Did you think of Paul’s letter to the Romans when you read the title to this post? Chances are you did, but that’s not the letter I was thinking of.
Did you know that there was at least one other letter written to the Romans in the early Christian age? The martyr Ignatius, on his way as a prisoner to face the beasts in Rome, wrote a letter to the Romans to prepare them for his arrival.
He likely wrote it on August 24. In its closing, the letter dates itself as being written on “the ninth day before the kalends of September”, which is probably best converted to August 24 on our present calendar.
The writings of the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Hermas, and some others) are the closest both in time and genre to the New Testament. As such they are incredibly important when considering the New Testament. Why? For a number of reasons, really:
- They are written by those who claimed Christ, and as such help us understand how they interpreted the OT and the still-being-formed New Testament.
- They refer to the Old Testament (LXX, primarily) and cite it; some cite the New Testament. Others (e.g. 2 Clement) even mention or allude to non-canonical post-NT writings. These all help us understand how the early Christ-followers themselves used Scripture and other writings.
- They are in Greek, so they provide lexical and grammatical help for us in our reading of the New Testament.
As you examine commentaries, lexicons, and grammars on the New Testament, you’ve probably seen references to these writings. Once you start to pay attention to them, you see them everywhere. BDAG. BDF. ICC New Testament. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries (NT). WBC. The list goes on. If these help us understand the NT, they’re important for us to pay attention to in our studies.
At Logos, we have a few resources available as Pre-Pubs that will help these writings play a greater role in your studies:
- Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the Apostolic Fathers — This is a complete syntactic analysis of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers (extant in Greek). It will include graphs that visually display the above-the-word-level connections and components. Using this layout can help one understand these higher-level structures, and make reading and understanding the text easier. This is less about searching to find grammatical patterns (though that is important) and more about using these graphs to understand how the Greek text hangs together. It’s to help your reading of these texts.
- The Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear — This is an interlinear edition of the Greek portions of the Apostolic Fathers. It follows the style of the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament with multiple levels of glossing. The context-sensitive gloss line ends up producing a new translation of these writings with direct ties back to the underlying Greek text.
These are great resources. We also have a number of editions of the Apostolic Fathers available for purchase today with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (3 editions). And don’t forget about The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, a handy little reference on areas where there is similarity between the NT and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.
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:
Today’s guest post is from John Barry, Editor-in-Chief of Bible Study Magazine.
Why I Love Coffee Table Books
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!
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 release version of Logos 4 Mac has a ship date. We’ll be rolling out the completed version to new and existing users on Friday, October 1, 2010—six weeks from today!
We’re super excited to reach this huge milestone (in spite of many obstacles), and we know you are too. Since this is such a big deal, we wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary. We’re having a huge Mac-related giveaway to celebrate. You and all your friends are invited to join us, as we give away thousands of dollars in prizes to more than 100 people!
Don’t worry, even though we started out coding for Windows, this is a celebration any Mac lover would be happy to be a part of.
The prizes will be an iMac, a MacBook Pro, an iPad, an iPod Touch, an iPod Nano, and an assortment of 100 gift cards from the Apple Store, iTunes, and Logos.com! There will also be special limited-time discounts on all of our Mac base packages and base package upgrades.
Windows Users, we haven’t forgotten about you.
You can celebrate too, because not only can you enter to win one of the cool prizes (who knows, you might even switch to Mac), but thanks to our Mac users, you get a second chance to buy or upgrade to Logos 4 at a special discount too!
Maybe you missed out when we launched Logos 4 last November, or maybe you wish you had purchased a higher base package. Well, now’s your second chance to save with special sale prices on all our base packages and upgrades!
One of the things I love about Logos 4 is how easy it is to navigate in Bibles. Are you aware of how easy it can be?
Let’s start assuming you’re in Romans 2:1.
Now, let’s say you want to move to Romans 2:22.
In the old days, you’d either have to re-type the whole reference (Ro 2.22) or you’d need to select the 1 with your mouse and re-type ’22′ over it. But now? Just type in ’22′ and Logos 4 assumes you mean verse 22 in the current book/chapter:
That’s pretty cool. What if you want to move to Romans 5:6, though? Just type in the parts of the reference that have changed (here “5.6″) and Logos 4 assumes you mean chapter 5 verse 6 in the current book.
You may also have noticed that I used a full-stop ‘.’ instead of the colon ‘:’ to separate verses. Either is fine. Logos 4 actually recognizes a number of different verse separators … even a space! So for the last example, you could have done ’5 6′. No more right-pinkie-finger extensions to hit the SHIFT key. That makes it even better!
There are many ways to discover Logos Bible Software. Our Ambassador, Refer A Friend, and Academic Programs, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Bible Study Magazine are just a few of the many mediums through which the word about our software gets out. However, few have a more unique story of stumbling—almost literally!—upon our software, than this customer who recently contacted us:
“I learned of Logos Bible Software on a flight back in April from Houston to Sacramento. Not from speaking to someone, but by seeing it through the seat in front of me. It’s amazing how God can use just two inches to help further change a man’s life. I could see with just those few glimpses that it was a life changing software.”
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.
I recently received this question from a Logos user:
The Lemma section of the Bible Word Study guide and the Word by Word section of the Exegetical Guide provide links to dictionaries and lexicons for various words. To the right of some resources are brief definitions, but some books display no such definitions. Why is this and can I control this feature?
First, those brief definitions or glosses are coming from the glossary field that appears in many, but not all Logos language resources. So if no glossary field is present in the book, no gloss is displayed in the Guide.
While we can not control the glosses that may or may not appear in the guides, we can determine which and in what order the resources are listed:
- Open the Library
- Click Prioritize in the upper right corner of the Library
- Type this text in the Find box of the Library: type:dictionary which displays all of your English, Hebrew and Greek dictionaries
- Right click on a dictionary and select Prioritize this resource, which places the book in the Prefer these resources list on the right
- Repeat this step for as many language dictionaries as you like
- Once the dictionaries are in the list on the right you can reorder them by dragging and dropping
The Exegetical Guide and Bible Word Study will now use this list to display resources for the words you’re studying.