What Your View of Judges 11 Says About Your View of the Entire Bible

judges 11

Last week I asked a question that struck a chord in readers. I promised that your answer to that question would “reveal everything you believe about the Old Testament.” Who knew so many people cared so deeply—and had done so much thinking—about whether or not Jephthah sacrificed his daughter in Judges 11?

But before I reveal what I believe about Jephthah’s daughter, let me point out what I do not believe: that everyone who voted differently than I did has a flawed view of the Old Testament. There is room for debate here, and at least one Old Testament scholar I respect greatly has argued in detail for the opposite view. (My replies are here.) In fact, I checked about 40 commentaries, and the proportion of yes and no votes was exactly the same as in the poll from last week’s post.

[Read more…]

How to Get the Most Out of Your Logos Home Page

how to get the most out of the Logos home page

True confession: I turned off the Logos home page within the Logos desktop software when it came out in Logos 4. I lazily assumed there was nothing there I wanted to see.

I was, to use a word favored by theologians and exegetes everywhere, wrong.

I now check the desktop home page pretty much every day.

Don’t repeat my error. If you are, you’re missing some good content, and free content.

[Read more…]

The Question That Reveals Everything You Believe About the Old Testament

jephthah's rash vow

Answer me one question about an obscure story in Judges chapter 11, and I’ll tell you what your view of the whole Old Testament is. I’ve argued before that your view of the trees is determined by your view of the forest, and I think the story of Jephthah provides an excellent example of how this works.

[Read more…]

Why 10 Translations May Be Better Than 1 Greek (or Hebrew) Bible

shutterstock_274776536_rendered

A clever and provocative author wrote something clever and provocative recently about Bible translation:

We are accustomed to say things like “something got lost in the translation,” which it frequently does. But can anything ever be gained? Let me pose a question for you all, without attempting to answer it myself . . . .

Here is my question. Suppose you take an average Greek-speaking Christian in Asia Minor about 200 A.D., and you give him a copy of the book of Ephesians in Greek, which he reads ten times. Now take a modern Christian who knows both English and French. Give him ten different translations of the book of Ephesians, 7 in English and 3 in French. He reads each one of them once through. Who now has a better grasp of the message of Ephesians?

I merely pose the question and run away.

Well I’m slow, and as he runs away I’m stuck here holding the bag. I simply have to take up this challenge and answer this fascinating, stimulating, clever, provocative question.

[Read more…]

How to Do Bible Word Studies: A Fool-Proof Guide

how to do a bible word study

Word studies are a treasure trove . . . and a mine field. Somehow you have to weave through the dangers to get the treasures. Think for a moment: if you were about to enter such a field, what would you want to know about first? The gold or the bombs?

I’d want to know about the treasures first: do they make it worthwhile to even bother learning about the dangers? And then I’d want a detailed accounting of the dangers—so I can live to enjoy the good stuff.

[Read more…]

5 Ways the Logos Pros Can Help with Your Bible Study

Bible study

The mission of Faithlife is to “use technology to equip the church to grow in the light of the Bible.” And we really mean it. I didn’t take the job until I asked the VP who interviewed me, “What is your company mission?,” and he said, “to serve the church.” I have also listened with two critical ears to all the public statements of CEO Bob Pritchett since I arrived. I wanted to know if he would articulate Faithlife’s mission carefully, and I wanted to know whether he really cared about that mission. He did. He does.

The team I’m on, the Logos Pros, serves the company mission in a pretty direct way. We serve our users—you—by providing free software training with a “missional” twist. Every time you watch one of the Logos Pros’ many videos, or read one of our many posts on the Logos blogs, you get exegetical or theological insight along with the software training.

But there are many more ways we can help you get more out of your Bible study and learn how to use Logos. Here are just a few—one from each member of our team.

[Read more…]

Tim Challies and Going All in with Ebooks

challies

An open letter to Tim Challies, in response to a recent blog post.

Dear Tim,

The people in my office at Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software, read your post “Going All-in With Ebooks” with excitement—and not just because we sell ebooks (including quite a few of them to you, and some of them by you). We read with interest because we are interested in reading. We like books, as do our users, and we like all kinds of books: biography, history, fiction, memoir, and, preeminently, theology and biblical commentary.

[Read more…]

How To Search Logos.com (or Any Website) in a Flash

search on logos.com

Calling all nerd wannabes. I, on behalf of the Logos Pros, am about to share with you one of the most useful computer tips you will ever get. I mean that. I’m going to apply the tip to a narrow question: “What’s the quickest and easiest way to search Logos.com for a particular book or resource?”  The answer will help you with all the important sites you search online, from Google to Wikipedia to Beaniebabies.com.

[Read more…]

How Good Are the Sermons You Preach to Yourself?

preach sermons
Even if you’ll never preach a single sermon in your entire life, you should still know what good preaching is. And not just so you can spot (and avoid) bad preaching; not even so you can seek out good preaching. You need to understand what makes a good sermon because every time you interpret the Bible, practically speaking, you’re preaching the Bible to yourself.

How good are your self-sermons?
[Read more…]

What if People Actually Studied Their Bibles?

how to study the Bible

Imagine what would happen if thousands of Christians actually did what we all sort of feel like we’re supposed to do, especially at the New Year: imagine that we all read the Bible.

If you’ve been part of our 30-day Bible study challenge since it began on January 1, congratulations! You’ve now made it halfway! If you haven’t, it’s not too late to sign up.

[Read more…]