Understand Differences in Biblical Manuscripts

lexham-methods-seriesThere are translation differences, and there are source text differences. You know a source text difference when you see the notation “MT says” or “LXX says” in your Bible. These are the real differences in manuscripts. And unless you know what you’re looking at, they can be confusing, and perhaps even scary.

How do we trust that God’s Word has remained as he intended it? Textual criticism is the field of study that explores differences between biblical manuscripts and draws conclusions. It’s the field that determines the readings included in nearly all modern translations. It’s also the field behind all the challenging discussions about “biblical sources,” their “readings,” and their “vorlages” in Bible commentaries.

Few people work in this field of biblical studies nearly every day—our Bible scholars do. Their work in Lexham Methods Series: Textual Criticism, the first volume to be released in the series, makes textual criticism transparent and easy to understand. Learn about the technique, and grasp the terminology behind the very technical, but very important, work of discerning which biblical manuscript to translate and interpret. Continue Reading…

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News You WantWant to hear about the most exciting deals on products in your areas of interest? We have more than 30 interest-based email lists—from denominations and theological groups to specific areas of study.

When you sign up for any of these lists, you’ll hear about top products, exclusive deals, sales and special offers, and other news you won’t want to miss.

Our lists include:

  • Commentaries: hear about all our deals on commentaries (and only commentaries)
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Place Your Bid on the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge

Schaff CollectionFor more than a century, the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge has set the standard for biblical and theological reference works.

In 1877, German theologian Johann Jakob Herzog asked Professor Philip Schaff to undertake an English reproduction of the second edition of Herzog’s Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche. Schaff’s work began in 1880, with the help of Clemens Petersen and Samuel Macauley Jackson.

Since then, this collection has seen the contributions of over 100 editors and 600 scholars, bringing together the most important scholarship from biblical studies, historical and doctrinal theology, archaeology, geography, church history, comparative religion, and more. The resulting work ranks among our time’s best-selling and most-cited Christian reference materials; it’s the first stop for pastors, teachers, parents, students, and scholars looking for comprehensive answers.

“The usefulness of this encyclopedia is to be found in its comprehensiveness. No extant work can match this. It is also particularly strong in biography, where it will be found an invaluable aid to investigation into the lives of the worthies of the past.”

Bibliotheca Sacra Continue Reading…

Scripture in the Anglican Tradition: The Story of the King James Bible

the-holy-bible-king-james-version“[W]hat has influenced the whole history of England and America more than the King James Bible?” —Leland Ryken

The King James, or Authorized, translation of the Bible is one of the most popular and influential books ever published. In his history of the King James translation, God’s Secretaries, Adam Nicolson reckons that more than five billion copies have been sold since the KJV’s completion in 1611. Its influence goes beyond its intended use “to be read aloud in churches” into the realm of poetry, literature, music, and politics. In his book In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture, Alister McGrath argues:

Without the King James Bible, there would have been no Paradise Lost, no Pilgrim’s Progress, no Handel’s Messiah, no Negro spirituals, and no Gettysburg Address. These, and innumerable other works, were inspired by the language of this Bible. Without this Bible, the culture of the English-speaking world would have been immeasurably impoverished.

The Oxford English Dictionary counts 257 English idioms that the King James translation coined or popularized. Phrases such as “out of the mouths of babes” and “fly in the ointment” are still part of the popular lexicon. Continue Reading…

Logos 5: Passage List Displays Verses from Different Bibles

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris, who has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos seminars, provides many training materials.

A Logos user recently emailed me this question:

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get certain Bible verses to appear in the search results so that I can add another version (BHS) to compare English with Hebrew. Will Logos let me type in specific verses in the search bar so I can compare? For example how can I have Gen. 4:1, Gen. 49:25, Ex. 2:23, Ex. 18:4, and Num. 1:44 show up without searching for a specific word in them? I just want to add them manually to the search results.

Excellent question!

The answer is found in a Passage List rather than a search. When we execute a Bible search, we have to enter a specific query, and Logos displays only the verses matching that criteria.

With a Passage List, however, we can manually add the verses and display them in the Bible translation(s) of our choice. Continue Reading…

Writing Sermons That Work

Crafting a sermon requires so many elements—finding everything you need to prepare a powerful message can be time consuming.

That’s why we created the Sermon Starter Guide. Instead of spending hours each week doing preliminary research, you’ll find all the searching done for you. With hundreds of sermon illustrations, outlines, key passages, and more, you’ll have everything you need to put together sermons that’ll have a lasting impact on your church. Uncover word meanings in Greek and Hebrew, see what all your favorite commentaries have to say, and listen to sample sermons from respected preachers. And when you’re finished, simply export to Proclaim or PowerPoint.

Check out the rest of Logos 5′s intuitive features, and download Logos 5 today.

Don’t Miss Out: Get These Collections at the Best Prices

Community Pricing, which lets you help choose the price on new products, is the best way to build your library at the lowest cost. As soon as there are enough bids to push a product into Pre-Pub, the price goes up, so always be sure to place your bid early.

These products will be moving into Pre-Pub very soon—place your bids today to get them at the best prices!

the-works-of-charles-hodgeThe Works of Charles Hodge (29 vols.)

Regularly $299.95—current bid is only $90

Charles Hodge counts as one of the most influential theologians of the nineteenth century and one of Calvinism’s most dedicated defenders in America. This is the most complete collection of Charles Hodge’s writings available in print or electronically. The Works of Charles Hodge brings together Hodge’s extensive body of work—almost 14,000 pages, including articles, essays, tracts, book reviews, and more.

Austen Henry Layard Collection (10 vols.)

Regularly $209.95—current bid is only $70

Austen Henry Layard’s groundbreaking work uncovered sites in Babylon and Assyria, greatly increasing our knowledge of Mesopotamian civilizations through the recovery of cuneiform tablets detailing culture and history. Layard’s extraordinary contributions to biblical archaeology changed the face of biblical research and scholarship. Continue Reading…

4 Ways to Improve Your Small Group

studies-in-faithful-living-patriarchs-collection-complete-church-curriculumSmall groups, no matter the size, always seem to have two people: the one who won’t stop talking and the one who sits in silence. It’s easy to encourage the conversation monopolizer to give others time to share.

But how do I inspire someone to participate? Creating a sense of trust is one step. But if the problem is a lack of engagement with the study material, my role as small group leader just got much more difficult. Researching and preparing a study each week is difficult in itself; finding creative ways to keep everyone engaged can be overwhelming.

Overcoming small group challenges

With these challenges in mind, we created the Studies in Faithful Living Series: Complete Church Curriculum. The collection explores the lives of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, with lessons that show how their faith journeys are relevant to ours today. Each eight-week study gives me everything I need to make leading a small group both easier and more dynamic. If I were leading a small group today, here is how I would use this series: Continue Reading…

3 Ways to Learn from Charles Spurgeon

Charles SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon’s impact was enormous. You’ll come across his name in Bible study guides, seminary-required curricula, and many of your resources in Logos.

“With whom among men can you compare [Spurgeon]? He combined the preaching power of Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield with the organizing power of Wesley, and the energy, fire, and courage of Luther.” —B. H. Carroll

On June 19, 1834, Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, UK. At 15, he accepted Christ and joined a Baptist church. In fact, most people would describe his theology as Calvinist; Spurgeon, though, said that “if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, ‘It is Jesus Christ.’”

In honor of Spurgeon’s birthday, we’re highlighting a few resources for those looking to learn from his years of study:

charles-spurgeon-collection1. Charles Spurgeon Collection

Regularly $499—$399 using coupon code SPURGEON13

Through June 22, save $100 on the Charles Spurgeon Collection (149 vols.), an invaluable tool for both sermon preparation and personal understanding. The Charles Spurgeon Collection offers over 3,550 sermons, as well as many of Spurgeon’s commentaries and lectures, his autobiography, The Sword and the Trowel, and much more. Continue Reading…

The Anglican Church: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition

Richard HookerPart of what makes the Anglican Church the via media (middle way) is the conviction that its beliefs and practices must derive from a thorough integration of Scripture, reason, and tradition. Though it’s impossible to achieve a perfect equilibrium, Anglicans believe that we are in danger of teaching and living heresy if we highlight one of these categories such that it excludes the others.

Richard Hooker

One of the earliest understandings of the concept of integrating Scripture, reason, and tradition comes from Richard Hooker. He argues that the Church has authority to establish governance and order (reason) and that though it has authority in doctrine, it cannot deviate from the faith that has been handed on to it (tradition):

“Be it in matter of the one kind or of the other, what Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit and obedience is due; the next where-unto is whatsoever any man can necessarily conclude by force of reason; after these the voice of the Church succeedeth. That which the Church by her ecclesiastical authority shall probably think and define to be true or good, must in congruity of reason overrule all other inferior judgments whatsoever.” —Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, book V, 8:2

Continue Reading…