Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.
My Mom is in a book club. During the discussion of their current book, questions were raised about John Calvin and specific points of his theology. After a bit of hemming and hawing, my Mom offered to send an email to her son—the closest person any of them knew to being a theology expert—asking for some background on Calvin. More than that, they wanted to know what Calvin thought about God.
Intuitively they knew that throughout history there have been giants of theology. These are people who have had the uncanny gift of deeply reflecting about God’s nature and communicating it a way that strikes a chord in both the Church and the greater world. People like Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Edwards, and Barth.
Penetrating the depths of their thought helps us dig deeper into the unfathomable vast riches of God. Spending time with these people lets us stand on the shoulders of giants and scan the horizons of who we understand God to be.
Of course, the question is, how do we begin probing the minds of these thinkers? The best way is to jump right in and explore. My theology professor in college reminded us often that the best way to understand Karl Barth was to actually read Karl Barth. But we all need a little help. And I present to you Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection.
In this 7-volume collection Bloesch traverses the standard topics of systematic theology but does so with a keen eye on both the biblical witness and centuries of Christian thought. As a reader you’re presented with various summary positions and quotations from representative thinkers. Pick up Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection and begin to immerse yourself in the Church’s great thoughts and thinkers.
Update: We just learned that Donald Bloesch passed away on August 24, 2010. Here are a couple of nice obituaries:
I used to walk into old bookstores and see a Michelangelo or El Greco book and have to have it. It started with old cheap books, but it quickly got out of control. Before I knew it, Barnes and Noble and Borders had me. I was walking out with expensive books about Da Vinci. Then Amazon.com got me with sweet folios of art pieces by people like William Blake. There was something soothing about having coffee with a brightly colored book that combined text and art—two great mediums together. The combining of mediums is also what I love about magazines, hence the need for Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009. But with this book, you get art and writing focused on God’s Word. It’s an extraordinary conversational piece for your living room.
Why My Grandfather-in-Law Loves Coffee Table Books
I’m not the only one who loves big books. I recently took my grandfather-in-law into Barnes and Noble. He left with a big book on military planes, and almost bought one on trains. He loves coffee-table books for the same reason I do: They take everything we love about a subject, condense it, and throw it in a blender with art. So I asked my grandfather-in-law, “What do you think about a coffee table book about Bible study?” He got a big smirk on his face and said, “That would be perfect. Can I buy one here?” The answer was no, because to my knowledge Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is the only coffee table book solely about Bible study, and it’s not in Barnes and Noble.
You Will Love This Coffee Table Book
This compilation presents the wealth of an entire year’s worth of Bible studies, do-it-yourself guides, tips, and interviews with trusted pastors and teachers of Scripture. It includes book reviews, ideas for devotions, word studies, biblical humor, and archaeological and historical insights. Plus, Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 contains the sold-out, highly requested January–February 2009 issue, featuring an interview with Kay Arthur. Other people interviewed include Josh McDowell, Mark Driscoll, Randy Alcorn, Lee Strobel, John Piper, John MacArthur, and more. Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is perfect for display as well as for study and examination of God’s Word. Order it today by clicking here!
Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.
A Logos user recently posted this question at mpseminars.com:
My primary current interest is a thorough, in-depth study of the Greek preposition “pros” (w/accusative). Since it has so many different possible meanings, how do I go about searching the various LXX and NT occurrences – and other available resources – to see what range of alternative meanings might fit in various contexts?
You’ll be very happy to know this type of in-depth original language study is quite easy with Logos Bible Software 4. Here’s one way to tackle this study:
Choose Guides | Bible Word Study
When the guide opens type this exact text in the Word box: g:pros (the g: alerts Logos that what follows is a transliteration of a Greek word)
After typing the text you’ll see a drop down list of Greek words from which you can select the Greek preposition p???
Click the Go arrow in the Word box or press the Enter key to generate the report
The report contains numerous sections including:
Translation displaying all the occurrences of this Greek word regardless of how it’s translated in the English Bible
Septuagint Translation showing all the occurrences in the LXX
Grammatical Relationships listing the words and cases used with this preposition including the accusative about which our Logos user originally inquired!
The Interpretation commentaries and the New Daily Study Bible, by William Barclay, are among our most-requested books. We regularly get calls and emails from our users who want to add them to their libraries, and if you’re a regular in the Forums, you know that posts appear every few weeks asking about them.
If you’re one of the countless Logos users who have sent in requests, we have good news for you! We’ve been working on a new partnership with Westminster John Knox Press, and we’re pleased to announce that Interpretation and the New Daily Study Bible are now on Pre-Pub!
Both of these commentary series regularly appear on lists of must-have commentaries for pastors and students of the Bible. The New Daily Study Bible is written by world-renowned Bible scholar William Barclay. He wrote more than fifty books, but he is best remembered for his series of commentaries.
As much as I like reading, there is just something about video that goes way beyond text alone. Even better is to see and hear an author teaching what they are passionate about. It is a great complement to just reading their book. This is exactly the kind of experience you’ll get from the Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series.
Using everything from road signs and jokes to funny English translations, I show how we use discourse grammar every day. Why do we say things like “Here’s the deal” or “Guess what?” For that matter, how would we even go about understanding how they work? This is where discourse grammar comes in.
Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series explains the principles you need to understand not just how these devices work in English, but also how to apply them to your exposition of the Greek text. Discourse grammar is not just about exegesis, it is about communication. Understanding how these things work not only sharpens your exegesis, it also enhances your ability to communicate what you’ve learned. I show you how you can use English equivalents of discourse device to achieve the same kind of effect that Paul or Luke achieved in the Greek.
This video series will help reinvigorate your use of Greek. You will learn what each different device does in a passage and how to synthesize the pieces into a unified whole. Each concept is explained beginning with everyday English usage, then illustrated from NT passages. If you already have the Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, you’ll find fresh new examples and explanations that are only possible on video.
There are several excerpts from the video series for you to see what it has to offer. You will not find a more accessible or practical introduction to discourse grammar than these videos, so order today.
This is the third in a series of three posts called “Syntax Searching for Everyone”. In this video, we’ll peek at Syntax Search Templates.
What is a Syntax Search Template? Well, if you watched the video on Query Forms from the previous post in this series, you already know what a Syntax Search Template is. The template is the query that underlies the Query Form, just opened up in the syntax search document editor. From here you can better understand how queries are put together and modify them for your own use.
The video shows you how.
[Note: The Syntax Search Template feature is only available to users who have the Andersen-Forbes Hebrew Syntactic Analysis, the OpenText.org Greek NT Syntactic Analysis, and the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament. The Andersen-Forbes and OpenText.org databases are in the Logos 4 Original Languages (LE) package and above; Cascadia is in the Logos 4 Scholar's Silver (LE) package and above.]
Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.
I love discovering the history behind the books I read. If you’re anything like me, you may feel the same way—knowing the background of a resource can provide intrigue, context, and clarity.
The story behind the Cambridge University Press is of particular fascination. The world’s oldest printing press published its first book in 1584, and is still operational today. Cambridge has survived the growth and evolution of the publication world, as well as two world wars and over four centuries of change. They have published hundreds of thousands of books, including many theological materials and Bibles that have been used worldwide.
The fifty-seven individual volumes contained in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges—the first ever complete commentary set to be printed by Cambridge University Press—were published between 1884 and 1922, each containing valuable commentative insight and verse-by-verse exegesis from much-loved theologians such as Alfred Plummer, Herbert Edward Ryle, S. R. Driver, and many others. This significant collection provides a holistic look at the entire Bible, meticulously examining each Old and New Testament book.
Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, the second Cambridge University Press collection now available for pre-order from Logos, includes the entire New Testament in Greek. Written around the same time as The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, it holds writings from some of the same respected theologians and is a fantastic compilation of New Testament commentary. These twenty-one volumes are the perfect addition to any Greek scholar’s library.
The year 1591, only seven years after Cambridge University Press was established, saw the printing of Cambridge’s first Bible, setting a precedent for quality biblical literature. Now, hundreds of years later, Logos is pleased to carry timeless offerings of this historic press, brimming with outstanding scholarship in digital format for ease of study. You won’t be sorry you invested in these powerful volumes, especially with our current Pre-Pub pricing.
Here are a few of our other collections containing books from Cambridge University Press:
The ESV is one of the most important translations of the Bible to appear in a generation, and the ESV Study Bible is one of the bestselling print study Bibles of all time. The ESV Study Bible has been on Pre-Pub for awhile now, and we’re now planning to ship on September 15. This gives you a little more time to get the ESV Study Bible at a discounted price. If you haven’t yet placed your Pre-Pub order, this is your last chance!
Created by an outstanding team of 95 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers, the ESV Study Bible presents completely new study notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, articles, and introductions. It has been endorsed by several prominent pastors and scholars, including John Piper, who called it “the rightful heir to a great line of historic translations,” and Mark Driscoll, who says the ESV Study Bible is “the most important resource that has been given to the emerging generation of Bible students and teachers.”
I like to peruse the Logos Pre-Pub offerings to see what we’re up to. We do so much that I gave up trying to keep up. The Pre-Pub RSS feed helps a bit, but I still can’t remember or keep track of it all.
When I was browsing some of the items we have on pre-pub, I noticed that we have a lot of author-based collections built around people well-known for their knowledge of Greek grammar and language. So I expected to see a lot of grammar-based titles (which always makes me happy, of course). And I did. (Yay!)
But I also saw that these guys had a lot of collections of sermons, essays, letters and the like. Here is a list of current pre-pubs that I cobbled together. It is probably not comprehensive, but you get the idea. I’ve also inserted links to Wikipedia (where they exist — what, no Wikipedia entry on E.A. Sophocles?) so you can get some more background on these people and their lives. Sometimes that’s the insight one needs to make a decision about whether their writings would be valuable to have inside of an environment like Logos Bible Software.
Joseph Barber Lightfoot Collection (11 Vols) (Wikipedia) — Again, one of the striking things about this eleven volume collection is the amount of essays, sermons and addresses included. A great way to see how one of the preeminent exegetes of the 19th century applied his vast knowledge in such situations.
James Hope Moulton Greek Studies Collection (5 Vols) (Wikipedia) — Moulton, along with Deissmann, was heavily influential in recognizing benefit for the Greek of the New Testament in the papyri finds of the late 19th and early 20th century. But he was not a one-dimensional person; his lectures and sermons show it.
E.A. Sophocles Collection (4 Vols.) — He’s not in Wikipedia, but he should be. His Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C. 146 to A.D. 1100) is massive, well-researched, and well regarded today even though it is over 100 years old.
Upon scanning all of the books available in these pre-pubs, it was plainly evident to me that for many of these people, grammar and other technical stuff was simply a means to an end, that end being the preaching of the gospel.
If you’re impressed with Greek grammar stuff, that’s great. But this was my reminder to keep in mind that it is only means to an end. I’m looking forward to these collections going into production so I can see more about how these scholars apply their erudition to preaching, teaching and other writing about the message of the Bible.
No, this is not a post about gender differences, but about one of the most under-appreciated Greek words you’re going to find. It is pronounced just like men in English. It is one of those words that causes translators fits, and is left untranslated nearly 75% of the time. Here is a link to the search in Logos 4 in the Lexham English Bible. Take a look at how many blank spots there are.
So why is it left untranslated so much of the time? Because it is what Robert Funk (the F in BDF fame) called a function word. It doesn’t so much mean something as it signals something. It’s what grammarians call a concessive adverb; it’s only purpose in life is to create the expectation that another related element is coming, with the latter being the more important of the two. Take a look at how adding the underlined words affects the following statements.
I really liked what you fixed for dinner.
While I really liked what you fixed for dinner…
Although I really liked what you fixed for dinner…
I mostly liked what you fixed for dinner …
If you have been married for any length of time, you might have a guess about what might happen next. All but the first statement have a function word that anticipates something more. In English, we would expect this to be a not-so-positive something. Not so in Greek.
The use of μέν creates what is called a counterpoint, setting the stage for a more important point that follows. It lets us know from the outset that something more is coming, that the initial statement is somehow incomplete. Here is an NT example taken from the Lexham High Definition New Testament:
The bullet in the first line stands in the place of the untranslated function word μέν. The and symbols delineate the counterpoint and the more important point that follows. John the Baptist is letting folks know that he is not the one they are looking for. He even does this in the grammar through the use of μέν. There is natural parallelism between the first and last part of the verse through the repetition of baptize, but the added function word makes this connection much more explicit. Figuratively speaking, it signals the first shoe dropping, creating the expectation that another, more important one is about to follow.
There are 179 occurrences of μέν in the NA27/UBS4 Greek text, and in the vast majority of cases, this word is left untranslated. Why? Because counterpoints cannot be signaled as easily in English as in Greek. We have to use clunky idioms like on the one hand, notwithstanding, in as much as, although, etc. Most often in conversation folks will say “While I liked X…” even though time is not the central focus.
So we have a fundamental problem here: how do you convey important exegetical information other than with a translation? You could use commentary or footnotes, but can be difficult to connect the comments to the text. There is a much more effective alternative, only available through Logos.
This week is the third anniversary of a bold experiment: The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (LDGNT) and the Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition (HDNT). These projects take the most useful insights from linguistics, discourse analysis and Bible translation, then annotate all occurrences of devices like μέν using an easily accessible set of symbols. Hovering over the symbol conveniently pops up a glossary description, so there is no need for memorization.
The feedback on how people are using these resources has been amazing! Pastors and Bible teachers are using them in their preparation because they tackle issues not addressed in most commentaries. Professors are using them to equip pastors to more carefully exegete Scripture, both in tools-based programs and as part of advanced Greek grammar classes. Bible translators are using the LDGNTto help mother-tongue workers to accurately preserve important features from the Greek in their translation. ESL teachers are using the HDNT to teach students the ins and outs of idiomatic English.
These projects are also the basis for the new High Definition Commentary series that is now underway, talking you through the text and providing integrated graphics for teaching.
Take the time to watch the introductory videos to see how the HDNT and the LDGNTwill enrich your Bible study. The HDNT is English-based, the LDGNT is for those comfortable working with a Greek interlinear. Logos is pioneering not only discourse-based Bible study, but also innovative ways to meaningfully communicate it.