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John MacArthur Reveals Bible Study Methods


John MacArthur has been studying the Bible an average of 25–30 hours per week for most of his life, and at 70 years old, he shows no signs of slowing down.

A resolute believer in the dedicated study of Scripture to help Christians grow in their faith, he is a best-selling author, popular conference speaker and president of Grace to You—a non-profit organization overseeing his diverse multi-media outreach, including radio and television programs, website resources and more.

In the November–December issue of Bible Study Magazine, John MacArthur shares his advice on a wide variety of Bible study related topics.

In the interview, Dr. MacArthur answers such questions as:


  • When you open a Bible, what is the first thing you do?
  • How should someone with no experience whatsoever with Christianity or the church begin to study the Bible? What are some basic pointers you can offer them?
  • In what ways is the Old Testament applicable for today’s Christian? What about things like the sacrifices in Leviticus—how are they applicable?
  • How would you study the Bible with someone who does not have the conviction that it is the Word of God?
  • Why should we study the Bible?
  • What is the difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible?
  • With all the resources on Bible study out there, why do we need new resources on Bible study?
  • How can we encourage other people to study the Bible?
  • How much of your time is spent studying the Bible?
  • What role does historical criticism play in the way you study the Bible?
  • How do you decipher a difficult passage?
  • How do you prepare your sermons, or conduct research for your books? What tools do you use?
  • What are some of the methods you have found that make Bible study appealing to a larger community?
  • If you could study alongside any biblical author or character, besides Jesus, who would you choose?

Whether you’re a pastor, teacher, student or disciple of the Word, there’s a lot to glean from Dr. MacArthur’s years of experience. His responses to the questions above will inspire, challenge, and help you fine-tune your own time in the Word.

If you are already a subscriber to Bible Study Magazine you should receive the MacArthur issue the first week or so of November. If you were one of the original subscribers, you need to make sure you have renewed your subscription so you will continue receiving the magazine.

If you have not yet subscribed to Bible Study Magazine, you are really missing out. Subscribe now and you can start off with the fantastic November–December issue with John MacArthur’s interview on Bible study, as well as J.I. Packer’s interview on “A Balanced Bible Study Diet”, incredible articles and special sections like “Remembering to Remember the Goodness of God”, “Away in a Manger, but Not in a Barn: An Archaeologist Examines the Nativity Scene”, “The Prophets—A Start to Finish Bible Study Guide”, “Composing the Bible—Transmission, Translation & Context”, and so much more.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the 100+ MacArthur titles available for Logos Bible Software!

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How to Get Extra Books for Free

One of the cardinal rules of the Pre-Pub program is that ordering early guarantees you’ll get the lowest price. We always reward our users who pre-order the earliest with the lowest prices—including two people who picked up one collection for 99% off the retail price.

There’s another benefit to ordering early that we don’t talk about too much: When you place your Pre-Pub order for a collection, you are also placing a Pre-Pub order for any future books we may add to the collection while it’s still on Pre-Pub. Usually when we add new books to a collection, we raise the price to cover the additional costs. Pre-ordering early not only locks you in at the lowest price—you also pick up the extra books added to the collection while it’s on Pre-Pub at no additional charge.

We expand collections for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, new books in a series are published after we put a collection on Pre-Pub, but before it ships. For example, six new titles have been published in the Opening Up Commentary Collection since we first put it on Pre-Pub, so we’ve added them to the collection. The Everyman’s Bible Commentary and the Face2face Collection each picked up an additional volume for the same reason.

Other times, it makes sense to add new books to an existing collection. When we received permission to publish two books and three journal articles by Charles Ryrie, the Charles Ryrie Legacy Collection was the logical place to include them. We also added two books to the Kress Biblical Studies Collection for the same reason.

Calvin 500 Collection (108 Vols.)

We receive lots of feedback on collections we post, and sometimes we expand collections based on suggestions from our users. For example, after we posted the Calvin 500 Collection in honor of Calvin’s 500th birthday, we received suggestions from Calvin enthusiasts around the world who wanted additional books on Calvin. We were able to add eleven new books on Calvin’s life and the history of Calvinism to the Calvin 500 Collection.

Occasionally, new books slated for Pre-Pub fit really well into an existing collection. That was the case with Biblical Greek Language and Linguistics, edited by Stanley Porter and D.A. Carson, so we added it to the Studies in New Testament Greek and JSNTS Collection.

The Holman Reference Collection was also expanded to include 131 Christians Everyone Should Know and Steven L. Cox and Kendell H. Easley’s Harmony of the Gospels.

If you pre-ordered any of these collections before we added new books, you still get the entire collection—including the new books—at your original Pre-Pub price. Remember, you need to act before the collection ships in order to get any additional books added to collections. And keep in mind that we don’t add books to every collection, but when we do, you can get a great deal on the additional titles. Once a series or collection ships, you’ll need to pre-order additional books separately.

There are a few other collections on the Pre-Pub page which may expand soon. If you’ve had your eye on a collection, you’ll want to lock in your order now to get any additional books at no extra charge!

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Happy Birthday Bible Study Magazine

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the Editor-in-Chief for Bible Study Magazine.
This morning, we sent Bible Study Magazine Nov–Dec 2009 to the printer. This marks our one-year anniversary. So, if you see Bible Study Magazine around, wish it happy Birthday.
The magazine began with our company president’s vision for a publication solely devoted to Bible study. And today, that vision is a reality. We are all about getting people into the Word with how-to guides, cover stories with leading Bible teachers, and a growing list of odd things in the Bible we explain. Here you can see me going through our very first issue.
Over the last year, we have put lots of hours in and had lots of fun. Running a magazine is intense, but we enjoy it. You should see our pre-press books—for 48 pages, they are nearly 5 inches thick with editorial notes and changes. We think about every word of Bible Study Magazine because we want it to be as good as possible. Want to know what it is like, follow us on Twitter.
We created Bible Study Magazine from scratch—recruiting our own writing staff, fulfilling and managing our own circulation, and creating custom art for every article. Our marketing department took on the challenge (as a digital publisher) of promoting a print magazine.
With Bible Study Magazine, our art team produced more print material than ever. As a graphic artist, this is a whole different ball game than digital. We have embraced what magazines can offer with info-graphics and massive tables that serve as conversational starters and Bible study aids.
It has been an honor to be recognized by Library Journal as one of the top ten magazines launched in 2008, and be featured by people like Mr. Magazine, Publishing Executive and AKGMag.com.
We often joke that Bible Study Magazine is The Atlantic-style writing, in a National Geographic format, all about the Bible. But we have also added the edge of expressing as much as we can visually.
Behind our publication are many people here at Logos and around the world, working to bring you the best content about the Bible and Bible study. Several authors have come to us now to publish their ground-breaking work in archaeology, the historical investigation of the Bible, and theology.
Today, when I look at Bible Study Magazine, I could not be more pleased with the child we have raised. Every parent is allowed to brag about their kids a bit, right?
Oh, and if you are wondering what you should get a magazine for its birthday, you could always order a subscription or renew your current one. That would make today a very happy birthday indeed.

The New International Commentary Is Shipping Next Week

The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament

The New International Commentary—commonly known as NICOT and NICNT—is one of the most respected commentary series published in the evangelical Protestant tradition. It is thoroughly researched and abreast of modern biblical scholarship, yet at the same time loyal to Scripture as the infallible Word of God.

Many of the volumes in this series have become classic works of evangelical biblical scholarship—in particular F. F. Bruce’s commentary on Acts, Douglas Moo’s commentary on Romans, Gordon Fee’s commentary on 1 Corinthians, Bruce K. Waltke’s commentary on Proverbs, and Leon Morris’s commentary on John. In fact, Christianity Today called Morris’s commentary on John “the best commentary on any book of the Bible by an evangelical in recent decades.”

The New International Commentary—the combined NICOT and NICNT—has been, without a doubt, our best-selling and most popular Pre-Pub. In fact, back when we put it on Pre-Pub a few months ago, we received enough pre-orders in just 13 hours to move the project into production. And the orders haven’t stopped.

In the meantime, we have been hard at work on this massive project. We have converted tens of thousands of pages of print material into electronic text, put in extra hours, and have done everything possible to get the New International Commentary into the hands of our users as fast as possible.

We’re now pleased to announce that we plan to ship the New International Commentary in just a few days. Our Electronic Text Development department is putting the finishing touches on the series this afternoon, and we’ll spend the rest of this week and the early part of next week testing and replicating. We plan to begin processing orders by the end of next week.

What does this mean for you? If you haven’t yet ordered, then this is your last chance to do so and still get the Pre-Pub discount. After we ship, the Pre-Pub price disappears. If you want the lowest price on the New International Commentary, make sure you pre-order now.

With the Logos Bible Software edition, all 23,832 pages of material in all 40 volumes of the New International Commentary will integrate seamlessly with the rest of your digital library—appearing in Passage Guides, search results, and custom reports. That makes this edition even more valuable for research projects or preparing for next Sunday’s sermon.

Remember, if you haven’t ordered yet, you still have one last chance to do so. Place your pre-order now to lock in the lowest price.

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A Happy Birthday to America’s Theologian

Save $50 off the retail price of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 Vols.)
- with the coupon code ED306 !

Jonathan Edwards was born to Timothy and Esther Edwards on October 5th, 306 years ago. In the 55 years that followed, he pastored in Northampton, Massachusetts, played a role in the Great Awakening, wrote many highly influential books, papers and sermons, and became president of what would later become Princeton University.

One would find it difficult to over-emphasize the influence that Jonathan Edwards has had in Christian theology, philosophy and practice. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy called Edwards, “America’s most important and original philosophical theologian.” Perry Miller, founder of the Yale edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards, described Edwards as the first and greatest American philosopher. In Edward’s works, Perry suggests the reader “discovers an intelligence which, as much as Emerson’s, Melville’s, or Mark Twain’s, is both an index of American society and a comment upon it.”

I personally discovered Edwards in John Piper’s ECPA Gold Medallion winning book God’s Passion for His Glory. In the first half of this life-affecting book, Piper introduced me to Jonathan Edwards and his theological perspective. One could not find a more passionate apologist for Edwards than John Piper. Piper has said, “Jonathan Edwards is in a class by himself in American history, perhaps in the history of Christendom . . .” The second half of God’s Passion for His Glory featured Edward’s essay The End for Which God Created the World in its entirety, along with notes and commentary by Piper. It was not the easiest read by any stretch of the imagination but, like any good work out, I finished it tired and exhilarated. Soon I was devouring everything I could find by and about America’s theologian.

In 1758, Edwards died from the complications of a new and controversial smallpox vaccine. He chose to get the inoculation in order to encourage others to do the same during a smallpox epidemic striking New Jersey at the time. He left behind 11 children and his dear wife Sarah. Beyond his academic legacy, a twentieth century reporter looked into Edward’s 1400 descendants and found they included 13 college presidents, 100 lawyers, 66 doctors, 65 university professors, 2 university deans, and 80 holders of public office, including 3 senators, 3 state governors and Vice President Aaron Burr.

As a celebration of this life well-lived and Edwards’ incredible legacy, we at Logos would like to offer the following special from October 5th through October 12th:

  • The Works of Jonathan Edwards (2 Vols.)
    for $79.95 – with the coupon code ED306 – that’s a $50 savings!
  • Happy birthday, Jonathan Edwards . . . and thank you.

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    The Lighter Side of Discourse Analysis: Segmentation

    For the final installation in the series, "The Lighter Side of Discourse Analysis," Dr. Steve Runge serves up some spicy discourse for you! Here, he highlights the flavors of Segmentation, another concept covered in Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis.

    If you still have not done so, be sure to serve up your own discourse by placing your Pre-Pub order for the Discourse Grammar.

    Today’s video: Segmentation

    What’s being said about Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament:

    “. . . . Though Runge’s Discourse Grammar does not seek to replace traditional approaches to understanding and explicating the grammar and syntax of New Testament Greek, it provides a whole new range of conceptual and analytical tools that complement and supplement the more traditional approaches. . . . ”
    —Dr. J. Ted Blakley, New Testament Studies, University of St. Andrews

    The Discourse Grammar is at the end of production and is getting ready to ship soon, so make sure you place your order before the price goes up!

    Previous blog posts in this series:

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    Six Years Later, Thayer’s Lexicon Is Back on Pre-Pub

    Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

    Where were you in 2003?

    2003 was a big year. Dan Brown’s bestselling Da Vinci Code was published. Tampa Bay beat Oakland in the Super Bowl and Florida beat New York to win the World Series. Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor of California. The Concorde flew its last commercial flight. Johnny Cash died. It was also—and I’m not kidding—the International Year of Freshwater.

    In the world of Greek lexicography, however, 2003 was a rough year. That’s when we cancelled Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament from Pre-Pub. It was an ambitious and expensive project—thousands of entries, links to cross-references, massive appendices, and more.

    The last time we put this on Pre-Pub, the response was amazing—Logos users placed Pre-Pub orders in record numbers. Unfortunately, even though this project generated a lot of interest back in 2003, it wasn’t enough. This was a big, technical work that required a lot of tagging, linking, and data entry. We didn’t get enough orders, so we had to cancel the Pre-Pub and shelve the project.

    Six years later, the time has come to try again. If you haven’t seen it already, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament is back on the Pre-Pub page.

    Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament contains over 5,000 entries, detailed notes on the meaning of words in the Greek text, references to hundreds of grammatical works, and detailed etymological information. In addition to the Greek texts of the New Testament, it also draws from 340 extra-biblical authors from the ancient world.

    If you have any interest at all in seeing this important lexicon go into production, place your order now. This is a new project, which means that if you placed an order six years ago, it was cancelled along with the Pre-Pub. Place a new order now to see this project move forward.

    Head on over to the product page to learn more about the history of Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and it’s usefulness for studying the Greek New Testament.

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    Logos Payment Plan

    payment_plan_annot.pngMental note: Just because I know something does not mean everyone knows it.
    I was reminded of the above truth the other day when on Twitter someone mentioned that they had wanted to buy Logos Scholar’s Library for awhile, but their budget never had room for the expense. I replied to the person saying, “Not sure if this helps, but we do have payment plans http://www.logos.com/paymentplan.” The person responded a couple minutes later, very excited, thanking me and letting me know that this was just what they needed in order to be able to fit Logos into their budget.
    The part of the story that surprised me was that the person had been thinking about buying Logos for a while now, but never knew we had the payment plan option. I followed up that Twitter conversation with a tweet to all our followers letting them know about our payment plan. I received numerous messages following that tweet with people thanking me and saying that they never knew this program existed.
    Today I ran a quick search on our blog for “payment plan” and didn’t come up with any hits. So, I decided I’d lay aside my assumption that you all know we have a payment plan available and say, “Hey, if you didn’t already know, we offer payment plans for orders over $29.90.”
    To take advantage of the payment plan, simply select the payment plan option during the final step of checkout, enter your phone number, and select the number of payments you’d like to make. It is that simple.
    You can get full program details here.

    Great Bible Giveaway – August Winners

    Twelve more people have now received a top-of-the-line premium leather Bible from the Great Bible Giveaway.

    Will you be next? You still have 6 more days to enter for your chance to be one of our September winners! Visit the Great Bible Giveaway for full details and to enter today.

    Congratulations to our August winners:

  • J. GenotaESV Study Bible, Black Calfskin (Retail $239.99) from Crossway
  • Q. MarlowESV Wide Margin Reference, Black Goatskin ($229.99) from Cambridge Bibles
  • S. Padilla - KJV Cambridge Premier Concord Reference, Black Goatskin (Retail $199.99) from Cambridge Bibles
  • D. WellcomeNASB In Touch Ministries Wide Margin Edition, Burgundy Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • D. MunteanNASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference, Black Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • J. Mayden - NASB Side Column Reference Wide Margin Special Limited Edition, Black Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • T. JoyNIV Archaeological Study Bible, Venetian Brown Renaissance Fine Leather (Retail $109.99) From Zondervan
  • M. JaggersNIV Thinline, Ebony Renaissance Fine Leather (Retail $49.99) from Zondervan
  • B. Holt - NKJV UltraSlim Bible Signature Series, Tan Calfskin (Retail $129.99) from Thomas Nelson
  • A. Hobbs - NLT Tyndale Select, Black Calfskin (Retail $135.00) from Tyndale
  • A. DoylesNLT Tyndale Select, Black Calfskin (Retail $135.00) from Tyndale
  • N. CreitzTNIV, Black Renaissance Fine Leather ($99.99) from Zondervan
  • Want to see how this all started? View our original Great Bible Giveaway blog post.

    The Lighter Side of Discourse Analysis: Thematic Addition

    Who knew you had to be an accountant in order to do Greek discourse analysis? Well, this week, Dr. Steve Runge takes you into the Accounting department here a Logos to illustrate Thematic Addition, another concept covered in Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis.

    After you grab your calculator, be sure to place your Pre-Pub order for the Discourse Grammar.

    Today’s video: Thematic Addition

    What’s being said about Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament:

    “. . . . This work offers a fresh and illuminating approach to the Greek New Testament and will make a superb addition to the more traditional Greek grammars.”
    —Jody Barnard, Bangor University, UK

    “. . . . If you what to understand Discourse Analysis and how it works then—read this first!”
    —Alan Macgregor, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK

    The Discourse Grammar is at the end of production and is getting ready to ship soon, so make sure you place your order before the price goes up!

    And stay tuned for the last video of the series: Segmentation

    Previous blog posts in this series: