How to Grasp the Flow of Thought in a Passage

LogosPro_blogThere are few things more frustrating than hearing Bible verses taken out of context, especially if you consider yourself a serious student of the Bible. You know what I’m talking about—some well-meaning Christian quotes a verse. He’s uncovered a spiritual truth that perfectly addresses a personal challenge. The only problem? He’s completely ignored the surrounding context! The New Testament wasn’t written in isolated, versified chunks of unrelated texts. Each verse flows from a greater context. When we ignore the logical flow of a biblical passage or book, we risk misinterpretation. Understanding the flow of thought of a biblical passage is essential to good hermeneutics and sound application of biblical principles.
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Maximize Your Study of Proverbs with This Intuitive Tool

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The book of Proverbs is full of recurring themes, characters, and poetic forms. It covers everything from wealth and poverty, to archetypical characters such as “the foolish man” and “the righteous person.” But one of its most compelling features is the practical advice it offers parents and children. With the Proverbs Explorer in Logos 6, tracking down that wisdom is simple and intuitive. You can group and locate proverbs based on theme, type, characters, and even poetic form. In this video, I’ll show you how to quickly discover every proverb written from a father’s perspective, then refine your search to those written with the poetic structure known as “antithetical parallelism.”

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Understanding Textual Criticism Just Got Much Easier

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Textual criticism can be pretty intimidating. Sometimes, it’s hard to even know where to start. Today, I’ll show you how you can incorporate this essential task into your study using Logos 6. You can investigate textual differences in the Bible at any level, consult textual commentaries, browse all of your apparatuses, compare modern Greek and Hebrew editions as well as ancient versions, or get access to the original manuscripts—all in one place.

Let me walk you through a textual variant in the Gospel of John and show you how to discover the original reading of this text:
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Andreas Köstenberger on Studying Primary Sources

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This week’s Logos Pro post is by Andreas Köstenberger. Dr. Köstenberger is Senior Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He’s also a long-time user of Logos Bible Software.

In most areas of scholarship—and biblical research is no exception—engaging the primary sources is exceedingly important. There is no substitute for interacting directly with the text of the Bible and contemporaneous literature in the original languages. I have found that Logos Bible Software is an excellent tool for doing careful original-language work.
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Learn to Use the Timeline in Logos 6

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The Bible covers a staggering sweep of history. From the rise and fall of kingdoms to the intimate turmoil of families in desperate plights, Scripture tells it all. But that breadth also poses a challenge—how in the world do we keep track of all those people, events, and places?

When you branch into church history and theology, the problem only magnifies. It’s hard to remember who influenced whom, which theologian pioneered which doctrines, how schools of thought battled it out in the public arena, and which ideas came to define the worldview of their eras.

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Do You Skip This Important Bible-Study Step?

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Scripture tells the stories of real people living in real places. Abraham left his father’s home in Ur, sojourned in Egypt, and was buried in the cave of Machpeleh. David was anointed by Samuel in Bethlehem, ruled for seven years from Hebron, and spent the rest of his reign in Jerusalem. Jesus performed a miracle at Cana, travelled through Samaria, and appeared on the road to Emmaus after his resurrection.

These aren’t fictitious places made up for a story. They’re real locations you can find on a map. That’s why a good biblical atlas is an essential tool for understanding the geographical and cultural context of the biblical world. [Read more…]

Planning Your Next Sermon Series? Start Here.

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Tell me everything you know about the book of Romans. Ready, set, go!

Admit it: unless you’re Doug Moo, it’s pretty tough to summarize the background details of even this well-read and beloved epistle. But if you’ve ever preached through the book of Romans, you probably did just that. You pulled together commentaries, encyclopedias, and other resources, scoured them for relevant content, then repackaged your study into a series introduction that your congregation could quickly grasp.

If you preach expositionally through books of the Bible, beginning a new series can be daunting. There’s loads of content to sort through, and it’s a challenge to sift the helpful stuff from the same bland, cursory information repeated in every commentary introduction. Today, I’ll show you how Logos can help with this essential step in your sermon prep.

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Get the Most Out of Commentaries in Logos

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I remember writing exegetical papers before I used Logos. My desk sagged under the weight of bulky commentaries. My notes were scattered across legal pads and word processor documents. I was constantly flipping between my Nestle-Aland, Biblia Hebraica, and English translations and commentaries.

Now I can access hundreds of commentaries on my computer with just a few keystrokes—and all my notes and highlights are clean and organized. But that’s not the half of it. In Logos, my commentaries are crazy powerful.

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Reveal the Poetic Structure of the Psalms in Seconds

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C.S. Lewis once said, “The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.”

Poetry has the unique power to evoke the vast and varied expanse of human emotion. And the Psalms have it all—from fiery, righteous indignation to wild, unbridled joy and profound bewilderment.

How do they do it? What is it about these ancient songs that still captures our hearts, and, like Lewis said, compels us to delight in God?

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Logos Pro—It’s Friday Night & Your Sermon Isn’t Working

In two days, you’ll stand behind the pulpit and preach from John 12—the beautiful story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus.

It’s Friday night, but Sunday’s sermon just hasn’t come together yet.

After hours of studying the text—consulting commentaries, doing word studies, and wrestling with the literary context—you’ve hit a wall. What are you missing?

There’s got to be more to this passage, and you have a hunch that it has something to do with the cultural phenomenon of anointing. You know that in the ancient world of Jesus, anointing was both profoundly important and commonplace.

If you could just access other ancient literature and biblical texts that deal with this cultural concept, you’d have a strong grasp of the significance of Mary’s anointing of Jesus.

But time is running out.

Get everything instantly with the Logos 6 Cultural Concepts tool

The Cultural Concepts tool in Logos 6 quickly reveals cultural concepts of the biblical world such as music, food, death practices, economic structures, marriage rituals—and, yes: anointing. We’ve cataloged more than 1,000 cultural concepts across 80,000 hand-labeled tags! Because the Logos team has done the research for you, contextual work that used to take hours can now be done in seconds by anyone.

Watch as I show you how this feature gathers literature on cultural concepts relevant to the text you’re studying—all in one place.

Get the resources you need

When you pull up the Cultural Concepts tool in your passage guide, Logos draws together literature from across your Logos library. Here are some resources that have been a huge help to me as I’ve investigated cultural concepts in Scripture.

  • Cultural Concepts Collection—We’ve hand-tagged a slew of resources with cultural concepts—and this 20-volume collection curates the indispensable resources you didn’t know you needed until now. You’ll find everything from the Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls study edition to Hallo’s and Younger’s comprehensive The Context of Scripture.
  • IVP Bible Dictionaries Bundle—These eight volumes from InterVaristy Press give you nearly 9,000 pages of historical and cultural background to power the Cultural Concepts section in the Passage Guide.
  • Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary—This is it: the gold standard of Bible dictionaries. Your Logos library is incomplete without it—and the Logos team has tagged this authoritative resource to power your research of cultural concepts.
  • The Social World of Ancient Israel—This resource looks at the most prominent social institutions of early Israel, and then shows how properly understanding them is essential for sound biblical interpretation.

Get started right now!

The Cultural Concept tool is available in Logos 6 Bronze and above, but to get the most out of this tool, I recommend Logos 6 Gold or higher. Get started with Logos 6 and Cultural Concepts now.

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