Emmaus Journal, Summer 2004, pp. 168-171
Logos Bible Software Series X-Scholar’s Library Silver Edition (QB)
Logos Research Systems, Inc., Bellingham, WA, USA, 2004.
http://www.logos.com. (800) 875-6467. $999.95.
Christian Home Library, $149.95. Bible Study Library, $249.95.
Pastor’s Library, $299.95. Original Languages Library, $399.95.
Scholar’s Library, $599.95. Scholar’s Library-Silver Ed., $999.95.
Since its inception in 1992, Logos has been steadily providing serious Bible students with the tools and texts necessary to help them get the most out of their Bible study. With the introduction of five Series X library collections in 2001, Logos led Bible study software into a new age, offering dozens of Bibles and hundreds of commentaries, Bible dictionaries, word study resources and much more--all easily accessed by typing in a passage or topic and pressing “Go.”
Now, Logos has launched new, vastly improved products for the Series X family. They have completely reworked the previous Series X collections to provide a wide range of tools to streamline Bible study, making time spent in the study more productive and accurate. This new addition of resources and search capabilities have dramatically increased Series X’s potential for becoming the Bible software of choice in homes, studies, missionary fields, and Bible colleges and seminaries around the world.
I first began using Series X primarily to aid me in my Greek exegesis, and it has been my research assistant every day since then. With the ability to search through my digital library of hundreds of books for topics, phrases, and verses in seconds, I have dramatically reduced time spent flipping pages and increased my time digging into God’s Word. At that time, other programs such as Gramcord, Bible Works and Accordance (for the Mac) were leading the market when it came to the study of the original languages. Yet the tradeoff was that they were not broad enough to meet the needs of the Bible student, missionary or full-time worker who was unable to build and transport large paper libraries. With the release of these redesigned collections, however, Logos now combines the ability to search for complex grammatical constructions in Greek or Hebrew with a wide array of library resources, all digitally stored for convenient access from a laptop or home pc.
Scholar’s Library-Silver Edition is the basis of this review, but Logos offers five other collections of varying size and capability to meet the needs and budgets of Bible students and missionaries, as well as the churches that support them. High-quality Bible software is a major investment, and the old adage, “you get what you pay for” certainly applies. But if you expect to pay handsomely for your Bible software, you should expect that software to perform at a high level. I have found that Series X has met my expectations, and more.
Series X is simple to install right out of the box; just load the installation disc and follow the on-screen instructions. Because Series X is a large program with multiple capabilities, I highly recommend the purchase of one additional product, the Morris Proctor User’s Guide (available on CD-ROM). This resource is available from Logos for a small fee, and will show you, step by step, how to get the most out of Series X, saving you valuable time and preventing potential frustration. If hard drive space is not a problem, then it is recommended that you load all the unlocked resources directly onto your computer. This allows rapid access to all your titles without having to change discs constantly.
Rather then give a run-down of arbitrarily chosen features which you can actually see demonstrated on Logos’ website (www.logos.com/demo), I have constructed several possible scenarios in which Bible students, teachers and missionaries may find themselves and how Logos Series X can aid them in their study.
Miguel, a student from Mexico attending Bible college in the United States, is just finishing his degree in biblical studies and is preparing to return to his country to begin full-time ministry. Over the past four years, he has become familiar with the school library and laments the fact that, when he returns home, he will no longer have access to the commentaries, dictionaries and Greek tools that have played such a large role in his studies. He has been unable to put together a sufficient library of paper books because he will not be able to ship them all home.
While browsing through a Christian magazine, Miguel comes across an advertisement for Logos Series X Bible software and decides to check out their website. After watching the demo, he realizes that Series X is the answer to his problem. With multiple Bibles, morphologically tagged Greek texts, commentaries and other tools, Miguel will be able to bring a very helpful library that will greatly enhance his ministry. When he discovers that Logos provides Spanish translations of many of the Bibles and commentaries, his choice is made. He places a call to his home assembly, and the elders agree to help him cover the cost of the Scholar’s Library (www.logos.com/scholars). A few weeks later, Miguel boards a plane for home, and opens his laptop to begin work on his first lesson, confident that everything that he needs to help him to accurately interpret the Bible is nestled on his hard drive.
For the past three years, Tom has been diligently laboring to translate the New Testament into the native language of one of the many Indian tribes deep in the Amazon. Gifted by God with a sharp mind and an uncanny ability to learn languages, Tom has been making good progress, but the rate is slow and painstaking. Accurate translation requires first an understanding of what the original said, before it can be translated into another language.
Once a week, a bush pilot makes a stop near Tom’s village to drop off supplies and to pick up mail. In the supplies, Tom discovers that his supporting church has provided him with a copy of Logos Series X Original Languages Library (www.logos.com/originallanguages). Along with the software, Tom’s church has also sent him the digitally-formatted Translator’s Handbook Series. Because of their bulk and their cost in print form, Tom had not been able to purchase the set when he was stateside, but he was familiar with them from his days at translator’s school, and knew them to be a goldmine of information and helps for the Bible translator.
Eagerly, Tom installs the new software onto his laptop. With the help of the Morris Proctor disc included in his church’s gift, Tom is soon performing complex searches of the biblical texts, aiding his understanding of the original language and forming the basis for his translation. The Translator’s Handbooks provide him with insights that he would otherwise have missed, and now he is nearing completion of the first translation of the New Testament in that particular tribe’s language.
The difficulties of getting the gospel to take hold in France are known all too well by fulltime missionaries, Brian and Françoise. The problem lies in getting the French people to give Bible study much of a chance. Being Logos users almost from its inception, and recognizing its ability to help the novice to dig into the Bible, the missionaries decide on a new plan. Networking with several churches in both France and the United States for the funds, Brian and Françoise purchase and install Logos Series X Scholar’s Library Silver Edition (www.logos.com/silver) on several computers in their church basement. The ability of Series X to integrate a wide range of languages allows the interface to be in French, removing a major obstacle to getting the French people to work with the program.
Brian and Françoise invite several of their unbelieving acquaintances over to learn the program, and before long, every computer is full. Bible questions begin to flood the two missionaries, who patiently help the students to use the software to locate the answers on their own, thereby increasing both learning and the satisfaction that comes through accomplishment. In just a few weeks, two new believers are added to the church and plans are underway for a new Bible class taught by French believers -- using Logos Series X software.
These are just a few of the many possible scenarios into which Logos Series X could provide a valuable service. Missionaries, translators, preachers, Sunday School teachers, and Bible study leaders will all find that Series X quickly guides them to the resources and articles that would otherwise remain untapped. Bible college students and seminarians will find Series X to be the answer to their Greek and Hebrew needs, enabling them to do the most complex searches necessary for scholarly analysis. For those who are not in a teaching or missionary ministry but are simply looking for a solid Bible study library, Series X is the answer. In short, Logos Series X is the answer that today’s Bible students and fulltime workers are looking for.
For a full overview of the features and texts included in Logos Bible Software Series X, watch the online demo: www.logos.com/featuredemos.
Sean T. Lillis
© 2005 by Emmaus Journal. Used by permission.