Prioritization preferences - what do you use?

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Tom Geswein | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009 8:39 AM

I recently upgraded to Scholar's and having not been to seminary, sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with the resources available.  I realize that prioritizing is just setting up what you personally prefer, but I was curious as to what some of the resources are that are "must haves" when doing your studies.  I am mostly interestsed in lexicons, commentaries and dictionaries that you prefer and the order you have them prioritized in.  Thanks...

"It seems our problems solve themselves when we look beyond us to those truly in hell."  -  Beyond Our Suffering - AILD

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 31 2009 8:52 AM

Tom Geswein:

I recently upgraded to Scholar's and having not been to seminary, sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with the resources available.  I realize that prioritizing is just setting up what you personally prefer, but I was curious as to what some of the resources are that are "must haves" when doing your studies.  I am mostly interestsed in lexicons, commentaries and dictionaries that you prefer and the order you have them prioritized in.  Thanks...

My Priorities:

  • 1st my favorite English Bibles (I have 14 on the list, I won't list them here)
  • Then my original language Bibles
  • Then these Lexicons: BDAG EDNT TDNT CHALOT BDB Gesenius, LEH LXX Lexicon
  • Then 'Major' Commentaries (NICOT/NT, BNTC, WBC, NIGTC, Calvin, etc.)  followed Study Bibles
  • Then ABD, ISBE-REV
  • Then Concise Oxford and Websters Dictionary, Thesaurus

That's all I have for now.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 236
Bruce Junkermann | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 31 2009 10:07 AM

Here are my prioritized resources...

  • English Bibles: (Like Richard I have prioritized many English Bibles, but here are my first 5)NASB95, ESV, NIV, NCV, NLT.
  • Bible Dictionaries: Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dict, NBD, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, ISBE
  • Commentaries: BKC, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary, (I like these because they give concise information for on a verse by verse level, or close to it); NET Notes, Word Pictures of the NT, (I put these next so that I can get word level information and translation help); Baker NT Com, Life Application Com, IVP NTC, Word BC (for more indepth study.)
  • Gk Lex: BDAG, ANLEX, VONT, Louw-Nida, TDNTA
  • Heb Lex: BDB, DBL, TWOT.

Hope that helps.

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Dave Hooton | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 4:59 AM

Tom Geswein:
I am mostly interestsed in lexicons, commentaries and dictionaries that you prefer and the order you have them prioritized in. 

Here's my recommendation - http://wiki.logos.com/A_Sample_Prioritize_List

Dave
===

Windows 10 & Android 8

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Ron Corbett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 6:13 AM

Richard,

How does anyone have 14 FAVORITE ENGLISH BIBLES. I might ask, but don't think I have time to find out, "what is your favorite flavour ice cream" Wink

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PL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 7:07 AM

BruceJunkermann:
NET Notes

Hi Bruce,

I have the NET Bible but the notes are built in as superscripted notes.  Is there a separate resource housing just the NET notes?

Thanks,

Peter

Posts 383
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 7:31 AM

Here's how my resources are prioritized . . . 

  1. English Bibles (NASB95, ESV, NET (for the notes), NIV, KJV, NLT). I know it's six but sometimes I use the NLT.
  2. Greek Bibles
  3. Hebrew Bibles
  4. LXX Bibles
  5. English Dictionaries (NBD, ISBE-Rev, AYBD, NDT, Websters)
  6. Greek Lex (BDAG, Louw-Nida, EDNT, TDNT LSJ). I also have the Greek LXX Lex prioritized 1st (LXX only).
  7. Greek Grammars
  8. Hebrew & Aramaic Lex (HALOT, BDB, TWOT)
  9. Hebrew Grammars
  10. Commentaries (NICOT/NICNT, BECNT, WBC, NAC, NIGTC, ICC [only a few of these, but really like the ones I have], Pillar, etc.)
  11. Systematic Theologies

I have underlined the ones in the bold categories that I consider "must haves." Some of them may seem out of place (i.e. my Greek Lex list), but this is the order that I use them. If you have access to only a couple of resources I would want BDAG and then a thorough Greek Lex like TDNT. Commentaries are harder for me to prioritize because my list will vary according to the biblical book that I am studying--as a whole the NICOT/NICNT series is hard to beat.

The wife and kids of gone skating and I'm supposed to be studying. Happy New Year to you all. Maranatha!

Daniel Bender

Posts 235
Tom Geswein | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 8:00 AM

Thanks for the comments - they were quite helpful.

"It seems our problems solve themselves when we look beyond us to those truly in hell."  -  Beyond Our Suffering - AILD

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 10:34 AM

Ron Corbett:

Richard,

How does anyone have 14 FAVORITE ENGLISH BIBLES. I might ask, but don't think I have time to find out, "what is your favorite flavour ice cream" Wink

Just recounted, actually there are 13, but two of them are Spanish language Bibles, and one is the HDNT.

My favorite flavor if ice cream is 'yes.' Wink

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 236
Bruce Junkermann | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jan 1 2010 10:47 AM

PeterLi:
Is there a separate resource housing just the NET notes?

 

Yes, It is called NET Bible First Edition Notes.

Posts 1522
Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 2:35 AM

I like the idea of this thread, I was hoping more people would have posted. I see a lot of people commenting in the forums who I'd be interested in knowing what resources are their go-to.

Anyway, here is my prioritized list:

1. Top Bibles: NASB, ESV, HCSB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV, NLT

My first two bibles are my favorite "word for word" study translations: NASB and ESV. The next two bibles are my favorite dynamic translations: HCSB and NIV. For my fifth bible I placed the NKJV, because it uses a majority text instead of a critical text. I like to use it for text comparisons. I added the NRSV because I prefer it's apocrypha over any other English translation (when I hover over an apocrypha link in a resource, I don't want the KJV to pop up.) Last but not least I added the NLT because it is my preferred "thought for thought" translation.

2. Then I have my favorite dictionaries:

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, Eerdman's Dictionary of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, MW Collegiate Dictionary.

3. Then my preferred Greek and Hebrew texts:

NA27, BHS, Logos LXX

4. Greek Lexicons:

BDAG, Louw-Nida, TDNT, EDNT, LEH LXX Lexicon

5. Hebrew Lexicons:

CHALOT, BDB, Gesenius

6. Top Commentaires:

I have a bunch listed, but here are some: NAC, WBC, Tyndale, Pillar, NIGNT, MacArthur NT, BEC, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament.

7. My current Devotional:

Strength for Today

 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 4:34 AM

Here's my prioritisation list:

I prioritise:

  • Bibles
  • Apocrypha/Pseudepigrapha
  • Apostolic Fathers
  • Bible/Theology Dictionaries
  • Commentaries
  • Greek Lexicons
  • Hebrew Lexicons
  • Systematic Theologies
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Devotionals

Some may think it's overkill, but I make very heavy use of parallel resource sets, and it's important to me to have the parallel resource sets listed in the 'right' order. And if you're wondering why I'm using advanced settings in the Greek lexicons, it's because of an old bug. It's not really necessary any more.

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 6:22 AM

Ron Corbett:
"what is your favorite flavour ice cream"

"Yes"

Posts 1367
JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 6:36 AM

Mark Barnes:
Here's my prioritisation list: [Graphic]

Wow Mark,

I think you have more resources in your Pr. List, than I got in my whole Library!!!

Now I know why my Logos4 goes fast, and your goes slower ... Big Smile

I'm not even going to touch your overkill comment!

Posts 287
Jerry Walker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 7:50 AM

I recently asked Morris Proctor this same question and heres what he recommended.

Hey Jerry,

I recommend:

Bibles
Commentaries
Bible Dictionaries
Hebrew Dictionaries
Greek Dictionaries

Posts 188
Kevin Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 11:10 AM

While this is a great question to get a baseline of what others are having successful study with it still has a innate problem it does not address.  The fact remains that different resources are used for different study purposes as well as plain old differences in theological perspective.

For instance if one is doing sermon preparation then bible selection should hopefully include original language versions so that what is taught is not limited to the native tongue translation of the studier in question.  There are some fine English translations but in my opinion they are only translations and should be accompanied by Greek and Hebrew versions to get at the nuances of the message.

If one is doing devotion study then you probably are not going to be using Kittel or the BDAG much.  You might include Zodhiates or Strong's for a quick to the point peek into a words meaning.

A seminary student or exegetical pastor-teacher will most definitely need richer tools for study.  Exegetical commentaries, lexicons like BDAG/HALOT & TDNT [Kittel] and theological works & journals are a must. 

Which type of studier are you?  Are your convictions on the dispensational or reformed side? Are you a newbie needing the basics or a mature believer who needs strong meat to stay fed?

There is no "master list" in my opinion but there are some universals in each category that all should at least consider:

Bibles: I try to stay away from too many English translations as a rule.  Choosing to have a few that  are proven and then using the Hebrew and Greek text for the rest.  The KJV, NASB, NKJV, NIV and ESV are all popular and all have flaws and weaknesses.  With the exception of the NIV they are literal translations and are great for depth of study.  The NIV adds all of the watered down reading I would ever desire for a study session and adds some challenges to the mix that are nice to have.

Original Language Bibles: Take your pick here....

Greek Lexicons: BDAG & Kittel [TDNT] a must for a serious language study in Greek with EDNT and Louw-Nida being very helpful.  Others that are great with less "filler" are TDNTA, Zodhiates and Strong's.

Hebrew Lexicons: HALOT & BDB are a must for serious study in this arena. TWOT and Zodhiates are great with "less filler"

Dictionaries/Encyclopedias: Too many choices here but anything IVP, ISBE [for sheer scope & scholarship].  A great English dictionary like Oxford is a must as well.

Commentaries: Rubber meets the road here.. There are great single volume sets for under $50 and then there are some more costly than Logos 4.  This is where purpose sinks in for sure. Sets that are mentionable value are: NICNT/NICOT, Baker Exegetical series, Bible Knowledge Commentary, Lang, Ironside, Calvin, WBC, Keil & Delitzsch, New American set...

Also anyone doing serious study might look to the Theological Journal set.  In my opinion it is one of my most valued sets as it adds theological depth across many views and a span of time from some of the greatest minds about topics seldom found in print elsewhere if at all.  No commentary can add the detail and insight this sets adds on specific issues relevant to study.  Pound for pound these are a "best buy" and invaluable.

A great systematic theology library also adds immense value to any level of study.  L.S. Chafer, Hodges, Geisler, Calvin, Van Til, Fruchtenbaum, Moody, Ryrie, Shedd, Strong, Luther.  Disclaimer here as I have convictions consistent with a dispensational view but find great value in a variety of works in this category if for nothing else than an opposing view.

Prioritization is a key study strategy but should definitely be catered to the user or occasion in question.  Hope this helped someone.

Logos 5, Windows & Android perfect together....

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JimTowler | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 12:09 PM

KevinTaylor:
Bibles: I try to stay away from too many English translations as a rule.  Choosing to have a few that  are proven and then using the Hebrew and Greek text for the rest.  The KJV, NASB, NKJV, NIV and ESV are all popular and all have flaws and weaknesses.  With the exception of the NIV they are literal translations and are great for depth of study.  The NIV adds all of the watered down reading I would ever desire for a study session and adds some challenges to the mix that are nice to have.

Kevin,

I think I understand what you are saying here, but it concerns me sometimes, that as we learn more, we can trust less. How is a new believer to understand the problem with "English" Bibles, or that those named ones have flaws, weaknesses or that some are all watered down?

Its off-topic here, and Logos has given us guidelines for the use of their forums and resources, so I must limit my words. This is NOT aimed at you. You just happened to speak up with an easy-to-quote example of something we need to be careful of saying, when it can be heard by those that don't know the rest of the story. I think we use "weakness" in the same way the judges or TV Sports shows talk about the failings of the World Champ, for only getting 9.95 in the event.

 

 

Posts 188
Kevin Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 12:28 PM

Jim Towler:

KevinTaylor:
Bibles: I try to stay away from too many English translations as a rule.  Choosing to have a few that  are proven and then using the Hebrew and Greek text for the rest.  The KJV, NASB, NKJV, NIV and ESV are all popular and all have flaws and weaknesses.  With the exception of the NIV they are literal translations and are great for depth of study.  The NIV adds all of the watered down reading I would ever desire for a study session and adds some challenges to the mix that are nice to have.

Kevin,

I think I understand what you are saying here, but it concerns me sometimes, that as we learn more, we can trust less. How is a new believer to understand the problem with "English" Bibles, or that those named ones have flaws, weaknesses or that some are all watered down?

Its off-topic here, and Logos has given us guidelines for the use of their forums and resources, so I must limit my words. This is NOT aimed at you. You just happened to speak up with an easy-to-quote example of something we need to be careful of saying, when it can be heard by those that don't know the rest of the story. I think we use "weakness" in the same way the judges or TV Sports shows talk about the failings of the World Champ, for only getting 9.95 in the event.

 

 

Jim,  and I think I understand what you are trying to say as well but even the Logos training videos themselves demonstrate that any translation has "weaknesses" which is why Logos wonderfully includes the interlinear feature as well as Word Study and Exegetical features.  These are not secrets and are not designed to discredit any language translation.  The bottom line is that it would be best if we all fluently read Koine and Hebrew but we do not.  Tools like Logos help to bridge these gaps and are elements that are apart of the very marketing of this awesome software.  The thought that this could be viewed as being a negative when we are also discussing the value of prioritized resources is beyond me.

As a side note, It is not my intention to break any rules or defame others here but again these are common elements in the marketing of the product as well as apart of some level of discussion happening in any Bible study group or church meeting [or they should be].

Where have we gone when we cannot say that translations are translations?  It is not to be a discouragement to new believers that the original languages exist as some form of disdain to a translation.  But instead to be an encouragement that they can plug into them with the power of this software as they grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ!

This is a selling point not a negative....  If I have broken a rule I apologise but I did not know such a rule existed.

 

Logos 5, Windows & Android perfect together....

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Josh | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 3 2010 2:58 PM

Wow. I see some nice resources in there. Thanks for the snap shot. I enjoyed looking over it. I must be a nerd.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 4 2010 1:02 AM

KevinTaylor:
If I have broken a rule I apologise but I did not know such a rule existed.

As one who frequently plays "enforcer", I don't think you crossed the line into theological discussion which is the rule I think was most likely being referred to.

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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