Accessing the Original Languages Using Logos Discourse Resources

The Problem

Few would deny the importance of learning Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic for teaching and preaching. Despite this high view of the original languages, I’ve heard numerous pastors lament the limited practical payoff of investing seminary time and effort in learning languages. As language skills get rusty, it takes more and more effort to do the kind of passage analysis that the professor recommended. Language study can end up becoming more word study than passage study. This is not a new problem, and it is not going to go away anytime soon. However, I have made it my mission in life to see the receding tide of interest in original language study turned around. The big question is how to do it.

An Idea

While researching the problem, I found that Bible translators had applied modern linguistics to the study of biblical languages in incredibly useful ways. There was a problem, though. Their work was not applied to exegesis, and it was horribly technical. The result: few scholars in biblical studies saw any value in it. I tested out the ideas on students and was surprised with what I found. Yes, linguistics can be complex, and yes, it takes extensive training to be able to completely analyze a discourse. But—and this is a very important but—once students had a basic knowledge of the devices and saw where they occurred in a passage, they were in a much better position to understand the overall flow of the text. So besides just learning the concepts, people needed access to this very specialized data (more on the access issue here). My mission had gained a bit more focus.

A Solution

I spent the next five years writing my doctoral dissertation and brainstorming a new kind of database. Meanwhile, Logos moved their company headquarters from Oak Harbor, WA, to Bellingham, where I had been living since 1985. I showed them my ideas and waved my arms to describe what my idea would look like. They took a risk, and here’s what’s come about.

  • Lexham Discourse Hebrew Bible and Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament: original language databases identifying the most exegetically significant discourse devices and providing a basic propositional breakdown to help you digest the syntax. If you have a basic knowledge of the language—even if it’s very rusty—then these resources will enhance your study.

There was a fairly common response to these resources: “Where has this stuff been? Why didn’t I learn this in school?”

The High Definition OT and NT provide most of the same Hebrew and Greek analysis, but they display it on the ESV text. These resources also come bundled with their original language counterparts.

  • Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: After the NT databases shipped, I was often asked how someone could better understand the devices and their relationship to traditional grammar and exegesis. We needed a grammar book designed for folks with a traditional background in Greek. The Discourse Grammar has been endorsed by leading scholars like Dr. Peter Gentry and Dr. Daniel Wallace, and it’s being used at leading seminaries like Southern Seminary, Dallas Seminary, and Knox Theological Seminary.

I made some rather unscholarly (goofy?) videos to demonstrate that discourse grammar is not brain surgery—it’s stuff we do every day.

  • Introducing Greek Discourse Grammar: Video Series: After receiving invitations from schools to come and teach a discourse grammar course, we decided to make a video series that provides an overview of the Discourse Grammar concepts using things like funny road signs and jokes to help you better understand how we use language and to show how this understanding can enhance your exegesis. Here are some samples from the series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Greek New Testament Discourse Bundle: This bundle includes the Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament, Lexham High Definition New Testament: ESV Edition, Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, and the High Definition Commentary: Philippians, along with a collection of essays from leading scholars in discourse studies dedicated to my mentor, Wycliffe translator Stephen Levinsohn. This bundled set saves you nearly $75 compared to buying the resources individually.

Turning the Tide

There is a belief that if you read long enough and widely enough in the original languages after leaving school, you will gain a deeper insight into Greek and Hebrew. While this may be true, the reality is that very few ever reach this level of competency. This is not a practical solution.

The growing suite of Logos discourse resources has been intentionally designed to give you the kind of insights that professors promised. And there are some new discourse projects in the works.

They say “all boats are lifted by a rising tide,” and this holds true for reinvigorating Greek and Hebrew study. Strengthening our exegetical skills will sharpen our understanding of Scripture and our ability to compellingly communicate its message. More effective preaching and teaching will ultimately strengthen the church. The Logos discourse resources represent a significant step forward. If you’ve already purchased some of the discourse resources and have recommendations for new users, be sure to post a comment about your experience.

Read the NT like a Scholar: Save $200!

For the next two weeks, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament—which used to be the New International Biblical Commentary: New Testament—is on sale for a spectacular price. Through August 19, you can get this 18-volume commentary, which retails for $299.95, for only $99.95!  Save $200 with coupon code UBCNTSALE before 11:59 p.m. (PDT), Sunday, August 19.

Excellent Scholarship Made Accessible

For years, students, pastors, and leaders have studied the New Testament with the help of the NIV-based New International Biblical Commentary. Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament’s 18 volumes have earned a reputation for scholastic rigor and clear language.

In this thorough, approachable commentary, such trusted scholars as F. F. Bruce, Craig A. Evans, Larry W. Hurtado, and Gordon D. Fee take you through each New Testament book, examining the biblical setting, the original Greek, and historical and literary issues. Each volume includes a detailed contextual chapter illuminating the New Testament in its original form.

Don’t forget about Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: Old Testament (16 vols.) on Pre-Pub!

Save Big Today

Don’t miss this opportunity to save hundreds of dollars on an incredible commentary—get the 18-volume Understanding the Bible Commentary Series: New Testament for just $99.95 with coupon code UBCNTSALE through August 19.

Logos 4: Add Websites to the Logos Shortcuts Bar

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

I was reminded this week that new users join the Logos family every day. And what is a “yesterday” tip for me (and perhaps for you too) is an “ah ha!” feature for a newcomer. With that in mind, I offer this oldie but goodie.

A Logos user contacted me recently, explaining that he used several websites in his Bible study and sermon preparation. Was there, he asked, an efficient way to jump from Logos to a website?

Yes, there is, and here’s how to implement it:

  • Open Logos and your web browser.
  • Arrange the Logos and the browser windows onscreen so that you can see both at once.
  • Navigate to a website.
  • Drag the website’s icon from the browser’s address bar to the Logos Shortcuts bar.
  • Repeat the above two steps for as many websites as you want.
  • Click a Logos shortcut icon to jump to that page.
  • Right click a shortcut icon and select Delete to remove it.

Websites to shortcuts bar example

Here are some suggested websites:

Remember that these shortcuts will synchronize to your other computers using Logos’ desktop version, so you only have to create them once.

What websites do you use when studying the Bible? Leave a comment and let us know!

Get Interactive with Abraham Complete Church Curriculum!

Are you the kind of Bible reader who likes to fill the margins with handwritten notes? Do you feel compelled to underline significant verses when working through a reading plan? For many people, this record of study makes their own Bible more significant to them. That’s why Abraham: Following God’s Promise includes fill-in-the-blank boxes [see an example] where you can write and save your answers to reflection questions, giving you the option of leaving the same kind of record in your Logos book.

An eight-week self-study program, Abraham: Following God’s Promise combines in-depth interpretation, theology, and application insights. And to help you reflect on the material’s relevance to your life, each section of the program contains questions encouraging you to pause and contemplate the reading and your response.

Beneath each question, fill-in-the-blank boxes allow you to record your thoughts in your Logos book. As a personal study tool, Abraham: Following God’s Promise combines the best of the digital features you’ve come to expect from Logos resources—interconnectivity with other Logos materials, memorable media, and in-depth Bible study—with the appeal of the personal notation possible in print Bibles.

As a group-study resource, Abraham: Following God’s Promise becomes a powerful tool for weekly small-group meetings. Take your digital book to your group and review the material together. With the answers to your reflection questions saved in your book, you can easily share your reflections and insights with others.

In addition, if your pastor has adopted Abraham: Following God’s Promise as your church’s curriculum, you can take your digital book to church on Sunday morning and follow along.

As your pastor preaches the sermon series, compare your insights. Your entire church—as individuals, as groups, and as a congregation—can grow together in a deeper understanding of Abraham’s story. You can discover its relevance for you and your church community starting today.

Abraham: Following God’s Promise provides a robust Bible study for those who want to grow in their understanding of Abraham’s life and its significance today. Known for providing tools for original-language study, Logos now provides an in-depth Bible study program for those who want to go deeper but who may not have training in original languages. Join us by purchasing the single volume self-study program or the complete church curriculum for pastors and leaders today.

Love Logos? Tell the World!

Logos Organic Onesie—$6.00!

Sometimes you want to take Logos with you—and share it with everyone. With our mobile apps, you can do just that. But did you know that you can also show your love with Logos branded merchandise? It’s true! Now you can take to the streets with Logos shirts, caps, fleeces, mugs, water bottles, and more.

There was a time when items like these were available only to employees, but not anymore. Now you can purchase your own Logos swag at incredible prices.

Why not show up at that morning meeting with your stainless steel Logos mug? This beautiful 16 oz. cup is on sale for only $5.37! Or maybe you want to take your Logos Water Bottle with you on your hike. You can for only $3.60! But for less than $10, why not get both?

“I Am Not a Venti Cup” $4.80

Pick up stylish Logos-wear:

Don’t worry—there’s something for everyone. Even your infant can get in on the fun with the Logos Onesie!

Visit the Logos merchandise page now and get all your Christmas shopping done in August!

Free Book of the Month: The Epistle to the Hebrews

“Every student of the Epistle to the Hebrews must feel that it deals in a peculiar degree with the thoughts and trials of our own time.”

Thus begins Brooke Foss Westcott’s The Epistle to the Hebrews, August’s Free Book of the Month.

This classic reference work takes you deep into Hebrews through extensive verse-by-verse exegetical commentary and multiple dissertations on related subjects. An extensive introduction covers this important epistle’s title, history, and purpose.

“Bishop Westcott’s treatise is, and will doubtless finally take its place as, a classical work. This it deserves, not only from the fulness and completeness of the materials he has assembled, and the refined and scholarly judgment with which they are handled, but from the clear, the just, and the measured views which he takes on all the difficult problems connected with the Epistle. There is a wonderful charm too in his wider views, regarding the deep subjects treated of in the Epistle.”—The Church Quarterly Review, 1891

Westcott studied at Cambridge’s Trinity College from which he graduated in 1848. He stayed at Trinity, where, in 1849, he attained fellowship and was ordained as a deacon and priest. He received honorary degrees from Oxford (1881) and Edinburgh (1883). In 1890, he became bishop of Durham.

His Hebrews commentary is part of the 14-volume Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament. Enter to win this commentary set—worth $239.95—at our Free Book of Month page. And download your free book today!

Huge Savings on a Massive Academic Collection from Baker Publishing

Logos has teamed up with Baker Publishing to provide amazing academic resources at incredible prices. Take the Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle, for example. Here you have 86 volumes of outstanding scholarship from respected contemporary scholars and theologians for only $999.95.

This bundle is made up of the following collections:

If you were to purchase these Pre-Pubs individually, you would pay more than $1,400—and that’s at Pre-Pub prices! To purchase this collection retail would cost you over $2,500. Right now, though, you can order this collection for just $999.95. But don’t wait—the price goes up to $1,399.95 at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) Sunday, August 12.

Baker and its imprints Baker Academic and Brazos Press, are established, trustworthy publishers of Christian academic works. No matter your theological background, you’ll find Baker’s academic books full of healthy, vibrant, and irenic research material written by some of the best-known names in Christian academia. With the massive Baker Academic Biblical Studies Bundle, you get resources from such biblical luminaries as:

When you add this 86-volume bundle (which, in print, would run past 30,000 pages) to your collection, it becomes part of a vast network of biblical resources—a network worth far more than the sum of its parts. Imagine walking up to a shelf of books and saying, “Show me the information you have on James 1:5,” and then having all your books open and arrange themselves, giving you access to the information you need. This is precisely what you get with your Logos library. $999.95 is a terrific price for all these books; for the power you’re adding to your Logos resources, it’s nothing short of amazing.

The price of this Pre-Pub goes up at 11:59 p.m. (PDT) Sunday, August 12. Act now and you’ll add inspiring resources to your library at a phenomenal price. Pre-order this amazing collection today!

Save Now on George Eldon Ladd Titles

Born this day in 1911, George Eldon Ladd is considered one of the twentieth century’s most important New Testament scholars. Ladd, born in Alberta, was educated at Gordon Divinity School (now Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) and Harvard, where he received his PhD in classics under preeminent New Testament scholar Henry J. Cadbury. After pastoring a number of Baptist churches, Ladd went on to teach New Testament at Gordon and at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. After teaching for 30 years at Fuller, Ladd passed away in 1982.

The author of 14 books and a number of important articles, Ladd is mostly known for his works on eschatology. He was a proponent of “inaugurated eschatology”—or, as it’s more commonly called, the already-not yet. Ladd wrote, alongside his works on eschatology, about the New Testament Kingdom of God and Jesus’ resurrection; he also wrote commentaries on Matthew, Acts, and Revelation, plus a critical study of the Bible, which included a book on Rudolf Bultmann. His title on Bultmann, published in 1964, was an important work in many regards. At a time when evangelical scholarship was isolating itself from continental scholarship in fear of being infected by liberalism, Ladd fully engaged the theology of one of the twentieth century’s most influential New Testament scholars. Ladd took seriously both his personal faith in the Jesus Christ and critical and objective scholarship, and this drove him to produce the best in evangelical scholarship.

Save Now on Ladd Resources!

In 1974, Ladd published what would become his greatest contribution to New Testament scholarship: A Theology of the New Testament. To celebrate the birthday of one of the last 75 years’ most important New Testament scholars, Logos is having a weeklong sale on A Theology of the New Testament, offering it for only $24.95 with the coupon code LaddNTT. Revised in 1993, Ladd’s New Testament volume is a master class in New Testament theology. Every student, teacher, and pastor should own a copy of this vital work. But we’re not stopping with A Theology of the New Testament! We’re also offering The Last Things: An Eschatology for Laymen for only $9.99 with the coupon code LaddLastThings. These coupons codes are good through the end of the day Wednesday, August 8! Pick up your copies today, and celebrate the birthday of a giant in New Testament studies.

Happy Birthday: Logos Talk Turns Seven!

The Logos blog header as it first appeared.

It was 2005 when we published our first blog. To give you some perspective, that was the same year that Google launched Google Earth, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 hit stores, and Apple rolled out the first iPod Nano.

A lot has happened at Logos since Bob’s first post went live on July 29, 2005. Looking back at the last seven years on Logos Talk is like opening a time capsule. The blog is a living record of exciting announcements, like:

The second iteration of the Logos blog image.

Logos Talk’s Top Posts

There are nearly two thousand posts on Logos Talk, and those posts have been viewed millions of times over the last seven years. Here are some of the most popular posts:

Bringing you the latest announcements, promotions, interviews, training articles, and windows into Logos’ corporate culture has been a blast, and we’re looking forward to sharing more exciting news in the future. Stay tuned!

Have some ideas of things you’d like to see more of on Logos Talk? Leave us a comment and tell us about them.

Logos 4: Shortcut to Passage List

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

It was my recent privilege to help a Logos user with the following scenario. As he studied a scriptural subject like angel of the Lord, he found himself redoing the phrase search each day of his research. He wanted to execute the search one time and then have quick access to the results any time he wanted whether his investigation lasted one day or one year. Here’s what we set up:

  • Open the Search panel.
  • Select Bible as the search type. (A)
  • Select the preferred Bible and ranges such as New American Standard Bible and All Passages from the drop-down lists. (B)
  • Type the search string, such as “angel of the Lord.” in the Find box . (C)
  • Press the Enter key to generate the search.

Shortcut-Passage-List-1.png

  • Choose the panel menu on the Search panel. (D)
  • Select Save as Passage List. (E)

Shortcut-Passage-List-2.png

  • Rename the Passage List (if desired). (F)
  • Adjust the Bible(s) to display in the Passage List (if desired). (G)
  • Drag the Passage List tab to the Shortcuts bar. (H)

Shortcut-Passage-List-3.png

Now anytime you need access to that list, just click the new icon on the Shortcuts bar! When you’re finished with the shortcut, right-click it and select Delete. Even after you delete the icon, though, the Passage List stays safe, secure, and synchronized on the File menu.

Is there a particular subject you find yourself studying on a regular basis? Leave a comment and let us know!