Please help me save $99 today?

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Nov 28 2014 6:50 AM

I was pondering spending money on

https://www.logos.com/product/38443/understanding-the-bible-commentary-series

which is $99 today.

I noticed Fuller Seminary poppped up briefly in the ad.  Should I be concerned? (before my usual critics line up to castigate me - please see below)

Can anyone tell me if this series is useful, conservative, Baptist oriented or not and useful for devotional study and or sermon points please?  Is this set really worth it or Bible studies and some sermon research please?  I sometimes do line by line expositional preaching from the NKJV in a conservative Baptist church in RI and I am a seminarian at Luther Rice Seminary (online) www.lru.edu ...thanks.

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John Fidel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:01 AM

Josh,

There is a video that explains the intent of the series if you go to the product page https://www.logos.com/product/38443/understanding-the-bible-commentary-series

I have the commentary on Mark. I would consider it an expository commentary rather than a devotional commentary. It is a great deal at $99, but depending on what other commentaries you currently have in your library it may be necessary.

I can post sections of the the commentary on Mark if you want.

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Ron | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:02 AM

Hi Joshua,

For what it's worth, I'm also a Baptist and have had this collection on my "wishlist" for awhile...so when I saw today's sale, I went and researched it more thoroughly deciding whether to buy.  I decided that I really don't want/need it that much, even at that price.  My decision was based at least partially on Rosscup's reviews in Commentaries for Biblical Expositors.

My $0.02

Ron

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:05 AM

I would describe it as moderate evangelical, it very well done. Similar to the Tyndale series but I tend to like it better. I think it is a great purchase at that price.

Here are a couple samples:

§5 Sermon on the Mount: Kingdom Ethics and the Law (Matt. 5:1–48)

Matthew’s Gospel has a didactic purpose. Special emphasis is given to the message of Jesus. One of the distinct features of Matthew’s Gospel is that the teaching of Jesus is collected into five sections. The Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5–7) is the first of these blocks. The others are Instructions to the Twelve (chap. 10), Parables of the Kingdom (chap. 13), Life in the Christian Community (chap. 18), and Eschatological Judgment (chaps. 23–25). Each block closes with a formula similar to, “When Jesus had finished saying these things” (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).

We are not to think of the Sermon on the Mount as a single discourse given by Jesus at one particular time. Undoubtedly there was a primitive and actual sermon, but it has been enlarged significantly by Matthew (cf. Mounce, “Sermon on the Mount,” IBD, vol. 3, pp. 1417–19). Several observations point to this conclusion. As a master teacher Jesus would not expect his listeners to be able to absorb this much ethical instruction at one time. Such a concentration of material would defeat his purpose. Certain sections are disconnected from what precedes and what follows (e.g., 5:31, 32; 7:7–11). More importantly, thirty–four of the verses in Matthew’s sermon (which totals 107 verses) are not found in Luke’s record of the event (Luke 6:20-49) but are scattered throughout Luke in other contexts. It is far more likely that Matthew arranged the material in a topical and orderly manner within his sermon than that Luke scattered the material and then provided new historical contexts. Furthermore, forty–seven of Matthew’s verses have no parallel at all in Luke.

It is often suggested that in Matthew’s five blocks of teaching we have an attempt to provide a new Pentateuch. Jesus is pictured as the second and greater Moses (cf. Deut. 18:15), who ascends the mountain, assumes the posture of authority (he sits to teach, cf. Luke 4:20-21), and delivers a new law. The idea is intriguing but not persuasive. Jesus’ sermon is not a new set of  laws but a description of how people who have chosen to place themselves under the reign of God are to live out their lives. The ethical requirements of the sermon are intended not to drive people to despair so they will then cast themselves upon the mercy of God, but to guide and direct those who desire to please him. It is true that the demands are stated in absolute terms (“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” 5:48), but that is the nature of all great ethical teaching. Although we may not reach the stars, they still serve us well as reliable navigational aids.

5:1-2 / When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down, and began to teach his disciples. The area referred to was probably the hill country that rose to the north and west of the Sea of Galilee. Mountaintop experiences are frequently mentioned in Matthew (the third temptation, 4:8; the transfiguration, 17:1; the Great Commission, 28:16). That Luke places his sermon on “a level place” after Jesus had come down from the mountain (Luke 6:17ff.) should cause no concern. It is the sermon, not its topographical setting, that is important. Attempts to harmonize often do more mischief than good.

When Jesus sat to teach he assumed the position of authority. In Jewish synagogues the teachers sat (cf. Luke 4:20). We still speak of endowed “chairs” in the university; the pope occasionally delivers a pronouncement ex cathedra, “from his chair.”

The question often arises as to Jesus’ specific audience. The crowds mentioned in 5:1 are still there at the close of the sermon (7:28, “The crowds were amazed at his teaching”). In between these references, however, Jesus appears to be teaching his disciples (cf. 5:1b). One answer is that the disciples were the crowds (Gundry, p. 66). Another is that he was teaching the Twelve but others crowded around to listen. It seems best to understand the reference to disciples as including all who followed Jesus in order to listen to what he had to say. Obviously the Twelve were there, but the reference should not be restricted to that special group.

The Sermon on the Mount begins with a series of exclamations regarding the blessedness of those who have placed themselves under the sovereign rule of God. Albright-Mann call the Beatitudes “the spiritual charter of the Kingdom” (p. 68). The literary form employed by Matthew is common in the Old Testament, especially in the Psalms and wisdom literature (e.g., Ps. 1:1 , “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked”; cf. Ps. 84:4-5, 12; Sir. 25:8-9). The Greek word for blessed is makarios. Barclay notes that Cyprus was called hē makaria (“the Happy Isle”) because it was so fertile and beautiful that everything a person desires was to be found within its coastline (vol. 1, p. 89). Thus blessed describes a joy that has its secret within itself. Others have noted that Homer called the gods hoi makares (“the blessed ones”). What Jesus now exclaims is that it is not the rich and powerful, but the meek and lowly, who are those of whom it can truly be said, “O, the happiness of.” His appraisal of what constitutes life as it was intended to be lived stands in stark contrast to conventional wisdom.

The Beatitudes are eight in number (v. 11 extends the thought of the previous verse and changes from third person exclamations to direct discourse). Some manuscripts (mostly those in Latin) transpose verses 4 and 5, presumably to bring together the “poor” in verse 3 with the “meek” in verse 5. The existing order is better: it presents four pairs of virtues dovetailed in the order A B A’ B’ C D C’ D’ (Green, p. 76). Commentators are divided on the question of whether the blessings pronounced are primarily present or future. It is unnecessary to decide for one position against the other. Although the ultimate expression of each blessing awaits the day of final vindication, the blessings themselves are to be experienced and enjoyed at the present time. The future tense in verses 4–9 emphasizes certainty rather than a necessary period of waiting.

Robert H. Mounce, Matthew, vol. 1 of Understanding the Bible Commentary Series. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1991), 36-38.

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§11 False Prophets and True Prophet (Micah 3:5- 8)
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3:5- 8 /In many passages in the writings of the classical prophets, we find condemnations of false prophets in Israel, who led the people astray by their preaching (see Jer. 23:9- 22; Ezek. 13:1- 16). Sometimes the message of such false prophets was in direct contradiction to what the true prophet was proclaiming (see 1 Kgs. 22:5- 28; Jer. ch. 28; 29:9- 11). Often false prophets were condemned by the classical prophets for their immorality, as is the case in this passage.
Judging from the record that we have, it was not easy for the Israelites to distinguish false prophecy from true. When the people heard two contradictory messages, how were they to judge which was actually the word of the Lord? That is still a dilemma sometimes faced by modern churchgoers. It is the morality of the false prophets that is called into question in this passage. This same issue is what our Lord had in mind when he said, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15- 20). Micah’s words are probably directed against the members of professional guilds of prophets in Jerusalem. It is clear that Micah does not attack the methodology of such prophets. His implication is that previously the professional prophets and seers had valid visions, and the diviners properly read the omens. Later, divination was strongly opposed in Israel (Deut. 18:10- 12; Isa. 44:25; 47:12- 15), but these words from God in Micah do not call its practice into question. Rather, it is its corruption that is condemned. The seers and the diviners and professional prophets have been given gifts from God, and they have misused them.
It was customary in Israel for prophets to be given gifts and fees in return for their services (1 Sam. 9:8; 1 Kgs. 14:3; 2 Kgs. 4:42; 8:8- 9; cf. Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9:4- 12; 1 Tim. 5:18). The sin of these false prophets, however, is that they are letting the size of the fee determine the content of their prophecy. To those who give them a large fee so that they can eat sumptuously, they preach only peace (šālôm), predicting that the one inquiring of them will have fullness of life and prosperity and a good future (cf. Jer. 6:14; 8:11- 12; 28:8- 9; Ezek. 13:10). To those who cannot pay them, they declare only hostility and evil to come, waging war against such inquirers by their words, verse 5.
Words were considered powerful forces in Israel; they brought about that of which they spoke. Thus, to falsely prophesy evil against a person was to subject the person to dread and fear of the most ravaging kind, and the false prophets were subjecting the poor to such injury simply out of their own greed and callousness toward their compatriots. Not a word did they say against those leaders and wealthy persons who were dispossessing and oppressing the poor (cf. 2:2, 9; 3:1- 3), for the false prophets were of the same ruthless breed. And because their prophecy was untrue, they were leading astray both rich and poor alike, failing to fulfill their God- given task of guiding the people in the Lord’s way toward the proper goal. They were perhaps the forerunners of every preacher who would not think of upsetting the largest contributor to the church budget, or of every institution that has named a building after a wealthy scoundrel, or of every university that has given an honorary doctor’s degree to an ignorant but generous millionaire.
Because the false prophets have misused and corrupted God’s gifts of revelation to them, the gifts will be taken away, and the false prophets will have no further divine illumination given to them, verses 6- 7. Instead there will be only night and darkness like that after the sun has set. The images are intended to emphasize that the false prophets will be unable to see (cf. Isa. 29:18). As in the days of Samuel, the word of the Lord and visions will be rare (1 Sam. 3:1). Or as it was with Saul, the Lord will no longer speak through the prophets and seers and diviners (1 Sam. 28:6, 15). They will, in Amos’s words, suffer a famine of the word of the Lord (Amos 8:11- 12), and even should they call upon the Lord in truth, the Lord would not answer them (cf. 3:4; Isa. 1:15; Jer. 11:11). The God of the Bible makes himself available only to whom he will (cf. Isa. 1:15), and it is with the faithful who are humble and contrite in spirit that God chooses to dwell (cf. Isa. 57:15; Ps. 51:17).
Because the false prophets and diviners and seers will lose their gifts from God, they will be shamed before the people and will cover their lips (the NIV incorrectly reads faces), verse 7. To cover the upper lip was a sign of mourning in Israel (Ezek. 24:17, 22) and was a gesture required of lepers (Lev. 13:45), but here it is apparently a sign of shame because the prophets will have nothing to say.
In contrast to the false prophets who will receive nothing from God and who therefore will be powerless, Micah is filled with the power of God, like an empty container filled to the brim. (Cf. Jeremiah, who is filled with the wrath of God, Jer. 6:11, and with indignation, 15:17.) The Hebrew weʾûlām ʾānōkî, “but I,” at the beginning of verse 8 is intended to mark the strongest kind of contrast. Micah has been given power by God (cf. Eph. 3:7) to perform his prophetic function; he has been given the divine word, which in its force can be like a hammer shattering rocks (Jer. 23:29) or like a burning fire (Jer. 20:9). And the word that he has been given is a declaration of Jacob’s rebellion (pešaʿ) and Israel’s sin (ḥēṭʾ) against the Lord. That word will measure the people’s sin against the mišpāṭ, justice, of God (see the discussion at 3:1- 4), and it will be delivered with might, which is the courage to stand firm against all opposition (cf. 1 Thess. 2:2).
Considering the fact that it is God’s word with which Micah is filled, many commentators have suggested that verse 8b, concerning the Spirit, is a later addition designed to explain the meaning of power in 8a. That is probably correct. The Spirit, though frequently mentioned as the source of revelation for the early ninth- century nonwriting prophets, is not the fount of revelation for the classical prophets up until the time of Joel after 500 BC, when it again is prominently connected with prophecy (Joel 2:28). Most of the writing prophets have their words from the gift of the word and not from the inspiration of the Spirit, and the latter really does not play a prominent part in the OT.
Verse 8 is the closest that Micah comes to giving any account of his call to be a prophet; while brief, it has the ring of absolute certainty. Micah is filled with the power inherent in the word of the Lord, that word which cannot be turned back by any human means, but which works in human life until it is fulfilled (cf. Isa. 55:10- 11).

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Additional Note §11
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3:5 /The book of Deuteronomy gives two tests by which the judgment between two contradictory messages could be made (Deut. 13:1- 3; 18:21- 22), and these are still good measures of true preaching and false.

-Dan

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:10 AM

Dan I was all set to forgo it from the kind helpful replies above and then read your reply.  I own and use Tyndale too.

Standing in the valley of decision.  My wife and my wallet would probably say - "Don't do it Josh" - but my heart is saying "Wow, Mr. Seminarian great price for something you might actually use in the future in ministry and while researching sermons".

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:13 AM

Ron, can I ask you to be specific please?  I am intriqued and interested.  I value you and your reply as well.

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:15 AM

John I am at work so viewing that video not possible right now...I can see it begins with a man from Fuller though.  East Coast conservative Baptist here...then again perhaps that dilineation may not matter - though while producing a sermon it will.

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mike | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:26 AM

What's wrong with Fuller seminary?

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:29 AM

Moderate evangelical is the right description. In terms of level, it's somewhere around the IVP New Testament, or BST/Tyndale range, but a little less conservative than either (it has a broader range of authors). In terms of quality, I'd rate it around 6.5/10 (for comparison, I'd give IVPNTC 7/10, Tyndale 8/10 and BST 9/10).

If it helps, Understanding the Bible is to Tyndale, what the Word Biblical Commentary is to NICNT.

Is it useful? It depends what else you have. It's certainly good value at the moment.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:32 AM

mike:

What's wrong with Fuller seminary?

That's probably a question for another forum, but these books give different perspectives on the history:

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 7:35 AM

Mike I am not critiquing Fuller Seminary. God bless you.

Smile

Posts 176
Rob | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 8:37 AM

I had a two of the commentaries already so I knew what to expect.

I jumped at the price and purchased it this morning.

We're studying through Joshua (ch. 10) this week and I've already changed the focus of Sunday's presentation based upon the commentary.

There are some nuggets in it that are presented clearly and concisely that were not as apparent in the more comprehensive works in my library.

I'm very pleased with it!

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mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 10:20 AM

There's definitely some meat there. Some real scholarship. First choice exegetical no, but the explanations will be at a level you won't need to dissect for preaching.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 11:35 AM

From JoshRI's comments and then Mark's, I was about to throw in the towel on this one.  No need for wishy-washy.  Need good solid scholars. Plus, Fuller's north of the good-California/bad-California line.

But then I made the mistake of looking at the author list.  Pretty interesting lineup.  Apparently it's the older NIBC ('Biblical', not 'Bible'). And quite a nice selection of female authors too.  That's unusual.

Price-wise, the sale price looks about equal to the paperbacks. But indeed a major discount for digital.


Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 12:14 PM

No one has convinced me to go for it yet.  Probably best for me to pass it by and buy individual books as I need them.  Sigh.  Its not a full set anyway.  I am still trying to rationalize my recent purchase of the crossgrade upgrade to myself and my wife (who will see the credit card bill soon).

God help me (and us all) focus and make the main things plain.

Thanks everyone.

Posts 6218
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 1:47 PM

JoshInRI:

Its not a full set anyway.

What do you mean is not a full set? It covers the whole OT & NT - unless you want the apocrypha covered, then is not a full set.  I jumped on it as soon as I saw the deal, since it covers all 66 books of the normal Bible - it's a steal don't let it slip away. 🙈

Posts 5247
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 1:50 PM

JoshInRI:
Sigh.  Its not a full set anyway. 

The 36 volumes covers the entire Bible. You are wise to pass on it if you are not convinced... that said I am not sure this price will come around again soon. I just wanted to remind you that Logos lets you return things if you truly find them not right for you. It is always easier to call on monday and say this is not for me than to decide tomorrow I wished I had got it.

-Dan

Posts 6218
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 1:54 PM

Dan Francis:

JoshInRI:
Sigh.  Its not a full set anyway. 

The 36 volumes covers the entire Bible. You are wise to pass on it if you are not convinced... that said I am not sure this price will come around again soon. I just wanted to remind you that Logos lets you return things if you truly find them not right for you. It is always easier to call on monday and say this is not for me than to decide tomorrow I wished I had got it.

-Dan

Very well said, Dan! I've seen it for $199.95 the lowest, so it is indeed a great offer! IMHO the first real Black Friday Logos has ever had.

Posts 352
Cynthia Tucker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 2:05 PM

See, I should have stayed away from Logos forums this weekend. I had no intention of buying anything, but this set  is on my wishlist, and I want it VERY much. This discount is too good to pass up, so I'm buying. See what you guys have done? Big Smile

Author of the Chronological Word Truth Life Bible Series

WordTruthLifeBible.com

Posts 10032
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 28 2014 2:09 PM

Whoa, guys.  UTB only covers 39 of the OT books.

Too many Christians (and indeed scholars, not a few) completely forget the single chapter book of Mephibias.  If you've forgotten, looks like it's time to take a refresher course using the index in front of your Bible.  Just one more reason why digital Bibles can often lead to post-Thankgiving dinner forgetfulness.


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