Smokers Drive Up Costs of Bibles

It used to be thatprisoners would roll an inexpensive cigarettefrom a pageout of theBible, but no longer.According to a report fromCrosswalk.com, smokers half a world away are driving up the cost of the special paper used to print Bibles.

What goes around comes around.

Smoking Curtails Bible Production

Religion Today Summaries, April 26, 2007—There are at least two good reasons to stop smoking. Number one: It may damage your health. Number two: It raises the production costs for Bibles, ASSIST News Service reports. The Chinese craving for cigarettes is responsible for rising paper costs in bible printing, according to the business manager of the German Bible Society, Felix Breidenstein. Because of the rising demand for cigarette paper in China the special thin paper used in bible printing is getting more expensive, as Breidenstein told the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The German Bible Society sells approximately 400,000 bibles per year.

I’ve always been intrigued by how our experience of the Bible is affected by the medium, which in turn is constrained by logistical factors such as the cost of paper.

The Bible has a lot of pages and yet it’s a book we carry around with us more than most other books. That means we want it to be thin and light, not big and bulky.Hence special, super-thin paper, small print, two- or three-column layout, and relatively narrow margins. All of these factors impact our interaction with the Bible in subtle or not-so subtle ways. Example: Thin pages => special no-bleed marking pens =>crocheted Bible cover with pockets to hold pens. It’s a slippery slope.

Of course, the experience of using an electronic Bible is similarly influenced by the library software used to read and search it. How cross-references or footnotes are handled, how poetry is formatted, options for notes and highlighting—all these and more contribute to the user experience, and all are subject to various constraints.

The difference is, electronic Bible publishers fret about CPU, RAM, and screen size while print Bible publishers lie awake at night worrying about how many Chinese are taking up smoking.

Update 4/27 – Smoking Bible pages actually does happen, as attested by a Bible Network News audio report about a prisoner whose chaplain asked him not to smoke the book of John. Click here to open the BNN page, then scroll down to “Texan smoked Bible passages”.

Logos for the Mac Update

Searching works! Logos Bible Software for the Mac is continuing to progress, and the latest drop has searching up and running. The screenshot also shows My Library and the Bibliography report.

For a closer look, choose the medium(900px) or large(1600px) version.

On the Links with Logos

Here’s a quick round-up of some Logos-related posts from the blogosphere…

Logos user and seminarianPatrick McCullough is Looking for more Anabaptists on Libronix Software.

He writes, “If you’re a fan and owner of Logos Bible Software (aka Libronix Digital Library), and I am, there’s a good chance that your particular theological tradition is represented in their available collections of historical works.”

Patrick includes a great list of links to theological titles from the Lutheran tradition already available for Logos, then goes on to offer a big list of Anabaptist titles and author she’d like to see in his digital library. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re always eager to receive customer suggestions so keep them coming!


New Logos user Heavy Dluxe tells the story of his 11-month search for the right Bible software and how he chose Logos Bible Software. It looks like he’ll be writing a series of posts that would be helpful to anyone doing their pre-purchase homework.


One of the fun things about the world of blogs is getting to “eavesdrop” on conversations people are having with their family and friends (and random readers who drop by).

One blogger recently described her first experience using Logos at a relative’s house and wrote, “Seriously, even if I couldn’t get excited about Bible research, I could still get quite giddy with the thought of using a program where I just have to click a link and I can see every commentary in the digital library on any specific topic or passage I require.”

Could this be our new tagline?

Logos Bible Software: Making Bible students giddy since 1991.

Another blogger who is a self-described Bible study geek says she cried (tears of mourning, not joy) when Libronix DLS replaced the old Logos Library System back in 2001. But Logos 3, released in May 2006, has made her a happy Bible study geek again.

We always appreciate comments and links; we’ve said it before and will say it again: our customers are the best and we’re privileged to serve you.

Happy Curry Day!

Today marks the 7th Annual Logos Curry Cook-Off!

The very first Logos Curry Cook-Off occurred in early April, 2001, with Rick Brannan taking top honors and Eli Evans coming in a close second. I just dug back into my email folder and found a link to photos from the First-Ever Logos Curry Contest at Rick’s website. Seems like ancient history.

Of course, curry has a great history of its own—stretching back to biblical times no less! Peter & Colleen Grove write in their work Curry, Spice & All Things Nice,

“The earliest known recipe for meat in spicy sauce with bread appeared on tablets found near Babylon in Mesopotamia, written in cuniform text as discovered by the Sumerians, and dated around 1700 B.C., probably as an offering to the god Marduk.”

Curry is Cooking!In the first English cookbook, published in 1390, the word cury denotes cooking.

Our curry is enjoyed for its own sake, with no religious connotations except a prayer before the meal. But perhaps the Ancient Near East connection explains why we at Logos love curry so much! (I will be concerned, however, if Vincent Setterholm and Mike Heiser team up to decode the Sumerian cuneiform and enter Marduk Curry next year.)

The Grove book has a chapter devoted to the origins of curry, which includesan extensive discussion of the etymology of the word curry, the lineage of this noble food, and the following delightful poem by Thackeray. The authors introduce the poem thus:

“In 1780 the first commercial curry powder appeared and in 1846 its fame was assured when William Makepeace Thackeray wrote a ‘Poem to Curry’ in his ‘Kitchen Melodies’.”

Curry

Three pounds of veal my darling girl prepares,And chops it nicely into little squares; Five onions next prures the little minx (The biggest are the best, her Samiwel thinks), And Epping butter nearly half a pound, And stews them in a pan until they’re brown’d. What’s next my dexterous little girl will do? She pops the meat into the savoury stew, With curry-powder table-spoonfuls three, And milk a pint (the richest that may be), And, when the dish has stewed for half an hour, A lemon’s ready juice she’ll o’er it pour. Then, bless her! Then she gives the luscious pot A very gentle boil – and serves quite hot. PS – Beef, mutton, rabbit, if you wish, Lobsters, or prawns, or any kind fish,Are fit to make a CURRY. ‘Tis, when done, A dish for Emperors to feed upon.

New Blogs and Old

Two new Logos-related blogs were launched recently.

Bob Pritchett, Logos president and CEO, has a new blog at BobPritchett.com that joins his Fire Someone Today blog and occasional contributions right here at the Logos Blog. His new blog is subtitled “Business, technology, and Logos Bible Software.”

In his introductory post, Bob writes:

I believe in blogging, and I want to do it well. Especially the raw, open blogging that makes some organizations transparent and approachable.

So be sure to check out Bob’s new blog and subscribe.

Original Expression is a new blog started by Bill Nienhuis, director of publisher relations at Logos. Billtravels a lot to meet with publishers and negotiate licenses for new books. His blog’s byline is “Book publishing, ePublishing, and everything in between.” Recent posts have focused on his time at the London Book Fair.

Rick Brannan, an information architect in our design and editorial department, is still going strong with Ricoblog and also runs and posts regularly to the PastoralEpistles blog. Rick blogsa lot about the Greek New Testament, from text critical matters to orthography, from exegetical questions to the latest book he’s reading.

Links & RSS Info

Here are links to various “personal blogs” from Logos employees. Additionalinfo about RSS feeds (e.g., what are they and how do I use them?) and links to Logos feeds can be found at the Logos and RSS page.

Bob Pritchett, president and CEOFireSomeoneToday- Subscribe! RSSBobPritchett.comSubscribe! RSS
Rick Brannan, design and editorialRicoblog- Subscribe! RSSPastoralEpistles.com- Subscribe! RSS
Bill Nienhuis, director, publisher relations officeOriginalExpression - Subscribe! RSS

Social Experiment at Amazon

It looks like Amazon.com is doing an experiment in social tagging. UnSpun beta allows users to create lists of anything they want, associate links with each item, then open up the list to the community of Internet users to rank and comment.

One of the most popular lists at UnSpun right nowis titled Best Blogs about Biblical Studies. It lists 65 blogs that deal with biblical studies issues. It’s worth visiting as you will probably find some new blogs or sites to check out.

The way their ranking system works is that visitors can “vote” for items on the list by clicking the up or down arrows as shown below (see the “click” pointer).

If you click the Your Ranking link and sign in, you can create your own ranking of some or all of the items in the original list.

Just click the left-pointing arrow to move items to your list (as shown below). This impacts their spot in the Community Ranking even more than the simple up or down vote.

Check it out and show your support for the LogosBlog if you are so inclined.

Other UnSpun lists that may be of interest:

Muppets in Middle-Earth (Frivolity at Logos)


Last Friday, Ken Smith, general manager of electronic publishing services at Logos and author of a number of blog posts, conceived of an idea for a new Muppets movie: The Muppets inMiddle-Earth. That’s right, a muppet cast for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings!

During the lunch hour, Ken sent an office wide email that began:

“I got to thinking about which Muppet characters I would cast into which LOTR roles and decided it would be a fun little diversion to share with anyone who wanted to give their opinion.”

When somebody throws down the gauntlet like that, what can you do but rise to the challenge?

A number of people did so, resultingin the following consensus cast list for The Muppets in Middle-Earth (with comments from Ken Smith). Feel free to leave your own nominations, cheers or jeers in the comments section!

Frodo: Kermit Sam: Fozzie Bear Gandalf: Big Bird Aragorn: Kermit (There was no clear second choice) Legolas: Gonzo Gimli: Tie between Rizzo the Rat and Cookie Monster Merry/Pippin: Ernie/Bert Gollum: Tie between Oscar the Grouch and Animal Galadriel: Janice Arwen: Miss Piggy Elrond: Tie between Dr. Teeth and Sam the Eagle (Sam definitely has Elrond’s permanent scowl) Saruman: Tie between Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Count von Count Eowyn: Miss Piggy (dual-role? I think she could handle it.) Wormtongue: Rizzo the Rat Orcs: Animal, Sweetums Black Riders: Count von Count, Statler & Waldorf

No consensus (see below):Bilbo, Boromir, Faramir, Theoden, Eomer

Not on the original list: Treebeard: Big Bird Cave Troll: Sweetums

Here are other nominations, with comments from those who submitted them:

Frodo: Grover, Fozzie Bear

Sam: Scooter, Elmo, Grover

Gandalf: Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Swedish ChefRowlf (with a dorky hat)John Denver (if he were still alive–maybe some CGI magic?)

Aragorn: Floyd, Big Bird, RowlfGrover (with possible appearance by Super Grover)Here I would cast a live-action actor, say, Christopher Walken

Legolas: Janice, Grover, Elmo, Floyd

Gimli: Sweetums (muh-nah-muh-nah), Fozzie Bear, Gonzo

Merry/Pippen: Gonzo/Rizzo the Rat, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew/Beaker

Gollum: Beaker

Galadriel: Miss Piggy, Camilla the Chicken

Arwen: Sam the Eagle in a wig

Elrond: Elmo, Grover, Big Bird

Bilbo: Swedish Chef, Gonzo, Cookie Monster, Telly, FloydStatler… or Waldorf (they could switch off, like Mary Kate and Ashley did)

Boromir: Statler, Cookie Monster, Zoot, Scooter, Bert

Faramir: Waldorf, Rowlf, Grover, Ernie

Saruman: Statler

Theoden: Swedish Chef, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Rowlf

Eomer: Rowlf, Elmo, Robin the frog, Gobo (Fraggle Rock)

Eowyn: Janice, Camilla the Chicken, Mokey (Fraggle Rock)

Wormtongue: Beaker, Waldorf, Oscar the Grouch, Marvin Suggs

Orcs: Oscar the Grouch, Clifford, Bobo, Floyd, Dr. Teeth, Pepe the PrawnOne Million Swedish Chefs (Just picture it…)

Black Riders: Sam the Eagle, Zoot, The Fragglesthe purple siamese twin monsters from Sesame StreetGonzo (fell beasts, chickens, same difference)

Other fun comments:

Aside from the hobbits listed above, all the other hobbits would have to be those aliens from Sesame Street that just walked around saying “yip-yip-yip-yip yuuuuuup“.

I know that having the Swedish Chef as Gandalf is bizarre, but just think how funny it would be to hear him shouting out lines like “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!“

At the end, we find out that that … Sauron … is … really …

… ELMO!

Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. James A. Herrick

This month’s lecturer ismy friend and former college professor Dr. Jim Herrick.

His lecture, entitled “Exploring New Myths of Science and Science Fiction,” will be held at the Mt. Baker Theater here in Bellingham at 7:00pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Professor Herrick’s classes on rhetoric and argumentation were some of my favorite classeswhile an undergraduate at Hope College, which prompted me to declare a major in communication.

One thing I’ve always admired about Professor Herrick is the scope of hisinquiry and his ability to bring together ideas from various disciplines and historical eras. I expect that the lecture tomorrow will provide a fascinating and challenging look at how popular cultural gives expression to significant, spiritual ideas.

Herrick’s book The Making of a New Spirituality weaves together Kabbalah, Ayn Rand, Joseph Smith, Marcus Borg, Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and many other influential figuresto make a case that a new spirituality is emerging that “directly calls into question each major tenet of Judeo-Christian tradition and so represents a radical alternative to it.”

His chapter on science fiction touches on aVictorian-era science fictionnovel, Spielberg’s classic movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Star Trek mythology to show how these cultural artifacts express and reinforce the notion of human evolutionary progress.

If you’re in the area, I hope you can make it to the lecture tomorrow night. Click here for furtherdetails.

For those who can’t make it, I give a hearty plug for Jim’s books, including the one on Scientific Mythologies to be released in 2008:

The Making of the New Spirituality: The Eclipse of the Western Religious Tradition(InterVarsity Press, 2003)

  • A 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion Finalist and one of Preaching magazine’s 2004 “Top Ten Books Every Preacher Should Read”

Scientific Mythologies: How Science and Science Fiction Forge New Religious Beliefs (InterVarsity Press, 2008)

The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists: The Discourse of Skepticism, 1680-1750(Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1997)

The History and Theory of Rhetoric, 3rd Edition (Allyn & Bacon, 2005)

Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments(Strata Publishing, 2003)

Bringing the Bible Back to America

Logos is taking the Bible Study Bus back on the road this summer!

Right now we’re working hard to line up host churches in cities all across the country. If you’re able to open your churchor school foran event, please check the itinerary at www.BibleStudyBus.com and then fill out this brief survey with some details about your venue.

The following article should give you a flavor of what the tour will be like.

[Read more...]

Logos Lecture Series Presents Dr. Long–Regent College

Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke works in the marketing department at Logos.
Today Logos Bible Software will present Dr. V. Philips Long in the second event of the popular Lecture Series.

Dr. Long, who is currently a professor of Old Testament Studies at Regent College, will be addressing the question “Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?”

The Bible has been much in the news recently, not least because some are claiming that its value as a source of historical information is minimal. But is biblical history “bunk,” as Henry Ford once remarked with respect to all history? Is the Old Testament a “False Testament,” as Daniel Lazare asserted in a 2002 article in Harper’s Magazine (basing his views largely on a book entitled The Bible Unearthed, by Finkelstein and Silberman)?

Reasons for questioning the historical reliability of the Old Testament have ranged from the theological to the literary to the archaeological. But none of the reasons cited justify the dismissal of the historical value of the Old Testament. In fact, current advances in the literary study of the Bible, breakthroughs in archaeological discovery and interpretation, and greater awareness of how one’s “background beliefs” (including theological ones) influence textual interpretation, open the door to a much more favorable verdict regarding the historical reliability of the Old Testament.

As always, this event will be free to attend and open to the public. The event will begin at 7:00 PM at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

Get there early because seats will be limited.

For more information about this and other lectures visit www.Logos.com/lectures.