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Get Your Bible Study Tip Published

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Today’s guest post is from Rebecca Kruyswijk, the Associate Editor of Bible Study Magazine.

If you subscribe to Bible Study Magazine, you may have come across a new section in the Nov-Dec ‘10 issue: Bible Study Tips. In this issue, we’re publishing Bible study tips from readers like you.

The vision of Bible Study Magazine is to get people into the Word. We’re not looking for a niche readership. We believe that, given the right tools and methods for Bible study, anyone can be a theologian. This has been our mission since Bible Study Magazine went to press two years ago, and it’s still our goal today. (As a side note, it is our birthday and we do accept cake donations.)

It’s not just the experts that have something valuable to say about Bible study. We’re looking for Bible study tips from anyone who is passionate about studying the Word. That’s where you come in. Contribute a Bible study tip. Join the conversation, and perhaps someone might benefit from your perspective.

How can you weigh in for future issues? It’s simple. Go to our Facebook page and “like” us—if you haven’t already. Then post your Bible study tips on our wall. Tips can be short or long, general or specific.

James Hamrick contributed this tip to the Nov-Dec ’10 issue:

“Write down every verb used for God. The God of Genesis is one who sees, learns, walks, speaks and maybe even wrestles.”

And RC Clyde added this:

“Keep it simple: 1) Get a Bible you can understand. 2) Pray to God before you start. 3) Let God show you His Word; don’t draw your own answer. 4) Find a good commentary.”

Take a moment to consider your own Bible study methods, and then share them with the rest of the Bible Study Magazine community. Join the conversation and help someone else get into the Word.

Improving Your Bible Study with Dictionaries

TorrenceToday’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.

“Don’t let commentaries rob you of the joy of discovery!”

This little bit of advice from my New Testament professor has really stuck with me, and shaped the way I study the Bible. Rather than simply reaching for one of hundreds of great commentaries out there, I now look for another way. It’s not that my professor was against commentaries and forbade us from using them. Far from it. He simply recognized that studying the Bible should be a thrilling adventure full of twists, turns, detours, and discovery. For the student of Scripture, jumping to a commentary was akin to skipping to the final chapter of a novel: you get the gist of what happened, but you miss out in the process. Instead, the commentary should be a conversation partner that helps balance your own discoveries with someone more experienced than you.

This didn’t mean you could simply open a Bible, read a passage once, and expect to understand it completely. There are occasional obscurities and difficulties that need assistance to resolve before we can reach that place of discovery. To aid us in our discovery, he recommended a whole host of tools to put in our box: lexicons, grammars, apparatuses, and my favorite of the bunch—dictionaries.

Continue Reading…

10 Great Anglican Resources on Pre-Pub

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Today’s guest post is by Elliot Ritzema, from the Logos Bible Software Design & Editorial team.

With around 400 resources currently on the Pre-Pub page, it can be hard to find a path through all the options to what really may interest you. For example, there are several collections with titles like “The Whole/Complete/Exhaustive/Collected Works of _____.” Some of these people are widely read and recognized. Others you may recognize but don’t know much about. Still others may be names that you’ve never heard of.

To keep from being overwhelmed by all the choices, I like to group resources by something they have in common. For those of you who are Anglican, or interested in Anglican history and theology, here are ten sets currently gathering interest or under development. Here they are, arranged chronologically:

  1. Thomas Cranmer Collection
  2. Cranmer (1489-1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and was Archbishop of Canterbury when the Church of England separated from the Catholic Church. He is responsible for compiling and writing the Book of Common Prayer.

  3. The Works of that Learned and Judicious Divine, Mr. Richard Hooker
  4. Hooker’s (1554-1600) writings, especially Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (in which he tried to find a middle way between Catholicism and Puritanism) were very influential on later Anglicanism as well as political theory.

  5. The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot
  6. Lightfoot (1602-1675) was a clergyman and rabbinical scholar who attended the Westminster Assembly. This collection includes his account of the first two years of the assembly, among other writings. He is also the author of A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica.

  7. The Works of George Whitefield
  8. Whitefield (1714-1770) was an evangelist who often paid little attention to sectarian distinctions, but I’ve included him here because he was a lifelong member of the Church of England. This collection includes many of his letters and sermons, as well as five biographical works.

  9. The Works of Augustus M. Toplady
  10. He is best known as the writer of the hymn “Rock of Ages.” In early years Toplady (1740-1778) was influenced by John Wesley, but later he became a convinced (and often polemical) Calvinist.

  11. A Practical View of Christianity
  12. William Wilberforce (1759-1833) is famous for his efforts to abolish the slave trade in the British Empire, but he also worked to reform British morality as a whole by encouraging people to adopt “serious religion.” He wrote this book to that end, as is shown by its full title: A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. It was a bestseller.

  13. Collected Works of John Henry Newman
  14. He famously converted to Catholicism in mid-life (and was recently beatified by the Catholic Church), but Newman (1801-1890) began his public career as an Anglican active in the Oxford Movement. This collection of his writings should be of interest not only to both Catholics and Anglicans, but also those interested in 19th-century English history and lovers of great writing. Excerpts from Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua and The Idea of a University, among other works, have appeared in collections like the Norton Anthology of English Literature.

  15. J.C. Ryle Collection
  16. Ryle (1816-1900) was bishop of Liverpool from 1880 until his death. He was a leader of the evangelical wing of the Church of England, and his writings were influenced by Puritan theology. In turn, his book Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots influenced a young J.I. Packer.

  17. Joseph Barber Lightfoot Collection
  18. Not to be confused with John Lightfoot, J.B. Lightfoot (1828-1889) was bishop of Durham from 1879 until his death. He is known today primarily as a New Testament and patristic scholar. This collection includes lecture notes, commentary manuscripts and sermons which are not included in his other books that are published by Logos.

  19. Edwin Hatch Collection
  20. Hatch (1835-1889) was a Greek scholar and church historian. His Essays in Biblical Greek is shipping next month. This collection focuses on his historical writing, and includes his controversial The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages Upon the Christian Church.

    Finally, I will call your attention to a collection that does not deal exclusively with Anglicanism:

  21. Christianity in the British Isles Collection (6 vols)
  22. This collection contains some fantastic and informative resources like Anglicanism and the Christian Church: Theological Resources in Historical Perspective by Paul Avis and The Free Church of England: Introduction to an Anglican Tradition by John Fenwick.

If I haven’t mentioned your favorite Anglican resource on Pre-Pub, feel free to mention them in a comment below.

Introducing the Foundations of Theology Bundle

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Have you been looking for a strong collection of theology books to add to your digital library? Or perhaps you have been looking for a good entry level bundle to help you develop your theological resources. Well, look no further. The new Foundations of Theology Bundle is not only a great place to begin growing your theological collection, it is a handpicked selection of formidable titles that will add value to your Logos 4 resources.

The Foundations of Theology Bundle compiles the works of heavyweights from across the theological spectrum. The result is a trustworthy collection of biblically rich materials to enrich your study and understanding.

The titles included in the 15 volume Foundations of Theology Bundle include:

Berkhof’s Systematic Theology

One of the most important and widely-used systematic theologies since its release in 1938, Berkhof’s Systematic Theology articulates Reformed theology in the traditions of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck.

Chafer’s Systematic Theology (8 Vols.)

This has been a seminal resource since its release in 1948. Written by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founding president of Dallas Theological Seminary and long-time editor of Bibliotheca Sacra, this was the first dispensational, premillenial systematic theology ever published.

Ryrie’s Basic Theology

Written with a clear understanding of the Scriptures and an unpretentious style, Charles Ryrie’s classic Basic Theology is a standard text for many Bible students and pastors. In fact, Ryrie’s theology is required reading for a variety of seminary courses.

Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice

In one systematic volume, James Boice provides a readable overview of Christian theology. Whether teacher or student, pastor or layperson, Foundations of the Christian Faith will provide a rich source of Scriptural knowledge, covering all the major doctrines of Christianity. Boice maintains a remarkable practicality and thoroughness that have made this a standard reference and text for over two decades.

Systematic Theology (4 vols.) by Norman Geisler

Theologian and apologist Norman Geisler has been one of the most prolific and influential leaders in the area of evangelical apologetics. For over forty years he has studied and defended the faith as an author and as an internationally known speaker and debater. He brings vast experience to his magnum opus, the four volumes of Systematic Theology.

These books—purchased separately—would cost nearly $450.00, but the Foundations of Theology Bundle sells them for $299.95. That’s a savings of about $150.00!

If you are just beginning to compile your theological library, or even if you want to add some incredible resources to your deep theological collection, you can’t go wrong with the Foundations of Theology Bundle.

A Collection of 14 Books on How to be Dogmatic?!?

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No, Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics is not actually about how to be dogmatic (that is, how to present your opinions as unchallengeable or the final word). In the field of theology, dogmatic refers to a study of doctrine. Studies in Dogmatics is a 14 volume work on some of the most important doctrine in church history.

Walter Elwell, Professor Emeritus of Bible and Theology at Wheaton College, had this to say about Berkouwer’s Studies in Dogmatics: “[It is] perhaps the most monumental evangelical theological project of [the last] century. Written in almost conversational style, these volumes deal with topics of theological concern, such as divine election, faith and sanctification, Holy Scripture, and the church, rather than presenting a tightly argued system of thought. . . . Perhaps the outstanding Reformed theologian of this generation, Berkouwer never wavered from his commitment to the principles of Scripture, faith, and grace alone” (Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, pg. 151).

Want to see what you can do with Studies in Dogmatics in Logos Bible Software? Check out my video below.

Interested in a concise book on Reformed doctrine? Pick up Summary of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof for $18. (Both Berkouwer and Louis Berkhof were influenced by Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck.)

Last Chance Pre-Pub Deals: 100+ Books Shipping Soon!

We have been ramping up our production lines, and we’re getting ready to ship several collections totaling more than a hundred books in the next couple weeks. The good news for you is that this provides you with one last chance to get some quality books at incredible prices. Once these books ship, the Pre-Pub prices will disappear.

Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter to the Hebrews

Here are some of the highlights:

Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter to the Hebrews

This commentary is the newest volume in the Pillar New Testament Commentary. The commentary is neither unduly technical nor unhelpfully brief. D. A. Carson wrote that “it would be difficult to find a more helpful guide [to Hebrews] than Peter O’Brien or a guide better endowed with his combination of competence and genial wisdom.” If you’re planning a sermon series or teaching a class on Hebrews, you’ll definitely want to pick up O’Brien’s new commentary.

This commentary will sell for $50.00 after it ships, but between now and October 14 you can get it for $29.95 on Pre-Pub.

The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.)

Anchor Yale Bible: Nahum

In one of the newest volumes in the Anchor Yale Bible, Duane Christensen offers a detailed analysis of the Hebrew text, and explores the literary structure and the poetry of the book. It contains original translations, a detailed book outline, verse-by-verse commentary, analysis of interpretive approaches, and lots of introductory material.

The list price for Anchor Yale Bible: Nahum is $65.00, but for a little while longer you can get it on Pre-Pub for $49.95.

The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.)

The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter (23 Vols.) contains the treatises, sermons, and works of one of Puritan England’s most prolific writers and most influential preachers.

http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/4218

Richard Baxter preached theological unity during a century of schism, and advocated mutual respect within the church during a period of intense religious warfare. He wrote with the conviction that theology should always be connected with both Christian ethics and human experience. He offers timeless on practical Christian matters, such as worship, devotions, parenting, education, relationships, and more. If you’re interested in the Puritans or in the history of Reformed theology in general, this collection is a must-have.

The sale price will be $349.95 after it ships, but for a few more weeks you can get it for $179.95.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton of additional books shipping in the next few weeks. When these books ship, the Pre-Pub prices disappear. Make sure you get in on these deals while they’re still available! Head on over to the Pre-Pub page to see what else is shipping soon!

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Daniel Wallace Writes the Foreword to Discourse Grammar

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Today’s guest post is from Michael Aubrey, on the marketing team.

The name Daniel Wallace is well-known to today’s Greek students. He’s been teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary for years. His invaluable intermediate grammar, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, is used in Bible colleges and seminaries all over the world and in more than two thirds of the schools teaching New Testament Greek in the United States. He’s the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible and the founder of The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

Because of Dr. Wallace’s standing in schools and seminaries and his own contributions to Greek grammar, we were so excited when it was confirmed that he would write the foreword to Steve Runge’s Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament! Steve had originally written the Discourse Grammar in order to fill a gap. In Wallace’s own preface to Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, he had written:

“Contrary to the current trend, this work has no chapter on discourse analysis. . . . DA is too significant a topic to receive merely a token treatment, appended as it were to the end of a book on grammar. It deserves its own full-blown discussion, such as can be found in the works of Cotterell and Turner, D. A. Black, and others.”

And yet, those who have picked up Cotterell and Turner’s Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation or D. A. Black’s Linguistics and New Testament Interpretation: Essays on Discourse Analysis know that the authors of these important volumes never intend their work to function as a comprehensive introduction to discourse grammar. The latter is a collection of high quality, but technical essays on specific topics in discourse analysis (which Steve refers to at several points) and the former has as its central focus issues related to hermeneutics and interpretation rather than grammar.” Steve Runge’s Discourse Grammar complements both of these important books by filling in the gap between grammar and interpretation (Cotterell and Turner’s volume) and between traditional grammar and advanced discourse studies (D. A. Black’s book).

And with these realities in mind, we were excited to see these words in Dr. Wallace’s foreword:

This volume is long overdue. Students of the New Testament have been barraged for decades with linguists touting the value of discourse analysis, but few works have demonstrated its importance for exegesis. . . . What Runge has done is to focus on the exegetical significance of discourse grammar for Neutestamenters. He has gathered together several strands of linguistic insights (he calls his approach ‘cross-linguistic’ and ‘function-based’) that are often treated in isolation and sometimes without much more than lip service for exegesis. In short, Runge has made discourse analysis accessible, systematic, comprehensive, and meaningful to students of the New Testament. His presentation is clear, straightforward, and well researched. . . . I have learned a great deal from this volume and will continue to do so for many years. To students of the New Testament, I say, “The time has come. Tolle lege!

Check out Steve’s Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament for yourself, you’ll be glad that you did!

Using the Septuagint (LXX) when Studying the New Testament

If you’ve gone to church, listened to sermons, or studied the Bible for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard that the Septuagint (abbreviated “LXX”) is what the NT writers usually quoted from, or that some even say the Septuagint was “Paul’s Bible”.
This is all well and good, but how do we use the Septuagint when we’re studying the New Testament? How do we understand (and identify) quotations from the Septuagint in the NT? And and how do we draw upon the linguistic richness that the Septuagint provided the early Christians?
These are the sorts of questions that R. Timothy McLay examines in his book The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research. McLay helpfully provides a summary of the structure of the book at the end of the introduction. Note that “TT” is an abbreviation for “Translation Technique”:

We will follow this introductory chapter with our investigation of the citation in Acts 15:16–18. Chapter one will serve to introduce the reader to the complex world of the use of Scripture in the NT and to raise some of the issues that are involved. Chapter two will examine TT in the LXX and the problem of whether the NT writer is quoting a Hebrew or Greek text. Here we will begin defining the purpose of TT and discuss the problems of methodology for analyzing TT. This chapter contains some discussion that is quite technical in nature; it may be skimmed by students who are more interested in the impact of the Greek Jewish Scriptures on the NT. We will conclude the examination of TT in the following chapter by proposing a methodology for analyzing TT. Chapter four will outline the transmission history of the LXX and its recensions. Again, the knowledge gained from the study of specific texts will be applied to NT research. Chapter five will draw upon the arguments of the previous chapters as we examine more passages in order to determine how the NT writers’ use of the Greek Jewish Scriptures is reflected in their theology. We will argue that the theology of the NT exhibits the distinct influence of the Greek scriptural tradition by its use of vocabulary, its citations of Scripture, and its theological concepts. The final chapter will offer concluding remarks.
R. Timothy McLay, The Use of the Septuagint in New Testament Research (Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2003), 16. emphasis added.

As you can see, using the Septuagint when studying the New Testament is more than just identifying a quotation, it can also involve work to understand the relation between the Hebrew and Greek editions of the quotation, and further understanding of any changes the NT author may have made when quoting. Deeper than that, there are issues of common vocabulary (end of chapter five) and how term usage during the time of NT composition may have influenced early Christian understanding of the Septuagint text itself. This is all fascinating stuff!
McLay’s book is helpful because it delves deeply into methodology. A complementary book for helping with one’s examination of the New Testament’s use of the Old Testament is Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. This exhaustive volume is nearly 1300 pages of examination, ordered like a commentary, on the New Testament use of the Old Testament. In other words, several of the authors use techniques like those explained by McLay in their identification and discussion of quotations of the Old Testament.
Of course, also useful in this type of study is an edition of the Septuagint itself. We have been working on our own interlinear edition of the Septuagint, the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint, for a few years now. I’m pleased to say we’re coming near the end and, assuming nothing crazy happens, we should have the initial version of the complete Septuagint available in the next few weeks. Of course, users who already have the resource will be able to download updates when it is released.
But, this post is already long. I’ll have to blog about the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint in a few weeks when it’s (hopefully!) ready.

Thomas Forsyth Torrance on Logos Bible Software

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Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.

For many, the former University of Edinburgh professor Thomas Forsyth Torrance is best known as the person (alongside the late esteemed Geoffrey Bromiley) responsible for translating Karl Barth’s massive (over 10,000 pages) Church Dogmatics into English and introducing the English-speaking world to the towering theology of Karl Barth.

While we should applaud Torrance for this achievement, we should also keep in mind that he too was a top-notch theologian who spent most of his career working tirelessly for the benefit of the Church through his studies of Patristic theology, the person and work of Jesus Christ, the doctrine of the trinity, our knowledge of God, and reconciling theology and the natural sciences.

Torrance never wavered in his devotion to the Church. Born the oldest son of Chinese missionaries, Torrance began his career not as a professor, but as a parish pastor. This experience helped him develop a deep belief that would shape him the rest of his life: Christian thinking and action is for the glory of God and the benefit of the Church. One of the more famous stories of his life is the 81 year old Torrance traversing the mountains of the Wenchuan area of China carrying a money belt containing 11,200 yuan to help rebuild churches destroyed by the communist takeover in 1935. That’s quite an image for an elder theologian of Torrance’s caliber!

But what about his theology? Currently Logos carries four of his publications. Taken together they form a nice introduction his life’s work.

The first, The Christian Doctrine of God, uses Patristic theology to argue that within the life of God there is trinity in unity and unity in trinity. Or to put it another way: in God’s one being there are three persons—God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and those three persons are one being. For the Christian Church, the doctrine of the trinity isn’t some speculative mind exercise but leads us into a deeper place of worship. Further, he adds, understanding who God is in Himself is to know who God is for us. Because, as Torrance never tires of pointing out, there can be no separation between the being of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and how He has gone about saving us.

The second, Space, Time, and Incarnation, addresses two of Torrance’s specialties: Church history and the person of Jesus Christ. Space, Time, and Incarnation is unique in that rather than being a standard Christology volume, it looks at the spatial aspects of the incarnation. Namely, Torrance rejects the Greek philosophical tradition that thinks of space in terms of a container in favor of the early Church’s belief that in the incarnation Jesus Christ made space for himself. This view was made most visibly manifest in the Nicene term homoousious whereby Jesus is affirmed as one substance of God the Father and the term perichoresis in which there is a mutual indwelling between the person of the trinity. According to Torrance this has a profound impact on the way we speak of Jesus’ presence in our life and worship, even shaping the way we think scientifically about nature.

Lastly, Torrance is well-known for his work in combing the Christian faith with the work of the natural sciences. Our last two volumes: The Ground and Grammar of Theology and Divine and Contingent Order address these questions. In both volumes Torrance calls both the theologian and natural scientist alike to forgo the dualistic habits of mind that have dominated scientific thinking in a post-Copernicus landscape. Instead, both the theologian and the scientist have a scientific obligation to faithfully identify and describe phenomena as they are presented to us without rupturing the world into two realms—the spiritual and the phenomenal. Thus, rather than being competing worldviews both the theologian and the scientist are engaged in an enterprise of faithfully describing what God has presented to us. All persons are God’s priests of creation who are charged by God to identify, name and “to bring to expression the manifold realities of the created world around him . . . to bring the universe to view and understanding in its inherent harmonies and regularities and thus to allow the basic design, the meaning, of the universe to become disclosed.”

If you are in the market to grow your theology library, you really should look into Thomas Forsyth Torrance. You can also find three of Torrance’s works in the nine volume Science & Theology Collection!

Original New International Commentary on the New Testament Volumes Now Available

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Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

If you, like myself, have been loving the New International Commentary but have asked yourself “Where are the original NICNT volumes?” I’ve got some great news for you! These long-awaited volumes, containing critical works from a multitude of noted theologians and biblical scholars, are now available on Pre-Pub at Logos.

Published by Eerdmans, these ten original commentaries are timeless, holding the writings of Norval Geldenhuys, Merrill C. Tenney, John Murray, Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, and others . For decades, the writings of these gifted theologians have influenced those in the academic arena, behind the pulpit, and in homes around the world with their superior biblical scholarship and stirring content. Each volume of the New International Commentary series is brimming with scriptural insight, making these resources essential tools for all hoping to dive into serious Bible study.

But those aren’t the only reasons to get excited about these newly offered commentaries—here are a few more:

  • These original NICNT volumes are landmark commentaries, highly significant at the time of their release and still considered to be pillars of New Testament study.
  • The highly academic yet accessible writing, verse-by-verse commentary, literary analysis, historical background, and information regarding authorship contained within these works is detailed and comprehensive.
  • These hard-to-find volumes are now easily accessible in your Logos collection, giving you all the benefits of owning commentaries in a rich digital format.

So, wonder no more about the availability of these original New International Commentary New Testament volumes. Join Logos as we rejoice over this fantastic addition to our digital offerings.

New volumes available for individual pre-order: