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Journal of Evangelism and Missions, Spring 2003, vol. 2, pp. 148-153

Logos Bible Software Series X Scholar’s Library.

1313 Commercial St. Bellingham, WA 98225-4307. (800)-875-6467.
Fax: (360) 527-1707.
http://www.logos.com. $599.95

Logos Bible Software Series X is built on the Libronix Digital Library System, a technology used to deliver digital libraries of books and interactive study tools. The software is designed for the first-time Bible software user as well as the power user. This program requires a minimum Pentium 133 MHz processor; however, a Pentium 300 MHz is recommended. Logos Series X comes in a CD format that requires one of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 98, 98SE, ME, NT 4.0 (SP3), 2000, or XP. This software requires the computer to have a minimum of 64 MB of RAM, but 128 MB of RAM or higher is recommended. The user should also have a minimum hard drive space of 60 MB. The screen resolution should be 800x600 or larger.

The Logos Bible Software Series X Scholar’s Library contains more than 230 Bibles and Bible reference titles worth over $5,000 in equivalent print editions. The core engine can read over 3,000 titles from more than 100 publishers with more texts being adding all the time. The contents of this program include: Bible Translations (16), Bible Dictionaries (4), Topical Bibles (2), Commentaries (23), Greek Texts (7), Greek Interlinear, Hebrew Texts, Latin Texts, Bible Outlines (10), Small Group Resources (8), Discipleship, Language Tools, Concordances, Greek Lexicons (8), Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicons (5), Analytical Greek/Hebrew Concordances (2), Original Language Grammars (4), Hermeneutics, Bible Study Training (4), Biblical Ethics (4), Fiction/Allegory (2), Bible Maps, Worship, English Language Resources (2), Prayer (4), Family Dynamics (2), Home School & Christian Education (13), Manners & Customs (3), Biblical Evidences, Bible Archaeology, Word Studies (2), Cross References, Diaries, Bible Lists, Theology (8), Sermon Illustrations, Photographs, Witnessing Tools, Devotions (7), Christian Living (4), Quotations (2), Church History (4), Manuscripts, Antiquities, Sermons (4), Pastoral Resources, Fresh Ideas Series (4), Leadership Library Series (20), Library of Leadership Development (4), Library of Christian Leadership (4), Mastering Ministry Series (12), Pastor’s Soul Series (8), Pressure Points Series (6), and much more. One of the attractive features of the base collection is the unabridged version of The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.

The installation and use of this program is fairly simple. Follow the installation guide to install the software properly. The guide is a yellow sheet that says "Read First" and is found in the software box. The "Read First" installation guide also instructs on how to make a backup copy of the license file on floppy disk. The user can use this backup to restore the licenses should reinstallation become necessary.

After installation, start the Libronix software and the home page appears. At the home page, the user should choose a preferred version of the Bible from the drop-down menu under the blue "Bible Study Starter" header. This chosen version becomes the default version, though the user may open other versions or change the default. The recommended default version is either the KlV or NASB, since these translations are morphologically tagged and enable the richest features of Libronix. The user can also list reference works (concordances, commentaries, dictionaries, etc.) in order of preference to regularly bring favorite resources to the fore when searching.

To begin a search, the user can enter a Bible passage or topic in the dialog box on the home page, and click "Go!" The "Passage Guide" opens on the left-hand side of the window with a list of immediately relevant articles as well as an option to deep search the entire library for the passage entered. The user can click on a book title to open it in the lower right windowpane and study.

Double-click on almost any word in any text to instantly find it in a dictionary or lexicon. Right-click on a word or Bible reference to initiate a powerful search in the open book or in the entire library. Look up cross-references by hovering the mouse over any link to a Bible reference or anything else and a preview popup window appears. This saves time and eliminating needless "back and forth" jumping between books.

There are a number of "power tools" accessible from the Passage Guide such as Passage in Parallel Versions and Exegetical Guide. (The "Tools" menu in the application also contains menu items leading directly to all searches and reports.) The Exegetical Guide is a powerful tool for working with the Greek or Hebrew Scriptures. It generates a custom report with roots, parsings, and English glosses for each word in a passage, with links to articles in dictionaries and lexicons for in-depth study of each word. This report is listed in passage order, creating a convenient and ready-to-print report that organizes dozens of resources around the passage of studying. The Lemma Report is an automated research tool that pulls together everything the user wants to know about a single Hebrew or Greek lemma, including relevant entries in all original language reference works and a comprehensive list of occurrences in the Bible, fully parsed. The Parallel Bible Versions report lets the user display a specific passage in as many Bible translations or versions as he’d like, with the results in a verse-by-verse grid for easy viewing, printing, and comparison of different translations.

Powerful annotation capabilities allows the user to take notes on any part of a book. Notes can be organized automatically or manually by using the built-in outliner. The user can use notes to highlight texts in various styles (glow, highlight, or underline) and colors.

One of the attractive things about the Libronix Digital Library System is that it offers users an expandable library of books. A user can buy an addin product from any publisher using the Libronix technology and integrate it with any other product built on Libronix. The Libronix DLS is backwardly compatible with the old technology, Logos Library System (LLS), so if a user owns the older product he can upgrade to Libronix and keep all his books.

Scholar’s Library ships with six discs that contain many additional books that may be unlocked and added to the user’s system. To conserve space, locked books are not automatically copied to the hard drive if the default installation settings are utilized. Users find it convenient to receive extra book files up front, reducing the probability that they will have to download files or pay shipping costs when they want to purchase new books later. The built-in unlock/download capability allows for ready access to additional books when needed. Additional collections of books may also be purchased on separate discs, available from Logos and other publishers using the Libronix Digital Library System (see discussion of a few of these products below).

Logos Bible Software Series X allows the user to save his workspace (including all open texts and windows) when called away and restore it upon return. This feature also allows the user to manage multiple studies at once, quickly returning to where he left off in each one. An automatic History feature lets the user to see the current study and to quickly jump back to anything previously seen. Within a text, a Bookmark is a quick-and-easy way to return to it later.

Logos Bible Software Series X offers unique devotional features including a "Prayer List" and a "Bible Reading Scheduler." These features are great for organizing and maintaining the daily disciplines of faith: prayer and Bible reading.

The Anchor Bible Dictionary addin contains the complete unabridged six volume reference. This state-of-the-art dictionary published by Doubleday offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of biblical subjects and scholarship. Every serious reader of the Bible should consider owning a copy.

Once the user goes to "My Library" he can scroll down or type in "Anchor Bible Dictionary" at the "Find" box. Click on the title and the book opens in a window with two panes. The left pane is an alphabetical table of contents where the user can click the first letter of the desired topic to browse a list of all dictionary entries beginning with that letter. Click on an entry listing to jump straight to it. The user can also navigate the discitonary using a small text box that displays the title of the article currently being viewed. Simply enter a reference into the box (e.g., "Babel" or "vol 1, page 561") to instantly jump to that topic or page number in the dictionary.

The right hand pane (the larger one) displays the book itself. Words/topics in red are hyperlinked to the page that discusses the topic. Hover the mouse pointer over an abbreviation or acronym to see the expanded meaning. A "Backward" and "Forward" button on the menu bar above the article allows the user to return to the intial article selected when desired or to a parallel article previously viewed. Articles can be cut and pasted into word processing programs with no problem, including the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek words.

This program is fully integrated with Logos Bible Software Series X so users who own a Bible software package such as Scholar’s Library (reviewed above) can hover over a Bible reference in Anchor to have the referenced passage appear in a popup window or click on the reference to open their preferred Bible to that passage in a new window. Anchor appears alongside their other Bible dictionaries in searches and they are able to right-click on a word in a Bible and go directly to that word’s entry in Anchor. The list price for Anchor Bible Dictionary is $229.95.

The New American Commentary from Logos contains 31 volumes of the commentary series published by Broadman/Holman. The NAC is a great tool for expositors and teachers of the word, as it focuses on communicating the theological structure and content of each biblical book. This helps the reader become aware of the theological unity of each book and of Scripture as a whole.

Each volume of the commentary can be opened individually from My Library and browsed from a table of contents. The user can also jump instantly from article to article in the commentary by entering a scripture reference, page number, or topic in the text box at the top of the window. Endnote matter instantly appears in a popup window when the user’s mouse hovers over the superscript number. The 31 volumes can also be combined into a user-defined "collection" and keyword-searched all at once if so desired. Users who own Scholar’s Library or another Logos Bible Software Series X product can add New American Commentary and will see it appear alongside other commentaries in the Passage Guide. They can open multiple commentaries and Bibles of their choice side-by-side and synchronize the windows to scroll together. The list price for New American Commentary is $499.95.

Commentary on the Old Testament contains the complete unabridged edition of Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch’ classic work. This evangelical commentary examines historical and literary aspects of the text, as well as grammatical and philological issues. The 10-volume commentary, which appears as one book, can be opened from My Library. The user can navigate the material by a table of contents or can jump directly to a Bible passage or page number by entering it in the text box at the top of the window. Versification in the commentary follows the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. Users who own Scholar’s Library – Logos Bible Software Series X can open up the BHS and Keil & Delitzsch side-by-side and set them to scroll synchronously. As with all products built on the Libronix Digital Library System, the Keil & Delitzsch commentary integrates seamlessly with Logos Bible Software Series X. Articles and their footnotes can be cut and pasted into word processing programs with no problem, including the Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek words. List price for Commentary on the Old Testament is $119.95.

Considering the limited amount of space for those who travel across the world, the Logos Bible Software Series X program allows missionaries, pastors, evangelists, and scholars to take their library with them. Additional books and collections can be downloaded world-wide via the internet. (Some addin collections are shipped on disc only.) Once the program and books are completely loaded on a hard drive, the discs are not needed to run the program and may be stored in the event of future need.

Though this program is much advanced compared to Logos 2.1 or any other program, there are a few glitches. This reviewer did encounter installation problems in installation with Windows XP. The technical support quickly resolved the problem over the telephone and then followed up over the internet. (The tech support people are courteous and very helpful.) This problem was due to a file missing to prompt Windows. (This file will be included on a future update of the program.) Likewise, the interlinear does not copy into a word processing program as did the Logos 2.1. Only the top line of the interlinear (as configured by the user) is copied. The New American Commentary has a few errors as well. For example, Robert Mounce is listed on the title page of the Ezekiel Commentary. Mounce did write the Romans commentary; however, Lama E. Cooper wrote the Ezekiel Commentary. These minor glitches are not enough to be less than enthusiastic about Logos Bible Software Series X and its addin programs. These elements are being corrected and core reader updates are always available free of charge via download to ensure compatibility with the newest Windows operating systems.

Through the Academic Purchase Program, Logos offers special pricing on Logos Bible Software Series X for qualified groups of students and faculty at accredited Bible colleges and seminaries. For more information, phone 800-878-4191...

Steven L. Cox
Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary

© 2003 by MABTS Journal of Missions and Evangelism. Used by permission.