How to Choose Your Top Bibles in Logos

One of the most frequent things I do in Logos—and I’m betting you do the same thing—is search for a specific verse or group of verses. My searches can seem pretty random, like the time I looked for every time the Bible talks about “war.”

Searching for “war” in all your Bibles is easy:
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It’s also a bad idea—not because Logos lacks power; precisely the opposite. Search all your Bibles and you’ll be overwhelmed with hits:

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Some translations may use the word in places where others don’t. And if you could see the tiny print, you’d see that the two darker columns on the right are actually German Bibles. War is in them, too—but it means something completely different. You don’t want those hits.

You don’t usually want to search “All Open Bibles,” either, because the assortment of Bibles you have open at any given time is either pretty random or very limited (the ESV and the SBLGNT, if you’re like me).

Usually I want to search just my “Top Bibles.”

But how?

“But how?” you ask.

Thank you for asking that question.

  • Open up your Logos library (click the book icon in the menu bar or do what I do: hit Ctrl+L in Windows or Cmd+L in Mac OS X). Then click “Prioritize.”
  • Then go through your library and find your top Bibles (use the “Find” box to get to them quickly).
  • Then drag them over into the “Prefer these resources” column, one by one. The top 5 will become your “Top Bibles.”

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I suggest the ESV, KJV (or AV), NASB95, HCSB, and NIV.

But why?

“But why?” you ask.

Thank you for asking that question.

Because. Because these are the standard evangelical Bibles, and more than likely you’ll be using one of them, or comparing all of them. I usually search the Bible not because I’m ignorant of what it says but because I know what it says but don’t know where it says it. I’m most likely to find a specific search phrase—like “declared to be the son of God with power”—in the Bible translations I’ve actually used and read over the years. (I also like to cover the continuum from dynamic to literal.)

My search history tells me that I searched in the last month for many random things, including “Jezebel,” “<Person Apollos>,” and “all the people.” For those searches, too, I want to search my top Bibles—because I don’t (usually) want to waste time or screenspace with search results from obscure (Darby, Wycliffe) or non-evangelical (Douay-Rheims, New English Bible) translations I don’t tend to use.

If you, dear reader, have reasons to pick other top Bibles, by all means do so.

Next week

Come back next week and I’ll give you a tip about “Top Bibles” that you will want to share with your friends, a tip that may finally put the spring in your step and turn the half-in-half in your coffee into whipped cream. It’s that good.

But first, go right now and pick your “Top Bibles.”

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mark ward
Mark L. Ward, Jr. received his PhD from Bob Jones University in 2012; he now serves the church as a Logos Pro. He is the author of multiple high school Bible textbooks, including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption.

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Written by
Mark Ward

Mark Ward (PhD, Bob Jones University) is an editor in the book division at Crossway. He is the author of several books and textbooks including Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption (BJU Press, 2016), Basics for a Biblical Worldview (BJU Press, 2021), and Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible (Lexham Press, 2018). He is an active YouTuber.

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Written by Mark Ward
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