Exegetical and Bible Study Computer Program
by John Glynn
...A marketing manager for one of the leading, Windows-compatible exegetical programs remarked that changes that occur in two years of biblical software development are equivalent to ten years in print publishing. Indeed, to use Logos as an example, as recently as ten years ago the equivalent of a scholar's library (Logos Bible Software 2.0: Level 4) contained 36 (many superfluous) titles and retailed for $599. Today, the most recent option is Logos Research System's Scholar's Library Silver Edition...which combines a whopping 200 primary references (of which 100 are integral) plus 200+ additional studies addressing discipleship, home schooling, church management, etc. At a minimum, the base usefulness of Logos has quintupled while its cost has only increased by 67%.
For those who plan on going entirely digital, it’s difficult to argue against Scholar’s Library Silver Edition (hereafter Silver) as a primary choice...
...Silver’s desktop approach treats books as free-standing entities yet able to be hyperlinked in a variety of ways. Utilizing a gateway that enables rapid passage, word or exegetical studies, the operator is able to select preferred references from a menu of hyperlinks created by the search in question. For instance, an exegetical study of John 3:16 will bring up a list of links to the desired tools (Louw-Nida, Strong’s, TDNT, etc) where it is referenced. Thus, you can choose to look up αγαπη in Strong’s, while looking up κοσμος in TDNT. Plus, you can keylink any and all Greek lexicons to NA27 if you prefer. In addition, Silver enables references to be displayed by page number... In fact, it automatically adds citations to paste-ins according to whatever style you choose from its Options menu. [Competitors' software packages] require a trip to the library to hunt down references utilized for proper page citation in class papers.
...Silver is now capable of advanced searching utilizing a graphical query editor as well as the typical query syntax entry. For comparison, here is a simple Greek syntax search for “angel of the Lord (all forms)” with “appeared (all forms)” within three words in both the LXX/GNT.
To speed up the search in Logos, it is best to open up NA27 and the LXX first and limit the search to all open resources. In Libronix (the technology platform for Logos Silver) it could be entered in an advanced search as αγγελ* AND κυρ* WITHIN 3 Words *φαιν* or in the Graphical Query Editor:
As an added bonus, the search also yields the link to an interlinear (i.e., Matt. 1:20):
|messenger||of Master||by||dream||shone||to him||saying|
Logos' Scholar’s Silver Edition has the advantage of being able to be expanded with other Libronix-compatible titles like Thomas Nelson’s 62-volume Word Biblical Commentary series on 2 CD-ROMS... For instance, in the Word Biblical Commentary series, one could match and compare commentary on words and phrases such as “the angel of the Lord” in Greek, Hebrew, English, and seven other languages for that matter (i.e., Gen. 16:7; Ex. 3:2; Num. 22:22; 2 Sam. 24:16; 1 Ki. 19:7; 2 Ki. 1:3; 1 Chr. 21:30; Ps. 34:7; Is. 37:36; Mt. 1:20, 28:2 and Lk. 2:9). There are thousands of other potential Libronix add-ons as well. Broadman & Holman’s 31-volume New American Commentary (included in Silver), the International Critical Commentary (T&T Clark), the Pillar New Testament Commentary and the New International Greek Testament Commentary (both Eerdmans) and the WBC series are also available as separate modules, and would still function together with the The Essential IVP Reference Collection...as a single system.1
© 2005 by John Glynn. Used by permission of the author.
1. A search on the obscure phrase “arm of the Lord” in just the IVP, WBC and NAC series yielded 22 hits in 9 different commentaries and references (excluding Bibles).