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Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 100 Number 4, Fall 2003

Logos Bible Software Series X—Scholar's Library.

Libronix Digital Library System (1.1a). Bellingham, WA:
Logos Research Systems, Inc. Retail cost, $599.95.

The Scholar’s Library is a comprehensive collection of more than 230 electronic books. Included are Bibles and commentaries, lexicons, concordances, grammars, maps, collections of illustrations, devotions, sermons, and more. Many of these volumes will be of value and interest to the pastor.

What does the software do? In short, the Libronix Digital Library System (the technology powering Logos Bible Software Series X) allows you to open and view multiple resources in various ways, search the resources, link relevant information in the resources in a number of ways, and to work in the original languages of the Bible in a much more efficient way than if you had scores of physical books open on your desk. Let’s take a closer look at these possibilities.

The My Library screen serves as the main index to your library and shows all the books available to you on your system. You can customize your library by dividing it into selected collections. You can arrange the list by author, title, subject, or keyword, and open any book with a click. You might not use the My Library feature every day since most often you will be using familiar resources, but it is handy when you consider that you may eventually have hundreds of electronic books in your library. Over 3,000 electronic resources are already available that are compatible with the Libronix Digital Library System.

Once resources are open, their windows can be tiled in different ways and linked as you wish. If you want to look at multiple Bible versions, this feature allows the passage in your Greek Bible, for example, to scroll with the English Bible of your choice. It’s also possible to link topically indexed books such as lexicons or encyclopedias so when you move from one article to another in one, the reference also changes in any other linked resource.

Bookmarks can be placed for finding selections easily, and you can set up customized workspaces. This is helpful because you use different books for different tasks. For example, you could save all the resources you would use for an OT exegesis in one workspace, for a NT exegesis in another, for personal study in another, etc. Seminary students might save separate workspaces for different classes with the texts used for dogmatics in one workspace, symbolics in another, homiletics in another, etc. These workspaces are especially helpful because you can save your work when you are interrupted and it will appear as you left it when you are ready to resume.

Searching can be done on your whole library or on any portion of it. All standard conventions for searching are possible including Boolean and proximity searches. For searches on biblical text there is a special tool that will find every occurrence of a word or phrase in specific Bibles and ranges. Searching can be conveniently done also through the right mouse button. Say for example you are reading in a resource and you come across a term or a name you don’t understand. Right clicking offers the following options for that word: displaying basic information on the word, opening a specific resource of your choice (say, a dictionary) to an article on that word, or searching for all the occurrences of the word in the current resource or specified resources.

The search results are presented as references to all the relevant items found in your library. You then click on a reference in order to open the resource, at the proper page, on your desktop. Now imagine the advantages. As you are studying a text you can perform a search that will give all the references to that passage that are found in every book in your whole library!

Logos Bible Software Series X has made quantum leaps over past versions of Logos in the tools that are finally available for the study of the Greek and Hebrew texts. All of the searches described above are available. In addition, morphological searches allow you to search on specific grammatical forms and combinations. So you can, for example, find all the instances of a particular verb used in a particular grammatical construction.

The exegetical guide is a handy tool that presents a report listing each word in a passage in the original language along with its lemma, its parsing, its basic meaning, and what is most valuable, clickable links to relevant resources that you have specified beforehand such as lexicon or encyclopedia entries. A lemma report can be generated for each word, listing every instance of the lemma in the Bible, along with links to the lemma’s entry in every lexical resource you own. The potential is almost unthinkable. When you sit down to study a text, just a few clicks of the mouse can give you access to scores of resources about the word or passage you are focusing on, open to the right page, without leaving your desk, opening a book, or turning a page.

Notes can be written and added to the text of resources. A note indicator icon appears in the text. Moving the mouse over the icon will subsequently display the note. You can highlight text in resources with various colors and in various styles.

Can you learn to use this? I think the answer is yes, although it will take time and commitment. One of the strengths of the Logos software is that it is very customizable. A user can set up the software exactly as he wants, so it works most efficiently for him. That, of course, takes time. There are some resources to help you through the learning curve. An instructional CD is available, as well as training manuals, and even an on-line tutorial. All are accessible on the Logos website (

What Logos products should you consider buying? This reviewer thinks the Scholar’s Library, while a rich resource, contains too many works that a Lutheran pastor will not use. The Original Languages Library includes appropriate Hebrew and Greek resources, and then one could add such electronic books to it as Luther’s Works and the Kolb/Wengert Book of Concord from Augsburg Fortress, the Triglotta, and 50 years of the WLQ from Northwestern Publishing House, the dogmatics notes from the seminary, and Concordia’s electronic library of Lutheran sources. The third edition of the BDAG, which unfortunately isn’t included in the Original Languages Library, can be purchased separately. The same is true for the NIV text. It is not included in the Original Languages Library.

System Requirements

Pentium 133MHz (Pentium 300MHz processor recommended)
CD-ROM drive

Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 98 or later (Will run on Window 98/98SE/Me/NT 4.0 (SP3)/2000/XP)

Windows 98/Me/NT: 64 MB
Windows 2000/XP: 64 MB (128 MB recommended)

Hard Drive Space:
60 MB
John Hartwig

© 2003 by Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly. Used by permission.