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What are people saying about Verbum 6?

Verbum 6 introductory pricing ends in less than a week. We’ve spent a lot of time explaining the new features and telling you how excited we are.

Now, with prices going up on February 2, we thought we’d let other people tell you about Verbum 6. Feel free to click the citation to read the full review.

“I’ll admit — at first I was skeptical of it. I’m not a scholar, and even though I’m in full-time lay ministry, so much of what I do is practice-based: I teach people how to pray, not how to read Greek or interpret difficult Bible passages. So I wasn’t sure how this professional-grade software could really be useful for someone like me. Well, six months later I use Verbum every day. I repeat: every day.”
Carl McColman

“I can’t tell you how stunned I was when I first opened and explored Verbum. Navigation was a breeze. The library was huge and everything read very well. My library was on my phone, tablet, and computer. I was able to customize my home-page with daily updates on content that was relevant to me. Citations and creating references in Verbum saved a ton of time. I’m still learning more and more.”
Shaun McAfee

“Verbum provides a treasure trove of insights both on Scripture and on countless other faith-building resources, including the Church Fathers, Church councils, and the great saints and doctors of the Church. I use Verbum constantly, I am convinced of its value, and I enthusiastically recommend it to others.”
Jimmy Akin

Read even more endorsements here, then go get Verbum!

Celebrate the Genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, Part 4

Bloomsbury Studies on Thomas Aquinas is on pre-pub for 18% off!

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In his book, On Aquinas, Herbert McCabe tells the story of a propitious meeting between St. Thomas Aquinas and an Irishman named Peter (Petrus Hibernicus), who introduced St. Thomas to “some bewildering and exciting new thinking that was filtering in from Islamic sources” (1).

McCabe goes on to indicate that discovery of Aristotle’s method from these newly-translated sources was an intellectual turning point for Aquinas:

A whole  lot of texts of Aristotle were beginning to make their way through Naples into Europe, texts that nobody there had seen before.

Aristotle, a student and critical disciple of Plato, and a teacher of Alexander of Macedon, was a marine biologist who not only observed and classified his specimens but used the same methods in all sorts of other areas like physics, astronomy, the study of society, and of what makes human begins tick. He found time to invent logic in the modern sense, and moreover was intensely interested in what we would nowadays call philosophy of science—questions about what it means to pursue such studies, and questions about language itself and so on. Medieval Europe was being quite suddently hit by systematic scientific investigation and thinking. Many of Aristotles’s answers turned out to be wrong, but that didn’t matter. It was the method that mattered. This is what the young Aquinas fell in love with. One outstanding feature of it all was that it seemed completely subversive of Christianity, especially as it came through Christendom’s main enemy, Islam. This didn’t worry the Emperor too much but it must have presented an exciting challenge to Thomas. Anyway he spent much of his life painstakingly showing that if you found Aristotle right, broadly speaking, that didn’t mean you had to stop being a Christian; and indeed it sometimes helped you to express the Gospel (2).

Take advantage of the pre-pub savings for this 13-volume scholarly resource!

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The Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas by Benozzo Lozzoli, 1468-1484

Time is Running Out!

February 2 is your last day to take advantage of special introductory pricing on a Verbum 6 library!

Whether you’re upgrading from Verbum 5 or purchasing your first library, you’ll save 15% or more on any Verbum 6 library. Our 15% off introductory sale stacks with other discounts—like dynamic pricing—so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible price on our newest libraries.

Find the library that’s right for you at Verbum.com/Compare.

If you haven’t seen all the new tools and resources in Verbum 6, here’s a taste:

  • Factbook: Get comprehensive information on people, places, topics, and more.
  • Treasury of Sacred Art: Browse over 800 paintings and illustrations from the Church’s rich artistic heritage.
  • Cultural Concepts: See how Scripture influenced—and was influenced by—ancient culture.
  • Interactive Media: Sort the Psalms by author and genre, convert biblical weights and measures, and gain insight into what you’re reading.
  • And more!

To see all the new features, check out Verbum.com/6.

If you’re still on the fence about Verbum 6, don’t worry! With special introductory pricing, budget-friendly payment plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s nothing standing between you and smarter Scripture study.

Don’t miss out on introductory pricing—get a Verbum 6 library today.

Celebrate the Genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, Part 3

The Verbum monthly sale features several valuable resources from St. Thomas Aquinas, leading up to his feast day, January 28th.

Contemporary moral issues are considered by academics and experts in several fields from the Georgetown University Press Aquinas Studies Collection, specially priced through the end of January!

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This 4-volume set has been highly praised. Here’s a review of The Ethics of Aquinas, edited by Stephen J. Pope:

[A] must have for every theology library and an invaluable resource for moral theologians, philosophers, and students alike. Pope has gathered some of the best Thomistic scholars and ethicists in Europe and America to contribute to this book.

Horizons

Included in the set is Aquinas on the Emotions, lauded by Jean Porter,  John A. O’Brien Professor of Theological Ethics at the University of Notre Dame:

Diana Cates’ book thus fills a real need, offering us a comprehensive, reliable, and engagingly clear guide to Aquinas’ complex theory, firmly placed within the wider context of his thought. What is more, by comparing Aquinas’ account with that of central contemporary theories of the emotions, she draws Aquinas into our own conversations, where he proves to be a surprisingly illuminating interlocutor. This fine book makes an important contribution both to Aquinas studies and to contemporary religious ethics and moral philosophy, and it deserves, and I expect it to have, wide influence.

Be sure to take advantage of the savings and add to your library now!

Celebrate the Genius of St. Thomas Aquinas, Part 2

The Verbum monthly sale is featuring several works of St Thomas Aquinas.

Here’s an excerpt from Commentary on the Gospel of John: Chapters 1-5, part of the 8-volume set, Thomas Aquinas in Translation.

Get a hint of the capacious and lucid intellect of St. Thomas in his Prologue to the Gospel of John:

I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the whole house was full of his majesty, and the things that were under him filled the temple (Is. 6:1)

These are the words of a contemplative, and if we regard them as spoken by John the Evangelist they apply quite well to showing the nature of this Gospel. For as Augustine says in his work, On the Agreement of the Evangelists: “the other  Evangelists instruct us in their Gospels on the active life; but John in his Gospel instructs us also on the contemplative life.”

The contemplation of John is described above in three ways, in keeping with the threefold manner in which he contemplated the Lord Jesus. It is described as high, full, and perfect. It is high: I saw the Lord seated on a lofty throne; it is full: and the whole house was full of his majesty; and it was perfect; and the things that were under him filled the temple.

As to the first, we must understand that the height and sublimity of contemplation consists most of all in the contemplation and Knowledge of God: “Lift up your eyes on  high, and see who has created these things” (Is. 40:26). A man lifts up his eyes on high when he sees and contemplates the Creator of all things. Now since John rose above whatever had been created—mountains, heavens, angels—and reached the Creator of all, as Augustine says, it is clear that his contemplation was most high. Thus, I saw the Lord. And because, as John himself says below (12:41), “Isaiah said this because he had seen his glory,” that is, the glory of Christ, “and spoke of him,” the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne is Christ.

Now a fourfold height is height is indicated in this contemplation of John. A height of authority; hence he says, I saw the Lord. A height of eternity; when he says, seated. One of dignity, or nobility of nature; so he says, on a high throne. And a height of incomprehensible truth; when he says, lofty. It is in these four ways that the early philosophers arrived at the knowledge of God.

 

 

 

We Have a Winner!

After receiving over 3,000 entries in the Verbum Christmas Giveaway, we’ve randomly selected our winner. Howard Diehl is the happy recipient of an iPad mini and a Verbum 6 Scholar library!

Howard is doing missionary work with the “Communautés et Assemblées Evangéliques”—a non-Catholic Christian group operating in France. We asked him to share a few words about his work and how his plans to use Verbum. Read his story below:

 My name is Howard Diehl, and along with my wife Dona, we’ve been working with two English-speaking international churches in Grenoble, France since 2006.

I’ve served as an elder, a teaching pastor, and in many other capacities as well. Besides the English-speaking churches, Dona and I have a ministry with university students, especially Chinese students.

Currently I am working as a pastor, leading a team to replant one of the English-speaking churches here in Grenoble.

Winning the iPad and software is a welcome surprise.  A very important part of my preaching and teaching is finding the original context for the text at hand, especially the Greek and Hebrew texts.

I am also a great proponent of the Church Fathers’ significance for us today and the way their writings can inform our work in the culture of France. I find the first four centuries of the writings of the Church Fathers especially pertinent to our task here.

I look forward to having access to the multitude of tools that Verbum offers.

Thank you for this wonderful surprise! It is greatly appreciated and will be used with much joy!

A hearty congratulations to Howard, and many thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time—you’ll be the first to know about future Verbum giveaways and promotions! Stay tuned to the Verbum Blog, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

 

Celebrate the Genius of St. Thomas Aquinas During the Month of January

The Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas is January 28th, and Verbum is celebrating with sales on Aquinas texts and scholarship in the Verbum Monthly Sale.

Here’s an excerpt from British Dominican scholar Aidan Nichols’ Discovering Aquinas: An Introduction to His Life, Work, and Influence:

Aristotle had asked, fundamentally, two questions. What is reality like, and what are the rules of argument which get us from one conclusion about it to another? The first kind of question is answered in his Physics, Metaphysics and Ethics; the second in his logical writings, the Organon, a name we can paraphrase as ‘the philosopher’s tools of trade’. The latter had been percolating through, in dribs and drabs, for some time, but a logical rule is empty unless you have some content for it to deal with, and it was the philosophical and ethical writings that caused the stir. In them, the different kinds of things in the world around us, including man, are analysed in terms of general principles of being and action which all beings in different ways exemplify; happiness is said to be the goal of specifically human life; it is reached by the exercise of virtues which are ways of being at harmony with myself and my human environment. There is little in Aristotle about the divine, for the philosopher lacked the concepts both of creation and of the personal nature of God, even if he saw a place for an unmoved Mover to keep the whole cosmic process of coming-to-be and passing-out-of-being in operation.
Thomas’s achievement was to integrate such naturalism into the traditional Christian vision of life which the earlier monastic theologians entertained. In the early Middle Ages theology had been by and large the spiritual theology practised in the monasteries. While issues of logic were beginning to exercise monastic minds (one thinks of St Anselm), and such ruminations on the fundamental grammar of theological discourse were even more at home in cathedral schools, the aim was predominantly (not least in Anselm) the expression of the prayerful orientation of man to God. Preferred theological themes were closely relevant to spiritual living: religious self-knowledge, one’s status as creature and sinner; the grace of Christ and how it heals from sin and raises up to share the life of God; the goal of earthly pilgrimage in the beatific vision, sitting down with the Trinity at the banquet of heaven in the celestial city. Monastic theology, so well described in Dom Jean Leclerq’s The Love of Learning and the Desire for God, included, as that title tells us, ardour for erudition. The same monastic milieux transmitted, after all, much of the pagan classical inheritance as well as the Church Fathers. It was Thomas’s conviction, evidently, that this programme could be taken much further. The naturalism of the pagans at their best—the thinking, both theoretical and practical, of the ‘good pagans’—could be textured into the fabric of Christian theology, without losing—and here is the point that Thomas’s more rationalist disciples in later centuries were in danger of forgetting—the spiritual and eschatological (in a word, the heavenly) orientation of theology itself (14-15).

Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas by Francis de Zurburan, 1631.

Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas by Francis de Zurburan, 1631.

 

Verbum Visitors from Rome

Verbum was blessed to finish 2014 and begin 2015 with a week-long visit  from Fr. Devin Roza and Fr. Andrew Dalton. These priests are power users of the software, and are currently studying Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and Biblical Studies at the Holy Cross Biblical Institute, respectively. Some of you may recognize the name Fr. Devin Roza from the forums, where he eagerly helps new users and shares his own personal tips and tricks. Verbum recently published Fr. Roza’s book, Fulfilled in Christ: The Sacraments.

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During the week of December 29–January 1, they were quite busy. They met with lead developers and the president of Faithlife, Bob Pritchett. They spent considerable time with Deacon Kevin Bagley, Director of Verbum, and got to meet the whole Verbum team (I’m remiss for not having captured that moment). They were even willing to stay late one day to film some video endorsements, which will appear on the website in the next few months.

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We all had a blast, and I know we’ll be able to make the software even better because of their contributions. Thanks, Fathers!

Are you interested in meeting the Verbum team? You don’t have to be a power user to come see us. Check out our Contact page and see how you can “contact us” in person!

The Feast of St. John the Evangelist

The Church celebrated the feast of St. John the Evangelist on December 27th. Since St. John’s feast day is so close to Christmas, we decided to wait a little while to feature him in our blog.

To give St. John his due, here is an excerpt from Verbum’s Navarre Bible: Saint John’s Gospel, “The Relationship between the Gospel of St. John and the Synoptic Gospels:”

If we enter St John’s Gospel after reading the Synoptics, we sense that we are entering a different atmosphere. Even in the prologue the evangelist soars towards the heights of divinity. It is not surprising that St John is symbolized by an eagle. The evangelist “soars very high, mounts beyond the darkness of the earth and fixes his gaze on the light of truth …(St. Augustine, On the Gospel of John 15,1).

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The Eagle of St. John the Evangelist by Andrei Rublev, c. 1400.

[...]
St John himself gives us one reason why his Gospel is different. He says that it is a testimony to what he has seen and heard. Rather than speak of evangelizing or preaching, the Fourth Gospel prefers to use “testify” or “bear witness” or “teach”. Thus, he presents the preaching of the Baptist as an instance of testimony to Christ (cf. Jn 1:7, 19, 32, 34; 3:26; 5:33). Our Lord is always the object of this testimony, which comes from different directions in the Fourth Gospel: first and foremost, it comes from the Father who has sent Jesus to bear witness to him (cf. Jn 5:37)… [...]

Another unusual feature of St John’s Gospel is that it is a “spiritual gospel,” in the words of Clement of Alexandria (on account of which St John has been called “the theologian”). This refers to John’s desire to explore and explain the deeper meaning of Jesus’ words and actions. In St John’s account our Lord usually begins his teachings with an intriguing remark or question, to awaken the curiosity of his listeners, and then moves on to explain some point of doctrine. For example, in the case of Nicodemus, when he speaks about being born again; or his conversation with the Samaritan woman about living water: what Jesus is saying obviously means much more than one would get from a first glance at the text. In fact, it is only when the Holy Spirit comes that the disciples grasp the full meaning of the Master’s words (cf. Jn 14:26)… The Master, when he sees they cannot grasp his meaning, consoles them by promising the “Spirit of truth,” who will guide them into all the truth (Jn 16:13).[...]

St John insists that he “has seen” all this; that he has “touched” it with his hands (Jn 1:14; 19:35; 1 Jn 1:2). After a lifetime of preaching and prayer, it is only logical that he should see it all from a deeper, clearer perspective. St Augustine is right when he says that St John “soared beyond the flesh, soared beyond the earth which he trod, beyond the seas which he saw, beyond the air where birds fly; soared beyond the sun, beyond the moon and the stars, beyond all spirits which are unseen, beyond his own intelligence and the very reason of his thinking soul. Soaring beyond all these, beyond his very self, where did he reach, what did he see? ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’” (St. Augustine, On the Gospel of John 20,13) Therefore, what he narrates, far from contradicting what we read in the Synoptics, takes it as read, and fills it out.

St John on Patmos by Joannes Gleismuller, 1490.

St John on Patmos by Joannes Gleismuller, 1490.

Feast of the The Epiphany

The Verbum Christmas Sale ends tomorrow! Don’t miss out—check out Verbum.com/Christmas

Every year, on the twelveth day after Christmas—this year, January 6th—the church celebrates the feast of the Epiphany.

From Scott Hahn’s Catholic Bible Dictionary:

MAGI Ancient wise men who were specialists in dream interpretation, astrology, and sometimes magic. In the Septuagint, the Greek term magoi is given to the Babylonian court magicians called in to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams (Dan 1:20; 2:2, 10, 27). In the New Testament, a “magi” once refers to a practitioner of occult magic (Acts 13:6). More significantly, the name “magi” was given to the foreign dignitaries who traveled to Palestine from the east to pay homage to the infant Jesus. These are often identified with members of a priestly caste from Persia who specialized in dream analysis and astrology (see, e.g., the description in Herodotus, Hist. 1.101). Their occupation explains their interest in unusual astral phenomena (the star of Bethlehem), and their origin makes them the first Gentiles to recognize and give reverence to the Kingship of Christ.
On the basis of the Old Testament (cf. Ps 72:10; Isa 49:7; 60:3, 6) the tradition arose that the Magi were three kings, even though Matthew does not state their number. The idea that there were three of them is inferred from the three gifts, and the idea that they were kings arises from OT prophetic texts (Ps 72:10–11; Isa 60:3, 6). Christian legend names them Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior. Later interpreters attached a symbolic meaning to the three gifts: gold, because Jesus was a King; frankincense, because he was God; and myrrh, because he became a mortal man.

Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna, 1500.

Adoration of the Magi by Andrea Mantegna, 1500.

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