Rethinking the Nativity


What happens when tradition starts to slip into the way we interpret truth? Take a look at your nativity scene. If you have wise men, you will likely have three. This has just become the traditional, accepted number due to the three gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi brought to Jesus. Matthew’s Gospel, however, does not mention the number of wise men who visited the Christ child. If you take an informal poll, you will find that most people, due to tradition, assume that there were three. Does it make a difference if there were three or thirteen? Probably not, but perhaps our resistance to challenge ingrained thinking matters.

In the Nov.–Dec. issue of Bible Study Magazine, Gary A. Byers, archeologist of near eastern sites and contributing member of the Associates for Biblical Research, makes such a case for interpreting Christ’s very birth place. In an article entitled Away in a Manger, but Not in a Barn, Byers challenges our traditional preconceptions about inns, inn-keepers, and where exactly one would find a manger in the first century. It is very likely, according to Byers, that Jesus wasn’t born alone in a barn, but in the downstairs living quarters of a home where the animals would have been kept at night.

This is the kind of article that would provide great discussion in your Bible study, home group, or even around the dinner table. As Byers concludes in his article, “If this is an accurate reconstruction of the facts, we can say that the Christmas story is not about rejection and being alone. Rather, the focus appears to be just the opposite. It tells us that God the Father made sure His Son was born into this
world surrounded by family.”

With Bible Study Magazine you have tools and methods for Bible Study, as well as insights from respected voices in the church and biblical scholarship, delivered right to your door. And if you subscribe now, you will get six issues for $14.95—almost 50% off the cover price!

As a special bonus, when you subscribe to Bible Study Magazine this month, you will receive the Nov.–Dec. issue with the complete 16 page insert on the brand new Logos Bible Software 4.

Phonetic Searching

Phonetic Searching

Want to search for Greek and Hebrew words? With the launch of Logos Bible Software 4, we’ve added a feature which makes it easier to search in Greek and Hebrew, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the original languages.

Logos 4 lets you type phonetically and have Greek and Hebrew words displayed in the drop-down box. In the search box, start with g: for Greek or h: for Hebrew. For example, when you type g:agape, Logos 4 knows you’re probably looking for ἀγάπη. If you’re not, then you also have the option to select similar words, like ἀγαπητός. These words appear in a drop-down menu as you type. If you’re preaching on 1 Corinthians 13 next Sunday or leading a Bible study on the Beloved Disciple, searches like this can speed up your study.

If you don’t know Greek or Hebrew, but you’re familiar with words like agape, you can still search the original language texts with phonetic searching in Logos 4. This is just one small way Logos 4 makes the original languages more easily accessible to more people.

Phonetic searching—like many of the new features—is intuitive. As you type, Logos 4 guesses what you’re looking for, and presents you with search options as you type. It’s a quick and easy way to search for Greek and Hebrew words.

What are you waiting for? Open Logos 4 and give it a try!

Your Own Bible Study Newspaper

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.

When you first open Logos Bible Software 4 you come to the Home Page. This screen may not resemble anything you’ve ever seen in software before. It should look very familiar, though. It looks like the front page of a newspaper or the home page of a web site.

Think with me about the newspaper analogy. Each day we pick it up to read, we see the front page lays out the same yet contains different content. We always know where the title of the paper, the edition, the weather, and so on are located. Yet the articles are never the same. Who wants to read the same articles day after day?

The same is true for the Logos Home Page. At the top in the “ribbon” you’ll see features that stay the same day in and day out: your Preferred Bible, Reading Plans, and more.

In the lower section, however, you discover content that changes every day. It’s just like the front page of your very own Bible study newspaper! You see articles from books, images, maps, this mp|seminars Tips blog post, or most anything.

When I first saw this Home Page I did a double take. I wasn’t sure I liked it. I want things to stay the same. Now I understand, though, it’s not supposed to stay the same. It’s supposed to change.

Every day we’re to have our sanctified imagination and curiosity motivated to dive into God’s Word perhaps in a way we never have before. I encourage you, each day look for something different and follow a link to where it takes you. You never know what you’ll learn about the Bible with Logos Bible Software 4.

Audio Sermons in Your Passage Guide

Our developers have been hard at working pushing out lots of little improvements and tweaks over the last few weeks. But there are also a number of cool features in the works. Some are already starting to trickle out. Just recently we added a new feature to the Passage Guide that we think you’ll enjoy. Now as you do your Bible study or sermon prep, you’ll see links to audio sermons on the passage you’re studying from, the largest database of free audio sermons on the web. The new section appears down at the bottom next to and, but you can move it up to the top or wherever you want.

Just click on the sermon title to launch the sermon in your browser, or click on the speaker’s name to see all of his sermons.

This new feature comes to you free of charge, and you don’t even have to do anything to get it. Just start up Logos 4, and run a Passage Guide. Best of all, the nearly 300,000 audio sermons from are completely free to play or download. What a wealth of sound, biblical preaching to listen to during your study or take with you on your MP3 player!

We realize that everyone is different, and some people don’t care to have audio sermons in the Passage Guide. That’s why we’ve made it so easy for you to customize the Passage Guide to suit your needs. Simply collapse the sections you don’t want to see, delete them from a particular guide, or remove them from all your guides by creating a custom Passage Guide and naming it “My Passage Guide” (via Guides > Make a new guide template).

There are plenty more cool features in the works. No matter when you buy, you’ll get all the latest improvements and features that we’re continually shipping. However, the special introductory discounts on the Logos 4 base package libraries are here for a limited time. You may never have another opportunity to upgrade or pick up one of our base packages at the prices we’re currently offering them for. So don’t miss out!

Great Bible Giveaway

Since the launch of Logos 4 coincided with the beginning of the month, we’ve had to delay posting an update to the Great Bible Giveaway. That said, I’ve got great news. We still have 24 premium leather Bibles to give away through the end of December!

Entering the Great Bible Giveaway is easy, and you can enter up to 5 times per month. To find out all the details, visit

November’s Prize List

Enter the Great Bible Giveaway this month for your chance to win:

  • 1 ESV Study Bible, Black Calfskin (Retail $239.99) from Crossway
  • 1 KJV Concord Wide Margin Reference, Black Goatskin ($229.99) from Cambridge Bibles
  • 1 NASB In Touch Ministries Wide Margin Edition, Burgundy Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • 1 NASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference, Black Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • 1 NASB Side Column Reference Wide Margin Special Limited Edition, Black Calfskin (Retail $149.99) from Lockman Foundation
  • 1 NIV New Women’s Devotional, Espresso Renaissance Fine Leather ($59.99) from Zondervan
  • 1 NIV Study Bible, Black Goatskin ($229.99) from Cambridge Bibles
  • 1 NIV Thinline, Ebony Renaissance Fine Leather (Retail $49.99) from Zondervan
  • 1 NKJV UltraSlim Bible Signature Series, Black Calfskin (Retail $129.99) from Thomas Nelson
  • 2 NLTSB Tyndale Select, Black Calfskin (Retail Unavailable) from Tyndale
  • 1 TNIV, Black Renaissance Fine Leather ($99.99) from Zondervan

October Winners

  • ESV Study Bible winner: S. McIlrath
  • KJV Concord Wide Margin Reference winner: L. Swingrover
  • NASB In Touch Ministries Wide Margin Edition winner: J. Carter
  • NASB Large Print Ultrathin Reference winner: N. Lee
  • NASB Side Column Reference Wide Margin Special Limited Edition winner: M. Jones
  • NASB Wide Margin Reference winner: M. Hoskinson
  • NIV Thinline winner: T. Black
  • NIV Study Bible winner: B. Burkett
  • NKJV UltraSlim Bible Signature Series winner: J. LaFreniere
  • NLTSB Tyndale Select winners: E. Weiss and M. Sale
  • TNIV winner: A. Turner

The Great Bible Giveaway began in July, and since starting the promotion we’ve given away 48 premium Bibles worth nearly $8,000! Read our first Great Bible Giveaway blog post to see how it all began.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Devoted to Devotions with Logos 4

Logos Bible Software 4 is a powerhouse of tools to help facilitate the deepest of Bible studies. Whether preparing for your personal Bible study or using Logos 4 to work on your doctrinal thesis, you can rest assured that you have the most effective ally in Logos Bible Software. But Logos 4 is not just a great resource for research and study, it is an immersive environment for getting the most out of simply reading from your growing library.

One great aspect of Logos 4 is that, while the in-depth study capabilities are amazing, the simplicity and layout of the program itself is refreshing as well. Logos Bible Software is perfect for analysis, research and your personal devotions. You will find yourself drawn towards pursuing your personal Bible reading and devotions with Logos 4.


Imagine, you wake up in the morning, go through your normal routine and, with your favorite morning beverage, sit down and open Logos 4. Right there on the top of the Home Page is your Reading Plan. Your reading plan is entirely customizable by you.

If you want to see more, simply click on the Bible reading for the day and your customizable Passage Guide open up with your favorite references and commentaries to the passage from this day’s Bible reading. If you want to continue on in your Bible reading F11 puts you into Reading view which maximizes your browser and clears everything but the text that you are reading. The simple, clear layout encourages you to read chapter after chapter.

From the Home Page you can also read today’s passage from your daily devotional which can also be put into reading mode.


There is so much in Logos 4 that enables, not only study, but your ability to get into the word. You can walk away from your desktop and pick up right where you left off from your laptop thanks to the incredible syncing ability of Logos 4. You can arrange your books in whatever format is most helpful and Logos 4 automatically saves a snapshot of your layout so that you can pick up where you left off.

Logos 4 is a clean, intuitive, and adaptable Bible software that invites you, not just to study the Bible for information’s sake, but to fall in love with simply reading the Scriptures again.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Automatic Updates While You Sleep

This past weekend, I had a few conversations with some friends from seminary about Logos Bible Software 4. One of them described his compulsive tendency to regularly check for Libronix updates in the old version of the software. I explained to him that one of the great benefits of Logos 4 is that it updates itself.

In the previous version of Logos, you needed to manually check to make sure you had the latest books and features. If we made an update to a resource, you didn’t get it unless you ran the update. If you unlocked a book, you needed to update Libronix to see it.

With Logos 4, manual updates are a thing of the past. No more syncing your licenses or manually downloading updates to your software. Logos 4 updates while you sleep. It’s always synced with our servers to make sure you have the latest build of the software. New releases, resource updates, and other features are delivered automatically and downloaded the moment they become available. Once updates are downloaded, you’ll see a message that asks if you want to install the updates. This means you’ll always have the latest and greatest.

Even better, all of your content is backed up. You can have the peace of mind that all your documents—notes, clippings, custom guides, and more—are safely stored on our servers. If your computer crashes, simply reinstall Logos 4, and all your data will be restored—right where you left it. You can even see exactly when Logos 4 is syncing to the servers.


We’re adding lots of features to Logos 4 in the near future. We’re constantly rebuilding many of our resources to make them even better. And we’re fine-tuning the software and making improvements around the clock based on customer feedback and discussion in the Logos Community Forums. You’ll receive all of these updates the moment they’re available—automatically and effortlessly.

You should follow us on Twitter here.

Logos 4 Help Files

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.

Congratulations on securing Logos Bible Software 4! This is beyond a shadow of a doubt the world’s most powerful AND easy to use software. If you’re not already, you will soon be studying the Bible in ways you never thought possible.

Many of the features are obvious and self explanatory. For example, to launch a Bible study from the Home Page just enter a biblical reference in the passage box and click Go. In mere moments your computer screen transforms into a desk or kitchen table with numerous reports and resources open ready for your investigation!

To insure that you have an enjoyable and profitable experience with Logos Bible Software 4, we’ve prepared various means for you to get help when you need it.

First, click the question mark (?) icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to access quick reference Help files. The search feature allows you to jump just to the article you need.

Also, in your software sleeve you’ll see a disk labeled PC Videos containing instructional videos prepared by my company, mp|seminars. You can watch and listen as you learn to execute numerous Logos features.

In addition, these same videos as well as numerous other tutorials are located at

For more in-depth training materials and seminars you can visit for additional information.

Enjoy your Bible study with Logos!

Get Answers to Your Questions Fast…

…use the Logos Community Forums!

With the launch of our most significant product ever—Logos Bible Software 4—there are bound to be some questions. As you can imagine, our phone lines are busier than ever with excited callers trying to either order the brand new collections, upgrade to the new packages, or get answers to some very common questions on this completely “new to everyone” product.

We’ve tried to answer some of the most common questions on our product pages, in our Technical FAQ, and in our General FAQ. As always, we are happy to try to answer any other questions you may have over the phone, but our lines are so busy right now (even with extended hours until 9:00 PM Pacific, additional staffing, and lots of overtime) that wait times are much longer than normal.

[Read more…]

Introducing Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio Edition

Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio Edition

You might want to stop reading right now and close this web page—this is probably not for you.

Almost everyone choosing to continue reading this post after such a stern warning, still won’t be in the market for this collection. It is so massive and out of reach for the average consumer that we almost didn’t tell people about it at all. Think of it like the super-secret Centurion Card. Only a handful of people will ever own this package—and that’s okay—it is not for everyone.

We realize we are taking a big risk even telling people about this package at all. It is sure to be misunderstood and criticized for stereotypical American extravagance, excess, greed, pride, or [insert preferred accusation of evil here].

The reason we are taking the risk to even discuss it, is because we tried to hide it from the beginning and when people heard about it later, they complained that we never let them know to begin with. As you will see in the following description, the Portfolio Edition is the best way to get the largest library of quality content at the lowest possible price. You’ll read more later, but to give you a preview, it contains over $31,000.00 worth of print titles (more than 1,550 resources) all for pennies on the dollar. Don’t let the price-tag fool you—it is actually the most economical way to build the largest library we have ever offered.

Base packages always offer the best chance to get the most content at the lowest price, and bigger base packages are better deals. Since the biggest base package is always the best deal, some customers just want the biggest and best. It affords them the chance to save the most on their books and resources.

Until recently, our largest base package had always been Scholar’s Library: Gold. It’s a great deal, packed with hundreds of Bibles, commentaries, reference material, and lots of other resources. But with the release of Logos Bible Software 4, the time was right to introduce a bigger base package—much bigger.

Introducing Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio Edition.

Portfolio is by far the largest library we’ve ever offered. It represents a major milestone in the publication of biblical and theological reference books, with more than 1,550 resources. Here are some highlights:

  • 450+ Volumes of Bible Commentaries. The Pillar New Testament Commentary, the New International Greek Testament Commentary, the New American Commentary, the Baker New Testament Commentary, the UBS Handbook Series, the JPS Tanakh Commentaries, Keil & Delitzsch, Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae, the Holman New Testament Commentary, and several more sets are included in Portfolio.
  • Greek and Hebrew Helps.100+ volumes of grammars, lexicons, and more for Greek and Hebrew study. You’ll also find dozens of original language texts, including the major Greek and Hebrew texts.
  • Preaching and Ministry. Portfolio comes with over 100 resources on preaching, teaching, and ministry, including 10,000+ sermon illustrations, quotations, and other helps. It also includes an 80-volume ministry resource library, with resources on everything from youth ministry to small groups.
  • Theological Study. Nearly 300 resources from the church’s most influential theologians, such as Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lewis Sperry Chafer, A. W. Pink, Carl F. H. Henry, Charles Hodge, John Piper, R. A. Torrey, and dozens more. You’ll also find volumes on topics such as baptism, creation, election, ecclesiology, sin, and more.

To put this in perspective, if you were building a print library this big, you would need to buy a book every week for the next 29 years, and you would spend more than $31,000 for the print editions (not adjusted for inflation). To store all your books, you would need over 160 feet of new shelf space—that’s a dozen new bookcases. With print, however, you wouldn’t have any of the high speed search functionality, Passage Guides and Exegetical Guides, media resources, Word Studies, customization, or any of the other new features in Logos Bible Software 4.

The price of Portfolio is similar to what you would pay for only a few of the print commentary sets, except with Portfolio, you’ll get the commentaries you want, plus over a thousand additional books, all for the same price. Better yet, spread out the cost over the next year with a payment plan. You can apply your monthly book budget to each payment to begin using your entire library right away.

If you’re a power user, and you want a lot of new content at some of the best prices you’ll ever find, consider upgrading to Logos Bible Software 4: Portfolio Edition.

We want to make sure it is crystal clear once more—this is probably not for you.If you are happy with your existing library and never plan on buying a book again, just move along, there’s nothing to see here. However, if you are like a lot of book lovers, and you realize that you are already spending your book budget, your travel budget, your kids education fund, your entertainment budget, and your milk money on more and more books—and have already spent thousands of dollars on books in the past few years—you would be crazy not to get this.

Take this “kitchen sink” now to end your book purchasing habit once and for all, then start saving your money, give your money away, be more hospitable, care for the poor, bless your church, family and friends, take your wife/husband/kids on a trip, buy Logos for someone that can’t afford it at all… “Love God, and do as you please.”

If you already have a Logos base package, we have some limited time introductory offers available for upgrades to the Portfolio Edition. Visit our custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for.

Not ready for the Portfolio Edition, but looking for something smaller?
New customers should visit to learn more and see what discounts are currently available on all of our base packages.

Visit our custom upgrade discount calculator to see what discounts you qualify for on an upgrade to the brand new Logos 4 base packages.