Charles Simeon Around the World…Wide Web

We’ve been amazed at the response generated by the prepublication announcement of Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae 21-volume commentary series.

Based on the number of people who have blogged about this announcement, there’s clearly a strongfollowing for the writings of this Anglican clergyman. No doubt John Piper’s recent endorsement has also been instrumental in reviving interest in Simeon’s works.

Here’s a sampling of the buzz surrounding the Simeon prepub:

  • Justin Taylor at Between Two Worlds drew attention to Simeon’s three-pronged test which he applied to every sermon: (1) Does it humble the sinner? (2) Does it exalt the Saviour? (3) Does it promote holiness?
  • Phil Johnson at TeamPyropoints out that C.H. Spurgeon read and quoted Charles Simeon. Phil also recommends pre-ordering Simeon’s commentary over spending money on Pyro swag, which is high praise, indeed.
  • In a post from 2006, Mark Lauterbach of GospelDrivenLifesuggests that a particular conversation betweenCharles Simeon (a moderate Calvinist) and John Wesley (a moderate Arminian) could teach today’s Christian bloggers a thing or two about how to conduct doctrinal discussions. This story is also recounted at the Pyromaniacs blog.
  • Adrian Warnock, blogger extraordinaire,gave us the original tipabout the eBay auction of Simeon’s commentary set and encouraged us to offer it as a prepublication. Read the post the started it all, Adrian’s further reflections on Simeon, and his reprint of the Logos NewsWire email that introduced Simeon to many Logos customers for the first time.

If you haven’t already done so…check out the description of this commentary set, sample some page scans, and place your pre-order to take advantage of the hefty prepublication discount!

Same Note in Different Books

As you may already know, the Morris Proctor Tips & Tricks Blogoffers two new tips every week for getting the most out of Logos Bible Software (learn more).

User David Bergquist posed the following question on a recent post at the Tips blog:

Is there a way to have one note show up in two places, for instance at a Bible verse and also in another book? I know one could make two copies of the same note, but is there a way to avoid making duplicate notes to have it show up in different books?

Here’s my response, with the addition of a couple of illustrative screenshots:

David, you can create a system-wide note that’s attached to a Bible verse. Then your note will show up in any book organized by Bible verse (e.g., Bibles and commentaries)!

To do this, right-click in a Bible or commentary and choose Add a Note | [desired note file] | Add a Note to [verse].

Voila! Now when you’re reading any Bible version, commentary, or other book organized by verse (e.g., The New Manners and Customs of the Bible)you can just click the yellow note icon to open and edit the note. Or hover the mouse over the note icon to preview your note right where you are.

Want Help Cleaning Your Desk?


I hope everyone took advantage of National Clean Off Your Desk Day last month…I did not.

But the last few times I cleaned my computer desk at home (which happens precisely as often as we’re expecting overnight guests, since the computer is in the guest room) I noticed a particular kind of detritus that accumulated around and under my monitor and keyboard. I’m not talking about dust (which was also plentiful) but note scraps.

That’s right, little bits of paper with important stuff written on them. Like the username and password for the website I built for my brother-in-law last year. Or the name of a book I heard about on NPR during my drive home one day, scribbled on the corner of a napkin, and deposited near the computer “for later”. Or library card numbers (which the library website unhelpfully refuses to store on my behalf, forcing me to re-enter them every time my kids’ Sesame Street videos need to be renewed).

So when I heard about a simple note-taking application being cooked up by Bob Pritchett, members of the Logos development team, and our graphic artist…I got pretty excited about its potential to help me get (at least slightly) more organized.

NoteScraps: Simple. Elegant. Cheap.

This new application is called NoteScraps and it’s the ideal place tostore bits and scraps of information. The stuff you might write on a post-it note and stick to your monitor…or keyboard…or litter around your desk. The notes that you might not need right now but are pretty sure you’ll need later…long after you forgot where you put them.

There are other note-taking programs out there butNoteScraps is cool because of its simplicity. It sets out to do one thing only and do it well.

  • Taking notes is quick and easy: my phone rings, a quick keystroke opens a new note, and I can start typing as my caller talks.
  • Finding notes is instantaneous: another keystroke (or click in my system tray) brings me to the find box, I start typing a word, and the appbrings forwardnotes that contain the word.
  • Using the app is fun: the design is thoughtful and balanced, and there’s just enough eye candy to enhance the experience by shuffling my notes on the screen as I interact with them.

NoteScraps is designed for Windows Vista but we also offer a version for Windows XP. Be sure to check out the demo video and download your own copy—the trial version is free!

Appendix: What Does NoteScraps Have to Do With Logos Bible Software?

In the words of Bob Pritchett, “Nothing specific — but we’ve all got little notes to manage.” And as he elaborated in our beta newsgroup, “NoteScraps has also served an important role in helping us explore and master the next generation technologies. Before we try to use .NET 3 and WPF in Logos Bible Software we want to play with them in a smaller sandbox.”

Logos/SBL Paper Awards: Just 10 Weeks Left…

Way back in late September, we announced that Logos Bible Software was partnering with the Society of Biblical Literature to give away nearly $18,000 inawards for papers that use the syntax tools in Logos 3 to advance biblical scholarship.

The May 1 contest deadline is drawing near so consider this an encouragement, an exhortation, a friendly nudge to get your paper done and submitted.

Full contest details are at the SBL site.

Need some inspiration for things to write about? Try trollingthe dozens of past posts on syntax here at the Logos Blog.You may also want to spend some time with the syntax videos we’ve posted at Logos.com.

Some of the videos hosted on that page are from a CD-ROM we put together for the ETS/SBL annual meetings in November. Now that entire disccontaining 33 Syntax Demonstrations can be ordered for a nominal fee from Logos.com.

So polish up (or begin writing) your paper and send it in! We look forward to all the great new research that will be produced as part of this contest!

Logos for the Mac: Status Update

Logos for the Mac

We sent out the following letter this week to all the people subscribed to the Logos for the Mac email list.

Dear Mac User,

I wish I had more news! It certainly seems like I have more Mac enthusiasts clamoring for it every day. (Those commercials must be working!)

While progress is being made on Logos for the Mac every week, the reports on progress make for pretty dull reading. (There’s an example below.) I can say that we’ve received another internal drop, and some very important features like licensing, license synchronization with the server (to let you move backup licenses or restore them from a Windows installation), and “data type highlighting” are up and running.

The features we all want to see and play with, though, are still under development: searching, reports, etc.

And there is no good answer to the question I’m asked almost daily: When?

The best we can say is: When it’s done.

In the past few months almost all of the progress has been inside the application; the only new screenshots we could provide would be of some pretty dull dialogs for license management. Once the work on searching, reports, etc. “breaks through” to the UI surface we should be able to provide more interesting (and encouraging) updates.

Thanks again for your patience.

Bob PritchettPresident & CEO, Logos Bible Software

bob@logos.com

Continue Reading…

Getting You from Point A to Point B

Guest bloggers Johnny Cisneros and Steve Runge pull back the curtain on a new addin coming soon from the Logos “skunk works.”

Many of us know that we have the resources within Logos to do good exegesis. However, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the process. You may not know where to start or where to end a study. How can you make sure that you’ve made the most of the resources available to you within your digital library? A new feature will assist users, veteran and new alike, with just that.

The Study Tools addin will guide you through the process of Bible study from exegesis to application. This helpful addin ties together many of the powerful tools in Logos into one convenient template. Such a template provides an organized structure to guide you through each step of exegesis. It saves you time by creating links to a variety of Bible tools pertaining to each one of the steps. It conveniently provides you with the ability to make your own notes as you go. The template is especially useful for sermon preparation. Outlines can be prepared under the ‘Application’ section of the template.


Screenshot of a study document (beta version, subject to change)

The Study Tools addin offers something for everyone. Existing users will find a new way to utilize the powerful resources within Logos in their study and sermon preparation. New users will find a way to become familiar with the many resources available in Logos.

Update 2/13 – If you can’t wait to try out the addin, you can download a beta version that unlocks the Study Tools addin for a limited time. Once you have it installed, create a new study document via the File | New menu. Please route your feedback on the addin to the beta newsgroup.

Interview with Bob Pritchett: Looking Forward

This isthesixth installmentin a series of video blog posts (introduced here) sharing the story and culture of Logos Bible Software. Other posts in the series are archived in the Video category.

The video interview was shotduring the final days of 2006. Scott asked Bob to summarize the highlights of the year and take a look forwardto some of the exciting things coming during 2007. Enjoy!

Note: All videos are in Windows Media format. Mac users may need to download the free Flip4Mac plugin for playback within QuickTime.

Labor and Delivery with … Logos?

Yep, that post title is correct.

Lord willing, my wife Amy is due to deliver our first child in mid-May.** (Insert applause here, Amy really is fantastic!) As many first-time parents-to-be, we’re reading a lot and researching the whole process.

We’ve got books on all sorts of stuff, which is par for the course for this bibliophile Daddy-to-be.

One very helpful book has been The Christian Woman’s Guide to Childbirth by Debra Evans and Ingrid Trobisch. It was published by Crossway Books (which is where the link goes) but it is unfortunately out of print, so you’ll have to find a used copy somewhere. We found ours on Amazon for five bucks.

One of the things that Amy and I love about The Christian Woman’s Guide to Childbirth is that it has a great Scripture reference index, and each chapter also lists a number of references having to do, in one way or another, with the basic content or thoughts in the chapter. Good stuff for focusing our minds on our Lord and Saviour and his gracious provision and comfort through the traumatic and uncertain (yet joyous!) time before us.

So to take those references into the hospital with us, we’re starting to use the Verse List feature in Logos Bible Software. We’re making a verse list for each topic, then we’ll just print them out so we’ll have ready-reference during labor and delivery.

How do you make a verse list, you ask?

  • File | New
  • Select Verse List from the New Document dialog
  • Click Add button. Use the dialog or point to proper source.
  • Voila! Use the Preferences button to give the file a name, but the system will prompt for that if you close the document without providing a name.


Printing is pretty easy too. Just open the verse list (either through File | Open or through the Open Document button on the toolbar), then export or print.


** We’ve decided to be surprised, so we don’t know the sex of the baby and don’t plan on finding out before the big day! At the time of this post, Mom thinks it’s a boy and Dad thinks it’s a girl. Either way, we’re greatly blessed!

Interview with Bob Pritchett: Innovation at Logos

This isthe fifth installmentin a series of video blog posts (introduced here) sharing the story and culture of Logos Bible Software. Other posts in the series are archived in the Video category.

Bob is asked to choose the top innovations Logos has offered the world, describes his role in the development of Logos Bible Software, and discusses some of the ways ideas become product features. You’ll also hear how Logos appropriates the best research and technology from other fields such asgene sequencing visualizations and applies it to the task of digital Bible study.

Note: All videos are in Windows Media format. Mac users may need to download the free Flip4Mac plugin for playback within QuickTime.

Getting More from Library Builder, Part 2

Arecord number of customers took advantage of the insanely great “Library Builder” Christmas special this year and added 330+ books to their library in one fell swoop, so we’re taking a look at how to maximize the value of those new books. Even if you don’t own the Library Builderproduct, this series will help you get the most from the books in your electronic library.

In Part 1, I encouraged you to begin exploring the new books added to your library and pointed you to a few tools that assist in said exploration. We also paused to think about some of the helpful things you didn’t have to do…because the digital library did them for you!

Now I want tofocus on a few different categories of book that arrived in your library via Library Builder, and consider how you will encounter individual books within those categories in the course of your study.

VIP Books

Some categories of book enjoy a “privileged” status within the Libronix DLS. They are privileged because we have built specialfeatures or tools that help you get the most value from them. A few examples are commentaries, sermonillustrations, music, maps, and devotionals.

Today I’ll focus on commentaries. The Logos Bible Software homepage has a feature that enables you to open a favorite commentary and Bible directly to your desired passage. And Passage Guide is programmed to find all the commentaries that address your passage. We’ll look at how these features work, a few tweaks to optimize things for your owen preferences, and pause to discuss a few individual books along the way…

Commentaries on the Homepage

Remember the list of Library Builder contents on the wikimentioned inPart 1? A quick glance at the list shows that Library Builder included three single-volume commentaries:

  • Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
  • Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible
  • The 365 Day Devotional Commentary

I like to specify a single-volume commentary as my preferred commentary on the homepage. To change your preferred commentary to one of the new commentaries in Library Builder, just click “Customize View” on the homepage, then select from the list. Walter Elwell’sEvangelical Commentary on the Bible would be a fine option.

If you also check the box next to “Show Study Options” you will now have a “Bible and Commentary”option on the homepage, in the Study Passage section.

Now when you select Bible and Commentary, enter a passage, and click “Go!”, your favorite Bible versionand Evangelical Commentary on the Bible will open straight to your passage. Simple. Quick. Smooth.

Commentaries in Passage Guide

Commentaries also show up at the top of the Passage Guide report. Library Builder included one OT commentary series (Wiersbe) and four NT series: College Press NIV Commentary Series, IVP New Testament Commentary Series, Crossway Classic Commentary Series, and Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament.

You would expect these commentaries to automatically appear when you run Passage Guide, and they do. But you may notice some pleasant surprises as well…

The pastor of the church I attend is currently preaching through Revelation, a book that could be described in terms borrowed from Winston Churchill: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”

When I run a Passage Guide report on Revelation 2:13,in addition to all the expected commentaries that appear, two in-depth studies on the book of Revelation show up: Back to the Future – A Study of the Book of Revelation by Ralph Bass and Revelation Explained by Lerry W. Fogle. I’m grateful that my digital library summoned these books in response to my passage search, because I might never have thought to look for them.

Passage Guide was smart enough to find two other books that are not traditional commentaries but rather brief surveys, organized by passage, and intended to provide “helps” to the ordinary reader or the pastor who needs information fast.

The People’sNew Testament , written in 1891,provides a sentence or two for each verse…like a margin note to provide background on people and places, or help interpret easily misunderstood phrases.

The Bible Guide , published in 2001 by Augsburg, is a fantastic resource for concise comments on a given passage of Scripture. Its commentary on the letter to church in Pergamum in Revelation 2 begins with a description of the city that makes it seem like an actual, living place:

Pergamum is an important city — not for trade or beauty, but as a seat of government (2:12–17). It has been the capital of Asia for nearly 400 years — ever since the break-up of Alexander the Great’s empire, when it became the centre of the Seleucid kingdom.

Pergamum has a famous library of parchment scrolls, and parchment gets its name from the ‘Pergamene sheet’. The culture and religion is strongly Greek, with an emphasis on the worship of Asklepios, a god of healing. His temples are something like hospitals. For many people Asklepios is the saviour. Also at Pergamum is a huge temple dedicated to Zeus. It is built on three sides of a square, to make a giant chair or throne.

Andrew Knowles, The Bible Guide, Includes index., 1st Augsburg books ed., 697 (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 2001).

You can be sure that I’ll be returning toThe Bible Guide as my small group works through Revelation.

Bonus Tip #1: Show More Commentaries

In Logos 3, Passage Guidelists only 15 commentaries when the report is first run. To see more commentaries, click the “More >>” link.

Bonus Tip #2:Cream the Commentary Crop

Sometimes you want to see fewer commentaries in the Passage Guide report ratherthan more. Or more precisely…you want to see more of the commentaries you use most and fewer of the ones you use least.

Logos 3 has a nifty feature that keeps track of how many times you use each commentary and promotes the most used commentaries to the top of the list. Notice in the screenshot below the space between A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory… and The Apocalypse of St. John. The Passage Guide report has grown smarter over time and now reserves the top 5 slots for my most-used commentaries.
Honestly, how cool is that?

If you prefer your own smarts over the built-in smarts, you can always create a defined collection of your favorite commentaries (learn how!)and then limit Passage Guide to searching those commentaries. Once the collection is created, simply click the Properties button in the Passage Guide report, and select your collection from the list.


Looking Ahead

Today we focused on your new commentaries to see where they show up in the library,get some pointers on how to promote the ones you like best, and introduce a few of the new titles on a first-name basis.The nextpost in the series will look at books in other categories such as illustrations, music and devotionals. In the meantime…happy exploring!