Thanksgiving in the Bible Word Study Report

Since it’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., I thought I’d do a little analysis of the primary thanksgiving word in Greek New Testament, the verb εὐχαριστέω, which means “thank, gives thanks to.” I’m primarily interested in getting an overview of the biblical data rather than reading what others have to say about it in lexicons and theological dictionaries (which is very valuable, but not my interest for now). So I open the Bible Word Study report, type in εὐχαριστέω, and let it do its thing.
If your Greek knowledge is limited but you want to run the report based on the Greek text rather than the English, Logos Bible Software makes that easy with the reverse interlinears. Start with the Bible Speed Search, select the ESV (or NRSV) English-Greek Reverse Interlinear New Testament from the drop down box, and type thank in the search box. You’ll get 56 hits in 53 verses. Click the reference for Matt 15:36, the second one in the list. It will open the text of the ESV NT Reverse Interlinear to the proper location. Locate the word thanks, right click it, and select Bible Word Study: “ευχαριστεω” from the list of options.
Once the report finishes, we’re given a wealth of data to examine. My interest for now is in the Grammatical Relationships section, where I can quickly find answers to questions like:

  1. Who gives thanks?
  2. Who receives thanks?
  3. What is thanks given for?

This section is incredibly helpful for quickly getting the big picture of a theme in the NT. As I look over the data, I immediately notice some noteworthy patterns in the Complements section, particularly some things that stand out to me because of my current study of the Trinity.


Of the 23 complements or objects of the verb (i.e., who is being thanked), they are nearly all God. The only human objects are Prisca and Aquila (Rom 16:3). The rest of the references are God—and arguably, God the Father. (Jesus is the object one time [Lk 17:16].) I realize that God can refer to the Triune God, but the contexts and general pattern suggest that the Father is in view.
Here are the data:
Thanks is given to
  • the Father (Col 1:11-12; cf. Jn 11:41)
  • God the Father through Jesus (Rom 1:8; Col 3:17)
  • God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Col 1:3-5)
  • God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:20)
  • God [who is distinguished in the context from Christ] (Rom 14:6; 1 Cor 1:4, 14; Phil 1:3-6; 1 Thes 2:13; 2 Thes 1:3; 2:13; Phm 4-5; Rev 11:17?; cf. Lk 18:11)
  • God [who is later identified as the Father] (1 Thes 1:2-4)
  • God [undefined in the immediate context] (Acts 27:35; 28:15; 1 Cor 14:18)

So what significance does this have as we give thanks to God today (or any day)? It gives us guidance on how we are to think about and interact with our Triune God. These patterns are descriptive, and not necessarily prescriptive of whom we shouldn’t give thanks to. (The fact that we don’t find numerous references about giving thanks to Jesus or the Spirit doesn’t necessarily mean it is inappropriate to do so.) Nevertheless, these data must be the starting point for any biblical theology of giving thanks to God.
Perhaps a more devotional exercise is to reflect upon the Adjuncts section, where we find out that thanks is given

  • always (1 Cor 1:4; Eph 5:20; 1 Thes 1:2-4; 1 Thes 1:3; 2 Thes 2:13; Phm 4-5)
  • for other believers (1 Cor 1:4; 1 Thes 1:2-4; 2 Thes 1:3; 2:13)
    • because God has given grace to them (1 Cor 1:4)
    • because they are growing in faith and love (Rom 1:8; 2 Thes 1:3)
    • because God has chose them (1 Thes 1:2-4; 2 Thes 2:13)

There’s much more to explore here. Run the Bible Word Study report, and have a look for yourself. Let some of these biblical themes be the starting point for your thanksgiving today—and every day.

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?