Book Reviews

Review: Logos 9 (Faithlife)

After Mari and I got married in 2015, we splurged and bought the Silver package for Logos 6. In 2018 I was asked to review Logos 8, which was a major improvement over Logos 7. I’ve been asked again to review the new Logos 9, an upgrade focused more toward pastors than the average layperson (generally speaking, but don’t let that deter you).

Factbook

The Factbook has been updated and has about 10x the amount of information as before. I’ve rarely used Factbook before, mostly because I use Logos for the commentaries I have. I know who and what I want to look up, so I’ve often bypassed Factbook. However, I’ve come to realize that Factbook is very helpful through showing me where a certain person, place, or topic shows up in Scripture and in all the resources I own.

For example, in the picture below I search for the Holy Spirit. It begins with a “Key Article” from The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Clicking on this leads you to the full article.

After a Media option (providing some related pictures), Logos gives key passages and a slew of related passages. Then you can see all the Greek and Hebrew words by which the Holy Spirit is referred, and the list of ways these terms are translated into English. The Factbook lists dictionaries, Journals, Sermons, Preaching resources, and related topics.

Looking at Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22, the Factbook gives a long list of 18 relatives, something which is helpful if you’re trying to keep track of who anyone is in 1 and 2 Kings.

Under the Events tab when searching for Elijah, the Factbook lists possibly every event from Elijah’s life which we read about in 1 and 2 Kings. 

When I click “God Tells Elijah to Anoint Elisha, Elisha Follows Him,” the Factbook gives me more information on that event, such as the passage where it occurs and where it occurs logically in 1 Kings.

In addition to People, Places, and Concepts, you can now search for and find Greek and Hebrew lemmas, word senses, manuscripts, authors, songs, resources, and more. More books have been tagged which gives you more information for the more books you have. Of course, that can mean you’re given a flood of information, but it’s still much quicker and more manageable to sort through than to look up everything yourself one book at a time. To learn more about the Factbook, you can watch the video below. 

Building and Managing Sermons

The Sermon Editor has now become Sermon Builder, and there is a new Tool called Sermon Manager to help you arrange, sort, and plan your sermons created in Logos.

I’ve typed up the into to a mock sermon above. In the left column you simply begin writing your sermon. There isn’t too much that’s difficult there. For every new paragraph a new slide is automatically created (in case you want to use them for your sermon). You’ll notice I have copied over a text from Genesis 25. (For some reason you can see I’m using the ESV Bible and that I’m in chapter 25 of some book, but which book is unknown.) I chose this Genesis 25 text because each line is a separate paragraph. The trouble is that I can’t edit the text here, and each line is a new PPT slide.

I have been able to copy over some Bible text so that it doesn’t appear within the ESV box (which then you are able to edit the text), but that’s only happened once. It’s a bit frustrating to not be able to write all of the Genesis text onto a single slide. Hopefully Faithlife will fix that.

The Sermon Editor has now become Sermon Builder, and there is a new Tool called Sermon Manager to help you arrange, sort, and plan your sermons created in Logos. You can plan your sermons, sermon series, and preaching calendar by using Sermon Manager. You can view the current year through a list of weeks…

…or through a radial calendar. This calendar will help you see if there are any special holidays that fall within your sermon series (like Mother’s day or Easter), allowing you to plan ahead. 

You can search through your sermons or filter them according to certain criteria. There is a calendar view (for those who don’t follow a lectionary) and a liturgical view (for those who do follow one). You can create sermon templates, which is helpful not only for your weekly sermons but also for funerals, weddings, special events, etc. I don’t have much to say here since I preach only once a month and I simply haven’t played around much with either of these tools. I’ve always written my sermons on Pages, but I will try this out for my next sermon. Regardless, the sermon manager appears to be a very helpful tool to help get your organized for the year. Pastors are usually quite busy, and to have something that can organize your sermons like this will be very beneficial to you.

Preaching Mode

In the Sermon Builder, if you click the Preach button to the left of the blue Publish button, Logos will take you to the Preaching Mode. Here you can read your sermon without obstruction from sidebars and other notes. You can easily set a timer so that you can pace yourself. You can also change your font size, space, margins, and more to make your sermon fit your screen how you would like it to be.

Dark Mode

There is a new dark mode that will be easier on your eyes. It seems nice and works well. Honestly, I just invert my whole screen so that both Logos and my Mac background will be dark, but that’s just my preference.  Below you can see that Psalms Explorer still looks pretty good in Dark Mode.

Visual Search

You can chart your searches to show just how often a word or person shows up in different books or groupings. In which book does the word “glory” show up most often in the OT? We see that glory shows up a lot in Exodus (7%), but even more in Ezekiel (11.7%), Isaiah (~20%), and most often in the Psalms (25%).

And in the NT? We see that the Gospel of John and 2 Corinthians are tied with 11.7% of all occurrences of glory in the NT.

You can also search to see how often a word or event occurs within a book (or books). For example, in which chapter in Genesis does the Lord speak to Abraham the most? We see that in Genesis 17, God has quite a lot to say to Abraham (36.8% of all that God says to Abraham in Genesis). And the list goes on for those who need to go more in depth or who know how to do complex searches (something I need to learn more about).

Counseling Guide

With the Counseling Guide, you can type in a topic like empathy, and CG will define the topic and provide related topics, Bible passages, and monographs. I believe the Quick-Reference Counseling Guide Collection which has 7 volumes. It covers various issues like marriage, relationships, sexuality, and finances. This guide and the collection would be very beneficial to pastors, counselors, and even laypeople to help guide your church members, counselees, and friends through their issues. In some of the L9 packages Logos has also added dozens of counseling guides by Jay Adams (The ChristianCounselor’s Commentary series). It gives a counselor’s look through some of the NT letters and Proverbs. 

Here is another video of new features in Logos 9:

Recommended?

Yes. I’m still trying to figure out what else is new in this update, especially since Logos 8 had so many new features that could be easily found. If you don’t have Logos at all, I would say get the free edition of L8 and play with that for a while. The free version of L9 will come out early this year, and by then you can see if you would like to take the free upgrade or purchase a bigger package. If you already have L8, the updates are quite good. Consider upgrading L9 for the new guides, tools, datasets, and books.

I would say Logos is a program you should get. They often have great deals on books, commentaries, and commentary sets, and they give away free books every month. Then the more you use Logos, the more you will see how helpful and useful it is for understanding your Bible. Logos is my favorite Bible software program; pastors, teachers, and laypeople would benefit immensely from Logos.

You can find all Logos 9 packages 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.

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