What Was Jesus’ Tomb Really Like?

What would it have been like to step into the empty tomb on that first Easter morning?

This isn’t just idle speculation. When we take the time to understand the ancient culture and customs of the biblical world—when we reconstruct the world in which those stories took place—familiar biblical stories take on new life. And we can get a good sense of what that first Easter morning was like by exploring first-century tombs that are still around today.

We’ve put together a free, online, interactive experience that takes you inside a first-century tomb. Celebrated scholar Craig Evans is your tour guide in this fascinating glimpse at the biblical world. Follow him into the empty tomb, and renew your appreciation of the power of the Easter story.

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Good and Bad Goals for Studying New Testament Greek

You want to study New Testament Greek? I talked last week about good and bad motivations for the work. Now let’s get more practical and talk goals.

If you set unrealistic goals you’ll never arrive at them. You’ll get discouraged and give up, and you won’t want to try again. And if you set goals that are too low, you’ll be missing out on some Bible study riches.

So set the right goals. Let me suggest three goals you should not set, and three goals you should.
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All Deals Live, Save 60% on Champions

Celebrate your champions by getting them 60% off (and console the runners-up by snagging them at 57% off). The tournament is over, but the savings last all month, and they include all resources that competed in the tournament.

Commentary champion: NICOT/NICNT

New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments—save 60%

This decades-long project has become recognized by scholars, pastors, and serious Bible students as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.

Each commentary opens with an introduction to the biblical book in question, looking especially at questions concerning its background, authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. A select bibliography also points readers to resources for their own study. The author’s own translation from the original Hebrew and Greek texts forms the basis of the commentary proper. Verse-by-verse comments nicely balance the in-depth discussions of technical matters—such as textual criticism and critical problems—with exposition of the biblical writer’s theology and its implications for the life of faith today.

Save 60% on NICOT/NICNT.


Runner-up: Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Revised Edition (57% off)

Since 1976, pastors, teachers, and students have turned to the EBC for content they can trust. With two million copies sold, the award-winning legacy continues in 2012 with a complete, totally revised, and updated 13-volume set. This new series contains 60% new content and provides the most recent evangelical scholarship from world-class scholars including new contributors George Guthrie, John Walton, Andrew E. Hill, Eugene H. Merrill, Andreas Köstenberger, and more.

 Save 57% on the Expositor’s Bible Commentary.


Course champion: Old Testament Exegesis

Old Testament Exegesis: Understanding and Applying the Old Testament—60% off

The books of the Old Testament were the only Scriptures Jesus had. It was books like Genesis and Deuteronomy, Isaiah and Psalms that shaped Jesus’ upbringing and guided his life in ministry as the Jewish Messiah. This course will give you the tools you need to access the Old Testament’s meaning and then apply it to your life. It will help you to grow in reading God’s living Word for depth and not just distance.

Save 60% on Old Testament Exegesis.


Runner-up: New Testament Exegesis: Understanding and Applying the New Testament (57% off)

Explore the concepts of genre, theology, translation, and more to help you accurately unfold the New Testament.

Save 57% on New Testament Exegesis.


Thank you for participating in the Logos March Madness tournament, and please enjoy these rarely discounted resources.

Browse all sales from Logos March Madness, available now through March 31 at midnight (PST).

The Right Way to Use a Commentary

“There’s no way to know it without discovery.” — Sara Groves, songwriter

Groves isn’t talking about commentaries when she sings that line, but she’s describing a fundamental truth about deep knowledge: it only comes by discovery. And discovery cannot be rushed.

Ideally, anyone digging into a biblical text wants to understand what God is revealing about Himself. The truths will be big, so they must be studied slowly and from every angle.

Here’s how to use commentaries as tools for discovery, rather than shortcuts to answers. [Read more…]

3 Reasons To Study Greek, and 3 Reasons Not To

You want to learn New Testament Greek?

Presumably, you’re a Christian, so my advice on this topic will be written for those who desire to love God and neighbor in all they do—even and especially in learning New Testament Greek.

Thinking carefully at the outset about why you want to learn Greek will enrich your study and help ensure that your work is an offering to the Lord.

Here are three reasons not to study Greek—and three to study it.
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How to Spot a Falsely Attributed Quotation

I was looking for a Mother’s Day gift and I stumbled across a quotation on the website of a local massage therapist:

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. —C.S. Lewis

I’m a huge Lewis fan, and I immediately said to myself, C.S. Lewis never said that. I just knew.

First a techie lesson on how I confirmed my suspicion, then a few biblical and theological reflections on what it means to know a writer’s voice.
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Why I Like C. S. Lewis

Today’s guest post was written by Ryan Pemberton, the author of the Walking with C. S. Lewis companion guide.

The wardrobe was foreign to me. As was the image of a faun carrying parcels under a lamppost in the snow, and the golden-maned lion, Aslan. All of those characters and features so central to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe were lost on me when I first read C. S. Lewis. I hadn’t grown up reading The Chronicles of Narnia, unlike so many friends. At 19, my first interaction with C. S. Lewis came in the form of Mere Christianity, a compilation of Lewis’s broadcast talks on Christianity delivered over BBC radio during World War II.
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If Commentaries Were Sports Teams

As much as Americans love democracy, we want sports to be a simple meritocracy: may the best team win.

A lose-and-you’re-out tournament is our idea of a championship. We don’t what sportswriters telling us who they think is best; we want winners to prove who’s best. That’s why Americans love college basketball’s March Madness.

For years, Bible commentary fans have relied on “sportswriters” to tell them which commentaries are best. Carson and  Longman (through their commentary surveys) and Denver Seminary and Detroit Seminary (through their lists) have long determined the best commentaries for each Bible book. Bestcommentaries.com (the Sportswriters Association of the commentary world) has aggregated those votes and become the go-to resource for recommendations. But there has never been a definitive commentary championship.

Until now. [Read more…]

A Systematic Theology for Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and I took this opportunity to pick up a new Lexham Press title by the late African-American theologian Charles Octavius Boothe: Plain Theology for Plain People.

Our American culture has changed since this book was first published in 1890. People don’t call each other “plain” anymore, so I want to make certain readers understand that Boothe’s title is loving and not disdaining. He writes in the preface, “This little book’s only mission is to help plain people in the study of the first principles of divine truth.”
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Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Answer the Canon Question?

Cave IV at Qumran

The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered between 1947 and 1956, transformed biblical studies. Found in a series of caves near an archaeological site on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea known as Qumran, they contributed to research on ancient scribal practices and the history of the Hebrew language. But beyond this research, the scrolls also directly affected an issue that has long been debated—the Old Testament canon. Did this find solidify what should or should not be included in our Bibles?
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