Reflections on Logos Books and Print Books After Moving

My recent move across the country has given me occasion to reflect again on some of the reasons that I strongly prefer Logos books to print books. On many occasions over the last several weeks, I have had feelings of strong dislike toward print books—like when I was

  • spending hours and hours looking for boxes
  • spending even more hours packing those boxes (packing books properly takes a lot of time)
  • moving those heavy boxes around the house to get them out of the way
  • calculating how much it was going to cost to move them 2,900 miles
  • loading the truck to move out here (though I was glad to have the help of several friends, who were, by the way, not very fond of my print books either!)
  • unloading all of those boxes (without the help of my friends!) up to our second floor condo
  • spending hundreds of dollars on seven new bookshelves
  • spending hours putting those bookshelves together.

My hard feelings toward print books linger, as I

  • continue unpacking all 40 of those boxes
  • anticipate organizing and shelving all 1500 or so of those books
  • think of ever moving them again
  • reflect on how all of my books in my Libronix library were so easy to pack up, move, and unpack; how much money they saved me; and how easy and efficient they are to organize and use!

I guess I can be thankful that the other 3,500+ books in my library are Logos books rather than print books!

This move has just further confirmed for me what I was already convinced of: the incredible value and superiority of my Libronix library to my print library. The way I look at it, print books are something I must have and continue to use only until Logos releases them. I’m thrilled that Logos is doing so at an ever increasing rate—now with more than 8,000 resources available!

I’ve only scratched the surface of the superiority of Logos books to print books. For more, see these previous posts:

Create a Logos Wish List

With Christmas right around the corner, you’re probably already getting asked by family and friends for gift ideas. Why not create a wish list of the Logos products that you’ve been wanting to add to your library? If you’re like me, you’d prefer new resources from Logos over, well, just about anything else.
There are several sites that allow you to create a wish list and send it to your family and friends. Two you might want to consider are Google’s Wish List and Kaboodle.
Google’s Wish List
Google’s wish list is basic and easy to set up. Start by setting up an account. Then go to Logos.com and find your favorite products (e.g., Scholar’s Library: Gold – Logos Bible Software). You’ll also want to have a separate window or tab opened to http://www.google.com/products. Copy and paste the exact product title into Google Products and search. Then click “Add to Shopping List.”

To add it to your wish list, check the “In Wish List” box. Add any notes like priority, etc. Repeat this process for your other wish list items. When you’re ready to share your wish list, click on “My Wish List” in the left hand column.

Drop that link in an email, and all your friends and family will be able to see what you want. Here’s an example of a link you’d share: http://froogle.google.com/shoppinglist?a=SWL&id=ae8474ec…44a76fe6ac1.
While it is clean looking and simple, there are a few downsides to using Google’s wish list: (1) you can’t add items to your wish list directly from another website, (2) your wish list link isn’t very memorable (or short!), and (3) those who purchase from your wish list run the risk of duplicating what someone else already purchased for you. (They’ll just have to make it a collaborative effort.)
Kaboodle
Another, more advanced option is Kaboodle. One of my favorite things about Kaboodle is that it allows you to add things to your wish list on the fly. So as you’re surfing the Logos website, you can click the “Add to Kaboodle” button, and the product you are looking at is instantly added to your wish list.

The Kaboodle plugin is available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.
Here’s an example of a Kaboodle wish list link: http://www.kaboodle.com/philgons/wish-list—much shorter and more memorable than Google’s. Kaboodle also has the advantage of allowing people to reserve items that they have purchased for you, so you won’t receive duplicates.

Kaboodle has more of a cluttered feel to it with ads and such, but in my opinion is the better of the two options.
Have fun creating your own wish list!

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.