Yesterday we featured part one of a two-part discussion with Dean Deppe, Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary. In part one, Deppe discussed the exegetical methods he promotes in his book All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible. Today, in part two of our interview, Deppe shares how Logos Bible Software factors into his process for biblical interpretation.
Logos: What about All Roads Lead to the Text would be of particular interest to Logos users?
Deppe: At Calvin Seminary we require the use of Logos Bible Software for every student, and we have an entire course in the curriculum which teaches students how to use the software. We believe the tools Logos supplies motivate pastors and preachers to continue to do a thorough job of exegesis—including the use of the original languages of Hebrew and Greek. In addition, I know that Logos is interested in how the software is employed in the classroom, so throughout the book I demonstrate how to use the software in exegesis. Since Bible software is becoming more important for research and analysis, many of the exegetical examples demonstrate how to employ Logos Bible Software to attain quick and accurate results.
Logos: Wow, that’s great! How do you use Logos Bible Software for exegesis?
Deppe: I talk about three main ways I use Logos for exegesis:
- I introduce tools developed by Logos which make exegesis easier, quicker, and more fun. For instance, when I discuss the importance of establishing the contours of a pericope, I demonstrate from the “Compare Pericopes” tool. In the chapter on structure I use the Lexham Clausal Outlines of the Greek NT and the Lexham Syntactic Greek NT [both available in Scholar’s Library and higher]. In the chapter on grammar I demonstrate the value of visual filters. When I discuss translations, I teach the reader how to construct a layout of all the major Bible translations that you can easily return to on a regular basis.
- I recommend works from Logos which you can add to the base packages for greater research ability. In the chapter on historical background, I suggest a collection of Bible dictionaries and demonstrate how to set up a collection of resources to search for information.
- I perform specific basic, Bible, and morphological searches using the software to demonstrate the exegetical process.
Logos: Can you give us an example how Logos Bible Software is used on a specific text?
Deppe: Sure! For instance, the colorful nuances of the Greek noun καταρτισμὸν for “equipping” the saints in Ephesians 4:12 are difficult to determine, since this word occurs only here in the Greek Bible.
But other searches in Logos Bible Software can uncover similar roots. If one attempts a morphological search in the NIV or ESV by choosing Logos Greek Morphology and typing in g:katarti (g for Greek and katarti as the root of words connected to “equip”), several interesting references to the Greek verb καταρτίζω are revealed.
Such passages include Matthew 4:21; 1 Corinthians 1:10; and Luke 6:40 which throw light on the meaning of “equip.”
- In Jesus’ calling of James and John to discipleship in Matthew 4:21, this Greek word contains the imagery of repairing nets implying that “equipping the saints” means repairing people’s lives.
- 1 Corinthians 1:10 employs the additional imagery of reconciling two conflicting parties.
- Finally, Luke 6:40 describes modeling behavior so that the training of the saints implies a process whereby the student resembles the teacher.
Therefore to equip the saints encompasses:
- repairing people’s lives,
- training them in conflict management, and
- modeling Christ-like behavior.
A search in Logos supplies some interesting pictures!
Or another example where you search your various Bible dictionaries quickly without taking them down from the shelf and attempting to find the correct page. Automatically, while studying Mark 6:11 about shaking off the dust of your feet, Logos Bible Software will bring up all references in your collection of Bible dictionaries.
Here’s what I mean:
- Harper’s Bible Dictionary calls attention to the importance of hospitality in Jewish culture.
- The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery goes further and demonstrates that this action also signifies divine judgment. Human disdain of God’s servants has aroused God’s righteous anger.
- But continuing to search you discover The Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament which describes shaking the dust off your feet as a gesture that is practiced after leaving Gentile territory. Normally, Jews shake off the dust when they exit pagan territory; however, now the disciples are treating their fellow Jews as pagans when they do not accept the gospel message of Jesus. Jesus is creating a new family and nation that is bound together by faith and not blood.
As you can see, a quick search like this supplies a plethora of meaning to this Jewish gesture.
Logos: How do you envision your book being used?
Deppe: This book is aimed at seminary students, pastors and preachers, and educated lay people who desire to read the Bible In addition, it can be used for small group study and additional research through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Logos: How do you think All Roads Lead to the Text will appeal to other biblical professors?
Deppe: For one thing, it offers a great teaching method for students and can be employed as a textbook. But the appendixes contain some vital material not found together anywhere else. I include a morphology of genre which describes the various sub-genre in Scripture and add a succinct list the principles of interpretation for the main scriptural genres. Specifically, I describe in detail all the controversy dialogues in the Gospel of Mark and then offer an analysis of how literary devices are employed for organizational purposes in the Bible. This material should be stimulating to the academy.
Logos: What tools from Logos Bible Software do you think are the most helpful for the average pastor or teacher?Deppe: I use lots of tools. These are some of the tools I find most helpful:
- I employ the layouts every day. Instantly I can set up a study a NT grid with the Greek text and all the major Bible versions in my purview. I have layouts for the Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English, Philo’s writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus’ writings, and the Pseudepigrapha.
- While I am studying a particular text, I can call up a commentary, and it automatically proceeds to the passage I am examining. What a time-saver!
- Since we live in a visual age, I love the visual filters which let me color code the tenses of the verbs, for instance.
- With Logos I also have my own concordance and can easily search various texts.
- Word studies have always been important in preparing Bible studies and sermons.
- I also frequently use the Bible Word Study and Exegetical Guide. Both are easy to work with and comprehensive in Logos.
I have pastors email me every month and thanks us for the training we have given them in Logos Bible Software at Calvin Theological Seminary.
We want to thank Dean Deppe for taking time to talk to us! Make sure to check out All Roads Lead to the Text: Eight Methods of Inquiry into the Bible while it is on Pre-Pub!