Are you looking to go deeper in your Bible study? Here’s a real-world example of how I use Logos Bible Software to study the Bible. It’s what I use in my daily Bible study and in the preparation of our teachings.
While they do offer affordable entry-level starter packages, it’s true that Logos can be pricey. But you really do get what you pay for. Logos is not really designed for the casual Bible reader–there’s plenty of free tools available to the casual reader. Logos is designed for folks who are serious about Bible study. It gives you the tools to go beyond just Bible reading. (UPDATE: Logos has released a FREE version of their latest version, called Logos 7 Basic.)
I took some screenshots so you can see just a fraction of the things you can do with Logos. Here’s Jeremiah 31:31 and following (click on the image to see a larger view):
There’s several things to note. The yellow, orange, and green highlights are things I’ve highlighted (and there are a dozen or more additional colors and options like bold, underline, and the inductive study markers). This passage is so chock full of nuggets that I’ve basically highlighted everything 😉 But the really cool thing is that even if I switch to another translation, my highlights (and notes) will still be there.
And my notes are really what makes Logos so invaluable to me (they’re the red exclamation boxes, but they can be lots of other icons that you choose). Way back in the day I used to make tiny notes in my paper Bible, just like I used to make highlights in it. Nothing’s worse than 10 or 15 years worth of notes and highlights being lost because your Bible falls apart or you actually lose your Bible!
But with Logos, if the Spirit shows me something, I just make a quick note and it’s in every one of my 30+ translations and in my Hebrew and Greek Bibles!
Here’s a screenshot of the same passage, but with the Text Comparison window opened:
Here you can see that no matter what verse I jump to, I have 20+ translations following along on the right, in addition to the Hebrew and Greek! And I could add more translations if I wanted to, there’s no limit as far as I know.
You can only see about 12 of the translations in the screenshot, but I can keep scrolling down to see the rest. Also notice that in addition to the Hebrew, I have the Greek from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the old testament), and an English translation of the Septuagint. So I can quickly notice variants between the Hebrew and the Septuagint. This particular verse doesn’t have a match from the Dead Sea Scrolls, but of it did, I would also see the Hebrew from the DSS and my English translation of the DSS.
Here you can see a couple more really neat features of Logos. Notice that the word “congregation” is in blue. In the right side panel you can see that the Greek word being translated “congregation”–ekklesia–is also in blue.
Now look at the bottom panel and you see a blue column highlighting the same word–congregation. Below the word congregation you can see all of the underlying Greek information, including the transliteration of the Greek and the Strong’s number. You can see that I have hovered the mouse over the Strong’s number which has opened up a pop-up window showing the Dictionary of Biblical Languages gloss definition of ekklesia. Note that it says “an individual assembly of Christians (or OT believers Ac 7:38; Heb 2:12).” (emphasis mine).
Now let’s look at a screenshot of the Bible Word Study feature of this same word:
The top circle shows how the word ekklesia (usually translated “church” but really means assembly or congregation) is translated in the new testament for any translation you select. On the right you can see that ekklesia is found 114 in the new testament, and you can see that the Lexham English Bible translates it as “church, assembly, and congregation.” (You will see in the next image what happens when you click on the circle.)
The bottom circle shows how ekklesia–the very same Greek word that appears 114 times in the new testament–is translated in the old testament (in the Septuagint). It appears 77 times and is translated in the Logos translation of the Septuagint as “contingent, assembly, convocation, congregation, community, and company.” The neat thing to notice is that the Bible Word Study tool is showing you that it is the Hebrew word qhal that is translated into the Greek ekklesia. And qhal is the Hebrew word used for the assembly/congregation of Yahweh’s people in the old testament:
And Yahweh gave me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them was writing according to all the words that Yahweh spoke with you at the mountain, from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly (qhal in Hebrew and ekklesia in Greek). Deuteronomy 9:10
Here’s what happens when you click on the top circle, the one that shows you all of the occurrences of ekklesia in the new testament:
Notice that ekklesia is translated “church” 108 out of 114 times. The only time that it is translated as assembly or congregation is the three times that it’s referring to the unruly public assembly of Gentiles in Ephesus in Acts 19, or the three times where it’s being used in a quotation from the old testament. And of course the people of God in the old testament can’t possibly be “the church.” At least not according to our modern Bible translators. Go figure.
And here’s what the bottom circle looks like when you click it, showing all of the times that ekklesia appears in the old testament Septuagint:
So you can see how the Bible Word Study tool lets you quickly find every occurrence of a word from the original languages without having to know Hebrew or Greek. And as you can see from this very brief study of the word ekklesia, this allows you to uncover very important gems from the Word of God that are hidden in our English translations.
There’s one more feature that makes Logos invaluable to me. That’s the ability to quickly search every single resource in my library, which currently consists of 2,193 titles.
Let’s say you read a great book or commentary. You really took your time to mark it up with copious highlights and notes. It really spoke to you or gave you some insight on the Scriptures you’ve never had before. You loved it!
But then what? It goes on your book shelf and you move on to the next book. A year or two or more goes by and your studying your Bible, and you suddenly vaguely remember some great point from that book on the shelf. But where exactly is it in the book? And are you sure it was that book and not another? So you pull out the book and start flipping through it, page after page after page. If you’re a book reader, you know the feeling.
Maybe you find it (eventually), maybe you don’t. But with Logos, you can do a search of just that book, or a group or category of books, or your whole library. And in seconds, Logos shows you every hit of that search term (see screenshot). You just click on the hit and it opens that book to that page, to the very spot you were looking for! This is why I prefer the Logos version of a book over both a paper copy and other digital versions, like Kindle. My entire library is searchable and all my notes are linked. I really do love it!
I’ll leave you with one final screenshot. This is my note file entitled “The Church in the OT–ekklesia and synagogue.” Although you can only see the first five notes in the screenshot, the file currently has 47 notes on this one subject, all of which are sprinkled throughout the Bible (regardless of translation) every time I’m in the Word!
This is just a very brief overview of just a couple of the many features of Logos and how I use it to study the Bible. But hopefully now you can see why we believe that Logos 7 is the best Bible software available, and that it will empower you to move from Bible reading to true Bible study.
P.S. We do not receive anything at all from Logos or from their parent company FaithLife. We are neither paid for endorsing Logos nor do we receive any free or discounted resources from them. Wish we did!
Here’s a couple of videos showing some more features of Logos:
(This video is for Logos 6, the previous version of the program. But it shows many of the features we like.)
About Logos Bible Software:
Logos Bible Software is a digital library application designed for electronic Bible study. In addition to basic eBook functionality, it includes extensive resource linking, note-taking functionality, and linguistic analysis for study of the Bible both in translation and in its original languages. It is developed by Faithlife Corporation. As of January 2015, Logos Bible Software is in its sixth version, which was first released on October 27, 2014.
Logos Bible Software is compatible with more than 43,000 titles related to the Bible from 200 publishers, including Baker, Bantam, Catholic University of America Press, Eerdmans, Harvest House, Merriam Webster, Moody Press, Oxford University Press, Thomas Nelson, Tyndale House, and Zondervan. Logos also recently published its own Lexham Bible Reference series, featuring new scholarship on the original Biblical languages.
Until October 2014, the name Logos Bible Software was often used to refer to the company behind the software (incorporated as Logos Research Systems, Inc). At that date, the company was rebranded as Faithlife Corporation as a response to the greater diversity in products and services the company then offered.
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