It’s a Good Day to Write a Letter to the Romans

Did you think of Paul’s letter to the Romans when you read the title to this post? Chances are you did, but that’s not the letter I was thinking of.
Did you know that there was at least one other letter written to the Romans in the early Christian age? The martyr Ignatius, on his way as a prisoner to face the beasts in Rome, wrote a letter to the Romans to prepare them for his arrival.
He likely wrote it on August 24. In its closing, the letter dates itself as being written on “the ninth day before the kalends of September”, which is probably best converted to August 24 on our present calendar.
The writings of the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Hermas, and some others) are the closest both in time and genre to the New Testament. As such they are incredibly important when considering the New Testament. Why? For a number of reasons, really:

  • They are written by those who claimed Christ, and as such help us understand how they interpreted the OT and the still-being-formed New Testament.
  • They refer to the Old Testament (LXX, primarily) and cite it; some cite the New Testament. Others (e.g. 2 Clement) even mention or allude to non-canonical post-NT writings. These all help us understand how the early Christ-followers themselves used Scripture and other writings.
  • They are in Greek, so they provide lexical and grammatical help for us in our reading of the New Testament.

As you examine commentaries, lexicons, and grammars on the New Testament, you’ve probably seen references to these writings. Once you start to pay attention to them, you see them everywhere. BDAG. BDF. ICC New Testament. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries (NT). WBC. The list goes on. If these help us understand the NT, they’re important for us to pay attention to in our studies.
At Logos, we have a few resources available as Pre-Pubs that will help these writings play a greater role in your studies:

  • Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the Apostolic Fathers — This is a complete syntactic analysis of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers (extant in Greek). It will include graphs that visually display the above-the-word-level connections and components. Using this layout can help one understand these higher-level structures, and make reading and understanding the text easier. This is less about searching to find grammatical patterns (though that is important) and more about using these graphs to understand how the Greek text hangs together. It’s to help your reading of these texts.
  • The Apostolic Fathers Greek-English Interlinear — This is an interlinear edition of the Greek portions of the Apostolic Fathers. It follows the style of the Lexham Greek-English Interlinear New Testament with multiple levels of glossing. The context-sensitive gloss line ends up producing a new translation of these writings with direct ties back to the underlying Greek text.

These are great resources. We also have a number of editions of the Apostolic Fathers available for purchase today with the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (3 editions). And don’t forget about The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, a handy little reference on areas where there is similarity between the NT and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants with Donald Bloesch

Today’s guest post is by Kyle Anderson, from the Logos Bible Software electronic text development team.

My Mom is in a book club. During the discussion of their current book, questions were raised about John Calvin and specific points of his theology. After a bit of hemming and hawing, my Mom offered to send an email to her son—the closest person any of them knew to being a theology expert—asking for some background on Calvin. More than that, they wanted to know what Calvin thought about God.

Intuitively they knew that throughout history there have been giants of theology. These are people who have had the uncanny gift of deeply reflecting about God’s nature and communicating it a way that strikes a chord in both the Church and the greater world. People like Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Edwards, and Barth.

Penetrating the depths of their thought helps us dig deeper into the unfathomable vast riches of God. Spending time with these people lets us stand on the shoulders of giants and scan the horizons of who we understand God to be.

Of course, the question is, how do we begin probing the minds of these thinkers? The best way is to jump right in and explore. My theology professor in college reminded us often that the best way to understand Karl Barth was to actually read Karl Barth. But we all need a little help. And I present to you Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection.

In this 7-volume collection Bloesch traverses the standard topics of systematic theology but does so with a keen eye on both the biblical witness and centuries of Christian thought. As a reader you’re presented with various summary positions and quotations from representative thinkers. Pick up Donald Bloesch’s Christian Foundation Collection and begin to immerse yourself in the Church’s great thoughts and thinkers.

Update: We just learned that Donald Bloesch passed away on August 24, 2010. Here are a couple of nice obituaries:

A Coffee Table Book on Bible Study!?

Bible Study magazine

Today’s guest post is from John Barry, Editor-in-Chief of Bible Study Magazine.

Why I Love Coffee Table Books

I used to walk into old bookstores and see a Michelangelo or El Greco book and have to have it. It started with old cheap books, but it quickly got out of control. Before I knew it, Barnes and Noble and Borders had me. I was walking out with expensive books about Da Vinci. Then got me with sweet folios of art pieces by people like William Blake. There was something soothing about having coffee with a brightly colored book that combined text and art—two great mediums together. The combining of mediums is also what I love about magazines, hence the need for Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009. But with this book, you get art and writing focused on God’s Word. It’s an extraordinary conversational piece for your living room.

Why My Grandfather-in-Law Loves Coffee Table Books

I’m not the only one who loves big books. I recently took my grandfather-in-law into Barnes and Noble. He left with a big book on military planes, and almost bought one on trains. He loves coffee-table books for the same reason I do: They take everything we love about a subject, condense it, and throw it in a blender with art. So I asked my grandfather-in-law, “What do you think about a coffee table book about Bible study?” He got a big smirk on his face and said, “That would be perfect. Can I buy one here?” The answer was no, because to my knowledge Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is the only coffee table book solely about Bible study, and it’s not in Barnes and Noble.

You Will Love This Coffee Table Book

This compilation presents the wealth of an entire year’s worth of Bible studies, do-it-yourself guides, tips, and interviews with trusted pastors and teachers of Scripture. It includes book reviews, ideas for devotions, word studies, biblical humor, and archaeological and historical insights. Plus, Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 contains the sold-out, highly requested January–February 2009 issue, featuring an interview with Kay Arthur. Other people interviewed include Josh McDowell, Mark Driscoll, Randy Alcorn, Lee Strobel, John Piper, John MacArthur, and more. Bible Study Magazine 2008–2009 is perfect for display as well as for study and examination of God’s Word. Order it today by clicking here!

Logos 4: Bible Word Study for a Greek Word

mp|seminars Tips

Today’s post is from Morris Proctor, certified and authorized trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris has trained thousands of Logos users at his two-day Camp Logos training seminars.

A Logos user recently posted this question at

My primary current interest is a thorough, in-depth study of the Greek preposition “pros” (w/accusative). Since it has so many different possible meanings, how do I go about searching the various LXX and NT occurrences – and other available resources – to see what range of alternative meanings might fit in various contexts?

You’ll be very happy to know this type of in-depth original language study is quite easy with Logos Bible Software 4. Here’s one way to tackle this study:

  • Choose Guides | Bible Word Study
  • When the guide opens type this exact text in the Word box: g:pros (the g: alerts Logos that what follows is a transliteration of a Greek word)
  • After typing the text you’ll see a drop down list of Greek words from which you can select the Greek preposition p???
  • Click the Go arrow in the Word box or press the Enter key to generate the report

The report contains numerous sections including:

  • Translation displaying all the occurrences of this Greek word regardless of how it’s translated in the English Bible
  • Septuagint Translation showing all the occurrences in the LXX
  • Grammatical Relationships listing the words and cases used with this preposition including the accusative about which our Logos user originally inquired!

Interpretation Commentaries and New Daily Study Bible on Pre-Pub

The New Daily Study Bible: New Testament (17 Vols.)

The Interpretation commentaries and the New Daily Study Bible, by William Barclay, are among our most-requested books. We regularly get calls and emails from our users who want to add them to their libraries, and if you’re a regular in the Forums, you know that posts appear every few weeks asking about them.

If you’re one of the countless Logos users who have sent in requests, we have good news for you! We’ve been working on a new partnership with Westminster John Knox Press, and we’re pleased to announce that Interpretation and the New Daily Study Bible are now on Pre-Pub!

Both of these commentary series regularly appear on lists of must-have commentaries for pastors and students of the Bible. The New Daily Study Bible is written by world-renowned Bible scholar William Barclay. He wrote more than fifty books, but he is best remembered for his series of commentaries.

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Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series


As much as I like reading, there is just something about video that goes way beyond text alone. Even better is to see and hear an author teaching what they are passionate about. It is a great complement to just reading their book. This is exactly the kind of experience you’ll get from the Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series.

In June of this year, Logos hosted a workshop designed to equip pastors and students to get the most out of the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament and Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament. The result is more than ten hours of teaching and application in Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series.

Using everything from road signs and jokes to funny English translations, I show how we use discourse grammar every day. Why do we say things like “Here’s the deal” or “Guess what?” For that matter, how would we even go about understanding how they work? This is where discourse grammar comes in.

Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series explains the principles you need to understand not just how these devices work in English, but also how to apply them to your exposition of the Greek text. Discourse grammar is not just about exegesis, it is about communication. Understanding how these things work not only sharpens your exegesis, it also enhances your ability to communicate what you’ve learned. I show you how you can use English equivalents of discourse device to achieve the same kind of effect that Paul or Luke achieved in the Greek.

This video series will help reinvigorate your use of Greek. You will learn what each different device does in a passage and how to synthesize the pieces into a unified whole. Each concept is explained beginning with everyday English usage, then illustrated from NT passages. If you already have the Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, you’ll find fresh new examples and explanations that are only possible on video.

There are several excerpts from the video series for you to see what it has to offer. You will not find a more accessible or practical introduction to discourse grammar than these videos, so order today.

Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series is part of the growing suite of discourse-based materials developed by Logos:

Syntax Searching for Everyone: Syntax Search Templates

This is the third in a series of three posts called “Syntax Searching for Everyone”. In this video, we’ll peek at Syntax Search Templates.
What is a Syntax Search Template? Well, if you watched the video on Query Forms from the previous post in this series, you already know what a Syntax Search Template is. The template is the query that underlies the Query Form, just opened up in the syntax search document editor. From here you can better understand how queries are put together and modify them for your own use.
The video shows you how.

[Note: The Syntax Search Template feature is only available to users who have the Andersen-Forbes Hebrew Syntactic Analysis, the Greek NT Syntactic Analysis, and the Cascadia Syntax Graphs of the New Testament. The Andersen-Forbes and databases are in the Logos 4 Original Languages (LE) package and above; Cascadia is in the Logos 4 Scholar’s Silver (LE) package and above.]

For other posts in this series, see:

Cambridge University Press Books on Pre-Pub

Today’s guest post is by Bethany Olsen, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

I love discovering the history behind the books I read. If you’re anything like me, you may feel the same way—knowing the background of a resource can provide intrigue, context, and clarity.

The story behind the Cambridge University Press is of particular fascination. The world’s oldest printing press published its first book in 1584, and is still operational today. Cambridge has survived the growth and evolution of the publication world, as well as two world wars and over four centuries of change. They have published hundreds of thousands of books, including many theological materials and Bibles that have been used worldwide.

This summer, Logos is proud to announce Pre-Pub offerings of two outstanding commentary collections from this long-standing publishing press: The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (57 Vols.) and Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (21 Vols.).

The fifty-seven individual volumes contained in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges—the first ever complete commentary set to be printed by Cambridge University Press—were published between 1884 and 1922, each containing valuable commentative insight and verse-by-verse exegesis from much-loved theologians such as Alfred Plummer, Herbert Edward Ryle, S. R. Driver, and many others. This significant collection provides a holistic look at the entire Bible, meticulously examining each Old and New Testament book.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges, the second Cambridge University Press collection now available for pre-order from Logos, includes the entire New Testament in Greek. Written around the same time as The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, it holds writings from some of the same respected theologians and is a fantastic compilation of New Testament commentary. These twenty-one volumes are the perfect addition to any Greek scholar’s library.

The year 1591, only seven years after Cambridge University Press was established, saw the printing of Cambridge’s first Bible, setting a precedent for quality biblical literature. Now, hundreds of years later, Logos is pleased to carry timeless offerings of this historic press, brimming with outstanding scholarship in digital format for ease of study. You won’t be sorry you invested in these powerful volumes, especially with our current Pre-Pub pricing.

Here are a few of our other collections containing books from Cambridge University Press:

ESV Study Bible—Last Chance to Get the Pre-Pub Discount

ESV Study Bible

The ESV is one of the most important translations of the Bible to appear in a generation, and the ESV Study Bible is one of the bestselling print study Bibles of all time. The ESV Study Bible has been on Pre-Pub for awhile now, and we’re now planning to ship on September 15. This gives you a little more time to get the ESV Study Bible at a discounted price. If you haven’t yet placed your Pre-Pub order, this is your last chance!

Created by an outstanding team of 95 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers, the ESV Study Bible presents completely new study notes, maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, articles, and introductions. It has been endorsed by several prominent pastors and scholars, including John Piper, who called it “the rightful heir to a great line of historic translations,” and Mark Driscoll, who says the ESV Study Bible is “the most important resource that has been given to the emerging generation of Bible students and teachers.”

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To What End Greek Grammar?

I like to peruse the Logos Pre-Pub offerings to see what we’re up to. We do so much that I gave up trying to keep up. The Pre-Pub RSS feed helps a bit, but I still can’t remember or keep track of it all.
When I was browsing some of the items we have on pre-pub, I noticed that we have a lot of author-based collections built around people well-known for their knowledge of Greek grammar and language. So I expected to see a lot of grammar-based titles (which always makes me happy, of course). And I did. (Yay!)
But I also saw that these guys had a lot of collections of sermons, essays, letters and the like. Here is a list of current pre-pubs that I cobbled together. It is probably not comprehensive, but you get the idea. I’ve also inserted links to Wikipedia (where they exist — what, no Wikipedia entry on E.A. Sophocles?) so you can get some more background on these people and their lives. Sometimes that’s the insight one needs to make a decision about whether their writings would be valuable to have inside of an environment like Logos Bible Software.

Upon scanning all of the books available in these pre-pubs, it was plainly evident to me that for many of these people, grammar and other technical stuff was simply a means to an end, that end being the preaching of the gospel.
If you’re impressed with Greek grammar stuff, that’s great. But this was my reminder to keep in mind that it is only means to an end. I’m looking forward to these collections going into production so I can see more about how these scholars apply their erudition to preaching, teaching and other writing about the message of the Bible.