There’s still time to get January’s free book. Download your copy of The JPS Torah Commentary: Exodus before February 1 to get it for free.
All through August, get a free commentary on the Book of Acts!
The Book of Acts shows modern day Christians how the church took shape in the wake of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and how the Holy Spirit changed everything. In your Bible, it’s the first book to follow the four gospels, and it’s a road map for navigating church today. For Christians and churches to get the most out of Acts today, we need to have a full grasp of the context Acts took shape within, and how that affects its message to believers.
In Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament: Acts, leading biblical scholar Mikeal Parsons gleans fresh theological insight into Acts by attending carefully to the cultural and educational context from which it emerges. Parsons see Acts as a charter document explaining and legitimating Christian identity for a general audience of early Christians living in the ancient Mediterranean world.
Dr. Joseph Tyson of Southern Methodist University says,
Parsons draws on his extensive studies of Greco-Roman literature and ancient concepts of physiognomy to provide a useful and illuminating commentary.
John A. Darr, associate professor of theology at Boston College, calls it, “a masterful exposition both of the myriad strategies whereby the author of Acts attempted to persuade his original audience, and of the ways in which this ancient book continues to speak powerfully to Christian faith in our own day.” He goes on to say, “Readers will find here a treasure trove of insights into Hellenistic rhetorical conventions and their usage in Acts.”
Let the cultural context of the Book of Acts help shape your understanding of church.
All through April, you can get Isaiah by Brevard Childs for free!
The book of Isaiah is central to understanding the Old Testament prophets and helps us appreciate other Major Prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. It informs our view of sin in the Old Testament, and plays a major role in the New Testament gospel message.
Now through the end of the month we’re giving away this great book. You can also add a commentary on Jeremiah for $0.99.
One important insight from Isaiah revolves around the meaning of sin. For example, we often hear that “sin” is merely “missing the mark.” Dr. Childs, however, argues that:
The term sin (ḥaṭṭā’āh) is not a deviation from some ideal norm, or simply missing the mark, as often suggested, but in the context is directly related to rebellion against God by Israel’s action.
This clearly fits within the context of Isaiah where the people have not only “missed the mark” but have completely turned their backs on YHWH. With this commentary, you can gain additional insights into the meaning in the original text.
Download Childs’ commentary on Isaiah for free!
The New Testament takes many of its messianic quotes from the book of Isaiah. A quick Passage Guide, run in Logos Bible Software, shows over 15 quotations from the book of Isaiah in the Gospel of Mark alone.
The Gospel writers had a deep understanding of the Prophet Isaiah. They themselves were living in the aftermath of Israel’s sin: an oppressive Roman regime.
Before reading these important quotations in a gospel context, it’s important to go back and understand them as they pertained to the original audience. This exciting literary commentary allows you to do just that.
Get Isaiah free today.
This seven-volume series of The Old Testament Library offers powerful commentary, exegesis, and literary insight into some of the most critical writings in the Old Testament. With over 3,000 pages of rich scholarship, The Old Testament Library Series (OTL) is worthy of a prominent place in your modern biblical library.
This collection is a $229.95 value—enter to win it below!
“How we construe Paul’s claim that one is ‘justified by faith, not by works of the law’ depends, at least in part, on the question we think it addresses.” —Professor Stephen Westerholm
What did Paul mean when he spoke about justification by faith, not the works of the law? That’s the question Stephen Westerholm explores in his study, Justification Reconsidered. And throughout the entire month of February, you can get Justification Reconsidered: Rethinking a Pauline Theme for free!
In his book, Dr. Westerholm carefully examines proposals by leading scholars such as N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn, and Douglas A. Campbell. Noting weaknesses in traditional understandings of Paul’s writings, Westerholm shows how these fundamental weaknesses shaped more recent proposals.
In a recent interview, Westholm shared why this issue of interpretation matters to the church:
“The social implications of what Paul wrote about justification have been duly emphasized by scholars of the New Perspective; but, to my mind, they tend to misconstrue (in various ways) what Paul means by ‘justification’ itself. Since the topic is central in several of Paul’s letters, its correct understanding is important for a grasp of Paul’s gospel. Since, historically, different views of what Paul wrote about justification have divided churches, we cannot understand current divisions in Christendom without grappling with the issue.”
He went on to say, “On an individual level, the ‘peace with God’ that Paul speaks of as a consequence of being ‘justified’ (Romans 5:1) is, for many, a crucial part of their Christian experience as well as of their Christian faith. The question whether traditional understandings of justification are based on modern Western distortions of Paul’s message is thus hardly of trivial—or merely academic—significance.”
Justification Reconsidered offers a springboard for deeper study on justification, providing an assortment of views from biblical scholars, an examination of the foundation of those beliefs, and an invitation to take another look at what Paul meant.
Through February, you can also get Douglas A. Campbell’s The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul for 99 cents.
Campbell suggests, “Justification theory posits a God of strict justice who holds all people accountable to a standard they are intrinsically unable to attain, and this seems unjust.”
Last month, I wrote a blog post on group reading plans featuring Logos’ then–Free Book of the Month, The Christian Doctrine of Prayer. The post highlighted your ability to integrate any of your Logos resources into your Faithlife community through reading plans. While you can, of course, create your own reading plans for your group, we’ve already created a reading group around this month’s Free Book of the Month, John Darby’s Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Genesis to 2 Chronicles. First, a little background on the book:
Darby’s Synopsis of the Books of the Bible is a five-volume series that explicates the Bible chapter by chapter. In the first of these volumes, Genesis to 2 Chronicles, Darby lays the groundwork for interpreting the Bible, exhibiting key tenets of dispensationalist thought. He covers important themes like creation, sin, and the relationship between good and evil. This volume shows that God’s kingdom in the Old Testament resembles not only the church in the present, but also God’s intentions for the future.
Reading Plans Made Easy
The reading group is called “Synopsis of the Books of the Bible: Genesis to 2 Chronicles,” and it’s open for anyone to join. It’s easy to keep up with the reading plan using the Group Readings widget. Read what other group members have to say about the text using Community Notes*. Dig deeper into your Bible study by sharing interpretations and ideas. And, now, read anywhere with the Faithlife Study Bible app, available free for your iOS or Android device through March 2014. Download your book, join the group, and read in community today!
Don’t have a Faithlife account yet? Sign in with your Logos credentials or create one for free today!
*Don’t miss your group’s discussion—turn on your Community Note notifications in your account settings under the Notifications tab.