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Greek Apocryphal Gospels: Full English Translations!

I know. I can hear the groaning already.

Greek Apocryphal Gospels? Rick, I thought we were done hearing about that. Really, why keep bringing it up? This stuff isn’t in the Bible, so why mention it so often?”

True, it isn’t in the Bible. But that doesn’t mean it has nothing to do with biblical studies. These are some of the earliest evidences we have of how folks were using (what we consider to be) the canonical New Testament text. They were harmonizing it, using it for sermons, expanding upon it, and sometimes even adding their own stories (or stories that had been handed down outside of the NT). This is cool stuff, and it’s important for really getting a grip on how early Christians viewed and used the New Testament text!

That, and I wanted to give an update to those who have already pre-ordered the Pre-Pub because the scope of the project has expanded—but the pricing hasn’t gone up (yet).

So, what’s changed? Of course, you would know all of this if you joined or followed my Greek Apocryphal Gospels group* on Faithlife.com, but for those of you who haven’t done that yet, here’s the list.

English Translations of Fragments and Agrapha

I’ve translated (or included existing translations) of all the fragments and agrapha. This means—at least for the fragments and agrapha and some of the fragmentary and known gospels (Gospel of Peter and Gospel of Mary fragments, as well as the Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas)—English translations will be available. So you will be able to use this resource even if you can’t read or work through the Greek text.

Expanded Fragment Coverage

In addition to providing translations, I’ve also expanded the list of fragments that are included. The initial Pre-Pub listed the following fragments:

  • P.Egerton 2
  • P.Oxy 840
  • P.Oxy 1224
  • P.Cairo 10735
  • P.Merton 51
  • Fayum Gospel Fragment (a.k.a. P.Vindob.G 2325)

In researching the fragments and writing the introduction to the fragments, however, it became clear that some more fragments really should be added. Some of these were not included initially because transcriptions were not in the public domain, and also because images of the fragments were not available for transcription. I’ve since located clear, readable images of certain fragments, so the list is longer. Here are the added fragments:

  • Dura Parchment 24
  • P.Berol. 11710
  • P.Köln 255, which is the bottom corner of fragment 1 of P.Egerton 2
  • P.Oxy 210
  • P.Oxy 5072

Lots of new stuff, all of it interesting.

When will it be done?

That’s a great question. And the answer is: I don’t really know. The Greek text of the longer Gospel material (Infancy and Passion gospels) is still being worked on (initial capture); the morphological analysis will come after that. I have the bibliography together, though I have occasionally added  new entries as the introductions have been written. I’ve written drafts of introductions to the agrapha and fragmentary material (over 40 pages of single-spaced text thus far, with footnotes), and I’m moving into the Gospel of Peter next.

Convinced yet? Check out the Pre-Pub page for the list of stuff included. That, and check out some of the previous posts I’ve written about the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha:

 

*Make sure you have a Faithlife user account—you can sign in with your Logos.com account. Then simply join the Greek Apocryphal Gospels group (button to the right of the group name) to get involved with the discussion!

Win a Nexus 7 Tablet from Vyrso!

Ready to be part of the mobile revolution? Vyrso, your source for Christian ebooks, is giving away a brand-new 8 GB Nexus 7—the device Wired magazine called the “the best Android tablet yet.” But that’s not all! Vyrso’s loading up that Nexus 7 with the entire Kirkdale Press catalog, plus 10 ebooks of your choice from a selection of remarkable authors:

Vyrso is even adding a copy of Karen Kingbury’s Coming Homeas well as titles from these Faithlife Women Conference* speakers:

What are you waiting for? Enter the Nexus 7 giveaway now!

 

*Did you know you can attend the Faithlife Women Conference for free?

Free Talmud Resource: Daf Yomi!

The Babylonian Talmud is one of the most important Jewish texts. It contains most of the earlier Mishnah, with detailed rabbinical commentary addressing nearly every aspect of Jewish life. Although it’s organized by topic, not verse, the Talmud is a fantastic source for early Jewish biblical exegesis—but it can be a daunting read.

In response to this difficulty, Rabbi Meir Shapiro developed a reading plan built around studying both sides of a Talmud page (Daf) every day (Yom), launching the first readthrough September 11, 1923. The schedule was published so that readers everywhere could get on the same (literal) page. Classes formed around these reading schedules, followed by radio programs and, later, websites, podcasts, and blogs.

Rabbi Meir Shapiro

On August 2, 2012, just shy of 89 years after the program began, 300,000 people celebrated the completion of the Babylonian Talmud’s 12th communal readthrough. Without a break, the 13th cycle began the next day.

To mark the 13th Daf Yomi cycle’s start, we’ve created a free Daf Yomi reading plan. The plan links to Jacob Neusner’s English-language Talmud translations and, where relevant, to readings from Neusner’s The Mishnah: A New Translation. This week only, we’re offering Neusner’s translation bundle for over 30 percent off the sale price with coupon code DAFYOMI—a savings of $90! The discount is good only through August 19, 2012, so download Neusner’s translations now.

If you’re interested in early Judaism in general or the Talmud in particular, this is a terrific opportunity to get in on the new reading cycle. We’ve started a Faithlife group* where Daf Yomi reading-plan participants can share their thoughts, observations, and questions.

Get your free Daf Yomi reading plan today!

* Make sure you have a Faithlife user account—you can sign in with your Logos.com account. Then simply join the Daf Yomi group (button to the right of the group name) to get involved with the discussion!

Small Group Planning Just Got Easier

Small group leaders play a crucial, challenging role in their churches. As volunteers, they often have to balance the responsibilities of work and family with those of ministry. Pastors face the equally difficult task of providing small group leaders with a set of tools that will enable them to effectively lead weekly study. That’s why Logos created Abraham: Following God’s Promise: Complete Church Curriculum.

The Complete Church Curriculum comes with a Leader’s Guide that contains eight detailed lesson plans. Beautifully organized and simple to use, these lesson plans include speaking points and action items. Easy-to-follow symbols provide small group leaders with clear direction for the entire lesson.

Each lesson plan also comes with a teaching slideshow. With graphics, Scripture passages, and reflection questions, the slideshows bring an engaging visual element to the small group experience. Thumbnails of the slideshows appear throughout the lesson, providing a visual reference for group leaders as they teach [see an example]. Available in three file formats—PowerPoint, Keynote, and Proclaim—the slideshows can be used easily on any platform.

The Leader’s Guide also includes introductory videos. View them as your small group begins in order to create a dynamic start to the evening’s study. The videos introduce the study’s focus and include shots of the graphics that appear in the slideshow.

 

Designed to be used along with the self-study program, the Abraham: Following God’s Promise Leader’s Guide helps small group leaders reinforce interpretive points and application insights with discussion questions. The discussion-question handouts allow leaders to print out the topics for those group members who don’t own the book. The questions ensure that your small group remains interactive, creating a space for sharing as well as study.

The slideshows and handouts are also customizable. Small group leaders can alter the material’s content and tone to fit their teaching goals. Pastors can work with their small group leaders to adjust the content to reflect a particular theological emphasis. Not only does the Complete Church Curriculum lead faith communities deeper into Abraham’s life—it accommodates faith communities’ teaching aims.

The Complete Church Curriculum provides a multifaceted curriculum solution that powerfully equips small group leaders, allowing them to focus on the important work of helping others understand the Bible. Equip your leaders today. With these tools, they can help others discover better Bible study—balancing their ministry with their commitments to family, work, and prayer. Get the Complete Church Curriculum today!

Get Notes and Highlighting on Your Android Device!

If you use Logos’ Android Bible app, now you can add new functions for mobile Bible study, among them notes, highlighting, and resource text selection. Interact with the Word: save your thoughts and comments on any verse or book, and mark the text with colors and symbols.

You’ll get:

  • Notes: Attach your thoughts and comments to a verse or book for future reference.
  •  Highlighting: Mark the text your way with more than 80 colors and symbols.
  • Languages: Access the original Greek and Hebrew with a simple tap-and-hold on any word in the Bible. You’ll instantly see the term’s lemma and morphology.
  • And much more!

With your free Logos account, you can grow your mobile library on your own terms, choosing from Logos’ and Vyrso’s  27,000-plus Bibles, commentaries, reference guides, Christian living books, and other titles. Just sign in with your Logos account to start browsing.

The Android Bible app helps you experience fuller, richer Bible study wherever you go—and it’s absolutely free.

Learn more about Logos’ Bible app for Android by visiting the Android page, or simply download the app today from the Google Play store.

Accessing the Original Languages Using Logos Discourse Resources

The Problem

Few would deny the importance of learning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic for teaching and preaching. Despite this high view of the original languages, I’ve heard numerous pastors lament the limited practical payoff of investing seminary time and effort in learning languages. As language skills get rusty, it takes more and more effort to do the kind of passage analysis that the professor recommended. Language study can end up becoming more word study than passage study. This is not a new problem, and it is not going to go away anytime soon. However, I have made it my mission in life to see the receding tide of interest in original language study turned around. The big question is how to do it.

An Idea

While researching the problem, I found that Bible translators had applied modern linguistics to the study of biblical languages in incredibly useful ways. There was a problem, though. Their work was not applied to exegesis, and it was horribly technical. The result: few scholars in biblical studies saw any value in it. I tested out the ideas on students and was surprised with what I found. Yes, linguistics can be complex, and yes, it takes extensive training to be able to completely analyze a discourse. But—and this is a very important but—once students had a basic knowledge of the devices and saw where they occurred in a passage, they were in a much better position to understand the overall flow of the text. So besides just learning the concepts, people needed access to this very specialized data (more on the access issue here). My mission had gained a bit more focus.

A Solution

I spent the next five years writing my doctoral dissertation and brainstorming a new kind of database. Meanwhile, Logos moved their company headquarters from Oak Harbor, WA, to Bellingham, where I had been living since 1985. I showed them my ideas and waved my arms to describe what my idea would look like. They took a risk, and here’s what’s come about.

  • Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament: original language databases identifying the most exegetically significant discourse devices and providing a basic propositional breakdown to help you digest the syntax. If you have a basic knowledge of the language—even if it’s very rusty—then these resources will enhance your study.

There was a fairly common response to these resources: “Where has this stuff been? Why didn’t I learn this in school?”

The High Definition OT and NT provide most of the same Hebrew and Greek analysis, but they display it on the ESV text. These resources also come bundled with their original language counterparts.

  • Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: After the NT databases shipped, I was often asked how someone could better understand the devices and their relationship to traditional grammar and exegesis. We needed a grammar book designed for folks with a traditional background in Greek. The Discourse Grammar has been endorsed by leading scholars like Dr. Peter Gentry and Dr. Daniel Wallace, and it’s being used at leading seminaries like Southern Seminary, Dallas Seminary, and Knox Theological Seminary.

I made some rather unscholarly (goofy?) videos to demonstrate that discourse grammar is not brain surgery—it’s stuff we do every day.

  • Introducing Greek Discourse Grammar: Video Series: After receiving invitations from schools to come and teach a discourse grammar course, we decided to make a video series that provides an overview of the Discourse Grammar concepts using things like funny road signs and jokes to help you better understand how we use language and to show how this understanding can enhance your exegesis. Here are some samples from the series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Greek New Testament Discourse Bundle: This bundle includes the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition, Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, and the High Definition Commentary: Philippians, along with a collection of essays from leading scholars in discourse studies dedicated to my mentor, Wycliffe translator Stephen Levinsohn. This bundled set saves you nearly $75 compared to buying the resources individually.

Turning the Tide

There is a belief that if you read long enough and widely enough in the original languages after leaving school, you will gain a deeper insight into Greek and Hebrew. While this may be true, the reality is that very few ever reach this level of competency. This is not a practical solution.

The growing suite of Logos discourse resources has been intentionally designed to give you the kind of insights that professors promised. And there are some new discourse projects in the works.

They say “all boats are lifted by a rising tide,” and this holds true for reinvigorating Greek and Hebrew study. Strengthening our exegetical skills will sharpen our understanding of Scripture and our ability to compellingly communicate its message. More effective preaching and teaching will ultimately strengthen the church. The Logos discourse resources represent a significant step forward. If you’ve already purchased some of the discourse resources and have recommendations for new users, be sure to post a comment about your experience.

Read the NT like a Scholar: Save $200!

For the next two weeks, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament—which used to be the New International Biblical Commentary: New Testament—is on sale for a spectacular price. Through August 19, you can get this 18-volume commentary, which retails for $299.95, for only $99.95!  Save $200 with coupon code UBCNTSALE before 11:59 p.m. (PDT), Sunday, August 19.

Excellent Scholarship Made Accessible

For years, students, pastors, and leaders have studied the New Testament with the help of the NIV-based New International Biblical Commentary. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament’s 18 volumes have earned a reputation for scholastic rigor and clear language.

In this thorough, approachable commentary, such trusted scholars as F. F. Bruce, Craig A. Evans, Larry W. Hurtado, and Gordon D. Fee take you through each New Testament book, examining the biblical setting, the original Greek, and historical and literary issues. Each volume includes a detailed contextual chapter illuminating the New Testament in its original form.

Don’t forget about Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: Old Testament (16 vols.) on Pre-Pub!

Save Big Today

Don’t miss this opportunity to save hundreds of dollars on an incredible commentary—get the 18-volume Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament for just $99.95 with coupon code UBCNTSALE through August 19.

Love Logos? Tell the World!

Logos Organic Onesie—$6.00!

Sometimes you want to take Logos with you—and share it with everyone. With our mobile apps, you can do just that. But did you know that you can also show your love with Logos branded merchandise? It’s true! Now you can take to the streets with Logos shirts, caps, fleeces, mugs, water bottles, and more.

There was a time when items like these were available only to employees, but not anymore. Now you can purchase your own Logos swag at incredible prices.

Why not show up at that morning meeting with your stainless steel Logos mug? This beautiful 16 oz. cup is on sale for only $5.37! Or maybe you want to take your Logos Water Bottle with you on your hike. You can for only $3.60! But for less than $10, why not get both?

“I Am Not a Venti Cup” $4.80

Pick up stylish Logos-wear:

Don’t worry—there’s something for everyone. Even your infant can get in on the fun with the Logos Onesie!

Visit the Logos merchandise page now and get all your Christmas shopping done in August!

Free Book of the Month: The Epistle to the Hebrews

“Every student of the Epistle to the Hebrews must feel that it deals in a peculiar degree with the thoughts and trials of our own time.”

Thus begins Brooke Foss Westcott’s The Epistle to the Hebrews, August’s Free Book of the Month.

This classic reference work takes you deep into Hebrews through extensive verse-by-verse exegetical commentary and multiple dissertations on related subjects. An extensive introduction covers this important epistle’s title, history, and purpose.

“Bishop Westcott’s treatise is, and will doubtless finally take its place as, a classical work. This it deserves, not only from the fulness and completeness of the materials he has assembled, and the refined and scholarly judgment with which they are handled, but from the clear, the just, and the measured views which he takes on all the difficult problems connected with the Epistle. There is a wonderful charm too in his wider views, regarding the deep subjects treated of in the Epistle.”—The Church Quarterly Review, 1891

Westcott studied at Cambridge’s Trinity College from which he graduated in 1848. He stayed at Trinity, where, in 1849, he attained fellowship and was ordained as a deacon and priest. He received honorary degrees from Oxford (1881) and Edinburgh (1883). In 1890, he became bishop of Durham.

His Hebrews commentary is part of the 14-volume Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament. Enter to win this commentary set—worth $239.95—at our Free Book of Month page. And download your free book today!

Huge Savings on a Massive Academic Collection from Baker Publishing

Logos has teamed up with Baker Publishing to provide amazing academic resources at incredible prices. Take the Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle, for example. Here you have 86 volumes of outstanding scholarship from respected contemporary scholars and theologians for only $999.95.

This bundle is made up of the following collections:

If you were to purchase these Pre-Pubs individually, you would pay more than $1,400—and that’s at Pre-Pub prices! To purchase this collection retail would cost you over $2,500. Right now, though, you can order this collection for just $999.95. But don’t wait—the price goes up to $1,399.95 at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) Sunday, August 12.

Baker and its imprints Baker Academic and Brazos Press, are established, trustworthy publishers of Christian academic works. No matter your theological background, you’ll find Baker’s academic books full of healthy, vibrant, and irenic research material written by some of the best-known names in Christian academia. With the massive Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle, you get resources from such biblical luminaries as:

When you add this 86-volume bundle (which, in print, would run past 30,000 pages) to your collection, it becomes part of a vast network of biblical resources—a network worth far more than the sum of its parts. Imagine walking up to a shelf of books and saying, “Show me the information you have on James 1:5,” and then having all your books open and arrange themselves, giving you access to the information you need. This is precisely what you get with your Logos library. $999.95 is a terrific price for all these books; for the power you’re adding to your Logos resources, it’s nothing short of amazing.

The price of this Pre-Pub goes up at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) Sunday, August 12. Act now and you’ll add inspiring resources to your library at a phenomenal price. Pre-order this amazing collection today!