RefTagger Gets New Versions . . . and Much More!

Over the last few weeks our web team has been working hard on even more cool enhancements to RefTagger, so we have several updates to share with you.

1. RefTagger Now Links to Bible.Logos.com

As of Monday, RefTagger is now directing all links to our new online Bible site, Bible.Logos.com. This allows us to bring you a more tightly integrated experience and to continue to improve RefTagger by adding more functionality. We also think Bible.Logos.com is a pretty cool place to read and search the Bible online. :)

2. Several New Bible Versions

Not too long ago we added support for the NIV, TNIV, and NIrV. On Monday—after numerous requests—we were finally able to add the NASB as well. If one of these is your default version, you’ll now see the appropriate text in the tooltip windows. If we still don’t have your favorite version, please let us know.

3. User Control Panel

As a webmaster you get to decide which Bible version RefTagger will display on your site. But what if your readers prefer a different version? To solve this problem, we’ve created the RefTagger control panel. Adding the small control panel somewhere on your site allows your readers to set their preferences, like which version they want to see and whether or not to display the icons linking to Libronix.

You should be able to get the control panel from the RefTagger page very soon—perhaps later today or Monday. I’ll update this post as soon as it is available.

4. Multiple Version Citation Support

Until now RefTagger allowed you to specify a single version to use for all Bible references on your site, but what if you want to cite a version different from your default for comparative purposes? You’re readers could click the link to Bible.Logos.com and then switch versions to compare, but we can do better than that—and we have. Now RefTagger will recognize when you cite a version other than your default and display the appropriate version when you use one of the following three formats:

  • John 3:16 NLT
  • John 3:16, NLT
  • John 3:16 (NLT)

5. Easier Plugin Upgrades for WordPress Users

Our RefTagger WordPress plugin is now proudly hosted at the official WordPress Plugin Directory. This is good news for users of WordPress.org (i.e., the self-hosted version). No more having to manually check for updates. WordPress’s built-in plugin update notification system will inform you when new versions are available, and one-click automatic updating allows you to get the latest version with ease.

This is also potentially great news for users of WordPress.com (i.e., the version they host), who, unfortunately, can’t use RefTagger right now. We’ve been in talks with the folks at WordPress.com about getting built-in RefTagger support for WordPress.com. If our WordPress.org plugin is popular enough, they said they will likely make it available on WordPress.com as well!

So if you’re a user of the self-hosted version of WordPress, please download and install the plugin and give it a good rating. WordPress.com users need your help!

Spreading Across the Web

We’re thrilled to see the response to RefTagger. Dozens of new sites are adding it every day. It’s now on more than 2,600 sites! RefTagger keeps getting better and better because of the helpful feedback you send. If you find a bug or have a cool idea for a new feature, please let us know.

Join Us on LinkedIn

We recently created a new LinkedIn group for Logos Bible Software users. If you are a member of LinkedIn and use Logos, we invite you to join our group.

If you aren’t sure what LinkedIn is and want to learn more, watch the video below.

For more on the benefits of LinkedIn, you’ll find tons of useful ideas in Linked Intelligence’s 100+ Smart Ways to Use LinkedIn.

By the way, we’re on Facebook, too. Check out our profile, our business page, and our groups:

Bible Study Magazine Goes to Press!

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, the associate editor and project manager for Bible Study Magazine.

Bible Study Magazine—1-Year 5-Copy SubscriptionToday I have the privilege and honor of announcing that the inaugural issue of Bible Study Magazine went to press on Monday October 6th at 9:10 AM PST.

Since the time I was hired to launch, manage and be the Associate Editor of Bible Study Magazine, this project has become a deep passion of mine. I believe it will truly make a difference in the lives of those who read it.

If you haven’t heard about Bible Study Magazine yet, please check out the brand-new BibleStudyMagazine.com, where you can get a sneak preview of a few spreads. If you’ve already seen the site, I would recommend you check it out again, since this new version has a fresh feel and is much more informative.

We’re convinced that you’ll love this first issue. It is beautifully designed and full of enriching and fascinating content from (or about) some of the best in the church and biblical scholarship, including Josh McDowell, David Lawson, Peter Flint, Daniel Wallace, Mark Goodacre, Craig Broyles, Michael Heiser, and Arnold Fruchtenbaum.

At $14.95 for a one-year subscription, it is well worth your dollar. If you want the inaugural Nov-Dec 2008 issue, you’d better get your order in right away, because as you can see, we are nearly ready to ship the magazine.

Here is a list of the complete contents of the Nov-Dec 2008 issue:

Features:

Columns:

  • “Using Bible Dictionaries: The Athenians, the Areopagus and an Anonymous God” by James D. Elgin
  • “Discovering the Power of Luke’s Gospel” by Andrew B. Perrin

Sections:

  • “Letter from the Editor” by Michael S. Heiser
  • “Headlines” by Heather Bambeck-Hulsey
  • “Comics and Puzzles”
  • “Finding Time for God” by Jeannine Seery
  • “Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 8:43-48″
  • “Who Took Verse 4 Out of My Bible?” by Michael S. Heiser
  • “How Bible Study Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage with Precept Ministries’ David Lawson” by Christy Tennant
  • “When I Open the Gospels: An Interview with Dr. Mark Goodacre”
  • “What Does the Bible Teach About . . . Justification and Sanctification” by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
  • “What’s In Your Bible?” by Vincent Setterholm
  • “Shelf Life” (a review of four forthcoming books)

Subscribe now!

Happy Birthday, Jonathan Edwards

October 5, 2008 marked 305 years since the birth of Jonathan Edwards, who has been widely known as America’s greatest theologian. Most people’s birthdays don’t get remembered by very many people after they die, but Jonathan Edwards is a notable exception.

John Piper on Jonathan Edwards

As I mentioned in Friday’s post on Learning from Your Heroes’ Heroes, John Piper is well known for his immense appreciation for Edwards. He’s written or edited two books about Edwards, both of which are available in Libronix:

I’d strongly encourage you to listen to or read Piper’s biographical sketch on Edwards, “The Pastor as Theologian,” which was given at the first Desiring God Pastors Conference in 1988. Powerful and motivating.

As you might expect, Piper wrote a blog post about Jonathan Edwards’ Birthday, where he had this to say about him:

I suppose, after the Bible, no theologian has a greater ongoing effect on me as Jonathan Edwards. There are few in the world who combine the sharpness of mind, the scope of thought, the allegiance to Scripture, the depth of insight, the intensity of affections, the height of imagination, and the power of expression that he brings to all his work. I thank God for him today.

Coming Soon to Libronix!

Soon you’ll be able to have the standard 2-volume set fully searchable and tagged in your Libronix library. We announced Edwards’ works on Pre-Pub at the end of March. I just heard from our Electronic Text Development department that we’re not too far away from being ready to ship! If you haven’t placed your pre-order yet, don’t miss out on your chance to get our best price on the works of this eminently influential theologian. Place your pre-order now.

A Birthday Special

What would a birthday be without a birthday present? To celebrate Edwards’ 305th birthday and the soon arrival of his works in Libronix format, we have two specials for you, our blog readers:

  1. Get a taste of Edwards now by downloading A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections for free! Use coupon code EDWARDS during checkout to get this Edwards classic for no charge.
  2. Save 40% on the two Piper books on Edwards mentioned above by using coupon code PIPER-EDWARDS.

Both specials are good for one week, so take advantage now and spread the word!

Update: This offer has expired.

Cycling through Similar Books with the Arrow Keys

I thought that when you were studying a word in BDAG (for instance) and you hit the right arrow your next lexicon would open up to that word, if the lexicon contained it. When I hit the right arrow from BDAG I get another lexicon (TDNT) but it opens up to some random page. Am I doing something wrong or is this not possible? Thanks for any suggestions
Sounds like the active index in BDAG is page number, not topic so when
you right arrow LDLS goes to the same page in the next resource.
The active index icon is near the current reference box on the resource
toolbar and looks like a page.
– Clif

Learning from Your Heroes’ Heroes

Some people’s opinions carry a lot of weight, and rightfully so. For many, John Piper is one of those people. It’s hard to overstate his influence on evangelicalism. His preaching and writings are powerful and his wedding of passion and God-centered theology is contagious.

Like many of you, I’ve learned much from him—and, consequently, from his teachers.

Just as God uses John Piper to mold and shape people’s lives, God has used many people—living and dead—to shape John Piper. It’s wise to seek to learn from them as well.

I discovered Jonathan Edwards—like I’m sure many others have—due to the central role he has played for Piper. Of course, I knew about Edwards in my “pre-Piper” days, but Piper led me to really delve into his writings.

I’m eager to have Henry Alford’s Greek Testament in my digital library before too long (just a few more pre-orders needed!), largely because of what Piper had to say about it.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae Commentary (21 Vols.)Another author whom Piper has created interest in is Charles Simeon, whose massive Horae Homileticae (Hours of Homilies) was nearly impossible to obtain until we produced a digital edition of it. (Read the story of how it all came to be.) Now the entire collection containing 54 years of Simeon’s expository sermons covering the entire Bible is again available—and, I might add, much more useful!

At the 1989 Desiring God Pastors Conference, John Piper gave his annual biographical sketch on the life of Charles Simeon. It was entitled “Brothers, We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering.” You can listen to the message or read it online. If you have the Piper collection, you can read the expanded edition right in Libronix.

According to Piper, Horae Homileticae “is the best place to go to research Simeon’s theology. One can find his views on almost every key text in the Bible.” (Roots of Endurance, 86). The depth and power of Simeon’s ministry was rooted in “a life of prayer and meditation.” As a result, “what Simeon experienced in the Word and prayer was extraordinary. It is so utterly different from the counsel that we receive today that it is worth looking at carefully” (Roots of Endurance, 106-07).

For a limited time, we’re offering Simeon’s 21-volume Horae Homileticae for more than 50% off the retail price when you use coupon code BIOGRAPHY.

Bloodmobile Parks at Logos

Today’s guest blogger is Adam Navarrete, who works in the marketing department here at Logos.

To play our part in the ever present need for blood, Logos organized a mobile donation unit from Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC) to park outside our downtown offices this past Friday as our employees volunteered their arms—some, for the first time—and collected 19 units of life-sustaining blood.

Nearly 900 units of blood are needed each day in order to maintain PSBC’s desire to have a four-day supply of blood at all times. According to the PSBC website, “every two minutes someone in western Washington needs a blood transfusion.”

It is great knowing that PSBC, a non-profit, community-supported organization, supplies patients and hospitals in western Washington, allowing our donations to be redistributed throughout our own communities.

We were privileged to contribute to our community in a meaningful and practical way. Our one-day drive helped register 82 donors, collect 19 units of blood, and will benefit up to 57 patients! A needle prick is not a bad trade-off when a life can be saved.

Enjoy some pictures and a short video clip below.

Here’s a short clip of the action.

The Future of Academic Publishing

Andy Naselli, a good friend of mine and an avid Logos user, points out a relevant quote in a new book from Crossway: The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ, edited by John Mark Reynolds and Roger Overton. In his chapter, “Professors with a New Public: Academics and New Media,” Fred Sanders avers,

The coming crisis in academic publishing is centered on the expense of printing and distributing scholarly works with an extremely narrow focus. Electronic publishing is the obvious source of a solution to this problem. The current editorial systems could stay in place just as they are, with the cost of production dropping to a fraction of the current system. It may be a long time before paperless publication is desirable for all users, but in academia it seems like an obvious need. The current system . . . must find a way out of its deadlock. (p. 172)

We’re happy to be a large part of this solution.

If you’ve been following our Pre-Pub offerings for the last couple of years, you’re well aware that we are publishing digital editions of a host of expensive academic resources. While the front-end costs of high-end digital publishing aren’t small (especially if we have to work from print rather than digital sources), the on-going costs are significantly less allowing volumes that cost $100-200 or even more in print to be available for significantly less digitally. This set was a perfect illustration of the savings that digital can offer: Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on the Gospels and Acts (16 Vols.).

On a closely related note, you may remember that back in May Dale Pritchett addressed this subject in his presentation “Logos in the Classroom.” If you missed it, be sure to give it a listen or read the transcript.

Adding RefTagger to a Movable Type Blog

Movable Type is probably the most common platform for corporate blogging and happens to be the software that we use to power our blogs. It’s also used by many for personal blogging.

Adding RefTagger to a Movable Type blog is can be accomplished in just a few minutes. Here are the steps you need to take to get RefTagger up and running on MT 4.21, which is presently the latest version.

  1. Navigate to your admin panel (http://yoursite.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi or something similar).
  2. If you have more than one blog, select the blog you want to add RefTagger to first from the main dropdown menu at the top left.
  3. Hover over the “Design” tab, and click on “Templates.”
  4. Scroll down to Template Modules, and click on “Footer.” (If you don’t see anything under Template Modules, then you’re probably using an outdated template. Considering updating to a new one, or see the additional instructions below.)
  5. Scroll to the bottom, and then paste the customizable RefTagger code right before the </body> tag.
  6. Click “Save.”
  7. If you have more than one blog, repeat steps 2-6.
  8. Publish your changes.

You’re good to go. RefTagger is now working on your entire site—no matter how many years you’ve been blogging.

If you’re using MT 3.x or a pre-MT 4 template that lacks built-in support for template modules, you’ll need to add the RefTagger code to the following templates. Repeat steps 4-6 above for each of the following templates:

  1. Main Index (under the Index Templates)
  2. Category Archive (under the Archive Templates)
  3. Date-Based Archive (under the Archive Templates)
  4. Individual Entry Archive (under the Archive Templates)

If you need help, don’t hesitate to send an email to reftagger@logos.com and let us know.

New Video on the LDGNT

We just posted a new video from Steve Runge about the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament. You can watch it on the LDGNT product page or right here in the blog post.

Steve’s been working hard for the last few months on a new discourse-related project, so be on the lookout for an announcement—perhaps even sometime this week.