Review Logos 4.2 versus WordSearch 9

I am a long time WordSearch user and have recently purchased the Scholars Library (plus a few other things) in Logos. The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the two programs.

Things I like about LOGOS

More extensive library. WordSearch's most expensive package is $349. Logos's is $4,290. I am not sure that tells the whole story, however. I have purchase several thousand dollars in WordSearch books over the last several years for use in Good Questions Have Groups Talking. Still, I think Logos has a much more extensive Library. Some of the works I have that were not available in WordSearch are the Preacher's Commentary, The Message Commentary, Tyndale Commentary and Nelson Illustrated Bible Commentary. Still to purchase: Word Biblical Commentary. Logos also has some great sets by Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and John MacArthur.

The language tools are awesome. Really quick to get at "Where else was this Greek word used". You wouldn't have to know anything about Greek or Hebrew to take advantage of this.

Free IPhone/ ITouch App. This is actually what sucked me in. You can download a free app with quite a bit of content. Everything you buy for your computer can be viewed on the mobile device. With WordSearch you buy a separate app. I can't tell you what it does to the soul of an old Greek Geek to have the entire TDNT (Kittle). Little Kittle is thrown in as well. I wish there were a quick and easy way to say, "Send all these to my ITouch." Because I have an ITouch and not an IPhone, I am only connected to the Internet when I have Wi-Fi. For this reason, I want a lot of books on my device. IPhone users with a data plan could get them any time they wanted.

Logos has a really cool Bible reading plan creator. I created a plan to read through the gospels in 6 weeks; it divides it into daily readings. You can define what Bible, how long, how many days a week. You can even export to Outlook if you want to.

I really like the reverse Interlinear. To be fair, they have this in WordSearch, I just didn't realize how much I would like it. It is thrown in on the deal in LOGOS. Half dozen or so Bibles come with this feature. In WS you pay $120 (sale price; regular $229 and you only get one translation: HCSB. Curiously NCSB is not available in LOGOS reverse interlinear.) Here is what I love about it:

With a traditional interlinear, you have the Greek text with each word translated into English. Great. Only problem is, in the Greek Word order, it makes almost no sense. I am reading now in the ESV, with the Greek word below each English word. I know about half the Greek words. I am thinking this is going to really help me review my Greek. Want more info?  It is all about 3 clicks away. You can get usage of the word--how it is translated in other places. Or, you can get similar Greek words. You can look in up in Vines or Kittle. All just a couple of clicks away.

Logos has a cool way of prioritizing resources. You can tell it that you would rather see the Preachers Commentary before  the Word Commentary. You can tell it you prefer Kittle to Vine or David Jeremiah before Charles Stanley. You put the resources in the order you want them to show up in a search.

Search this resource. This seems so simple, I don't know why WS doesn't have it. Hit control F (as in find; just like a browser or in Word) and you can search that resources. Quick; efficient. Of course, you can search one resource in WS, but you are a few clicks away from doing it.

Information. I just discovered this one tonight by watching a 2 minute video on the Logos site. Open up the information box and as you hover over each word in the text the information box returns an amazing array of information about that word. No clicking required. Just follow along with your curser as you read and dictionary information and what not shows up in the Information box. Way cool.

Things I like about WordSearch

There are some books available in WordSearch that are not available through Logos, Holman Old Testament Commentary is one example of a series available in WordSearch not available in Logos.

Snappier. This is a pretty big deal. With Logos, you feel like you are working in Molasses. If you are in the mood to get to something and get to in quick, WordSearch is clearly the program of choice. I have a 1 year old Dell Laptop i5 processor; 4 gig of ram. I am trying to decide which program I would buy a resource for if it were available in both.

One trick in speeding up both programs is to limit the number of resources you have open. Particularly cross-references in WS and Cited by in Logos seem to really bog things down. This tool looks for every place in your whole library where the particular reference is mentioned. As you scroll through verse after verse, it is continually recalculating. In Logos, because it is so slow, I close down everything I am not using.

I like the online information about books on WordSearch better. In most cases, the give you a sample to look at online. It is pretty hard to figure out what a book is like without reading a few pages.

I like the way the parallel Bibles works better. A question I often ask in Good Questions is: how does your Bible translate this verse? I always provide half a dozen or so example. But, I like to hand pick them from a number of examples.

Overall, I like how copying and pasting works better in WordSearch. Logos has a special box (read: extra steps) just for copying and pasting. I almost got a refund on Logos before I discovered this extra step.

Overall, WS is simpler and seems easier to use. Maybe I am just more used to it. Both programs have pretty extensive videos to help you get up to speed. I recommend this. These programs are powerful but the power is not always obvious. I also try to discipline myself try various things. Click, double click, right click--just see what happens.

In WS in the NASB if you double click on a Word and the NASB Dictionary comes up to the right place. This resource can be linked to various other dictionaries that will all be open to the right entry. Way cool. But, it doesn't work in every translation. (I think just KJV and NASB). So, you can double click in one translation and nothing happens and you assume nothing will happen in others. I actually discovered this through a FREE Teleconferencing training that WS offers. I plan to spend a good deal of time watching LOGOS videos to try to get conversant with the program. I may brush up on my WS skills as well.

Minimize one window. Let's say you one window of Bible versions. You want to get it out of the way temporarily so you can have more room to read the commentary. In WS you hit a minimize button and it moves out of the way. You can get it back when you are finished reading. In Logos you can define the whole lay out and get back there. You can also grab the slider between windows and make one really small. I just want to be able and close that window. WS works better at this.

Things I wish were in some program

Someday, I will be able to import my Kindle books into a Bible program. That will be a good day. You can search on Kindle, but it is slow. I have about 450 books and it keeps getting slower. There is a computer app that you can search individual books, but I want to be able to search all books: fast.

Things great about both programs

A communicator is only as good as his tools. Back in the day it was the an office full of paper books. Today, the toolof choice is a hard drive full of Biblical resources. Both of these programs will do a great job of improving your Bible Study and thus your teaching and preaching.