Thanksgiving Dinner on My First Day

I picked a great day to start my new job here at Logos. Today we had a very nice spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and much more for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. (It was early this year because some of the guys will be gone next week at the upcoming ETS and SBL national conferences.)
Here are some pictures from the party.


As you can see, I was a little too excited about the food to smile for the camera. (That’s me in the gray sweater smiling instead at the turkey.)


I’m thrilled to be a part of the team here at Logos. I can already tell that it’s going to be a great place to work. I’ll be working in the marketing department, so I’ll be contributing to the blog on a regular basis. Look for my official introduction in my next post.

Logos at the Evangelical Theological Society’s National Conference

Logos will be at the Evangelical Theological Society’s (ETS) National Conference in San Diego. A few of us are giving papers at the conference. Here are the details; if they sound interesting to you we’d love to see you drop by the sessions.
Of course, we’d also love for you to drop by our booth any time during the conference. So if you’re in San Diego at ETS, come on by and see what we’ve been up to (like the Qumran Biblical Scrolls and also the Semitic Inscriptions project).
We’ll see you in San Diego!



Wednesday, Nov. 14, 4:10-4:50 PM
Garden Salon Two
Richard W. Brannan
Richard Bauckham and Eyewitness Testimony: Does His Narrative Device Occur Outside of the Synoptics?
A recent book by Richard Bauckham (Jesus and the Eyewitnesses) describes Marcan usage of something he calls the “plural to singular narrative device” (Bauckham 156-157). He defines the device using syntactic terminology: “a plural verb … without an explicit subject is used to describe the movements of Jesus and his disciples, followed immediately by a singular verb or pronoun referring to Jesus alone” (Bauckham 156-157). Using this device, Bauckham posits Mark’s usage of Peter’s eyewitness testimony as underlying source for 21 different movements of Jesus (e.g. Mk 1.21).
Bauckham’s exploration of this narrative device is limited to the synoptic gospels. But does the device occur elsewhere? This paper argues that if such a thing as the plural-to-singular narrative device exists, then Ac 18.19 should be considered an additional Lucan instance of the device.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 11:10-11:40 AM
Sunset
Michael S. Heiser
The Professor and Mariamne: The Textual and Statistical Justification for Marooning James Tabor’s “Jesus Tomb Theory” on Gullible’s Island
(This session is part of the Near East Archaeological Society’s general session)
On March 4, 2007 the Discovery Channel aired a documentary touting the discovery of the “Lost Tomb of Jesus.” Negative responses quickly followed from all quarters of academia, across the theological spectrum. There has been one notable exception among biblical scholars, Dr. James Tabor, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Despite the fact that popular interest in the Jesus Family Tomb has declined steadily in the wake of the overwhelmingly unfavorable response, Tabor has defended the film’s thesis. The reason is straightforward: an identification of the Talpiot tomb as the Jesus Family Tomb would lend support to Tabor’s own theory about the historical Jesus. This paper overviews and evaluates Tabor’s ongoing arguments for a Jesus family tomb in support of his own larger thesis about the historical Jesus.



Thursday, Nov. 15, 3:00-3:40 PM
Royal Palm Salon Two
Steven Runge
Teaching them what NOT to Do: The Nuances of Negation in the Greek New Testament
Most descriptions of negation are primarily concerned with highlighting the distinctions between ου and μη. Little attention is given to variation in the syntax of negation constructions. The biblical writers frequently used negation to describe what did not happen as a means of adding emphasis to what did happen. Emphasis can also be assigned by emphasizing a specific component of a clause rather than the entire negated clause. The purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate the basic patterns observed in the Greek NT. Based on this description, representative examples will be presented that demonstrate the exegetical payoff of careful attention to negation.


Friday, Nov. 16, 11:30 AM -12:10 PM
Royal Palm Salon Five
Michael S. Heiser
Did Jesus Allow for Reincarnation? Assessing the Syntax of John 9:3-4
In a 2003 article in the scholarly journal Filología Neotestamentaria entitled, “The True Meaning of Jn 9:3-4,” J. D. M. Derrett raised the possibility that Jn 9:3-4 (the man blind from birth) could plausibly be construed as evidence that Jesus was not opposed to the idea of reincarnation. Derrett argued that the disciples’ question about why the man was born blind suggests that the disciples were prepared to accept that the man had sinned in the womb or in a previous life. According to Derrett a specific syntactical structure (the “relative negative”— ου/μη [or any negative particle] . . . αλλα, followed by ινα) in Jesus’ response does not denote a categorical denial of the idea. This paper tests this assertion by means of Logos’ implementation of the OpenText.org syntactically-tagged database.

Listen to Dr. H. Wayne House’s Lecture

This past Monday (October 22) Dr. H. Wayne House gave his lecture “The Jesus Who Never Lived: False Christs and the Authentic Jesus.”

Click here to listen to Dr. House’s lecture.

Dr. House spoke for approximately one hour and then took questions for another 15 minutes. One of the highlights of his lecture was the incorporation of content from the Dead Sea Scrolls into New Testament interpretation. Dr. House had some amazing things to say regarding what the Jews would have expected from a Messiah, and how Jesus fulfilled those expectations in his life and teaching.

This lecture is highly recommended for those who want to combat the inaccuracies of some modern thoughts on the identity of Christ – including the Da Vinci Code, the Jesus Seminar, and the late Peter Jennings’ documentary on the historical Jesus.

Enjoy the lecture!

The Jesus Who Never Lived

Tonight Logos welcomes author and professor Dr. H. Wayne House to Bellingham for the Logos Lecture Series. Dr. House will present on “The Jesus Who Never Lived: False Christs and the Authentic Jesus.”

Ever since Jesus came to earth there has been a variety of ways in which He has been understood by those who have supposedly been His followers and by others who have had only a curiosity about Him. Some early Jews viewed Him as a prophet, while some early followers considered Him only a man (Ebionites), not a man at all (Gnostics) or a lesser god than the Father (Arians). Later Islam embraced Jesus as one of their prophets, and eastern mystics have considered Him as a guru. Since the enlightenment there have been four historical quests to discover the real Jesus, one who is only human in contrast to the voice of the orthodox church since its earliest days. Contemporary liberal scholars, news pundits, and Hollywood have had many opinions about Jesus, all different from how Jesus is presented in the earliest historical records of the Gospels and eyewitness accounts of those who walked with Him.

The purpose of this talk is to explain what has been said about Jesus over the centuries, particularly in the popular culture and press, why the picture of Jesus has emerged from various groups and people, and how we should best understand Jesus as He really was from the best evidence that we have about Him from those who knew Him.

Dr. H. Wayne House has authored or edited 30 books from publishers such as Zondervan, Thomas Nelson, and Kregel. He is the New Testament editor of the Nelson Study Bible and Nelson Illustrated Bible Commentary.

Please join us tonight at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre at 7-8:30 PM. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Cast Your Vote for Christian Websites

Whether it’s on the best-seller lists, survey results or in the voting booth many Christians today feel underrepresented, or even misrepresented, by polls and statistics. Now there is a new way to let your voice be heard and “vote” for your favorite websites without having to answer any questions or fill out any surveys—with the Alexa Toolbar. In fact, when you have the Alexa Toolbar on your internet browser you don’t need to do anything aside from typical web surfing to show your support of the Christian websites you visit.

How does this work? It couldn’t possibly be easier. After downloading the Alexa toolbar, your visit to a website is essentially a vote that the site is worth your time. Data is collected and Alexa assigns a rank to every website on the internet. As a site gets more and more popular it gets closer to the coveted #1 ranking (currently held by Yahoo!). This is a free and completely hassle-free way to support the Christian websites you visit and raise their profile amongst secular sites.

Of course there are additional benefits to having the toolbar besides letting your voice (or mouse clicks) be heard. You can instantly click a button and see the “Whois” information about the people that own the site you are visiting, see a suggested list of similar sites, block pop-ups, email the page to a friend and so much more. You can also see the Alexa rank of every website you visit at the top of the page, which is a great way to find out how popular or reputable a website is. For example, if you are purchasing expensive jewelry over the web, it’s comforting to know you are making your order at a website that has an Alexa rank of 16,727 (BlueNile.com) rather than a site that looks impressive, yet is not even in the top 10 million sites on the net! There is no guarantee that an Alexa ranking ensures credibility or lack thereof, it is just one more way to make an informed decision when purchasing over the internet.

Click here to visit the Alexa Toolbar download page and follow the instructions in the page. The toolbar requires Windows and Internet Explorer 6.0 or greater. Firefox users can download the Sparky Toolbar, which is also made by Alexa and provides all the same features and benefits.

When downloading any tool on the internet it’s always important to know what you are getting. Alexa collects data to rank websites and provide related links on your toolbar. For a great description of how and why they do this refer to the Alexa Toolbar Privacy Policy. Regardless of whether or not you use of the Alexa Toolbar, you are sending information to each website you visit as soon as you arrive there. Alexa is simply utilizing that information to provide a service to you and all other toolbar users.

When considering all the benefits of downloading the Alexa Toolbar it’s easy to see why it is so popular. So download the Alexa Toolbar today and start “voting” for your favorite websites.

10 Million Dollar Library Expansion

Dale Pritchett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Logos, is today’s guest blogger.

A quick search on Google will show there is a whole lot of fund-raising going on to finance brand-new climate-controlled luxury homes for old-fashioned paper books. Construction projects abound—ranging from 1.5 million dollars to more than 40 million dollars. They all share common characteristics; high construction costs, engineers, permits, contractors, bricks and mortar, real estate, parking lots, lengthy construction times and of course, literally tons of paper books.

Guess what else all physical library projects have in common? They all require a substantial commitment on the part of the patron to physically travel in order to visit the books. They are all designed to meet the needs of a thousand year old residential learning model in which a select group of geographically local individuals, for a prescribed period of time, cram as much information as possible into their heads before they scatter across the world and leave the library behind them forever.

With nerves of steel, I will resist the temptation to offer contrasts to the Libronix Digital Library System—you can do that for yourself. The world is changing rapidly and I am sure glad I don’t have to raise money to build library buildings. I feel the pain of those who are caught in the middle of the first major paradigm shift in more than a thousand years.

I will make one final comment: If I could divert funds from just one of those 10 million dollar brick and mortar library expansions to an investment in world missions, I could equip every full-time missionary in the world today with a Scholar’s Library, instead of putting up a building that a few hundred or few thousand people might someday decide to travel to and try to find the right book in. A little goes a long way.

Logos Lecture Series Video

In the famous words of Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want.” At Logos we take every chance we can get to disprove the wrinkly rocker. That’s why we have heeded your requests to make available the most recent installment in the Logos Lecture Series.

Click here to watch Dr. Michael Heiser’s presentation, “The Concept of a Godhead in the Old Testament.”Podcast (24.4 MB)Audio Only (29.7 MB MP3)

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to check the Lecture Series web page regularly for updates on future lectures.

Sign up now for BibleTech 2008!

Now is the time! Registration is live for BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!
We’ve got a variety of speakers addressing all kinds of topics at the intersection of the Bible and technology. We’ll be looking at digital Bible maps, online education, open source projects, web-based language tools, and Bible-reference micro-formats for marking up HTML.
Pastor, programmer, or professor, there’s something for you at BibleTech!
More importantly, we’ve got a great group of people showing up. As interesting as many of the sessions sound, I am even more excited about spending two days meeting and talking with people who share my interest in the Bible and technology. I hope you’ll come and be part of it.
We have tried to make BibleTech 2008 as easy to attend as possible. We’re holding it literally across the street from the SeaTac airport, so you don’t need a car or taxi; you can walk. We’re also pricing the tickets at a “covers costs” level. (Your ticket includes three conference meals, coffee breaks, etc.)
Tickets for BibleTech 2008 are being sold through the Logos Pre-Pub system, so that we can get a head-count in advance. You can pre-order your ticket now without being charged until December.
And please don’t forget to blog about BibleTech 2008. Sadly, not everyone reads the Logos Blog, and we need your help to get the word out!
(Note to bloggers: If youblog about the BibleTech conference, consider using the “bibletech08” tag so that posts about the conference are easy to find in Technorati and others. Thanks!)

The Concept of the Godhead in the Old Testament

Tonight’s edition of the Logos Lecture Series features Dr. Michael Hesier, academic editor at Logos. Dr. Heiser will discuss “The Concept of the Godhead in the Old Testament” at 7:00 PM at Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham, WA.

Dr. Heiser provided this summary of his lecture:

As both extrabiblical historical sources and the New Testament book of Acts informs us, Christianity arose from Judaism. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. The apostles and first followers of Jesus were Jews. How is it then, that on one hand, God-fearing Jews, whose holy Scriptures affirmed that there was only one God, could worship both the God of the Bible and Jesus as God? How could any Jew reconcile worship of Jesus with monotheism? And how is it that Jewish Christians were simultaneously willing to suffer death at the hands of the Roman Empire rather than deny monotheism? Rather than consider first century Jews as religiously confused or closet polytheists, as many scholars today would contend, the answers to these questions are found in the Old Testament, which reveals the ancient faith of Israel contained the idea of a godhead long before its expression in the New Testament.

This same topic was the subject of Dr. Heiser’s Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will approach the subject with an advanced understanding of the original languages of the Bible, which will help uncover some fascinating intricacies in the Old Testament.

New video of Logos for the Mac

Logos Bible Software for the Mac is getting closer all the time! Yesterday we were able to record our first video showing the software in action.

Click on the image below to view the high-res version of that video. The video may take a few minutes to load. If you really can’t wait, you can view the low res version by clicking the link below the image.

Please note that the video has no sound.

High Resolution (33 MB)Low Resolution (18 MB)

The software is showing books, running searches, comparing versions, creating a Passage Guide, and more. (Today we even inserted a shipping DVD and discovered, copied, and viewed existing electronic books without modification.)

There are bugs to fix, help files to write, features to hook up, and some polishing we need to do on the user interface. It shouldn’t be too long before we’re able to release an Alpha for external testing.

Just a reminder: There is no beta list. When we’re ready for Alpha or Beta testing, we will announce it to this email list and at www.logos.com/mac. So please do email us your encouragement and feedback, but please don’t email us asking to be on the top-secret, VIP-only, private early beta list. Because there isn’t one. :-)