With the right tools, you can make every minute count.
It started 15 years ago when I bought a Bible study package from Logos. I’d used several other Bible software packages, but Logos was lifechanging.
Following the initial tutorials, I was finding words and phrases in English and original languages, comparing views in commentaries, and pursuing cross-references and themes faster than I could type. I was adding highlights and searchable notes as I read. In one hour, I could complete what previously took a whole morning.
Each year I add more resources, gradually building a library for everything I need for my research into the kingdom of God. That includes:
- Bibles connected in English, Hebrew, and Greek.
- Lexicons that identify the range of meanings of Hebrew and Greek words, and show how they were used in different contexts, by different writers, and in the extra-Biblical world.
- Commentaries that explain how the Bible’s books have been understood across church history, in different cultures, eras, traditions, and perspectives.
- Background studies of the social, political, geographical and demographic setting of the world of the Bible.
- Theologies from different times and perspectives, both Systematic (using standard categories), Biblical (rising from the text), and Topical (addressing just one theme).
- Cross-reference resources that identify connections between texts as the narrative of Scripture develops.
- Ancient texts and histories that facilitate comparisons between the world of the Bible and surrounding regions from Sumer to Qumran.
- Church histories that recount how the church has implemented the mission revealed in Scripture.
- Dictionaries that explain key terms and summarize key themes, focused on the Bible or a specific theme or era.
- Journals and monographs on specific topics: interpretation, preaching, pastoral care, discipleship, spiritual formation, church management, leadership, counselling, ethics, worship, the arts, politics, apologetics, philosophy, denominational distinctives and other religions.
Where to start
Logos runs on Mac or PC, on phone or tablet (iOS or Android), or in a browser. For best results, use a PC or Mac with a solid-state drive.
You can always start with something moderate, and upgrade later if you find it as worthwhile as I did.
How to upgrade
Logos 10 was released 10/10/22. You can upgrade from a previous version of Logos and keep all the books you own: new packages are dynamically priced so you won’t pay for them twice.
Why would you want Logos 10?
- A clean look. My first reaction to Logos 10 was joy at the clean and focused look. Having the toolbar on the left gives more vertical space for reading in every column (screenshot below). Everything felt familiar for me, but you can put the toolbar back at the top if you prefer (under Program Settings).
- Faster. Logos 10 loads faster and searches faster. It now has native support for Apple’s M1 and M2 processors.
- Search has changed. Logos has always had powerful searching, allowing you to combine Boolean operators, set notation, morphological and keyword data. It took some time to learn them all, so Logos 10 has simplified the search model, and it shows lots of examples in the search window.
- Factbook. This tool puts a great deal of information at your fingertips: background information, definitions, cross-references, people, places, things, and timelines. Church history data has been added to Factbook in Logos 10.
- Advanced Timeline. Logos 10 Bronze and above includes an extensive visual timeline that you can filter to see what you need: by era or date range; by a Bible book or historical event; by a person or subject.
- Auto Translate: In Gold and above, you can right-click text in a foreign language and choose Translate. For example, the opening sentence of this German book — Kleines Wörterbuch Zum Neuen Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1997) — reads:
Dieses kleine Wörterbuch ist entstanden aus den langjährigen Erfahrungen weltweiter Übersetzungsarbeit am Neuen Testament.
This small dictionary is the result of many years of experience in translating the New Testament from all over the world.
- Print library catalog. In Gold and above, you can scan the barcode of your paper books, and include them in your searches. You can’t read them in Logos of course, but they will show up in your Library (details view) distinguished as License:none.
- Import sermons. The Sermon Manager lets you prepare and present sermons in Logos, and search them later. Logos 10 Silver and above has the capacity to import your existing sermons from Microsoft Word.
- Text to speech. iOS and Android devices can now play audio for most books.
Ready to commit?
Decided which Logos 10 to choose?
The initial offer from Logos was 30% off our first order, so I chose Academic Pro and Verbum Academic Pro. That gave me the full feature upgrade, EGGNT (13-vol) and several of the Oxford Handbooks series. Then I added Standard Starter, Anglican Bronze, and Methodist Bronze. All up, it was just over US $300 for 66 new commentaries, 50 monographs, and several other resources including Joel Willitts’ course on Galatians.
Worth it? It is if you use it. Every workman enjoys using quality tools of trade, the ones that make you most productive.
Seeking to understand Jesus in the terms he chose to describe himself: son of man (his identity), and kingdom of God (his mission). Riverview Church, Perth, Western Australia
View all posts by Allen Browne
Used with permission of the author, Allen Browne.