This review originally appeared in The Layman Online.

Review: Logos Bible Study Software

Scholar's LibraryWould you believe me if I told you that with one piece of software you could have at your fingertips all the tools you would ever need to prepare Bible studies that are historically accurate, visually interesting and theologically sound? I didn’t believe it either. Then I opened the Logos Bible Study software, Scholar’s edition.

It is incredibly user friendly. If you can use a Google search box, you can run Logos. When you type the passage you are interested in studying into the search field, what opens before you is not equivalent to shelves of Biblical reference material, but the relevant pages and paragraphs. Even if you could afford to buy all the dictionaries, commentaries and histories, you couldn’t afford to buy the time required to line them up, search their indexes for your passage and find the reference. Logos does all that for you.

Then, as you run your cursor over the words and pause, cross-references and full word studies appear. Yes, Hebrew and Greek! Tenses and nuances, alternate definitions, Bible parallels and interlinears, oh my! It is enough to make a pastor weep with joy.

But what about Sunday School teachers who need visual aids and handy mental hooks to help people remember and take mental note? Well, for you there are devotionals, outlines, maps and illustrations.

Take for example I Samuel 17. You are trying to help your students visualize David and Goliath. He was over 9 feet tall. Can you imagine that? Well, what if I told you that Logos provides a visual aid that shows an average man of David’s day and 9-foot Goliath – and Shaq in-between as a point of contemporary reference! Or look at this visual aid to assist you in teaching about the full armor of God in Ephesians 6.

“Great,” you remark, “if you are looking at the computer screen. But I bet it’s all but impossible to import that into my PowerPoint presentation, right?” Well, you’re right. Nearly impossible. Unless you have Logos. To enter images into PowerPoint it is simply a right click and then select “Send to PowerPoint.” That’s it – essentially two clicks. That’s all you have to do to export to any Microsoft program.

And for that curious George in your class who is always asking you questions like, “Well, how far is it from Nazareth to Bethlehem? Or how good a short cut was it through Samaria?” There’s an app for that! On the map you simply mark your point of interest and concentric circles showing distances appear.

If you’re thinking about a gift for your pastor in October (Pastor Appreciation Month) or if you’re a pastor looking for the best product your book allowance could buy, Logos software is it. I bought the Scholar’s edition (reviewed here) but other editions are also available including versions for the iPhone and the iPad.

Once you own it, you can load it onto all the computers you personally use. Prepare to be away from your computer for the four plus hours it takes to install (did I mention that the memory requirements are mammoth? The program requires 12 GB of memory to store it on your computer,) but then you’ll want to set aside time to explore and enjoy and play with this product as Logos helps you open the Scriptures in ways you can only imagine.

Logos is like a video game for Bible geeks (like me), and anyone can use it. Visit www.logos.com to explore and order.
Even if the program is too much for you, you can click on Bible on the upper left hand corner of the Logos website and click on “Read” to set up your own daily Bible reading plan for free.

Either way, get into the Word of God. It’s the only way His Word is going to get into you.