Are Bible Translators Traitors?

A famous Italian proverb declares “traduttore, traditore,” which means, “translator, traitor.” Those who assume this is true are unaware [of] how difficult it is to produce a translation. Every translator at some point invariably discards the meaning of the original text. [Read more…]

How to Quickly See Tags in a Biblical Passage

A Logos user recently contacted me with the following scenario:

I know the Logos developers have tagged the biblical text with all sorts of labels or datasets. Normally I right click on words and scroll through the menu to see these tags. Is there, however, an easier way to view tags just while I’m reading the text? [Read more…]

How to Get a Book Bundle That’s Perfect for You

Buying books by the bundle gives you a lot of great books at a great price. But sometimes, you want to switch out a few books to make it the perfect bundle for your Logos library.

For a short time, you can build your own bundle from nearly 150 popular commentaries, reference works, and ministry helps. And the more you buy, the more you get. [Read more…]

Staff Picks: Our Favorite C. S. Lewis Quotes

It’s C.S. Lewis week here at Faithlife! We’re celebrating the scholar’s life and writings, and with that, discounting the 30-volume C.S. Lewis Collection for one week only.

We asked all of Faithlife to weigh in on their favorite C.S. Lewis quotes, and I’m pleased to share from their responses. They perfectly represent that blend of wit and depth that so characterizes Lewis’ body of work.


Derek Brown, academic editor:

“Yes,” my friend said. “I don’t see why there shouldn’t be books in Heaven. But you will find that your library in Heaven contains only some of the books you had on earth.”

“Which?” I asked.

“The ones you gave away or lent.”

I hope the lent ones won’t still have all the borrowers’ dirty thumb marks,” said I.

“Oh yes they will,” said he. “But just as the wounds of the martyrs will have turned into beauties, so you will find that the thumb-marks have turned into beautiful illuminated capitals or exquisite marginal woodcuts.”

— from “Scraps” in the collection God in the Dock

Why I picked it: This quote perfectly captures Lewis’ love of literature, whimsical imagination, and profound belief in redemption. And I think he’s right.


Seth Copeland, software developer:

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.

— from Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Why I picked it: It is the kind of thing Lewis sprinkled all through the Narnia books. These witty humorous thing that the adults reading the books to their kids would chuckle at.

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

— from The Weight of Glory

Why I picked it: If asked for the most famous C.S Lewis quote this one is kind of like answering “Jesus” in kids’ Sunday School.

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

— from The Four Loves

Kaeli Joyce, Mobile Ed editor:

Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed Him.

— Ransom, in Perelandra

Why I picked it: Throughout this work Lewis holds God’s sovereignty and human responsibility beautifully in tension. Ransom’s words help me realize the gravity of the meaning of obedience to God in my own life.


Virginia Pettit, software developer:

I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of ‘Admin.’ The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.

— from The Screwtape Letters

Why I picked it: During a church camp in high school some of the camp counselors put on a show that featured a theatrical reading of excerpts from The Screwtape Letters. For me, that’s when a lot of things became real. I feel haunted by them, and I think that’s how we’re supposed to feel.


Ian Mundy, software developer:

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.

— from The Silver Chair

Why I picked it: Other than the Bible, The Chronicles of Narnia are the only books from my childhood that I remember my mom reading to me (though I’m sure there were others). This has always been one of my favorite quotes from that series, from maybe my favorite book in it.


Steve Runge, scholar-in-residence:

I wonder what has happened. Are you ill—or away—or simply lazy? However, as you wrote to me so perseveringly during my silence (tho’ you must allow that mine was foretold and unavoidable) I will continue to write during yours: and also to prevent a bad habit of silence setting in on both sides.

— from The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, vol. 1.

Why I picked it: I often read from these letter volumes at night when I want to read something but don’t have time for a long work. They are a constant encouragement about finding joy in the moment, cherishing friendship, and just taking the time to be snarky with artful prose when it really doesn’t matter much. This quote is a complaint to spur his pen pal to reciprocate, but that Lewis won’t let the correspondence end simply because it’s not his turn to write.


Jennifer Grisham, copywriter:

‘And who are all these young men and women on each side?’

‘They are her sons and daughters.’

‘She must have had a very large family, Sir.’

‘Every young man or boy that met her became her son—even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.’

‘Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?’

‘No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more… Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them…. Already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.’

— A scene from The Great Divorce

Why I picked it: This quote from The Great Divorce gave me a vision for my life that I’d never seen before. In this section, a fictional version of George MacDonald tells the main character about Sarah Smith, an unmarried woman who cared for everyone around her so much that her joy became their joy. Oh, to share even half as much of God’s love and life with others as she!

Matthew Boffey, copywriter:

I love real mice. There are lots in my rooms in College but I never have set a trap. When I sit up late working they poke their heads out from behind the curtains just as if they were saying, “Hi! Time for you to go to bed. We want to come out and play.”

— from The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, vol. 3.

Why I picked it: This is from a letter to Hila Newman, a child who sent Lewis some drawings of the characters in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (including Reepicheep the mouse). I love Lewis’ imagination here, and that he—with his brilliant mind and busy schedule—takes the time to share such a silly thought to his and the child’s delight. Reminds us the importance of noticing and delighting in the smallest things (and creatures).


Jessi Strong, associate editor of magazines:

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them.

— from The Weight of Glory

Why I picked it: I could paste this whole essay. When I first read it 15 years ago, I felt so heard and understood, like Lewis was telling my own story back to me, and giving a proper name and context to all my feelings of needing to belong and to matter.


Liz Roland, program manager:

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.


We hope you’ve been enjoying this special week celebrating Lewis’ life and work. There are just a few more days left to grab the C.S. Lewis Collection for 30% off.  The rare sale ends midnight Sept. 24.


For more posts about Lewis, see below:

9 Shareable C.S. Lewis Quotes

4 Ways C.S. Lewis Can Shape Your Faith: Insights from a Scholar

3 Simple Reasons You Can’t Dismiss Miracles in the Bible

The Only Three Kinds of Things Anyone Need Ever Do

C.S. Lewis: A Lutheran Appreciation

Why We Do What We Do: C.S. Lewis on Motivation

On Misquoting C.S. Lewis (and Knowing an Author’s Voice)

When Everything Seems in Ruins: Encouragement from C.S. Lewis

It’s C.S. Lewis week here at Faithlife! We’re celebrating the scholar’s life and writings, and with that, discounting the 30-volume C.S. Lewis Collection for one week only.

This guest post is from pastor and C.S. Lewis scholar Ryan Pemberton.


When I get called in to speak, it’s either on the topic of C. S. Lewis or calling. That’s about all I’m good for, I like to joke (half-jokingly). The best is when I can share a bit on both.

As a minister for university engagement in Berkeley, I’m often doing some combination of the two. And while C. S. Lewis is quoted as much as any other writer among Christians, it isn’t often that I see others looking to Lewis for wisdom on calling. But I’ve found him to be a helpful guide here, too.

While studying theology at Oxford, I had the privilege of serving as President of the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society. Nowhere else was my feeling of Imposter Syndrome more acute.

One of the many perks of this role was the opportunity to meet scholars and those who knew Lewis during his life, and to hear firsthand stories of their experience with Lewis. One of the most memorable of those conversations was with Laurence Harwood, C. S. Lewis’s godson.

Laurence was tall and well dressed. He spoke in a calm voice, which peaked to excited high notes when he recalled what it was like to grow up with Lewis visiting his family’s home for dinner.

“I always loved it when Jack came around,” Laurence told us over dinner. “As children, we’d be playing games when he’d come over, and he’d get right down there with us on the floor, at our level. He was genuinely interested in what we were playing, and he’d play with us. Not in a condescending way. He’d always beat us, of course, but we really enjoyed him.”

Before our meal was finished, Laurence shared a difficult experience he faced during his own days as an Oxford student. He told us how, after being struck with double pneumonia, he did not pass his first-year’s preliminary exams, and therefore was not able to return for his second year. He received a letter from Lewis in response to hearing this news.

“At the moment, I can well imagine, everything seems in ruins,” Lewis wrote to Laurence. “That is an illusion.”

Lewis encouraged his godson neither to dwell on this seemingly bad news, nor to consider himself the victim of Oxford’s exam system, but rather to do his best to brush himself off and get on with life. He must trust that this would actually serve to save him much hard work and many years spent traveling in what very well might have been the wrong direction.

Lewis went on to explain that many people, if not most, find this to be one of life’s most difficult periods, struggling from failure to failure, as it had been for him:

Life consisted of applying for jobs which other people got, writing books that no one would publish and giving lectures that no one attended. It all looks hopelessly hopeless, yet the vast majority of us manage to get on somehow and shake down somewhere in the end. You are now going through what most people (at least most of the people I know) find, in retrospect to have been the most unpleasant period of their lives.

But it won’t last; the road usually improves later. I think life is rather like a bumpy bed in a bad hotel. At first you can’t imagine how you can lie on it, much less sleep on it. But presently one finds the right position and finally one is snoring away. By the time one is called it seems a very good bed and one is loath to leave it. (C. S. Lewis, My Godfather, 125)

For those of us standing on this side of Lewis’s remarkable success and achievements, it’s difficult to imagine his experience with self doubt and vocational struggles. And yet, knowing that Lewis struggled here can offer peace to those of us who are yet struggling with disappointment or questions. If nothing else, Lewis’s candid letter is a reminder that faithfulness to the One who calls, rather than to any particular call, is the true measure of success.


Ryan J. Pemberton, MA (Oxon), MTS (Duke Divinity School), is the minister for university engagement at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. He is the author of Called: My Journey to C. S. Lewis’s House and Back Again (Leafwood Publishers) and Walking With C. S. Lewis: A Spiritual Guide Through His Life and Writings (Lexham Press). Follow Ryan at @ryanjpemberton or

For more C.S. Lewis insights, read the man himself. Grab the C.S. Lewis Collection for 30% off while you still can—the rare sale ends midnight Sept. 24.

Or check out the other posts in this series:


Photo by Elias Schupmann on Unsplash.

The Gospel, Spain, and the Ends of the Earth

“I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain” says Paul, while imprisoned. His ambitions are repeated a few verses later: “When therefore I have completed this … I will leave for Spain by way of you” (Rom 15:28). It’s certainly ambitious for him to be making travel plans. But Paul wasn’t making casual conversation or planning a vacation. He believed that his life and ministry would not end until he reached Spain. We aren’t sure if Paul made it, but he was passionate about getting there. Why? He saw himself in the prophecy of Isaiah 66. [Read more…]

Explore Different Perspectives in Joshua for Free—through August 31

You’ve got just a few days left to get Two Horizons Commentary: Joshua for free this month.

Explore how Joshua, Moses’ successor and Israel’s fearless spiritual and military leader, wages a seven-year campaign to conquer the promised land. As you go deeper into the text with this commentary, you’ll gain insights into how Joshua connects to the overall biblical drama of salvation and continues the revelation of God as a covenant keeper. [Read more…]

Words Have Usages, Not Meanings Apart from Context

While working in Hebrews 10:24, a foundational but very important principle of biblical interpretation struck me again: words have usages, not meanings. In other words, the same Hebrew or Greek word does not mean the same thing every time it’s used in Scripture. Context clarifies a word’s usage. [Read more…]

Tips for Students Preparing to Learn a Biblical Language

Danny Zacharias and Ben Forrest wrote Surviving and Thriving in Seminary to help students prepare for the stress and hardships they might encounter when attending seminary. This academic and spiritual handbook provides advice on how to prepare your heart and relationships, how to manage your time and energy, and how to acquire the study skills you need. [Read more…]

Delve into 2 Theological Subjects from 2 Top Scholars—Both 50% Off

The Mobile Ed courses Dispensational Hermeneutic of the Bible and A Wesleyan View on the Sacraments give you two theological subjects, from two specific viewpoints, with two top scholars—both at a great price!

You can complete both of these courses in just two and a half hours. That makes them the perfect refresher on what you believe, or a quick, engaging way to understand another viewpoint. [Read more…]