50% off Commentary Sale at Logos

Logos is running a great sale on their top rated commentaries. This includes both the Old Testament series and the New Testament series. Most of these are 50% off retail, I noticed a few a bit more than that. The page is arranged by book of the Bible with some easy navigation at the top. Logos selected their top five (by ratings? by sales?). There are volumes of the Word Biblical Commentary, Anchor Bible Commentary, The New International Old Testament and New Testament Commentary (NICOT and NICNT), a few in the New International Greek Text Commentary series, some International Critical Commentary volumes, a few Pillar New Testament, Tyndale Old and New Testament Commentaries, and a few NIV Application commentaries.

As they used to say on TV, “and many many more.”

Back in 2012 I did a “Top Five Commentaries” series; many of my topic picks are for sale from Logos, so check out what I said seven years ago: Matthew  Mark  Luke   John   Acts    Romans  1 Corinthians   2 Corinthians  Galatians  Ephesians  Philippians  Colossians  1-2 Thessalonians   Pastoral Epistles   Philemon    Hebrews   James   1 Peter   2 Peter & Jude     Letters of John   Revelation

For more recent volumes, have reviewed several of NICNT commentaries, so click through to the full reviews on these volumes.

If you do not have Logos Bible Software download the free Logos Basic or (for a limited time) get Logos 8 Fundamentals for only $49 With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library.

I do not see an expiration date for this sale, but I cannot imagine it will last long. Head to the Sale page and load up on excellent professional commentaries for your Logos library.


The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew by Brandon W. Hawk and The Protevangelium of James, by Lily C. Vuong

Tony Burke announced the first two volumes of the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature series are now available. Along with Brent Landau, Burke edited New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1: More Noncanonical Scriptures (Eerdmans, 2016, reviewed here). The two serve along with Janet Spittler as the editors of this new series. As Burke points out, these two new volumes are numbered volumes 7 and 8 because NASSCAL is continuing a series, the first six volumes of texts for Polebridge Press. Burke explains the relationship of NASSCAL and the More New Testament Apocrypha series on his blog if you are interested. For a short readable introduction to the New Testament Apocrypha, see Burke’s Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the Christian Apocrypha (Eerdmans, 2014).

Now available are The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary, by Brandon W. Hawk, and The Protevangelium of James, by Lily C. Vuong. Pseudo-Matthew was ” a bestseller of mainstream medieval Christianity, this Latin apocryphon is a keystone in the explosion of apocryphal literature in the Middle Ages.” Matthew Hawk discusses some of the details of the document on his blog.  The Protevangelium of James is perhaps more well-known; it collects legends and stories in life of the Virgin Mary.

The new volumes are now published by Wipf & Stock and are available as inexpensive paperbacks. Forthcoming Volumes in the Series include:

  • The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, by Tony Burke
  • The Ascension of Isaiah, by Catherine Playoust
  • The Apocryphal Epistles of Paul, by Philip L. Tite
  • The Gospel of Peter and the Preaching of Peter, by Ruben Dupertuis
  • Legends of the Holy Rood Tree, by Stephen C. E. Hopkins

Earlier volumes published by Polebridge Press:

  1. The Acts of Andrew, by Dennis R. MacDonald
  2. The Epistle of the Apostles, by Julian V. Hill
  3. The Acts of Thomas, by Harold W. Attridge
  4. The Acts of Peter, by Robert F. Stoops Jr.
  5. Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, by Clayton N. Jefford
  6. The Acts of John, by Richard I. Pervo with Julian V. Hills


(Another) Logos Free Book of the Month – Saint Augustine: On Genesis

Faithlife publishes Logos Bible Software in a wide range of flavors and packages. Quite a while back they were putting out a free book of the month for Verbum, a version of Logos targeting Catholics. This month the have revived the Verbum free book of the month with Saint Augustine: On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; and, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book (2001). The is book 84 in the Fathers of the Church Patristic Series from The Catholic University of America Press.

This is the first two of five explanations of the beginning of the Book of Genesis Augustine wrote between 388 and 418. The first book is a commentary on Genesis 1-3 attacking Manichees, a sub-Christian cult in which Augustine worshiped for nine years.

From the blurb:

Although Augustine agrees that many things in Scripture may seem absurd to the unlearned, he holds that they can produce great pleasures once they have been explained. It was this tenet, realized in his spiritual rather than corporeal interpretation of Scripture, that led him to counter the impious attacks the Manichees used to attract those who sought a more intellectual understanding of God over and against an anthropomorphic view. Augustine’s brilliant assimilation of Christian revelation and the intellectual faith of the Neoplatonic circle around Ambrose in Milan gave rise to his “spiritual” interpretation of Genesis 1-3 in the Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees.

The third part of this book is On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis. The book provides “fascinating and invaluable examples of Augustine’s developing thought on significant philosophical and theological issues in the interpretation of Genesis.”

In addition to the free book you can add Tractates on the Gospel of John 1–10 ($4.99) and Tractates on the Gospel of John 11–27 ($6.99). These are the first two of five volumes collecting Augustine’s 124 tractates on John in the Fathers of the Church Patristic Series. The rest are full price in the Logos Library, sadly. In his introduction to the volume, John W. Rettig explains, “The term “Tractate” (tractatus) in Latin Christian writings was a technical designation for a specific type of sermon, one which combined scriptural exegesis, preaching, spiritual commentary, and theological reflection, and which was intended to be delivered by the bishop to his congregation.” From the introduction to the series:
John the Evangelist was an eagle, soaring high in the sky into the sun; Augustine was the Lord’s trumpet, proclaiming the gospel and blaring forth its meaning. John’s Gospel is a profound theological study of Christ’s divinity; Augustine’s In Ioannis Evangelium Tractatus CXXIV are a prolonged pastoral investigation of that profundity. In them, Augustine, the world-renowned bishop of Hippo Regius, the humble pastor of souls, seeks to peer into the depths of Johannine theology and rise to the heights of Johannine illumination, that the shepherd might reveal to his sheep, as far as God granted, the meaning of John’s Gospel. For Augustine, however, preaching, and the scriptural exegesis that was a necessary part of preaching, were the truly important theological activities, more important, perhaps, than the more formal treatises.
If you do not have Logos Bible Software download the free Logos Basic or (for a limited time) get Logos 8 Fundamentals for only $49 With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library. These free and almost free books of the month are only available through the end of July, so head to the Logos site and get them before the offer expires.

My New Book: Galatians: Freedom through God’s Grace

My new book, Galatians: Freedom through God’s Grace, is now available through Amazon with the Kindle version coming soon.

I have been working on this book for a long time, and I am glad to have it in print.You can also order it through the Wipf & Stock website (it is a little less expensive there, they will charge shipping so it is about the same as Amazon Prime). If you are a blogger and want to review the book Wipf & Stock has a “Request Review Copy” on their page and they can send you a copy.

Craig Keener’s commentary on Galatians also came out recently and I am happy to say at 156 pages, my book is almost as long as his bibliography.

I intended this book as a basic introduction to Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. I divided the book into fourteen chapters (plus one chapter for the introduction). I think it would fit nicely into a Sunday School or small group Bible Study for a quarter. In fact, the book has its origins as a Sunday Evening Bible Study at my church.

Here are my goals in this book in contrast to other styles of commentaries already on the market.

First, this is not an exegetical commentary. I do not comment on the Greek text nor do I try to solve every difficulty in the text. Perhaps I will return to the text of Galatians and produce a more formal and scholarly commentary in the future, but the goals of this commentary preclude me from dealing with more technical aspects of the letter. I rarely comment on Greek grammar except where it is critical to the meaning of a verse. While I do include some cultural and historical background in order to illuminate the text, I do not claim to be comprehensive in this area. There is far more to say about the background to Galatians than I cover in this book. There are several places in the book where I reflect some insights of the so-called “new perspective on Paul,” but this book is neither a critique nor a defense of this view of Paul’s letters.

Second, I do not intend for this book to be an expositional commentary, although that is the closest model. Expositional commentaries focus on an English translation and attempt to explain the details of the text. My goal is not necessarily the details but the overall point Paul makes in the letter. I will therefore move through Galatians in sections and comment on the most important aspects of each section to understand what Paul is trying to say both to the original readers and to Christians living in similar situations in the twenty-first century. I have attempted to ground this contemporary application in the text of the Bible.

Third, I intend this book for laymen, Bible teachers, and busy pastors who need an overview of the main issues in the book of Galatians. I envision this book being used in a small group Bible study or Sunday School class as a supplement to reading the letter to the Galatians. No book should ever be used to replace reading Scripture, but perhaps this book will help readers to better understand some nuances of Paul’s thought in his letter to the Galatians.

Here is how you can help me out. First, buy a copy of the book for yourself (I do not mind if you want to wait for the less expensive Kindle version). Second, recommend your church library purchase a copy; if you attend a Bible College or seminary, request the book for your library.

If you do buy the book please leave a review on Amazon. You can even review the book if you did not buy it from Amazon. Just a few kind words would really help others to purchase the book. It is incredibly important to have good reviews on Amazon these days, so please leave your comments and rating at Amazon and I will be eternally grateful.

In old news, Jesus the Bridegroom is only $10 for Kindle, and I see a few cheaper copies both new and used if you want a print copy. Again, please consider leaving a review for that book as well.

So what’s next? I have two or three similar books in process, I hope to have Ephesians finished this fall.


Logos Flash Sale on New Studies in Biblical Theology

New Studies in Biblical Theology (45 vols.)

June 21–23 only, enjoy great savings on D. A. Carson’s New Studies in Biblical Theology from IVP Academic.  Individual volumes are $9.99, or get the whole set for $399. Back in February Logos gave away Mark Seifrid’s Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Justification (2000) and offered great discounts on Peter G. Bolt, The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel (2004) and Craig Blomberg’s Contagious Holiness:Jesus’ Meals with Sinners (2005). If you did buy those three in February, the cost of the whole set will be lower; Logos will not charge you for books you already own.

If you are unfamiliar with this series, the original Studies in Biblical Theology was published by SCM Press from 1952 through 1973. It included several important volumes, such as Early Christian Worship by Oscar Cullmann, Christ in the Wilderness by Ulrich W. Mauser and The Rediscovery of Apocalyptic by Klaus Koch. In 1995 IVP Academic re-booted the series with D. A. Carson as the series editor. Here is a summary of the first 35 volumes at the Gospel Coalition.

I have reviewed a few titles in the series (I have several more in my reading pile).

The sale does not include Peter T. O’Brien’s God Has Spoken in His Son: A Biblical Theology of Hebrews (2016; it was withdrawn from the series) or the recently published All Things New: Revelation as Canonical Capstone by Brian J. Tabb.

Logos Bible Software also released a major upgrade at the end of 2018.  I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. There are plenty of new features to justify an upgrade and the software runs much more efficiently than the previous version (everything runs faster than Logos 7). You can save 25% on any upgrades to Logos 8 and pick five free books when you upgrade to Logos 8. Follow the link and used the code READINGACTS8.

Look over the titles on the Logos sale page, I am sure you will find many interesting studies to add to your Logos collection. But do not wait too long, the sale is over midnight PDT, June 23, 2019.

“Everything N. T. Wright” Sale at Logos

During the last week of May. Logos is running a sale on N. T. Wright. Since Wright is so prolific, you might be wondering where to start. His Simply Christian or Surprised by Hope ($16.09 each) are basic presentations of Christian theology in the tradition of C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. I have used The Challenge of Jesus ($11.89) for many years as supplemental reading in my Jesus and the Gospels class.

His Tyndale Commentary on Colossians and Philemon on the list ($11.19). This is one of the most readable commentaries I have read; academic yet spiritually challenging. It is far more detailed than his For Everyone commentary series ($10.49 a volume). Wright comments briefly on every book of the New Testament. Not academic, but very well suited for a small group Bible Study or a supplement to one’ s personal Bible reading. Pick out individual volumes or get the twenty volume bundle.

One of Wright’s first works is available, the essays in Climax of the Covenant ($13.99) introduces some of the themes which he develops in his later more extensive works. HIs Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision is only $11.19. This was the book written in conversation with John Piper and sets out his view of justification.

If you are up to the challenge, the four volumes of the Christian Origins and the Question of God are excellent. The Resurrection of the Son of God is perhaps the most detailed survey of the idea of resurrection in the Second Temple period available; Paul and the Faithfulness of God is a massive 1500+ theology of Paul, and generated a large volume of appreciative responses God and the Faithfulness of Paul edited by Michael Bird and Christoph Helig and J. Thomas Hewitt (Fortress Press 2017).

  • The New Testament and the People of God
  • Jesus and the Victory of God
  • The Resurrection of the Son of God
  • Paul and the Faithfulness of God

Logos sells a bundle of all four volumes in the series ($104.99). The last of these is part of a Pauline trilogy, Wright’s Pauline Theology itself, a survey of Pauline studies and a collection of Wright’s essays on Paul gathered from various journals and edited volumes:

  • Paul and the Faithfulness of God
  • Paul and His Recent Interpreters
  • Pauline Perspectives: Essays on Paul 1978–2013

If all that is intimidating, start with his Paul: Fresh Perspectives. For many years before Paul and the Faithfulness of God was published this was Wright’s brief overview of Pauline theology; I have used it many times ans supplemental reading in a Pauline Lit class. Missing from the sale is his first book on Paul, the provocatively titled What Saint Paul Really Said: Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? (Eerdmans 1997), but the book is not available in the Logos Library.

Two volumes in this sale are not by N. T. Wright, but the feature his ideas. Exile: A Conversation with N.T. Wright is a collection of essays on Wright’s claim Second Temple period Jews thought of themselves as still living in the Exile. The real steal on this sale is Galatians and Christian Theology: Justification, the Gospel, and Ethics in Paul’s Letter (Baker Academic 2014) includes essays on justification, gospel and ethics in Galatians by Mark W. Elliott, John Barclay, Beverly Gaventa, Richard Hays, Bruce McCormack, Oliver O’Donovan, and many others. Wright’s article is “Messiahship in Galatians?”

There are many more books on the sale, these are only the highlights (or, things which interest me). You could get everything by Wright for your Logos library fr $482.99 (go big or go home). But the sale only runs through May 31, 2019, so visit the Logos N. T. Wright sale and load up on summer reading.

Logos recently released a major upgrade to their Bible Software. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. There are plenty of new features to justify an upgrade and the software runs much more efficiently than the previous version. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering. Logos base packages are 20% off through May 31. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading and there are paths that will preserve your credit rating. Use the code READINGACTS8 to save 20%.

The Logos Free book of the Month for May 2019 is I. Howard Marshall, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (T&T Clark, Hb. 1999, Pb. 2013). Be sure to get this book (along with the almost free C. K. Barrett volumes on Acts). See my comments on this excellent free resource here.



Eerdmans Sale on Kindle Books for May 2019

During the month of May, Eerdmans has some great deals on Kindle versions of recent publications

Although I prefer real books to digital (and Logos books to Kindle), these are worth buying at the price. If you do not own a Kindle device, you can get an App on most devices to read Kindle books. I use the iPad Kindle App, it is very convenient for travel (or reading in the dark, which is sometimes a thing).

There are quite a few interesting books on the list this month, but I notice several volumes of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series for $4.99 each. As the title for the series implies, these commentaries focus on the social world of the author (Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman world) as well as tracing the rhetorical strategies of the authors. The latter works best in the letters and sometimes can seem tedious, but this careful examination of how Paul (for example) argued his points has the potential to unfold the letters in new and exciting ways.

I have used many volumes in this series and usually found them helpful. Keener and DeSilva are always good,and Witherington always has something to stimulate my thinking. I looked for Witherington’s Acts but it is not available in Kindle format for some reason. It is really the best of the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series.

In the non-commentary section of the sale, I noticed Richard Bauckham’s The Gospels for All Christians: Rethinking the Gospel Audiences ($2.99). This is a collection of essays which argue the four gospels were not written to specific churches (Matthew to Syrian Antioch, for example) but to the whole church.

For archaeology, Fant and Reddish, Lost Treasures of the Bible: Understanding the Bible through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums is a mere $1.99. The book discusses key artifacts now housed in museums all over the world. I reviewed this book soon after it came out, it is well worth reading. In the review, I concluded “This is an excellent book for general readers interested in archaeology as background for the Bible. Whether it is used in conjunction with a visit to a major museum or not, Lost Treasures provides the reader with good descriptions of the most important artifacts illustrating the world of both the Old and New Testaments.”

For the philosopher/theologian, The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader is $3.99. The book has thirteen essays and book excerpts in four sections (“Natural Theology and Atheology; Reformed Epistemology; Divine Nature and Attributes; Christian Philosophy). Think of this as Plantinga’s Greatest Hits.

There are quite a few others, so poke around the Eerdmans books on Amazon and see what you can find.

The sale runs through the end of May 2019.