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Help Us Decide What to Put on Pre-Pub

Our Pre-Pub system let’s you decide which resources make it into production and which ones don’t—or at least which one’s make it sooner than other.

It works quite well for the most part. But for the Pre-Pubs that don’t generate sufficient interest in a reasonable amount of time, perhaps our time could have been better spent working on titles that you want to see turned into Libronix resources.

You get a say in which titles go up on Pre-Pub by submitting your requests to suggest@logos.com and posting them in the suggestions newsgroup. While those suggestions are very helpful, we can’t always license the things you want.

We’re considering another way that you can help us decide which books to Pre-Pub and which ones to pass by or put on the back burner. We’re tentatively calling it Pre-Pre-Pub. :)

Here’s how it will work. Visit the Pre-Pre-Pub page, enter your full name, and then vote on as many of the titles as you’d like. After you’re done, click the submit button at the bottom of the page. (Please vote only once.) After we’ve had enough people respond, we’ll do our best to put your recommendations into action and put up a new list.

At close to 500 titles, our first list might be a bit too large. If you move quickly, you should be able to get through it in roughly 10 minutes. Feel free to skip the ones that don’t interest you. A skip will count as a low vote. To help you navigate the list, we’ve arranged the titles in alphabetical order of the author’s last name.

Thanks for your help! As always, we welcome your feedback on how we can continue to offer you more of the books that you want.

Why Should I Worry about the Septuagint (LXX)?

I recently posted about the progress we’ve made on our The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint (LXX), but that post was primarily about our progress. It didn’t really answer the question, “Why should I worry about the Septuagint?”
Books have been written in attempts to answer that question; several are available for Logos Bible Software:

As you can see, much ink has been spilled on the topic of the importance and role of the Septuagint (LXX) in Biblical Studies. I don’t think I’ll answer the question conclusively here, but hopefully I can shed some light on it.
So, why worry about the Septuagint?
Well, for starters, virtually every Bible study method I know of—particularly those geared to students without advanced training in Greek and Hebrew—recommend the consultation of several different Bible translations when examining a passage. Did you know that the Septuagint (LXX) is the oldest translation of the Hebrew Bible that we have? So, when examining a passage in the Old Testament, it can be helpful to examine the LXX as well because it is another translation. The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint makes some of the differences between the Hebrew and LXX available through translation differences and also through notes. Used in conjunction with the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible, with reputable commentaries on OT books, and with other English translations, The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint can be a benefit to your study.
Second, if you’re studying a New Testament passage that quotes the Old Testament, you should check out the source of that quotation. Many times, the NT author is likely using the Septuagint (LXX) and not the Hebrew Scriptures directly. This means examining the fuller context of the quote source is important to understanding how the NT author is using the passage. The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint makes this larger context more accessible, particularly to those who may have only focused on the study of Greek in the New Testament.
(An aside, the best and most comprehensive treatment of the NT’s use of the OT is Carson and Beale’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, edited by D.A. Carson and G.K. Beale, available for Logos Bible Software in the Baker Hermeneutics Collection (14 vols.))
Third, if you’re studying an Old Testament passage that uses an obscure Hebrew word, looking to the Greek of the Septuagint can help in understanding what may have been in the underlying Hebrew text. This in turn can help in coming to a better understanding of the Old Testament text. Consult lexicon articles (such as those in HALOT) which also mention how these more obscure Hebrew words may have been translated in to Greek; use these as a base to track down other citations that use the Greek word in a similar manner.
The same can be said, perhaps to a greater degree, of obscure New Testament words. Examining the Septuagint use of an obscure NT word can be enlightening. Again, use a lexicon (like BDAG) which classifies senses and provides both LXX and NT citations to hunt down LXX citations to follow up on instances like this.
These are only a few reasons why the Septuagint (LXX) should play a role in one’s study of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe to the pre-pub, lock in your low price, and reserve your copy of The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint today!

What Should I Buy Next?

Scholar's Library: Gold (ND)The best way to get started with Logos Bible Software is to purchase one of our base packages. Not everyone has the same budget or needs, but the bigger packages are definitely the better value. For those who are serious about studying the Bible and are convinced of the value of building a digital library, there’s no better place to start than Scholar’s Gold.

But once you have your base package and are ready for more, what should you buy next?

That’s the question that a new Logos user asked in the newsgroups recently:

I bought the Scholar’s Gold edition. Can you suggest any other good resources I would want to add to it?

I use it mostly for speaking/preaching so I enjoy having lots of good commentaries.

With around 9,000 resources, it’s good to have a little guidance to find out what others consider most useful.

Several longtime Logos users responded with their recommendations. Here are some of the things that they suggested:

I’d concur with most of these recommendations and probably add the Essential IVP Reference Collection and the new Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament Bundle. I’d also point out our Top 10 lists, our Commentary product guide, and our Pre-Pub system.

What would you recommend? What are your top picks for moving beyond a base package?

Progress on The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint

The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint is a project that we’ve been working on for some time. This is perhaps one of the largest projects we’ve taken on, involving 29 (at present) contributors and two editors (Randall Tan, the General Editor, and David A. deSilva, the Contributing Editor). Several of the contributors have also contributed copious notes covering different text-critical, translational and lexical issues. In this first release, a 20-book portion (see book list below), there are over 6700 notes.
In tandem with the development of the interlinear portions, we have also been working on a new morphology to the Septuagint (LXX) that will accompany the interlinear.
As mentioned on the pre-pub page, our plan all along has been to release portions as they are available. Those who have been Logos customers for awhile may recall that this is how we released the Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible. There is one resource; as new portions are available the resource will be updated to include those new portions, and released on FTP. Those who have the license simply download the update to get the revised and updated resource.
I’m happy to report that we finally have our first major chunk of The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint just about ready to release. There are 20 books of the LXX included in this release. Books fall into two different categories, those in a draft status, and those in an edited status. The draft status means that by and large, the interlinear portions have been completed by the contributor but they have not yet been reviewed by the editor. The edited status means that the interlinear portions have been reviewed by the project general editor.
Books in an edited status are as follows:

  • Exodus
  • Ruth
  • Psalms
  • Additional Psalm (Psalm 151)
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Solomon
  • Obadiah
  • Haggai
  • Letter of Jeremiah

The following books are in draft status:

  • Genesis
  • Numbers
  • Job
  • Jeremiah
  • Lamentations
  • Ezekiel
  • Zechariah
  • Malachi
  • Baruch
  • Psalms of Solomon

The interlinear has seven interlinear lines; these are:

  • Manuscript
  • Manuscript (Transliterated)
  • Greek Lemma
  • Greek Lemma (Transliterated)
  • Morphology
  • English Lexical Value
  • English Literal Translation

Why are there two English entries for each word? The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint, takes advantage of its digital environment to offer multiple layers of English glosses that reflect the complexity of the Greek language structure. Like the other Lexham interlinears (Hebrew-English Bible and Greek-English NT) there are two levels of interlinear translation. The first is the English Lexical Value, which is a gloss of the lexical or dictionary form of the word. The second is the English Literal Translation, a contextually sensitive gloss of the inflected form of the word. The difference in these glosses is subtle, but powerful. The first gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean?” The second gloss answers the question, “What does this word mean here?”
The English Literal Translation line also includes a word order number, where necessary, to allow the reader to re-assemble the text in an order more friendly to English readers. The below screen capture, with only the Manuscript and English Literal Translation lines shows how helpful this can be:

One would reassemble the text as follows:

1And (then) the Lord spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of servitude. 3There will be not to you other gods except me! (Exodus 20:1-3)

Somewhat rough, of course, but remember it is an interlinear translation. The goal is make it easier for the LXX to play a role in one’s study of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament.
If you haven’t subscribed to this pre-pub already, you may want to consider it sooner than later. Once the first portion ships, the pre-pub will be filled, and then the price will go up.

Resources on the Book of Hebrews

One of the features in Bible Study Magazine is an ongoing Bible study that focuses on the practical value of the book of Hebrews for Christians today. In conjunction with this series, we created a product guide of commentaries and Bible study tools on this important letter.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a list of most of the commentaries that we sell on the book of Hebrews—more than 35—now you can in our Hebrews product guide.

If you’re planning to study or preach through Hebrews, you’re sure to find some great tools to add to your digital library.

For more lists of resources, be sure to check out our other product guides. Have an idea for a product guide that you’d like to see? Drop us a note in the comments and let us know.

Is my investment in e-books safe?

A potential customer emailed me his concerns about investing in an electronic library:

“I have had the desire to invest in an electronic library, but I am terrified of investing all of this money into one and then losing my money’s worth because new computers will not be able to read them. How does Logos deal with this? Will my grandchildren be able to use my electronic library?”

This is a fear we hear regularly, but one that quickly goes away once we explain how Logos licenses the content, not the file-format.

It’s true that digital data can be lost if it is not constantly migrated to new storage media and kept in up-to-date or easily parsed formats. Paper books can be lost, too — just look at New Orleans and the libraries lost to flooding and mold.

The key issue is, who is ensuring your continued access? With paper it’s you — you have to keep it dry and away from fire, and you have to be willing to store and move it. (Most books are “lost” when people don’t want to move them yet again.)

I can’t make guarantees about the future; nobody can. But in Logos’ case, we’ve got a 17 year track record, we’re a strong business, and we’ve honored users licenses to the electronic books through various format, media, and operating system changes for more than a dozen years. That’s a pretty good record.

Moreover, what we sell you is the license to the book, NOT the digital file. When we change formats (which we’ve done) you don’t have to re-acquire a license. When music went from vinyl records to cassettes to CD’s, you had to re-purchase the album each time. But we aren’t selling you “today’s format” — we’re selling an electronic license. With Logos, it’s as if you’re provided the song free on cassette, CD, and then digital download, all because of your original vinyl purchase.

Can you loan the book, and can your grandchildren have it [see the clarification below]? No. But not because of the electronic format. It’s because we offer a really good price in exchange for licensing to one user. We sell our electronic books (in collections) at a huge discount from list price.

The big question is, what is your goal? To have beautiful books on your shelf that you can pass as heirlooms to your descendents, or to get convenient, useful access to a large library of content with a powerful set of tools for searching and reports?

I can “acquire a movie” in several ways: $9 at the theater, $1.99 VHS rental later, $29.95 to own the DVD, or (maybe) hundreds of dollars to acquire a film print. Each format has strengths and weaknesses. The theater experience is the best way to see it, but when it’s over, it’s over. The rental lets me rewind and pause and watch it a few times, but it’s on a small screen and later in the release cycle. The DVD is also on my home screen, costs more, and might still go obsolete years down the road. The film is physically simple — shine light through the film to project — and actually the “safest” format to ensure my descendents can watch it, but it’s more expensive, more awkward, etc.

The biggest risk with our electronic books is that we go out of business and then, some years later, computers change in a way that doesn’t let you run our software. We intend, of course, to stay in business, and (to the best of our knowledge) we’re the largest and strongest player in Bible software. But still, A) virtualization technology will probably ensure the ability to run this generation of applications for a long time and B) we have a large enough customer base that even in a bankruptcy someone would probably acquire and retain our product line and/or customer relationships.

So is your investment in e-books a safe bet? I believe so. Plus, it’s easier on the back when it’s time to move your library.

Haddon Robinson and Discourse Grammar, Part 1

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Steve Runge, a scholar-in-residence at Logos Bible Software and author of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and Lexham High Definition New Testament.

I have been reading through one of my seminary textbooks, the first edition of Robinson’s Biblical Preaching. The more I read, the more I was struck by how closely his approach to exegesis matched up with the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and the High Definition New Testament. Grammar professors are usually interested in the detail, the specifics of the words. The homiletics profs focus on the ‘big idea’, i.e. how the smaller parts contribute to the whole. The hard part is synthesizing these two elements.

This synthesis is captured in Robinson’s Stage 3 of preparation, after the lexicons, dictionaries and commentaries have been consulted. He states, “As you study the passage, relate the parts to each other to determine the exegetical idea and its development” (p. 66). What is interesting is that while he lists eight different kinds of resources to help you through your study Stage 2, he does not list any for Stage 3. Apparently, you’re on your own.

The core part of Stage 3 is identifying what Robinson calls the Subject and the Complement. The Subject “accurately describes what the author is talking about” (p. 67). Complements “complete the subject and make it into an idea” (p. 67). In other words, any given passage is made up of subjects, to which complements are added. The most important part of identifying these elements, says Robinson, is understanding the structure of the passage. If the structure is understood, then the flow of thought or reasoning can be accurately discerned and communicated. This is accomplished by developing what he calls a ‘mechanical layout’, essentially a block diagram that charts the flow of the text.

Such a layout points up the relationship of the dependent clauses to the independent clauses. . . . Either a diagram or a mechanical layout brings analysis and synthesis together so that the major idea of a passage is separated from its supporting material. (68)

Here is the sample of his mechanical layout from Appendix 2 of the first edition. It is not included in the second edition.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/robinson-layout.png

Now let’s shift gears and take a look at what is found in the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. It provides the same kind of block outline for the entire New Testament as seen in Robinson’s layout.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/LDGNT-eph4.11-13.png

The independent clauses can be differentiated from the dependent ones by the labels in the left column, by the indenting, and by the discourse annotations like backgrounding (e.g. Text).

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/LDGNT-eph4.16.png

Where the Greek writer uses special devices to highlight that something is part of Robinson’s Subject, the LDGNT annotates this as a frame of reference (e.g. [TP Text TP]). Some frames of reference introduce topics, others introduce information that helps you relate what follows to the preceding text. Either way, they are clearly marked to avoid confusing them with Robinson’s Complement. Greek writers also used special devices to emphasize the most important part of the Complement. This too is indicated for you using bolding.

The LDGNT was intentionally developed for preachers and teachers. It includes many other devices that help you identify where the writers highlight key themes, or highlight significant connections between ideas, and much more. We felt like this information was so important that it had to get into the hands of folks without training in Greek. This resulted in a slightly simplified version called the Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition.

http://www.logos.com/media/blog/HDNT-eph4.11-16.png

Check out the videos for the HDNT and LDGNT to learn more about each resource.

Those of you who already have the LDGNT will be excited to hear about a forthcoming resource I’ve been working on: Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction to Discourse Features for Teaching and Exegesis. This text introduces the discourse concepts annotated in the LDGNT, starting with how standard Greek grammars like BDF, Robertson, Wallace and Porter treat them. Keep an eye out for it on the Pre-Pub page.

Pastor Appreciation Month Specials!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Pastors, since you are such an important part of our user base, we want to show our appreciation by giving you something for free and offering you discounted pricing on many of our best collections.

For the rest of the month, you can download the Sermon File Addin at no charge. No coupon codes necessary. Just visit the product page and place your order for the downloadable version.

We invite you to download it and give it a try—and spread the word to other pastors. Check out the video below to learn more about this powerful tool.


After you download it, be sure to watch the five tutorial videos at the bottom of the product page.

If you already have the Sermon File Addin, we want to show our appreciation to you as well! We’re offering discounted pricing on these 16 collections. Just use coupon code PAM2008 to see the special savings in your shopping cart.

If you’re not a pastor, why not show your pastor how much you appreciate him by buying him one of our base packages. Save 25% off with coupon code BLESSING. And then tell your pastor how he can get the Sermon File Addin for free by sending this post to him.

Update: The Sermon File Addin offer has expired.

Hands-on First Look at Bible Study Magazine

The first ten copies of Bible Study Magazine arrived in the office on Friday. We’re thrilled with the finished product—and think you will be as well.

Watch associate editor, John Barry, give a quick hands-on overview.

If you’ve already subscribed, you should be getting yours in your mailbox very soon. For the rest of you, it’s not too late to subscribe.

5 New Collections from Canon Press

We’re excited to be able to make available on Pre-Pub 41 books in five collections from our new friends at Canon Press.

Douglas Wilson Collection (17 Vols.)These collections cover a wide range of biblical, theological, and practical issues and are sure to be of help to average Christians, pastors, and scholars alike.

Canon Press is one of the literature ministries of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, which is pastored by Douglas Wilson, a theologian and prolific author—both in print and on his popular Blog and Mablog.

Wilson is also a powerful apologist in the tradition of Cornelius Van Til. I thoroughly enjoyed the six-part debate with atheist Christopher Hitchens hosted by ChristianityToday.com in June of 2007, “Is Christianity Good for the World?