RECOMMENDATION: Upgrade FROM Scholars Base VS Baker's Exegetical VS NIC?

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Sep 11 2012 4:24 PM

What would be my best upgrade? I've got the Scholar's base and was planning to upgrade to silver or gold as my next step, but I've read that these two commentary sets are highly recommended and understand the sale price is a pretty huge discount.

The NIC would be a stretch. I'd have to do a payment plan and it would mean a long time before I can upgrade my base package.

If I got the Bakers, it would still be a bit of a stretch, but I could probably at least upgrade my base to silver by year end.

Or should I just make it priority to upgrade my base to at least Gold before spending big money on a single commentary set?

I know it's a somewhat subjective question, but I'm not that familiar with these works and what would constitute the most valuable addition for my studies at my level (Highly motivated, intelligent, new to in depth bible study, no greek/hebrew language skills).

I would greatly appreciate any recommendations.

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Peter Keay | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 11 2012 7:18 PM

As an owner of BECNT, NIC, and the Scholar's upgrades, I'm probably qualified to toss in my opinion :)

1) In my experience, BECNT is superb. For example, I'm finding Osbourne to be the most informative on Revelation in the current study we're doing (and that's in comparison with pretty much all the other top commentators on Revelation).

Pretty much any other time I turn to BECNT in any book, it's helpful. I simply can't say this about a lot of NT commentary sets.

2) However, with that said, NICOT/NICNT is also very helpful in the New Testament, and (for an evangelical) extremely helpful in the Old Testament. It's a balance of technical and devotional, with enough of both to satisfy those seeking either.

Also, with NIC, you will have much wider coverage than BECNT. More NT books, plus most OT books. Basically, it will provide you help for a wider range of texts.

3) But, your final option, Scholars upgrade, might be the best for you. Here's why:

Not only does Scholar's Silver give you many other tools in other areas, it also gives you NAC, the New American Commentary. NAC has some great volumes. True, it has some that are not exactly top of their class, but it gives you at least decent commentary coverage of most (if not all) of the Bible.

The Scholar's Gold package also comes with the excellent NIGTC (New International Greek Testament Commentary) series. They are meant for those with Greek knowledge but are still quite useful to those without - my brother uses Beale's volume quite a bit for Revelation study even though he knows zero Greek.

Considering that NAC is generally stronger in the Old Testament and weaker in the New Testament, having a set like NIGTC to pick up the slack in the latter is good.

So, in sum:

Option A: BECNT. A great, technical New Testament commentary set.

Option B: NIC. A great, informative, semi-technical Bible-wide set.

Option C: Scholar's Silver/Gold. Multiple tools in a wide variety of subjects. Plus a decent, informative, non-technical Bible-wide set (NAC). And, if you go Scholar's Gold, also includes a great, technical New Testament commentary set (NIGTC).

So, in your case, I'd probably recommend getting Scholar's Gold first, I think.

BUT that's without considering the current sale! If you think that, after getting Scholar's Gold, you'd start saving for NIC, then you might want to consider diving for NIC on sale while you can and then eventually saving up for Scholar's Gold instead. Either way, you won't be disappointed.

With BECNT, you won't be disappointed, either...except when you're studying a book that it doesn't cover :) So I'd say that despite the high quality of that set, it's the least attractive option for your particular situation.

Oh, to close, one question to consider: NAC is generally written from a Southern Baptist point of view. I'm not a Southern Baptist, but I often consult the volumes anyway. If your background is Southern Baptist, that might influence your decision towards Scholar's Silver/Gold.

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Peter Keay | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 11 2012 7:23 PM

And, if I may ask a personal question, how is it that God has recently led you to in-depth Bible study? Just curious :)

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JC54 | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 11 2012 11:19 PM

If you want to buy a base package upgrade I'd advise you anyway to wait 'till the end of the year. With the christmas sales there will probably by some discount (or credit) included.

So you could go for baker now and for the base package when there some discounts on those.

 

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 5:54 AM

Johannes Hendrik Menkveld:
If you want to buy a base package upgrade I'd advise you anyway to wait 'till the end of the year. With the christmas sales there will probably by some discount (or credit) included.

That would depend on whether he qualifies for the academic discount. If he does, he'll get a better deal anytime than anything we've seen for Christmas. And if he doesn't, there's as good a chance for a discount in October as there is in December (Pastor Appreciation Month (but the discounts can usually be had by anyone)). What is always true, though, is that upgrades should be bought from sales reps, not from the website.

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 8:28 AM

Peter,

Thanks for the very helpful analysis. I probably will go with the upgrade to gold first. I think I knew it was the best move when I posted, but the sale price on what seems to be two very well regarded commentaries had me wavering. In the end though it does appear that there are more tools and more bang for the buck in doing the upgrade. I think between that and some of the other packages I picked up a few weeks ago (EBC, Essential IVP, & ISBE), I should be pretty well covered until other commentaries go on sale again.

It doesn't cover all of my interests, but it is a very good starting point. Those interests btw, include: historical & cultural info, what the scriptures meant to people of the time. interesting word studies, significance of scripture to particular doctrine, multiple view points, controversial areas & mention of seeming scriptural conflicts with poss. resolutions (apologetics?).

As to why I feel recently led, I'm just hungry for more. I have no particular goal other than to feed this hunger. I fell away from God for a time, well, I didn't fall-I turned. I never stopped believing in God. My life, everything I am and believe has always been based around God, but for a time I was fool enough to believe I knew what I needed in my life better than He did. Doing it my way didn't change anything or make my life one jot better. It finally sunk in and when it did I realized He was still there. After begging mercy & forgiveness, I've been struggling to put away the baggage and chains, and clean the sludge off my feet, so I can get back to where I belong. More recently, I've begun to have a great hunger to bury myself in the Word and learn as much as I can. 

Err, that's a bit more than I intended to write, but...

Johannes,

What type of sales on upgrades to base packages do they usually have? Do they pretty reliably go on sale every Christmas?

fgh,

I hadn't heard about the October sales. Why should upgrades always be bought from a rep? I haven't dealt directly with Logos yet. My purchases thus far have been through the web site.

Thank you all for the responses. It's been very helpful.

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JC54 | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 10:08 AM

I'm just using logos for a year, but last christmans they had a 10 percent discount (which is useless when you have a academic discount), but you would get credits if you spent money in that period.

for example if you would spent 500 dollar, you wold get 20 percent back in return, which is 100 dollar credits to buy other resources and if you would spent moe the percentage would even be higher (up to 50 percent credits). This is usefull, even if you have a academic discount

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 12:42 PM

Randy W. Sims (Shayne):

What type of sales on upgrades to base packages do they usually have? Do they pretty reliably go on sale every Christmas?

Base packages seem to usually go on sale in October and December, but (officially) not necessarily upgrades.

Randy W. Sims (Shayne):
Why should upgrades always be bought from a rep?

Because they can almost always give a discount and the website will almost never give a discount. In my experience: never buy anything other than CP's, prepubs, highly discounted March Madness books and certain Christmas sale items on the web. You will end up paying a lot more than you have to. I seem to get about 25% on almost anything I ask for a price on. Not everyone will get that, It depends on how good a customer you've been previously (and the publisher of the particular book), but it's always worth asking.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 1:33 PM

fgh:

Randy W. Sims (Shayne):
Why should upgrades always be bought from a rep?

Because they can almost always give a discount and the website will almost never give a discount. In my experience: never buy anything other than CP's, prepubs, highly discounted March Madness books and certain Christmas sale items on the web. You will end up paying a lot more than you have to. I seem to get about 25% on almost anything I ask for a price on. Not everyone will get that, It depends on how good a customer you've been previously (and the publisher of the particular book), but it's always worth asking.

Hm. I spent thousands of dollars with Logos but I think I literally never got a discount on titles I was asking about (including a base package upgrade with its meager 15% I'd get from the website as well - choose not to). In the process I got offers for other items that were nowhere advertised as being on sale, though.

Maybe some people are luckier than others - or harder negotiators ("she will only buy if it's on her terms - he will probably buy anyway, so we don't need to sweeten it with a discount").  

I feel treated very fine by one individual and I'm not sure about another one, but overall, regarding out-of-the-line-discounts it was a disappointing experience, so I tend to stick with the website and the offers like daily Twitter deal, blog-promoted discounts etc, where Sales people won't go beyond anyway. But then: March Madness and Christmas and Black Friday and Back2School and Forum Week (we just crossed 50K threads without notice and are hitting 400k posts soon, someone needs to tell Dan) and introduction of Catholic packages and CP and PrePubs - probably it's good for me that Sales is sometimes less responsive to questions.....

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 3:57 PM

NB.Mick:
Hm. I spent thousands of dollars with Logos but I think I literally never got a discount on titles I was asking about (including a base package upgrade with its meager 15% I'd get from the website as well - choose not to).

I don't think I've ever bought anything for less than 20-25% off. I made my first purchase at 25% off during the L4Mac intro sale. I then got such a good upgrade price that I ended up with a 30% discount. On the whole. Big Smile Don't know how that happened, but it did. And it was before they removed all those Baker and other titles, so I really got way better value than those who buy now.

NB.Mick:
In the process I got offers for other items that were nowhere advertised as being on sale, though.

That, on the other hand, has never happened to me.

NB.Mick:
the offers like daily Twitter deal, blog-promoted discounts etc, where Sales people won't go beyond anyway.

Hmm. I once got $10 extra off a 12 Days item. Without asking or hinting or anything.

It's possible, though, that the reps had more room for negotiation when they worked on commission. I believe they're on a fixed salary now. Not that I ever really negotiated. I just e-mailed a list, and then replied with 'I'll take a, b,c and f, and wait for a better price on the others'. But I always used the same sales rep.

I've always found it a strange business model. You'd think they wanted people to buy from the website, given that it's much cheaper for them. But no. They want people to call.

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 11:25 PM

fgh:
It's possible, though, that the reps had more room for negotiation when they worked on commission. I believe they're on a fixed salary now.
Maybe that's a reason. People told about such changes in the forum - so maybe I'm too new to have experienced "ye good ole times" 

fgh:
You'd think they wanted people to buy from the website, given that it's much cheaper for them. But no. They want people to call.
I can understand that. Of course they want people to buy from the website - but those that do, do it anyway. Around the clock and from all corners of the globe. Possibly the ones that read about a book and want to have it in an instant. (*raises hand here*)

Then there are those that really need some help to decide (or get persuaded), who might be talked into a bigger base package and so forth. They need personal interaction. Also, a human sales rep can look at a wishlist or simply ask "is there anything else you may have wished for" or use some clues about a caller's situation to suggest an additional book. I think I remember something like most of the Logos users have one base package and are stuck with it - and then they may upgrade to the next. So, the main task for Sales would be to persuade people to buy their first base package, to buy their first upgrade and to buy their first big additional resource (such as NICxT) beyond base packages. How they treat customers with selective libraries may be secondary and up to the personal way an individual goes about his/her job, as in terms of figures it's just the icing on the Sales cake. Or so.  

 

 

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