Recreating the World That Jesus Entered

Jesus’ entrance in our world marked the turning point of history. But Jesus did not enter onto an empty stage. What brought about the end of the Jewish state? What role did Herod the Great and his sons play in the politics of the day? What cultural and religious forces were at work when Jesus arrived?

Herod to Jesus (Act VI), volume 6 in Logos’ new series The Bible in Seven Acts, provides a complete survey of the historical and cultural setting of this pivotal period. Designed for pastors, teachers, and students, this resource gives you the tools you need to understand Jesus’ life and work against the backdrop of first-century Palestine and the Roman Empire.

Grasp the whole picture. For students and teachers, Herod to Jesus (Act VI) provides a clear and easy-to-follow snapshot of the entire historical period. Graphics—including timelines and event lines—put the whole story in perspective.

Make meaningful connections. In addition to its concise survey of the social, political, and economic setting of the world in which Jesus preached, Herod to Jesus (VI) links historical events and movements to the relevant biblical passages. Political intrigues, sectarian conflicts, and Messianic expectations all affected how Jesus was received.

Go deeper into the story. More than a textbook survey or an annotated bibliography, The Bible in Seven Acts is designed to take full advantage of the Logos digital platform. That means that one click takes you to relevant, curated content in the Logos library— comprehensive information written by the world’s best biblical scholars and historians.

For seminarians and students, Herod to Jesus (Act VI) provides an invaluable study aid. It makes your New Testament survey course make more sense. Compelling topics for papers or dissertations emerge from the details, and resources for in-depth research are at your fingertips in the Logos library, saving you hours of time in the library or scrambling online.

Pastors can use The Bible in Seven Acts to enrich their sermons with more depth and confidence than ever before. The resource includes slides to bring history vividly to life for your congregation. And the time you save by letting this series do your research leaves time for the other demands of ministry—and life.

Pre-order your copy of The Bible in Seven Acts: Herod to Jesus (Act VI) or the entire seven-volume series—you’ll get 25% off the regular purchase price.

Save $100 on the Word Biblical Commentary!

The Word Biblical Commentary (59 vols.), written by over 50 of the English-speaking world’s leading Christian scholars, delivers the best in biblical scholarship. It’s one of the most popular commentaries in the Logos library—and during March, it’s on sale for $100 off!

Immerse yourself in sound biblical scholarship

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The great thing about the WBC in Logos is that everything—down to each individual word—has been carefully indexed and catalogued. What this means for you is a much fuller, richer research experience. You’ll compare passages without the hassle of searching multiple print volumes, which makes sermon preparation and learning faster and more efficient. Just enter the word or phrase you’re looking for and click “go”—it’s as easy as that.

This offer lasts only through the end of March—don’t miss this terrific price. Get the WBC today and save $100!

What Are the 12 Tribes of Israel? Find Out Now

Mosaic_Tribes

Whether you’re studying the Old Testament, researching Middle Eastern history, or taking a trip to the Holy Land, you’re sure to come across talk of the 12 tribes of Israel.

But what are the 12 tribes of Israel, and how do we find out?

It’s a good thing we have some awesome reference books to help us with this question.

Logos 5 doesn’t just come with a set of shiny new features—it also includes different books that weren’t included in Logos 4 base packages. Logos 5 base packages were dissembled and rebuilt to give you the best library to use with high-tech software. And we’ve added 13 new Bible reference books to Logos 5 base packages, so looking up the 12 tribes of Israel is no problem at all.

What should we know about the 12 tribes of Israel?

The 12 tribes of Israel are (for the most part) named after the 12 sons of Jacob. Each son became the patriarch of an individual tribe as the nation grew. If I want to know about the specific tribes, I can right click any reference to them and look them up. Let’s start in Deuteronomy 33, where Moses blesses each tribe of Israel. When we come across a tribe’s name, we’ll right-click it and look it up in the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible—which is now available in base packages Bronze and up!

12 tribes

Quick profiles on the 12 tribes of Israel:

  1. Judah. The tribe of kings, and the most preeminent of the 12 tribes in the biblical narrative. Judah “prevailed over his brothers,” (1 Chronicles 5:2), and the tribe’s territory included the city of Jerusalem and the holy temple. King David was part of this tribe, and his royal line ruled in Jerusalem from around 1,000 BC until the city fell to Babylonian forces in 586 BC. Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and the capital of the Southern Kingdom after the nation divided. Jesus is of the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1:1–2). Notable tribesmen: Jesus, David, Mary, Solomon, Caleb
  2. Reuben. Descended from Jacob’s firstborn, whom Jacob said was as “uncontrolled as water” (Genesis 49:4). The tribe chose not to settle in the Promised Land, and instead asked Moses for some of the territory that they conquered east of the Jordan River. Moses agreed to this, on the condition that they assist the western tribes in conquering Canaan (Numbers 32:28–32). They did so, but they did not assist the other tribes in battle during the period of judges (Judges 5:16), and the tribe falls into scriptural obscurity.
  3. Simeon. The man Simeon (with his brother Levi) slaughtered the men of an entire city to avenge his sister (Genesis 34:25–31). The tribe’s portion of land was within the midst of Judah’s territory (Joshua 19:1); however, Simeon did not grow as rapidly as Judah and seems to have dispersed across multiple territories (1 Chronicles 4:38–43; 2 Chronicles 15:8–9). This is consistent with Jacob’s prophecy concerning Simeon and his brother Levi: “I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”
  4. Levi. The tribe of the priesthood. The tribe of Levi stood by Moses (a Levite) during the golden calf incident at Mount Sinai (Exodus 32:25–29), and later took their place as ministers to the tabernacle, and later the Temple. Levi had no tribal territory—the Lord was the tribe’s inheritance (Numbers 18:19–20)—though they did receive pasture lands for their cattle (Joshua 21). Levitical duties were extensive (read Leviticus!), but Moses gives a brief summary of their significance in his blessing for the tribe (Deuteronomy 33:8–11).
    Notable tribesmen: Moses, Aaron, John the Baptist, Barnabas
  5. Zebulun. Zebulun doesn’t get very much attention in the Bible. The tribe does boast a strong, loyal fighting force during the days of the judges and King David. In fact, Zebulun had the largest presence in the army that made David king of Israel at Hebron, and they served him with “an undivided heart” (1 Chronicles 12:33).
  6. Issachar. Issachar has even less biblical presence than Zebulun, but the tribe was loyal to Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:15). They’re also remembered as “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32).
  7. Dan. We don’t read much about the man Dan, but we do see his tribe up to no good in the book of Judges. The tribe did not secure their original portion of land (Judges 1:34; 18:1), and instead migrated northward. In the process, they took for themselves other gods (Judges 18:14–17) and set up a new priesthood (Judges 18–20). The tribe later joins Jeroboam in idolatry when the kingdom of Israel divides (1 Kings 12:28–29). Notable tribesman: Samson
  8. Gad. Little is said of Gad, the man or the tribe. They, like Reuben, settled east of the Jordan.
  9. Asher. Jacob prophesied that Asher’s tribe would enjoy rich foods (Genesis 49:20), and the tribe went on to possess a region of eastern Galilee which is still known for its olive groves.
  10. Naphtali. Naphtali, with Zebulun, is mentioned by the prophet Isaiah in a passage we read often during Christmastime: “For a child will be born to us . . . .” This promise was given concerning the land of Galilee, specifically, the “land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.” You can read the whole prophecy in Isaiah 9.
  11. Ephraim. This tribe is named after Joseph’s son. Joseph received the birthright from Jacob, and instead of just one tribe, he is the ancestor of two (Manasseh is the other). After the kingdom divides, the Northern Kingdom’s capital is in Ephraim’s territory, and the prophets sometimes refer to the entire nation as “Ephraim” (Jeremiah 31:9, Hosea 5:3). Notable tribesmen: Joshua, Samuel
  12. Benjamin. This small tribe has played several important roles in Israel’s history. Benjamin stood against the rest of Israel in a national civil war (Judges 20:14–21:24). Saul, the first anointed king of Israel, was from Benjamin. The tribe was also loyal to David’s descendants when the northern tribes seceded (1 Kings 12:16–24). Notable tribesmen: King Saul, Mordecai, Paul
  13. Manasseh. This tribe descended from Joseph’s firstborn son, and uniquely settled on both sides of the Jordan River (Joshua 17:5–6). The eastern settlement is often referred to as the “half-tribe of Manasseh.”

Wait—13 tribes of Israel?

Kind of. Remember, Levi didn’t receive tribal territory like the other tribes. Also, Joseph’s sons were considered heads of their own tribes—both of which received an inheritance of land. In some lists, Joseph is counted as one of the 12 (Genesis 49; Deuteronomy 33). In others, Levi isn’t counted, and Ephraim and Manasseh are considered distinct tribes.

Here’s the math:

12 tribes – 1 (Levi) – 1 (Joseph) + 1 (Ephraim) + 1 (Manasseh) = 12 tribes

Learn more with Logos 5!

This blog post only scratches the surface. You can learn even more about the 12 tribes of Israel (or other biblical items of interest) with Logos 5.

And just so you know, the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible would normally cost $139.95 alone. But with Logos 5 Bronze, you get this 4-volume set along with 420 more resources—at your own custom discount.

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Already have Logos 5? Learn to use it for richer Bible study and ministry with our educational resources!

Shipping Soon: Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha

Order the 2-vol. Greek Apocryphal GospelsI’m really excited about the upcoming release of the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha collection, which was announced 11 months ago on the Logos blog.

While this was originally intended to be a collection of morphologically analyzed Greek texts, it now includes a separate volume of English translations.

And there are introductions to each translation, geared toward the Christian reader new to this material. That was one of my primary goals while working through the material and writing the introductions.

It looks like I was able to meet that goal. We sent out some pre-release review copies, and here’s what the early readers are reporting. Check out the full reviews for more on how these documents are necessary and useful in the study of the early church.

The Apocryphal Gospels are significant for what they tell us about the Gospel tradition and Christian origins. These two books on Apocryphal Gospels by Rick Brannan are a great pair of resources for anyone who wants immediate access to reliable texts, translations, and introductions on their PC or tablet of non-canonical Jesus literature.
— Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology and New Testament at Crossway College in Brisbane, Australia (full review)

This work is a very valuable contribution that goes beyond previous lists of sayings and publications of only the English gospels. Rick’s brief but insightful comments about each of the sayings, variants, and gospels round out his work in a way that makes it accessible to both lay readers and scholars.
—William C. Varner, professor of Bible and Greek, The Master’s College (full review)

Rick Brannan’s edition of the Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha for Logos offers an important new resource that anyone interested in the early history of Christianity will want to have. . . . I expect this exciting resource will play an important role not only in providing more convenient access for scholars and students already in the habit of studying these texts, but in introducing a wider audience to them as well. Many thanks to Rick Brannan and Logos for their role in not merely providing a useful tool for the already-interested, but also helping to highlight these important texts and make them accessible to others who might not otherwise encounter them or realize their importance for our understanding of the ancient church!
— James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language & Literature, Butler University (full review)

Rick Brannan has taken the concept so brilliantly executed by Jeremias and improved it. High praise indeed I realize but completely justifiable—for in the soon to be released Logos edition titled Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha, Brannan offers the Greek texts of the ‘sayings of Jesus’ which are found outside the Gospels (in the letters of Paul and other New Testament texts along with extracanonical early Christian literature) along with introductions and translations. He also provides the more important ‘gospels’ which didn’t make the canonical cut, again in both the original Greek editions and in translation.
—Jim West, adjunct professor of biblical studies, Quartz Hill School of Theology (full review)

In his latest contribution to the study of early Christian literature, Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments and Agrapha, Rick Brannan places pseudepigraphal gospels, agrapha, and fragments in their due place, allowing the scholar quick access to a world that could reshape some of our understanding of early Christian theological and literary development.
—Joel L. Watts, author, Mimetic Criticism and the Gospel of Mark: An Introduction and Commentary (full review)

The apocryphal Gospels are crucial for a thorough comprehension of Christian origins, especially historical and theological trajectories into the second century and beyond. Brannan assembles an impressive collection of apocryphal Jesus tradition in Greek and English which not only provides us with new editions of the usual suspects, but also spans significant fragmentary papyrological documents as well. Unique search capabilities enable linguistic analysis for some of the literarily closest material we have to the canonical Gospels due to the digital format of these texts. Highly recommended for anyone interested in serious study of early Christianity and its literature.
— Andrew W. Pitts, Bethel Seminary, San Diego

Pre-Pub pricing for Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha is only available for a short time. Once it ships, the price will go up. Ensure you get the lowest price by signing up for the Pre-Pub today!

What Is God’s Purpose for Your Church?

Pastors, seminary students, and scholars: transform your ministry with a two-day journey into the Word.

April 11–12 in Chicago, Logos is sponsoring Pastorum Live 2013, a conference focused on unpacking Scripture and the role of the church.

Study the church’s purpose from Genesis to Revelation

Pastorum will feature 10 scholars and pastors from leading Bible colleges, seminaries, and churches. Our expositors and faculty will help you understand how to unpack and fulfill your church’s mission while communicating practical, scriptural truths to your community.

You’ll learn how to communicate Scripture in profound and relevant ways, applying the text to real-life people in real-life situations.

The conference will be held at Park Community Church in downtown Chicago. You can stay at one of many surrounding hotels. Registration is now open at a discounted rate of just $79 through March 8.

You don’t want to miss this event. Create a healthier church and ministry, and enrich your personal Bible study by learning to dig into Scripture.

Register now and we’ll see you at Pastorum!

9 Provocative Quotes about Satan

Lewis Sperry Chafer is the author of February’s Free Book of the Month, Satan. The book is free, but only until tomorrow—get it today!

Here’s a preview:

1. Creation of Satan: “Since he was created, he is not self-existent, and never can be free from his dependence upon the Creator.” (Chap. 1, page 13)

2. Place Satan dwells: “That the earth and the air are his present abode must be accepted on the testimony of Scripture: in spite of the almost universal impression that he is now in hell.” (Eph. 6:11, 12, 1 Peter 5:8, 9) (Chap. 1, page 16)

3. Satan’s sentence executed: “And in Rev. 12:7–12, where Satan is cast out into the earth and the execution of his sentence is begun, the announcement is made by a great voice in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ.’ There is no evidence of a gradual process here; all is sudden and decisive.” (Chap. 2, page 34)

4. Satan and unbelievers: “According to Scripture, the relation of the unbelieving to Satan is far more vital than a mere pleasure-seeking allegiance.” (Chap. 3, page 45)

5. Satan’s dominion: “Again, Satan’s dominion is limited in that “there is no power but of God: and the powers that be are ordained of God (Rom. 13:1). In this Scripture it is revealed that Satan, though in authority, is not wholly free from his Creator, and that any direction of the governments of the world which he exercises is by permission from God.” (Chap. 4, page 51)

6. Satan’s authority over demons: “Although their origin cannot be definitely traced, it is probable that they were created as subjects of Satan in the primal glory, as he, also, was created as their prince and king. Satan, being in authority over these beings, doubtless drew them after him in his sinful attempt to thrust himself into the place of God.” (Chap. 5, 63)

7. Sin of Satan: “True, he has lowered his Creator, in his own mind, to a level where he supposes himself to be in legitimate competition with Him, both for authority over other beings and for their worship.” (Chap. 6, page 73)

8. Satan impersonations: “Thus his desire to be like the Most High has led him to a blasphemous attempt to imitate all the separate manifestations of the three Persons of the Godhead.” (Chap. 7, page 89)

9. Satan’s reliance on truth: “It has already been seen that the method of counterfeiting, if successful, will require Satan to appropriate and incorporate in his false systems every available principle of the true; for the deception of the counterfeit depends wholly upon its likeness to the real.” (Chap. 9, page 106)

LewisSperryChafer1929About Lewis Sperry Chafer

Lewis Sperry Chafer was born on this day in 1871, in Red Hook, Ohio. Chafer’s writings, the topic of much debate, are widely regarded as influential in the Evangelical movement in America. Dr. Scofield, Chafer’s Bible college professor, persuaded him to write Satan, which Scofield wrote the foreword for in 1909. Chafer went on to pastor Scofield’s former church in Dallas, TX, upon Scofield’s passing. He also became the founding president of the Evangelical Theological College in 1924. The college was renamed Dallas Theological Seminary in 1936. Chafer passed away August 22, 1952, in Seattle, WA.

Get Chafer’s Satan free!

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The Faithlife Study Bible allows you to explore the Word with Christians around the globe. You can study with not only friends and family, but also your favorite authors, teachers, and artists.

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Visit FaithlifeBible.com/Kutless to get the FSB for free, and enter referral code “KUTLESS” when creating your account to join the band’s Faithlife group!

Then enter to win a hoodie, T-shirt, signed poster, and signed copy of their CD Believer below!

56% Off the Time-Tested Encyclopedia You’ll Love: Bid Now!

Adding a reliable encyclopedia to your Logos library can do a lot for your Bible study. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915 Edition (ISBE) is one such time-tested resource, with contributions from leading twentieth-century theologians such as B. B. Warfield, Archibald Alexander, A. T. Robertson, and H. C. G. Moule. This comprehensive encyclopedia is on Community Pricing, where you can bid what you’d be willing to pay.

When you integrate the ISBE into your library, you’ll be able to look up thousands of words or phrases in the Bible or Apocrypha by right-clicking them and selecting the ISBE from the context menu.

Let’s say you’re reading through the Gospel of Luke and come across Luke 1:7: “But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.” What is the significance of Elizabeth being barren? It brings to mind Abraham and Sarah, but maybe there’s more to it. If you were to look up “barren” in the ISBE 1915 edition, you would find a concise article written by Thomas Rees that gives you a cultural and biblical understanding of barrenness.

“. . . barrenness was a woman’s and a family’s greatest misfortune. The highest sanctions of religion and patriotism blessed the fruitful woman, because children were necessary for the perpetuation of the tribe and its religion. It is significant that the mothers of the Heb[rew] race . . . were by nature sterile, and therefore God’s special intervention shows His particular favor to Israel.”

Further, we read that “metaphorically, Israel, in her days of adversity, when her children were exiled, was barren, but in her restoration she shall rejoice in many children.” This gives us a solid understanding of what being barren would have meant to Jews in that time, which in turn helps us to understand the miraculous birth of John the Baptist.

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia covers thousands of topics related to Scripture, history, geography, cultural milieu, and more. Bid now to save 56%!

Note: Do you already own the Ages edition of The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915 Edition that was built for Libronix? If you do, you’ll receive this updated collection for free; the files will automatically download when it’s complete. The previous edition was created many years ago, using the best digital files available at the time. We’re rebuilding the 1915 ISBE from the ground up—this collection will contain new, updated files. If you don’t own the 1915 ISBE, enhance your library with one of the most useful and trusted reference collections by placing your bid today!

Build Community with Shared Prayer Lists

“Praying and sinning will never live together in the same heart. Prayer will consume sin, or sin will choke prayer.” —J. C. Ryle

We all know the importance of prayer, but things get in the way—busyness, lack of accountability, lack of reminder and encouragement, forgetting to celebrate when prayers are answered, etc.

If you own a Logos 5 base package, you’re most likely using a feature called “prayer lists” to help take a disciplined approach to prayer. With prayer lists, you can:

  • Schedule prayer requests and see them right in your home screen
  • Take notes and record prayer needs for future reference
  • Decide when to pray and when to get reminders

But what if you could share your prayer lists with friends, family, and church members?

With Faithlife’s prayer list widget, now you can! Your prayer list will sync across Logos 5 and Faithlife, setting you up to seamlessly combine prayer and in-depth Bible study.

Get started with Faithlife’s prayer list widget today

  1. Go to Faithlife.com and create a group
  2. Invite members using their email addresses
  3. Go to your group settings, press “sidebar,” and drag the prayer list widget over to the active tab
  4. Start adding your prayers

Share your existing Logos prayer list with a Faithlife group

  1. Go to Documents.Logos.com
  2. Click the desired prayer list
  3. Select “Action,” and then “Collaborate”
  4. Pick the desired Faithlife group

Share the Faithlife Study Bible today! Just visit FaithlifeBible.com/Giveaway and share it on your social networks.

Logos 5: Sympathetic Highlighting

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.

A Logos user recently emailed the following to me:

When delivering a message on fellowship, pastors will often mention the “one another” verses as ways we are to serve/care/love one another (sometimes phrased as “one another,” as in “love one another,” and sometimes as “each other,” as in “bear each other’s burdens”).

I’d love to find a definitive list of all these verses. What’s the best way? I could do an English search, but that would vary per translation. Is there a way to do it using Greek?

Here’s my response:

You’re correct that the best search is in Greek rather than English. Let’s assume we don’t know any Greek, but want to search in Greek. Logos is here to help with a feature known as Sympathetic Highlighting:

  • Open an English Bible with the reverse interlinear option, like the ESV
  • Open a Greek Bible, like The Lexham Syntactic Greek NT 
  • Choose the panel menu on each Bible (A)
  • Select Link set A on each (B)

SH 1

  • Click the Visual Filters (three circles) icon on each Bible (C)
  • Select Sympathetic highlighting on each (D)

SH 2

  • Navigate to a “one another” verse, such as Romans 12:10, in one of the Bibles (E)
  • Select the phrase “one another” in the English Bible (F)
  • Notice that Logos automatically “highlights” the corresponding text in the Greek Bible (this is Sympathetic Highlighting) (G)
  • Note that this particular example is very interesting; the English phrase is actually only one word in Greek

SH 3

  • Right-click on the Greek word (H)
  • Select Lemma “the Greek word” | Search this resource (I)

SH 4

  • Notice that the search results are returned in Greek (J)
  • Click Verses on the search panel (K)
  • Click Add Versions on the search panel (L)

SH 5

  • Type abbreviations of desired Bibles in the Resources box to display the results both in Greek and in whatever English Bibles you want (separate multiple Bibles with commas) (M)
  • Press Enter to add the other Bible(s) to the display area

SH 6

I think this search will get most, if not all, of the “one another,” “each other,” etc., passages in the NT!

**If you like this Logos power-feature, you’ll enjoy the Camp Logos 2 DVD Training, in which Morris emphasizes original-language tools for the English student.