Logos Free Book of the Month for November 2019 – R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark (The New International Greek Testament Commentary)

During the month of November, Logos Bible Software is giving away a volume in of the best commentaries series available, R. T. France’s excellent commentary on Mark in the New International Greek Text Commentary (Eerdmans,2002).I have been tracking these “free book of the month” promotions for several years and this is by far the best one yet.  Logos users who do not already own these resources should get them immediately!

When I did a top five commentaries on Mark post a few years ago, France’s NIGTC was first on my list.

As with all the writers in the NIGTC series, France is an expert on the Greek text of Mark. The commentary has less background material that Evans, but is rich in exegetical detail. That is not to say that France is ignorant of the Hebrew Bible or other Second Temple Period literature, but only that his main interest is the Greek words in the context of Mark.

For $4.99 you can add James Dunn’s Colossians and Philemon in the NIGTC. In my Top Five Commentaries on Colossians I said:

Based on the theology of the book, Dunn thinks that the book was not written by Paul, even if it is “Pauline.” The issue of authorship is not as critical an issue as for other books, Dunn refers to the writer as Paul despite expressing doubts that he was the actual author. He is warm to the possibility that the book was written from a hypothetical Ephesian imprisonment, but cannot state this (or any alternative view) with certainty. The opponents addressed by the letter are from the local Jewish synagogue. As Dunn says, to call this a “heresy” is “quite inappropriate” since the “competing philosophy” does not come from within the church. The body of the commentary is based wholly on the Greek text, with detailed lexical and syntactical comments. Dunn is well-versed in Second Temple Period Jewish literature as well as Greco-Roman works and integrates this material into his commentary well. In particular, material from the Dead Sea Scrolls is used to illustrate the “Jewishness” of Paul’s opponents.

For $9.99 add Anthony Thiselton’s excellent commentary on 1 Corinthians in the same series. This volume was my first choice for my Top Five Commentaries on 1 Corinthians:

Like most of the NIGTC series, Thiselton’s commentary is magisterial. At over 1400 pages, the commentary contains highly detailed exegesis and theological interest. Thiselton also includes what he calls a “posthistory reception” of the text. He draws on the apostolic fathers, patristic, medieval, Reformation, and modern eras and briefly summarizes how each age has read the text of 1 Corinthians. These are interesting, although they go beyond what is typically included in a commentary.  Eerdmans also published A Shorter Exegetical and Pastoral Commentary version of this commentary which should be sufficient for most pastors.

These three commentaries would cost over $200 in hardback and are rarely available used. But Logos is offering them for a mere $15. Although I prefer a real book, reading the commentaries in Logos is extremely convenient since all of the tools of the Logos Bible Software are available. This includes searching within the book, clicking Greek and Hebrew words to open your preferred lexicons, hovering over abbreviations for a definition, clicking on cited resources to open in Logos, and advanced highlighting and note-taking tools Logos books come with real page numbers, any text you copy/paste into Word will appear with a proper citation in your style preference (Chicago, MLA, APA, etc.)

As usual, Logos has a giveaway at the bottom of the free book page. This month hey are giving away a set of ten volumes in the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary Series. This includes Ben Witherington’s Acts commentary, one of my favorite commentaries ever. There are several ways to enter the contest, so enter early and enter often.

These valuable resources are only free (or almost free) through November 30, 2019.

Logos Free Book of the Month for October 2019 – Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will

For the month of October Logos is giving away a copy of Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will. This is the first volume of the forty-one volume Yale University Press edition of Edward’s works. individual volumes retail for $29 or more each in paperback (hardbacks are difficult to find and very expensive), so the three volumes Logos is offering for tree and almost free and a great deal. Logos would be happy to sell you the entire Works of Jonathan Edwards (41 vols.) for a big chunk of money.

In the first volume of the series Freedom of the Will, Paul Ramsey “provides a fresh analysis of Edwards’ theological position, includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in the philosophical context of today and in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.” Although you can get this book free in a variety of formats on the internet, this is a new translation. For example, I have the Banner of Truth Works of Jonathan Edwards, but this is a reprint of a translation first published 1834.This Yale series was originally publish in 1957 but revised in 2009.

For an additional $1.99, you can add volume 8 in the series, Ethical Writings. From the Logos website: “This volume contains two major works of Jonathan Edwards: an unpublished text of a series of sermons he preached in 1738, known as Charity and Its Fruits, and his Two Dissertations: I. Concerning the End for Which God Created the World and II. On the Nature of True Virtue, published posthumously in 1765. Together these writings set out the principles of Edwards’ ethical reflections. The text of the sermon series is drawn from three sources. The primary text is an early nineteenth-century transcription of Edwards’ sermon booklets now in the Andover-Newton Theological School’s collection. Passages published in Tyron Edwards’ 1852 edition, and partial transcriptions by Joseph Bellamy found in three fragments among his papers, have been used where the Andover copy is incomplete. The Bellamy fragments are reproduced in their entirety in a critical appendix, along with examples showing the editor’s use of the three sources in construing this definitive text for the Yale edition.”

Add volume 18, Notes on Scripture for $4.99. “This is the first complete edition of the private biblical notebook that Jonathan Edwards compiled over a period of nearly thirty-five years. Edwards’ “Notes on Scripture” confirms the centrality of the Bible in his thought and provides more balance to earlier depictions of his writings that emphasized the scientific and philosophical while overlooking the biblical dimension. In this critical edition the entries appear in the order in which Edwards wrote them, beginning with a short commentary on Genesis 2:10–14 that he penned in 1724, and ending with his last entry, Number 507 on the Book of Solomon’s Song, written two years before his death. This volume provides direct access to one of America’s most influential religious thinkers. Edwards’ entries range across the entire scriptural canon and reveal his creativity in the interpretation of particular biblical texts and his fascination with typology.”

If you are unfamiliar with Edwards, you might check out the Faithlife Author Guides, Jonathan Edwards: A Guide to His Life and Writings, edited by Jessica Parks (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2017). This little guide is only $4.99 and will give you a quick overview. Another good resource for the Edwards beginner is Christian History Magazine Issue 77: Jonathan Edwards: Puritan Pastor & Theologian (2002). This magazine is only $1.95 in the Logos Library.

These valuable resources are only free (or almost free) through October 31, 2019.

 

 

 

Another Logos Free Book of the Month – Origen: Treatise on the Passover

Recently Logos has added a second free book promotion. Usually at the middle of the month the offer up something for free and a few discounted books. This month they are offering four volumes of Origen published by Paulist Press. The Ancient Christian Writers series began in 1946, the most recent volume appeared in 2010. Each volume is a new translation of a text, edited and annotated by an expert in early church literature.

Many Logos users may have the Ante-Nicene Fathers set as part of a package, and volume 4 of that series includes some Origen, but it is far from complete. That volume does not include any of the works offered here, the Ancient Christian Writers series provides translations for texts not commonly available. Naturally Logos will sell you a 23 volume set of the Anti-Nicene Fathers in the Ancient Christian Writers series (currently $299, 32% off), or all 66 volumes for $599 (40% off), but here is a good chance to read several important works without spending so much money.

You might not know who Origen was or why you should read his work. Origen of Alexandria (184-253) was an early Christian scholar and theologian who was a prolific writer. He produced commentaries and theological texts as well as the Hexapla, a six column comparison of various translations of the Old Testament. Most agree he was one of the most influential figures in early Christian theology, although not everyone agrees that influence was good. Two of these almost-free books are commentaries, so this is a good opportunity to read early Christian exegesis.

For free, you can add Origen: Treatise on the Passover and Dialogue of Origen with Heraclides and His Fellow Bishops on the Father, the Son, and the Soul (Vol 54, translated and edited by Robert J. Daly).

The Treatise on the Passover dates from around 245. Its central insight is that the passover is not a figure or type of the passion of Christ, but a figure of Christ himself, of Christ’s passing over to the Father. The Dialogue with Heraclides probably comes from between the years 244 and 249. It seems to be the record of a synod-like meeting of bishops, in the presence of lay people, called to discuss matters of belief and worship. Both pieces seem to come from the last decade of Origen’s activity, when he was at the height of his powers.

For $4.99, add Origen: Prayer, Exhortation to Martyrdom (Vol 19, translated and annotated by John J. O’Meara). “Composed in AD 233, Origen’s Prayer combines both a theological treatise on prayer and a unique expression of prayer.”

For $6.99, add Origen: Homilies 1–14 on Ezekiel (Vo. 62, translated and edited by Thomas P. Scheck). “This is the first English translation of Jerome’s Latin edition of Origen’s Homilies on Ezekiel, This volume contains the homilies 1–14.”

For $8.99, add Origen: The Song of Songs, Commentary and Homilies (Vol 26, edited and translated by R. P. Lawson). “widely regarded as the first great work of Christian mysticism, is characterized by extraordinary intellectual depth and spiritual understanding.”

Logos Bible Software 8 is a significant upgrade to this powerful Bible study system. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. The software runs much more efficiently than the previous version, that alone is worth the upgrade. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading that will keep you from mortgaging your home. At the very least, download the free Logos Basic or the $79 Logos 8 Fundamentals (currently on sale for 20% and you get some free books by following the link).

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 September.

Logos Free Book of the Month for September 2019 – Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell, James (ZECNT)

Logos Bible Software is teaming up with Zondervan to give away a copy of Craig Blomberg and Mariam Kamell’s commentary on James in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (ZECNT) series. This “free book of the month” is an excellent addition to your library. In addition, you can add Doug Pao’s Colossians and Philemon commentary for $1.99 and Karen Jobes’s volume on 1, 2, and 3 John for $4.99. For for a mere $7 you can pick up commentaries on three different authors in the New Testament.

Craig Blomberg James CommentaryI reviewed Frank Thielman’s commentary on Romans in the ZECNT series when it was released last year. Although that commentary is not part of this promotion, I did comment on the general format of these series. Each chapter in the body of the commentary begins with the literary context of the section under examination. Following this is a snippet of the detailed outline in a faux computer window graphic and a concise main idea for the section to be studied in the chapter. The English translation of the pericope is presented in a graphical layout marked with interpretive labels for each clause. The series introduction indicates these labels are “informed by discourse analysis and narrative criticism, but the editors have also attempted to avoid technical jargon. In order to help the reader follow the flow of author’s argument, main clauses appear in bold print, subordinate clauses are indented.

Following this graphical display of the text, the commentator makes a series of observations on the structure of the pericope followed by an exegetical outline. After setting the context in several different ways, the writer moves to the commentary proper under the heading “Explanation of the Text.” Here the style of the commentary breaks up into two columns. The commentary proceeds phrase-by-phrase, with the English text in bold followed by the Greek text in parenthesis. Since key Greek words are repeated in the commentary, printing the full Greek text may not be necessary.

The final unit in each chapter is labeled “Theology in Application.” Here the commentator offers two or three points of contact with biblical theology or contemporary church issues which arise from his exegesis.

These free and almost free books are only available through the end of the month, so be sure to get them right away.

Logos Bible Software 8 is a significant upgrade to this powerful Bible study system. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. The software runs much more efficiently than the previous version, that alone is worth the upgrade. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading that will keep you from mortgaging your home. At the very least, download the free Logos Basic or the $79 Logos 8 Fundamentals (currently on sale for 20%). With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library.

Flash Sale: Word Bible Commentary for Logos

Logos is offering the Word Bible Commentary for 65% off from August 30 to September 3, 2019.  In print, this full set would retail at $1200, Logos has it for $399 for five days only. You could not get the series for this price if you pick up used copies in the used section of your local book store.

The Word Bible Commentary was originally published by Word and was acquired by Thomas Nelson. In 2014 Harper Collins bought Thomas Nelson so the Word series now published by Zondervan Academic. As I have often observed, some of the older commentaries in the series are not particularly useful (for example, the Micah–Malachi covers too many books in a relatively short book, often with not much in the way of commentary!)

Since Zondervan took over the series, several revised and second editions have appeared, including Ralph Martins 2 Corinthians (reviewed here) and Trent Bulter’s two-volume Joshua commentary (my JESOT review is here). Some revised volumes were finished before Zondervan took over, including the first volume of Deuteronomy, two Psalms volumes, two Isaiah volumes, and Philippians. G. R. Beasley-Murray’s Gospel of John commentary is considered a second edition.

There are several classic commentaries in the series I would consider “must haves.” For example: Donald Hagner’s two volume Matthew commentary, John Nolland’s three volumes on Luke, Craig Evans on Mark 8:27-16:20, Andrew Lincoln on Ephesians, James Dunn on Romans (two volumes), and David Aune on Revelation (three volumes!); in the Old Testament, David Clines has three volumes on Job, J. N. D. Watts on Isaiah (two volumes) and John Goldingay on Daniel.

The format of the Word series is unique. Each section begins with a bibliography for the section (including articles in German and French). Students can “copy and paste” these into their own bibliography as they research a passage. The author then provides their own translation with notes on the text (variants and translation issues). Then the commentary has a section entitled “Form/Structure/Setting.” Some of this is a throwback to form criticism, but usually the commentator discusses the poetic and  literary features of the section and sets the section into the overall context of the book. Following the section on structure is a phrase-phrase commentary touching on key lexical and syntactical issues in the Hebrew or Greek text as well as historical and cultural features necessary for understanding the text. Following the commentary proper is a short section entitled “explanation.” Here the author offers thoughts on the theology of the section, often drawing some brief application from the text.

If you do not have the Logos software, you should at least download the free Logos Basic or the $99 Logos 8 Fundamentals (currently on sale for 20%, so $79).

With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library. Logos Bible Software 8 is a significant upgrade to this powerful Bible study system. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. The software runs much more efficiently than the previous version, that alone is worth the upgrade. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering.

Another Logos Free Book of the Month – Craig Morrison, 2 Samuel (Berit Olam)

2 Samuel Commentary by Craig MorrisonI thought it was an anomaly when Logos offered “another free book of the month,” but not in the middle of the month they are giving away a volume from a very good Old Testament commentary series, Craig Morrison’s 2 Samuel in the Berit Olam series (Liturgical Press, 1998). Morrison is professor of Aramaic and biblical exegesis at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. In her review of the commentary for The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Barbara Green said “Morrison’s 2 Samuel makes a wonderful addition to the Berit Olam series. He demonstrates considerable literary sensitivity in discussing a book as rich as biblical prose narrative gets. The series’ specialization in Hebrew narrative and poetry is thus well met.” Commenting on the Jobling commentary on 1 Samuel, a CBQ reviewer said:

“Written for lay people, Bible scholars, students, and religious leaders, this multi-volume commentary reflects a relatively new development in biblical studies. The readings of the books of the Hebrew Bible offered here all focus on the final form of the texts, approaching them as literary works, recognizing that the craft of poetry and storytelling that the ancient Hebrew world provided can be found in them and that their truth can be better appreciated with a fuller understanding of that art.”

For an additional $4.99, you can add David Cotter’s Genesis volume; for $6.99 add Konrad Schaefer’s Psalms commentary in the series; for $8.99 you can add David Jobling’s 2 Samuel commentary. So it will cost you about $21 to add four excellent commentaries to your Logos library.

For another two weeks you can also add Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2015) for free. This is a concise version of their Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Second edition; Crossway, 2018). Since the larger volume is just under a thousand pages, this concise edition does not mean small: the book is over 300 pages long. For $1.99 you can add another mammoth book from a SBTS professor on biblical theology, James Hamilton’s God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology (Crossway. 2010). Hamilton contributed a short primer, What Is Biblical Theology? and With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology (NSBT 32; IVP Academic, 2014). For $2.99, you can add Gerald Bray, God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology (Crossway 2012). Christopher W. Morgan of California Baptist University says  “God Is Love is a warm, conversational, and contemporary systematic theology written by one of evangelicalism’s leading thinkers. But it is much more. It is biblically saturated, historically rooted theological wisdom for the people of God.”

Logos Bible Software 8 is a significant upgrade to this powerful Bible study system. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. The software runs much more efficiently than the previous version, that alone is worth the upgrade. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering. As always, there are less expensive paths to upgrading that will keep you from mortgaging your home. At the very least, download the free Logos Basic or the $79 Logos 8 Fundamentals (currently on sale for 20% and you get some free books by following the link).

With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library.  These three and almost free books of the month are only available through the end of August.

Save Up to 40% on John Walton Resources for Logos

Logos has been running an Author Spotlight special the last few months. For August 2019 John Walton’s books and Mobile Ed courses are up to 40% off. This means you can add the “Lost World” series for 30% (about $10 per volume). This sale includes books Walton edited, such as the Zondervan Counterpoints book, Four Views on the Historical Adam and the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary volumes (the whole set is $139.99, or get individual volumes). These are good (although brief) commentaries focusing on cultural and historical backgrounds and are richly illustrated with full color photography. Unfortunately I do not own these in Logos so I cannot comment on how easy it is to use the illustrations in your presentations, although I have had no problems with copying out of Logos and pasting into PowerPoint.

The real highlight is Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible, Second Edition (Baker 2018). Walton surveys Ancient Near Eastern literature to set the Old Testament into the proper historical context. Behind the Scenes of the Old Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts edited John Hilber and Jonathan Greer (Baker 2018). This is a a 600+ page book with essays by a wide ranges of ANE and OT scholars. Like ANE Thought, the book is illustrated with black and white photographs and line drawings. (The first edition of Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament is also listed, do not make the mistake of buying them both). Walton’s Old Testament Theology for Christians: From Ancient Context to Enduring Belief (IVP 2018) is also available at 30% off.

Logos has a deal on John Walton Mobile courses as well, the Background of the Old Testament Bundle (2 courses, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine and Old Testament Genres) or get individual courses: Old Testament Genres (4 hour course); Origins of Genesis 1-3 (4 hour course); Book Study: Genesis (9 hour course). These include video lectures along with course material (syllabus, midterm and final exams). I have quite a few of these course, most have very brief, focused lectures, sometimes only a few minutes. Along with the video lecture and a transcript of the lecture, there are suggested reading in the Bible and other Logos resources (links to Bible Dictionary articles and Logos Topical Guides).

Don’t forget the Logos Free book of the Month for August 2019: Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants: A Concise Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2015) for free. This is a concise version of their Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Second edition; Crossway, 2018). Since the larger volume is just under a thousand pages, this concise edition does not mean small: the book is over 300 pages long. I agree with Thomas Schreiner’s assessment this book is “a third way, a via media, between covenant theology and dispensationalism” by suggesting neither theological systems is informed by biblical theology. Gentry is an Old Testament professor and Wellum is a professor of Christian theology; both teach at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

For $1.99 you can add another mammoth book from a SBTS professor on biblical theology, James Hamilton’s God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology (Crossway. 2010).  For $2.99, you can add Gerald Bray, God Is Love: A Biblical and Systematic Theology (Crossway 2012). Christopher W. Morgan of California Baptist University says  “God Is Love is a warm, conversational, and contemporary systematic theology written by one of evangelicalism’s leading thinkers. But it is much more. It is biblically saturated, historically rooted theological wisdom for the people of God.”

If you do not have the Logos software, you should at least download the free Logos Basic or the $99 Logos 8 Fundamentals (currently on sale for 20%). With either minimal package you can download and use the free book every month and build your Logos library. Logos Bible Software 8 is a significant upgrade to this powerful Bible study system. I did a “first look” review of Logos 8 here. The software runs much more efficiently than the previous version, that alone is worth the upgrade. Everything seems to run faster than Logos 7 and the upgrade is well worth considering.