Thirteen New Training Videos

Those who frequently visit the Logos training videos webpage may have noticed several tags next to certain links. That’s because John Fallahee of Logos’ Ministry Relations department just added 13 new videos to our ever-expanding collection of free training content.

If you sometimes feel like you aren’t using Logos Bible Software to its full potential, the first thing we would recommend is a visit to www.logos.com/videos. Even if you have been using Logos for years, there may be new features and tools in Logos Bible Software 3 that could help you become more proficient in your Bible study.

One thing I personally enjoy about the training videos is the context they give to the use of a tool. In the same way a trained mathematician uses the proper formulas to solve an equation, using the correct tools in Libronix can greatly expedite your study. You will be able to achieve your desired result more quickly if you know how to use all the tools at your disposal.

Oh, and they’re free, too!

Here are a few of the new videos you’ll find at www.logos.com/videos:

For dozens of training videos (for everyone from new users to Logos veterans) visit www.logos.com/videos.

My Official Introduction

I’m Phil Gons, the new guy in the marketing department. My wife, Shanna, and I just moved to Bellingham from sunny South Carolina a week ago. My job here at Logos is to try to fill the void left by Daniel Foster’s departure. From what I hear, I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by very gifted people who are making learning the ropes less daunting. (Thanks to Mark and Ben for tolerating all my questions and requests!)

I’ll be doing a lot of PR stuff like working with product reviewers and press reporters and trying to get Logos exposure in print and online publications. I’ll also be involved in writing and maintaining some of the content at Logos.com, managing our affiliate program, and doing many other things to get the word out about all that Logos can do for laymen, students, pastors, and scholars in their personal Bible study, sermon preparation, and writing.

I have an undergraduate degree in Bible with a minor in ancient languages and a master’s degree in Bible. I’m slowly working on my dissertation for a PhD in Theology. I love biblical studies, theology, and technology, so being a part of Logos means I get to be a part of the things I’m passionate about.

I’ve been a Logos user for just about three years now. I’ve spent enough money on Logos software to buy a decent used car! I love it, use it daily, and highly recommend it to others.

In addition to my regular contributions here, I also blog once or twice a week on my personal blog.

Thanksgiving Dinner on My First Day

I picked a great day to start my new job here at Logos. Today we had a very nice spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and much more for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. (It was early this year because some of the guys will be gone next week at the upcoming ETS and SBL national conferences.)
Here are some pictures from the party.


As you can see, I was a little too excited about the food to smile for the camera. (That’s me in the gray sweater smiling instead at the turkey.)


I’m thrilled to be a part of the team here at Logos. I can already tell that it’s going to be a great place to work. I’ll be working in the marketing department, so I’ll be contributing to the blog on a regular basis. Look for my official introduction in my next post.

Logos at the Evangelical Theological Society’s National Conference

Logos will be at the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) National Conference in San Diego. A few of us are giving papers at the conference. Here are the details; if they sound interesting to you we’d love to see you drop by the sessions.
Of course, we’d also love for you to drop by our booth any time during the conference. So if you’re in San Diego at ETS, come on by and see what we’ve been up to (like the Qumran Biblical Scrolls and also the Semitic Inscriptions project).
We’ll see you in San Diego!



Wednesday, Nov. 14, 4:10-4:50 PM
Garden Salon Two
Richard W. Brannan
Richard Bauckham and Eyewitness Testimony: Does His Narrative Device Occur Outside of the Synoptics?
A recent book by Richard Bauckham (Jesus and the Eyewitnesses) describes Marcan usage of something he calls the “plural to singular narrative device” (Bauckham 156-157). He defines the device using syntactic terminology: “a plural verb … without an explicit subject is used to describe the movements of Jesus and his disciples, followed immediately by a singular verb or pronoun referring to Jesus alone” (Bauckham 156-157). Using this device, Bauckham posits Mark’s usage of Peter’s eyewitness testimony as underlying source for 21 different movements of Jesus (e.g. Mk 1.21).
Bauckham’s exploration of this narrative device is limited to the synoptic gospels. But does the device occur elsewhere? This paper argues that if such a thing as the plural-to-singular narrative device exists, then Ac 18.19 should be considered an additional Lucan instance of the device.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 11:10-11:40 AM
Sunset
Michael S. Heiser
The Professor and Mariamne: The Textual and Statistical Justification for Marooning James Tabor’s “Jesus Tomb Theory” on Gullible’s Island
(This session is part of the Near East Archaeological Society’s general session)
On March 4, 2007 the Discovery Channel aired a documentary touting the discovery of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus.” Negative responses quickly followed from all quarters of academia, across the theological spectrum. There has been one notable exception among biblical scholars, Dr. James Tabor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Despite the fact that popular interest in the Jesus Family Tomb has declined steadily in the wake of the overwhelmingly unfavorable response, Tabor has defended the film’s thesis. The reason is straightforward: an identification of the Talpiot tomb as the Jesus Family Tomb would lend support to Tabor’s own theory about the historical Jesus. This paper overviews and evaluates Tabor’s ongoing arguments for a Jesus family tomb in support of his own larger thesis about the historical Jesus.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 3:00-3:40 PM
Royal Palm Salon Two
Steven Runge
Teaching them what NOT to Do: The Nuances of Negation in the Greek New Testament
Most descriptions of negation are primarily concerned with highlighting the distinctions between ου and μη. Little attention is given to variation in the syntax of negation constructions. The biblical writers frequently used negation to describe what did not happen as a means of adding emphasis to what did happen. Emphasis can also be assigned by emphasizing a specific component of a clause rather than the entire negated clause. The purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate the basic patterns observed in the Greek NT. Based on this description, representative examples will be presented that demonstrate the exegetical payoff of careful attention to negation.


Friday, Nov. 16, 11:30 AM -12:10 PM
Royal Palm Salon Five
Michael S. Heiser
Did Jesus Allow for Reincarnation? Assessing the Syntax of John 9:3-4
In a 2003 article in the scholarly journal Filología Neotestamentaria entitled, “The True Meaning of Jn 9:3-4,” J. D. M. Derrett raised the possibility that Jn 9:3-4 (the man blind from birth) could plausibly be construed as evidence that Jesus was not opposed to the idea of reincarnation. Derrett argued that the disciples’ question about why the man was born blind suggests that the disciples were prepared to accept that the man had sinned in the womb or in a previous life. According to Derrett a specific syntactical structure (the “relative negative”— ου/μη [or any negative particle] . . . αλλα, followed by ινα) in Jesus’ response does not denote a categorical denial of the idea. This paper tests this assertion by means of Logos’ implementation of the OpenText.org syntactically-tagged database.

Logos at the Society of Biblical Literature National Conference

If you will be attending the SBL national conference in San Diego next week, you might be interested in some of these additional sessions that Logos is sponsoring. You’ll see new stuff we’ve been working on (like the Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database and the Semitic Inscriptions) and you’ll be able to associate some faces with names!
If you’re not able to make these additional meetings but will be at the AAR/SBL meetings, please do at least drop by the booth and say “hello” to us!
(Yes, we’ll be at the ETS national conference too; we’ll have a post on what’s going on there next week)



AM17-36 An Electronic Database of the Biblical Qumran Scrolls
Date: 11/17/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: New York – MM
This meeting presents, for the first time, a searchable database of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. The session will demonstrate searching and display strategies for comparison of the biblical scrolls with the other texts of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, a variety of books now available in digital form for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM17-51 Syntactically-Tagged Databases for the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament
Date: 11/17/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: New York – MM
This session will overview the latest quantum leap for computerized research and teaching in biblical texts: databases tagged for syntactical structures and functions. The session is appropriate for anyone interested in computer applications for exegesis and teaching of the Hebrew Bible and Greek New Testament.
Additional Links:


AM 18-21 Electronic Books and Databases for Research in Josephus, Philo and the Pseudepigrapha
Date: 11/18/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Manchester 1 – MM
This meeting presents an overview of searchable, morphologically tagged databases of the Greek Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the writings of Philo (the Philo Concordance project), and the Niese edition of The Works of Josephus with critical apparatus. Along with these databases, scholarly monographs now available in digital form for the study of these texts will be presented.
Additional Links:


AM 18-51 A Discourse Annotation Database for Biblical Texts
Date: 11/18/2007 – 1:00-3:30PM
Room: Columbia 1 – MM
This meeting presents a searchable database of descriptive annotations of grammatical features based on their function within the discourse. These annotations describe the pragmatic choices of the biblical writers/editors and their effects. The descriptive aspect of the methodology takes into account stylistic idiosyncrasies. The function-based aspect allows for stylistic comparison. The Greek NT database is complete. Preliminary data for the Hebrew Bible and LXX will be presented.
We don’t have any additional links describing this at present because it is still in development, but you may want to examine some papers by the project editor, Steven Runge, D.Litt, housed on his Logos bio page.



AM 19-11 Electronic Books and Databases for Ugaritic and Northwest Semitic Inscriptions
Date: 11/19/2007 – 11:45AM-12:45PM
Room: Orlando – MM
This meeting includes a demonstration of the use of a searchable database for the Ugaritic corpus (Ugaritic Databank, Madrid) and searchable scholarly reference works for Ugaritic. The session will also feature a new database for Microsoft Windows users for select Northwest Semitic Inscriptions representing languages and dialects such as Hebrew, Aramaic, Phoenician, Moabite, and Ammonite. The inscriptions database includes morphological tagging.
Additional Links:

New International Greek Testament Commentaries

All 12 volumes of the New International Greek Testament Commentaries are now available as individual downloads. Considering the massive amount of information in each commentary, the electronic versions will be a welcome addition to your digital library. You’ve heard the sales pitch before—electronic books save you time by bringing you straight to the information you need in seconds rather than hours. With print editions of thousand-page books you get lots of content and constant page turning. The electronic edition is a welcome alternative because you keep the great content while cutting your research time exponentially.

So what type of commentaries are the NIGTC? That question is best answered in the foreward of each volume. Senior editors Donald A. Hagner and I. Howard Marshall write:

“At a time when the study of Greek is being curtailed in many schools of theology, we hope that the NIGTC will demonstrate the continuing value of studying the Greek New Testament and will be an impetus in the revival of such study.


The volumes of the NIGTC are for students who want something less technical than a full-scale critical commentary. At the same time, the commentaries are intended to interact with modern scholarship and to make their own scholarly contribution to the study of the New Testament. The wealth of detailed study of the New Testament in articles and monographs continues without interruption, and the series is meant to harvest the results of this research in an easily accessible form. The commentaries include, therefore, extensive bibliographies and attempt to treat all important problems of history, exegesis, and interpretation that arise from the New Testament text.”

When these guys say their books have a “wealth of detailed study” they really mean it. Five of the commentaries are more than 800 pages in print form. (The volume on First Corinthians tops out at a whopping 1,479 pages!) Several of the books have received awards from organizations such as the Evangelical Publishers Association and Christianity Today.

In terms of value, the best way to go would be purchasing the 12-volume collection. To show our thanks to blog readers, Logos is now offering a discount on the NIGTC collection. Just enter coupon code NIGTC during checkout and your price will be reduced to $449.95. If you would prefer to mix and match the commentaries you want you’ll find links to each individual commentary below. For those who are studying any of the New Testament books covered in these volumes look no further than the NIGTC.

Using BDAG as You’ve Never Used It Before

My friend and colleague Johnny recently came up with some pretty cool tricks for using BDAG to help when reading the Apostolic Fathers in Greek.
The trick is pretty simple, but is involved to explain. So I made a video.

Think about other applications of this same technique:

  • Maybe you’re interested in where BDAG has cited a particular section of BDF? You could use this same trick. As an example, BDF §260 has to do with how the article is used with personal names. Want to know where BDAG cites or points to this section? Search BDAG for “bdf in 260″.
  • Maybe you want to see where BDF has referenced Ignatius to Polycarp. You can do the same search the video demonstrates, only do it in BDF: “af in ipol”.
  • You get the gist. I’m sure you can think of others.

How cool is that?

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!