BibleWorks, BJU, and Logos

During two two-week periods each year Logos lets BJU students buy some of their major packages for 40% off. That time is about to expire. I’m helping Logos get the word out.

I bought the Scholar’s Gold package a little over a year ago, and I am glad I did. I have also purchased several commentary and reference sets. Here’s a complete list of what I’ve purchased, followed by approximate recollections of what I paid:

  • Scholar’s Library: Gold ($700)
  • Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament ($150)
  • The Essential IVP Reference Collection ($80)
  • Theological Journal Library 1-10 ($330)
  • WEA Theological Resource Library ($18)
  • Word Biblical Commentary 58-Volume Set ($250)
  • F.W. Farrar, History of Interpretation (ca. $15)
  • Craig Blomberg, Interpreting the Parables (ca. $15)
  • Adolf Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East (ca. $15)

I have a few major recommendations to make to prospective Bible software buyers:

  1. Get BibleWorks first, then Logos. My good friends at Logos will not like me for this, but text-level work is primary, not commentaries or even reference works. BibleWorks is for original language exegesis. If you’ve studied Greek (and/or Hebrew), just get it!
  2. Regarding Logos: get reference works, like commentaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. That’s what I think you’ll use, though you may like reading books on your computer screen.
  3. Add up the value of what you will actually use and see if it exceeds what you’re paying for the package. Compare and contrast various packages.
  4. Make sure to check out the Theological Journal Library. Buy it from Logos or direct from Galaxie Software. They’ve got a new Internet subscription, too. $50 a year. Not bad.
  5. Sign up for Rejoice Christian Software’s e-mail list. I don’t know how he gets his deals, but he somehow manages.

BJU students: for more information or to make a purchase, visit:


Latitude and Longitude, Google Earth/Maps, and Bible Geography

I just went on a little adventure with latitude and longitude. I had a bunch of coordinates in full form for the BJU Press Bible Truths D Teacher’s Edition:

33º 40′ 44.98″ N 30′ 24′ 58.61″ E

But neither Google Earth nor Google Maps reads these full form coordinates, and I didn’t realize it. You have to take out the degree º, minute ‘, and second ” symbols.

In the process of realizing that, I ran across a way to convert the long form to decimal form:

33.679161 N 30.416281 E

Exciting, I know. Well, I used a little find and replace wizardry, and here are the coordinates for assorted bodies of water and mountains in the Bible:


Installing Logos Resources Without a Lot of Rigmarole

I just bought the Theological Journal Library, vols. 1-10. I had 1-8, so the upgrade only cost me 80 bucks or so direct from Galaxie Software. Great resource. I find I use the book reviews a lot, and frequently I avoid a trip to the library by looking up a citation on my own laptop. (Incidentally, they now offer a $50/year online subscription: pretty cool, but I’ve already plunked down too much money on the CDs.)

But I’ve got a problem. I just wanted to add the resources to my library, so I copied them into my Libronix/Resources/Journals/TJL folder (I’m really fastidious like that). But now they’re locked. So I have to unlock them but I can’t connect to the Libronix servers through my work’s proxy. I could have installed the resources through the official route, but I’d like to think I’m pretty computer savvy (IIDSSM) and yet I always get frustrated with it.

Oh, that every program were as lithe as BibleWorks. Oh, BibleWorks, Logos will never take your place in my heart—or at the top of my Start Menu.



A Unabomber Victim Speaks Out

(Ok, this post isn’t what you’re thinking based on the title, but I thought it might grab your interest. Gelerntner was a Unabomber victim.)

David Gelerntner, professor of computer science at Yale, has just written a great article on the generic “he” and all its putative replacements. This is an issue of importance to Christians because it affects Bible translation as well as our many-faceted witness to the world.

Take some time and read the article.

I was especially struck by these two points:

  1. The same writers who would never use a generic “he,” either turning it plural or somehow adding in “she” (either with he/she or random replacement), eschew “authoress” and “priestess.” They’re insisting on giving women their place among pronouns, but taking away women’s place among nouns!
  2. The “generic she” isn’t generic! It shouts femaleness.

How can English style enthusiasts keep limpid prose coming when ideologues are hovering over their keyboards with a ruler, ready to slap knuckles at every infraction?

And the basic point of the article: Since when does our beloved melting pot called English get to be ruled, French-like, by some linguistic bullies?

The question for evangelical Christians is where we fall in the debate. We can jump in like any citizen, but it’s like Calvinism-Arminianism issue. If I know that the use of the label “Calvinist” or “Arminian” (whichever position I take!) is just going to create misunderstanding with those who only know a caricature of the theology behind the label, am I being spineless to avoid using it when it’s extraneous to my purpose? Likewise, if I know that the generic he will be offensive (I’m not saying I know that; it depends on the writing situation), do I want to lose my readers to score a conservative cultural point? Are we going to win the culture war by being sticklers on pronouns?


What Bible(s) Will I Give My Kids?

My fiancée thinks it’s a bit amusing (but also sweet, she’d say) that I think so often about this, but I really do: What Bible(s) will I give my kids?

Let’s tick through the options:

  • KJV: I want them to be familiar with it for its cultural value (both in American culture and in evangelical culture going back through Spurgeon to earlier times), but not at the expense of misunderstanding God’s words. Because the latter is so weighty to me, the KJV is probably out—though they can read it when they get to exegesis courses in home school =) because of its relevance to the history of interpretation.
  • ESV: I like it. It’s my main version. There are lots of editions. The editors and backers are generally people I can trust for sound hermeneutics. This translation is catching on, I think, better than the NAS has. And Crossway has become a wonderful conservative publisher.
  • NAS: Wooden, sure, but not so bad. Already I think it’s available in fewer editions—and certainly fewer adventurous or innovative ones—than the ESV, despite being substantially older. I plan to have my kids make regular use of this translation.
  • NIV: I want even my youngest readers to read the Bible. For that reason, I’ve considered the NIV (and the TNIV). A little of the old irrational fear of the NIV persists in my heart, grabbing at me from the early 1990s. And I can’t shake the feeling I get from reading the regular criticism of the NIV in, of all places, the Expositor’s Bible Commentary. The EBC is based on the NIV, and the commentary’s authors often find what they consider poor renderings.
  • NLT: The NLT goes a bit too far afield into interpretation for my tastes, even for young readers, but I admit that making the Bible text easier to read necessitates interpretation. The translators for the NLT were some real theological heavy-hitters: Carson, Bock, etc.
  • NET: Great for strong readers who have some experience asking questions of the Bible text. I know I would have loved to have those notes when I was in 7th grade and beyond. I really imbibed the notes in my King James Study Bible during those days. I could have soaked in some good advanced hermeneutics if I’d had a NET.
  • HCSB: Not sure what to think here yet. Seems similar to the NIV.

Probably I’m just going to be eclectic, to have each child read one translation per year and to have them all using different ones at any given time. A regular feature of family devotions will be low-level comparison of translations. I want to inoculate my children against any kind of -Onlyism. NAS-Onlyism or NIV-Onlyism is just as bad as KJV-Onlyism. It’s just not as popular or virulent.