What Resources to Use in My Library?

Page 1 of 1 (10 items)
This post has 9 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 44
Lloyd Claycomb | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Jun 1 2010 9:28 AM

I've got what seems like millions of resources on my Logos Scholars (Series X) L4 system, and I just can't find what I'm looking for.  I'm SURE I have it.  I want a resource(s) that tells me all about particular Bible books, not about each individual verse as a commentary would.  Such as:

  1. Author
  2. Date written
  3. Intended audience
  4. Background history
  5. Maps, etc.

I'm sure I have something like that, but just have never stumbled upon it.  Any help would be appreciated.

Posts 1374
nicky crane | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 10:35 AM

Would not the introductions to some of the commentaries do that?

Posts 13419
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 10:54 AM

Most of the Bible dictionaries will have articles on each Bible book. Try typing in type:dictionary title:bible into your Library to see what Bible dictionaries you own. My favourite would be the New Bible Dictionary. Below is an extract for the book of Philemon.

Philemon, Epistle To.

I. Outline of contents

a. Address and greeting (vv. 1–3).

b. Thanksgiving: introducing themes, to be developed later, of love, fellowship (koinōnia; cf. koinōnos, ‘partner’ in v. 17) and refreshment (cf. v. 20) (vv. 4–7).

c. The request for Onesimus (vv. 8–21).

d. A request for hospitality (v. 22).

e. Greetings from Paul’s friends (vv. 23–24).

f. Blessing (v. 25).

II. Significance

The earliest extant lists of the Pauline Corpus (Marcion’s ‘canon’ and the Muratorian Fragment) contain Philemon, even though they omit the Pastoral Epistles. In the 4th century complaints appear not so much against its authenticity as of its alleged triviality (cf. Jerome, Preface to Philemon): most generations, however, have better valued the grace, tact, affection and delicacy of feeling which mark this little letter. Tertullian remarked that it was the only Epistle which Marcion left uncontaminated by ‘editing’ (Adv. Marc. 5. 21), and its authenticity has never been responsibly questioned. In recent years it has become a bastion of the theory of the Pauline Corpus associated with E. J. Goodspeed and John Knox (*Paul, III. d. ii); gratitude for the fresh interest they have stimulated in Philemon, and the adoption of some of their suggestions, does not, however, demand acceptance of this highly dubious reconstruction.

III. Form

The personal and informal nature of Philemon (cf. Deissmann, LAE, pp. 234f., and *Epistle) may distract attention from its extremely careful composition and observance of literary forms (cf. Knox, pp. 18f.). It should also be noted that a house-church is in mind as well as the people named in the address (v. 2). Goodspeed and Knox over-emphasize the part the church is expected to play in swaying the slave-owner to ‘do the Christian thing’ (Goodspeed, p. 118): the second person singular is used throughout, even for the greetings: the only exceptions are in vv. 22 (the hoped-for visit) and 25 (the benediction). This affords a contrast with Ignatius’ letter to Polycarp, which is addressed to an individual but with frequent passages in the second person plural which show that the church is being harangued. Philemon is addressed to the slave-owner, with his family and church presumably linked with him after the manner of Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15. Comparison has often been invited with Pliny’s letter (Ep. 9. 21) on behalf of an errant but repentant freedman.

IV. Purpose and occasion

The core of the Epistle is an appeal by Paul on behalf of one Onesimus, a slave from Colossae (Col. 4:9) whose conduct had contrasted with his name (‘useful’—a pun is involved in Phm. 10–11). It seems that Onesimus had robbed his master (18) and run away (15—not quite explicit). By some means unstated—perhaps his fellow-townsman Epaphras (Col. 4:12) was instrumental—he was brought into contact with the imprisoned Paul and radically converted. Not only so, but strong affection developed between Paul and his new ‘son’, in whom the veteran saw rich potential.

Under contemporary law, almost limitless vengeance could be wreaked on Onesimus by his owner: Graeco-Roman society was never free from the phobia of a servile war, and even an otherwise good master might think it his duty to society to make an example of the runaway. Frightful penalties also awaited those who harboured runaways (cf. P. Oxy. 1422). It is at this point that Paul interposes with his brother (7, 20), not commanding, but begging (8–9) that his owner will receive Onesimus as he would Paul himself (17), and solemnly undertaking all the slave’s debts (18–19).

But probably Paul is asking more than mercy. Knox points out that parakaleō followed by peri (as in v. 10) usually means in late Gk. ‘to ask for’ rather than ‘on behalf of’. Paul highly valued Onesimus; his departure caused him great sorrow; and but for the necessity of obtaining his owner’s permission would have liked to keep him with him (11–14). The fullness of Paul’s request would be that Onesimus might be released to Paul for Christian service. He would thenceforth stand in an unspeakably closer and more permanent relationship than the old domestic one (15–16). In any case, to Paul’s ministry this correspondent owes his own conversion (19).

Paul is in prison (9–10): the occasion is the same as that indicated in Colossians, for Onesimus is to accompany Tychicus, the bearer of that letter (Col. 4:9). Paul’s party in Phm. 23f. is the same as that in Col. 4:10–14, with the exception of Jesus Justus (unless this is a scribal omission; cf. E. Amling, ZNW 10, 1909–10, p. 261). The place of imprisonment will be decided mainly on grounds external to the letter: the real alternatives are Rome, in the first imprisonment (c. ad 62) or Ephesus about ad 55 (*Paul; *Chronology of the New Testament). Either city might have attracted Onesimus. Ephesus was near home, but large enough to be lost in; Rome was a haven for displaced persons of every kind. In either case there is some expectation of release and a journey to Philemon’s area in the foreseeable future.

There are other links with Colossians. Col. 3:22ff. (cf. Eph. 6:5–9) could hardly have been written without Onesimus, and the possible effect on his career, in mind. Knox and Goodspeed have, however, little reason to associate the charge to Archippus and the ‘Epistle from Laodicea’ (Col. 4:16–17) with the Onesimus case. Knox himself has disposed of Goodspeed’s suggestion that Onesimus’ owner lived at Laodicea (pp. 40ff.), but his own suggestion that Philemon received the letter first as the (Laodicean) superintendent of the Lycus churches and that Archippus in Colossae was the slave-owner and principal addressee, fares no better. It requires an unnatural reading of the address, and a heavy burden on a few words (e.g. ‘fellow worker’ and ‘fellow soldier’ in vv. 1 and 2). Whether the epistle of Col. 4:16 was *Ephesians or some unknown letter is uncertain, but nothing suggests that it was Philemon. (*Apphia; *Archippus; *Onesimus; *Philemon.)

 

Posts 1228
Ron | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 11:45 AM

Try the Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding the Bible.  You should have it as it came with my "Bible Study" base package which has less material than Scholar's does.  I believe it has exactly the types of things you are looking for.

Posts 42
JM | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 2:31 PM

The Bible Guide

Posts 19280
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 5:21 PM

Bible Handbooks, Companions, Guides, Introductions, and Surveys often have that kind of info. In addition to the suggestions others have given, these resources in Scholar's Library should be helpful:

  • Holman Bible Handbook
  • Bible Reader’s Companion

 

Posts 612
John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 5:34 PM

My favorite is Talk thru the Bible by Bruce Wilkinson and Kenneth Boa.

Posts 19280
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 6:07 PM

Another one I like, which isn't part of Scholar's Library, but it's only $16.99, is How to Read the Bible Book by Book, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. In addition to giving all the basic data about author, date, recipients, overview, it gives you suggestions for how to approach reading each book of the Bible, using methods appropriate to its genre (historical, poetic, epistle, etc.). And then it walks you through the book in major sections (not as detailed as a verse-by-verse commentary, but it tells you what to be looking for and guides you into doing the more thorough read-through yourself). I really like this approach, and besides, Gordon Fee was one of my favorite professors.

Posts 4768
RIP
Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 7:41 PM

Rosie Perera:

Another one I like, which isn't part of Scholar's Library, but it's only $16.99, is How to Read the Bible Book by Book, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. In addition to giving all the basic data about author, date, recipients, overview, it gives you suggestions for how to approach reading each book of the Bible, using methods appropriate to its genre (historical, poetic, epistle, etc.). And then it walks you through the book in major sections (not as detailed as a verse-by-verse commentary, but it tells you what to be looking for and guides you into doing the more thorough read-through yourself). I really like this approach, and besides, Gordon Fee was one of my favorite professors.

A great companion for that book is also available through Logos; How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. It is by Fee and Stuart as well. It is a terrific resource!

http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/H2RBBLWORTH

Posts 44
Lloyd Claycomb | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 3 2010 5:26 AM

Thanks everyone.  I have a few of those books mentioned, but most I don't.  Funds are tight now, so I'm going to have to make due with what I have.  I did, however, find a few really good resources on the web (like this http://bible.org/seriespage/1-john-introduction-argument-and-outline) but can't use it inside Logos for clippings, notes, etc. every easily.  

In fact, the above link gets me exactly what I was looking for from a resource in Logos. :(  

 

Thanks again.

Page 1 of 1 (10 items) | RSS