The Power and Pitfalls of Studying Biblical Lists

ten-commandments

Christianity cannot be boiled down to a list of words—say, positive character qualities to be cultivated and opposite, negative qualities to be avoided.

goodbad

[Read more…]

Even the Bible Needed Upgrading, but Don’t Let That Scare You

bible upgrade

Wait a minute. The Bible needed an upgrade?

Those sound like fighting words to anyone with a high view of Scripture. An upgrade implies that something needed updating, but the Bible is timeless!

That’s true, but in this case I would have to excuse myself from the ring. I wouldn’t want to tangle with those responsible for the improvements: the biblical writers and, well, the Spirit of God.

[Read more…]

How to Use—and How Not to Use—the Amplified Bible

amplified

I’m working on a project, and I need your help. I’m looking for insights Bible readers have gained into Scripture by comparing English Bible translations. The lone rule is that you can’t know Greek or Hebrew. (You can reach me at mark.ward@faithlife.com.)

I mentioned this request to an astute friend and diligent Bible student, a grandmother who works full time as a writer-editor. Super sharp. A day later I received this:

[Read more…]

5 Basic Bible Study Techniques You Should Never Ignore

bible study techniques

“Measure twice, cut once.”

It’s a memorable adage, and good advice with application beyond carpentry. But after measuring and cutting for years, you may be tempted to cut the measuring frequency in half. After all, you’re an expert.

But even experts make careless mistakes.

[Read more…]

Is It Ever OK to Take Shortcuts in Bible Study?

bible-study-shortcuts

I’m not opposed to using the scenic route down the coast from work to home; I’ve taken it multiple times. But never on a workday, always on a Saturday.

I’m not opposed to using the scenic route in Bible study, either. I’ve taken it multiple times. But not usually when I have to prepare a Sunday school lesson or sermon during my “free” time in a long workweek.

So when I run into an interpretive question I need to answer, I unashamedly bring all the shortcutting power of Logos Bible Software to the task. I try to shorten the distance between the Point A of ignorance and the Point B of knowledge.

[Read more…]

How to Use a Little-Known but Helpful Feature in the Sermon Editor

One of the most talked about Logos 7 features is the Sermon Editor which continues to evolve and improve. A case in point is an almost unnoticed enhancement in the recently released Logos 7.4. Unless you know it’s there, you’re apt to overlook it, but this tweak may prove helpful as you prepare a Sermon document.

[Read more…]

How Should Christians Treat Pop Culture? Just Like Paul Did.

pop culture

Growing up, I had limited experience interacting with people from other cultures. That all changed when I became a student at a university in Vancouver, B.C.—a city where fewer than half of the residents speak English as their first language. Surrounded by fellow students from unfamiliar cultures and worldviews, I was plunged into the role of the outsider. I quickly realized how difficult it was to communicate ideas when two people don’t share first languages, backgrounds or cultural reference points.

As I studied Paul’s teachings and letters in graduate school, I learned to appreciate why God selected him for the role of apostle to the Gentiles. A “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil 3:5) steeped in Old Testament traditions, Paul had to explain the gospel and its implications to people of mostly non-Jewish background. He was the perfect man for the task: Although raised a Jew, Paul was brought up in a Graeco-Roman context (e.g., Acts 21:39).

This background gave Paul an insider’s perspective into Graeco-Roman culture and the lives of those he was trying to reach. He engaged popular culture so he could better communicate the gospel.

[Read more…]

The Profound Implications of the New Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery

qumran

From 1946–1956, the discovery of 11 caves on the West Bank of the Jordan River shook the world of biblical scholarship. Tucked away in those caves were ancient, earthen vessels containing what we now know as the Dead Sea Scrolls—a cache of manuscripts with profound implications for the text and history of Scripture.

Now, some 70 years later, the discovery of a 12th cave has the world of biblical academia reeling once again.

[Read more…]

Introducing a New, Free Version of Logos 7!

image00

Meet Logos 7 Basic: a free version of our acclaimed Bible software that puts biblical insights within reach of anybody with a hunger for God’s Word.

That’s right: free Bible software.

Compare translations, take notes and highlight, consult devotionals and commentaries, look up Greek and Hebrew words, and much more—all with the help of intuitive, interactive tools.

You can get started now—there’s no credit card required.

[Read more…]

How to Find Significant Prepositional Phrases in Johannine Literature

preposition john

I was recently reading 1 John in which I came to the phrase in the world in 1 John 2:15. From my research, I realized John frequently uses the Greek word kosmos usually translated world. During my study I asked a few questions such as:

  • Where else in John’s writings does he use kosmos?
  • What other prepositional phrases does John use with kosmos such as in the world, from the world, into the world, etc?

Such detailed questions are actually very easy to answer with the Guide, Bible Word Study, which is available in Logos 7.

[Read more…]