deSilva, D. An Introduction to the New Testament. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
This newly-published textbook on the New Testament includes a discussion of software tools for biblical studies. The author, a professor at Ashland Theological Seminary, includes a number of comments about Logos Bible Software Series X - Scholar's Library. We have been given permission to excerpt a few footnotes.
A Note on Bible Software
k. Certain Bible software programs, especially the Scholar’s Library of Logos Bible Software Series X, have gone far toward bridging the gap between English-only students and original-language word study.
The greatest advantage of these programs, however, is the way they allow the use of panoply of research tools in a natural and integrated manner.aa
...Moreover, these programs are capable of conduction complex lexical searches (for example, looking for a word like dikaiosynē, only in the context of another particular word, like theos) that would take an inordinate amount of time using print resources.ac The more advanced student can also perform grammatical searches, where the object may not be to research the use of a word so much as the ways in which a particular author uses participles, or dative-case nouns, or particular constructions (like pistis followed by a noun in the genitive). Such a search could take hours with print resources; a computer-assisted search would take but a minute or two.ad
aa The software systems differ greatly on this point, largely in proportion to their cost. Scholar’s Library quite justifiably prides itself on its user-friendly interface and its integration of many resources. For example, it offers “passage guide,” “exegetical guide” and “word study guide” interfaces that enable a user to begin to mine the riches of the software from the moment it is installed, just by entering a verse citation. Each package comes with default desktops/workplaces. The “desktop” displays of Scholar’s Library, BibleWorks and Gramcord can be customized rather easily, tailoring the program to the particular research interests of the user. I should also point out here that the four software systems differ tremendously in terms of the English-based resources that are available. Scholar’s Library has the most to offer in terms of Bible helps (e.g., Bible dictionaries, maps, devotional resources) and pastoral resources (books on preaching, counseling, working with the youth, small group resources, etc.). Additional purchases would make it possible to integrate the Anchor Bible Dictionary, Essential IVP Reference Collection and Word Biblical Commentary into this software system. More information on this can be found of the respective websites of each software company.
ac When performing word searches, differences between programs are keenly felt. I have found BibleWorks and Scholar’s Library to be the most efficient and complete for conducting searches directly out of the Greek or interlinear text, making them the best choices for lexical analysis. Bible Windows is also rather easy to use in this regard, and Gramcord the most difficult. These latter two resources, of course, also lack the same finesse of integration and breadth of the original-language study helps to be found in the former two software systems.
ad BibleWorks and Scholar’s Library appear to me to be the most advanced in this regard.
Taken from An Introduction to the New Testament by David A. deSilva. (c)2004 by David A. deSilva. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. www.ivpress.com