High Definition Commentaries?

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Tony J. Bowe | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Mar 25 2015 7:23 PM

Has anyone used them? Are they any good? I'm really interested in them, especially the animated pre-pubs, but am hesitant in fear that all the visual content out weighs in-depth content. Any feedback would be great! Thanks!

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 25 2015 7:46 PM

I bought the first one that came out, Philippians, just to see if it was any good. I was underwhelmed and haven't bought any others. There's a very high graphics-to-text ratio, and I find the simplistic graphics do not really aid in comprehension. They seem like some graphic artist just having fun coming up with an illustration. Pretty pointless. The animated ones might be different, so don't take this as a critique of those.

Here's an excerpt to show you what I mean:

Paul’s statement also does something else: inserting this statement (especially in combination with brothers or people) causes a delay. This disruption adds suspense. Paul and other New Testament writers use this strategy to make their big ideas stand out. Paul uses this method here because his big idea for this section is going to rock their view of the world. He’s going to drop a theological bomb.

 

Paul’s Circumstances: The letter to the Philippians was written in part to address their concern for his circumstances in prison and its affect on his ministry. From their perspective, imprisonment meant a huge setback. Paul shatters this notion in 1:12, claiming that his circumstances actually served to advance the gospel rather than holding it back. Hearing this news would have been like dropping a theological bomb, destroying their flawed perspective about the situation.

In 1:13, Paul elaborates on how his circumstances are a good thing. Word of his imprisonment has spread to everyone. Note that he singles out the imperial guard from all the rest. If he had just said “all” or “everyone,” there is a good chance that the imperial guard would not have come to mind. By specifically mentioning them and then adding all the rest, he draws attention to this important group of witnesses.

 

Singling Them Out: Twice in rapid succession Paul uses a device to single out a particular group of people for special consideration. Instead of simply saying that all had heard about Christ, he refers to the imperial guard “and all the rest.” We often do the same kind of thing by saying something happened “in front of God and everyone,” or “everyone and their brother was there.” In both cases, we take an expression that is already comprehensive and add to it. In Paul’s case, mentioning the guard draws attention to them, even though they are implicitly included. The effect is achieved by referring to most of the brothers. It makes us wonder, “What about the rest of them?” This sets the stage for Paul to talk about this minority group in 1:15–17.

Paul does the same kind of singling out again in 1:14 by talking about most of the believers rather than all of them. I could do the same kind of thing by saying I liked most of the sermon or that I mostly liked you as a friend. Chances are you’d be wondering which part I didn’t like. This is exactly what Paul is doing here. In 1:15 and 17 he is going to talk about this unnamed subgroup of believers. It seems that not everyone who was preaching was doing so out of pure motives.

The first group of evangelists (mentioned in 1:15) are those preaching because of envy or strife; more detail will be given about them in 1:17. This negative group is contrasted with a positive group. Paul highlights the distinctions that separate the two. At the beginning of 1:15, the Greek word men, typically untranslated, let the original audience know that Paul was also going to address a second group that was preaching for the right reasons.

In English, it would be like Paul saying, “While some preach out of envy and strife.…” Including “while” or “although” helps us lean forward a bit and pay attention to the second part—typically the more important of the two. Paul highlights the contrast with envy and strife by emphasizing goodwill in the Greek.

 

Counterpoint/Point: Paul draws a series of contrasts between two groups of people in 1:15–17: the majority and those remaining few that he singles out in 1:14. Using an “on the one hand/on the other” style, Paul contrasts their motives and their rationale for proclaiming the Gospel. These conflicting factors likely troubled the Philippians, but Paul addresses the issue head on. He is getting them ready for a different perspective—what he’s going to say in the rest of the letter (see 1:18).

The contrast of these two groups continues in 1:16–17, including elaboration about the motivation of each. Those who preach out of love do so because they have recognized Paul’s role; he was appointed for the defense of the gospel (emphasized in Greek). He wants the Philippians to know that his imprisonment has not changed this. He wants them to respond like the majority of believers, those who have been encouraged to preach. Emphasis drives home the contrast, stressing that the minority preach out of rivalry and not sincerely. Stating the same thing both positively and negatively adds further reinforcement. How could their preaching be based on ambition and rivalry? The elaboration makes it clear: they intend to cause distress and affliction to Paul by adding to the frustration of his circumstances.[1]

 



 

 

 

[1] Steven E. Runge, High Definition Commentary: Philippians (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2011), Php 1:12–17.

Posts 2465
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 25 2015 8:01 PM

Mostly concur. These commentaries are basically doing rhetorical criticism and discourse analysis. This can yield some theological nuggets, and can be a great help when translating a passage. Constantly harping on it, however, can be counterproductive. These devices are the means to an end, not the end.

Posts 103
mwk | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 25 2015 8:12 PM

I'm reading through the Philippians book right now with a consideration of using this to teach a class.

My initial thought (very early on in the reading) is that the content is probably deeper than I need for a typical Sunday School class. All good content, just way too much for the group and the time I have. This just feels a bit too academic at times which I personally like, just not for teaching in all circumstances.

Since I haven't been all the way through yet, I can't comment on the whole batch of slides, so my feelings may change by the end. But these are probably more creative than what I'd have time to come up with on my own. More and more, I want to use some sort of visuals, so any Logos product that comes with them will get my attention. I guess in any group, some may find these visuals helpful, others may not. I think part of the strength of any visual aids are the comments you wrap around them when you teach.

One thing I don't like is that if you're actually going to use these slides in a class, you have to manually export each slide which is a pain.

I saw the new animated product but will give it a pass. I'm not fond of that style of presentation. I enjoy teaching and interacting during the teaching, not just turning on a video or presentation such as that. Neat idea, though.

So right now, I'd have to say that I don't feel the visuals outweigh in-depth content. In fact, the content appears to be a little too in-depth for my needs as a teacher at this time. For a solo study, I'd feel I was getting my money's worth. But again, I'm not all the way through it yet.

Posts 31
Tony J. Bowe | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 25 2015 8:35 PM

Thanks for the fantastic replies everybody. I might wait for a good sale on it, but not until then. I looked the sample animated video but think its use is limited. Thanks again!!!!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Mar 25 2015 11:12 PM

mwk67:

One thing I don't like is that if you're actually going to use these slides in a class, you have to manually export each slide which is a pain.

IIRC you can now buy the slides independently.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 5:09 AM

Tony J. Bowe:

Has anyone used them? Are they any good? I'm really interested in them, especially the animated pre-pubs, but am hesitant in fear that all the visual content out weighs in-depth content. Any feedback would be great! Thanks!

I have the one for Philippians but as others have said I wasn't overly impressed.

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 5:51 AM

Yes, the editors use graphics to communicate rhetorical conclusions. I find these helpful in communicating with a  visual generation. Just this week we were in Romans 15 and trying to illustrate those who claim to be strong and boast in their strength vs. those who demonstrate true strength by helping others. The visuals drove the point home clearly.

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Posts 103
mwk | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 7:47 AM

Do you have a direct link for the Philippians slides? I did a search and all I can find is the Romans Slides Pack. When I contacted Logos a few weeks back, they said the slides don't exist as a separate download for Philippians, but I'd be happy if they remedied that since I contacted them.

Thanks.

Posts 18651
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 4:25 PM

David Thomas:

Yes, the editors use graphics to communicate rhetorical conclusions. I find these helpful in communicating with a  visual generation. Just this week we were in Romans 15 and trying to illustrate those who claim to be strong and boast in their strength vs. those who demonstrate true strength by helping others. The visuals drove the point home clearly.

I guess I'm showing my generational age. The idea that a stick-figure picture would be needed/helpful to drive home that meaning of strong vs. weak is mind-boggling to me. What an icon-driven world we live in now. Not making a judgment on it, just feel very disconnected from it. I'm used to verbal discourse. Sometimes art helps me in contemplation of deep truths, but simple drawings like that do not help me at all. They come across as insulting/patronizing to me. I recognize I'm a dying breed, though.

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 4:41 PM

I am so glad I saw this.  I will avoid it now.

Posts 591
Rayner | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 5:36 PM

JoshInRI:

I am so glad I saw this.  I will avoid it now.

Me too :-)  It must work for some people, but I was slightly horrified!

Posts 5248
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 26 2015 5:42 PM

Rosie Perera:
I guess I'm showing my generational age. The idea that a stick-figure picture would be needed/helpful to drive home that meaning of strong vs. weak is mind-boggling to me. What an icon-driven world we live in now. Not making a judgment on it, just feel very disconnected from it. I'm used to verbal discourse. Sometimes art helps me in contemplation of deep truths, but simple drawings like that do not help me at all. They come across as insulting/patronizing to me. I recognize I'm a dying breed, though.

Perhaps we are dying but not a lone just yet... Cannot say this graphic does anything for me either.

-Dan

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