Weekly Roundup: July 30

The Weekly Roundup is a regular feature alerting you to significant things from Logos this week. Take a few moments to check out these newsworthy items for the week of July 30, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

Vyrso Facebook Page

Products

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

Community Pricing

These resources are nearing the 100% mark. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these bargains!

Vyrso

Many have downloaded the Vyrso Android App (Beta) from Android Market this week, please take a few moments and rate the app! Then go Vyrso.com and see our selection of Christian e-books.

Press

Was there anything else from Logos you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Flavius Josephus

Titus Flavius Josephus is a tough figure to classify. Was he a cultural aristocrat? A theologically minded Pharisee? A politician? An author? A historian? In Josephus we find all of these things—and more.

Josephus was born into the Jewish priestly order of Jehoiarib, the first of twenty-four priestly divisions organized by King David (1 Chronicles 24:7). Growing up, Josephus surpassed his peers in his study of Jewish law. After studying under the Pharisees, Essenes, and the Sadducees—the three major religious factions in first-century Jerusalem—he affiliated himself with the Pharisees.

Jerusalem was a powder keg. With a constant disdain for Jewish ideals, Rome inflamed their already tense relationship with the Jews. Between liberal use of Roman soldiers against Jewish citizens and Messianic Jewish factions who taught that the world would be ending soon, a number of factors were coming together to create the perfect climate for conflict. By the time Jospehus had returned from a trip to Rome to negotiate with Nero for the release of imprisoned priests, his nation was in revolt.

Despite skepticism about an uprising, Josephus took the post as military leader in the region of Galilee. Not all of Galilee was supportive of revolution, and insurgents hoped to use Josephus’ birthright and successful negotiations with Rome as inspiration to the hesitant Galileans. Josephus found himself fighting a defensive war against an overwhelming force while simultaneously trying to quell conflict within Jerusalem.

Josephus Supports Rome?

This is where Josephus’ story takes a strange turn and why many consider Josephus an opportunist and a traitor.

The Galilean city of  Jotapata had fallen, and Josephus had found himself trapped in a cave with forty other Jewish supporters. Fearing the worst, and not wanting to fall into Roman hands, a suicide pact was decided upon. They all agreed, standing in a circle  each second man would kill the third. Josephus considered it the providence of God that he and one other man were the last living. He convinced his fellow soldier they should give themselves over to the Romans.

Many modern scholars accuse Josephus of orchestrating this outcome. (In fact, the Josephus Problem has become a mathematical problem where a person must decide where to stand in this circle in order to be the last one living.)

Josephus began to work for the Romans giving them information on the insurgence. Rome also put him to use trying to convince the rebels to surrender. Jerusalem would not heed the warnings of this traitor however, and an agreement was never reached.

In 70 A.D., Josephus was eyewitness to the siege of Jerusalem. Rome destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem was sacked. According to Josephus, over 1,000,000 people were killed during the siege, with another 97,000 taken hostage. The death toll was high and the loss of the Temple dealt a destructive blow to both Jewish identity and their ability to rally. The revolution was brought to a swift end.

Josephus Writes His Histories

After becoming a Roman citizen, Josephus was commissioned by Caesar Vespasian to write an account of the Jewish revolt against Rome. Josephus finished The War of the Jews in 78 A.D. By the year 93, Josephus had finished his second major work The Antiquities of the Jews (a landmark history of the Jews from Creation through the occupation of Palestine). In the latter part of his life he wrote Against Apion and his autobiography The Life of Flavius Josephus. 

Flavius Josephus remains one of our best sources of first century history as well as an essential resource for Old Testament textual criticism.

Josephus Resources from Logos

Not only can you get the complete Works of Josephusas well as Josephus in Greek: Niese Critical Edition with Apparatusfrom Logos, but there are many more great references to help you get a grasp on his life and works.

Brill Academic has published many works on Josephus’ writings. The Brill Josephus and the Bible Collection (currently on Pre-Pub) contains four volumes full of enlightening research:

  • Studies in Josephus’ Rewritten Bible
  • Josephus, Judaism and Christianity
  • Josephus, the Bible and History
  • Passover in the Work of Josephus

If you are interested in what Josephus can bring to your Bible study and understanding of first century history, the Brill Josephus and the Bible Collection is a good selection to pick up while it is on Pre-Pub at over 50% off!

Other Great Resources

If you are still looking for some books on Josephus check out:

Leave us a comment and tell us how exposure to Josephus as improved your understanding of the New Testament context.

Introducing the Weekly Roundup

We’re introducing a regular feature on the Logos blog which will alert you to some of the significant things you may have missed. The Weekly Roundup is the perfect opportunity to get up on Saturday morning, grab a cup of coffee, and check out some of the things that may have fallen through the cracks during your busy week. Here’s the Roundup for the week of July 18–22, 2011.

Logos Talk

Interesting Discussions

Logos Forum

Logos Facebook Page

Products

New Pre-Pubs

Last Chance Pre-Pubs

These are Pre-Pubs shipping next week. Don’t miss your last chance to get these at their amazing Pre-Pub prices!

New Community Pricing Titles

The Dictionary of the Apostolic Church (2 vols.) is about to cross over! Make sure to get in on this great bargain!

Vyrso

Get the Vyrso Android App (Beta) today and be among the first to test the app! Go to the Android Market to download the app and Vyrso.com to buy your Christian e-books.

Press

Bible Study Magazine Reviews

Was there anything else that you found interesting this week? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Do What You Love. Logos is Hiring!

Today’s post is from Bobby Moss, a regional presenter for the Ministry Development department here at Logos.

I’ve been a passionate Logos user for over 10 years now. Over this time I’ve worn many different hats: youth pastor, grad school student, pastor, professor, husband, and daddy. Regardless of which hat I’m wearing at any given moment, Logos has always been my primary means of getting into the Bible.

Everyone, not just pastors and professors, should be studying their Bibles—and Logos is the best way to make it happen.  No other program comes close, so I’ve always been an advocate for people to use Logos.

For the past year and a half now, I’ve had the privilege of traveling all over the country as part of Logos’ Ministry Development team.  My role has been simple: continue doing what I’ve always done . . . encourage people to study the Bible using the best tool available!

From Burlington, VA to Castro Valley, CA (I made that trip in one day), and everywhere in between, I’ve been honored to equip thousands of people for powerful Bible study. I’ve been able to help parents wanting to teach their children about Scripture, teachers getting ready for Sunday school, students working on papers, pastors preparing sermons, and professors planning for classes.

It’s humbling, yet incredibly rewarding, to know that each one-on-one connection, small group meeting, or conference I participate in is another opportunity to be used by God to strengthen and equip His people to better understand His Word.

And do you want to know the funniest thing about all of this? They actually call it a “job.”

Does this sound like something you’d love to do?

The Ministry Development department at Logos is looking for two new regional presenters: one in the Chicago area and one in the Houston area. The job is very similar to the one described, so let us know if you’re interested! We’re also hiring in several other departments, so check out at our careers page to see all the opportunities that are currently available.

Have you seen a Logos presentation by a regional presenter? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Logos Chosen as a Washington’s Best Workplaces Finalist (Again!)

It is an honor to be considered one of Washington state’s best workplaces. It is even more exciting when you are chosen for two consecutive years. This is exactly the position Logos Bible Software finds itself in this year!

In 2007, the Puget Sound Business Journal launched a program to identity and recognize the best practices in hiring and retaining great employees based on employee benefits, leadership culture, and work/life balance philosophies. The process is extensive and rigorous, including the completion of surveys by employees of over 230 nominee-companies across the state. In the end, Logos Bible Software was one of 25 companies chosen as a finalist in the large company category (companies with 151–500 employees).

When asked about this honor, Bob Pritchett, President/CEO of Logos, had this to say

“We have worked hard at Logos to provide the best workplace possible, and it means so much to be recognized as a place that people want to work. It means even more when the recognition comes from surveys filled out by our own employees and co-workers, the people that know Logos best.”

The Washington State’s Best Workplaces finalists—25 small companies, 25 medium-sized companies, 25 large companies, and 10 extra-large companies—will be celebrated at an awards event at Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners) on Aug. 11, 2011.

And why not check out the Logos career page and see where you might fit on the Logos team?

We definitely love working for Logos! Leave us a comment and tell us how Logos is making your work better too!

Honoring Stephen H. Levinsohn

Discourse Studies and Biblical Interpretation: A Festschrift in Honor of Stephen H. LevinsohnThis past week, Steven Runge has been at the SBL international meeting in London. Among the scholars he’s been interacting with is Stephen H. Levinsohn, a linguist affiliated with the Summer Institute of Linguistics who has done important work to advance scholarship on the Greek New Testament. Steve’s work in discourse studies has been directly influenced and enriched by Levinsohn, so he was delighted to be able to interact in person with Levinsohn at SBL in London.

At the session on Levinsohn’s work, Steve surprised Levinsohn with a book written in his honor, Discourse Studies and Biblical Interpretation: A Festschrift in Honor of Stephen H. Levinsohn.

This Festschrift has been in the works for awhile. We’ve been keeping it a secret for over a year, so we’re thrilled not only to present it to Levinsohn for the first time, but to also make it available to all Logos users.

In addition to Steve’s introduction, the Festschrift contains contributions from Iver Larsen, Stanley E. Porter, Robert A. Dooley, Regina Blass, R. J. Sim, Constantine R. Campbell, Buist Fanning, Steven E. Runge, Margaret G. Sim, Lindsay J. Whaley, Rick Brannan, Nicholas A. Bailey, Randall Buth, and Jenny Read-Heimerdinger.

Why are all these scholars honoring Levinsohn? Each of these scholars has had their work challenged or influenced by Levinsohn’s work, including Steve Runge’s own Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament. Levinsohn has done more than perhaps anyone else to apply the principles of discourse grammar to New Testament scholarship. He’s meticulously examined how languages operate and the rules they follow—and the implications for reading, studying, and translating the text of the New Testament.

Right now you can pre-order Discourse Studies and Biblical Interpretation at a discount for a limited time. Get it now!

Want to share how your study of the Greek New Testament been affected by Levinsohn’s work? Want to thank Levinsohn yourself? Leave a note in the comments!

Logos’ New Catholic Product Manager: Andrew Jones

Andrew JonesLogos has launched an initiative to increase our Catholic resources. As a part of this project, I’ve been brought on board as the Catholic Product Manager. Being a medieval historian by training, I have a prejudice (a delightful one, I think) towards ancient things. My ambition, however, is to work in what Pope John Paul II called the New Evangelization by bringing the traditional into dialogue with the contemporary. Logos products offer such an amazing opportunity to combine the venerable with the cutting edge, and I’m very excited about it!

Logos already offers significant resources of interest to Catholics and to those interested in understanding Catholicism, but there will be many more coming soon, including Catholic-oriented packages. These packages will bring together the full functionality of Logos 4 with Catholic Bibles, magisterial documents, as well as exegetical and theological works.

The rich Catholic tradition, with its intricate interplay of Scripture, liturgy, law, and theology is profoundly suited for study on the Logos platform. As the Second Vatican Council made clear, Catholics understand the Scripture as embedded in a living tradition, its meaning being revealed in history and the life of the Church. As we add resources from that tradition to Logos, the Bible—as understood by Catholics—will open up in a way only Logos software can make possible. I find this very exciting!

What’s more, Logos’ extensive collection of resources (almost 14,000 at last count)—from a wide variety of Christian traditions—makes a truly comparative study of Scripture possible.

It is my hope that by integrating more Catholic works into the Logos library these traditions and Catholicism might find a bridge to understanding in the Word of God itself.

Sign up to receive news and information regarding our Catholic resources!

Ad majorem Dei gloriam
Andrew Jones

Take a moment to leave us a comment to welcome Andrew to Logos.

 

The Salsa Competition Heats Up

If you visit Logos during the annual salsa cook-off, you will find it difficult to believe that Americans were once afraid to eat tomatoes. But it’s true. During the Colonial era there was an erroneous belief that eating tomatoes would raise your blood acidity to dangerous levels. Luckily that’s changed. Now the average American eats more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. With the annual salsa cook-off at Logos, we are trying to bring that average up.

This year saw a handful of entries in both the mild and hot salsa categories, and the winners (listed below) brought their “A” game.

Matt Rudder, Tony Segar, Eric Olsen

In the mild category:

  • First place: Matt Rudder
  • Second place: Tony Segar
  • Third place: Eric Olson

Jana Gering, Ryan Riley, Robert Campbell

In the hot category:

  • First place: Jana Gering
  • Second place: Ryan Riley
  • Third place: Robert Campbell

As you can see in the video below, these regular Logos cook-offs are serious business! In fact, it is this sort of atmosphere that helps us get nominated as one of Washington State’s Best Workplaces (for the second year in a row)!

Check out this video and—if you are so inclined—why not check out the Logos career page and see how you might fit into the Logos family? And remember, if you have a good salsa recipe it wouldn’t hurt to put that on your resume.

Jana Gering’s Winning Salsa Verde Recipe

  • 3–4 lbs of Tomatillos, husked and washed (on the large ones, cut out the stem as you would for a tomato)
  • 4 Small Sweet White Onions (I used Hawaiian sweets), roughly chopped. (If the onions smell hot, slice them into rings first and soak them in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes or so before chopping. This removes a bit of the sting and odor.)
  • 4 Anaheim Peppers
  • 3 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 8 Habanero Peppers
  • 3 Yellow Chile Peppers
  • 8-10 Cloves Garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 5 Small Limes, juiced
  • 12 Mini Hass Avocados, or six regular-size Hass Avocados.
  • 2 Bunches Cilantro (stemmed and roughly chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt, or to taste (I used specialty smoked black sea salt, but regular sea salt is good, too)
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  1. Place tomatillos on a cookie tray or two. Cut the largest ones in half, the rest can be lined up whole. Place in the bottom rack with the oven on broil. Roast until the skins are blackened or browned on top and the juice of the tomatillos has cooked out (about 5-10 minutes)
  2. Place all the peppers on a cookie sheet, and place on the lower rack of the oven on broil. Roast for 5 mins (or until the skins are blackened) then turn and roast the other side.
  3. USE GLOVES to retrieve the peppers and place them in a brown paper bag to cool (this will make the skins easier to peel.) For the tomatillos, let them cool on the cookie sheets, then remove only the charred parts of the skin and the tough stem pieces. You do not need to use the juice that has cooked out, just throw the main part of each tomatillo into the food processor.
  4. Place the chopped onions and the chopped garlic cloves in the food processor (you may need to do this in batches), and pulse until finely chopped. Add the tomatillos, the lime juice, and most of the cilantro (reserving some for garnish) and pulse until blended.
  5. Remove the peppers from the paper bag, and wearing gloves, peel the loosened skin off as much as you can, then slice open the peppers and scrape out as many of the seeds as you can. Slice the roasted peppers into smaller chunks, and add to the food processor. Add the salt and white pepper, and pulse until blended.
  6. Refrigerate the salsa overnight or for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend.
  7. Just before serving, chop the avocados and the remaining cilantro and stir into the salsa.

Do you have a tip for great salsa? Leave us a comment and tell us what it is.

Forum Week Round-Up

In case you’ve missed it, the Logos forum community is in its final few days of Forum Week, a week of celebrating reaching the 50,000-user milestone. It’s been a unique week of great sales and tons of fun!

If you’re thinking, “The words forums and fun can’t possibly go together,” you probably not be too familiar with the Logos forum community in general and you’ve definitely missed out on Forum Week in specific.

So far this week, we’ve:

  • played some games,
  • gotten a glimpse into the lives of other forum users (marble collectors, collapsed-parachute survivors, et. al.),
  • given away hundreds of dollars in prizes,
  • offered tens of thousands of dollars in deals,
  • hid an as-of-yet-undiscovered Easter egg,
  • and more!

Don’t miss out on all the action! Head over to the Forum Week forum and look around before it’s over. The festivities end midnight Sunday!

Here’s all you need to do to take part:

  1. Sign in to your Logos.com account. (If you don’t already have your free account, get one here!)
  2. Visit the forums.
  3. Click on the forum at the top called “***Forum Week***”.
    Note: If you’re not logged in, this forum won’t be visible.
  4. Browse the top few posts to get up to speed.

If you’ve already been enjoying Forum Week, what’s been your favorite thing (or “random user fact”) about the forums so far? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Interesting Facts About John Wesley

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, turns 308 today. Like any looming figure in Christian history, Wesley has his share of both theological supporters and detractors. But there are very few that will question the fervency and urgency Wesley felt when it came to evangelism and church work. As Prime Minister, Lord Baldwin, said of Wesley, “I am supposed to be a busy man, but by the side of Wesley, I join the ranks of the unemployed.”

To celebrate Wesley’s birthday, I wanted to take a few moments and look at five little known facts about his life.

    1. John Wesley came from a huge family.
      The child mortality rate in eighteenth century England was unbelievably high. Statistics suggest that 70% of all deaths were children under ten. So it is not surprising that many families had an abundance of children. John Wesley’s mother—Susanna Wesley—was the 25th of 25 children and she went on to bear a number of children as well. John was the 15th of 19 children. Susanna lost nine of her children in infancy. When Susanna died in 1742, she was only survived by eight of her children.
    2. John Wesley was a victim of bullying as a child.
      John, a short and intelligent boy, was bullied relentlessly as a child. This abuse affected him for the rest of his life. Accounts tell of how, as an adult, Wesley would tremble when discussing the barbaric treatment he received from his peers.
    3. John Wesley vehemently opposed slavery.
      Wesley was inspired to join the anti-slavery movement when he read a pamphlet by Quaker abolitionist Anthony Benezet. He was so moved that he frequently preached against the slave trade and authored Thoughts upon Slavery—a pamphlet publicly decrying the practice. Wesley’s last letter was written to convert and fellow abolitionist William Wilberforce. In it he wrote:

      “O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it.”

      This letter was written in 1791, and sixteen years later Parliament finally outlawed England’s participation in the slave trade.

    4. John Wesley is one of history’s most traveled men.

Biographer Edward T. Oakes states that Wesley traveled over 250,000 miles by horseback in his lifetime—that’s ten times the circumference of the earth.

    1. John Wesley is credited for coining the phrase “agree to disagree.”

Wesley often found himself at odds with George Whitefield. Whitefield, who shared Wesley’s enthusiasm for evangelism, clashed openly with Wesley on issues of soteriology. Eventually, the rivalry between Wesley and Whitefield’s theologies introduced an impassioned partisanship among their followers.

In a memorial sermon delivered after Whitefield’s passing, Wesley minimized the schism saying:

There are many doctrines of a less essential nature . . . In these we may think and let think; we may agree to disagree. But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials . . .

This sermon is widely recognized as the first time “agree to disagree” appeared in print.

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