Youth and Christian Education Leadership, Vol 27 (1), Fall 2003, p. 23
Bible Software in the Mainstream
By Daniel Foster
Johannes Gutenberg, the German inventor of printing from movable type, desired that his printing press would “…break the seal that seals up holy things and give wings to Truth.” Information technology has evolved from ink, lead and paper to Pentium processors and electrons, but the same desire that drove Gutenberg still motivates publishers of Bible software today.
Remember the Apple IIe and the Commodore 64? We all remember when PS/2 was the name of a boxy
Just 12 years ago, a few computer-savvy Christians became excited about having the entire Bible in electronic format. These visionaries asked, “What higher use could new personal computing technology serve than the study of God’s Word?”
Early MS-DOS Bible programs, swapped as shareware over Bulletin Board Services, enabled users to navigate hierarchical menus and search the Bible text for specific words or phrases—an exciting improvement over printed books. It was like having an index to every word in the Bible. All the computer geeks loved it!
As Windows-based Bible software was developed, it became easier for the rest of us to benefit. Today, the technology has matured to the point where in-depth Bible study—the kind once available only to seminary students—is easy to attain. If you’ve never given a thought to Bible software, it’s time to find out what you’re missing.
Let’s say you’re planning to teach on the Great Commission and you can’t remember which chapter contains this passage. If you’re using a program like Logos Bible Software Series X, this is no obstacle. Simply enter the words “great commission” in the Internet-style search box and the software suggests a match. Select Matthew 28 and click “Go!” Now sit back and breathe a huge sigh of relief…you just finished the most technically challenging part of your study.
When you click “Go!” the software instantly opens your favorite Bible version to the correct page (in this case Matthew 28:16-20) and scours your Bible reference library for relevant material. The size of your digital library and quality of your books determines what will be found. At minimum, you will be presented with a number of commentaries, cross-references, topics and hymns related to this passage. A simple click on the title of any resource opens it directly to the desired page and paragraph. All text, along with its formatting, can be copied and pasted into a word processing program, which is a blessing when preparing lessons or sermons.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the passage, Logos places powerful tools at your fingertips. For example, click on the Word Study Guide to locate background material for in-depth study of each word in the Matt 28 passage, keyed to Strong’s numbers. If you prefer to work directly with Greek and Hebrew, the Exegetical Guide (available in certain Logos collections) provides a similar report showing lemmas, glosses, parsing and instant links to lexicons such as the 10-volume Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. This is all generated by pointing and clicking. If you can manage an Internet browser, you can use this software!
Bible study technology has come a long way. Those involved in Christian education can enhance the efficiency and quality of their study with Bible software. In fact, many users report that they don’t reduce the time spent in preparation as much as they multiply the fruitfulness of their labor.
Give the Christian education leaders in your church new tools to study the Bible in depth, then step back and see what happens.
For more information about Logos, visit: http://www.logos.com/demo
© 2003 by Youth and Christian Education Leadership. Used by permission.