slide shows are easy to use, work in a variety of formats, and can be customized for content and tone.

The beauty of this series is that it continues to challenge and inspire your congregation during the rest of the week. Small group leaders follow lessons plans that parallel the sermons. An in-depth leader’s guide, introductory videos, and teaching slides give small group leaders confidence and direction—and save them (and you) hours of preparation. Handouts with discussion questions and space for personal reflection engage congregants in Abraham’s story. This means that, come Sunday morning, your congregation arrives already prepared to travel farther in faith.

Abraham: Following God’s Promise: Complete Church Curriculum not only saves pastors the time and energy spent in research, writing and coordinating—it also allows them to spend more time pursuing other important aspects of ministry. Satisfy your church’s curriculum needs with Abraham: Following God’s Promise: Complete Church Curriculum. This product ships October 1, 2012, so pre-order now before the price goes up!

The Faithlife Study Bible Advantage: Part 2

“And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.”—Colossians 4:16 (ESV)

From the beginning, the Scriptures were intended to be read, interpreted, and studied within the context of a thriving community. This truth hit me recently as I was studying Colossians. And since I was studying it in the Faithlife Study Bible, sharing this insight with my own community was a snap.

When I got to Colossians 4:16 in my readings, I was reminded of the importance of being part of a community of believers whose shared lives revolve around the Word. I was also reminded of a Bible study some of us at church were talking about starting. Sharing this verse, with a reminder to my church’s Faithlife Community group about getting that study started, seemed like a great idea.

I simply highlighted the verse, right-clicked, and then chose the “share to Faithlife” icon (example). Then, from the dropdown menu, I chose the group I wanted to share this verse and message with, and I wrote my message (example). If I’d wanted to, I could have right-clicked the passage, chosen “Add community note” (example) and  shared my note in the Scripture text itself.

Not only would people from my church group see this message when they log in to their Faithlife Community (example), they’d also see a note when they’re reading through Colossians in the Faithlife Study Bible. My note would show up inline with a little icon (example). Clicking the note would open a Community Notes pane (Logos 4 example).

Sharing notes with Faithlife Community groups, creating corporate reading plans, and forming discussion groups around books and Scripture are amazing ways to anchor your community in God’s Word.

If you haven’t downloaded the Faithlife Study Bible, it’s free through March 2014!

Win a Scholar’s Library from Faithlife!

Enter now and you could win a Scholar’s Library base package from Faithlife. This grand prize will add more than 475 books and commentaries—worth nearly $8,000 in print—to your library. When you combine the Scholar’s Library with the powerful Faithlife Study Bible, you have the raw materials for profound Bible study. Enter now!

Bible Research Just Got a Lot Easier

Research is difficult. When you also need slides and media, and when you add the stress of preparing a sermon, class, or Bible study, it can be overwhelming. Add in your other teaching and preaching responsibilities and you may find it impossible to get things done. But let Logos be your research assistant. Our new Lexham Bible Guides meet your research and media needs without the expense of added personnel.

You’ve already heard how the Lexham Bible Guides simplify your study time. They organize all the relevant information from selected Bible passages, give you leading experts’ thoughts and opinions, provide word studies and relevant background information. They’re also fully linked with your Logos library, which saves you countless hours of searching and wading through texts.

But they provide other benefits, too. The Lexham Bible Guides let you present the fruits of your research quickly and easily. Each volume includes a title slide and slide templates, which save you the time-consuming hassle of stylizing and coordinating your presentation.

You’ll also get ready-made word study slides. These slides let you present the significance of original language words clearly and concisely. They’re brief but informative, so your audience will never be lost. They’re also stylized like the rest of your slides, so your material never appears out of sync.

The media for each volume is unique; you’re not merely recycling old material. And Logos makes it easy to incorporate these works of art into your church or classroom presentation. You can add them to your Proclaim or PowerPoint presentation with a couple clicks.

All these resources and benefits can be yours for considerably less than you’d pay a research assistant. But the Lexham Bible Guides are only available at their Pre-Pub prices until they reach the production stage. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to save hours of research and prep time for a low price!

Get 50% Off All Charles Stanley Books on Vyrso.com!

First Baptist Church Atlanta senior pastor, In Touch Ministries founder and president, and New York Times bestselling author Charles Stanley turns 80 today. We’ve been celebrating Dr. Stanley’s ministry all month long with a huge sale on the brand-new 46-volume Charles Stanley Collection, which you can get now for only $80 with coupon code CSCOLLECTION. In addition to this amazing offer, we’ve taken 15% off all of Dr. Stanley’s books on Logos with the coupon code CSBDAY80!

To make this celebration even more special, we’re discounting all of Charles Stanley’s books on Vyrso.com. Through September 30, you can get all of his books on Vyrso.com for 50% off! Act now and you can pick up Stanley gems like:

Get all 17 of Vyrso’s Charles Stanley books for less than $100!Whether you’re getting the new 46-volume Charles Stanley Collection for $80 with coupon code CSCOLLECTION, taking 15% off various Stanley titles on Logos.com with the coupon code CSBDAY80, or picking up your favorite Stanley books on Vyrso.com for 50% off, you need to act fast!

There’s never been a better time to add Charles Stanley’s remarkable insights to your library than right now. But these savings won’t be around long. They’re available only through September 30!

Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan—Transformational Curriculum

I didn’t expect for my perspective to change, but it did. All this time, Mary has been a distant figure to me—someone only sung and spoken about. Working on Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan was transformational.



When we set out to create a life-changing curriculum for churches for the advent and Christmas season, we didn’t expect to reexperience the advent of Christ ourselves. But he became lord over us in a more impactful way than ever before. As we related to Mary’s struggle to understand God’s son—and his transition from being a safe child to being the God she knew, couldn’t control, and needed to learn from—we were changed. We became better bearers of Christ’s image, and we realized how much more we had to grow.

Mary: Devoted to God’s Plan is about understanding what God wants to do in your life. By journeying with Mary, you’ll learn about your own journey. What transformation does Christ want to bring in your life? How is Christ moving from being a “safe zone” for you to being a God you can follow anywhere? You’ll study with an in-depth, applicable commentary, and you’ll share your insights with elegant infographicsartifact images, and maps—prebuilt as slideshows for you.

The curriculum has everything you need as a pastor, teacher or small group leader:

  • Preaching resources and sermon starters for pastors and teachers
  • Videos, slides, and media for the tech team
  • Bulletin inserts and handouts for the congregation
  • Discussion guides and videos for small group leaders
  • A take-home book for small group members, available separately for only $14.95

This is a comprehensive program for your entire church. You’ll dig deeper into the Bible—together. You’ll even learn the methods of better Bible study, thanks to information about the ancient world and Bible study tips.

Christ uniquely made you, just like he uniquely made Mary. Christ’s work in you and through you can bring transformation to the lives of others. This curriculum will help you in that process.

Pick up the complete curriculum today.

Dr. Charles Stanley: Featured Contributor to the Faithlife Study Bible

“If you are being called to Christ, you are being called away from sin, to Him. There are some who take their call seriously. They are the ones who take the time to hear from God.”—Dr. Charles Stanley, from the Faithlife Study Bible article “Being Called to Christ”

Through September 30, we’re celebrating the ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley. The centerpiece of this celebration is the brand-new 46-volume Charles Stanley Collection. This collection, worth over $900 in retail value, can be yours for only $80 when you use the coupon code CSCOLLECTION.

If you’d rather just pick your favorites, you can create your own Charles Stanley sale. Through September 30, adding the coupon code CSBDAY80 to any of Dr. Stanley’s books will save you 15%.

Dr. Charles Stanley in the Faithlife Study Bible

Did you know that Charles Stanley is a featured contributor to the Faithlife Study Bible? Dr. Stanley is one of the many notable figures whose insights appear throughout the FSB. Besides Dr. Stanley, FSB contributors include:

When you download the Faithlife Study Bible* (free through March 2014), you’ll enjoy Dr. Stanley’s “Being Called to Christ”—plus many more outstanding articles.

Download the Charles Stanley Collection Today

You can save on the Charles Stanley Collection through September 30. That gives you less than 10 days to add 46 new books to your library for less than $1.75 per volume. Don’t waitsave more than 90% on the  Charles Stanley Collection with coupon code CSCOLLECTION now!

*Enter now and you could win a Scholar’s Library base package from Faithlife. This grand prize will add more than 475 books and commentariesworth nearly $8,000 in print—to your library. When you combine the Scholar’s Library with the powerful Faithlife Study Bible, you have the raw materials for profound Bible study. Enter now!

Free Books for Your App Insights

Want free books and some terrific discounts? Through October 19, we’re asking that you rate and review the Logos mobile app. Leave us honest ratings and reviews in the Apple, Google Play, and Amazon app stores and you’ll get free titles and outstanding savings.

We’re kicking this off by giving away Archibald A. Hodge’s The Life of Charles Hodge and taking 50 percent off Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart’s How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Go get them now. But here’s the important part: before you settle down to start reading, take a few seconds to rate and review our app in the Apple, Google Play, and Amazon app stores.

It’s worth your time. For every 2,500 new reviews, star ratings, +1s, and “likes” we get, we’ll give you another free book.

It’s all organized in one spot—get The Life of Charles Hodge free and follow the giveaways.

It doesn’t get much simpler. Share your feedback, get a free book, tell your friends, and get more free books. Deepen your library and let us know what you think—love!—about the app.

Don’t wait—rate and review our app in the Apple, Google Play, and Amazon app stores today.

Abraham Ships Soon—Pre-Order It Today!

At some point in life, we all struggle with faith. God makes a promise, but the direction that promise takes us is uncertain. And when the path toward the promise doesn’t meet our expectations, we become frustrated and confused. In the process, we may choose to follow our own path.

Although Abraham was a man of faith, this winding path of belief accurately describes his journey. Especially in the earlier years of his relationship with God, folly was as present as faith.

Abraham: Following God’s Promise shows Abraham’s journey accurately and in full. You’ll encounter his life through history, culture, and literary analysis. More importantly, you’ll find out how his journey applies to your own life and to modern belief. As Abraham and Sarah step out in faith, you’ll walk with them. As they turn to Pharaoh instead of God, you’ll learn from their failures and confront your own. As they hold onto the hope for a son, you’ll feel their joy and turmoil.

The complete church curriculum version of Abraham: Following God’s Promise will help your entire church journey along God’s path. You’ll grow together as you observe the past and experience its meaning for the present.

You’ll get:
The study book:

Presenting/Preaching materials:

Group curriculum:

  • The leader’s book
  • lesson plans
  • teaching slideshows, which work on PowerPoint, Keynote, and Proclaim
  • 8 handouts with discussion questions, in Microsoft Word and PDF
  • intro videos for each lesson, which you can download after you check out. You can also order a DVD separately for $4.95.

Once your church or group adopts the curriculum, individual worshipers can purchase the book. In addition, individual small group or Sunday school leaders can purchase their own copy of the curriculum. If you’re leading a group or preaching, Abraham: Following God’s Promise Complete Church Curriculum is for you.

This curriculum ships October 1, 2012; pre-order yours now and get it at the Pre-Pub price!

4 Reasons the Westminster Bible Companion Is for Everyone

Ever needed a point of entry into a difficult Bible passage, whether for a sermon, a Bible study group, or your own understanding? The Westminster Bible Companion series has you covered. It’s researched and written with such clarity and precision that anyone could benefit from using it.

In this in-depth, approachable series, such renowned scholars as Walter BrueggemannJ. Gerald Janzen, and Eugene H. Peterson inform your study of God’s Word. Pre-order this balanced commentary and discover why it reaches to the masses.

1. It’s a commentary for your congregation.

Written with the everyday churchgoer in mind, these volumes offer applicable exegesis and valuable insight that speak to everyone.

2. It’s a commentary for your students.

These commentaries have been used by students for graduate-level exegesis and beyond. The classroom conversation never runs dry when the Westminster Bible Companion series is present, and it provides these very same study benefits for Bible study groups.

3. It’s a commentary for you.

For years, the Westminster Bible Companion Series aided pastors in sermon preparation, helped professors in research, and gave Bible study leaders points of entry for talking about difficult texts. Containing verse-by-verse commentary on the Bible’s entire text, this is easily one of the most accessible, complete commentaries you can find.

4. It’s hard to beat Pre-Pub prices.

See for yourself why this series is loved so dearly by student, pastor, and layperson alike. This “everyone” commentary is truly priced for everyone, to boot! Westminster’s preorder price is $249.95—if you were to order Westminster as hardcover copies, it would cost you over $800. This is easily one of our most affordable yet complete commentaries.

Head over to the Westminster Bible Companion Series page and read some of its sample pages. If you like what you see, grab it while it’s still on Pre-Pub. Once these books ship, the price will go up to our regular figure—$399.95.