Five Things I Like About Logos

Of the five Bible software programs I own, none provides the variety of powerful built-in tools for equipping a layperson like myself (and maybe you) for serious Bible study like the one from Logos. While most of their nine library packages seem primarily geared for pastors or pastors-to-be (Bible college or seminary students) and many of their add-on resources are of a “scholarly” nature, the meat-and-potatoes functionality of their core software will allow anyone to easily dig into the Bible with greater understanding, even from the original Greek and Hebrew texts, than they ever thought possible.

That said, from a layperson’s perspective of looking for easier ways to experience and explore God’s Word, here are five things that I really like about


1) THE PASSAGE GUIDE

Logos’ Passage Guide is probably the feature I both use and appreciate the most. In a nutshell, you simply type in a Bible reference (i.e. “Mark 5:1-20”) and the Passage Guide will search your library and display a well-organized report of resources related to your Bible passage in study-relevant categories, including:

  • Commentaries
  • Cross References
  • Parallel Passages
  • Biblical People
  • Biblical Places
  • Biblical Things
  • Topics
  • Interesting Words
  • …and more

Simply review the resources it found, jump directly to a specific one with just a click of the mouse and your studying has begun. It truly is like having your own research assistant. (Watch their video on the Passage Guide.)


2) SPECIALTY RESOURCES

While every Bible software company has a collection of resources that are either part of a base package or that can be added to your library later, Logos has one of the largest, if not the largest at over 12,000 resources, (per their About Us page). While a vast majority of the resources were originally published in hard copy before being converted into an ebook format and tagged with code for the software’s built-in research/study tools, a handful of very unique resources have also been created from scratch by members of the Logos team. The one that has impacted my Bible study experience the most is the Lexham High Definition New Testament. Suffice it to say that this study tool, based on the ESV translation, let’s me actually see the nuances of Greek grammar and emphasis that can too easily and too often get lost in translation.  It has literally transformed the way I study the New Testament. (Other “original” resources include the High Definition Commentary of Philippians and their biggest project of this type to date, the 44-volume Evangelical Exegetical Commentary.)


3) ONLINE TRAINING & SUPPORT

Logos does a simply amazing job of providing its users with practical support options for better understanding a feature or function of their software. Probably the one I use most often and find the easiest and fastest is their video support section.  Simply select your operating system and then choose from their large collection of both professionally crafted training videos and videos created by experienced Logos users. While this support option should meet most people’s needs, you can also explore other online options, such as the knowledge-base article library, their User Forum, their Blog, and even their user-maintained Wiki pages. (Check out the Detailed Search Help page as an example of both the type of help the Wiki provides and the complex power of Logos’ search feature.)


4) MULTIPLE PLATFORMS

After having spent years developing and improving the PC (Windows) version of the core software engine and interface, Logos introduced a totally rebuilt version of their software (version 4) for both Windows and Mac in late 2009. After that came an iPhone/iPod version, then one for iPad, and most recently a version for devices running the Android operating system, (which is my portable OS of choice). If you have Logos on multiple devices, the resources will actually sync-up, meaning that you can exit a specific resource on your computer at home and then pick up right where you left off on a mobile device while waiting for a prescription to be filled, for example. You can even access most of your resources (some are restricted due to licensing agreements) from any computer with an Internet connection by going to Logos’ Biblia.com web site. With all those options, I still, personally, prefer to do a bulk of my Bible study using Logos on my laptop, (mainly because many of the study tools on the other platforms are somewhat limited or missing completely), but greatly appreciate the freedom and flexibility of having access to my library of Bibles and books pretty much any time, any where.


5) CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT/IMPROVEMENT

When Logos first introduced the significantly improved Version 4.0 of their software almost two years ago, it was missing some basic features, such as the ability to print any of your resources. While this type of omission was frustrating for many, it was never really a concern for most users, as they knew from experience that the folks at Logos always seem to be in development mode, adding new features and improving functionality. In fact, in the 21 months since Logos first introduced Version 4.0, there have been two major updates, (i.e. 4.0 to 4.1), with a third (v.4.3) about to go “gold” any day now. In addition to these more significant releases, Logos has issued seven incremental updates, (i.e. 4.0a to 4.0b), consisting mostly of smaller, but still welcome bug fixes and minor enhancements. Best of all, Logos doesn’t charge the user for any of these updates, unlike most other Bible software companies that seem to release a “new and improved” version almost yearly for a discounted, but still significant (at least for my wallet) upgrade charge.


HONORABLE MENTION

  • Exegetic/Word Study Tools
  • Detailed Search Capabilities
  • Exceptional Use of Infographics


LINKS

[Blog Author’s Note: In the “timing is everything” department, Logos announced the official release of version 4.3 of their Bible software shortly after I posted this. The most notable (and anticipated) new feature is the inclusion of a re-engineered Personal Book Builder at no charge. (The version for 3.x had a fee to use it.) Personal Book Builder does exactly what it says and I’m looking forward to playing with it, (I mean trying it out), in the days ahead, anticipating that it will be a great addition to the many things (lots more than five, actually) that I like about Logos Bible Software.]

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One Response to Five Things I Like About Logos

  1. Pingback: Five Things I Like About Logos | God's Word was Written to be … » Bible Study Lessons for Kids

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