After Mari and I got married, we splurged and bought the Silver package for Logos 6. It came with a host of resources, dictionaries, theologies, and commentaries, and numerous other bonus features. Too many to count. I have been using Logos Bible Software for four years, and I’m continually learning just all that Logos can do. Here are few of the updates below for the new Logos 8. Tomorrow, I will talk more about the features included in the Bronze and Silver packages.
When you open Logos 8, your homepage will come up. As you can see below, you can have an array of options in your dashboard of projects you are working on as well as reminders for your morning (or evening) devotions.
I have up a few of my different workflows (see the next section), daily devotional reading by Carson and Chambers, two daily prayer books and a daily Bible reading plan. At the end I have two quickstart layouts to help me begin exploring the book of Proverbs or to dig into a book of the Bible with one of my commentaries.
There is also an explore section on your homepage under your dashboard. This too can be customized.
Here you can see updates about Logos offers on Community Pricing and Pre-Pub books,
alerts on price drops on excellent books and commentaries,
and reminders to start a new workflow.
Instead of searching for it yourself, it searches for you. Now you have no excuse not to try the new workflows.
The new workflows in Logos 8 will be very helpful to those who want to study a passage but who don’t know what to do beyond reading the text, a passage in a biblical dictionary, and commentaries. Depending on which version of Logos 8 you get (Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc.), there are quite a few different workflows to choose from. You can go through a biblical passage, study a person, place, or idea, prepare for a sermon, exegete a passage, and more. In the Passage Exegesis, you would become familiar with your passage by reading it a few times and in different versions. Then you explore its larger context, the type of literature it is, the kinds of people in the passage, what happens in the passage, cross-references, and more. There are 11 of these types of headings, and each can be subdivided into different parts that help you go deeper into the passage.
The Library icon has been updated to include filters to find particular books. The categories include Subject (e.g., Bible, Theology, Jesus Christ, Greek), Type (e.g., bible commentary, monograph, journal), Author (e.g., deSilva, Heiser, Moo), Series (e.g., PNTC, NIGTC, NAC), Publisher (e.g., Baker, IVP), etc. This is really helpful. In Logos 7 I had to type “commentary” and search through my list of commentaries to find what I wanted (usually I would just type the series, but some commentaries aren’t in a series and I couldn’t remember its name off the top of my head). In, say, the Publisher category, the different publishers are listed according to the number of resources I have from each publisher.
Notes and Documents
Both the Notes and Documents in Logos 8 have been updated. I honestly didn’t use Notes very much before. Partially because I like having notes in my physical Bible, but it was hard to find all of my notes. Now there are filters according to whether it is a written note or a highlight, what resource your note is in (Bible, commentary, book, etc.), what Bible book you have written about, and more. Very useful. Documents also has added filters to make it a little easier to find what you want.
Plenty of Commentaries
Logos has an insane amount of commentaries, although you don’t get them all at once (unless you buy the ____ edition). Commentaries on Logos cost a lot. Usually just a bit more than brand new physical copies, and much more than what you can often find used on Amazon. However, the commentaries are tagged and sorted with all of your other Logos resources. I enjoy having physical copies of books, and especially commentaries, but when it comes to preparing to teach, physical copies take up a lot of time. You have to find the idea you’re looking for in the subject index, find the idea, and then copy and reference it. Logos is an incredible help there. If you want to study up on prayer…
Just type “prayer” into the search bar, and you can find every occurrence of the word “prayer” in your library.
As you can see, there are a lot of occurrences. Too many to look up, but it would be impossible to find all of them if you had the physical books.
When it comes to your wallet, Logos has different sales on their commentaries, dictionaries, and books. There are often many sales during the holidays, and some very good ones going on now.
Fuzzy Bible Search
This is a helpful way to search for phrases that you can’t quite remember the correct wording. Instead of Googling the phrase, you can type it in and Logos will pull up the phrase, related phrases, and loosely related phrases. I searched for “Jesus was baptized.” Matthew 3:13 came up, along with Luke 3:21, Mark 1:9, John 4:1–2, and quite a few other verses related to baptism. It is a way to search for words and phrases without needing to know the exact words in the phrase.
I typed Psalm 110 into the Passage Guide. A list of commentaries, outlines, and cross references came up. There is a word-by-word option to examine each verse, phrase, and word in the Hebrew. My Hebrew concordances and grammars came up underneath to help make sense of the prepositions and words. Parallel and closely related passages will appear under parallel passages. Also helpful is the ancient literature option where, if you have the resources, a list of sources— the ancient Near East, the apostolic fathers, later church fathers, the OT Pseudepigrapha, Josephus, and quotes from rabbis—which comment on Psalm 110 will appear. You can sort these according to works (listed here) or type (allusion, citation, phrase, quotation, topical). Of the works listed, you can add biblical (and systematic) theologies, sermons, illustrations, and many more!
Tomorrow I will finish reviewing some of the bonus features which come with the Bronze (e.g., Bible Browser, Psalms/Proverbs Explorer, and Canvas) and Silver (e.g., Theology Guide, Sermon Editor) packages. (I have the Silver package, which includes the Bronze features.) This way, if you only want the Starter package, you can buy that without having to read more (and this review would become very long).
The Spoiled Milk
I have little to complain about, but there are a few things I need to mention. I first bought Logos after I got married, and we sprung for Logos 6 Silver. Even then when you downloaded books or updates, there was an update letting you know what you had just downloaded.
That download bar is still there, but I cannot find anything that will tell me what I downloaded. It’s nothing serious, but it is annoying when books are updated or downloaded and I haven no idea what I just downloaded.
Unfortunately, the authors/publishers/series, etc. are not listed in alphabetical order, and to see the whole list you have to click the ‘more’ button quite a few times. To run with this, when I ran the “Where three or more are gathered” search in the Fuzzy Bible Search, there were 98 options; clicking the ‘more’ button showed me only ten more at a time.
Since the ‘more’ button shows up on a lot of different lists, I wish that clicking ‘more’ brought up the rest of the list instead of a few at a time.
The added filters are helpful, but they don’t allow you to search for Specifics. I can chose the ‘Visual Filter,’ and after that I can search for the word” Johannine,” but nothing is narrowed down, and all 67 visual filters are still up.
Indeed. As I said above, Logos is my favorite Bible software program. They continue to come out with new features. It does take time to use and learn, so you shouldn’t expect that once you begin using Logos you will discover all of the treasures of Scripture. But with time and diligence, you will begin to break new ground. Pastors and teachers will benefit immensely from the new Logos 8. It does come at a cost, so search around the Logos site as much as you can to see if you will use this program to make it “worth it.” But if you get it and put the time and effort into it (studying isn’t “easy”), you will be pleased with your purchase.
You can find all Logos 8 packages here.
You can find the Logos 12 Days of Christmas Sale here.
Disclosure: I received this update free from Faithlife. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.