Logos Bible Software 30 Day Training Faithlife Corporation 2016

Logos Bible Software · Logos Bible Software . 30 Day Training . Faithlife Corporation 2016 . Learn to Study the Bible with Logos: Part 1 Introduction to Part 1 Welcome Welcome to

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  • Logos Bible Software 30 Day Training

    Faithlife Corporation 2016

  • Learn to Study the Bible with Logos: Part 1

    Introduction to Part 1


    Welcome to this course on how to study the Bible. Hi, I'm Adam and one of my responsibilities at Faithlife is to help train you to study the Bible. Most Christians believe that they should be studying the Bible more. There are many reasons for not studying the Bible, but one major reason is not knowing where to start. That’s why this course exists. If you’ll devote just 30 days to this course, we’ll equip you proven techniques for doing Bible study on your own.

    Using Matthew 4 as the text we will study, this course will follow the well-known inductive Bible study method of “Observation, Interpretation, and Application.” I’ll outline ten steps in Bible study that you can follow with any passage of the Bible.

    Logos Bible Software is powerful Bible study software. While you don’t have to own Logos to learn the steps I will teach you, I will be using Logos in all of the steps. You’ll see the benefit Logos adds to your Bible study. If you already own Logos Bible Software, or subscribe to it via Logos Cloud, this course is also designed to help you master the Bible study tools you now have access to.

    There are countless things Logos can do help you study the Bible, but you’ll be well on your way to using Logos if you can master just two skills: using the Go Box and right-clicking to access the context menu. Most of the videos in the class are based on these two simple skills.

    Method of this Course: Observation, Interpretation, Application

    As I mentioned, we’ll follow the “Observation, Interpretation, Application” Bible study method. We start with observing the facts about the passage we’re studying by asking, “What does the text say?” Next we interpret the passage by asking, “What does the text mean?” Finally, we apply the text by asking, “What does the text mean for my life and the lives of others?”


    In this first section of the course, we’ll spend a good deal of time observing the text. There is no substitute for spending time with the passage we’re studying and Logos provides us with tools to help us see what’s there. Essentially, we are looking at the details of the text and asking who, what, when, where, why, and how. We’re looking for things that we should study further. In our effort to explore the text deeply, we’ll identify important themes, compare English translations, look at the context, and explore the setting and characters.

    How to Watch this Course

    We recommend you watch one video a day so that you have time to fully learn the new skills. The videos are short, usually under 5 minutes, and most will include an assignment that will take

  • up to 30 minutes to complete. Feel free to only watch the videos, but if you can invest a little more time, doing the assignments will help you solidify your new skills.

    If you need further help, additional training videos are located at Logos.com/Logos-Pro and you can always contact the Logos Pro team at [email protected].

    Because different base packages include different tools and resources, you may not have some of the functionality or resources demonstrated in a number of the videos. But, watching all of the videos will help you. Not only will you gain more insight into Matthew 4, you’ll learn key steps in Bible study.


    The Bible is a powerful text. And Logos Bible Software is a powerful tool. If you invest in learning how to use it, it will transform how you study the Bible. You’ll be more efficient and will walk away from your study with deeper insight. If you want to communicate truth to others or simply grow in your knowledge of God’s Word, Logos Bible Software can help you in big ways. I’m glad to have you join us.

    https://www.logos.com/logos-promailto:[email protected]

  • Observation

  • DAY 1

    Become Familiar with the Passage and Its Context

    Step 1: Read the Passage in Its Context Several Times

    Part of the observation stage is reading the context of the passage we are studying to find out where our passage fits within the overall book of the Bible. In fact, reading the passage several times in its context is a great idea for good Bible study and is the first step in the Bible study method of this course. Reading it as much as possible familiarizes us with what we are studying and helps us ask better investigative questions of the text. You can do any of the steps in this video with a print copy of the Bible and a notebook, so if you choose the paper route, skip ahead to the assignments. Logos can make this process more convenient.

    In this short video we’ll explore how Logos can help us with our daily Scripture reading and prayer. We’ll also find out how to take important notes in the Bible as we read. For the next three videos we won’t be using the two simple skills I talked about in the introduction video. We need to set up a few things in Logos before we start in-depth study.

    Custom Reading Plans

    Let’s start by creating a custom reading plan. Simply open the Documents Menu and choose Reading Plan. Here we can choose to follow a predefined reading plan, like “30 Days with Jesus,” or choose to setup a custom plan that fits our schedule and goals. We’ll create a reading plan on Matthew. Let’s click “Generate a Reading Plan,” give our reading plan a title, limit the range to the book of Matthew by typing “mat” in the New Reference Range box. We can now choose how we want Logos to divide the daily passages, by chapter or pericope. A pericope is a unit held together by one thought. Next, let’s choose our preferred version. We also want to consider how often we want to read and the time period in which we want to read it. Let’s choose to read something every day. Since this is a 30 day course and there are 28 chapters in Matthew, let’s choose 4 weeks. That will give us 28 days to complete the reading. If we want to read this portion of Scripture with others, we can easily share it with any Faithlife group we are part of. When we are done, let’s click “Start.”

    Now, when we relaunch the Logos Desktop app to the home page, we’re reminded of today’s readings. Selecting the reminder will open our preferred Bible to today’s reading and provide us with helpful start and stop indicators to track our progress. And Logos reading plans are automatically synced between our desktop software, mobile apps, and app.logos.com account so we can take our daily Bible readings wherever we go. Plus, we can build a reading plan on any of our books, so if we want a custom reading plan through The Pilgrim’s Progress, Logos will keep us on track. Instead of choosing a Bible translation in the reading plan creator, we’ll choose the book we want to read.


  • As we read through the text, we’ll want to keep track of our observations. Keep in mind that we are asking who, what, when, where, why, and how. When we find an answer to one of these questions, we’ll want to highlight the text or make a note. To do this, we will go to the documents menu and select notes, then give our note file a name. We’ll call our notes “Devotional Reading Notes” to distinguish them from other notes we make in the software. Now, let’s highlight the portion of text we want to comment on, right-click, select reference, and choose to add a note…then we’ll enter our comments.

    Prayer Lists

    Lastly, here’s how to create a prayer list. While prayer isn’t a technical step of Bible study, it is an important and foundational part of Bible study. If we believe that it is God who illuminates the text and changes our hearts when we read the text, we need to ask for His help. To create a prayer list, we’ll go to the documents menu and select Prayer List. Let’s give our prayer list a name. Now we can add a prayer by clicking on “Add prayer” at the top of the panel. Now, let’s give our prayer’s title and add any notes or tags. We can also choose how often we want to pray for this specific request. Let’s choose every weekday by clicking the checkbox by “Pray for this item,” changing “day” to “week,” and selecting the weekdays. Now, when we return to the homepage our prayer requests will show up next to our daily reading reminders. When our prayer is answered, we can return to our prayer list and add that answer.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Start a reading plan for your devotional reading and begin using Logos for your daily Bible reading

    • Start a note file for your study of Matthew 4:1–11, begin reading the passage regularly, and start adding notes to your passage answering the investigative questions we spoke of earlier

    • Add at least five new prayer requests to your new prayer list and begin using the prayer list in your daily prayer time

    Thanks for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed learning about reading plans, notes, and prayer lists.

    In the next video, we talk about how to organize the books in your library, and arrange them on the screen for study.


  • DAY 2

    Organize Your Library and Create Your Own Layout

    Step 1 (cont.): Read the Passage in Its Context Several Times

    In this video, I’ll show you how to search your Logos library, prioritize resources, and customize how Logos displays your resources. If you don’t have access to Logos, you can skip the first part of this video and move on to the insight we uncover half way through.

    One of the benefits of owning a base package in Logos or subscribing via Logos Cloud is the library that comes with the software. Though you can do Bible study with just the Bible and a pad of paper, quality resources take advantage of insight God has given through the universal Church through the ages and around the globe. You’ll need to know how to access these resources to take full advantage of what you have in Logos.

    Library Search

    Let’s start by searching our library. Let’s click on the Library button to open a pane with all of our resources. The more specific we can be in our search the better our results will be. For example, if we’re looking for everything written by John Calvin in our library and type “Calvin” in the search box, we’ll get both the books written by Calvin and books that contain quotations from him. But, if we type “author:Calvin” we get only his works. We can use many of the words in this top row to make our searches more specific and we can right-click on this row and see more categories. For instance, if we wanted to find every Bible dictionary we own, we can input, “type:encyclopedia” since encyclopedia is what Logos has labeled Bible dictionaries as. We could also find all our commentaries by typing “type:commentary.” Let’s input “type:bible” to find all of our Bibles. We could add “AND language:English” to find just our English Bibles. Let’s open the Lexham English Bible by clicking on its title.

    Two of the most helpful and up-to-date resources in our library are the Faithlife Study Bible and the Lexham Bible Dictionary. Let’s search for “title:Faithlife Study Bible.” If you know the abbreviation, you can use that instead. In this case, it’s “fsb.”

    Prioritize Resources and Shortcuts

    Let’s do two things with this resource. Let’s prioritize it by clicking “Prioritize” in the upper right and dragging this resource over to the list. This will ensure that the Faithlife Study Bible is one of the first places Logos directs you to when you’re looking for information. If you haven’t already, also prioritize your preferred Bible at the top of the list. Let’s also drag the Faithlife Study Bible to the shortcuts bar for future access.

    Let’s also prioritize the Lexham Bible Dictionary and add it to our shortcut bar. Let’s open both resources next to our Bible. We can link the LEB to the Faithlife Study Bible by going to the Resource Panel menu and choosing “Linkset A” for both. Now, as we read through our text, the

  • Faithlife Study Bible follows along. We can link other resources to our Bible if they are divided by verses, like commentaries. Notice what the Faithlife Study Bible says about our passage.

    “The temptations Jesus encountered follow the same pattern as the Israelites’ disobedience in the desert. The Israelites demanded bread, doubted the Lord’s presence, and despaired of His help. Jesus reverses all of these acts of faithlessness.” This helps us understand the passage.


    If we want to collect helpful quotes like this one, we can start a Clipping file. Let’s highlight the sentences above, right-click on them and choose, “Add a clipping.” We’ll give this Clipping file the name “Quotations for Matthew 4.” We can access our clippings later by going to the Documents menu.

    Next, double click on “tempter” in the Bible. Logos opens the Lexham Bible Dictionary to an article on Satan because you prioritized the Lexham Bible Dictionary. In this article we read that the temptation occurs “shortly after God declares Him to be His Son—Satan challenges this declaration. Through reliance on Scripture, Jesus overcomes Satan’s temptations and thereby proves Himself obedient to God’s will. Thus, He symbolically undoes the disobedience both of Eve in the garden and the Israelites in the wilderness.” Let’s add this quotation to our clippings document.


    You’ve essentially created a study Bible. Let’s save it is as a layout by clicking on “Layouts” in the upper right and naming it “Study Bible.” We can now come back to this Study Bible over and over again.

    If you don’t own a base package from Logos, you can get the Logos core engine and add the Lexham English Bible, the Lexham Bible Dictionary, and the Faithlife Study Bible all for free at logos.com. These three resources are on the cutting edge of biblical scholarship. And, because they were developed as digital resources first, the benefit from constantly being updated.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Read through Matthew 4:1–11 three times • Use the library type search to find your favorite Bibles, commentaries, Bible dictionaries,

    and lexicons and prioritize them in groups (first your top 5 Bibles, then your top 5 commentaries, etc.)

    • Add a shortcut for your favorite Bible • Create a layout with your favorite Bible beside your favorite commentary and link them



  • Thanks for watching. In the next video, we’ll cover what to look for when you take notes and highlights in your Bible.


  • DAY 3

    Read the Passage Slowly and Mark It Up

    Step 1 (cont.): Read the Passage in Its Context Several Times

    Observation requires close attention to detail. One of the main skills in Bible study is simple, but not always easy: we need to read slowly. Slowing down is a major benefit of learning the original languages of the Bible. They make us slow down, but you don’t need to learn them to read the Bible slowly as you study.

    So, as we read the passage we are studying, we must do so slowly. As we read, we’ll find it very helpful to mark up the text. We can do so easily by printing out of our passage or even using a paper copy of the Bible and a good set of colored pencils, but Logos makes marking up the text easy and accessible. One of the issues with paper printouts of Bible passages is accessibility. Sure, we can keep the copies in a notebook on a shelf, but we may never refer to them again. With Logos, we can highlight the text in any version of the Bible and we’ll have our work in front of us whenever we return to that passage in Logos, even when we aren’t near our bookshelves. If you are planning to use paper and colored pencils, you can skip to a later part of the video where I talk about what to look for.


    To create a highlight, we’ll go to the Tools menu and choose “Highlighting.” We can choose any of the default options listed. Each option gives us different styles we can use to markup the text. Each set of styles is gathered into a palette. Let’s look at the default palettes to see how we can highlight the text. In “Emphasis Markup” we see that we can underline text, place it in all caps, and add boxes around it. The “Highlighter Pens” show us that we can highlight with very natural looking highlighting styles. The “Inductive” palette uses the highlighting scheme from Kay Arthur’s inductive Bible study method. Notice how she highlights important, recurring words in the biblical text.

    When we create a highlight in any one of the default palettes, Logos adds that highlight to a note file that corresponds with that highlighting style’s name. This isn’t a huge problem, but if we highlight everything with the same palette, that note file will become quite large. Instead, let’s create a new palette and give it the name “Matthew 4 Highlights.” When we hover over our new pallet, a small drop-down arrow appears on the right. After we click it, we’ll hover over the “Save in” option and choose the note file you made for last video’s assignment. I entitled mine, “Matthew 4 Notes.” This will ensure that every portion of text we highlight will appear in our Matthew 4 note file. Now, let’s add a few styles by clicking on the drop-down arrow again and choosing “Add a new style.” We’ll give the new style a name and edit how we want the highlight to appear in our text. We can change the font, add a background (like a true highlight), choose texts effects, and many other options. For now, let’s use the red natural highlighter. Let’s save the style. Now when we hover over our new style, Logos presents us with a new drop-down arrow. When we click on it, we can choose a shortcut key if we would like. This is really helpful if we are using the same highlighting style over and over again. For now, we won’t choose a

  • shortcut key. Now when we want to highlight something when we are reading the Bible, like Satan’s name, we’ll select the portion of text we want to call attention to and select the highlighting style we created. Now the text is highlighted and a note has been added to our Matthew 4 note file.

    What to Look For

    Let’s create highlighting styles for each of our investigative questions. Click on the dropdown arrow of the palette and choose “Add a New Style.” Give it the name “Who.” Expand “Insert Text” and in the Label text box under Text before type “Who.” Check the box beside “Capsule” and click Save at the top. Now do the same for each of our remaining investigative questions, “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how.” Now read through Matthew 4:1-11 and begin adding these labels to the text.

    Along with the answers to the investigative questions, what else should we be looking for? Scott Duvall and Daniel Hays provide a really helpful list in Grasping God’s Word. They recommend that we look for repeated words, contrasts, comparisons, lists, figures of speech, cause and effect statements, questions and answers, purpose statements, dialogue, conditional clauses, actions of God, actions of people, emotional terms, and shifts in the narrative. We should also pay special attention to the type of verbs, conjunctions, and pronouns the text uses. If you want more information on any of these elements in the text, I really recommend Duvall and Hays’ work.

    As we read through, we can create a new highlight style in our palette for each thing we notice. For instance, we’ll notice that the phrase “it is written” is repeated multiple times in Matthew 4. We can create a special highlighting style for this repeated phrase.

    Once we have finished looking through the text and marking it up, our Bible may look a little cluttered. That’s a good thing! But, there will be times when we simply want to read the biblical text—perhaps for our daily Bible reading or when we are reading the Bible with others. To turn off the highlights we just made, let’s go to the Visual Filter menu. Remember, our highlights are also in our notes file, so we can toggle all of our notes off and on or just the note file we made for Matthew 4. Now what we see is just the biblical text. We can just as easily turn our highlights back on.

    Bible Text Only

    We can go a step further make our Bible even cleaner for reading and studying. Let’s click on the Visual Filter menu and expand the menu item entitled “Resource.” We’ll also expand “Bible text only.” When we toggle “Bible text only” on and have no other boxes checked under it, we’ll only have the biblical text—no verse numbers, chapter numbers or footnotes. This is really helpful for us when we want to read the Bible as literature. Chapter and verse divisions were added many years after the original text was written.


    Now it’s your turn:

  • • Read through Matthew 4:1–11 slowly at least three times and answer the investigative questions

    • Additionally, create new highlighting styles for the important elements of the text, like repeated words or phrases, and markup the text

    • Start a highlighting palette for your devotional reading (you can call it “Devotional Reading Notes”), connect it to your new note file, and start making highlights as you read through Matthew during your daily reading

    I hope you’ll take a few minutes to practice these foundational steps of study. In the next video, we’ll talk about how to identify the important themes in our passage.


  • DAY 4

    Identify and Research the Main Themes

    Step 2: Identify Important Themes in the Passage and Connect Them to the Broad Themes of the Bible

    Hi, and welcome back. The second step in the observation stage is to identify the important themes in the passage we are studying and connect those themes to the broad themes of the Bible. There are multiple ways of choosing what to study, but people either start with a topic or a passage. In this video series we are assuming that we already have a passage in mind to study, Matthew 4, but that is not always the case.

    Let’s imagine that we are helping a close friend who is battling temptation in his or her life. We know that the Bible says a lot about temptation and that Jesus was tempted by the devil and did not fall into sin. But what if we don’t know where to find that information about temptation? We could look in the concordance of your print Bible, but the information there isn’t prioritized and it’s limited. We could do a search on the internet, but you aren’t guaranteed quality results. Our best bet is to check a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia for the topic. Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias include short articles that cover biblical topics, people, events, and objects. They also often include Scriptural references that are connected to the topic we are studying. So, as we study a passage of the Bible, we should identify the major themes in it and then look for those themes in a Bible dictionary.

    Logos makes this process easier.

    Go Box—Entering a Topic

    The Go Box is one of the fastest ways to access information on a topic or passage. Our software opens to the Home page by default and the Go Box is in the upper left of the Home page.

    Let’s type “temptation” into the Go Box and press Enter. Immediately Logos opens the Bible to the account of Jesus’ temptation in Matthew 4 along with informative articles from Bible dictionaries. Additionally, it opens several reports on the topic of temptation. With the Go Box in Logos, our results are both exhaustive and trustworthy. And it would have taken much more time to accumulate this information if we were searching through physical books.

    Depending on what library you have access to, the Bible dictionaries that appear may be different. It will also depend on what dictionaries you prioritize in your library.

    Let’s look at the Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. It says, “In general, testing and temptation are facts within God’s world and constitute some of the tools through which He is bringing to fulfillment His redemptive purpose.” The New Bible Dictionary, a highly respected Bible dictionary, states “The biblical idea of temptation is not primarily of seduction, as in modern usage, but of making trial of a person, or putting him to the test; which may be done for

  • the benevolent purpose of proving or improving his quality, as well as with the malicious aim of showing up his weaknesses or trapping him into wrong action.”

    This information sheds light on the nature of temptation and may help us as we speak to our friend. Let’s add these quotations to the clippings document we started early. Also included in our results is a list of related verses. This section of the topic guide points us to other relevant passages where our topic of study is discussed in Scripture.

    To get back to the Home screen with the Go Box, we’ll simply click the Home screen button.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Continue reading through the Bible dictionary articles and add at least five more clippings to your clipping file on temptation

    • Read through the related verses and add observations to your note file on Matthew 4 • Use the Go Box to find information on another important theme or person you have

    observed in Matthew 4:1–11

    Thanks for joining us! See you tomorrow when we look further into the biblical theme of temptation.


  • DAY 5

    Broaden Your Knowledge about Biblical Themes

    Step 2 (cont.): Identify Important Themes in the Passage and Connect Them to the Broad

    Themes of the Bible

    One of the many reasons for reading slowly through the passage we are studying is to identify the major themes in the passage. As you’ve read through it several times already, I hope you’ve been able to identify the major themes in Matthew 4 and made notes about those themes. But how do we find extensive information related to the main topic we are studying? If you are not using Logos, you can find such information by diligently looking through various commentaries and Bible dictionaries. This is important work for good Bible study. A broad knowledge of biblical themes really helps us understand the narrow focus in our passage. Fortunately, Logos makes finding related topics easy.

    In the last video, we used the Go Box to access information on the subject of temptation. When we search for a word in the Go Box, Logos runs 3 reports. The Topic Guide gives you information that helps you understand a topic. The Sermon Guide provides you with resources that will help you apply and communicate a topic or passage. And, if you are studying a specific word, the Bible Word Study analyzes the word you are studying by providing background information and definitions. Each guide is segmented into different sections full of information and can be accessed independently of the Go Box by using the Guides menu. We’ll come back to the Bible Word Study Guide in another video. For now, let’s focus on the key elements of the Topic Guide and the Sermon Starter Guide.

    Topic Guide

    The Topic section in the Topic Guide provides us with a quick definition from one of the Bible Dictionaries in our library, links to other Bible dictionaries, and additional searches. We can also access sermons, illustrations, and media that apply to our study.

    Sermon Starter Guide

    Let’s look at the Sermon Starter Guide. While this guide was designed with the pastor in mind, it holds useful information for everyone. In the preaching resources section you’ll find quotations about temptation and helpful commentaries with practical application. The passages section expands the related verses section with “Pericopes.” Here we’ll an extensive list of sections of the Bible, not just verses, that relate to our main theme.

    Thematic Outlines

    One of the most helpful sections is the Thematic Outlines section. Scholars at Logos have outlined important themes and topics and provided Scripture references for each point. Expand

  • “Temptation and Jesus Christ.” Here we find a detailed list with Scripture references of the temptations Jesus faced. When we think about Jesus and temptation, we typically think of the three temptations He experienced in the wilderness. This thematic outline shows us that He was also tempted to avoid the cross and please His listeners. We also learn that we can identify with Jesus and have confidence when we face temptation. All of these entries are followed by references from Scripture. Let’s add a note about this by right clicking on verse 1, selecting the reference, and adding a note to our Matthew 4 note file.

    With the Topic Guide and the Sermon Starter Guide we have access to a wealth of knowledge about our selected topic of interest. Specifically helpful are the Thematic Outlines.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Explore the Factbook links under the theme section of the Sermon Starter Guide and add the insights you find to your note file on Matthew 4

    • Explore at least three additional thematic outlines and record your findings in your note file

    See you tomorrow when we take the next step in our Bible study method.


  • DAY 6

    Explore the Differences between Translations

    Step 3: Compare English Translations

    Today we are going to look at the interaction and textual differences between Bible translations.

    A third step in Bible study is to compare English translations of the passage. Translations can be considered a basic form of commentary. Whether we realize it or not, the translators of Scripture have to make interpretive decisions. It is impossible to translate from one language to another without interpreting at a basic level. There are no word-for-word translations. If you know more than one language, you know that it is impossible to translate a long string of text word-for-word. That fact shouldn’t shake our confidence in the translations of the Bible we have. The level of commentary that translators make is small and that’s what makes comparing translations really helpful. We can find differences between translations and therefore find differences in interpretation and other nuances of language. In the past, we would have to accumulate several different translations and go through the tedious work of looking back and forth between them. Logos makes the task of translation comparison much simpler.

    Go Box—Entering a Passage

    Remember how we can type a topic or passage into the Go Box to start our search? When we type “Mat 4” into the Go Box, a list of suggested topics appears. Let’s choose “The Temptation of Jesus.” When we press Enter, the amount of information Logos returns is even more impressive than when we entered a topic into the Go Box. The different panels on our screen will help us accomplish one of the key steps in the observation stage of studying the Bible—comparing different Bible translations.

    Parallel Resources

    To compare Bible translations, we can select the Bible’s tab and then press either our Left or Right Arrow keys. We can skip directly to another Bible by clicking the Parallel Resources icon and selecting the version we are interested in. We can do this with most any resource in your library, like commentaries and dictionaries. When we type a Scripture reference in the Go Box, Logos also opens multiple translations in tabs behind the ESV, so we could compare translations by clicking on the different Bible tabs.

    Text Comparison Tool

    To really see the differences between the texts, let’s use the Text Comparison Tool in the bottom right of our screen. We can access it independently of the Go Box by clicking the Tools menu. Let’s open it in a floating window by clicking on the resource panel menu and selecting “Float this panel.” At the top of the screen we can choose what translations we want to compare by typing the abbreviation of our favorite translations separated by a comma. We can also choose how we want to display the differences. When we click on the blue “A,” the differences between

  • the main version on the left and the other versions are highlighted in blue. When we click on the marked through “A,” Logos adds the main translation differences to the other translations with slash through the text. To change the main version of comparison, we can change which translation appears first in the lists of translations at the top. When we look through differences highlighted in the King James text we find that Jesus says, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” in verse 7. When we look at the ESV, we find the word “test.” This difference alerts us to what may be an important point to study.

    Information Panel

    We can find out more information about this word by hovering your mouse over the Bible version open in our main screen and looking at the information panel. The information panel is full of information that changes as we hover over different words.

    Let’s hover over “tempt” and we’ll see the Greek word is peirazo. We will find that the Greek word for “test” is ekpeirazo. This shows us that both words come from the same root, peira, which shows us why the KJV translators chose the same word, “tempt”—they were emphasizing the similarity of the two words. It also shows that the word “tempt” has a broad range of meanings in English and Greek—which shows us why the ESV translators chose different words.

    Let’s add a note about this by right-clicking any word in verse 7, selecting the reference, and selecting “Add a note.” Rename the note file and add your note.


    Now it’s your turn to find more differences in the translation:

    • Find at least two more significant differences between translations and add them to your note file

    • Change the translations you are comparing and see what other differences you can find

    You’re doing great. In the next session, we’ll begin to discover why context is so important to understanding our passage.


  • DAY 7

    Explore the Literary Context

    Step 4: Explore the Passage’s Literary and Intertextual Context

    Step 4 in our Bible study method starts our exploration into the context of the passage we are studying. There are four contexts we need to be sensitive to when we study the Bible: the literary context, the intertextual context, the historical context, and the cultural context. Our fourth step is to explore the first two: the literary context and the intertextual context of the passage. We’ll talk about the literary context in this video and the intertextual context in the following videos.

    The literary context involves two main areas of exploration: genre and the surrounding context. In order to interpret a passage in the Bible correctly, we must determine what kind of genre our passage is. Law, like Leviticus, is interpreted differently than poetry, like Psalms. Narrative, like Judges, is approached differently than epistolary writings, like Romans.

    Two very accessible books that explain the different categories of genre in the Bible are Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy Zuck and How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee. Both are available from Logos and come highly recommended. Zuck’s descriptions of genre are brief and understandable. Fee’s are more extensive, including entire chapters devoted to each genre. For instance, Fee states, “Because of the unique nature of the gospels, … one must do two things here: think horizontally, and think vertically.” As Fee later states, reading the gospels horizontally, or comparing them to each other, is important, but cannot be our main approach to them. Each gospel writer had a theological purpose for his gospel and simply comparing the gospels to one another misses the individuality and point the gospel writer is making. Fee continues, “To think vertically means that when reading or studying a narrative or teaching in the gospels, one should try to be aware of both historical contexts—that of Jesus and that of the evangelist.” Finding the gospel writer’s intention for where and how they included the words and sayings of Jesus in their respective gospels is really important. Fee concludes with a really helpful illustration that you can check out if you own this resource.

    If we want to find out what category of genre the passage we are studying falls into, most commentaries will point us in the right direction and give us recommendations on how to approach the passage as part of that genre.

    Factbook—Bible Book Guides

    The Factbook’s Bible book guides are the best place to get information on Bible books. We won’t be able to use the Go Box or the context menu to get to them, but if we can remember they exist in the Factbook, we’ll be able to access them easily. In the Tools menu, select “Factbook.” Then type Matthew into the search box. The resulting report takes information from the introductory portions of our commentaries and organizes it into distinct sections. We will look at the other sections in this report in a future video, so let’s concentrate on the form section.

  • Notice under “Style,” the Word Biblical Commentary, one of the best commentaries on Matthew, has a section on “The Genre and Purpose of Matthew.” Donald Hagner states that the genre of Matthew is Gospel and defines this genre by stating that “Fundamentally, a Gospel proclaims the good news concerning the saving activity of God.” He then provides six other options: midrash, lectionary, catechesis, church correctives, missionary propaganda, and polemic against the rabbis. He concludes, “This variety of options concerning the genre of Matthew indicates something of its multifaceted character. Several of these explanations may well be equally true. The evangelist could have had several purposes. This much at least is clear: Matthew is a ‘community book,’ written to a considerable extent in order to meet the immediate needs of the evangelist’s church or churches during the interim period between the historical events narrated and the return of Christ. In particular, … the evangelist intends to help his Jewish-Christian readers understand their new faith as in continuity with the faith of their ancestors, as the fulfillment of the Scriptures, and as the beginning of the realization of the hope of Israel. The author wrote, above all, for the Church to interpret the Christ-event but also to instruct and edify the Christians of his own and future generations.” Let’s add this to our clippings document.

    The second area of literary context is the surrounding context. Context determines meaning, both at the word level and at the sentence and paragraph level. Therefore, spending time studying how our passage fits in the overall story or argument of the book is essential. The first way to do this is reading the entire book in which your passage appears several times. Another way to get the overall argument or flow of the book is to read a summary in an Old Testament or New Testament Introduction. The most well-known introductions are An Introduction to the Old Testament by Tremper Longman and Ray Dillard and An Introduction to the New Testament by D. A. Carson and Douglas Moo. As you can see, Carson and Moo have an ample section giving you the flow of the book of Matthew. They also have an edited version of the text entitled Introducing the New Testament.

    Passage Guide

    Let’s conclude the video by quickly surveying the Passage and Exegetical Guides. They should already be open from when you typed Matthew 4 into the Go Box. If not, you can also access them by using the Guides menu at the top.

    The Passage Guide is a report full of information about the background, context, structure, and key elements of a passage. The Commentaries section links directly to every commentary that discusses our passage. The Cross References, like the Parallel Passages section, directs us to other passages in the Bible that scholars believe are connected in some way. The Literary Typing section tells us what genre of Scripture our passage falls into and the Cultural Concepts section alerts us to relevant differences between our culture and the culture of the original audience. Biblical Places, People, Things, and Events connect us to important details that help us observe the text. The media sections alert us to stunning artwork, detailed timelines, beautiful quotation slides, valuable video content, and extraordinary artwork and photography.

    Exegetical Guide

  • Now, let’s look at the Exegetical Guide. The Exegetical Guide is the more scholarly of the two. It includes sections on textual variants that highlight the differences between biblical manuscripts, grammars that point to key elements in the original languages, visualizations that organize the text for us, and a Word by Word section that gives detailed information about each word in the original language, complete with definitions, pronunciation, parsing, and links to Bible Word Studies.

    As you can see, Logos has done hours of research for you and arranged the results for you to study.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Find a book in your library that talks about genres, read the section on the genre of Gospel, and add your findings to the clippings document (hint: search your library for “hermeneutics” or “interpretation”)

    • Continue to explore the Factbook’s Bible book guide on Matthew (especially the form section) and add three insights you find to the clippings document

    • Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the sections in the Passage and Exegetical Guides

    If any of this seems technical or intimidating, don’t be discouraged. The next few videos will shed more light on how context can help uncover the meaning in a passage. If you need help, please contact the Pro team at [email protected].

    mailto:[email protected]

  • DAY 8

    Explore the Intertextual Context: Parallel Passages

    Step 4 (cont.): Explore the Passage’s Literary and Intertextual Context

    Welcome back! In the last video, we investigated the literary context of Matthew 4:1–11. This video will begin our look at the intertextual context. While studying the literary context we looked at the genre of the passage and the immediate context surrounding the passage we are studying. The intertextual context includes passages in the rest of Scripture that are somehow related. The strongest connections are passages that quote our passage, passages quoted within our passage, and parallel passages (for example, Luke’s parallel account of the temptation). Most Bibles include cross-references. Cross-references are a great place to start, but the results from Logos are much more inclusive.

    Passage Section of the Passage Guide

    First, we’ll compare the differences between the different gospels’ accounts of the temptation. Our goal is not to try to combine them together in order to come up with a more complete version of the account. Our goal is to compare them to see what each gospel writer emphasizes in his account.

    Let’s go back to the Passage Guide, which should already be open from when you typed the passage into the Go Box. If it isn’t, highlight Matthew 4:1–11 and right-click in the highlighted section. Select Matthew 4:1–11: Reference and then select Passage Guide on the left. The Parallel Passages section of the Passage Guide is extremely helpful for any text, but it’s particularly helpful if we want to compare an account that appears in one Gospel to the parallel text in another.

    Harmony Resources

    We notice the titles of different harmony resources. A harmony is a work in which a scholar goes through parallel passages of Scripture and lines them up. For this video, we’ll use Sharman’s Records of the Life of Jesus because we can choose which translations of the Bible to use and its layout helps us see the differences a little more easily.

    As we survey the differences, we immediately notice two things: the brevity of Mark’s account and the difference in order of the temptations between Matthew and Luke. We can speculate about why the order of the temptation is different in the two books, but some scholars believe that Luke wanted the culmination of the temptation event to be in Jerusalem thus emphasizing Luke’s major theme revolving around Jerusalem. Matthew may have wanted to emphasize the devil’s questioning of Jesus’ sonship in the first two temptations and place them closer to God’s declaration of Jesus’ sonship in Matthew 3. While it’s difficult to know exactly why Matthew used the order he did, his emphasis on Jesus’ relationship with the Father adds to our understanding of Matthew’s purpose. Matthew’s primary goal in his account of Jesus’ temptation is not to provide us with an example of how to fight temptation, though that is probably one of

  • Matthew’s purposes. His primary goal is to show us how Jesus, as God’s Son, succeeded in obedience where Israel, as God’s son, failed.

    Let’s add a note to our note file on Matthew 4 by highlighting the verses that speak about the temptations, right clicking on the highlighted text, choosing the reference range, and clicking “Add a note to Matthew 4 Notes.” If we’ve had another note file open between now and the time we last used our Matthew 4 Notes file, we’ll have to go to the documents menu and open it for the “Add a note” feature to work in the context menu.

    Parallel Gospel Reader

    The Parallel Gospel Reader, available in Logos Now and Cloud, gives us even more control of how we view our results. It allows us to quickly switch between our harmony resources and allows us to choose which Gospels to compare. For instance, I can choose to compare only Matthew and Luke.

    Old Testament Quotations and Allusions

    Now, let’s go back to the Parallel Passages section in the Passage Guide. In the Old Testament Quotations and Allusions in the New Testament section, Logos alerts us to the connection between the temptation narrative and Deuteronomy 8:3, “And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Jesus responds to Satan by quoting this passage. Many Christians have equated Jesus’ emphasis on man’s necessity for God’s “every word” in this passage with the importance of the spiritual nourishment that comes from reading Scripture. If we study the passage Jesus is quoting, we find that the “Word of God” that man is supposed to live by is God’s promise of provision. In other words, we are to trust God the Father for physical nourishment.

    Jesus’ experience in the wilderness was like that of the Israelites. It was a place of solitude and scarcity. He may have felt abandoned by God and tempted to provide for His own needs just like the Israelites were tempted to provide for their own needs. But Jesus, unlike the Israelites, resisted temptation and fully relied on His Father. Again, the passage is much less about us, and much more about Jesus. The point we should take away from Jesus’ quotation is not, “I should read my Bible more,” but “Look at how Jesus trusted His Father on my behalf. I believe His obedience and faith in life and death are enough to make me right with God.” In the gospel, our call is toward faith in Jesus Who trusted God perfectly, in His performance for us, not toward our own performance. Let’s make a note with this idea by right clicking on verse 4, choosing the reference, and selecting “Add a note to Matthew 4 Notes.”

    In some of the conclusions we’ve drawn in this video we’ve moved from observation to interpretation a bit. While we should avoid making that jump as much as possible while we are in the observation stage, I decided to add these conclusions because we won’t get back to these specific instances later on in the course.

  • If you want more harmony resources, Logos developed a collection of resources called the Parallel Passages Collection. You can check it out at logos.com.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Use either a harmony resource or the Parallel Gospel Reader to find additional differences between the accounts of the temptation and record at least three in your note file

    • Use either the cross references in your Bible or the Parallel Passages section in the Passage Guide to find out what other passages are quoted in Matthew 4 and read them in their context to see if you’ve misunderstood why Jesus and Satan were quoting what they did

    • Look at the other passages that are connected to Matthew 4 and record your observations in the note file

    You’re doing great! In the next video, we’ll do the exciting work of showing how themes in this passage connect with other texts in the Bible.


  • DAY 9

    Explore the Intertextual Context: Intertestamental Connections

    Step 4 (cont.): Explore the Passage’s Literary and Intertextual Context

    Matthew 4:1–11 connects to several important passages. One of them is Psalm 91, the psalm the devil quotes. Let’s spend some time with this psalm so we can better understand why the tempter’s use of it wasn’t convincing to Jesus.

    Psalms Explorer

    This video will show you how to use the Psalms Explorer to find detailed information about Psalm 91. There is nothing out there like the Psalms Explorer, but if you aren’t using Logos you can use a good commentary to get some background data on the psalm. Regardless, I suggest watching through this whole video to see the insight we find.

    As we read through the passage, we’ll notice Jesus isn’t the only one to quote Scripture. Let’s hover our mouse over the superscripted letter in verse 6. It tells us the devil is quoting from Psalm 91:11–12. Why did the devil use this text? Why didn’t Jesus find the devil’s use of this psalm convincing enough to throw Himself off of the pinnacle and see His Father’s deliverance? The Psalms Explorer is perfect for uncovering information about the psalms.

    From the Tools menu, let’s choose “Psalms Explorer” on the right-hand side. We can see all of our interactive resources by clicking on “All interactive resources.”

    When the Psalms Explorer opens, we see a beautiful display of the Psalms categorized by genre and visualized by length—the larger the circle, the longer the Psalm. We can also arrange the Psalms by structure and by author. Additionally we can arrange them by book—the book of Psalms is arranged into five subsections called books. Psalms 1–41 form book 1, Psalms 42–72 form book 2, etc.

    To find Psalm 91, let’s arrange the Psalms in order. We find that Psalm 91 has a light blue circle beside it. This circle indicates the genre of the Psalm. When we arrange the Psalms by genre again, we notice that the Psalms of Trust are the smallest genre. To better understand this Psalm, we should read the other Psalms of Trust. We can further filter out Psalms by using the menu on the left to find Psalms that deal with a particular theme or are attributed to a particular person.

    Click the circle labeled “91” to get information about this Psalm. It falls into Book 4 of the Psalms and its author is anonymous, though the Septuagint, or the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, attributes it to David. Notice also that it uses strophes as its structure. If we click “About,” we learn that a strophe is a unit of “lines grouped into thematic units, somewhat akin to paragraphs.” Logos provides us with titles for each strophe and shows where parallelism occurs and what type of parallelism exists.

  • As we read through the Psalm with the headings Logos provides, we notice this Psalm applies to the person “who dwells in the shelter of the Most High.” That definitely applied to Jesus during His life on earth, but what does not apply is the devil’s application of the Psalm. He was encouraging Jesus to brashly force God’s protective hand. As we see in the verses that Satan quotes, the Psalm was written to encourage God’s people to rely on His protection, not demand or test it. The strophe titles summarize verses 10–12 as “God guards from harm,” verses 13–15 as “God will answer and rescue,” and verse 16 as “God saves.” As verse two states, God is a refuge from the difficulties and dangers that can befall His people as a result of living in a sin-cursed world. The implication of this truth is not to fear. The implication is not to test God’s protection and care. Let’s add what we learned to our note file by right clicking on verse 6, choosing the reference, and clicking “Add a note to Matthew 4 Notes.”

    I hope you are recognizing the value of looking at the intertextual context of passages we study. They help us understand the meaning of the passage because we are able to study how the biblical writers understood and applied other portions of Scripture.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Read the other Psalms of Trust and add any insights into Psalm 91 and Matthew 4 to your note file

    • Use the Psalms Explorer to study the categories, structure, and parallelism of three of these Psalms of Trust and add any insights you observe to the note file

    That wraps up our discussion on textual context. Next, we’ll get to see how considering a passage in its own history and location can add nuance to our understanding.


  • DAY 10

    Explore the Historical Context of the Event: Geography and Time

    Step 5: Explore the Passage’s Historical and Cultural Context

    We’ve looked at the literary and intertextual context of Matthew 4. During the next three days we’ll look at some of the historical context. After that, we’ll move into the cultural context.

    The historical context of a passage is its chronological and geographical setting. Where did it take place? When did it take place?

    In his Mobile Ed course, Learn to Study the Bible, Darrell Bock explains that there are two types of historical context: “There’s the historical context—the setting of the book and the setting of the event that’s being depicted, and those aren’t the same things. A book is written after the event to talk about something that happened earlier, so when you’re dealing with historical context, you’re actually dealing with two things simultaneously: the historical context of the event that’s being described—or perhaps you’re in poetry or something like that, the setting into which the praise or the hymn falls—and the time of the book that’s being written, and where this piece falls in the literary sequence of the book.”

    For example, the historical events that Matthew writes about are separated in time from the historical situation of Matthew and his audience when he wrote. The difference is even greater between the events of Genesis and historical situation of its writer, Moses.

    Today and tomorrow, we’ll look at the historical context of the actual event. The day after, we’ll go on to the historical context of the book.

    We’ll start with the geography.


    The Passage Guide should already be open from when we typed the reference in the Go Box. If it isn’t, we can use the Guides menu to open up a new Passage Guide. Let’s find the Atlas section. When we click on the map’s thumbnail, Logos opens the Atlas tool. We can also access the Atlas through the Tools menu.

    With the Atlas tool we can view a broad map of the biblical world at different times in history, and detailed maps of specific events, like the account we are studying. We can find maps with the search box in the upper left-hand side of the Atlas. We can even search based on Scripture reference and people. If we want to measure the distance between two different locations, we can hold the Control button (Command button on a Mac), click the mouse, and drag it between locations. For example, we can find how far Jerusalem is from Nazareth.

    In the upper left-hand side of the map, we can open an information pane that shows us the map’s legend. The orange line represents the route Jesus took from Nazareth to be baptized by John.

  • The green line represents the probable place in which He was tempted. There are even links to a Factbook report on the Pinnacle and Herod’s Temple. We can export this map to our presentation software by opening the panel menu and even click on a link that shows us a modern map of the area.

    Biblical Event Navigator

    The map’s legend also includes links to related events. When we click on “Satan tempts Jesus in the desert,” Logos opens a Factbook report on this event. We’ll expand the Events section and click “Open Biblical Event Navigator.” This interactive shows Biblical events arranged in chronological order. Interactive resources are tools that visualize the data in our software that we can interact with. We can access the Biblical Event Navigator and all our interactive resources by going to the Tools menu.

    The first thing we notice is that the event we are studying occurs at the “Beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.” When we click on “Jesus’ ministry begins,” we see additional events in the timeline. We see that Jesus’ temptation occurs right after He was baptized. John proclaims Him to be the Messiah and God the Father declares Him to be His beloved Son.

    Many scholars argue that this order of events is significant because these events in Jesus’ early ministry mirror the events in Israel’s early history. Jesus’ return from Egypt mirrored God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Jesus’ baptism is associated with Israel’s passage through the sea in the Exodus and His temptation in the wilderness is connected to Israel’s wilderness wanderings. The fact that the three passages of Scripture that Jesus quotes are from Deuteronomy adds to the connection. The events after the temptation are also significant. After being tested in the wilderness, Jesus crosses back over the Jordan just as Joshua and the Israelites did before conquering the promised land. Matthew makes a point of mentioning the Jordan in verses 15 and 16 by quoting Isaiah Isaiah 9:1–2. Jesus then calls the twelve disciples—a further connection to the twelve tribes of Israel.

    In his excellent commentary in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series, R. T. France states, “Now another ‘Son of God’ is in the wilderness, this time for forty days rather than forty years, as a preparation for entering his divine calling …. Israel’s occupation of the promised land was at best a flawed fulfillment of the hopes with which they came to the Jordan, but now this new ‘Son of God’ will not fail and the new Exodus will succeed …. It is probably also significant that the passage of Deuteronomy from which Jesus’ responses are drawn begins with the Shema; … it is precisely that total commitment to God that this wilderness experience is designed to test.”

    In Jesus’ temptation, we find God’s beloved Son passing the test that Israel, whom God called His son in Deuteronomy 14:1 and Matthew 2:15, did not pass. Jesus then crosses the Jordan bringing light into a land of darkness. Let’s add these thoughts to our notes.

    We’ve again moved from what the passage says, observation, to what the passage means, interpretation. We don’t want to make this a habit in our own Bible study, but because we may not get back to these concepts, we’ll do a little interpreting early in this course.

  • The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testaments that we referenced earlier is one of the best modern commentaries ever produced. If you are looking for a comprehensive, contemporary, and accessible commentary on the whole Bible, you should definitely consider this resource.


    You are doing great and you are a third of the way through the course. Here are your assignments:

    • Use the Atlas tool and the Biblical Event Navigator to research the places and events directly preceding and following the temptation narrative and record your insights in the note file

    • Use the Biblical Event Navigator to look at the events early in Israel’s history, compare them to the events in Jesus’ life, and record any further similarities in your note file

    Tomorrow we’ll observe a couple of specific elements related to the historical context of Jesus’ temptation. See you then!


  • DAY 11

    Explore the Historical Context of the Event: Physical Setting

    Step 5 (cont.): Explore the Passage’s Historical and Cultural Context

    Today we continue to observe the passage by researching the historical context of the events described in Matthew 4.

    A key part of doing Bible study is researching things you don’t know. This is especially true regarding the historical context. We are separated from the events and writing of the Bible by thousands of years and from the land of the Bible by thousands of miles. This is especially true of those of us living in the Western World. We shouldn’t assume that we know what a writer means when he refers to a place or event. For instance, when the tempter takes Jesus to the holy city and to the temple, we shouldn’t assume we have a firm grasp of where those places are. Which temple was this? Solomon’s Temple? Zerubbabel’s Temple? Ezekiel’s Temple? Herod’s Temple?

    Bible dictionaries are great places to find answers for these types of questions. A good study Bible or commentary should also help. So, if you aren’t using Logos, those resources would be great places to start. Logos makes finding historical information and accessing quality resources simple.

    Biblical Places

    Let’s right-click on the word “temple” in verse 5. We notice the words “Herod’s Temple” near the bottom of the right hand column of the context menu. In one simple click, we’ve answered our question. If we didn’t know what city “holy city” was referring to, we could right-click on that term and immediately find our answer. When we click on the entry for Herod’s Temple, we’re presented with a number of options. The options on the left-hand side of the context menu are always dependent on what you have selected on the right-hand side.

    We can choose to go back to the Atlas to find where the temple was located.

    We can search for Herod’s temple in the Bible we’re using or in our entire library. When we choose to search the Bible, we get only the results for Herod’s Temple. If we searched for “temple” in a normal concordance we would get results for all the temples in the Bible; physical and non-physical, temples devoted to God and temples devoted to idols. Logos returned a result from Matthew 12:4 where the word “temple” isn’t even used.

    We also get convenient links to the Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias in our library. One click will take us to related articles like this one in the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary that discusses the place of temples in the ancient Near East. When we click on the link in this dictionary to “Temple, Jerusalem,” Logos takes us to an extensive article that details the temples of the Bible: Solomon’s Temple, Zerubbabel’s Temple, which was renovated by Herod and is often called the Second Temple, and a future temple described in Revelation. At the time of its publication, the

  • Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary was said to be “the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and authoritative reference work in the field.” It is a standard Bible dictionary and well worth adding to your library if you haven’t already. Let’s add this information to our note file.

    Faithlife Study Bible Infographics

    Now, let’s click on the Factbook link in the context menu. There’s a ton of good information here, but let’s scroll down to the Library results where we’ll organize our results “By Resource.” When we expand the Faithlife Study Bible Infographics, we find graphics that help us understand the size of the temple compared to Solomon’s Temple and an American football field. We can also see the temple’s place on the Temple Mount, and the different elements of the temple. When we right-click on these images and choose Visual Copy, we can easily use these graphics in a presentation or we can share them with others.

    Before and After Interactive

    Now, let’s expand the Before and After section in the library results of the Factbook. We see a picture of the Temple Mount. When we click on the word “Jerusalem” above it we are taken to the Before and After Interactive. (This interactive, along with all the other interactives, are also available in the Tools menu.) We’ll navigate to the one called Jerusalem. Here we see an artist’s reconstruction of the Temple Mount. We can use the slider to see what the Temple Mount looks like now and what it looked like at the time of Jesus. This helps us see how massive the Temple Complex really was. It dominated the Jerusalem landscape.

    Let’s look at one more element of the text related to the temple, the pinnacle.

    Everything Search

    When digging into Scripture, sometimes we want narrow results on a very specific topic. Other times we want as many results as possible. The Everything search is perfect for these latter situations.

    From the passage in Matthew, let’s highlight the phrase “pinnacle of the temple” and right-click on the highlight. We notice that there is a biblical thing entry for “pinnacle,” so we could easily do what we did for “temple” earlier, but let’s use the Everything search instead. We’ll make sure “pinnacle of the temple” is selected, and choose “Search: everything.”

    Logos returns a lot of information. Let’s start at the bottom of the report where most of the search results are listed. Our library shows every time the phrase “pinnacle of the temple” occurs in our resources in Logos. We’ll sort through our results by Ranked. Near the top of the list is a link to the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary article on the “Pinnacle.” We find that it was possibly “the southeastern corner of the royal colonnade that overlooked the Kidron Valley.” It could have also been a “balcony above one of the temple gates.” Tradition says that James, Jesus’ brother, was martyred by being thrown off the pinnacle, clubbed, and stoned. The article includes a picture of the corner of the temple complex believed to be the pinnacle.

  • Included in our library results are video resources like Mobile Ed content. In this video on the significance of the temple’s location, Andrew Pitts says, “The significance of the temple is debated among commentators. It could be connected with rabbinic teaching that associated the Messiah with signs in the temple. Bock’s suggestion, however, seems more likely, due to the fact that the rabbinic tradition here is late. Bock says, ‘The temple is a locale that pictures God’s closeness. It is where he is to be found as a refuge of protection. Surely if God will rescue anyone, he will do so at the temple where he is said to dwell.’” We’ll add these thoughts to our note file.


    Here are your assignments:

    • Research why Matthew used the term “holy city” instead of Jerusalem by looking at the intertextual context of the term and record any insights you find

    • Go to the Tools menu, click on “All interactive resources,” open the “Interactive Infographics from the Faithlife Study Bible,” and explore the different elements of Solomon’s Temple

    • Perform an Everything search on an important word or phrase in Matthew 4:1–11 and record any insights that help you understand the historical context of the passage better

    Today we interacted with some of Logos’ most rewarding features. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the historical background of the book of Matthew itself.


  • DAY 12

    Explore the Historical Context of the Writer

    Step 5 (cont.): Explore the Passage’s Historical and Cultural Context

    In the last two days we spent a good deal of time researching the historical context of the events Matthew described in his gospel. Today, we’ll look at the second part of the historical context, that of the writer and his audience.

    We want to uncover who wrote the text we are studying. We also want to find out why, when, where, and to whom it was written. Finding out this information will help us understand the intent of the passage.

    As we’ve noted in the past, Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and introductions to the Bible are great places for finding information on the historical context of the passage. Logos’ Factbook compiles the information you need into a central place for easy access.

    Factbook—Bible Book Guides

    We’ve accessed the Factbook’s Bible book guides in a previous video to look at the genre of the passage. They contain much more information that will help us understand the historical context of the writer and the audience to whom he was writing. We can easily access the Factbook from the Tools menu or from the context menu. Let’s change the report to the book of Matthew by typing “Matthew” in the search box and selecting “Gospel of Matthew: Writing.” Here we can explore the origin (who wrote it, when he wrote it, and why he wrote it), background (including the recipients), place in the canon, and meaning of the book of Matthew. Before getting into interpreting the text, it is absolutely essential for us to know this background information. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of data here, but if we can read one short article from each section, we’ll have a good grasp of the necessary information we need to understand the Gospel of Matthew as a whole. We can simply click one of the links, read the article, and add the important information we find to our clippings document. The most beneficial element of these book guides is the accumulation of multiple perspectives concerning each issue. In the past, we would have to open multiple commentaries and Bible dictionaries to compare the different views. Logos makes diving into these resources really convenient. We may not spend less time studying the passage, but the time we do spend will be on reading the material instead of flipping pages just to access it.

    Biblical Theology

    Let’s pause our survey of the Bible Book Guides, and think about biblical theology. Biblical theology seeks to understand the theology, emphases, and themes of the different books and writers of Scripture and then see the connection of that book or writer to the overall narrative and theme of Scripture. Understanding the emphases and themes of Matthew will make us sensitive to those themes when they appear in the passage we are studying. We find different takes on the theme, emphases, message, theology, and significance of Matthew in the Meaning section of the

  • Factbook, but one of the most helpful and comprehensive resources I’ve found is the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. It includes an extensive section that defines and clarifies the essential part biblical theology plays in exegesis, a comprehensive article on the biblical theology of each section and book of Scripture, and a detailed list of important themes in the Bible and how they are developed through the story of the Bible.

    For instance, in the article on Matthew, Donald Hagner states, “It is a given for Matthew that Jesus, the Messiah, comes in fulfilment of the promises of Scripture. Matthew contains more than sixty explicit quotations from the OT, not to mention a great many allusions. This is more than twice as many as in any of the other Gospels.” This brings a lot of clarity to why Matthew quotes the Old Testament so much.

    The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, along with a solid introduction to the New and Old Testaments, are staples in my Bible study. I can’t recommend them highly enough.


    Here is your assignment:

    • Read through as many of the articles in the Factbook’s Bible book guide on Matthew links to as you can (read at least one from each section) and record your findings in your note file

    We’ve covered literary, intertextual, and historical contexts. Tomorrow, we’ll spend some time looking at how studying the cultural context of a passage can add real depth to our understanding of Scripture.


  • DAY 13

    Explore the Cultural Context

    Step 5 (cont.): Explore the Passage’s Historical and Cultural Context

    The last context we’ll spend time on is the cultural context, also called the social context. When we study the historical context, we observe the details of the event described and circumstances surrounding the writing of that passage. We study the cultural context of a passage to understand the customs, traditions, economics, politics, and social setting. By studying the cultural context we are trying to find out what life was like for the ancient people who wrote the Bible and were written about in the Bible.

    When interpreting the Bible, we must resist the tendency to read the passage without considering the society in which it is written. Too often, our understanding of our own culture overshadows the culture of those who lived and wrote the Bible.

    A great example is Jesus’ baptism. We often allow our understanding of what baptism looks like in the modern church to influence our understanding of what John was doing in the wilderness and why Jesus was baptized.

    There are two ways to access the cultural context of the passage, primary sources and secondary sources. Primary sources are texts written around the same time as the text we are studying. For instance, Josephus wrote about the society and history of the ancient world, particularly of the Jewish people, during the first century after Christ.

    The best secondary sources on the background of the Bible are contemporary works that take everything we know today about the ancient world, with the help of primary sources and archeology, and describe the culture of the biblical world. Most commentaries describe the social context of the passages they cover, but I can’t recommend highly enough Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas’ IVP Background Commentary: Old Testament and Craig Keener’s IVP Background Commentary: New Testament. These commentaries specialize in alerting you to important cultural issues that need further study in the passage. The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary is also highly respected and reputable. Commentaries in the Socio-Rhetorical Commentary series devote an extended amount of attention to the social context of specific books of the Bible. So, if you are studying a particular book this series covers, make sure you consult it.

    In the past, the primary sources were reserved almost exclusively for scholars. We had to rely on secondary sources for background information. With advances in technology, primary sources are increasingly more accessible, but nowhere are they more accessible than in the Cultural Concepts section of the Factbook in Logos. When we use Logos, we can read about ancient cultures from the people who lived and wrote during the time of the Bible.

    Cultural Concepts

  • Let’s look at how the Cultural Concepts section will help us understand why Jesus was fasting in the wilderness and how the concept of fasting in the ancient world may be different from our modern experience and understanding.

    We’ll right-click on “fasting” from the text. Choose the cultural concept of fasting from the right and click on Factbook. The Factbook directs us to media, passages, dictionaries, and many other items related to fasting. The Lexham Bible Dictionary explains that Jesus fasted “perhaps to express reliance on God in times of temptation.” It also directs you to Jesus’ teaching on fasting. When you look at “Fasting in the Early Church,” you see that the early church often fasted. The author of this article then cites several places in early Christian writings that tell you about the church’s practice of fasting—a twice-weekly fast and the belief that fasting could conquer temptations and prepare people for worship and baptism.

    You can find even more information from the Cultural Concepts section. You’ll see a section entitled “Pseudepigrapha.” “Pseudepigrapha” literally means “false writings.” It's a group of texts falsely claiming to have been written by various Old Testament characters, but they are still useful for understanding significant ideas in the ancient world. Here, Adam suggested to Eve that they fast for forty days in repentance, Simeon fasted to learn deliverance from envy, and Joseph promised God’s presence to those fasting.

    You will also find the references from the Apostolic Fathers that the Lexham Bible Dictionary mentioned and you can read their context.

    Searching for Cultural Concepts

    One of the most impressive elements of Cultural Concepts is the ability to search Bibles or even the entire library for a concept. This broadens your search abilities from words to concepts. Searching for one word leaves out synonyms or concepts that can’t be expressed by just one English word. Searching based on concepts greatly helps with this limitation. Let’s right-click on fasting again and choose the Cultural Concept. We’ll then choose “Search: all resources.” You have a good number of hits; it would be a great idea to limit them. Type “pray* WITHIN” before our search syntax. This will search for words related to prayer within passages tagged with the cultural concept of fasting. When you open your results from the ESV you’ll see a strong connection in the Bible between prayer and fasting. This helps us understand what Jesus was doing in the wilderness. Let’s add these insights to our notes by right clicking on verse two, choosing the reference, and selecting “Add a note to Matthew 4 Notes.”


    Here are your assignments:

    • Continue to explore the Cultural Concepts section of the Factbook on fasting, find three more insights, and record them in your note file

    • Find another cultural concept within Matthew 4:1–11, explore its Factbook, execute a proximity search, and record your insights in your note file

  • This is the last video dealing with the context of Matthew 4. Tomorrow we’ll move on to a close observation of the actions and words of the main characters in our passage.


  • DAY 14

    Observe What Main Characters Do

    Step 6: Pay Special Attention to the Words and Actions of the Characters

    In literature, plays, and movies, authors often convey their own feelings, ideas, and the main themes of their work in the words and actions of the main characters in the story. The writers of the Bible are no exception. That’s why we must pay special attention to the words and actions of the characters in the passage of the Bible we are studying. This forms our sixth step in Bible study.

    This step is particularly important when we are studying a narrative, or a story. In other genres of the Bible, like the psalms and epistles, the purpose isn’t to tell a story. The writer directly tells us what he is feeling or thinking. In these cases we would simply need to focus on the historical context of the passage: who wrote it and what their situation was like? But, since such a large portion of the Bible involves narrative, studying the actions and words of the main characters in the story is imperative.

    Since we’re still in the observation stage, we’ll resist the temptation to interpret the actions and words of the main characters. We’ll simply look for what characters are involved and observe what they say and do.

    The highlights we made previously help us in this task. When we read Matthew 4:1, we notice there are three main characters: Jesus, the Spirit, and the devil. It’s helpful to see how these characters interact. Here we see an interaction between Jesus and the Spirit: the Spirit led Him into the wilderness. Then, we see the interaction between Jesus and the devil: the devil tempted Him. Was this the only recorded time Jesus and Satan interact?

    During this video we’ll use Logos to find every time two characters interact in the Bible. If you aren’t using Logos, you could use a concordance to find every time a person’s name occurs in the Bible and then look at the entries for the other person and compare the references. This would be a time-consuming task and you don’t know if your results will help you understand the passage.

    A better strategy is to use a Bible dictionary. Some include sections about the interactions between central characters in Scripture. For instance, this article on Satan from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, states “Jesus’ teaching reflects the existence of the devil as an active enemy…. part of the devil’s work is to cause a person to neglect the message of the kingdom of God… and wicked people are called followers or children of the devil.” The article includes other Scripture references where Jesus and Satan interact.

    Person Inline Search

    Let’s use Logos to find every place a Bible character appears, even when that person’s name isn’t specifically mentioned. We’ve noticed in Matthew 4 that Satan is called different names.

  • He’s called “the tempter,” the “devil,” and “Satan.” Why did Matthew use these different names throughout the story? I’ll leave answering that question up to you when you get to the work of interpretation, but I do suggest using the Lexham Theological Wordbook to help come up with an answer. The Lexham Theological Wordbook includes articles on many theologically significant words in the Bible. The entry on Satan has a concept summary, a theological overview, and information on the words used in the Bible for the topic it is covering. The Lexham Theological Wordbook says, “The NT primarily relies on two words to describe Satan: Σατανᾶς (Satanas) and διάβολος (diabolos). The form Σατανᾶς represents the personal name for Satan, while διάβολος (diabolos, ‘slanderer’) usually refers to Satan, but frequently is translated as ‘the devil.’ Both Hebrew and Greek also employ nouns related to inimical activities such as lying and deceiving that are important for the biblical concept of Satan.”

    Matthew’s use of multiple names does bring up a good point. If we are searching the Bible for a person, how do we make sure all references to them appear in our results if they are called by different names? Often times the more important a person is to a biblical story, the more names the Bible uses. For example, the Bible uses multiple names for Abraham, Moses, and David. Jesus has even more names. Pronouns make it even more difficult because they need context to find out to whom they refer. With Logos, we can find every reference to a biblical character with ease, regardless of the name or pronoun used in a specific text.

    Let’s right-click on “tempter” and select “Satan: Person.” From the left-hand side of the context menu we can run a Factbook report, look for maps associated with Satan, and open Bible dictionaries straight to articles on this character. Let’s choose “Search: this resource (inline).” Choosing this option converts our Bible into a concordance with all of the rich functionality you’ve seen in action throughout this course. We can continue to right-click on our search results to find more information. Let’s add another person to our search by typing “NEAR Jesus,” choosing Jesus from the autocompleter, and pressing enter. This limits our results further. We can continue to narrow our search through additional search syntax. We can find additional search syntax when we click on the search icon and look at all of the suggestions in the different searches. We can also find a lot of help by looking at the help manual included in our library. We can simply click on the question mark in the upper right and choose “Logos Bible Software Help.” There’s a whole article on searching.

    Within our results for Satan NEAR Jesus, we notice a couple of things. First, our results include a lot of pronouns. The only way to know to whom a pronoun refers is by reading the context, and the scholars at Logos have done that for us. Also notice, that Logos has included different names of the two persons we searched for.

    In Matthew 6:13, very soon after the temptation, Jesus prays to His Father that He would deliver Jesus and His followers from the evil one. This may be new information to us, because many of us have memorized this phrase in the Lord’s example prayer as “deliver us from evil.” Many modern interpreters believe a better translation is “deliver us from the evil one.”

    In 2 Corinthians 6:15, Paul highlights the immense distinction between Jesus and Satan. It’s interesting that he uses the name Belial since it’s not a common name for Satan in the Bible. Hebrews 2:14 and 1 John 3:8 link our salvation with Jesus’ destruction of Satan as the reason for

  • the incarnation. Revelation 12:10-11 sums up the ultimate conclusion of Jesus and Satan’s relationship: Christ will throw him down.

    Later in the course, we’ll see that the temptation is Satan’s attempt to conquer Christ by offering Him things that rightfully should belong to Jesus. We recognize from our search, that later in the history of redemption, Jesus conquers Satan righteously with God’s blessing and in God’s way. Let’s add this to our notes file along with some of the references we’ve seen by right-clicking on verse 10, selecting the reference, and choosing to add a note to our Matthew 4 notes.


    Now it’s your turn to observe the actions of the characters in the passage:

    • Look into each of the words used for Satan in Matthew 4 and record the insights you find in your note file

    • Search for every time the Holy Spirit appears near Jesus in the Bible, observe the relationship between these two members of the Godhead, and record how their interaction in other passages helps us understand their interaction in Matthew 4

    Today, we focused on the interactions of the characters in the passage. Tomorrow we’ll focus on the words of one