Greek Discourse Grammar Course Coming to Dallas Theological Seminary

If you’ve ever done work with the Greek text of the New Testament, you know there are multiple layers of understanding and interpreting the text. That’s because many features of the Greek language convey meaning not just in words and sentences, but in the higher level patterns and structures of discourse.

For years, Dr. Steven Runge, Scholar-in-Residence here at Logos, has been researching this topic and developing resources to aid both pastors and scholars. We’re honored that Dr. Runge has been invited to teach a class on Greek discourse grammar and analysis at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Runge takes complex linguistic ideas and makes them accessible. His cross-linguistic approach focuses on function instead of translation, helping you gain a much deeper understanding of the Greek text. He gives special attention to describing the task accomplished by each discourse device. This function-based approach helps to conceptualize what is happening in Greek by understanding how the comparable task is accomplished in another language.

This course will help you:

  1. Understand how various grammatical devices work from the standpoint of discourse.
  2. Understand their exegetical purpose.
  3. Develop homiletical strategies to faithfully communicate the sense of the original Greek.

If you’ve had a year of Greek and you’re comfortable working in an interlinear text, then you won’t want to miss it.

The course runs from May 14 through May 25, 2012. To register, contact the registrar at Dallas Theological Seminary.

If you can’t attend the course in person, you’ll want to pick up Dr. Runge’s video course, Introducing New Testament Discourse Grammar: Video Series.

Now on Pre-Pub: Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) is making a name for itself among scholars and pastors.

With five volumes already in print, the ZECNT is packed with fresh insight and critical New Testament engagement. It stands out among exegetical commentaries by engaging necessary scholarly literature without being bogged down with technical jargon and esoteric excursions.

Each of the authors in the ZECNT writes specifically for the scholar or pastor engaged in church life and ministry. This series is for those who wish to know what the text means and how it applies to the modern reader.

Recently, Logos added two new volumes of the ZECNT to Pre-Pub: Clinton Arnold on Ephesians and Thomas Schreiner on Galatians. These authors are well-known New Testament scholars and have written extensively in the areas of Pauline theology.

Galatians

With a major commentary on Romans in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, Thomas Schreiner has established himself as one of evangelicalism’s premier Pauline scholars. As with Romans, Galatians is one of the most important New Testament writings dealing with justification and works. Schreiner works carefully through Galatians, slowing down at points of controversy and confusion to illuminate the text. Schreiner’s commentary on Galatians should be on the shelf of every pastor, alongside Longenecker, Bruce, and Dunn.

Ephesians

Clinton Arnold is no stranger to Ephesians, having written the Ephesians commentary for the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary series. He is also the author of a number of journal articles that explore central topics in Ephesians. His contribution to the ZECNT contains a detailed introduction to Ephesians, discussing both its theology and historical context. This would be a great addition to your Ephesians collection, ranking among O’Brien, Best, and Lincoln as one of the best critical commentaries on Ephesians.

Once the ZECNT update ships the price will go up. Pick up the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament today!

The Logos Forums Have 75,000+ Users! Are You One of Them?

Logos announced the creation of our forums in the summer of 2009, and yesterday those forums crossed the 75,000 user mark! It was only nine months ago that we celebrated reaching 50,000 users. In nine short months, the forum community has grown by 25,000 users.

5 Reasons the Logos Forums Are So Popular

1. You Have Access to Experienced Users

You’ll find a forum for nearly every platform and product from Logos Bible Software. You can get the answers you need about any number of Logos related issues. You can find specific forums for:

With nearly 350,000 posts in over 40,000 threads, you’re sure to find answers to most of your Logos-related questions. In fact, we suggested in February 2011 that the forums were the #1 tool for getting the most out of your Logos software.

You’ll be surprised by all the things you can learn to do on the Logos forums. Here are a couple recent examples:

There is even a post that explains how to ask for help on the forums!

2. You Can Get Resource Information and Recommendations

The forums are full of pastors, scholars, and students. If you are looking for suggestions or information on resources, this is a great place to take your questions. But it doesn’t end there! The forum community’s a great place to ask all sorts of Bible study related questions.

Here are a few examples of such questions that have come up in the forums lately:

3. You Will Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of Logos

Besides the blog, the forums are the best place to keep track of what’s going on at Logos. You can find up-to-date discussions about new products, promotions, sales, and services. In fact, there have been watchful “forumites” who have outscooped us before official announcements a time or two .

The forums are monitored by Logos employees and you will often find the marketing team, developers, and occasionally even president and CEO Bob Pritchett weighing in on forum discussions.

If you want to get the very latest information, the forums are a good place to frequent.

4. You Can Promote Your Favorite Resources

The Community Pricing and Pre-Pub programs help you get new resources at lower prices. But occasionally you will want to get more bids on a Community Pricing project to try to bring the cost down or promote a Pre-Pub to help propel it into development. The forums are a helpful tool for making your case.

Right now we are in the middle of March Madness; the forums are also a  great place to encourage others to vote for your favorite authors!

5. You Can Build Relationships

One of the best things about the forum is that you have 75,000+ users from all over the world, from many denominational backgrounds, and from every walk of life gathering together to talk about the one thing they have in common, their reverence for Scripture.

If you haven’t capitalized on the many benefits of the Logos forum, why not do so now? To make it easy, I have created a new thread where new users can come and introduce themselves and get to know some of the others in this huge community. Come say hi!

Have a suggestion for how we can celebrate 100,000 forum users? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Proclaim Announces Exciting New Features

Proclaim is making it even easier to create great presentations. Our revolutionary church presentation software now syncs with your Planning Center Online account and seamlessly displays webpages. When you subscribe to Proclaim at our low monthly (or annual) introductory rate, you get access to new features as they are released, with no expensive upgrade costs. Proclaim subscriptions start at just $100 per year.

Download Proclaim now—for free!

Syncing Your Planning Center Online Account

By connecting to your Planning Center Online account in Proclaim, you don’t have to create your service twice. Normally, when you plan your service in Planning Center Online, the “service order” needs to be placed into whatever presentation software you use. But with Proclaim, it’s as simple as clicking “Import from Planning Center” to start a new presentation. Proclaim shows you a full view of all your planned services, simply select the plan you desire and your service is duplicated in Proclaim. Edit the slides and you’re ready to present. It’s that simple!

“We are excited about the Planning Center Online integration in Proclaim. This is a great step towards making Sunday morning even easier. With your service plans in Planning Center you can now start a presentation in Proclaim simply by connecting your account.”—Jeff Berg, owner and developer of Planning Center Online

Using Webpages in Your Presentations

Proclaim also allows you to share any webpage live without the need for awkward screen adjustments. Show videos from sites like YouTube or Vimeo, teach with maps, or even share the websites of ministries your church is supporting. The possibilities are as endless.

And remember, you can also send information to mobile devices in your congregation with our Signals feature, giving your audience links to webpages for future reference. Proclaim is revolutionizing the way churches prepare and present their services. If you haven’t tried Proclaim yet, don’t wait—download it now!

What’s So Cool about Greek Apocryphal Gospels?

You may have seen an announcement for a new Pre-Pub called Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha.

Yes, that’s a mouthful. But what are they? And are these things actually useful to me in my study?

I think they are, and I’m pretty excited about working on this project.

These documents are not canonical. Some of them are just fragments that were found in dumps of papyri. But they give us insight into how early Christians dealt with their faith, how they told others about things they’d heard, and how they interacted with the myriad of stories and tales they were hearing about this guy Jesus and his disciples. These documents also teach us more about the Greek the early church used. Just think, something useful for historical studies and grammatical studies!

This resource includes gospels, which means it centers on things that tell the story of Jesus. Different people see different kinds of these gospels. I include three basic different types:

  • Infancy Gospels. These include stories about Jesus’ youth and even earlier. The Protevangelium of James includes a much fuller story about Mary and Joseph with all sorts of details (even about Mary’s midwife) that are not canonical by any stretch, but insightful nonetheless.
  • Passion Gospels. These are gospels about the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They have similarities with the canonical gospels, but include expansions and embellishments as well.
  • Post-resurrection Gospels. The Greek extant for the Gospel of Mary is fragmentary, but insightful; one of the available fragments has a snippet of a story where Peter turns to Mary and asks her to relate what she knows of Jesus.

There are also fragments of apocryphal gospels.  One of these, P.Egerton 2, is fantastic. It consists of a few fragments, but these compile in short succession a number of events that are easily recognizable in the canonical gospels. Again, we get to see how early Christians understood the canonical gospels, how they framed that material, and how they used it for other purposes.

Among the coolest things, from my perspective, are the agrapha. The word technically means “unwritten”; in this context it denotes sayings that claim to originate with Jesus but aren’t in the canonical gospels as we’ve received them. Some of my favorites of these are in the Apostolic Fathers, in the written work known as Second Clement, which is the earliest complete non-canonical sermon we’ve got today. In chapter 5, there is an allusion to Matt 10.16 / Luke 10.3, but with an expansion and a twist:

2 For the Lord said, “You will be like sheep among wolves.” 3 And answering, Peter said to him, “But if the wolves tear apart the sheep?” 4 Jesus said to Peter, “The sheep have no fear of the wolves after they are dead, and you have no fear of those who kill you and who are able to do nothing more to you, but you fear him who after you are dead has power to throw soul and body into the hell of fire.” (2 Clem 5.2–4)

Whether this was really something Jesus said, we have no idea. But isn’t it interesting that it would be used in the early church (early/mid second century) in a sermon?

What is in the resource?

The resource includes morphologically analyzed Greek of each of the included gospels, fragments, and agrapha. So it will be searchable and useable much like you’d use any morphologically analyzed Greek edition (NT, LXX, Apostolic Fathers, Philo, etc.). In addition, I’ll be writing introductions and providing bibliographies for each major document and fragment. The agrapha will probably have a single introduction and bibliography.

This is pretty much the same format we used for the Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology. The goal is to provide a useable Greek text and, because the material is not that familiar to many, decent introductions to each of the major documents giving some background, history, and applicability to one’s studies of the Bible.

Does that sound like fun? It does to me. If it does to you too, then order the Pre-Pub and let’s get this thing going!

Excited about this project? Leave us a comment!

Time Is Running Out to Win a Trip to Logos Headquarters!

Imagine flying to Bellingham, WA with a friend to attend Camp Logos at the Logos headquarters—for free!

All you have to do is take our video tour of the Logos headquarters and enter to win! You could get an all-expense-paid trip to Bellingham, WA to visit our corporate headquaters—and get two free passes to National Camp Logos!

But don’t wait! The contest ends March 30. View the video and enter to win at www.logos.com/takethetour.

Logos 4: Visual Filter for a Greek Lemma

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 seminars and provides many training materials.

mp|seminars Tips

In response to a recent blog about Visual Filters a Logos user e-mailed the following to me:

I am enjoying very much your “how to” explanations in Logostalk, especially the recent post about using visual filters.  I have begun to create my own and I am very interested in this functionality. 

What I would like to know is how can I create a visual filter for a Greek word and have the filter show up on the translated English word.  For instance, I would like to create a visual filter for the Greek word “epignosis” and have the English word highlighted.

Here’s what I told him:

The easiest way to produce the filter for a Greek word and have it highlighted in English is to generate a Greek lemma search:

  • Open an English Bible (which contains the reverse interlinear option such as ESV, NASB, NKJV, or LEB) to a location where your desired word appears, in this case Colossians 1:6
  • Right click on the word (1) and select Lemma  “your word” | Search this resource. (2) (3)
  • Click Make filter on the Search panel which opens the Visual Filter panel with your search term already entered. (4)
  • Select a Formatting style for the word and name the filter. (5) (6)

Logos searches the underlying Greek text in the English Bible with the reverse interlinear data and then highlights the corresponding English text!

To add additional words to this same filter, so you don’t end up with a different filter for each individual word (because each time you click Make filter Logos creates a new visual filter):

  • Execute a lemma search as explained above
  • Copy / paste the search query from the search panel to the Visual Filter panel. (7)
  • Select a Formatting style for this new entry. (8)

VisualFilterForLemma1.jpg

 

VisualFilterForLemma2.jpg

 

VisualFilterForLemma3.jpg

Of course, the same instructions apply to a Hebrew lemma in the Old Testament.

This type of Visual Filter is a great way to distinguish Hebrew or Greek synonyms which are translated with the same English word. For example, create filters for the various Hebrew words translatedpraise. Make filters for the different Greek words translated love.

This is but one of the many features we discuss in the Camp Logos 2 Live video training series, which emphasizes using original language tools for the English student.

How do you use visual filters to study the Biblical text? Leave a comment and let us know!

Logos March Madness Halftime Report

We’re about halfway through Logos March Madness with 16 authors still competing for bigger discounts. Each of these authors has already received thousands of votes in order to make it to this round. For the authors who do not move on, a selection of their works will see at least a 40% discount. The remaining eight authors will advance to receive a discount of at least 45% off!

Many of these matches have been won by a very slim margin! Here are a few highlights from this year’s closest matches:

Round 1:

Round 2:

As you can see, some matches were decided by less than 200 votes. You can help your author win by sharing with your friends who you’re voting for, and encouraging them to vote for the same authors.

Vote today! Then check out the deals from Round 1 and Round 2 with savings from 30–35% on several hundred resources.

*Still in the competition. You can vote for them here.

Who are you hoping takes the whole competition? Let us know in the comments.

An Interview with Dr. Ben Witherington III

I remember reading Conflict and Community in Corinth and enjoying it so much that I rushed out to buy and devour Grace in Galatia. Since then, the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series has become invaluable to my New Testament studies.

Logos recently added the 5-volume Ben Witherington III Collection to the growing list of resources available from Dr. Witherington. This collection offers sensitive insight into areas of doctrine and interpretation where discussions can become entrenched and contentious.

Some of the topics include:

  • Baptism
  • God’s sovereignty
  • Prophecy
  • Grace
  • The Lord’s Supper

After looking at the content in this collection, I was excited for the opportunity to interview Dr. Witherington.

Logos: What are the risks of reading the Scriptures through a particular dogmatic lens? Do you see any benefits?

Dr. Witherington: I honestly don’t see any benefits to reading Scripture through a dogmatic lens. Over and over again it leads to eisegesis rather than exegesis, a reading back into the text things that are not there and reflect a later era.  It’s called anachronism.

For example, I was having a conversation with a Greek Orthodox brother the other day who wanted to insist that Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus was about the Christian theology of baptism—”born of water and the Spirit.”  Besides the fact that historically such a conversation surely was unlikely to happen between two early Jews (after all, there was no church or Christian baptismal practice yet), there is the further problem that the very next verse explains that ‘water’ here refers to what happens at physical birth (flesh gives birth to flesh) and then Spirit is the one who produces “the new birth” or “being born again.”  The discussion is indeed about the necessity of conversion even for devout early Jews.

Logos: Many Christians are raised or educated within specific theological frameworks, each with its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Assuming that your tradition is orthodox, how do you maintain the tension of honoring your background while allowing Scripture the freedom to contradict and challenge your beliefs?

Dr. Witherington: I don’t think your primary concern should be with the theological tradition you are raised in. Your primary concern should be your faithfulness to God’s Word wherever that leads, even if it contradicts things you were taught. I think you should value your tradition but critique it in light of the Bible.

Logos: Theology often comes out of a wrestling match between the theologian, his presuppositions, and Scripture. Of the five books in the Ben Witherington III Collection, which one was the biggest wrestling match for you?

Dr. Witherington: Clearly, the most controversial one is The Problem with Evangelical Theology. In that book I argue that all Evangelical traditions are most apt to stretch Scripture or misinterpret it when they try to say something distinctive. In other words, all Evangelical traditions fall short of full conformity to Scripture—whether we are talking about Calvinism, Arminianism, Pentecostalism, Dispensationalism, or any other ism.

Logos: What part do other believers play in challenging the way we interact with Christ through Scripture? How do we stand on our convictions and challenge each other without getting contentious and divisive?

Dr. Witherington: I find it invigorating, a sort of “iron-sharpens-iron” situation, when orthodox Christians of varying views challenge and have friendly debates about things. It helps us see our strengths and weaknesses, and, if it is done in a charitable manner, can be helpful to all.  But the ruling principle is speaking what you see to be the truth in love, not in a partisan spirit. All persons who have a high view of Scripture have much to learn from each other, and we should all admit our knowledge is partial and incomplete. Humility pills should be taken all around when we discuss these things.

Logos: What projects are you currently working on?

Dr. Witherington: I am currently working on a college-level Introduction to the New Testament for Oxford University Press, and my wife and I are working on our fifth novel in our series of archaeological thrillers.  The last one came out last fall, entitled Corinthian Leather, and has been well reviewed.  The next one is called Roma Aeterna, and centers on finding the tomb of the apostles Adronicus and Junia.

Logos: Thank you Dr. Witherington for taking the time to talk to Logos Talk.

You can save nearly $60 on the Ben Witherington III Collection (5 vols.) while it’s on Pre-Pub, or check out other Ben Witherington resources on Logos today!

Let’s Get to Know Each Other Better

Logos Bible Software strives to be approachable; the more we get to know you, the better we can serve you.

There are all kinds of ways for us to get to know one another. You can leave us comments on the blog, email us at suggest@logos.com, comment in the forums and our Facebook page, or contact us via Twitter, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Your feedback makes us a better company.

We also have a user survey which helps us understand your needs and serve you better.

One more simple way to help us know you better is to customize your profile page.  By providing information like gender and birth date, we are better able to cater your experience to you. We use your statistics to improve quality, provide support, and increase ease of use. And don’t worry—we don’t share private statistics with anyone.

Public information like bios, personal websites, and denominations has been helpful for building community in the forums. In fact, I follow a couple blogs that I found on forum user’s profile pages. If it hadn’t been for the profile pages, I might never have benefited from these users’ websites.

So take a few minutes and check out our privacy policy; then update your profile page. We look forward to offering you the best experience possible.