Archives for August 2012

Experience the Biblical Story with Rich Media

Sometimes all it takes for an idea to really click is a strong visual representation. Infographics make information more accessible, engaging, and memorable. That’s why the Faithlife Study Bible supplements its study notes with stunning images, videos, and infographics of biblical places and artifacts.

When we talk about infographics, we’re not talking about pie charts and bar graphs. We’re talking about dynamic, colorful graphic art that brings the Bible’s information to life.

The Faithlife Study Bible gives you:

  • Infographics—See the Bible’s story with over 120 infographics, timelines, and tables.
  • Photos—Get to know biblical locales, including Israel, Greece, and Turkey, with over 240 pictures.
  • Videos—Visit the Bible’s setting with over 35 videos.

We’re never done building the Faithlife Study Bible’s study notes and infographics. We’ll be adding rich media and study materials to the FSB all the time!

You can get the Faithlife Study Bible absolutely free through March, 2014.

Win a Scholar’s Library from Faithlife!

Enter now and you could win a Scholar’s Library base package from Faithlife. This grand prize will add more than 475 books and commentaries—worth nearly $8,000 in print—to your library. When you combine the Scholar’s Library with the powerful Faithlife Study Bible, you have the raw materials for profound Bible study. Enter now!

An Interview with Joel B. Green, Editor of the NICNT

One of the best resources in Logos’ Back to School Sale is the New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT). Until now, you could only get the NICNT as part of the complete New International Commentary series. Now we’re thrilled to offer the NICNT at the incredible price of $679.95 (with code B2SNICNT)So thrilled, in fact, that we asked the NICNT’s editor—Dr. Joel B. Green of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena—if he would be so kind as to answer a few questions about the NICNT’s history and what goes into publishing a volume in this time-honored series.

How long has the NICNT been in existence?

The NICNT was begun in the late 1940s by an international team of scholars within the evangelical Protestant tradition.

What makes the NICNT such a popular New Testament Commentary?

Several reasons come to mind. First, although the commentaries are based on the Greek text, they don’t assume much familiarity with Greek among their readers. This makes for a scholarly yet widely accessible resource. Second, our commentaries are urged to comment on the biblical text itself, rather than provide a running dialogue with secondary literature. Of course, our commentators interact with other New Testament scholarship, but this critical engagement is carried out in the footnotes. Third, these commentaries are concerned with scholarly New Testament study in the service of the church. Our first audience isn’t the biblical studies academy, but pastors, students, and other church leaders. As a result, volumes in the NICNT put critically engaged, evangelical scholarship on display.

Commentary series have different guidelines that authors must abide by when writing a volume—word-count restrictions, confessional constraints, etc. Does the NICNT have any specific guidelines that your authors must work within?

Someone has referred to the current problem of “commentary bloat,” and the evidence is on our shelves, virtual or otherwise, with the presence of ever-larger and multivolume studies. There’s a place for that kind of exposition and scholarly interaction, but it doesn’t represent the aims of the NICNT. Most people don’t have the time to read 50–75 pages on a single pericope as they prepare for Sunday’s sermon or Thursday’s Bible study. As a result, we want single-volume commentaries of a manageable size. How this works out depends on the book in question and the challenges it presents. For example, when I was writing the NICNT on the Gospel of Luke, I needed to keep in mind that I could average no more than about 14 words of commentary for every word Luke wrote. Gordon Fee’s commentary on Philippians—well, he had considerably more space with which to work! Authors chosen for the NICNT have no confessional statements to sign, but are selected from within the larger evangelical family. F. F. Bruce, of course, was associated with the Open Brethren Church, while Gordon Fee is ordained in the Assemblies of God. I myself belong to the Wesleyan tradition and am ordained in The United Methodist Church. The list goes on to include a variety of scholars from a variety of ecclesial backgrounds, all of whom are committed to classical Christian faith.

You are now the fourth person to serve as NICNT editor. The previous two, F. F. Bruce and Gordon Fee, each wrote, like you, at least one volume in the NICNT. How does contributing to the series help you now that you’re the NICNT editor?

Bruce and Fee each wrote multiple volumes in the series and in this way helped to give the series its shape. Interestingly, the guidelines for the series that have been passed from editor to editor don’t do a lot to give the series its focus. The best advice I received from Fred Bruce when he asked me to write the NICNT on Luke was “Do it like this, but don’t do it like that . . .” Having written for the series, then, gives one a keener sense of what is needed and what temptations need to be resisted.

If you had to choose one NICNT volume as your favorite, or one that best represents the series as a whole, which would you choose?

That’s a tough question. On the one hand, I’ve often thought of Gordon Fee’s commentary on 1 Corinthians as the “standard” for evangelical commentary: clearly written, eminently readable, a model of exegesis in the service of the biblical text, biblical interpretation for the church. Among my favorites, though, would be R. T. France’s volume on Matthew, which represents decades of intimacy with Matthew’s Gospel, with his mature reflections on this Gospel evident on every page.

The series has been ongoing for many years. When and how is a decision made to replace an older volume in the NICNT?

A couple of factors guide our thinking. First, of course, a commentary can become dated in terms of the sorts of questions it seeks to answer. Second, our audience—pastors, students, and other Christian leaders—tell us that a replacement is needed as they find other commentaries more helpful. This could lead to a revised edition or to a replacement volume.

What new volumes should we look for over the next couple of years?

The most recent volume is Gareth Cockerill’s work on Hebrews, the appearance of which we continue to celebrate. Looking to the near horizon, we anticipate a revised edition of Gordon Fee’s work on 1 Corinthians, and replacement volumes on the Gospel of Mark (by Rikki Watts) and Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (by David deSilva).

Now is your opportunity to get the NICNT on sale during our Back to School Sale. While you’re there, check out all the other amazing deals we have on the NICOT, BECNT, Barth’s Church Dogmatics, and more!

Calvin’s Sermons Sold as “Waste Paper”

It is painful to think of how many of John Calvin’s sermons were lost over the years. One wonders what troves of treasure were lost as trash:

Over 2,000 of Calvin’s sermons have been preserved. Unfortunately many others have been lost. Bouwsma comments on this point:

Not all Calvin’s sermons have yet been published; many, indeed, have disappeared. Early in the nineteenth century the pastor in charge of the Bibliothèque de Genève where they were stored sold most of the volumes of Calvin’s manuscript sermons ‘by weight,’ that is, presumably as waste paper; and although some were eventually recovered, about a thousand were permanently lost.

This painful and tragic story has been told in various places; for an account in English the reader ought to consult the work of T. H. L. Parker.

John D. Currid, Calvin and the Biblical Languages (Fearn, Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2006), 22.

photo credit

Let Lexham Do Your Research Legwork!

The Lexham Bible Guides resolve your love-hate relationship with research. They summarize your books’ content and organize it in an easy-to-follow format, giving you the direction to begin your study. These guides help you do better Bible research, faster. And with your time savings and the guides’ prebuilt slides for key words and slide templates, they make it easy to share what you’ve learned.

The Lexham Bible Guides are complete Bible guides reimagined for the digital age. Hybrids between handbook-type commentaries and annotated bibliographies, they build on the technological resources available only in Logos. Written from the ground up to take full advantage of Logos’ platform, these guides link to relevant, curated content in your Logos library.

With the Lexham Bible Guides, a team of professional researchers takes care of your basic research work for you. The guides annotate top scholars’ differing opinions, summarize major views, and present the Bible’s content simply and elegantly. You’ll find content you surely know about and plenty of content you’ve never heard of—some opinions you’ll agree with and others you won’t, but either way, you’ll learn faster than ever before.

Imagine taking all of Logos’ books on Genesis 1–11, finding the most important content, and then organizing the information in a survey format. Then imagine highlighting key elements, like important words and historical/archaeological findings. Add visuals to make presenting the information simple, combine those efforts with the world’s most advanced Bible software, and you have the Lexham Bible Guides.

The Lexham Bible Guides do the heavy research lifting for you, so you’ll have time to focus on what you do best. Let us provide the platform for you to go deeper when you have time, or the basics when you need a quick overview.

Check out these examples!

Genesis 1–11:

Ephesians:

Discover a better way to do research. Pre-order Genesis 1–11 or Ephesians for the Lexham Bible Guide series at a special low price!

Save a Bundle during the Logos Labor Day Sale!

For many, Labor Day marks the end of summer activities and a return to serious Bible study. In keeping with this tradition, we’re discounting four bestselling books and collections for Labor Day. These titles will add both diversity and functionality to your sermon preparation, Sunday school lesson, or home and study-group discussion—not to mention your personal edification.

This sale has everything you need for first-rate study: a 17-volume commentary on the New Testament, a Bible dictionary, a 4-volume scholarly Bible encyclopedia, and a dictionary dedicated entirely to theological history and development.

The Life Application Bible Commentary

Retail: $249.95  Regularly: $199.95

Only $149.95 with coupon code LABORDAY1

Like many commentaries, the 17-volume Life Application Bible Commentary collection walks you through the New Testament verse by verse, giving you explanations, backgrounds, biographies, and geographic information. Where this series really excels is in its valuable suggestions and questions for application. Each section is full of life-giving wisdom for you and your ministry.

Let the Life Application Bible Commentary help you prepare your sermons, Sunday school lessons, youth-group talks, and small-group discussions.

Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible

Retail: $45.00

Only $29.95 with coupon code LABORDAY2

Eerdmans has a reputation in the academic community for publishing trustworthy and relevant materials. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible is no exception. With nearly 5,000 entries, this dictionary explains every book, person, place, significant event, and distinctive term or expression found in the Bible.

The Eerdmans editorial team  has incorporated articles that explore and interpret important focuses of biblical theology, text and transmission, Near Eastern archaeology, extrabiblical writings, and pertinent ecclesiastical traditions—all of which help make the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible the most comprehensive and up to date one-volume Bible dictionary on the market today.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979–1995)

Retail: $149.95  Regularly: $129.95

Only $99.95 with the coupon code LABORDAY3

Imagine searchable access to nearly 9,000 scholarly entries on biblical topics, including 3,500 cross-references, nearly 1,500 photos, and over 300 maps. You’ll quickly see why this encyclopedia won the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s Gold Medallion Award for Bible Study and Theology and the Gold Medallion Award recipient for Best Reference Work!

“I use this set more than any other reference work I own. Great articles on every major doctrine, person, place, and event in the Bible. This one is indispensable!”—Dr. Kim Riddlebarger

The Dictionary of Historical Theology

Retail: $69.95  Regularly: $44.95

Only $29.95 with coupon code LABORDAY4

This is a must-have resource for anyone interested in Christian theology’s history and development. The volume features more than 300 entries detailing the theological figures, movements, and texts that have shaped Christian thought. The 173 contributors to The Dictionary of Historical Theology, drawn from international and interdenominational circles, trace theology’s development from the early church to today.

“There are well crafted articles by excellent scholars, and topics which take me beyond familiar terrain. It would be a worthwhile addition to one’s reference collection.”—Denver Journal

“Recommended not only for academic and seminary libraries but for community libraries whose members have an interest in Christian theology.”—Library Journal

Taken individually, any of these products will dramatically improve your Bible study. Add them together and you have a powerful storehouse of networked resources. Don’t miss your opportunity to advantage of these discounts!

These superb Labor Day savings are available only through September 5, 2012. Get them now!

Better Bible Study on iPad & iPhone—Free!

Bible study just got better with the updated Logos Bible app for iPhone and iPad.  The app is redesigned to be more user friendly and better for groups. New features include a reworked home page, customizable reading plans, Faithlife-connected Community Notes, and additional panels for split-screen viewing.

If you haven’t downloaded the redesigned Bible app, don’t wait any longer! It helps you experience fuller, richer Bible study wherever you go—and it’s absolutely free.

You’ll get:

Community Notes: Share verse-by-verse thoughts and comments with anyone in your Faithlife community. Passages mentioned by your friends, your church, and Christian leaders show up marked with an icon.

Reading plans: Customize your reading plans with versatile templates to keep your studying on schedule, and then share your personalized plans with others.

Highlighting: Mark the text your way with more than 80 colors and symbols.

Languages: Access the Bible’s original Greek and Hebrew with a simple tap-and-hold on any word. You’ll instantly see the term’s lemma and morphology.

Split screen: Study any secondary resource side by side with your favorite Bible. Both panels scroll in sync, so you’re always in the right place.

Word studies: Learn more about a Greek or Hebrew word by running a Bible word study. Logos 4 links the text to dictionaries, lexicons, and cross-references and lets you compare translations.

Free books: Get 44 resources for free when you download the Logos app. Then open up 25 more free books by creating a Logos.com account.

And so much more!

Learn more about the Logos app on our mobile apps page, and then download the app today!

Stanley Hauerwas: Time Magazine’s Choice for America’s Best Theologian

Stanley Hauerwas, preeminent theologian and Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke Divinity School, is one of the best-regarded theologians alive today. A protégé of John Howard Yoder, Hauerwas takes his theological platform into the interdenominational conversation. Engaging with the theologies of Karl Barth and Hans Wilhelm Frei, Hauerwas brings lively discourse into the realm of contemporary theology. If you’re interested in cutting-edge theological trends, you can’t afford to be unaware of Stanley Hauerwas.

A Nonviolent Faith

John Howard Yoder’s influence can be found throughout Hauerwas’ theology. Hauerwas’ political-theological ideology, as well as his call for peace in a warlike nation, will challenge your ideas about war and nationalism. In Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence, Hauerwas presents Dietrich Bonhoeffer as a voice for nonviolence. In War and the American Difference: Theological Reflections on Violence and National Identity, Hauerwas shows how American national identity is often at odds with American faith. How did C. S. Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. live out their faith in days of social upheaval and war? How did they distinguish between national identity and their identity in Christ?

Postliberal Theology and You

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this collection is Hauerwas’ investigation into the emerging postliberal theology (or narrative theology). At the forefront of this theology is Hauerwas himself, whose work draws from, and identifies with, many interdenominational perspectives, challenging those who walk all manner of Christian disciplines to consider the ecclesiology of a cross-centered church. Is there a harmony between evangelical Protestantism and Roman Catholicism? How has this theology arisen from Lutherans, Methodists, Catholics, and Anglicans, and what does this mean for the rest of us? With the Grain of the Universe is where Hauerwas brought this discussion to the table; now see how it has advanced with Hauerwas’ latest, Postliberal Theology and the Church Catholic.

Discover for yourself why Time magazine named Hauerwas “America’s Best Theologian. Snatch up this excellent collection while it’s still on sale in Pre-Pub.

4 More Days to Download August’s Free Book!

If you’ve been downloading the Free Books of the Month since the promotion started, you’ve added eight new titles to your library by now—a $125+ value! You’ve also had eight chances to win entire collections from each of the authors.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Free Book of the Month, don’t worry. There’s still four days to pick up August’s free book: The Epistle to the Hebrews by Brooke Foss Westcott.

Westcott, a British bishop, biblical scholar, and theologian, served as bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death in 1901. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, from which he graduated in 1848. Staying on at Trinity, he obtained his fellowship in 1849 and was ordained as deacon and priest. He went on to receive honorary degrees from Oxford (1881) and Edinburgh (1883).

He was the author of numerous works, including four volumes in the fourteen-volume Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament, which you can enter to win now at August’s Free Book of the Month page.

If you haven’t downloaded August’s Free Book of the Month, get it now. And while you’re at it, enter to win the Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament, worth nearly $200!

Calvin’s Prayers: A Model of Scholarly Humility

Calvin prayed at the conclusion of his lectures.  Those prayers are both intriguing reading and profound spiritual instruction.  For example, at the conclusion of the 38th lecture on the Minor Prophets, he prays

Oil painting of a young John Calvin.

Grant, Almighty God, that as almost the whole world give such loose reins to their licentiousness, that they hesitate not either to despise or to regard as of no value thy sacred word,—Grant, O Lord, that we may always retain such reverence as is justly due to it and to thy holy oracles, and be so moved, whenever thou deignest to address us, that being truly humbled, we may be raised up by faith to heaven, and by hope gradually attain that glory which is as yet hid from us. And may we at the same time so submissively restrain ourselves, as to make it our whole wisdom to obey thee and to do thee service, until thou gatherest us into thy kingdom, where we shall be partakers of thy glory, through Christ our Lord. Amen.  [Calvin, J., Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Joe 1:1–4)].

Noteworthy here is the focus of Calvin’s prayer:

1- that his hearers value Scripture; 2- that they reverence God’s speech; 3- that they be humbled by the fact that God stoops to speak to them; 4- and finally, that they heed it to the point of real active obedience.

The background to this prayer is the remarkable claim of Calvin that

The Prophet reproves the Jews for being so stupid as not to consider that they were chastised by the hand of God, though this was quite evident. Hence they pervert, in my judgment, the meaning of the Prophet, who think that punishments are here denounced which were as yet suspended; for they transfer all these things to a future time. But I distinguish between this reproof and the denunciations which afterwards follow. Here then the Prophet reproaches the Jews, that having been so severely smitten, they did not gain wisdom; and yet even fools, when the rod is applied to their backs, know that they are punished. Since then the Jews were so stupid, that when even chastised they did not understand that they had to do with God, the Prophet justly reproves this madness. Hear, he says, ye old men; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land, and declare this to your children. But the consideration of this passage I shall put off till tomorrow.

Calvin’s rather gruff remarks – set in balance with the prayer he uttered moments afterward- indicate that for Calvin there was a terrible danger in refusing to respect God’s address.  Such refusal was, in his terminology, ‘stupid’.  As those who refused to hear Amos were ‘stupid’ so too, Calvin would argue, are those who refuse to hear God today (in Calvin’s day).

Calvin was absolutely convinced that God must be heard.  Surely Christians today would assert the same (albeit without such free use of the word ‘stupid’).

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Save on Walter Brueggemann While You Still Can!

Many of you have asked for it, and now it’s finally here! The Walter Brueggemann Collection, which contains 24 of Walter Brueggemann’s most famous works, has arrived on Pre-Pub, and it’s on special discount for the next eight days only!

Who Is Walter Brueggemann?

Renowned Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann is one of modern America’s most prominent theologians. He challenges readers to consider the messages of the Old Testament as more relevant than the philosophies and ideas we struggle with today—postmodernism, agnosticism, consumerism. On this ground, few scholars have brought the Old Testament into contemporary relevance as cleanly as Brueggemann. His research is at the intersection of philosophy and sociology, where he explores the societies and communities of ancient Israel and how their religious beliefs and practices shaped the world around them.

If you don’t have Walter Brueggemann in your library, then it’s time to wipe the dust off your keyboard and dive into contemporary Old Testament scholarship! Some of his chief works in this collection include:

Prophecy, Poetry, and Psalms

One of the defining characteristics of Brueggemann’s exposition is his love for the prophetic nature of the Old Testament as found in unexpected and overlooked places, such as 1 & 2 Samuel, Psalms, and the Pentateuch. The prophetic hope—that one day a Savior might come and redeem Israel—permeates Scripture, and Brueggemann has left no Ebenezer unturned in his exegetical search for this Redeemer.

His research will lead you through the Psalms, where he sets new paths for exploring theology and evangelism. This collection contains no fewer than three of his works on the Psalms, and any one of them might surprise you—his passion for prayer, praise, and poetry shines through his exegesis, as though having the same purpose as the Psalms themselves. In fact, we included some books on Brueggemann’s prayers and his early thoughts on the poetry and artistry of preaching the Gospel.

This low price on Walter Brueggemann won’t last!

The low price of $299.95—it would cost you nearly $600 to buy all 24 books in printwill go up September 5, so pre-order while the collection is at the lowest price!