Monday, November 2, 2009
Logos 4 has arrived!
Today after much waiting Logos 4 goes live. There are some great new features you will want to check out. First and foremost the whole look of Logos has been redesigned. Most notably the fonts have been hugely improved. The difference between v3 and v4 is night and day in terms of readability. Logos 4 now has opentype support of old style numerals, small caps and even ligatures. If that doesn’t make you excited I don’t know what will. These improvements translate tangibly into a superior reading experience in v4.
As you work your layouts are snapshoted which makes saving layouts a cinch.
I rarely ever used layouts in v3, but now I find myself using them regularly thanks to this vast improvement. You can also reorganize a layout into two columns or three vertical just with the click of a button. There are a number of subtle layout improvements you may not notice first starting. Like resources will open up in the same pane. So for example if you have Louw Nida open and then open up BDAG it will automatically open in the same pane as Louw Nida. Or if you want to drag it from your library a helpful blue snap hint allows you to precisely place your books.
There are a number of cool new ways to visualize the Biblical text. The word tree visualization shown here is very impressive.
Syntax searching underwent a huge visual overhaul. Now there are a number of presents to help get you started searching.
The new reading plan feature is amazing! You can set up a reading plan for any book in your library and the days reading is helpfully marked off for you.
Don’t like having the reading plan marked? Open up the visual filter control button and turn it off. You can also turn on and off your markups, or highlighting from notes.
If you’re working on two computers notes, reading plans, layouts, just about everything is sync’d between your two machines. This saves so many headaches it isn’t even funny!
One of my favorite new features is the ability to save passage guide, exegetical guides, and word studies. Run a passage guide on Romans 1.1 – 17 and type in a title and some notes. Then later on down the road run a passage guide on Roman 1 and the guide will alert you to the presence of the guide you ran on Romans 1.1 – 17. This is perhaps my favorite feature of all of the new features! It will be an incredible time saver over the years!
The list of all the new features and improvements could go on and on. Some things didn’t make this release. Right now there is no sentence diagramming feature, this is scheduled for a major overhaul from what I understand. And a number of other features didn’t make the initial release but will be rolled out. Right now notes can’t be imported from v.3, but Bob and the crew have that as a top priority following the release of Logos 4.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I'm hoping to blog some stuff on the Gospel of John here soon. I'd love some reading recommendation for my next book on the Gospel of John. Currently I'm finishing up Warren Carter's John and Empire and it's thought provoking. The good folks at T & T Clark were kind enough to send a review copy along. I'll be sending a review into the Princeton Theological Journal and eventually I'll try to do a chapter by chapter review here. It's a fantastic read. I'm finding I'm moving slower through it than anticipated because there is so much fantastic material to soak up.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I hate applying for scholarships. How many times can you write the same 1,000 word essay? And yet, somehow, each scholarship seems to demand a new, fresh essay. Simply repurposing an already written essay never works, at least not without twice as much effort as a fresh essay would require. You would think that there are only so many ways to ask the same question, and yet every scholarship committee seems to find their own unique twist. Then there’s the word limit. “In one thousand words sum up the entire Christian faith being sure to touch on all major aspects of Christology, ecclesiology, soteriology, epistemology, history, exegesis, worship, Luther, Calvin, Augustine, and Barth. Make sure to clearly articulate your call while especially highlighting how you plan to achieve ecumenical unity, and world peace.”
The other problem is the specificity of most of the scholarships out there for Seminary. Unless you are a Pilipino male, who tragically lost your right knee cap in an animal stampede, currently living in Loving County Texas, and planning on serving the Presbyterian Church in Alaska for 15 years, there really aren’t many scholarships you can even apply for, let along win.
Luckily for you, once you enter seminary, you’ll find that 90 percent of the scholarships you don’t even qualify for and the other 10 percent that you do qualify for require you to write one of those dreaded essays mentioned above. Luckily the folks at Logos Bible software have been kind enough to start a scholarship for Seminarians easy to apply for. It took me no longer than 15 minutes.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Most commentators agree that in John 8.33 the Jews (Ἰουδαίους) are talking about spiritual freedom/slavery and not political freedom/slavery when they say, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone.” Both Barrett and Keener dismiss the idea that the Jews are talking about political subjugation as absurd. Brown thinks the Jews have misunderstood Jesus’ words taking them in a political sense rather than in the spiritual sense. Brown doesn’t explain how it is the Jews could makes what seems like a blatantly false claim even in their misunderstanding.
Is the political understanding that absurd? Warren Carter in his excellent book John and Empire argues that such a reading is in fact possible. Drawing upon social-scientific research Carter explores imperial negotiation in terms of social identity construction. In the ancient world antiquity was king. Groups turned to the past as a way of constructing identity. Remembering the past was always selective, constructing the past in life giving ways for the present. “This reconstructive process… comprises ‘a form of vital self-presentation and prideful self-assertion’ vis-à-vis other groups and powers with other interests who shape a different present.
This look to the past provides the basis for Carter’s short investigation. Carter looks at two ways of remembering Abraham. The first way emphasizes Abrahams obedience to God and Torah and the covenant identity that separated the Jewish people from the nations. Carter points to Sirach, Jubilees, and the Apocalypse of Abraham as examples of this first type of remembering. Sirach for example says:
Abraham was the great father of a multitude of nations,
and no one has been found like him in glory.
He kept the law of the Most High,
and entered into a covenant with him;
he certified the covenant in his flesh,
and when he was tested he proved faithful.
The emphasis is placed on Abraham’s observance of the Law even before the time of Moses and the giving of the law.
The second way of remembering Abraham focuses on Abraham as a means of integrating with Hellenistic and Roman culture. Carter points to 3 examples of this way of remembering: Artapanus, Philo, and Josephus. Artapanus taught the Egyptians to study the stars. Philo remembers Abraham as the foreigner who left astrology and polytheism to seek truth and the one God. Abraham lives not just according to Torah, which is an image of the law of nature, but also according to the higher law of nature in good Stoic fashion. For Josephus, Abraham is a ideal statesmen, a platonic philosopher-king. He “engages in natural theology to be a monotheist.” He exports culture to other people teaching the Egyptians arithmetic and astronomy. Abraham opposes the Sodomites because they hate foreigners, while he welcomes foreigners.
With these two ways of remembering the past, Carter asks whether the Jews are associating themselves with the Abraham who is father of the Jewish nation, responsible for customs like circumcision which marked Jew out from Gentile? Or do the Jews associate themselves with the Abraham who is an exporter of culture, open to participation in Gentile culture? Carters conclusion is that the Jews take the second route finding in this tradition:
a means of bridging Jewish and non-Jewish worlds that empowers their engagement with and significant accommodation to the imperial present. That is, they are descendants of Abraham, who was open to and an active participant in the Gentile world. They construct Abraham in their own image. Though under Roman rule, they are essentially free in most ways from Roman restraints but able to observe Jewish distinctive without interfering with significant degrees of societal interaction.
While Carters’ argument is hardly comprehensive it at least suggests that the “spiritualized” understanding favored by most commentators might not be as obvious as most commentators have thought.
 Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John; An Introduction With Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text (New York,: Macmillan, 1962). Keener, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003).
 Brown, The Gospel According to John (Garden City, N.Y.,: Doubleday, 1966).
 Alcock, Susan as quoted in Carter, John and Empire: Initial Explorations (New York: T & T Clark, 2008), 94.
 Ibid., 103.
 Ibid., 104.
 Ibid., 105.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
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- Cicero, Marcus Tullius and William Armistead Falconer, Cicero. De Senectute, De Amicitia, De Divinatione. The Loeb classical library. London, New York: W. Heinemann; G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1923.
- Engberg-Pedersen, Troels. "Gift-Giving and Friendship: Seneca and Paul in Romans 1:8 on the Logic of God's χάρις and Its Human Response." Harvard Theological Review 101,01 (2008): 15-44.
- Epicurus. "On Friendship," Pages xxvi, 627 p. in The Stoic and Epicurean Philosophers; The Complete Extant Writings of Epicurus, Epictetus, Lucretius [and] Marcus Aurelius. Edited by Whitney Jennings Oates, Cyril Bailey, P. E. Matheson, H. A. J. Munro, and George Long. New York,: Random House, 1940.
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