The Lifework of Dr. Jim Rosscup

If you are up to date on the latest Pre-Pubs you probably guessed that my last blog post was setting up the introduction of the nearly 3,000 page “lifework” of Dr. Jim Rosscup: An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible (5 volumes).

The product page will give you all the details about this massive exposition on prayer—50 years in the making and 15 years in the writing—but I wanted to share more about the story behind this title.

First, let’s hear from John Fallahee, M.B.A., M.Div.

“It was spring 2001, my second semester of seminary, and one class stood out above the rest – Prayer Class. On the first day of class, the professor entered the classroom and spoke in an unapologetic, sober tone: ‘This class will be difficult.’ We looked at each other with skepticism since we had just conquered a semester of Hebrew! What possibly could be more challenging then learning to read the Hebrew Bible!

Soon we discovered that we were required to pray 7 days a week for 1 hour per day. At first, we were excited about the prospect of drawing closer to God. We would be sitting at the feet of a godly man who saturated his whole life with prayer. We were excited to put into practice what we were about to learn! It only took one week to be discouraged; many of us failed to pray an hour every day! From being too busy, too tired, and frankly, running out of things to say to the Lord! We needed help!

Dr. Rosscup, our professor, began to take each of us through the scriptures like a living commentary from Old Testament to New Testament, explaining the text and providing insight, verse by verse! Suddenly, I could see models of prayer from the great saints who came before us. We were encouraged by their strength and courage in the Lord in the face of difficult trials. I learned from Dr. Rosscup how to pray and how to persevere in prayer.
One day in class, he mentioned that after about fifteen years of writing he had nearly completed his lifework – a commentary of every prayer in the Bible, the work in progress used extensively in his teaching. I asked if he had considered publishing the work. He mentioned he was seeking a publisher, of which I remarked, “Have you considered Logos Bible Software?” He graciously said he would consider. Many print publishers were not convinced that a 3,000 page, five-volume work on prayer would succeed in the marketplace.

Through my years in seminary and several years after, I would regularly encourage Dr. Rosscup to consider going digital. After graduation, I joined the Logos Bible Software team to train and equip individuals and pastors at conferences, churches and academic institutions to study, teach, and preach the Bible with this amazing technology. So once again I approached Dr. Rosscup with the idea of publishing his unabridged lifework for Logos Bible Software and this time he said yes!

Well the rest is History! Dr. Rosscup is a godly man whose integrity, steadfastness, and devotion to the Lord in private and public have challenged me to love and pray more. His example, teaching, knowledge of the scripture, and intercessory life of prayer, has inspired me and will inspire you to bow your knee before our Maker with a freshness of adoration. No Christian should be without this monumental, life changing work!”

The first time I talked to John about this project I had never heard of Dr. Rosscup. I knew John was beside himself with excitement for this work and the man who wrote it, but I did not know how we could pass on John’s understanding and enthusiasm and convey it to our users. How do we go about marketing a 3,000 or so page commentary on prayer in the Bible that had never been published before?

I called Dr. Rosscup and spent 45 minutes or so learning about him and his lifework. I explained to him that one of the challenges to marketing his commentary would be finding a way to get our users comfortable with who he was and who he was associated with. I asked him if he could get a bunch of endorsements for his title that we could post on the product page. By asking him to request a dozen or so endorsements I was hoping he could make those requests and perhaps get even a few back in time to post on the product page. When Dr. Rosscup got back to me a few days later and let me know that the endorsements were already starting to come in, and that he would send me all of them soon, I was a little shocked.

In a matter of days, he had glowing personal endorsements in his hands from John MacArthur, Cyril J. Barber, Elizabeth George, Harold Hoehner, Patrick E. Murphy, Lance Quinn, David Sunde, Clinton E. Arnold and James A. Borland. For those busy people to drop everything and write endorsements in a matter of days spoke volumes to me. For him to even contact and get the attention of those busy people in that same amount of time was impressive enough by itself.

Not too many days later, several people who love and respect Dr. Rosscup and his lifework started spreading the word about the Pre-Pub on various email lists, blogs, and websites. In no time at all, without ever announcing his title on Logos NewsWire, it gathered more than 100% of the pre-orders needed to move it into production—and that’s not easy for such a massive project! I don’t have the exact numbers, but it also appears that we have a substantial quantity of orders from people that have never even heard of Logos Bible Software but wanted to get this title any way they could. The author and the content is so compelling that it is bringing a flood of new users to our format just for this one title alone.

If you know Dr. Rosscup I encourage you to post your comments below and help others get an even better appreciation for this dear man and his lifework through your eyes, then get in touch with anyone you know that might also want to share their comments and encourage them to post something as well.

Listen to Dr. H. Wayne House’s Lecture

This past Monday (October 22) Dr. H. Wayne House gave his lecture “The Jesus Who Never Lived: False Christs and the Authentic Jesus.”

Click here to listen to Dr. House’s lecture.

Dr. House spoke for approximately one hour and then took questions for another 15 minutes. One of the highlights of his lecture was the incorporation of content from the Dead Sea Scrolls into New Testament interpretation. Dr. House had some amazing things to say regarding what the Jews would have expected from a Messiah, and how Jesus fulfilled those expectations in his life and teaching.

This lecture is highly recommended for those who want to combat the inaccuracies of some modern thoughts on the identity of Christ – including the Da Vinci Code, the Jesus Seminar, and the late Peter Jennings’ documentary on the historical Jesus.

Enjoy the lecture!

Tell me everything you know—in five words or less…

Be sure to read Dan’s follow-up entry: The Lifework of Dr. Jim Rosscup.

Imagine spending your entire life researching everything you could get your hands on in the one field you cared about more than anything else, then only being able to pass on the tiniest portion of your life’s work to future generations.

Too often that is what happens to so many great men and women of God who set out to write down the accumulated wisdom from a lifetime of diligent study and pass it on to future generations. They get a call from a print publisher and are asked to write an article for a new Bible Dictionary, Commentary, Encyclopedia, or Journal. Perhaps they are blessed enough to have a publisher request a complete book from them—either way, one of the commonalities of the interaction with the publisher is the request to watch the page count, or even word count, of their submission. Paper costs money, printing costs money, storing books costs money, shipping books costs money. The higher the page count, the higher the costs. Keeping page count down is a big deal when it comes to printing on paper.

If you were the author, how would you decide what “not” to say? Which pieces of wisdom, or insight from years of study would you be forced to keep from everyone else? What if the detail you left out was the missing piece everyone was searching for? This is your life’s work! You are so deep into this you can’t bear to part with any of the insights you have garnered. What if you had 3,000 pages of content and had to cut it down to 450 pages total?

Okay, slow down… Don’t throw away print too quickly. There is a tremendous benefit to print publishers and editors being conscious of page count, especially in this day and age of information overload: their fixation on page count produces the condensed version that most of us are looking for. We don’t always want to sit down and read someone’s lifework. We just don’t have time.

…but back to that “Life’s Work” for a moment. Just because most of us like to sit down and read the “Reader’s Digest” version of someone’s lifework, doesn’t mean we want all their years of research to be thrown out the window. What a waste to force the next guy dedicating his life to the study of the same subject, to start all over again just to rediscover 85% of what the first guy already found and couldn’t include in the 450 pages he had to work with.

This is where electronic publishing steps in and opens the floodgates. You have 3,000 pages to write on one topic? Go for it! The more comprehensive the work, the better. Write all you want. It only makes sense to have 100% of your life’s work preserved as a reference for future generations so we don’t miss out on one bit of it.

Where could this take us in the future? Has anyone stopped to think about the possibilities that are now opened up to us for the first time? How could this impact the rapid increase of knowledge? What if a denomination that had 1,000 pastors said “Let’s do a comprehensive topical reference work on the top 100 issues facing our membership today.” They could assign ten pastors to every topic and give them two months to write as much as they wanted on their assigned topic and email it back to headquarters. In two months it’s possible they could be sitting on a 30,000 page reference work, with 10 different perspectives on every topically indexed topic, ready for electronic publication.

Needless to say, we at Logos Bible Software are excited by the possibilities. The more content we have the brighter our software shines. The more comprehensive your electronic library, the more likely it is that you will be able to find fantastic content on even the most obscure of topics or “unpopular” passages you are studying.

Casual reading is one thing, you’re busy and want to read lots of books. Most of the time you only want the highlights from the condensed version. However, when you are ready for serious, in-depth research of a passage or topic, and are wrestling with the text—time isn’t the issue, getting the answers to your questions is the issue, and you actually want to be up to your eyeballs in content. You want to read every last bit of information you can possibly find. Having access to the unabridged 3,000 page life’s work on the topic you are studying will be so much better than only having the 450 page condensed version. So let’s hear it for the unabridged life’s work. Long may it live in electronic form to bless future generations!

The Jesus Who Never Lived

Tonight Logos welcomes author and professor Dr. H. Wayne House to Bellingham for the Logos Lecture Series. Dr. House will present on “The Jesus Who Never Lived: False Christs and the Authentic Jesus.”

Ever since Jesus came to earth there has been a variety of ways in which He has been understood by those who have supposedly been His followers and by others who have had only a curiosity about Him. Some early Jews viewed Him as a prophet, while some early followers considered Him only a man (Ebionites), not a man at all (Gnostics) or a lesser god than the Father (Arians). Later Islam embraced Jesus as one of their prophets, and eastern mystics have considered Him as a guru. Since the enlightenment there have been four historical quests to discover the real Jesus, one who is only human in contrast to the voice of the orthodox church since its earliest days. Contemporary liberal scholars, news pundits, and Hollywood have had many opinions about Jesus, all different from how Jesus is presented in the earliest historical records of the Gospels and eyewitness accounts of those who walked with Him.

The purpose of this talk is to explain what has been said about Jesus over the centuries, particularly in the popular culture and press, why the picture of Jesus has emerged from various groups and people, and how we should best understand Jesus as He really was from the best evidence that we have about Him from those who knew Him.

Dr. H. Wayne House has authored or edited 30 books from publishers such as Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, and Kregel. He is the New Testament editor of the Nelson Study Bible and Nelson Illustrated Bible Commentary.

Please join us tonight at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre at 7-8:30 PM. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Cast Your Vote for Christian Websites

Whether it’s on the best-seller lists, survey results or in the voting booth many Christians today feel underrepresented, or even misrepresented, by polls and statistics. Now there is a new way to let your voice be heard and “vote” for your favorite websites without having to answer any questions or fill out any surveys—with the Alexa Toolbar. In fact, when you have the Alexa Toolbar on your internet browser you don’t need to do anything aside from typical web surfing to show your support of the Christian websites you visit.

How does this work? It couldn’t possibly be easier. After downloading the Alexa toolbar, your visit to a website is essentially a vote that the site is worth your time. Data is collected and Alexa assigns a rank to every website on the internet. As a site gets more and more popular it gets closer to the coveted #1 ranking (currently held by Yahoo!). This is a free and completely hassle-free way to support the Christian websites you visit and raise their profile amongst secular sites.

Of course there are additional benefits to having the toolbar besides letting your voice (or mouse clicks) be heard. You can instantly click a button and see the “Whois” information about the people that own the site you are visiting, see a suggested list of similar sites, block pop-ups, email the page to a friend and so much more. You can also see the Alexa rank of every website you visit at the top of the page, which is a great way to find out how popular or reputable a website is. For example, if you are purchasing expensive jewelry over the web, it’s comforting to know you are making your order at a website that has an Alexa rank of 16,727 (BlueNile.com) rather than a site that looks impressive, yet is not even in the top 10 million sites on the net! There is no guarantee that an Alexa ranking ensures credibility or lack thereof, it is just one more way to make an informed decision when purchasing over the internet.

Click here to visit the Alexa Toolbar download page and follow the instructions in the page. The toolbar requires Windows and Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater. Firefox users can download the Sparky Toolbar, which is also made by Alexa and provides all the same features and benefits.

When downloading any tool on the internet it’s always important to know what you are getting. Alexa collects data to rank websites and provide related links on your toolbar. For a great description of how and why they do this refer to the Alexa Toolbar Privacy Policy. Regardless of whether or not you use of the Alexa Toolbar, you are sending information to each website you visit as soon as you arrive there. Alexa is simply utilizing that information to provide a service to you and all other toolbar users.

When considering all the benefits of downloading the Alexa Toolbar it’s easy to see why it is so popular. So download the Alexa Toolbar today and start “voting” for your favorite websites.

10 Million Dollar Library Expansion

Dale Pritchett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Logos, is today’s guest blogger.

A quick search on Google will show there is a whole lot of fund-raising going on to finance brand-new climate-controlled luxury homes for old-fashioned paper books. Construction projects abound—ranging from 1.5 million dollars to more than 40 million dollars. They all share common characteristics; high construction costs, engineers, permits, contractors, bricks and mortar, real estate, parking lots, lengthy construction times and of course, literally tons of paper books.

Guess what else all physical library projects have in common? They all require a substantial commitment on the part of the patron to physically travel in order to visit the books. They are all designed to meet the needs of a thousand year old residential learning model in which a select group of geographically local individuals, for a prescribed period of time, cram as much information as possible into their heads before they scatter across the world and leave the library behind them forever.

With nerves of steel, I will resist the temptation to offer contrasts to the Libronix Digital Library System—you can do that for yourself. The world is changing rapidly and I am sure glad I don’t have to raise money to build library buildings. I feel the pain of those who are caught in the middle of the first major paradigm shift in more than a thousand years.

I will make one final comment: If I could divert funds from just one of those 10 million dollar brick and mortar library expansions to an investment in world missions, I could equip every full-time missionary in the world today with a Scholar’s Library, instead of putting up a building that a few hundred or few thousand people might someday decide to travel to and try to find the right book in. A little goes a long way.

Products for Preachers

As part of our attempt to make Logos Bible Software a better tool for sermon preparation we are continually releasing quality resources from today’s great preachers. Right now we’re getting ready to release two outstanding collections by John Piper: The John Piper Collection (24 Volumes) and John Piper’s Sermon Manuscript Library. Both collections contain resources that surely have the potential to become your “go to” books in Libronix.

Here’s a snapshot of what is included in each collection.

John Piper Collection (24 Volumes)

These resources cover a wide range of topics that will enrich the reader’s life. The treasures found in these volumes will help young and mature Christians grasp the truths of their faith and understand God’s mighty work in history and in our lives.

  • Nearly 6,000 pages of content
  • A God Entranced Vision of All Things – ten essays celebrating the life and work of Jonathan Edwards
  • Modern classics like Desiring God and Pierced by the Word
  • Piper’s studies of Christian forefathers Augustine, Luther, Calvin, John Bunyan, William Wilberforce and many more.

John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library

John Piper’s goal in preaching is to proclaim God’s glory which shines forth “in the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor 4:4). The glory of God is vital for our lives and for the life of the church. So come, join John Piper as he exults in God through the exposition of the biblical text, and taste and see that the Lord is good.

  • 1,125 manuscripts of John Piper’s sermons
  • Free updates of future John Piper sermon manuscripts

For anyone who prepares Bible studies or sermons, these resources will give a wealth of information far beyond their price.

Logos Lecture Series Video

In the famous words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want.” At Logos we take every chance we can get to disprove the wrinkly rocker. That’s why we have heeded your requests to make available the most recent installment in the Logos Lecture Series.

Click here to watch Dr. Michael Heiser’s presentation, “The Concept of a Godhead in the Old Testament.”Podcast (24.4 MB)Audio Only (29.7 MB MP3)

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to check the Lecture Series web page regularly for updates on future lectures.

Newer Greek Stuff You Might’ve Missed

Keeping up with the new books we release can be a chore. There are a few ways to make sure you’re in the loop, though.

  • NewsWire:The first is to make sure you’re subscribed to NewsWire. NewsWire is delivered via email three or four times a month and is one of the main methods we use to notify y’all of new products and special prices. If you’re not subscribed already, you can subscribe here.
  • RSS Feeds:RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication, provides a way for you to receive regularly updated information on your computer, from a variety of sources such as newspapers, religion websites, blogs, or shopping websites. Read more about it here. Logos uses RSS to “push” feeds detailing new pre-pub and community pricing opportunities. Check the pre-pub RSS feed and community pricing RSS feed, and subscribe to ‘em to get the best deals.

Now, with that over, here’s the reason for the post. I thought some folks might’ve missed notice of these cool and relatively new Greek resources. So here you go.

  • Moulton & Milligan’s Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.This is not a vocabulary list, it is a Greek lexicon. And it isn’t just any Greek lexicon, but the definitions cite and point toward how important words in the New Testament were used in papyri and ostraca. So, how the words were used in everyday speech. This lexicon is frequently referred to in BDAG; if you’ve ever seen the abbreviation M-M; you’ve seen the lexicon indicate you should check out the Moulton & Milligan article.
  • Stanley Porter’s Idioms of the Greek New Testament, Second Edition.This is an intermediate handbook that fits between a first-year grammar/coursebook and a full-fledged reference grammar. As such, it is very helpful. It can be used as an instructive handbook, as an intermediate level textbook, and as a basic reference work. Substantial discussions are provided on Greek verb structure, the case system, the use of prepositions, particles, and various types of clauses
  • Blass, Debrunner, and Funk’s A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.This is the standard reference grammar for New Testament Greek. If you’ve seen references to BDF, then you’ve seen this referenced. It is commonly referenced in technical commentaries (e.g. ICC and NIGTC) exegetical commentaries focusing on Greek (e.g. WBC). Why not allow yourself to look up the discussions that these commentaries refer to?
  • A.T. Robertson’s Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research.Robertson’s grammar is a reference grammar, and it is impressive. Nearly 1500 pages, chock-full of examples which are indexed by scripture reference, so they’ll show up in your Exegetical Guide Grammars section. This one is hard to use in print because of its size and organization; but searching by reference pinpoints you to the discussions that are relevant for the passage you’re working through. This is very useful.

Of course, that’s not everything (for example, check the Introduction to Biblical Greek Collection, with Swetnam and Zerwick’s Biblical Greek! Zounds!) but it is a significant chunk.
If you’re looking to round out your Greek lexical and grammar resources, then these are good places to start. And look to our Greek Resources Product Guide for even more information on even more Greek stuff!

Sign up now for BibleTech 2008!

Now is the time! Registration is live for BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!
We’ve got a variety of speakers addressing all kinds of topics at the intersection of the Bible and technology. We’ll be looking at digital Bible maps, online education, open source projects, web-based language tools, and Bible-reference micro-formats for marking up HTML.
Pastor, programmer, or professor, there’s something for you at BibleTech!
More importantly, we’ve got a great group of people showing up. As interesting as many of the sessions sound, I am even more excited about spending two days meeting and talking with people who share my interest in the Bible and technology. I hope you’ll come and be part of it.
We have tried to make BibleTech 2008 as easy to attend as possible. We’re holding it literally across the street from the SeaTac airport, so you don’t need a car or taxi; you can walk. We’re also pricing the tickets at a “covers costs” level. (Your ticket includes three conference meals, coffee breaks, etc.)
Tickets for BibleTech 2008 are being sold through the Logos Pre-Pub system, so that we can get a head-count in advance. You can pre-order your ticket now without being charged until December.
And please don’t forget to blog about BibleTech 2008. Sadly, not everyone reads the Logos Blog, and we need your help to get the word out!
(Note to bloggers: If youblog about the BibleTech conference, consider using the “bibletech08″ tag so that posts about the conference are easy to find in Technorati and others. Thanks!)