Southwestern Journal of Theology, Fall 2003

Logos Bible Software Series X, Scholar’s Library.

Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2002. $599.95

Years ago this writer and a handful of other preacher boys spent an afternoon with our pastor in his home study. Dr. W. A. Criswell not only showed us his voluminous library—complete with a separate room with sizeable book stacks—but he explained how he kept track of key passages from his books for sermon preparation. In a wide-margin Bible he carefully cross-referenced Scripture passages with thousands of books he had read through the years—painstakingly hand entered by Dr. Criswell. This laborious process appeared to be a daunting task for us to attempt, yet its aid in effective Bible study would be well worth the effort.

Essentially this same process and much more is available in the Logos Bible Software Series X Scholar’s Library. Some 230 electronic volumes, which Logos says cost $5,000 in book form, come in this powerful Bible study software program. Logos Series X really shines in the company’s ambitious plans to keep adding titles for additional purchase: the count is currently at over 3,000 volumes available from over 100 publishers, including the New American, Barclay’s, Life Application, and Word Bible Commentaries, as well as the ISBE, TDNT, and BDAG. For a list of available volumes, consult www.logos.com.

Logos Series X is more than just an upgrade from Logos 2.0. A powerful new search engine—the Libronix Digital Library System (LDLS)—uses a modular approach, thus enabling one to build a personal, specialized digital library. It helps the Bible novice as well as expert with a variety of automated search features, such as simply typing in a Bible reference or key word(s) and searching for all pertinent references in all or a portion of an immense digital library. Logos Series X contains lexicons, Bible dictionaries and commentaries, theological works, historical writings, theological journals, pastoral helps, and illustrations. For years this bibliophile wished for a way to electronically search for key words or phrases in all of his books. Logos Series X makes great strides in this direction. Only personal finances and the number of available titles, which is growing quickly, limit the number of volumes one has in this system.

Both the OT and NT are morphologically tagged and hot linked to the Hebrew (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) and Greek texts (Nestle Aland 27, Scrivener’s Textus Receptus, and others). For the Bible scholar there are a number of ways to personalize a search in English, Hebrew, and Greek. One can search in all or a personally-selected portion of the digital library, and searches can be constructed to find lemmas, English words, Strong’s numbers and many other variations. The LDLS user interface has been fully or partially translated into 13 different languages, so users whose first language is not English can feel more at home with the system.

Logos Series X and the LDLS engine not only meets today’s needs of computer Bible research but also tomorrow’s. The powerful note taking, highlighting, and underlining tools allow much personal adaptation, permitting permanent attachment to all LDLS books and documents. Full Internet integration is a welcome feature. Peruse any article on the web, and Logos will look up any Bible references the reader desires. Write a Sunday School lesson with links to LDLS articles, maps, dictionaries, lexicons, etc., and then post it on the Internet. Class members owning Logos Series X have immediate access to this material!

One wishes more books were included with the Scholar’s Library, such as the $125 BDAG or $99 Theological Journal Library. Additional scholarly needs are supposed to be met in 2003 updates and new products: text-critical apparatuses (the German Bible Societies’ Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible will be available soon), sentence diagramming capability, the use of complex filters for text comparisons, and graphing capabilities for search results.

The Scholar’s Library is an excellent buy in its present form, but with the coming feature updates and products as well as the already-present availability of numerous add-on volumes it can be even better. The minimum system requirements are: Pentium 133MHz (300 MHz recommended), CD-Rom drive, 60 MB hard drive, 64 MB memory (128 MB recommended), Microsoft Windows 98 or later, and screen resolution 800x600 or larger.

James R. Wicker
Associate Professor of New Testament
Southwestern Journal of Theology

© 2003 by Southwestern Journal of Theology. Used by permission.