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Feasting on the Word Commentary for Preachers (more thoughts)

December 5, 2013

Feasting on the Word

Whether the sermon is five minutes long or forty-five, it is the congregation’s one opportunity to hear directly from their pastor about what life in Christ means and why it matters.

–Feasting on the Word

Since getting it in Logos, I’ve been reading Feasting on the Word as a regular part of my sermon preparation each week. I describe the commentary series here.

Feasting on the Word is a lectionary-based commentary series in 12-volumes, four volumes for each of three years of the lectionary. Each Sunday has theological, pastoral, exegetical, and homiletical “perspectives” from which a variety of contributors assesses the texts. Feasting on the Word covers the OT, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel readings each week.

As to the contributors, the publisher’s product page notes:

The editors of these resources are from a wide variety of disciplines and religious traditions. These authors teach in colleges and seminaries. They lead congregations by preaching or teaching. They write scholarly books as well as columns for newspapers and journals. They oversee denominations. In all of these capacities and more, they serve God’s Word, joining in the ongoing challenge of bringing that Word to life.

Noting a few contributors will give a sense of the diversity of perspective in the commentary:

  • Paul J. Achtemeier, Jackson Professor of Biblical Interpretation Emeritus, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia
  • Michael B. Curry, Bishop, Diocese of North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Paul Simpson Duke, Co-Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Stacey Simpson Duke, Co-Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Edith M.Humphrey, William F. Orr Professor of New Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Barbara Brown Taylor, Butman Professor of Religion, Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia
  • Frank A. Thomas, Senior Servant, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Memphis, Tennessee
  • David Toole, Associate Dean, Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina

Here’s what a Feasting on the Word volume looks like in Logos on a laptop or desktop, next to a couple of other (not included) resources. Click to expand or open the image in new tab, and see my corresponding notes below.

Feasting on the Word in Logos with notes

(1) User annotations: Highlighting and making notes is easy–you can mark up the texts with various styles. Like Amazon’s Kindle app, the annotations made on one machine or device sync with other machines or devices. The note and highlights made above were done on an iPad and popped up automatically when I opened Logos on a computer. Logos is probably the most robust e-reader on the market in this sense.

(2) Hyperlinks: You can hover over a hyperlink for a pop-up with more info, or click on it to be taken to the biblical text (or footnote) that it references.

(3) Expandable/collapsable Table of Contents: Logos is not unique in offering this, but it does make it easy to quickly navigate between passages or “perspectives” on a given Sunday.

(4) Sync with other resources in Logos library: This is simple to set up. I can have Feasting on the Word open next to the full biblical text and other commentaries and resources.

(5) A single Sunday: on the left navigation sidebar you can see what a single Sunday looks like.

(6) Paused indexing: one challenge in using Logos is its frequent need to index. This optimizes searches, and it varies due to a user’s library size, but especially on a Mac, where Logos can already be sluggish compared to other apps, it slows the rest of the computer down. If I’m working on a sermon and using Logos, Accordance, Kindle, and Google Drive or Pages, for example, I almost always have to pause indexing to be able to keep working efficiently. I tend to resume indexing when I don’t need to use Logos.

I continue to find the “Homiletical Perspective” and “Preaching Perspective” the most useful parts of the commentary. The sections I’ve read offer a variety of vantage points and are creative and imaginative on a fairly consistent basis. In my third and final part of this review series, I’ll interact more in-depth with the content of the series.

Thanks to Logos Bible Software for the review copy of Feasting on the Word (12 vols.). Find it here. The publisher’s page for the series is here. You can find my other Logos reviews here.

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