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What’s in a Name?

Have you ever noticed that some Old Testament figures are given one name when they’re introduced and then referred to by a different name or expression as the story unfolds? Think of the various names and expressions used for God throughout the Old Testament. We know they’re used to highlight a particular aspect of God’s character, but did you know that the same thing happens with other biblical figures too?

Believe it or not, the biblical writers did this for the same kinds of reasons we do it! Here’s what I mean. As I returned home from work a few weeks ago, Bri greeted me with the following statement: “your daughter put the TV remote into the dishwasher and it got washed.” Notice she didn’t say, “Estelle put the TV remote . . .” or even “Our daughter put the TV remote . . .” She purposely phrased it this way. Why? Calling Estelle “your daughter” in this context conveyed a specific meaning: my wife’s innocence in Estelle’s action and my (genetic) culpability. The subtle but deliberate mode of reference was very meaningful. We see the same sort of thing happening in the Old Testament.

In 1 Samuel 9, we meet Saul, Israel’s first king. In all but a few places, he is referred to by his given name. Several times, however, the writer changes from Saul to king. Why? Changed reference devices most often highlight a particular quality of the person referred to. The highlighted feature forces us to change how we view that character in the particular context. This change results in a unique and specific meaning.

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and the Lexham High Definition Old Testament each use the  symbol to mark each changed reference. Let’s take a closer look at how it’s used in 1 Samuel.

In 1 Samuel 20, David and Jonathan hatch a plan to find out just how intent Saul is on killing David. The plan involves Jonathan lying to Saul, informing him that David has chosen to go to Bethlehem rather than attend the feast of the new moon, where Saul expected David to be. If Saul becomes angry at the news of David’s absence, then David and Jonathan will know for sure that David’s life is in danger.

In the climactic scene recounted in 1 Sam 20:24, we read: “When the new moon came, the king was seated at the feast” (LEB). As Saul learns of the reason for David’s absence, he flies into a murderous rage vowing to put an end to David’s life. He’s so out of control that he even throws a spear at Jonathan, attempting to murder his own son!

Is this how a king is expected to act? No! Each time that Saul is referred to as king, we find him acting very, well, unkingly.

The use of king rather than Saul highlights Saul’s role as king just as the climactic scene begins. This forces us to view him in light of the character traits one expects God’s anointed king to have. But Saul’s behavior in this scene is anything but that of a righteous king. Referring to Saul as king in the context of unkingly behavior conveys a specific meaning: Saul’s unworthiness to serve as God’s anointed king.

When we look at each place in 1 Samuel that king is substituted for Saul, we find that this occurs only in parts of the story where Saul’s actions appear less than kingly! As you can see, these changed references are exegetically significant, but they’re easily overlooked or misunderstood.

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and Lexham High Definition Old Testament help you to get the most out of your Bible study by annotating each changed reference, as well as 29 other exegetically significant discourse devices. We’ve included an introduction and glossary to help you understand the function of each device. The Lexham High Definition Old Testament is a terrific resource for those who haven’t studied Hebrew. It includes nearly  all of the devices marked in the LDHB.

The Lexham Hebrew Discourse Bible comes bundled with the Lexham High Definition Old Testament, along with an introduction and glossary for each database. These resources will be shipping soon. The initial release will provide an analysis of Genesis–Isaiah, with the entire Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

Explore Revelation with Bible Study Magazine!

Bible Study Magazine has been delivering tools for Bible study for almost four years. The magazine has covered Old Testament writings like Genesis, Psalms, and the Prophets and New Testament books like Matthew, Romans, and the letters of Paul. But we’ve bypassed one particular book of the Bible.

That ends with the July–Aug. ’12 issue, in which we take on the most mysterious book in the canon: Revelation. The special section provides you with the tools and methods you need to decipher the passages that seem strange and obscure. Discover the context, understand the imagery, and learn how the book of Revelation is relevant for your life today.

If you subscribe today, you’ll receive these articles and others in the July–Aug. ’12 issue:

  • The Bill Hybels cover story—The founder of The Global Leadership Summit and senior pastor of Willow Creek Church articulates his vision for a Bible-centered community, stating that it starts with a strategic plan for getting people in the Word: “There’s a hunger for teaching from Scripture, but massive numbers of this generation have not grown up with opportunities to connect the Christian dots.”
  • An interview with Margaret Feinberg—In Pursuing God, speaker and writer Margaret Feinberg told us that she prays for spiritual hunger. She emphasizes the need to pursue God through the Word: “When we begin diving into the Scripture . . . we not only search the Bible, but we allow the Bible to do the hard work of searching us.”
  • Articles on the trickiest passages in Revelation, including “Gods, Dragons and Evil Emperors,” “666: What Theories Add Up,” and “Two Jerusalems.”
  • A new 8-week Bible study on the book of James
  • Insights on studying the Bible in the Holy Land

Get into the next issue with these articles: Check out “Beast of an Empire” by David A. DeSilva and “Taming the Beast” by Rick Brannan.

Every issue of Bible Study Magazine brings you new, challenging articles. What are you waiting for? Subscribe to Bible Study Magazine today!

Rethinking Church Curriculum: Announcing the Studies in Faithful Living Series

No one enjoys sitting through a dull Sunday school lesson, making time for a distracted small-group study, or listening to a dry, complicated sermon. We’re looking for intrigue and excitement—we want God’s Word clearly and fully articulated so that we can live the vision he has called us to. We want to be engaged and challenged. We want to learn about the Bible itself while learning to interpret the Bible for ourselves. To meet this challenge, Logos created the Studies in Faithful Living Series.

The first volume in the series is Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Abraham had incredible faith, but he also failed—quite often. As the story progresses, Abraham begins to see what it means to follow in faith instead of fear. Called by God to be an agent of transformation in the world, he is transformed in the process. Even when Abraham falls short of fulfilling his end of the bargain, God is faithful to his promise. To bring you into the narrative, each chapter of Abraham: Following God’s Promise sets the stage with the ancient context, takes a closer look at the biblical text, walks through similar ideas in the Bible and beyond, and points to direct application with prose and with questions that you can answer right there in the book.

Abraham’s life story is applicable to our own. He is so much like us—called to faith but unsure of where his path will lead. The same can be said of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, who has an equal part in the narrative and in the volume. To help you walk beside Abraham and Sarah in their journey and understand how their story fits in history, Abraham: Following God’s Promise includes infographics, maps, and artifact images. It also includes Quick Bits that address facts about the ancient world, Quick Tips that teach better Bible study, and printable handouts.

For pastors and teachers, Abraham: Following God’s Promise is available as a complete church curriculum version. This package includes everything in the individual study version plus slides that work out of the box (for PowerPoint, Keynote, or Proclaim), videos for each chapter, sermon outlines, small group questions, and media resources (like graphic images and the graphical video introduction) so that you can customize the experience for your church or group. Also included in this version are customizable sermon handouts and discussion handouts. You can see the full list of what’s included on the product page. This is more than a book—it’s everything you, as a pastor or teacher, need. With individual study guides available for $9.95, your entire church or small group can experience the Bible as it was meant to be understood. This is an opportunity for your faith community to walk with the founder of the nation of Israel and learn, in the process, how to live faithfully and study the Bible in greater depth.

The Studies in Faithful Living series rethinks church curriculum. Experience better Bible study with Abraham: Following God’s Promise. Pick up the single volume or the complete church curriculum for pastors and teachers today.

Save Now with the Calvin Birthday Sale!

“Wherever we find the Word of God surely preached and heard, and the sacraments administered according to the institution of Christ, there, it is not to be doubted, is a church of God.”—John Calvin

Today is John Calvin’s 503rd birthday. To celebrate this important Reformer, we’ve reduced the price of three fantastic Calvin resources. Purchase any (or all) of these products with the appropriate coupon codes before 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time), Friday, July 13, and get incredible discounts.

We are also featuring Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 vols.) on Pre-Pub. Get the best price by pre-ordering now.

Calvin 500 Collection (108 vols.)

Retail: $2,199.95 Regularly: $999.95

Your Price: $499.95 with the Coupon Code CALVINDAY01

In 2009, Logos put together this special collection to celebrate Calvin’s 500th birthday. The Calvin 500 Collection is the largest collection of Calvin materials ever assembled. You get every one of Calvin’s commentaries, five editions of Institutes (in three languages), four volumes of letters and correspondence, ten biographies, a collection of tracts and treatises, and twenty volumes on the history and influence of Calvinism. You’re not going to find a better source of Calvin material anywhere.

Use coupon code CALVINDAY01 and save 50% today!

Calvin’s Calvinism (2 vols.)

Retail: $49.99 Regularly: $44.95

Your Price: $30.95 with the Coupon Code CALVINDAY03

No theologian has been so widely acclaimed and assailed as John Calvin. His teachings have spawned movements and sparked controversy throughout the centuries. Wars have been fought both to defend and to destroy what has become known as Calvinism, a system of thought that Calvin’s followers used as a foundation for political and theological revolutions in Western Europe and America. The breadth and depth of the global engagement with Calvin’s works since they first appeared four centuries ago—and their continuous publication since then—testify to Calvin’s importance and lasting value for the church today.

“The fundamental issue for John Calvin—from the beginning of his life to the end—was the issue of the centrality and supremacy and majesty of the glory of God.”—John Piper

Save more than 30% on Calvin’s Calvinism with the coupon code CALVINDAY03.

John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life

Retail: $25.00

Your Price: $17.95 with Coupon Code CALVINDAY02

Professor and renowned Reformation historian Herman Selderhuis reveals a man who had an impressive impact on the development of the West, a man who was first of all a believer struggling with the way God governed both the world and Calvin’s own life.

“This is simply one of the best biographies of Calvin I have seen. Selderhuis has managed admirably to combine keen academic insight with a clear, engaging writing style and many delicious details. For all who are curious about Calvin, Selderhuis’s John Calvin: A Pilgrim’s Life is the place to begin.”—Frank A. James III, president, Reformed Theological Seminary

Pick up this biography now for only $17.95 with the coupon code CALVINDAY02.

Institutes of the Christian Religion (2 vols.)

The definitive English-language edition of one of the church’s monumental works is currently on Pre-Pub. Under the supervision of John McNeill, a team of expert Latinists and Calvin scholars worked to produce what has become the standard-setting English-language edition of Institutes. The team collated all previous editions (Latin, French, German, and English); verified, corrected, and expanded references and notes; and added new bibliographies. Ford Lewis Battles’ translation preserves the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin’s writing, but it also conforms to modern English and renders heavy theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and, at the same time, is eminently readable. Scholars consider this the authoritative edition of Calvin’s Institutes.

Pre-order Institutes today and get it at 38% percent off when it ships!

Calvin continues to be one of the most influential theologians in history. Celebrate his 503rd birthday with Logos Bible Software!

6 More Days to Save $300 on Boice!

Today is James Montgomery Boice’s birthday. To celebrate, we’re extending our sale on Boice’s Expositional Commentaries through Friday, July 13. Purchase Boice’s Expositional Commentaries by 11:59 pm next Friday night (PST) using coupon code JULYBOICE and you’ll save $300!

Boice, born July 7, 1938, studied at both Harvard and Princeton, eventually going on to receive his doctorate in theology from Switzerland’s University of Basel.

In 1968, he joined Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA, as pastor; he served there until his death in 2000. When he accepted the position, the church had 350 regular attendees. By 2000, the church had grown to more than 1,200.

Alongside his pastoral duties, Boice served as the chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, founded the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, served on the board of trustees for both the Bible Study Fellowship and the Huguenot Fellowship, and served as associate editor for Christianity Today and editor for Eternity. On top of all that, Dr. Boice spoke on the Bible Study Hour radio program for 31 years.

Throughout Boice’s life, people were drawn to the authority and clarity of his teaching. The 27 volumes in Boice’s Expositional Commentaries represent his uncomplicated and clear instruction. Order these commentaries before the end of the day Friday, July 13, with coupon code JULYBOICE and get the collection for only $99.95—that’s a $300 savings off the regular price!

22 Years’ Worth of Timothy Keller Sermons Available on Pre-Pub!

Logos is publishing New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller’s 22-year digital transcript collection, the first-ever comprehensive release of Keller’s sermons. Keller is senior pastor of what has been dubbed “one of Manhattan’s most vital congregations.” Since 1989, Keller’s powerful sermonsfocusing on the character, ministry, and work of Jesus Christ, have helped Redeemer Presbyterian Church grow from 50 people to a congregation of more than 5,000.

Containing more than 1,200 expositional sermons, the massive Timothy Keller Sermon Archive integrates completely with the rest of your Logos resources. Find sermons in seconds that illuminate the passage you’re studying, or search the entire Keller archive for topics pertaining to your study, sermon, or small group.

This collection is currently on Pre-Pub, so the price won’t be this low forever. Act now to get Keller’s complete archive at 50% off! Pre-order it today!

July 6, 1415: The Martyrdom of John Huss

“Lord Jesus, it is for thee that I patiently endure this cruel death. I pray thee to have mercy on my enemies.”—The last words attributed to John Huss

At the end of the fourteenth century, John Wycliffe’s influence was beginning to permeate the Christian world. Wycliffe’s convictions, such as his affirmation of the priesthood of every believer and his belief in the right of every believer to have access to Scripture in his or her own language, ran contrary to the era’s religious culture.

Wycliffe’s ideas were by no means universally popular. It is said that, upon reading Wycliffe’s works, an indignant scribe in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) responded, “O good God, do not let this man come into our beloved Bohemia.” Wycliffe’s influence couldn’t be stopped, though, and his teachings circulated into Bohemia in the 1380s.

John Huss (born in Bohemia in 1369) discovered Wycliffe’s teachings while at the University of Prague. Huss went on to be ordained as a priest and, at the turn of the century, made rector of the University. Although many of Wycliffe’s works were  denounced by the church, Huss helped translate and distribute Wycliffe’s work. The Bethlehem Chapel, where Huss took over preaching duties, soon became a platform for Huss’ reform-minded teachings.

It wasn’t entirely Huss’ reformist thinking that put him outside the church’s good graces. Complex political and ecclesiastic issues, including an attempt to depose two popes (Benedict XIII and Gregory XII) and elect a third (Alexander V), were creating turmoil in the church. With King Wenceslaus of Bohemia, Huss backed this new pope. But when Huss took a stand against indulgences being sold to finance Alexander’s crusade against the other popes, he angered Wenceslaus and found himself at odds with the entire leadership of the church—with no king to protect him. Huss was excommunicated and forced into exile.

In 1414, the Council of Constance was organized to put an end to the church’s papal controversy. Huss was called before the council to give an account of his doctrine. Although he attended under the promise of safety, he was immediately arrested. During Huss’ incarceration, the council declared Wycliffe a heretic (May 4, 1415). Wycliffe’s books were burned and his body was exhumed and incinerated, his ashes thrown into the river.

Huss was brought before the counsel, and his beliefs—Christ (not the pope) being head of the church; predestination; separation of church and civil power; a belief that communion be available in both bread and cup to all (wine was often withheld from the laity)—were enough to have him condemned as a heretic.

On July 6, 1415, Huss was given an opportunity to recant. When he refused, he was taken to the cathedral, stripped, and led to the courtyard. Tied to the stake and given one last chance to renounce his beliefs, Huss responded, “Lord Jesus, it is for thee that I patiently endure this cruel death. I pray thee to have mercy on my enemies.” Peter of Mladonovice, a follower of Huss and witness to his execution, wrote that Huss sang Psalms while being engulfed by flames.

Huss’ execution started a rebellion. His followers (called Hussites) defeated many of the emperor’s attacks and continued to call for reforms. Hussite thought didn’t just outlive its founder—it went on to change the world. Wycliffe’s and Huss’ radical ideas were soon fanned into flame by Martin Luther.

The John Huss Collection is currently available on Community Pricing. Bid now and help set the price on this amazing seven-volume collection! And while it’s on Pre-Pub, you can also have the twelve-volume Works of John Wycliffe for only $79.95!

How to Make Sense of Hebrew Word Order

Whether you’ve studied Greek and Hebrew or just read the interlinear line, you’ve probably noticed that the ordering of Greek and Hebrew words sounds remarkably like you’d expect Yoda from the Star Wars saga to speak. Most introductory grammars don’t even tackle the issue of word order. So is there any exegetical significance to the Greek and Hebrew word order? Absolutely!

Most traditional grammarians like Gesenius or A. T. Robertson recognized two general motives for placing information in front of the verb: contrast and emphasis. Newer grammars like Biblical Hebrew Reference Grammar and Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, applying principles from modern linguistics, have sharpened our understanding of word order. But unless you are a biblical language expert specializing in information structure, you’d be hard-pressed to accurately analyze word order until just recently.

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament provide you with sentence-by-sentence word order analyses. Accompanying introductions help you understand the important difference between emphasis and frame of reference (traditionally called contrast). The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament is currently available in a special bundle with six other resources including the Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament and the High Definition Commentary: Philippians.

The Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible will be shipping soon, helping you identify and understand the same useful concepts that pastors and teachers have come to value in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. The initial release will provide an analysis of Genesis–2 Samuel. The entire database is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013.

For those of you who’ve never studied Hebrew or Greek, the Lexham High Definition: ESV Edition resources mark every place where the biblical writers have used word order or some other device to emphasize important ideas. If you buy the Greek or Hebrew database, the ESV Edition comes bundled with it. All these resources include a glossary and introduction to help you get the most out of the text.

Remember how I said you’d need an expert in biblical languages to properly analyze word order? Well, about a year ago Logos hired Josh Westbury as a Hebrew language specialist to partner with me in completing the Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible/HDOT project. He is currently in a doctoral program with my former adviser and friend Christo Van der Merwe. Look for Hebrew versions of popular resources like Discourse Grammar of the GNT and Lexham High Definition Commentaries written in conjunction with my new colleague, Josh!

Lock In the Best Price on the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series!

The Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: Old Testament is an example of the intelligent, relevant, and engaging resources published by Baker Books. Each author in this 16-volume series bridges the gap between ancient Hebrew language and practice and contemporary understanding. You can pre-order the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series on Pre-Pub right now for only $99.95—but the price goes up Monday, July 9.

The goal of this series is to tear down the walls that keep modern readers puzzling over the ancient world. Through a section-by-section analysis of the biblical text, highlighted key phrases and terms, and transliterated Greek and Hebrew, this commentary makes the Old Testament’s significance clear to contemporary readers.

Some readers worry that focusing on accessibility sacrifices scholarship. Not so with the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Every chapter ends with supplemental in-depth technical and textual information. Pastors and Bible students will find the Scripture and subject indexes, not to mention the bibliographies, helpful for digging deeper into their studies.

Increase the power of your Logos library with insights from notable authors like:

Pre-order this collection today and enrich your networked Old Testament resources. You can get this on Pre-Pub at $99.95, but time is of the essence. The price goes up to $179.95 on Monday, July 9. Order now!

Free Book of the Month: Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

“The Judge is before the door: he that cometh will come, and will not tarry: his reward is with him. And we shall all (if we are zealous for the Lord of hosts) ere long shine as the stars in the firmament, in the kingdom of our heavenly Father, for ever and ever.”—George Whitefield

Selected Sermons of George Whitefield is July’s Free Book of the Month!

George Whitefield (1714–1770), a contemporary of John and Charles Wesley, was an influential figure in the Great Awakening. He toured New England, England, Scotland, and Wales, preaching to crowds that at times numbered in the tens of thousands.

How Can I Get It?

To download your free book, all you need is a Logos.com account—and it’s completely free to register. Our system currently requires a credit card on file for all “purchases”; this includes free items. But don’t worry—you won’t be billed for your free book.

If you had an account in the past but forgot your password, changing your password is easy.

When registering, you’ll be able to sign up for various email lists. Read through these and check boxes for updates that interest you. Make sure you click the Freebies, Contests, and Giveaways list. Now that you have a Logos account, you don’t want to miss out on all the giveaways and free items we make available (like the Faithlife Study Bible!).

Your Logos.com account is useful for downloading your favorite Christian books from Vyrso.com, and it’s also your gateway to the Faithlife community.

How Can I Read It?

So you’ve signed up for an account and got your free book. Now what? You can enjoy Selected Sermons on the following platforms:

  • Logos 4: It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Bible study or you have a DMin; this award-winning software takes you deeper into the Word. Invest in one of our base packages or download the free engine (PC or Mac).
  • iPhone or iPad: Read Selected Sermons on the Logos Bible Software app.*
  • Android: Read it on the Logos Bible Software app for your Android phone or tablet.*
  • Biblia.com: Read it on Biblia.com from anywhere you have internet access.
  • Vyrso app: Need a simplified ebook reading experience? With the Vyrso app, read Selected Sermons alongside your Logos and Vyrso books on your iPhone and Android device.
  • Faithlife app: Read Whitefield alongside the Faithlife Study Bible.

Get Started Now!

You can get Whitefield’s book free through the end of July, and when you visit the Free Book of the Month page, you can enter to win the 13-volume Works of George Whitefield collection.

Visit the Free Book of the Month page to download your free book and enter the giveaway!

*When you sign in to the app with your free Logos.com account, you’ll get access to 67 free books!