Testing Logos 8: Library Organization and Commentaries #Logos8

Logos 8 has made library organization so much better than previous versions. If my foremost frustration with Logos 7 was the busy homepage, my next frustration was a library that felt cluttered. No longer!

If I want to find all my commentaries on the Gospel of Luke it’s as simple as opening my library…

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As you can see, it’s already divided up nicely, so I’ll go straight to Bible Commentary > Subject (Bible N.T.) > Luke (of which I have 11 commentaries):

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Also, Logos 8 added commentaries from The New American Commentary series, the Pillar series, and The IVP series. That’s always a nice bundle for far less than I’d pay if I bought the hard copies.

Upcoming Lecture at The SoL Center (San Antonio): The Meaning of Christmas

Next week Christmas comes early at The SoL Center where I’ll be giving a lecture titled ‘The Meaning of Christmas: What Divine Birth Meant in the Ancient World’ on Thursday, November 8th, from 7-9 PM. This is the course description:

To some early Christians, Jesus of Nazareth did not have a human father, because he was conceived by a virgin through the power of God (Holy Spirit). Is this claim unique? In fact, no, as there were other important figures from the ancient world who were said to have been born of a god, figures including Caesar Augustus, the philosopher Plato, and the
Buddha. In this course we will ask why it was that Christians found it important to claim that Jesus had a divine birth, and what such a claim meant in antiquity.

To register ($15), click here.

Testing Logos 8: Workflow #Logos8

The second neat, new feature for Logos 8 is the Workflow. In Workflow you can choose from a variety of options including a basic Bible study, a character study, a passage study, etc. The example I’ll share is from a Character Study on St. Peter. Here’s the flow:

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As you can see, I begin with my tools that allow me to research St. Peter, which include key events in this character’s narrative-life:

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Or, I can jump to key passages where Peter is mentioned, look up Peter’s name(s) in Greek, and access the dictionaries in my library:

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Along the way I can take notes that will save for later and store within my workflow. When I want to resume my study, I return to this particular workflow and it’s all there for me. If I wanted to share my findings on social media, I can do that as well.

This feature is quite helpful for those like me who teach. I imagine pastors, youth pastors, etc., can benefit from it as well as it helps create concise lessons on characters, passages, etc.

Testing Logos 8: The New Dashboard

I was offered a chance to test-drive the new Logos 8, so I’ll be saying a few things about it here on this blog over the next few days. Let me begin with the easiest observation I can make: the dashboard is much improved. Honestly, I was a bit frustrated with how busy the dashboard had become on Logos, but now I have complete control, and as you can see, I’m a minimalist:

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I’ve created easy access to a couple of lectionaries, the Faithlife Study Bible, and then Hebrew, Greek, and Passage Study. If I want to add more I can click that little plus sign within a circle above the Study Bible tab and do so. Some options include adding a Course, a reading plan, a daily devotional, or even a prayer list. Being able to move around smoothly and simply is a major upgrade.

Jesus, quo vadis?: Entwicklungen und Perspektiven der aktuellen Jesusforschung

Last month the German publisher Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht released a book titled 'Jesus, quo vadis?: Entwicklungen und Perspektiven der aktuellen Jesusforschung'. I'm privileged to share that it includes a chapter Anthony Le Donne and I co-authored titled, 'Triangulating the Baptizer: A Study of John's Various Mnemonic Impacts'. I owe a big 'thank you' to Anthony for giving me the opportunity to work with him and for carrying the both of us across the finish line when I was limping! Also, much gratitude to Eckhart David Schmidt who edited the volume. If you'd like to preview the book using Google Books.

3 books that challenged my thinking this year


This year I've been broadening my reading beyond biblical and religious studies as much as possible. Three of the books that have impacted my thinking on other topics--human knowledge (epistemology), morality and politics, and relationships--are the following that I highly recommend:

1. Chuck Klosterman's 'But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past'

Takeaway: When we recognize how often the 'facts' of the past prove to be either dead wrong or insufficiently accurate it should cause us to be humble about what we think we know now because future generations will likely know better. 

2. Jonathan Haidt's 'The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion'

Takeaway: OK, so some religion here...but the main focus is different moral systems within a pluralistic society. Except in extreme cases, people on the other side of the aisle are not 'immoral' but instead work from a different set of moral starting points. 

3. Nicholas Epley's 'Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want'

Takeaway: While I'm still reading this one, thus far I've been blown away by the evidence that we not only struggle to understand other minds but we're not that good at understanding even our own. That said: we've got a special gift that allows us to communicate and it can be enhanced.