Logos Free Book of the Month for May 2019 – I. Howard Marshall, ICC Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles

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). This is a tremendous gift from Logos since Marshall’s commentary is a major contribution to scholarship on the Pastoral Epistles.The print version of this commentary in the cheaper paperback format is available on Amazon for $65, good luck finding hardback copies (list price $155)! In addition to the price, the major advantage of owning the book in the Logos library is all the Logos tools are available to reader. This goes far beyond simple searching and highlighting.

At over 900 pages, this commentary is one of the most comprehensive exegetical commentaries available. Marshall wrote the commentary in collaboration with Philip Towner, the author of the NICNT commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (Eerdmans 2006) as well as the short commentary in the IVP New Testament Commentary series.

I listed Marshall’s commentary in my “Top Five Commentaries on the Pastoral epistles” a few years ago. I said:

Marshall’s contribution is perhaps the most detailed exegetical commentary on the list, as is to be expected from an ICC volume. Marshall replaced Walter Lock’s 1924 commentary in the series. The book caused a stir when it was released since Marshall (beloved by many evangelicals) rejected Pauline authorship of these letters. The introduction to the commentary develops Marshall’s view of authorship. The body of the commentary contains detailed bibliographies for each section followed by an overview of the text. The format of the commentary is a phrase-by-phrase unpacking of the Greek text, including textual, lexical and syntactical issues. He interacts with a broad range of scholarship, with Marshall includes a number of excellent excurses (on Household Codes, in Titus, for example).

The International Critical Commentary has been one of the top critical commentaries for well over 100 years. Each commentary in the series comments on the Hebrew or Greek text, dealing with textual, syntactical, and lexicial issues. As with most commentary series, this commentary by Marshall replaced the 1924 volume by Walter Lock. Lock’s commentary had 46 pages of introduction and 159 pages dealing with exegetical issues for all three Pastoral Epistles. It is still available through Logos (and is often found used for $10 or so).

In addition to Marshall’s commentary, Logos is offering both volumes of C. K. Barrett’s Acts commentary in the ICC series for $1.99 and $2.99 each. Barrett is always worth reading and this Acts commentary is no exception. The two volumes were published in 1994 and 1998 and offer solid exegetical comments are remarkably readable. With respect to historicity, Barrett said “Where he agrees with other historical sources, his evidence is confirmed; where he disagrees, or where other evidence is lacking, he must at least be taken seriously (2:cxiv).

Logos usually does a related giveaway on their Free Book promo page. This month you can enter to win the The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew edited by David J.A. Clines (8 vols.; Sheffield,1993–2011; $299 value). This is an exceptional lexicon for serious students of the Hebrew Bible. In many ways the lexicon is like HALOT (Brill, 1994-2000) but is far more comprehensive and includes references to the Qumran literature. Enter early and often, Logos will give the Lexicon away to some lucky winner at the end of the month.

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.

These three and almost free books of the month are only available through the end of May, so head to the Logos site and get them before the offer expires.

Logos Free Book of the Month for April 2019 – Charles Quarles, A Theology of Matthew

The Logos Free book of the Month for April 2019 is Charles Quarles, A Theology of Matthew: Jesus Revealed as Deliverer, King, and Incarnate Creator (P&R, 2013).

This book is part of the Explorations in Biblical Theology from P & R Publishing. Doug Moo said “Using key Old Testament figures and themes as his framework, Charles Quarles summarizes very nicely Matthew’s main theological ideas. The book is marked by an admirable combination of biblical exposition and practical application.” As the title implies, Quarles highlights Jesus the fulfillment of the Old Testament. One-time biblio-blogger Jennifer Guo described this series as “offering believers substantial biblical and theological content at a popular-level of readability and accessibility.”

Logos usually adds two more books from the same publisher for “almost free.” In addition to the Quarles book, you can add two volumes of the The Gospel According to the Old Testament series from P&R. For $1.99 you can add Tremper Longman’s Immanuel in Our Place: Seeing Christ in Israel’s Worship (P&R 2001) and for $2.99 Mark Boda’s After God’s Own Heart: The Gospel According to David (P&R, 2007). Philip Ryken says “As Mark Boda shows in this useful and accessible book, the house of David is central to the Bible’s message of salvation.” Commenting on Longman, Bruce Waltke heartily recommends the book saying “Christians struggle in understanding the relevance of large parts of the Old Testament, particularly concerning the worship of ancient Israel. In this beautifully conceived work, Longman has illuminated the priestly material in a way that makes it theologically relevant for today.”

The bottom line is that you can add three excellent books to your Logos Library for about $5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter the Logos giveaway for the month, a four-volume A Theology of Lordship collection from P&R.

If you are interested in reformed theology, Logos has several collections from P&R Publishing on sale in April, including a twelve volume collection of John Frame books and the twenty-seven volume Reformed Expository Commentary (many volumes written by Philip Graham Ryken).

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. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading and there are paths that will preserve your credit rating.

Logos Free Book of the Month for March 2019 – Leland Ryken, How Bible Stories Work

The Logos Bible Software Free and almost free books of the month are three excellent books by Leland Ryken. Ryken was professor of English at Wheaton College written extensively on classic literature from a Christian perspective, including the The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing and the classic How to Read the Bible as Literature (Zondervan 1984). Ryken served as the “literary stylist” for the English Standard Version (Crossway 2001) and was edited IVP’s Dictionary of Biblical Imagery (1998).

Ryken’s How Bible Stories Work is one of six volumes originally published by weaver but are now part of the Lexham Press catalog. Each are relatively short books (125-135 pages) and well-designed for quick reading.

  1. The Subject of Every Story: The Embodiment of Universal Human Experience
  2. Setting in Bible Stories: Seeing the Particulars
  3. Characterization in Bible Stories (Part 1): How Writers Do It
  4. Characterization in Bible Stories (Part 2): What Readers Need to Do
  5. Plot Structure and Unity: The Beginning, Middle, and Ending of Each Story
  6. Plot Devices: How Storytellers Tell Their Story with Beauty and Skill
  7. Hero Stories: A Neglected but Fruitful Narrative Genre
  8. From Story to Meaning: How to Find Significance in a Narrative Text

Each chapter focuses on specific narratives and include an exercise (“learning by doing”). For example, in the chapter on Hero Stories, Ryken outlines the way hero stories usually work, then reads Daniel 6 as an example of a biblical hero story used to teach moral virtue. Then he suggests Esther as an example of hero story, prints a series of verses from the book and asks the reader to do the literary analysis for themselves. For some readers, describing Daniel 6 or the Book of Esther as “hero stories” sounds like they are “just stories” and not really “true stories.” Ryken acknowledges this objection in the preface to the series:  “the literary approach to the Bible needs to be defended against legitimate fears by evangelical Christians, and through the years I have not scorned to clear the territory of misconceptions as part of my defense of a literary analysis of the Bible.” For Ryken, “a literary approach to the Bible is ready to grant value to the biblical authors’ skill with language and literary technique, seeing these as an added avenue to our enjoyment of the Bible.” But a literary approach to the Bible is not used in isolation, rather it is “takes its humble place alongside the two other main approaches—the theological and the historical.”

In Jesus the Hero: A Guided Literary Study of the Gospels ($1.99 for the month) Ryken first argues the Gospels are narratives and as such, the insights of literary studies are helpful in tracing the themes of the book. In Short Sentences Long Remembered: A Guided Study of Proverbs and Other Wisdom Literature ($2.99 for the month) Ryken examines a different genre of literature, that of proverbial wisdom. The book deals primarily with the Book of Proverbs and describes how short, proverbial sayings function in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, but also in Beatitudes and other contexts (James).

The bottom line is that you can add three excellent, academic books to your Logos Library for about $5. Any of these books are worth the investment at full price, so a big thanks to Lexham and Logos for making them available so inexpensively. As of today, the giveaway is not open, but the Free Books page indicates Logos will do their usual context to give away a 40 volume collection of books published by originally Weaver (which was purchased by Lexham, so maybe this giveaway will be updated soon?)

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos 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. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading and there are paths that will require you to mortgage your house. 

Logos Free Book of the Month for February 2019 – Mark Seifrid, Christ, Our Righteousness

Logos has an excellent book on offer for their Free Book of the Month. All three of the free and “almost free” books are part of the New Studies in Biblical Theology from InterVarsity Press. From the IVP Website, this series “Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprised by New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.”

For the month of February, you can download Mark Seifrid, Christ, Our Righteousness: Paul’s Theology of Justification (IVP Academic, 2000). Seifrid’s work is solid and represents the traditional / reformation perspective on Paul (see my “What was the Old Perspective?”). His published dissertation was Justification by Faith: The Origin and Development of a Central Pauline Theme (NovT Supp; Leiden: Brill, 1992) and he has contributed numerous essays and articles on Paul’s theology, such as “The ‘New Perspective on Paul’ and its Problems,” Themelios 25 (2000): 4–18. He wrote the Pillar Commentary on the New Testament on 2 Corinthians. When I mentioned this book in an article back in 2013, I said “is a brief treatment of the topic but among the very best and most accessible for the layman.” My physical copy of this book is well-read and marked, a sure sign of a stimulating book.

In addition to Seifrid, you can add Peter G. Bolt, The Cross from a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel (IVP Academic, 2004) for $1.99. Bolt “explores why the cross is so prominent in Mark’s Gospel, what Mark’s teaching contributes to our understanding of the atonement, and how it can inform, correct, and enrich our own preaching of the gospel in the contemporary world. He helps us to stand in wonder before God who has come close to us in the cross of Jesus Christ and to live in hope for the better things to come.”

Perhaps most exciting to me, Craig Blomberg’s Contagious Holiness:Jesus’ Meals with Sinners (IVP Academic, 2005) for $2.99. This book came out about the time I started by PhD work, and I did not discover the book until I was well into my dissertation research. Reading the book was a bit depressing since Blomberg was doing the very thing I wanted to do in my dissertation (and doing it better than I would)! The thesis of his book: “In sharing food and drink with His companions, He invited them to share in the grace of God. He revealed His redemptive mission while eating with sinners, repentant and unrepentant alike. Jesus’ “table fellowship” with sinners in the Gospels has been widely agreed to be historically reliable.” I ended up with some of the historical Jesus material, but focused on table fellowship as an anticipation of the messianic banquet (which Blomberg includes briefly).

The bottom line is that you can add three excellent, academic books to your Logos Library for about $5. Any of these books are worth the investment at full price, so a big thanks to IVP Academic and Logos for making them available so inexpensively.You can also enter to win a 22 volume set of “The Bible Speaks Today: New Testament.”

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos Bible Software released a major upgrade last week. 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. Through February 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.

Logos “Free Book of the Month” for January 2019 – John Goldingay, Isaiah for Everyone

Logos Bible Software is starting 2019 off right by offering a copy of Isaiah for Everyone by John Goldingay for free in January. From the blurb, “In this volume on Isaiah, John Goldingay explores the first of the great prophetic books. Isaiah is a compilation of the prophetic messages of several prophets. Their messages to the people of Judah and Jerusalem included a call for injustice to be recognized, a message of liberation and hope from the oppressors of the people, and a message of the coming day of judgment.” Goldingay is always a good read, and I have used his The Theology of the Book of Isaiah as a textbook in a grad class on Isaiah several times.

Seriously, all you need to know is it is a free copy of a commentary on Isaiah by John Goldingay. If you are a Logos used, then you should get this book!

Since Logos is partnering with Westminster John Knox for the give away this month, they are also offering two excellent books as “almost free” add-ons. First, for only $1.99 you can add Douglas Stuart’s Old Testament Exegesis (Fourth Edition): A Handbook for Students and Pastors, and for $2.99 more you can add Gordon Fee’s New Testament Exegesis (Third Edition): A Handbook for Students and Pastors. I have used the Fee book as a textbook in a NT Exegesis class for years, it is very good introduction to NT exegetical method. I was assigned Studart’s book in a PhD seminary on Hebrew Exegesis and used it the last time I taught a Hebrew exegesis course

You can also enter to win the Westminster John Knox Theology Collection (6 vols.; $180 value). The set includes The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology by Kevin J. Vanhoozer and there are several ways to enter.

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos Bible Software released a major upgrade last week. 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. 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.

Logos “Free Book of the Month” for December 2018 – John S. Feinberg, No One Like Him

For the  month of December Logos users can download John S. Feinberg, No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God (Crossway, 2001) for free, Graham Cole, He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit for $2.99 and Bruce Demerast, The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation for $4.99.

These three books are part of The Foundations of Evangelical Theology from Crossway. In Feinberg’s general introduction to the series, he indicates the intention of the series is “to address all areas of evangelical theology with a special emphasis on key issues in each area. While other series may be more like a history of doctrine, this series purposes to incorporate insights from Scripture, historical theology, philosophy, etc., in order to produce an up-to-date work in systematic theology. Though all contributors to the series are thoroughly evangelical in their theology, embracing the historical orthodox doctrines of the church, the series as a whole is not meant to be slanted in the direction of one form of evangelical theology. Nonetheless, most of the writers come from a Reformed perspective. Alternate evangelical and non-evangelical options, however, are discussed.”

You can also enter the Logos giveaway for the Crossway Studies on the Bible (8 Vol. set).

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos Bible Software released a major upgrade last week. 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. 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.

Head on over to the Logos Free Book page and get yourself a nice Christmas present (or two).

Logos Free Book – Aída Besançon Spencer, 2 Timothy and Titus

Logos Bible Software has another very good “Free book of the Month” for November. Partnering with Cascade Books, Logos is offering a copy of New Covenant Commentary on 2 Timothy and Titus (2014) by for free, Nijay Gupta’s 1 & 2 Thessalonians (2016) for only 99 cents, and Michael Bird’s Colossians and Philemon (2009) for only $1.99. That is three good commentaries for your Logos library for a mere $3, less than a cup of that fancy coffee you like so much. As I was purchasing these commentaries I noticed Aída Spencer’s 1 Timothy commentary is only $4.99, if you want to complete your set of commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles in the New Covenant series. In fact, all the volumes of the New Covenant series available in the Logos Library are $4.99 right now.

Commenting on Spencer’s commentary, Eckhard Schnabel said “By explaining lexical, grammatical, historical, and theological matters, and by focusing consistently on canonical connections and pastoral application, Aida Spencer has written a lucid commentary that will prove helpful for general readers, students, and pastors alike.” Spencer is professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has published many other books including Global Voices on Biblical Equality: Women and Men Ministering Together in the Church (W&S, 2008).

I have used Gordon Fee’s Revelation (click for a six-year old review) and Craig Keener’s Romans commentaries and found them very helpful. Although they are brief compared to other recent commentaries, these commentaries target a general audience and will be very useful for the pastor preparing a sermon or a layperson working through a book in a Bible Study.

In case you have not seen the announcements, Logos Bible Software released a major upgrade last week. 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. 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.

Logos also has a giveaway each month, for November 2018 they are giving away a set of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics (31 volumes, a $299). Scroll past the free books to the contest section, there four ways to enter. So in the spirit of the election season, enter early and often to have the best chance to win this valuable resource. I wonder what Karl Barth would think of his magnum opus being a prize in a raffle.