Is It Ever OK to Take Shortcuts in Bible Study?

bible-study-shortcuts

I’m not opposed to using the scenic route down the coast from work to home; I’ve taken it multiple times. But never on a workday, always on a Saturday.

I’m not opposed to using the scenic route in Bible study, either. I’ve taken it multiple times. But not usually when I have to prepare a Sunday school lesson or sermon during my “free” time in a long workweek.

So when I run into an interpretive question I need to answer, I unashamedly bring all the shortcutting power of Logos Bible Software to the task. I try to shorten the distance between the Point A of ignorance and the Point B of knowledge.

[Read more…]

How to Use a Little-Known but Helpful Feature in the Sermon Editor

One of the most talked about Logos 7 features is the Sermon Editor which continues to evolve and improve. A case in point is an almost unnoticed enhancement in the recently released Logos 7.4. Unless you know it’s there, you’re apt to overlook it, but this tweak may prove helpful as you prepare a Sermon document.

[Read more…]

How Should Christians Treat Pop Culture? Just Like Paul Did.

pop culture

Growing up, I had limited experience interacting with people from other cultures. That all changed when I became a student at a university in Vancouver, B.C.—a city where fewer than half of the residents speak English as their first language. Surrounded by fellow students from unfamiliar cultures and worldviews, I was plunged into the role of the outsider. I quickly realized how difficult it was to communicate ideas when two people don’t share first languages, backgrounds or cultural reference points.

As I studied Paul’s teachings and letters in graduate school, I learned to appreciate why God selected him for the role of apostle to the Gentiles. A “Hebrew of Hebrews” (Phil 3:5) steeped in Old Testament traditions, Paul had to explain the gospel and its implications to people of mostly non-Jewish background. He was the perfect man for the task: Although raised a Jew, Paul was brought up in a Graeco-Roman context (e.g., Acts 21:39).

This background gave Paul an insider’s perspective into Graeco-Roman culture and the lives of those he was trying to reach. He engaged popular culture so he could better communicate the gospel.

[Read more…]

How to Find Significant Prepositional Phrases in Johannine Literature

preposition john

I was recently reading 1 John in which I came to the phrase in the world in 1 John 2:15. From my research, I realized John frequently uses the Greek word kosmos usually translated world. During my study I asked a few questions such as:

  • Where else in John’s writings does he use kosmos?
  • What other prepositional phrases does John use with kosmos such as in the world, from the world, into the world, etc?

Such detailed questions are actually very easy to answer with the Guide, Bible Word Study, which is available in Logos 7.

[Read more…]

A Trick to Help You Read New Testament Epistles as Actual Letters

mailbox

As you well know, many of the New Testament books were originally composed as epistles or letters. Paul sent letters to the churches in Corinth, Philippi, Colossae, and so on. It’s easy, however, to lose sight of the “epistolary form” with the addition of chapter and verse numbers, pericope headings, text formatting, etc.

Fortunately for us, our Logos Bible Software contains a feature called Bible Text Only allowing us to hide these extra-biblical markings and thus read letters as letters.

[Read more…]

3 Reasons You Should Read the Whole Bible in 2017

read bible in a year 2017

I’ve come to realize that in order to know the Bible there is no replacement for reading the entire thing.

I’m going to give three reasons why you need to aim to read even the portions of the Bible you somehow rarely get around to—and why I myself continue to reread the Bible even though I’ve already marked it “read” on Goodreads.

Give poor Obadiah and Nahum some love. Actually try to divine some intent behind genealogies rather than skipping them (hint: it’s there).

[Read more…]

How to Save a List of Favorites for Multiview Resources

favorites multiview resources logos 7

With the advent of Logos 7, a feature known as Multiview Resources allowed us to open numerous resources within the same panel. The recent release of 7.3 expanded that feature with the option of creating a saved list of resources which can easily be loaded.

Also, we now have the option of displaying Multiple Resources side by side or one upon the other.

Let’s quickly take a look at both of these improvements by creating a saved list of daily devotionals.

[Read more…]

My Favorite Example of Engaging the Head & Heart in Preaching

head-and-heart-preaching

The screen printer standing in my living room was trying to sell me on a new four-color process for the kids Bible club shirts my church needed. One problem: he came to the door asking for “Mike,” not “Mark” because I kind of forgot to tell him the truth… (I used to use a pseudonymous email address out of overblown security concerns.)

We still joke about that. He’s now one of my best friends. But back then I had no idea of the wonderful story of God’s grace in his life. He and his wife were brand new to the area, and my wife and I invited them over and started a friendship. We found out that this clean-cut young man had, not too many years back, been a drug addict. As a last resort his non-Christian family had sent him to a Christian program in a rural area. Most guys go there to get clean, and they’re willing to use the God stuff temporarily if it will help them get their lives back from drugs and alcohol.

[Read more…]

How to Save a List of Favorite Bibles for the Text Comparison Tool

One of my favorite features for the observation phase of Bible study is Text Comparison. In the recent 7.3 update to Logos Bible Software, changes were made on how we select Bibles for this tool. Below are the simple steps for creating a saved Bible list which can easily be recalled for future use.

[Read more…]

Why the Ark of the Covenant Will Never Be Found

ark-of-the-covenant

I can still recall the thrill of seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theater. A senior in high school, I had already been infected with the archaeology bug. This movie boosted my interest to a whole new level. As Providence would have it, I followed the path of Indiana Jones—at least academically. I’m still fascinated by the ark, but I no longer believe it is lost and awaiting discovery. I have Jeremiah to blame for that.

[Read more…]