The Gospel in Action: Fortress Press Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series

counseling
Today’s guest post is by Sarah Wilson, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

Are you a pastor? A counselor? Or maybe you have a friend or family member going through a rough season of life, such as depression, death of a loved one, abuse, or serious illness. Knowing what to say or how to respond to those in need is a difficult yet necessary undertaking. The gospel of Jesus offers comfort and encouragement for hard times, and we are proud to present Fortress Press Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series (19 Vols.) as an incredible resource for those involved in ministerial care or counseling.

Although there are many fantastic Christian counseling resources available, this 19-volume collection is especially useful, giving you invaluable tools and guidance from pastors, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and other experienced caregivers. This massive source of counseling advice covers a myriad of concerns, such as how to care for the sick, the dying, marginalized people-groups, as well as those suffering from depression, abuse, and those in crisis.

Some of these titles include:

  • Cross-Cultural Counseling, Aart M. van Beek

  • Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership, and Congregational Life, by Ronald W. Richardson
  • Short-Term Spiritual Guidance, by Duane R. Bidwell
  • Counseling Adolescent Girls, Patricia H. Davis
  • Crisis Counseling: Revised Edition, by Howard W. Stone
  • Integrative Family Therapy, by David C. Olsen
  • And many more!

A thoroughly practical resource, Fortress Press Creative Pastoral Care and Counseling Series contains outlines, discussions, and considerations on many methods of counseling and therapy perfect for pastors and counselors. The interaction between psychology and biblical doctrine is brought together in these titles, providing solid direction for the relational and counseling situations you find yourself in.

If you work with people on any level, this is an essential tool for you to learn how to minister to those around you in biblical and compassionate ways.

Announcing Seminary and Bible College Scholarship Winners

Seminary ScholarshipLate last week, we confirmed our scholarship winners, sent out $2,000.00 in tuition checks, and two free copies of Logos Bible Software 4 Scholar’s Library collections which should be arriving to the students any day now.

Our SeminaryScholarship.com winner was selected and confirmed right away, but because our varied attempts to reach the originally selected BibleCollegeScholarship.com winner were of no avail, everyone who applied had a second chance to win as we selected an alternate winner. So, without further ado, here are our winners:

SeminaryScholarship.com Winner: Mrs. Barbara W. of Raleigh, NC.

Barbara is currently an online student at Baptist Bible Graduate School and Seminary in Pennsylvania. She has been teaching Social Studies and MS Band and Choir at Friendship Christian School since 2002. After receiving a MA in Biblical Ministries she plans to continue teaching at FCS and begin work in women’s ministries through teaching and writing Bible studies.

BibleCollegeScholarship.com Winner: Joseph K. of Kenosha, WI.

Joseph attends LeTorurneau University in Longview, TX. Along with Bible courses, he is currently studying computer science with a focus in network security. Come to find out, while connecting with him and his family back home, Joseph is the grandson to well-known Christian apologist and philosopher Dr. Norman Geisler, who is author or co-author to some 70 books and hundreds of articles, many of which are available for Logos Bible Software.


Apply or Reapply for the new round!

Thank you to all who have applied for the scholarships. Whether you applied before or not, be sure to visit the sites as a new giveaway round has begun. Remember that you can enter once per round, but you can increase your chances of winning by telling friends and family to apply as well. Just make sure they enter your name in the “Other” box, when they’re asked how they heard about the scholarship.

Seminary students, apply here:

Bible College students, apply here:

Logos Bible Software: A Washington’s Best Workplaces Finalist

Washinton's Best Workplaces 2010Not many people can say they work for one of the best workplaces in their state, but the 200 or so Logos Bible Software employees can say that very thing.

After an extensive and rigorous process, which included the completion of surveys by nominee-company employees across the state, Logos has been recognized as a finalist for Puget Sound Business Journal’s Washington’s Best Workplaces. To celebrate this accomplishment, companies that were identified as Washington’s best, based on various employee benefit offerings, leadership culture, and work/life balance philosophies were invited to a special awards event at Safeco Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners.

When asked about this recognition, here is what Bob Pritchett, President/CEO of Logos, had to say:

“I consider it a blessing to get to work with so many wonderful people at Logos Bible Software, and am glad to see our team recognized. Hopefully this will lead even more great people to join us!”

Bob generously offered to cover the costs for all employees and their spouses who wanted to attend. Once a final head-count was set, he announced that two limousines were set to take us down to Seattle for the event. [Thanks Bob!]

Once we entered the ballpark, we were greeted by Puget Sound Business Journal‘s staff and ushered toward tables and tables of food, drinks, and concession snacks. After all, we were at a baseball park! You can be sure we had our share of peanuts and crackerjacks, hotdogs, soda, popcorn, and so much more.

Awards were presented to finalists in the small, medium, large, extra large, and non-profit categories, with special recognition— including a custom Mariners jersey—going to the #1 company in each of the five categories. Although Logos was not selected as the top workplace in our category (large), it was a huge honor to be recognized amongst so many great companies who are doing great things for their employees.

Making the evening even better was the opportunity before and after the awards presentation for attendees to go onto the field to throw baseballs while being clocked for speed and to “walk the bases.” But when presented with the opportunity to go onto a Major League baseball diamond, would you just walk, or would you run? Run!

Here is a short video of Adam Navarrete, from our marketing department doing just that.

Now doesn’t that look fun? Why not check out our jobs page for current opportunities? Maybe next year that could be you!

Importance of Anchoring Expressions

Lexham

This is a follow up to an older post where I made reference to something going on in Exodus 18. My topic today is the practice of orienting participants to a situation. For instance, I could be introduced or “anchored” as “the Logos scholar-in-residence,” “Mike’s friend,” or “the owner of the white GMC truck.” All of these relations are accurate, but not all are relevant for a given context. It might be relevant at a crash scene that I own a white truck (but it wasn’t my fault), but not at the beginning of a Logos Lecture series, right? We use the most relevant anchoring expression for the given context. Most of the time, it is so routine that we don’t give it a second thought when we read or hear one. But there are places where this general rule is broken, and paying attention to anchoring expressions can have a huge impact on your Bible study.

While reading Exodus 18, I noticed that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law is called father-in-law a lot, like almost twice as many times as he is called Jethro in the context. This is the story where Jethro teaches Moses about delegation following the exodus from Egypt. Why is he called father-in-law so often? Why not priest of Midian, since most commentators seem to think this is the more relevant anchoring expression? After all, this is a story of one priest teaching another priest about administration, right? This is true, but there is a bit more going on under the hood.

In all but one instance where Jethro is introduced in Exodus, he is anchored as “priest of Midian” (here is a link to the search in Logos 4). After Moses marries Zipporah, Jethro’s daughter, he is also anchored as Moses’ father-in-law (here is another search on the Hebrew lemma for father-in-law in Exodus). This means we have competing options available. One of the primary principles in my approach to discourse is this: “Choice implies meaning.” If I chose option A instead of option B, then there is some meaning to be gleaned from the choice. What is the meaning here? Let’s take a look at the opening details of the story.

If a biblical writer includes a detail in a story—e.g. that Esau was hairy, or that Sarai was beautiful, or that David was ruddy and handsome while Goliath was tall, dark and ugly—then chances are you need to know the tidbit to get the point of the story. We have a few such details like this in Exodus 18, ones that are often overlooked.

The first important detail is the location. Moses has returned to the same place where the Lord had appeared to him in the burning bush, just as the Lord had announced in Exodus 3:12. This is the same place where Moses had been herding sheep for Jethro (his father-in-law, remember?), probably fairly near Jethro’s encampment. Detail One: after the exodus, Moses has returned to the very place he started, his old stomping grounds where he had herded for Jethro.

The second important detail is found in Exodus 18:2, where we learn that Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law, remember?) is coming to see Moses, and is bringing along Zipporah, Moses’ wife and their two boys After he had sent her away. Say what? When did Moses send Zipporah away? No matter how good the Logos 4 search engine is, you will not find reference to Moses sending Zipporah away in the OT, it ain’t there, this is the only mention of it. So why mention it here? Remember, if its there its important, right? We must need to know it to get the point of the story.

Let’s recap a bit so we can pull all these details together. The Lord has used Moses to deliver Israel from the Egyptians, and they have all returned to where Moses was first called by the Lord. Next, Moses has sent Zipporah and his sons away at some point before the trip. Even though Moses and Israel have been camping on Jethro’s back 40 acres, so to speak, Moses hasn’t taken the time to send for his wife and kids. Why not? What could be preventing him from doing so? Let’s keep reading.

After Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law, remember?) arrives with Moses’ wife and kids (whom he’d sent away, remember?), he takes the time to re-establish rapport with Moses. He listens to all that the Lord has done for Moses and Israel (see Exodus 18:8, even though v. 1 makes it clear that he had already heard these things through the grapevine. Have you ever (re)listened to old news from someone just because you knew it was important to them? This seems to be what Jethro was doing, as a good father-in-law. Then they enjoy fellowship together along with Aaron and the elders, sharing a sacrifice together.

Finally, Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law, remember?) goes to work with Moses the next day, and oh what a sight it must have been. Verse 13 tells us that the people stood around from morning to evening waiting to have their disputes resolved. What does Jethro do (Moses’ father-in-law, remember?) He watches patiently. Then at some point he asks the same kind of “What are you doing?” question that my dad used to ask me when he saw me doing something the hard way. “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” (Exo. 18:14, ESV). It is one of those questions that is not so much for Jethro’s benefit as for Moses’. It requires him to look at things from a different perspective. And like a good father-in-law, Jethro highlights key details: Moses is doing it alone, and the people are standing around from morning to evening.

So why is Jethro called Moses’ father-in-law so many times? Why is this anchoring expression more relevant priest of Midian, even though most commentators stress the priest role? It is to counter the very thing that the commentators focus on. Even though Jethro could have used his authority as priest to tell Moses to do things differently, he doesn’t. Instead, the writer anchors him as father-in-law.

Stated differently, Jethro brings his daughter and his two grandsons to his son-in-law. Why bring them? Apparently because even though Moses had been so near for months, he had not taken the time to send for them. Why? Perhaps it had something to do with his day job consuming too much of his time. So what’s needed? To get Moses to change how he does things so that doesn’t wear out himself or the people (18:17-18). How does Jethro bring about the change? By coming as a father-in-law (who may have wanted to box the ears of the guy who didn’t have time for his daughter!) who took the time to reestablish rapport (vv. 6-12), who hung out with Moses enough that the latter knew he understood the problem (vv. 13-16). Then instead of shoving the solution down his throat on the basis of his authority as priest or father-in-law, he offers it up for Moses’ consideration (v. 19-23).

Anchoring expressions can play a big role in exegesis, and are one of the many kinds of things that you’ll find annotated in the Lexham Discourse Hebrew BIble and Lexham High Definition Old Testament. If you found this commentary helpful, then you’ll find more like it in the High Definition Commentary, a new series from Logos that helps you identify exegetical keys in the discourse, and understand the role they play. The Philippians volume is under way, to be followed by Romans.

If you’d like to read an article I wrote on this same topic of redundant anchoring expressions applied to Genesis 32, it is posted at my blog site.

Logos 4: Abbreviated Titles

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.

A Logos user recently contacted me with the observation that some books in the Logos library contain abbreviated titles. He wanted to see just those books in his personal library possessing such titles. Here’s what I told him:

  • Open the Library by clicking the Library icon on the toolbar (or pressing Alt + L)
  • Click the View icon on the Library’s toolbar so that a detailed spreadsheet view of the Library appears
  • In the Library’s Find box type this exact text: abbrev:* (Note: abbrev is the field name for Abbreviated Title and the * is a wild card representing any text. The instruction we’re giving Logos is to display all resources with any text in the Abbreviated Title field.)

One of the most practical uses of an abbreviated title is typing it into the Command box to open the resource from there without having to go to the Library!

Biblia.com: Bible Study Online

BibliaIntroducing the Biblia.com beta release: a super-simple Bible for the web that’s backed up by the incredible technology (and massive library!) of Logos Bible Software. What makes Biblia.com so cool?

1. Simplicity

Need to link to a Bible verse?
http://biblia.com/bible/jn3.16
Want to choose multiple verses and a specific version? http://biblia.com/bible/nlt/jn3.16-20

Continue Reading…

It’s a Good Day to Write a Letter to the Romans

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.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants with Donald Bloesch

signin
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:

A Coffee Table Book on Bible Study!?

Bible Study magazine

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!

Logos 4: Bible Word Study for a Greek Word

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.

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!