Commentaries That Comment on the Text

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, Lexham High Definition New Testament, and the forthcoming Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis.

Frédéric Louis Godet Commentary Collection (16 Vols.)What do you look for in a commentary? Sometimes it’s insight into how a passage is structured; other times it’s understanding how a particular passage fits into some larger debate. Most often, though, you turn to a commentary when you get stumped by the text itself. After all, where else better to turn than to a commentary?

A commentary that primarily comments on the text would seem like an obvious thing, but in many cases as modern commentaries have gotten more and more specialized, less and less of the content actually focuses on the biblical text. Now there’s a place for all the debates and contemporary discussions that are ancillary to the text itself, but they can distract your focus.

One of my mentors told me that the best way to get answers to questions about how the text hangs together is to read commentaries that were written before the previous century, and he specifically mentioned Frédéric Louis Godet as an example. Men like Godet were writing in a time before the New Perspective on Paul, before many of the Enlightenment-driven critical methodologies were in vogue. As a result, far more of the content in these commentaries was actually devoted to commenting on the text. They did not get distracted from their primary purpose: expositing Scripture to help readers better understand and apply it.

If you’re interested in modern interpretive controversies, there are plenty of titles to chose from (see, e.g., our Commentaries Product Guide). But if solid engagement with what the biblical text actually says is what you’re after, I will pass on the advice that I have richly benefited from: check out Godet and the his contemporaries (e.g., Henry Alford, William Robertson Nicoll, John Eadie, J. P. Lange, and the authors of the Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament like J. B. Lightfoot, H. B. Swete, and B. F. Westcott). They provide an important balance to modern scholarship, filling in holes that unfortunately seem to be growing bigger as the years pass. Do not look down on the “dead guys.” READ them.

The 16-volume Frédéric Louis Godet Commentary Collection includes commentaries on Luke, John, Romans, and 1 Corinthians as well as important biblical and theological studies. It’s nearly 100% of the pre-orders needed to send it into production. If you’re interested in solid exposition of the biblical text, place your pre-order for the Godet collection today.

For more on this subject, see our previous blog posts:

There’s a Place for You at BibleTech:2010

ForumsWhat is in store for the next generation of Bible technologies? How is mobile technology changing the way we experience the Scriptures? How is social media transforming the way the people of God approach biblical community? What are the processes and implications of putting the Bible into a format like the Xbox 360? What software and applications are affecting the way that the Scriptures are translated? These are the kinds of questions that industry insiders will be answering, March 26-27, at BibleTech:2010.

This year’s BibleTech presenters come from a diverse background of educators, programmers, developers, publishers, executives and ministry leaders. This diversity provides a well-rounded platform from which to speak about the number of ways that technology is influencing how we approach and study the Scriptures.

Your registration gives you access to more than 25 sessions, three catered meals, and a conference T-shirt. But perhaps even more importantly, you will build a network of contacts with others who share your interests.

Continue Reading…

New Anchor Yale Bible Collections

Anchor Yale Bible: New Testament (26 Vols.)

The Anchor Yale Bible is a prestigious commentary series of 84 volumes, and it represents the pinnacle of biblical scholarship, drawing from the wisdom and resources of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from around the world. It includes Jacob Milgrom’s 3-volume Leviticus commentary, Joseph Blenkinsopp’s commentary on Isaiah, Joseph A. Fitzmyer’s commentary on Luke, Raymond E. Brown’s commentary on John, and a lot more—84 volumes in all.

Many Logos users picked up the entire set last spring when it was on Pre-Pub and got a great deal. But, for whatever reason, some missed out.

We’re now pleased to announce that the Anchor Yale Bible (84 Vols.) is available in two separate collections—a 26-volume set of New Testament commentaries, and a 58-volume set of commentaries on the Old Testament and Apocrypha. Even better, though the end of February, you can get these two new sets for an additional $200.00 off the sale price listed on the product page through the end of the month. Use coupon code ANCHOROT for the Old Testament commentaries and ANCHORNT for the New Testament commentaries. If you missed out on the Pre-Pub deal last year, this is your chance to add the Old Testament or New Testament commentaries of the Anchor Yale Bible to your library and get a great deal.

The combined sale prices for the Old Testament and New Testament sets are a little higher than the whole series together, so the entire 84-volume set is still a better deal if you want all the commentaries. But if your research interests lie in a particular genre of Scripture—like the Pentateuch—or you’re a pastor and you want to expand your library of commentaries on the Gospels or the Pauline epistles, then consider getting one of these sets while they’re on sale this month. The sale prices expire on February 28, so don’t wait!

All the commentaries in the Anchor Yale Bible are also among the 3,000 books (and counting) you can access in the Logos iPhone app. That means you can now access the entire set—84 volumes, 43,315 pages, and 160 pounds of print books—all in the palm of your hand, wherever you take your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Remember, this sale expires at the end of the month, so order now! Use coupon code ANCHOROT for the Old Testament commentaries and ANCHORNT for the New Testament commentaries at checkout to take an additional $200.00 off the sale price listed on the product page. Even better, you can use a payment plan to spread out the cost over the next several months. This is also a great way to apply your monthly or quarterly book budget to a new set of Anchor Yale commentaries.

Head on over to the product pages to learn more:

How to Change Your CD-ROM Pre-Pub Orders to Downloads

Change Your CD-ROM Pre-Pub Orders to Downloads

Whether you use Libronix or you’ve upgraded to Logos 4, downloads are the better delivery method when you place Pre-Pub orders. Installation is faster and easier. You don’t pay for shipping costs. And you can get your books the moment they’re available. There’s no need to wait for a CD-ROM to be mailed.

If you’re a Logos 4 user especially, downloads make the most sense. Logos 4 is a powerful web-based application. Installing new resources from CD-ROMs to Logos 4 takes extra time and adds several steps to the installation process. However, if you download your new books, you’ll receive them automatically as soon as they are available. You don’t need to do anything. It just works.

This past week, we created download options for all Pre-Pubs that were previously CD-ROM only, and launched a new tool you can use to change all your pre-orders to downloads at the click of a button.

Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the Downloadable Pre-Pubs Tool page. (Make sure you’re logged in.)
  • You will see the list of your CD-ROM Pre-Pub orders.
  • Simply click the Submit button, and you’re all set.

Even better, when you convert your Pre-Pub orders to download, you’ll still get the same price for which you originally pre-ordered them. Pre-Pub prices often go up over time, but you will still pay your original price. For example, if you pre-ordered the CD-ROM of Hengstenberg’s Commentary on the Psalms for $20, you can still get the download today for $20, even though the price has gone up. Nothing changes except for you how receive your Pre-Pubs—via download instead of a shipped CD-ROM.

Please note that this process is irreversible. Once you have changed your orders to the download option, they cannot be changed back easily.

We have also created new download options for the following Pre-Pubs. If you haven’t yet placed your pre-order, do it soon!

Head on over to the Downloadable Pre-Pubs Tool page to change all your Pre-Pub orders to downloads now!

Logos 4: Collapse Sections in Guides

mp|seminars Tips

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.

The various guides in Logos Bible Software 4 contain numerous sections. For example, the Passage Guide lists Commentaries, Cross References, Parallel Passages, and so on. Each section searches different resources and is identified with a section title bar. When you click the title bar, that section collapses or expands. What’s more, if a guide opens with a section collapsed, the search in that section is delayed until you expand the section.

So here’s a strategy for using the sections in a guide:

  • Open a guide from the Guides menu
  • Generate a report for a passage or word
  • Collapse all the sections in that guide
  • Close the guide
  • Return to the Guides menu and open the same type of guide
  • Again generate a report for a passage or word

You’ll notice the sections stay collapsed just the way you closed the guide. Now expand a section at a time. Use the information in it and then collapse the section again. This process speeds up searches and allows you to use only the information you need when you need it!

Hundreds of Baker Books Coming Soon to Pre-Pub!

Baker Announces Partnership with Logos Bible Software

We are pleased to announce a new partnership between Baker Books and Logos Bible Software. In the next few weeks, we will begin to convert hundreds upon hundreds of Baker titles into our electronic format. This list includes brand new releases, commentary series, bestsellers, and top books from the field of biblical scholarship and theological study.

This is a major partnership, and one of the biggest agreements we’ve ever reached with a publisher. So big, in fact, that if you’ve ever requested a Baker title, it will more than likely appear on the Pre-Pub page in the coming weeks.

For years, Baker has published books and ministry resources for pastors and church leaders, concentrating on topics such as preaching, worship, pastoral ministries, counseling, and leadership. Their academic division publishes scholarly works in the field of biblical studies, history, theology, and more. The new partnership with Baker means that you’ll soon be able to add many of these books to your digital library.

The first books have already been posted on the Pre-Pub page, and this is only the beginning:

Here’s what you can do:

  • Pre-order the books you’d like to add to your library! Just like other Pre-Pubs, we will begin converting the titles to our format once we have enough interest in the project. Place your pre-order to move each collection along.
  • Support the project. By pre-ordering, you are also sending a message to Baker that you’re interested in seeing more of their books available in Logos.
  • Stay on top of the titles. You can be the first to know when new Baker titles are posted by subscribing to the Pre-Pub feed. As soon as a new title is posted, you’ll see it right away in your RSS reader.
  • Send your suggestions to suggest@logos.com for any Baker books you’d like to see. Although we can almost guarantee that your title will appear on Pre-Pub very soon, your feedback will help us prioritize our work and shape the direction of the partnership.

What are you waiting for? Head on over to the Pre-Pub page to check out the new books!

How Community Pricing Works

Community Pricing offers some amazing deals on classic works in the field of biblical and theological studies. Thousands of Logos users have gotten books for less than the price of a latte or a gallon of gas (which is around $3.00 in Bellingham, Washington).

For example, a few years ago, the R.A. Torrey Collection went for $15 on Community Pricing, $69.95 on Pre-Pub, and it now sells for $119.95. Even better—until Friday at noon, you can pick up Henry Alford’s New Testament for English Readers for $16 or less!

How Does Community Pricing Work?

We estimate how much it will cost to produce a book. Let’s say a book costs $10,000 to produce. It could get into production under a number of scenarios:

  • If 100 people bid $100
  • If 1,000 people bid $10
  • If 10,000 people bid $1

These are just examples, and this is a hypothetical book. There are also lots of other combinations of orders and prices that would get this to $10,000. But it should be clear that the more people bid, the lower the price is for everyone. It makes no difference what the final price is, as long as the costs are covered. The book will go into production whether one person bids $10,000 or whether 10,000 people bid $1. The math is the same.

What Does the Graph Mean?

Because there are endless combinations of orders and prices that push a project over the cost estimate, the progress for each book is tracked on a graph. This graph will give you an idea where most people are placing their bids.

You place a bid at the highest price you’re willing to pay. To do this, simply click on the dollar amount on the graph. Once the peak of the graph crosses the 100% threshold, bids are placed on the following Friday.

The New Testament for English Readers (4 Vols.)

How Should I Bid?

Let’s say a project crosses the threshold at $16. If you bid $16 or higher, your bid is placed. That means if you placed a bid for $20 or $30 for Alford’s New Testament for English Readers, you’ll still get it for $16 (or less). Unfortunately, if you bid less than the closing price, your bid won’t be placed.

The bottom line? Bid the maximum possible price you’d be willing to pay for a book. If you bid high you’ll never miss out on a deal, but if you bid too low you won’t be able to change your bid after the title moves from Community Pricing over to Pre-Pub.

If you’re still not sure what to bid, check out Phil’s post on A Bidding Strategy for Community Pricing from a couple years ago.

How Can I Help?

  • Bid on the books you want. Remember, you should bid the maximum amount you would be willing to pay for a book.
  • Spread the word! The more people who bid on Community Pricing, the lower the price is for everyone.
  • Subscribe to the Community Pricing RSS feed. That way you’ll be the first to know when a new title is posted.

What are you waiting for? Check out all the deals on Community Pricing today!

Moulton & Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek Testament

Do you find yourself living in a Greek lexicon as you work through the text of the New Testament?
Do you do look for the lexicon to tell you more about how a word is used, and the different contexts in which the word is used?
If you do, chances are you have already invested in what many consider to be the best lexicon for New Testament Greek, BDAG. And chances are that you love it.
Did you know that there is another Greek lexicon, focused on words that are used in the New Testament, that largely complements BDAG?
It is called The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, put together by James H. Moulton and George Milligan in the early 1900′s.
Now, “The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament” is not a great name because it doesn’t just sound like a lexicon. But it is. And it isn’t a lexicon like BDAG is a lexicon. That is, it doesn’t re-plow the same field of sources (New Testament, LXX, Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, Philo, Greek Pseudepigrapha, etc.) that BDAG and other Greek NT lexica do; instead Moulton and Milligan (hereafter M-M, which is the way BDAG cites it) plow through the ground of the hordes of papyri that were found in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s, focused on papyri usage of vocabulary items that occur in the Greek New Testament (hence the “Vocabulary” name). They’re looking for insight from how these under-utilized papyri use the same words found in the Greek New Testament.
That’s why M-M is largely complementary to BDAG. They aren’t examining the same sources; they’re examining altogether different uses of the same words. And it is M-M‘s insight, from these scads of papyri that have been found and analyzed, that complements BDAG so well — in fact, so well, that BDAG routinely refers the reader to M-M where M-M has pertinent information. What kind of information? Here’s an example that Milligan uses in his introduction:

In what are probably the earliest of his letters that have come down to us, the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, St. Paul finds it necessary to rebuke his converts for walking “in a disorderly manner” (2 Thess 3:11). The word (ἀτάκτως), with its cognates, is confined to these Epistles in the New Testament, and what exactly is meant by it is by no means clear at first sight. Is St. Paul referring to actual sin or moral disorder, or to something less heinous? The papyri have supplied the answer in a striking manner. Among them is a contract of A.D. 66 [P.Oxy.II 275] in which a father arranges to apprentice his son with a weaver for one year. All the conditions of the contract as regards food and clothing are carefully laid down. Then follows the passage which specially interests us. If there are any days during this period on which the boy “fails to attend” or “plays truant” (ὅσας δʼ ἐάν ἐν τούτω ἀτακτήση ἡμέρας), the father has to produce him for an equivalent number of days after the period is over. And the verb which is used to denote playing truant is the same verb which St. Paul uses in connexion with the Thessalonians. This then was their fault. They were idling, playing truant. The Parousia of the Lord seemed to them to be so close at hand that it was unnecessary for them to interest themselves in anything else. Why go to their daily work in the morning, when before night Christ might come, they thought, forgetting that the best way to prepare for that coming was to show themselves active and diligent in the discharge of their daily work and duty.

If you don’t have The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament in your Logos Bible Software library yet (and it presently isn’t in any packages, not even Portfolio) you might want to consider adding it today.

The Type of Letter Editors Love to Receive

Click Here to Read The Article!

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the Editor-in-Chief of Bible Study Magazine

One of the best parts of my job is receiving letters. We respond to every one.

I recently received a letter with the subject line: “Today was better than Christmas!”

Good evening John,

I am a new subscriber to your magazine. To be honest I did not even know it existed until a few months ago. I was reading an interview and in the side bar were some cute facts about the gal being interviewed, Wendy Pope. One of the questions she had answered was, “What is on your nightstand currently?”. Her answer was My Utmost for His Highest and Bible Study Magazine. Because Wendy is a fellow lover of all things studious of Scripture, I quickly googled “Bible Study Magazine” and purchased a subscription that very day.

I am a stay at home mom, passionate student of the Word and am currently writing my first book, a study on the book of Ruth. I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have found you when I did. A true gift!

Today I received my second edition and when my husband brought it into the house I actually giggled like a little child on Christmas morning. Can I just say, I love your magazine? I love the interviews, I love the Hebrew Word Study without Hebrew, I love the tricks and tidbits to experience a richer study. And I love the fact that there are actually useable, workable Bible studies in a magazine! I can now say I truly have a favorite magazine and it is yours! It was so needed in the church! Thank you for following God’s call to serve His church in this way. I pray you are blessed one-hundred fold!

Blessings and many thanks!

O’Nealya

Maybe you are like O’Nealya and are looking for a better way to study the Bible. If so, Bible Study Magazine is for you.

Maybe you are a Logos Bible Software user and think Bible Study Magazine is not for you. I know you can still get a great deal out of reading our publication, but nonetheless, if you are happy sticking to your current guns for Bible study—and Logos Bible Software 4 is definitely a fantastic set of guns—that’s fine. But I suggest you consider helping others get into the Word with Bible Study Magazine.

Think about who you know who could use motivation for studying the Bible. How about the people who are struggling through the Bible, and are beginning to feel a little frustrated: Tell them about Bible Study Magazine. Maybe even buy them a gift subscription. Just enter their address in the shipping field at check out.

Bible Study Magazine is for everyone. Help other people get into Bible study this year. Tell them about Bible Study Magazine or subscribe now!

Logos 4: Instant Concordance

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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.

One of the most popular types of Bible study is concordance work. A concordance is a book that lists every time a word appears in the Bible. For example, you can use a concordance to locate the word love all throughout the Bible.

By reading various verses about love you gain a greater understand of what love is, whom we’re to love, what we’re not to love, and so on. In Logos Bible Software 4 you want to utilize the Search feature for your concordance work. Here’s how easy it is to locate every time a word appears in the Bible:

  • Click the Search icon on the Logos toolbar
  • Select Bible as the search type
  • Select All Passages for the search range
  • Select a Bible to search like the English Standard Version
  • Type a word in the Find box like joy
  • Click the Search arrow

Almost instantly Logos lists every occurrence of the word. Click a Bible reference in the list to jump to that location. This search features provides you with an exhaustive concordance for every Bible in your library!