With the release of Logos 9, I’d like to take a moment to share my 10 favorite Logos Bible Software features. I have been a long-time user of Logos and was privileged to participate in the Logos 9 beta. Some of these features are new, while others have been around forever.
- Discounted books. Books are a preacher’s tools. What a hammer is to a carpenter, books are to a preacher. Books are expensive. Logos makes them less so. In packages, books are often about 10% of what they would be if you paid full price. I did this video on how to save money on Logos books. https://youtu.be/XGd6OogfVvY
- Depth of Library. Books are only valuable if you can afford Further they are only valuable if you can find them. Logos has an incredibly deep library available. I currently have 17,511 volumes and continue to find valuable resources to add to my library. You don’t want to start building a library only to discover that the book you want is not available on your platform. Logos recently bought out WordSearch. All my old WordSearch books are being added to my Logos library. Books that were not available are now available or soon will be. I don’t think any other platform has anything like the depth of library that is available on Logos.
- Personal books. I have written a few books of my own and Logos makes it easy for me to add them to my Logos library. Why would I want to do that? Read the next point.
- Searchable. This is perhaps, the most useful feature of Logos. I was curious today about the source of the Jew’s messianic expectation. I know what Old Testament verses we turn to that predict the messiah, passages like Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. But, I don’t think the Jews thought of these as messianic passages. So, I do a search for “messianic expectations.” In less than a second, Logos returns 1,416 results from 1,236 articles in 645 resources. Now, let’s imagine I had a paper library of 17,511 volumes. How long would it take me to search through those books to find everything they say about messianic expectations? From here is it is just about narrowing the search to find the most helpful information. Logos can help with that as well.
You can do searches where you search for exact phrases or this word NEAR that or this word NOT that word etc. Templates are available to make this easier.
There is some talk that Logos 9 is faster than ever. I really can’t speak to this. A few months back I got a computer with an SSD. Logos runs so fast that if it is any faster I can’t tell the difference. To be perfectly honest, it was a little slow at times before I had an SSD. Now that I have this-generation hardware, speed is no longer and issue.
- Search books you don’t have. What if I search for something and don’t get any results? Or, maybe I just want more. I write Bible Study Lessons for a living and constantly want more. (See https://www.mybiblestudylessons.com ) Logos recently added a feature where you can search their bookstore for key phrases. If I didn’t have any books on messianic expectation, I can search inside books I don’t own to find books to purchase. Complex searches inside books I don’t own. Wow.
- Bible Word Study. This was the feature that sold me on Logos. Let’s say I am studying Romans 12.13b, “Practice hospitality.” I right click on the word “practice” and choose the option that says, “Bible Word Study.” This graph shows up:
This shows how the underlying Greek word is translated in other places in the NIV. (Many other translations are keyed to Strong’s so that you can do this in many other translations.) Another click and you can open a Bible dictionary to the appropriate place to read more. In this case, the word that is translated “practice” is usually translated “persecute.” It was a strong word. It was used of a hunter chasing its prey or a runner pushing his chest toward the tape. Paul used it in Philippians when he wrote, “I press on…” The key thing I want to point out is the speed at which this information is available. Because the English translations are hand-coded to the original Greek and Hebrew it makes searches possible (and lightning fast) that would be tedious and painstaking when done the old way. Not only is the vocabulary tied to the Greek and Hebrew, the type of word (noun, verb, etc.) and tense and form of word is hand-coded by language scholars so that all this information is searchable as well.
- Commentaries are the staple of the preacher’s study. How long would it take you to pull down 20 commentaries and open them to the appropriate page? In Logos, each commentary is only a click away. You can sort them according to your priority so that your favorites show up first. New to Logos 9: you can sort commentaries by author, type, denomination, era and more.
Leon Morris has written commentaries in multiple series, for example. I could tag all the Leon Morris commentaries across multiple series written by Leon Morris.
- Graphics. If you are a communicator, you probably care about visuals. Logos 9 has a new feature that allows you to visualize the prevalence of words by book. I found it interesting the word “Kingdom” is quite common in the synoptics but rarely used in John.
Let’s say I am studying John 15.1 – 17. In one click I can generate this graphic that shows the key words. The more often a word is used the bigger it appears in the graphic.
All these words are clickable. One click and each of the occurrences shows up.
- Sympathetic highlighting. When turned on you can hover over a word (or click if you prefer) and every other occurrence of that word shows up. Brilliant.
- Depth of features. Logos has a ton of features that I never use. But, I am glad to know they are there. My study may take me down a different path in the future and I may need features in the future that don’t call to me today.
I saw a post on Facebook the other day: What advice would you give to a young preacher? One good answer is this: begin investing in a Logos Library of books.