2 Steps to Greek & Hebrew Bible Study

Today’s post continues Logos Talk’s Christmas Bible study. Check back throughout December for more ways to study the birth of Jesus!

You probably remember the first time someone told you about doing Bible study by looking at Greek and Hebrew, the languages it was originally written in. When I first heard that, I wondered how much Greek or Hebrew I would need to get under my belt.

Well, there’s good news: Logos 5 makes it easy to start exploring Greek and Hebrew words, even if you don’t know these languages. Here’s a fine way to get started.

1. Turn on the Reverse Interlinear.
It sounds technical, but what it does is pretty straightforward: it reverses the English translation back to its original language. It also opens up a few new pathways for exploring the text, but we’ll get to those later. First, we need to turn it on.

Without the reverse interlinear, your Logos 5 Bible will look like this.

But when we hit the Reverse Interlinear button, we get simple word-by-word comparison of the passage.

We’ve just opened up a bunch of new study possibilities, but for now, we’ll focus on the Strong’s numbers in the bottom row.

2. Look up the Strong’s number.

Matthew kicks off his gospel with the genealogy of “Jesus the Messiah.” What is a Messiah? With the Reverse Interlinear, it’s easy to find out.

Just hover over the Strong’s number, and Logos looks up that word in your preferred Bible dictionary. I enjoy The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament because it explains Greek words in ways that a non-Greek scholar (like me) can understand. Whatever your preferred dictionary is, Logos pulls its definition for the word instantly—so long as you have that dictionary in your library.


I learn that both “the Messiah” and “the Christ” refer to “the Anointed One.” I also see that it’s used in conjunction with “King of Israel” and “Savior of the world.”

So, without leaving my Bible, I’ve already learned a few things:

  • The first time Matthew references Jesus, it’s as the Messiah, or Anointed One. That gives me an idea of how Jesus will be portrayed in the rest of the book.
  • It tells me why the following 17 verses of genealogy are important: it’s how the long-awaited Messiah came to us.

And I’m already hungry for more. Not only do I have a better understanding of what the Bible says, but I also have some more questions for further study:

  • Why is this word translated “Messiah” instead of “Christ” (which is far more common in the NT)?
  • What was Jesus anointed specifically for? Priesthood? Kingship? Both?

That’s one thing I love about studying Greek and Hebrew words—you learn what you need to know, and you know what else you need to learn. And it only takes a few seconds when you’re doing word studies with Logos 5.

Do you have any friends new to Bible study? Share this article with them!

You’ll find the full Reverse Interlinear in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and subscribe to the Logos blog as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

Pick Our Photo Champion Winner!

Our Facebook page crossed the 50,000-fan threshold in September. We celebrated by announcing our 50,000 Fans Photo Contest, which offered $250 in Logos credit, a Nexus 7, or a Kindle Fire HD.

The finalists have been chosen—now it’s time to vote!

We asked you to post photos using #BetterBibleStudy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Instagram. Then we selected 15 finalists, taking into account creativity, location, quality, and originality, as well as RTs and shares. Now it’s time for you to pick the winner!

Voting is simple. Here’s how to weigh in:

  1. Go here.
  2. Like your favorite(s).
  3. Share the page, and ask your friends to vote.

Go vote for your favorite(s) right now!


Have a cool photo of you using Logos in a unique situation—somewhere unusual, with someone famous, or with an artistic twist? Tag us in it. We reshare our favorites!

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It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you.

Bible Study on the Birth of Jesus Begins Today!

Christmas is coming, and we’re all excited to celebrate the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming to dwell among us. But how many of our ideas about Christ’s birth come from the Bible, and how many from Christmas carols, TV specials, nativity scenes, and the like?

The biggest holiday on the Western calendar recognizes the birth of Jesus—let’s do a Bible study to see how it really happened.

Now through Christmas, we’ll  be posting new ideas for studying the birth of Christ. Some of the Logos bloggers and I will walk through the Gospel accounts of the Nativity using the powerful Bible-study tools in Logos 5.

Let’s get started!

So, if we’re doing a Bible study on the birth of Jesus, where do we start? The new Topic Guide is the easiest way to get started, even if you’ve never read the biblical account of the Nativity. Let’s open the Topic Guide and see what’s in store.

I start typing in “Christmas,” and the guide suggests both Christmas and the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. That’s helpful, because I’m really interested in the second option in this Bible study. I select it, and the Topic Guide brings me places to start my study! I get a definition of the topic and links to my Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias. I also get a list of related verses and topics.

This gives me plenty of Scriptures to read and examine, and other topics to explore. So using the Topic Guide, I get:

  • A suggestion for the topic I really wanted (even though I typed something else)
  • The definition of the topic
  • A list of passages for future Bible study
  • Ideas for more topics to explore

It took me only nine seconds to get to all this information from the Home Page. It doesn’t matter if I’ve memorized the New Testament or if I’ve never opened the Bible before—either way, I’m ready to start learning more about the birth of my Savior. Logos 5 makes Bible study more approachable than ever, and I can’t wait to study the birth of Christ further.

You’ll find all the tools and books we used today in Logos 5. If you haven’t already, upgrade to Logos 5 and join us as we continue our Christmas Bible study.

12 Days of Logos Is Back!

The 12 Days of Logos sale has returned with a dozen more amazing deals for a dozen days! It kicks off today and runs through December 18, with each new deal posted to 12DaysofLogos.com. Be sure to check every day to see the latest and greatest offer!

Today’s 12 Days deal is 42% off The Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3! Now you can get this beloved resource, regularly $190, for only $109.95 with coupon code 12Days201201.

The Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3 includes works from many of today’s best biblical and theological scholars. You’ll get dictionaries covering biblical studies, New Testament Greek, theological terms, apologetics & philosophy of religion, and more, as well as Bible-background commentaries and the New Bible Dictionary and New Bible Commentary.

And you’ll get the Hard Sayings of the Bible, with in-depth explanations of over 500 of the most difficult passages in the Old and New Testaments, and the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, which explains Scripture’s themes, metaphors, imagery, and patterns. With this 18-volume library, you’ll dig deeper into the Bible’s text.

And you’ll save 42%—there’s no better time to get the Essential IVP Reference Collection Version 3.

This is just the first of 12 deals. Be sure to visit 12DaysofLogos.com daily to keep up on the rest of the amazing specials. Make it easy on yourself—subscribe to the RSS feed or sign up to receive daily email updates on the latest deals!

It’s Not Too Late to Save on Black Friday Deals!

If you haven’t taken advantage of our Black Friday deals yet, there’s still time! Logos’ Black Friday sale is packed with limited-time deals on our most Liked products. But you need to hurry—these discounts are available for only five more days.

Save now on items like:

Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software

Regularly: $499.95

Get it for only $249.95 with coupon code BFRIDAY19

Take your understanding of biblical Greek and Hebrew to the next level with this instructional resource from Logos. Learn to interpret Scripture in a simple, straightforward manner at your own pace, or refresh the Greek and Hebrew you learned in seminary or Bible college.

Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software places the payoff of biblical language knowledge up front. There’s no rote memorization of vocabulary or grammatical forms. That’s because Learn to Use Biblical Greek and Hebrew with Logos Bible Software is designed to show you how to properly use the tools used by advanced seminarians.

Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Regularly: $59.99

With coupon code BFRIDAY5, it’s only $39.99

Readers of the New Testament often encounter quotes or allusions to the Old Testament that may be unfamiliar or obscure. In this volume, G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson bring together a distinguished team of scholars to isolate, catalog, and comment on both the obvious Old Testament quotations and the more subtle allusions found in the New Testament. The result is a comprehensive commentary on the Old Testament references that appear from Matthew through Revelation. It’s a vital resource for the reference library of every student of the New Testament.

International Critical Commentary (53 vols.)

Regularly: $1,750

Just $1,350 with coupon code BFRIDAY11

The International Critical Commentary, published by T&T Clark International, has long held a special place among biblical works. It brings together all the relevant aids to exegesis: linguistic and textual, archaeological, historical, literary, and theological, with a comprehensiveness and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series. If you were to purchase all 53 volumes in print at suggested retail price, you’d pay over $2,800.

You’ll find a lot more discounted items during our Black Friday Sale.

Visit Logos.com/BlackFriday by December 3 to see the complete list of deals available, including discounts on resources like:

  • IVP Dictionary of the Old Testament Bundle
  • Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  • John MacArthur Bundle
  • Christian Theology 2nd ed. by Millard j. Erickson

Don’t forget, this holiday season is a perfect time to upgrade! Check out the custom upgrade discount calculator to see your special price to move to Logos 5.


How to Get a Custom Discount on Logos 5

Logos 5 isn’t the only thing that’s new this month—our website’s updated, too. You’ve seen our blurb about the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator at the bottom of every Logos 5 blog post thus far (including this one) telling you about special pricing. But what does that mean? Just how special is “special pricing”?

You Get Credit for What You Already Own

The Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator takes your entire Logos library into account, and then generates a custom discount based on every Logos resource you own. That’s right: the calculator tallies it all so you only pay for what’s new to you.

  • What if I don’t own a base package? No problem. If you’ve only ever picked up commentaries or collections and never invested in a base package, your books still contribute to your custom price.
  • What about my Libronix books? No problem. The Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator factors them in.
  • What about my pre-Libronix books? No problem. The calculator doesn’t overlook them, even if you’re still using Logos 1.0.
  • What if I own part of a collection in the base package I want? No problem. You’ll see that it’s a product you partially own, and we’ll credit you for it.
  • What if I bought my base package at a retail location? No problem. It doesn’t matter where you got your Logos library; if you’re logged in, the calculator takes it all into account.
  • What about my Logos T-shirt? Sorry! Until we start encoding Bible software into our T-shirts, they won’t count for credit toward your Logos 5 purchase.

How to See Your Discount

Just log in on Logos.com, and then explore our seven new Logos 5 base packages. The Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator updates your price dynamically; you never have to wonder if you’re missing out on your custom discount. The price also adjusts to reflect the current pricing of resources across Logos.com; when a relevant product price changes, your custom discount changes, too.

And now you know what we’re talking about when we say:

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. See the special pricing our Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator has for you. (Seriously, folks, it’s really cool!)

How to Study a Word’s Root: Thanksgiving

When it comes to studying the Bible, I always want to go deeper. My problem: I’m no Greek or Hebrew scholar. That’s one of the reasons I get so excited every time I open Logos 5. So much original-language research is done for me, I can instantly understand more.

I’ve been studying biblical thanksgiving lately. One place this study takes me is Psalm 136, where the psalmist pens 26 lines of gratitude to the Lord, “For his lovingkindness is everlasting.”

I look it up in my favorite Bible. Since I’m doing a little original-language digging, I’ll go ahead and turn on my reverse interlinear—it’s the table at the bottom of this image.

This entire psalm is encouraging the reader to give thanks to the Lord, who has shown lovingkindness to Israel through creation, delivering them from Egypt, bringing them to the Promised Land, and sustaining them. The psalmist closes by echoing the beginning: “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his lovingkindness is everlasting.”

If it’s so important that I “give thanks,” I need to know what it means!

This is where the Bible Word Study tool comes in. I right-click “thanks” and pull up more information about the Hebrew lemma. Then I run a Bible Word Study.

The Bible Word Study guide fetches the word’s definitions from my lexicons and dictionaries, and shows me how this word, ydh, is translated across my Bible.

So I learn that giving thanks to the Lord is more than saying “thank you” to God. It’s also an acknowledgement of who he is and what he has done. In the case of Psalm 136, it makes sense: acknowledge that the Lord has done incredible things for his people, and thank him, for his lovingkindness is everlasting.

But I want to go deeper. I want to find examples of this kind of thanksgiving.

With Logos 5, I’m able to take a look at other biblical words that share this root.

I see that there are 32 uses of the similar toda(h), which is a sacrifice, song of thanksgiving, etc. That’s interesting. I click the Hebrew word, and Logos 5 runs another Bible Word Study!

I can explore the definitions to see that this thankful song of praise to God was an act of worship that proclaimed his mighty works. Also, the word is used for songs like Psalm 100.

. . . which gives me a fine place to keep exploring as I study biblical thanksgiving this November!

And with the new root data in Logos 5, you can do deeper word studies like this, too!

It’s time to upgrade to Logos 5. Check out your special pricing options with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator.

What Is Exegesis—and Why Should I Care?

“Exegesis” sounds like a technical and abstract idea, but at its core, it’s quite simple.

Exegesis is drawing meaning from what the Scripture says.

Exegesis is going to the Bible to understand what it meant when it was written, and letting the author’s intent govern the way the Bible is interpreted. Exegesis can involve highly technical language analysis, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, you can do it right now.

What Is Exegesis? Watch How It Works!

Let’s try out some exegesis on Luke 17:11–19, where we see Jesus cleansing ten lepers, but only one thanks him. We start by looking the passage up in Logos 5.

A big part of exegesis is answering the question, “What did the author want to get across?” We see in Luke 1:1–4 and Acts 1:1–2 that this book is intended to be an exact account of Jesus’ acts and teachings, so we need to see what Jesus says and does in this passage:

  • Jesus cleanses ten lepers.
  • Only one comes back to glorify God and give thanks.
  • Jesus commends the thankful one.

Now that we’ve covered the elementary stuff, we can start doing exegesis, right? Well, actually, we’ve already started. We determined some of what the text means by letting it speak for itself—that’s what exegesis is.

Now Let’s Try the Exegetical Guide

We can exegete this text as deeply as we want with the Exegetical Guide. First, I right-click “giving thanks” in verse 16 and select “Exegetical Guide.”

This fetches all my grammars, apparatuses, and visualizations, plus a word-by-word breakdown of verse 16. I just want to see what “giving thanks” means, so I’ll find it in the breakdown:

We can see that “giving thanks” refers to being thankful, or feeling obligated to thank. Thankfulness via obligation? That doesn’t sound so good to me at first.

But when I open BDAG (a lexicon, or cross-language dictionary), I see that the word εὐχαριστέω was a diplomatic term: the party on the receiving end of a favor would assure the other party of their goodwill. In the New Testament, this word is almost exclusively used for giving thanks to God (exception: Romans 16:4).

And with Logos 5, I can also look up any New Testament word’s syntactic force, or how syntax determines its function. This is kind of nuts-and-boltsy, but sometimes we can learn what the text is saying by looking at both what a word means and how it’s used.

Great—it’s a participle showing manner. But what does that mean? Well, I get the definition on hover.

By looking at the syntactic force, I see that the leper’s actions took on a tone of returning goodwill to the Lord who just healed him.

When I see something like this, I ask myself these questions:

  • Has Jesus done me any favors? I can think of at least one.
  • What’s my attitude of thankfulness? Do I just carry on, happy to be blessed, or do I turn it into an opportunity to glorify God?
  • Do I even feel obligated to thank him?

Exegesis may sound purely academic, but it can lead you to ask life-changing questions.

What Is Exegesis? It’s Something You Can Do!

The Exegetical Guide is certainly one of my favorite tools in Logos 5, and it may be yours, too. You can get all the Exegetical Guide functions when you get Logos 5 Bronze, but the BDAG lexicon comes in base packages Platinum and above.

So start doing exegesis on your own! Check out your special Logos 5 pricing options with the Custom Upgrade Discount Calculator.

Take Your Education to the Next Level

Knox Theological Seminary will be kicking off 2013 with new Doctor of Ministry and Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies) classes. January’s DMin classes will be The Epistle to the Hebrews: Exegesis and Theology, Preaching Christ in the Law, Prophets, and Psalms, and The Art of Biblical Preaching; the next MABTS classes will be New Testament 1—Gospel and Acts and, starting in March, History of Christianity 1—Ancient and Medieval.

The Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Teaching is a three-year program designed to accommodate your fulltime ministry schedule. You’ll attend up to four onsite classes each year for personalized instruction from some of today’s most respected theological scholars, including Drs. Warren Gage, Haddon Robinson, and Samuel Lamerson. The rest of your studies you’ll do from the comfort of your home, office, or favorite coffee shop.

The Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies) gives you the freedom to earn your master’s degree from almost anywhere. This three-year, fully online program explores the Bible’s grand narrative, training you in systematic theology, church history, ethics, apologetics, hermeneutics, and more. You’ll learn to communicate Christ and his Gospel, as well as the centrality of that Gospel to every aspect of Christian life and ministry.

Study free!

Knox is offering comprehensive academic scholarships—the $18,000 John Piper Scholarship for the DMin, and the $25,000 Billy Graham Scholarship for the MABTS. There will be an additional one hundred MABTS scholarships, each worth $2,520. Apply now!

Don’t Forget: You’re in Charge of Our Black Friday Deals!

This year, our Black Friday Like-athon is putting you in charge of our Black Friday sales, and the products you’re interested in are rising to the top. So far, there have been over 4,000 Likes across Logos.com.

If you haven’t had a chance to Like all the products you want to see in the Black Friday sale, don’t wait—there’s a limited time left to have your Likes count toward Black Friday savings. So check in with your family, friends, online social networks and encourage them to get their Like in, too. For every 1,500 Likes, we’ll drop the prices on some of the most Liked products!

Getting involved is as simple as going to your favorite products’ pages, finding the Like button beneath the product image, and pressing it.That’s it! The more an item’s liked, the better its chances to end up as part of the Black Friday sale.

We’ll be starting the Black Friday discounts November 21 to give you a few more days to save. If you want to hear when your special deals are released, sign up for the Black Friday email list today. Not only will the deals be sent directly to your inbox—you’ll also receive an exclusive post–Black Friday special. Sign up now!

*Base packages, Pre-Pub products, and Community Pricing resources will not be included in this sale. Discounts will vary based on publisher agreements.